Once Upon a Time in Italy

In 1973 when I went to Italy for the first time. It was one of those ‘all inclusive’ package tours. I went with my mum and my crazy old Aunt. The minute I stepped off the plane I was in love with the place. I was fifteen. I spend two weeks wandering along the beach, basking in the sun and enjoying the atmosphere. I explored the streets, always turning the corner to find something new to delight me. I returned the following year, and the one after. I was hooked. Italy 1973

In 1977 I got married and money was tight for my young husband and I. We were happy to be anywhere, as long as we were together, but Italy was on our bucket list! In 1983 we could finally afford the trip. My husband, a British Soldier, was stationed in Germany and we drove through the Alps, what a lovely way to get there. Did he share my love of the country. Yes, he was hooked right away.

We drove through the Alps to Italy in our very own Alfa Romeo

We drove through the Alps to Italy in our very own Alfa Romeo

I gave birth to my beautiful daughter in 1984 and soon after we moved back to England. With only one pay check, vacations abroad were out of the question and it was 1993 before we could afford a vacation in Italy again. Lido de Jesolo this time. My daughter was seven years old. She took to the country and the language like a fish to water.

Once upon a time on the shores of Lake Garda

Once upon a time on the shores of Lake Garda

We moved to the USA in 1995. Lots to see and places to visit. San Francisco and New Orleans became my favorite cities to visit. I Loved shopping in New York, enjoyed trips to Mexico for sun, sea and sand, but yearned to return to Italy. Long way, lots of money, would we ever be able to afford it? Eventually in 2010, we could stand it no longer. We needed an Italy fix and booked a trip to Rome. Two weeks in that Eternal City were not long enough. We took the train to Frascati, rented a car and drove to Sorrento and Pompeii, but mostly enjoyed walking the streets of Rome and mixing with the locals.

The Eternal City 2010

The Eternal City 2010

I’m getting older now, I can’t wait another ten years before I see Italy again. In a couple of months my husband and I fly to Rome, but this time for three weeks. Rome, Milan, Lake Garda, Siena, Ravello – I can barely wait! My daughter and her new husband will be with us too, how special. Life evolves, things change, but Italy will always be a part of me. Hope you enjoy the photos!

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I dream of Tuscany

Tuscany

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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roncovisi_tuscany-villa

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I have visited Italy many times and hopefully will visit many more. I love Rome, was blown away with Verona. Venice and the small surrounding islands in the lagoon are gorgeous. Rimini, San MarinoFrascatiSorrentoPompeiiSan Leo, my love of Italy temps me to talk about it continually. However the one place I have not been is Tuscany, and I plan to remedy that in 2015. Why wait so long? This year is a busy one, I have a book to publish (lets hope its a best seller).

Next year will be taken up with wedding plans as my only daughter gets married in June, but the year after is mine. With a months sabbatical from work, I can take me time and explore. I am looking for a villa, maybe close to the coast, for at least ten people. Yes I think Tuscany is a place to share with friends. It’s on my bucket list!

Exciting!

When in Rome……….

I love Italy

Italy is the place I love more than anywhere in the world, even more than my home in Colorado. I moved to Colorado from England in 1995, along with my husband and my lovely daughter and don’t get me wrong, I LOVE it here, but my heart will always be in Italy.

My first visit to Italy was in 1973. I went to Rimini on the Adriatic Coast with my mother and my aunt. It was love at first sight. I returned in the summer of 1974 and 1975. In 1976 I met my husband and in 1977, we were married and life got in the way of vacations for a while. The next time we visited Italy was 1983. We drove from Germany, where my husband was stationed with the British Army. It was a wonderful road trip in our new black Alfa Romeo, a fitting car for the journey. I enjoyed showing my husband around the wonderful resort of Rimini.

In 1984 I gave birth to my lovely daughter, and vacations were put on hold for a while. In 1993, we took her to Italy for the first time. We stayed in Lido di Jesolo. She loved it and was soon hooked on Italy, just as I was. We visited Venice, Murano, Burano, Verona and Lake Garda. The weather wasn’t always perfect, but the country of Italy was.

In 2010, my husband and I visited Italy once again, this time we flew to Rome. I was overwhelmed by the city of Rome. Two weeks were not long enough to take it all in so there is no doubt I will have to return. When is the next trip planned? 2015 and I intend to stay for a month!

