Italy 2014 – Language

Once again I have started trying to learn Italian. I made an attempt last year, but dropped out when work got in the way mid semester. I am not sure why this year will be any better, as this year in addition to work I have also enrolled at University!

We’ll just have to wait and see I guess.

Still it’s week five and I am still going. Continue reading

Italy 2014 – Tour Down Under, Tour de France, Giro d’Italia

From early January Adelaide builds up to the Tour Down Under, the first event on the UCI World Tour Cycling calendar, a race based in Adelaide South Australia.

I am not sure whether it was the TDU hype, a January free from work travel or a lengthy break from riding during 2012, but my desire to get back on the bike has certainly been certainly increased.

The TDU is fantastic and we are lucky as the Tour Village is at the end of our street

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Italy 2014 – The Christmas Break

For the first time in a number of years I had a full 2 week break at Christmas. Something to really enjoy, a time to relax, catch up with friends, family and to do some planning for Italy!

We had been discussing the idea of three months in a little town on the Amalfi Coast. We love the area and its breathtaking scenery.

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Italy 2014 – an idea!

This is the first of what I hope will be a series of blog posts about my planning for and stay in Italy in 2014.

So often I have read books, blogs, articles about time in Europe mostly from the woman’s perspective. I have generally enjoyed them however it isn’t me. I am a 50 plus male, long term Partner in a large professional services firm. I am married to a fantastic woman who I have been with since my University days and we have 3 adult children. It isn’t my intention that I find myself through this journey I just want to record my thoughts as I(we) embark on this next phase of my (our) life.

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When I discussed with my wife our plans for a trip away in 2012 it was about 3 weeks squeezed in around a very hectic work schedule. It all got to hard so we abandoned 3 weeks in Italy for a fantastic week in the North Island of New Zealand. Whilst not the romance of Europe, New Zealand is a fantastic place and Auckland is a really vibrant seaside city which gives it a sort of Barcelona feel.

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White Island a trip we did by helicopter for my wife’s birthday and is one of the best sightseeing trips we have ever done. Even better than Mt Etna!

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Hotel De Brett – an awesome place to stay. Absolutely fantastic renovation, fabulous hosts, great restaurant and near everything! www.hoteldebrett.com

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Just one of the many great views of Auckland

It was a great holiday but it wasn’t Italy!

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Book Review – Sicily, it’s Not Quite Tuscany

As well as the overall sense that Shamus Sillar’s wife Gil is a Saint, Sicily, It’s not Quite Tuscany portrays Sicily in a very contemporary and Australian style. Its also a book from a male perspective something which seems a little rare when writing about Italy these days. Whilst I really enjoyed Penelope Green’s books particularly See Naples and Die, as a male it did not hit the spot in the same way as this book does.

It’s a book about a young married couple who spend a year genuinely soaking up the earthiness of this amazing island in its most basic location, Catania, a city which certainly doesn’t enjoy good press and this book doesn’t really enhance it. Yet you are given a sense that by letting the town wash over you it’s not all bad. There is a rich description of the people, the sights and

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