Wednesday 22 November 2023

An art trip to Italy

This September there was a trip planned.  I was really keen but,  
so how do we all think David would cope with a load of arty types, on an escorted coach trip to Italy with a group of totally unknown people all yacking on about arty stuff?

Well Reader I wasn't convinced either, I was quite willing to go alone but as you may be aware Italy is probably his favourite European country and he wouldn't hear of being left behind.
I told him there'd be churches, I told him there'd be old paintings, I told him there'd walking....

The worst part was an 8am flight to Milan, from Heathrow of all places, which meant a 6am pickup eight miles away.  Our darling neighbour, thankfully another early riser took us there and as I looked about for the group leader all I could see were women, retired women, I began to get nervous for him.

I had said that if it became intolerable, he could loiter at the hotel, which I was expecting to be on Lakes Iseo, in the event the itinerary had been changed (Unknown to me, we had joined the trip last minute taking the two last places).  

Well although it really wasn't far away from the UK, it took nearly all the day to arrive at the hotel after a two hour transfer from Milan airport.  
But things were looking better...

Masked up on the plane, reason was that two weeks after this jaunt we were off again on hollibobs with some grandchildren and didn't want to catch Covid and jeopardise that trip. 

Yes rather a large smile on his face when he saw the view from our balcony, sigh.

Oh for an Aperol Spritz in the sun on the terrace in the Italian sun.

So that was the first evening, while some quickly stripped off and swam in the hot spa pool in the evening sun, David and I headed for the bar.  One by one these retired ladies joined us and yep you've guess it, they were all very jolly, very interesting and lots of fun over the week.  One especially, seemed to appreciate David's sense of humour and they rather teamed up for the week.  Jean, she was 87, they were always chuckling together.

The good thing was that there were about eight men on the trip some having arrived directly to the airport.

It was a fabulous week with a varied menu of art, Roman ruins, amazing buildings, a vineyard visit plus tastings oh and yes the hot pool spa where we had a massage each one day.  

Scroll on down if you can't bear holiday snaps...

A boat trip on Lake Iseo

Temp outside.

Some of that art he had to contend with...

One of those churches, incredibly beautiful but let's not bring up the subject again of the wealth of the Catholic Church and the poverty of the people...


The Boxer, look at that face.

Winged Victory

Two jaw droppingly impressive bronzes.  The Boxer and Winged Victory I think she was called.  The pain on his face was palpable.  I think it said between two and five thousand years old.  Winged Victory much much more recent, only two thousand years old.  I always wonder what the Brits were up to two thousand years ago. Both found here in Brescia in the 1800's.

Here  click to read a bit more.

The best mosaics I have ever seen all here in Brescia in the temple.

Milan now.  
I'd never been, a big fat WOW!  Very crowded, our guide said follow me then promptly disappeared into the crowds.  The buildings are very lovely and I have to say Reader the only one who went shopping was David and you should have seen the assistants fawning over him, yes they were men too. 

I'd be tempted to have a weekend pad in here, right opposite The Duomo.

Rather nice shopping arcade, some interesting fashion choices to be seen around here.

The Duomo, you had to pay and queue for three days to get in so we went to lunch instead.

Wedding dress?  Actually it was Milan Fashion Week, she was on a photo shoot.

The less said about this the better....

This was hilarious, the make-up lady ran here and there with her powder puff, the girls lost attention, the director shouted ACTION, a member of the public dodged into shot in the very real sense of Photo Bombing then the girls were all to cock and had to repeat it about three times.  I'd like to say nice dresses but...

So Italy you never fail to impress David, he loved the views, the company, the food and the weather, oh and Jean.
Next year there's another trip to Venice, I wonder what he'll say.


  1. Hi Lisa,
    What a fabulous trip! The Boxer is just stunning. I appreciated Winged Victory, but the Boxer - just breathtaking. And the mosaics...
    And what were the Brits doing back then? Umm, serfs, living in mud huts, dying by age 25.
    Dresses: I rather liked thew one second from the left - black and white. And I'd love to have ever been able to wear those over the knee boots and the skirt/shorts. And the have the confidence to do so - amazing!

    1. Hi there Marilyn,
      Yes it was a great trip. But it does take hours to get there and hours to get back despite it not being far away.
      Gazing at The Boxer, when the guide moved away into the next room, it was hard to tear yourself away from him, I felt he could almost speak.

      Before we left I'd told David about the Venice trip and tongue in cheek asked him if we should book now, "God almighty let's see how this goes first shall we!" but he really enjoyed it.
      How is all with you? You are not the only friends who have left Boating this year and we are sad about it, makes me think that we have a limited amount of summers left aboard, but each one to be savoured. He's asked me where I want to go next summer, I could just do exactly the same again as I loved it so, except for the Deadly Dull Shroppie.

    2. Lisa, we are pretty good. Sad at letting the boat go, but it feels like it's time. We have no regrets about our time on the boat - in fact it has all been a wonderful adventure, even the bits that were tough! Not sure when we will get back to the UK; but we are so looking forward to seeing you two over here in NZ - asap!

    3. We were planning to come over as I hinted to you, but as it happens and don't tell my mother yet but Mitch and Verity are coming back for Christmas. So it won't be just yet, but not that far away and when we do it will be an extended trip...

  2. Hi Lisa, Dave sends his heartfelt sympathies to David - as do I of course but my experience is (thankfully) second-hand. Dave used to find standing under a hot shower for 5 minutes after getting up was a great help. On the bright side, he was totally recovered after a couple of years. I was hoping we might coincide with you at Great Haywood while we were there but you were off having exciting times!

    1. Greetings Debby,
      Thank you for your sympathies for David, it was a protracted diagnosis as some of his symptoms were unusual. He was up and down with it then we spent ages wondering what if anything had made it flare up again... He has a golfing buddy who has had it "Years" with no let up but another who has been "Cured". I'd never heard of it until his lovely mother was diagnosed with it, so perhaps there's a family link.
      I didn't think of the hot shower in the morning, but on very bad days I was helping to dress him....
      And definitely our sympathies to Dave if he is a sufferer still/too/at all, it's a horrible condition.