Category Archives: Italy

ITALY BY BIKE – quietly adventurous

Cycling in Italy doesn't have to be tough.

Cycling in Italy doesn’t have to be tough. On Lido it’s quite relaxing.

We hadn’t planned to ride bikes on this trip to Italy, but once we started we wished we hadn’t waited so long before taking to the saddle.

We’re not talking major excursions here, no lycra-clad slogging up the big climbs of the Giro d’Italia; just a convenient way to get around in Verona and a pleasant day’s escape from the madding crowd in Venice. If we can do it, anyone can. Continue reading

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Filed under Cycle touring, Cycling, Italy

SHOOTING IN ITALIAN ALLEYWAYS

I sat by the washing, waiting for an old man with a dog to walk by.  A lady with a stick was just as good. How's that for an authentic Italian cliche?

I sat by the washing, waiting for an old man with a dog to walk by. A lady with a stick was just as good. How’s that for an authentic Italian cliche?


Venice is popular. For good reason, of course.

Venice is popular. For good reason, of course.



Naturally, much of the Italy we tourists see looks like the picture on the right, but as photographers we prefer the privacy of deserted places.

So although it’s not possible to avoid the well-trodden path altogether, you can glance sideways into every little alleyway, point the camera at it and hope that it might be free of visitors.

If you’re really lucky, you might even spot a local doing something colourful and charming. Continue reading

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Filed under Italy, travel photography

MY MOST EXPENSIVE COFFEE EVER – at least it was Italian

You cost how much???

You’re costing me how much???



If you’re charging outrageous prices in your cafe, you have to think ‘Location, location, location.’ It’s not about the coffee, it’s about the experience – the privilege of sitting where you’re sitting.

Two memorably overpriced coffees in my travel experience were on Paris’s elegant Boulevard Saint Germain and in Sienna’s wonderful Piazza del Campo. Today’s double espresso beat them both hands down in the price department. Continue reading

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WHERE TOO MANY COLUMNS ARE NEVER ENOUGH – Vicenza

How many columns can you see in this picture? (Keep your answer to yourself.)

How many columns can you see in this picture? (Keep your answer to yourself.)



Vicenza is the city of Palladio, which means it is also the city of columns.

The Greeks possibly thought of them first, then the Romans copied the Greeks, then in the 16th century architect Andrea Palladio copied the Greeks and Romans and for hundreds of years thereafter every designer of a major public building in the western world copied Mr Palladio. Continue reading

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Filed under Architecture, Italy

VERONA – 12 reasons for photographers to fall in love

Of course where there's a tower, you have to climb it. This is the view from the top of the Tower of Lamberto.

Of course where there’s a tower, you have to climb it. This is the view from the top of the Lamberti Tower.



I know, I was a little critical of all that Romeo and Juliet stuff in my previous post on Verona. That was largely for comic purposes, though I was pleased to see people shared my hatred of the 3D graffiti that is love lock mania.

There is of course much to love about Verona. Continue reading

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Filed under Italy, travel photography

VERONA, ITALY – where love is just plain annoying

Believe it or not, this the the REAL balcony, the ACTUAL place where Juliet REALLY said 'Wherefore art thou Romeo?'

Believe it or not, this the the REAL balcony, the ACTUAL place where Juliet REALLY said ‘Wherefore art thou Romeo?’

Don’t get me wrong. I’m all for love. It’s what the world needs now. Love, sweet love; it’s the only thing that there’s just too little of.

Expressing love is also important. I’m regularly accused of not doing it often enough. I believe less is more in that department, but maybe I sometimes overplay the strong, silent type role.

What I don’t need to see is others publicly declaring their love in pathetically unoriginal ways. For far too many visitors, that seems to be what a stay in Verona is all about. Continue reading

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GET PAID TO WALK AND EAT IN ITALY

Walking in the Dolomites. Nice work if you can get it.

Does this sound like a job for you?

You go to Italy twice a year, in spring and autumn to avoid the main tourist season. On each trip you spend a week or two walking through attractive countryside with a jolly group of like-minded people, staying in boutique hotels, eating the best local food and sampling the local vintages.

You get paid to do this.

Simon Tancred and a cafe that bears his name, plus a bit.

At the end of the walk you say arrivederci to your friends and for a few weeks you head off on your own into unknown regions, researching some history and looking for new footpaths, food and lodgings. And deducting your expenses from your tax.

Lots of us aspire to converting our love of travel into a paying job or business.

Simon Tancred seems to have it nicely worked out. Continue reading

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Filed under Hiking, Italy