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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