20 Apr
Location
Home
Days adrift.  Click here to see our best and worst experiences so far.
5017
Number of flights.  Click here to go to the itinerary page.
35
Bus, train and taxi rides.  Click here to see all posts relating to transport. (56 posts)
185
Miles walked.  Click here to see all posts relating to walking and trekking. (43 posts)
581
Countries visited.  Click here to see what we think of them. (14 posts)
15
Number of species spotted.  Click here to go to our wildlife page.
1157
Photos taken.  Click here to go to the photo gallery. (105 posts)
13288
Rainy days.  Click here to find posts relating to the weather. (50 posts)
63
Number of times scammed.  Click here to read all about it!  (2 posts)
1
Otters spotted.  Click here to go to our website about otters: amblonyx.com
45
 
...two travellers in search of the world's wildlife

Archive for July, 2023


31 July 2023

Staying in a Palladian villa

Wednesday 28 June 2023 We’re in Vicenza now, staying in an actual literal Palladian villa designed by Palladio in the 16th century. Palazzo Valmarana Braga. Although this isn’t quite as deluxe as it sounds, since our apartment is actually fairly basic in equipment and furnished with vintage pieces. Still… Palladio, eh? Before leaving Ravenna we » » »



31 July 2023

Mosaic town

Tuesday 27 July 2023 Ravenna is an odd city. It’s flat, hot, with typical modern low-rise buildings lining typical streets filled with shops and cafes. Then you wander around a corner and, bam, there’s a 6th century church. Inside the church there may well be some Byzantine mosaics from about the same period. This is » » »



31 July 2023

Even more castles in the hills

Monday 26 June 2023 Today was another day exploring, this time on our way from Urbino to meet up with Tim & Nessa in Ravenna. Yes, back to the heat and mosquitoes of the Po plains. So we set off on a twisty route through the mountains of the Marche and back into Emilia-Romagna. First » » »



31 July 2023

Crown of the Renaissance

Sunday 25 June 2023 Okay, I have to admit that I’ve fallen in love with Urbino. It is clearly (and undeservedly) off the tourist trail for most visitors to Italy, but it has met my expectations and more. My expectations were set when we listened to a course on Renaissance history and learned about Frederico » » »



31 July 2023

San Marino Grand Prix

Saturday 24 June 2023 We did a lot of driving, but not so fast as a Grand Prix. Masses of seaside-bound Italians and some prangs meant we had quite a laborious 4 hour drive along the featureless Po valley from Parma down to the tiny landlocked state of San Marino. We set out at ten, » » »



24 July 2023

More castles in the hills

Friday 23 June 2023 Today we had an even better crop of castles! And another pleasant day of just mooching around the countryside. It’s a bit unfair just how easily the Italians seem to leave eye-catchingly beautiful little towns and villages scattered all across the landscape. This was meant to be a gentle recovery day, » » »



24 July 2023

Castles in the hills

Thursday 22 June 2023 Today we got on the road again and headed south from Parma into the foothills of the Appennines. I’ve got some kind of grotty cold or flu out of nowhere, so today was accomplished with only 60% energy and a sort of mental fog in between me and the world. Thanks » » »



24 July 2023

Mooching around Parma

Wednesday 21 June 2023 The weather forecast said 30+ degrees for Parma today and both of us felt a bit meh and worn out. Maybe suffering from all the over-indulgence, maybe also from the horribly fierce aircon in our apartment (but turn the aircon off and it’s just not possible to sleep). We stuck to » » »



24 July 2023

Picnic before the towers

Tuesday 20 June 2023 We’ve left Tuscany and are on to the next leg of the tour: Parma and Emilia-Romagna. Our apartment is a neat city-centre place, very good location, kind vintage decor, fierce aircon. In a very Italian style, the owner Francesca showed up 20 minutes late to let us in, but at least » » »



24 July 2023

Wine tasting Brunello

Monday 19 June 2023 So we loved Spedaletto so much that we decided to stay one more night, and by sheer fluke tonight happened to be unbooked (but only tonight). Which meant we could actually tackle some wine tasting today! The first one we tried was Ciacci Piccolomini, an old family winery whose Rosso di » » »



24 July 2023

Not wine tasting

Sunday 18 June Happy birthday to me! Given how we’re struggling with not over-eating in Italy, the last thing we needed was the generous and tempting breakfast spread at Spedaletto. It seems to be run by a mother and her daughter; the former cooks breakfast and looks after our basil plant, the latter speaks English. » » »



23 July 2023

Staying in a castle

Saturday 17 June 2023 Today had everything. We started the morning with one final bit of sight-seeing in Florence (yes, I know I said we’d had enough of art but this was booked in advance ‘cos you have to). The Brancacci Chapel is a small chapel that contains possibly the greatest early Renaissance fresco cycle, » » »



23 July 2023

Stibbert

Friday 16 June 2023 For our fourth day in Florence we decided to cast ourselves out of the dense tourist-washed streets of the central area. We walked for 45 mins, often in the blazing sun (did I mention we’re in a heatwave and Florence is hitting 30C most days?), to a far-flung museum called the » » »



23 July 2023

Getting into Florence

Thursday 15 June 2023 Third day in Florence and maybe we’re starting to get into it – we even finally relaxed enough to stop at a completely random cafe-bar for negronis before dinner, instead of needing to research “the best bars for a negroni in Florence” first. So once you get past the initial wow » » »



23 July 2023

Big Uffizi gallery day

Today we soaked ourselves in Renaissance painting at the Uffizi gallery. Then it poured with rain so we lurked in our apartment for the rest of the afternoon, which is acceptable behaviour when you’re away for a whole month and can spare an afternoon. Big national galleries are marathon events, I still remember destroying our » » »



23 July 2023

Into the Renaissance

Tuesday 13 June 2023 Florence exploration, day one. We started leisurely, with coffee and pastry in the little cafe at the end of our road, but managed to squeeze in San Marco, San Lorenzo, the Medici Chapel and the Bardini Gardens. Santa Croce was also in our sights, but was closed just this one day » » »



23 July 2023

Camogli on the Ligurian Riviera

Monday 12 June 2023 Today we drove from Vercelli to Florence via the only stretch of coast to feature in our trip, a bit of the Ligurian Riviera between Genoa and La Spezia. The geography in Italy is splendid. First we are hurtling across dead flat plains, then suddenly green-clad mountains rear up and the » » »



23 July 2023

Fluffy St Bernards

Sunday 11 June 2023 Today we saw so many fluffy St Bernards! That’s because every few kilometers along the St Bernards Pass road there would be somewhere selling St Bernard stuffed toys. Mainly, though, it was a stunningly beautiful road and we were very surprised to find ourselves surrounded by snow and pretty flippin’ cold » » »



23 July 2023

Besancon after a long drive

10 June 2023 We’re travelling to Italy for a month in our own car, which means a cross-channel crossing by Eurotunnel and then a long, long drive through the flat parts of France before we finally hit the Alps. Such a boring drive. So we ended the day in Besancon, a small medieval city that » » »