Top of Europe

Next stop, Switzerland.  One of the greatest things about this place is all discovering it together as a family – n0one has been here before, we had little knowledge of what was to come, apart from me thinking of the story of Heidi the Swiss mountain girl and the Sound of Music! We have truly…

Arrivederci Lake Maggiore and Grazie Italia!

It is important to note that Lake Maggiore was more than just a bike crash, as significant as that moment was in our trip and no doubt will remain in Barney’s memory longer than most of our other activities. But we did have a wonderful time on the lake. Only three days in total, but…

Barney’s Buster

  After many weeks without our wheels, we decided to hire bikes to cruise around Lake Maggiore in northern Italy.  It was another hot summer’s day, clocking up about 3 weeks without any rain. We’d only got 100m down the road from the bike shop, when Barns took on a caravan on his bicycle, and lost….

They’re not fighting, they are just lying down

“They’re dead me’lord” Monteriggioni held the most awesome medieval festival, which took me back to my childhood days of Blackadder and history lessons at primary school with the best teacher I ever had who brought medieval history to life like noone else could. Monteriggioni is a small hill top walled castle town in the middle…

The home of gelato

To some, Florence is the cultural centre of Europe, impressive as the birthplace of Renaissance art, architecture and monuments. To our kids, it was simply the birthplace of gelato, the city which invented the famous ice-cream for the wealthy Medici family in the 1500’s. So what was for us grown-ups a day of being wowed by…

The perfect day in Tuscany?

When I was dreaming about travelling with the family in Europe, one of the things I was most excited about was living in a very old farmhouse in a small village somewhere in France or Italy, getting to know the local area and culture a little and just settling in… Well, this week has just…

Wow, Tuscany!

Wow, and wow!  Jools we can see why you love Tuscany most of all, especially as a photographer.  Hard to decide what’s best – the light at sunset and the long days are more unbelievable than I’d remembered.  The countryside is incredibly beautiful and the history of the castles & walled towns is enchanting.  Yesterday…

Mud Men

With all Tuscany is known for, we didn’t expect to find this – hot thermal pools, white sulphuric rocks and mud, glorious mud to mask ourselves in.  Some of the pools were literally too hot to sit in. All in a village called Bagna di San Filippo, bizarrely, so we thought of you Jude &…