Sunday, 11 February 2018


Richard shared good news in his latest post that he is travelling to Italy in September this year (bad news is that he will return to Godzone).

We wish him well in his travels and wish we were going. It's a great time of year to go to Europe as it's after the hot summer and the crazy tourist season. Autumn weather will hopefully be more settled (although still very warm) and the colours of trees, grapevines, horticulture and pastures will be lovely.

Sunflowers in Tuscany - a great memory

Richard is going to spend time in Italy away from the tourist areas. Good luck with that I say and hope that his Italian "book learnin'" will be up to it and when he orders a ham and cheese sandwich for Shelley and him he doesn't get a calf's head on toast with a side order of tripe.

"At-a lasta. Somebody a-loves-a my favourite-a sandwich"

They are going to Bari (not the saxophone). Bari is South-East of Rome.
My dad was there with the 2nd New Zealand Division in 1943. Maybe he could look up any possible step-siblings I have there!

Richard used images of Verona in previous posts but doesn't say if they are going there. It's a pity if not as with shelley's theatrical experience I can imagine them doing a Romeo and Juliet scene at the famous balcony. I do hope that they go to Rome. You don't have to follow 'the tourist trail' in Italy and I'm sure that he could practice his Italian there as further South (see comment above about the ham and cheese sandwich).

Travelling about Italy by train is good and fast if Richard has concerns about flying (driving is not advised). That old fascist dictator Mussolini got the trains to run on time and, in my experience in Italy they seem to still do so - one good legacy from that old bastard I suppose.

"Ricardo, I do-a eet all-a for you-a"
What Ricardo, sorry, Richard needs to understand is that apart from Italy's Roman and fascist past at heart they are really anarchists. Politically, socially, romantically and culturally the Italians really don't give a shit for rules and just do their own things. Just look out for the 'no smoking' signs in any public places. There you will find the biggest gathering of smokers fuming away.

In buses, trains, cinemas, cafes etc. get used to the strident trilling of a mobile phone and the very, very loud 'Pronto!" answer followed by a very long conversation at full volume which comes along with expressive hand waving and gestures that make it dangerous for all in the vicinity.

Have a great trip you guys and take advantage of all on offer - museums, galleries, opera etc. There's nothing worse than returning home and saying "if only we'd ...."

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