Rimini

Rimini

Rialto Bridge

Rialto Bridge

Lido di Jesolo street

Lido di Jesolo street

Murano

Murano

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Burano

Verona

Verona

Lake Garda

Lake Garda

Rome

Rome

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Rome

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Where am I going on my next visit to Italy? I have to see Rome one more time, and then Tuscany is a MUST! This time it will be a wonderful trip of family and friends. My husband and I will enjoy the company of my daughter and her new husband, my very best friend and her husband and two children, and maybe one more couple. We will all bask in the sun and enjoy the people of Italy. The land of romance and dreams.

Italy is in my heart and in my blood!

My first trip to Italy was when I was sixteen.It was 1973. I went with my mum and my eccentric Aunt. It was love at first sight and I had the time of my life. My dad took us to the airport and waved us goodbye. My aunt and my mum were like giggly schoolchildren, even though they were in their mid fifties. It was the first time my mum had left England.

The first smell of Italian air intoxicated me. I was hooked before I even left the airport.

We arrived at our hotel ‘Hotel President’ on the Piazza Tripoli, just one block away from the beach. I could smell the Adriatic.

The room in that hotel was very basic. There was a bathroom and three single beds, but it was all we needed.

My mum and my eccentric aunt did their own thing, trips, dances and sight-seeing and I wandered the cobbled streets of Rimini and enjoyed myself. I loved the sun, the beach, the bars, the restaurants, but most of all, I loved the people.

The beaches were pretty crowded, but that was OK, because as I said earlier, I loved the people.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I know Rimini is full of tourists, mostly from Britain, but I was blind to anything but the Italians and their way of life.

I loved the food, the wine, the smell, the atmosphere. I loved everything and I knew I would be back again soon.

I was right. I returned every year for the next three years.

It was the start of a romance that would last for the rest of my life.

Now, almost forty years later, the attraction is as strong as ever.

I think about Italy every day. I look at my photos and remember.

I have visited Rome, Sorrento, Frascati, Capri, Verona, Lake Garda, San Marino, San Leo, Lido de Jesolo and Rimini as well as several small towns I don’t remember the name of.

Where next? Maybe Positano and the Amalfi Coast. After a brief visit to Sorrento in 2010, I know I need to see it again.

 

 

A lifetime of vacations! Brixham to Mexico!

 

I have begun packing for my vacation to Nuevo Vallarta, Mexico. It is one of my favorite vacation destinations. Sun, sand, good food, beautiful sunsets and relaxation.
The staff in this luxurious, friendly ‘all inclusive’ resort help to make your vacation perfect.

I would say that the Grand Velas in Nuevo Vallarta is without doubt one of the most beautiful places I have ever stayed. It brags of three first class restaurants which are so good it would be hard to pick a favorite. A true Mexican paradise.

Brixham was where I spent my very first vacation, when I was the young age of five.

I don’t remember much about it, but we stayed in a big white hotel on the top of a cliff. All of the waiters were Italian and it was fun. I went to Brixham with my Aunt and Uncle and my mother. Brixham is on the English Riviera. You didn’t know there was an English Riviera did you? Feast  your eyes on these photo’s.

I am sure many postcards have this image on them, and postcards are still popular in England.

Brixham Harbor by night

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Lots of fishing boats in Brixham

 

Brixham is in Devon, which has a very mild climate. While we were there the weather was beautiful. I remember going for long walks by the bay and seeing palm trees from the very first time.

Palm Trees on the English Riviera

 

 

 

 

 

I had only seen Palm trees in photographs. Because the waiters in our hotel were Italian, and there were Palm trees outside, I thought we must be in Italy. My aunt and uncle laughed when I asked them if we were. To confuse me even more, they took me out to an Italian Restaurant for dinner.

Maybe this is what started my love affair with Italy.

I didn’t actually make it to Italy until I was 15, and that was with the same Aunt, (crazy Aunty Jeannie) and my mum. We had even more fun on this trip. It was my first trip ‘abroad’ and it was to the busy resort of Rimini on the Adriatic Riviera.

Busy Rimini beaches

 

Rimini was a popular place for both young and old. The beaches were incredibly busy, but it was fun. After my first trip to Italy I was hooked and my love affair with everything Italian started.

Hotel President – stayed here in 1972, 1973 and 1974. Glad to see it’s still there.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Italy is my favorite place in the world and I never tire of it. I have visited Rimini, Lido de Jesolo, Florence, Rome, Venice, San Marino, Verona, Lake Garda, Pompeii, Frascati, Sorrento and many places in between. Will I go back. Of course, its in my blood.