Monday, 22 August 2011


I haven't been to Italy for ages and my view of it is across between A Room with a View and La Dolce Vita. Some like it hot and I like it hot but it was too hot. As in closed oven hot. But everything else about it was Merchant and Ivory drop dead romantic. We travelled to Le Marche which is like Tuscany but they do it for real rather than for show. I think it's less to do with the fact they don't know how to market themselves and more to do with the fact they are not prepared to sell themselves. We rode horses in between gorgeous medieval villages void of tourist shops and trappings but full of butchers, bakers and shoe makers. We mountain biked, which was exciting and terrifying and still have skin on my knees which is a miracle. Having gone full pelt over my bike around Richmond Park on many occasions I now have scars on both knees which will be with me forever that look like carpet burns. Hey ho.

The trekking through the gorges was magical. Stunning countryside, dappled light, ice cold water but on that hot day it didn't matter. It was the perfect piercing hot temperature for ice cold water. Eating peaches that dripped with sweet juice. Lov-er-ly. And the paragliding which made me feel like an eagle although I undoubtedly looked like an ugly turkey. I didn't care. I was told by one of the head honchos that 'this is a sport for men to do manly things amongst men.' Well they got a mother and her son for a morning, and in my articles, I'm going to get more mums and their children to do the same. Fabulous experience, utterly amazing barring the cow pats we landed in on the way down. Thank goodness they were dried. (Thank you sun!)

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