Cool clear water…. (Joni Mitchell)


The castle at Malcesine, Lake Garda.

Water has predominated our travel for the last 6 days. I shed a tear saying goodbye to everyone at our Tuscan Villa as Michael and I headed north bu still in Italy.
Verona was our first stop as we put on our posh clothes and went to the Opera at the magnificent Arena. This open air amphitheater, first built in 30 AD, has been staging the best of the italian Opera’s for the past 101 years and staying true to its unamplified form, was spectacular. We marvelled at Puccini’s Turandot as a cast of hundreds filled the stage.



Juliette and her shiny right breast which is rubbed for luck in love!

The next day, still humming Nessun Dorma (no one sleeps!), we caught the train to the dramatic destination of Venice. This being our first visit, we followed our own walking tour (ah la Rick Steves “Three walks in Venice”) and got lost in the back streets of the canal city. At least we were away from the crowds. Alas with guide maps and an inate sense of direction, we found our way back to the Santa Lucia train station and back to our bed in Verona.


A place to reflect.



Venice traffic jam

On Monday we discovered the many charms ofLake Garda,  the largest of Italys lakes and a little less crowded than the others. Forget NZ’s Queenstown as an adventure capital as Lake Garda is loaded with so many sports to try. You can rock climb,  mountain bike, hike, go caving and ski and that is before all the water related activities that the lake provides. For the more sedately traveller, there are the ferries that meander up and down the lake to deliver you to quant little lake side villages where, if you are lucky, you can escape the tourist crowd and watch the world go by gazing out over the water. Our bed for two nights rested in the northern village of Riva del Garda beside the 13th century Torre Apponale, a medieval belfry which chimed every 15min outside our balcony room. I believe most of Germany were on holiday here (those who couldn’t afford to go to Brazil anyway) as the town erupted when they beat Brazil in the World Cup semifinals.



Our Hotel Sole and the Torre Apponale.


Approaching Limone.

Lastly we have spent the past two days in the town Como on the southern banks of Lake Como. No George Clooney I’m afraid but plenty of other attractions on our lake cruise up to Bellagio for the day.




Back streets of Bellagio

So now it is arrividerci Italia as we travel west to Belgium tomorrow to begin our week long bike and barge tour. Lets face it~  I am the Ever Ready bunny!


5 thoughts on “Cool clear water…. (Joni Mitchell)

  1. Yes ! The ever ready bunny is a good name for you! 😀
    Thankyou for the scenic pics.
    Your holiday is an amazing marithon of places & a feast for our eyes. Thankyou for sharing Michelle xxx

    • Thanks Jenny. I should also be called “forgetful fred” as it is the Energizer bunny not the Every Ready one. I don’t even know if Every Ready has a bunny 😄

  2. Not just ever ready – you’re always at it! Never a dull moment with you, my friend. Your photos of Venice and Verona brought back memories. Can’t wait for the bike and barge tour! Keep on enjoying and pedal safely.Lots of love xxoo

    • After nearly 3 weeks in Italy it is time to explore another place. I’m looking forward to the bike ride and Holland. I’ve never been there so that makes it exciting.
      The kids sound like they are having an adventure in Croatia and beyond. They travel so well together. Xxx

  3. I’ve been waiting for another update. Sounds like you are travelling well and not rushing too much. Enjoy the barge cruise. Looking forward to the next update.

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