Category Archives: Italy

The Meaning of Mountains – Part 2

When I heard of human traffic jams on Everest, the juxtaposition of mundaneness and magnificence struck me, not least because of the lurking presence of death.

I experienced a moderated version of this in the Sexten Dolomites.

Dolomites Continue reading


The Meaning of Mountains – Part I

At the Sella Pass in Val Gherdëina, South Tyrol, Italy, The BB and I are pushed into the telephone box cable cars by the attendants. Two passengers to a booth – standing room only. The agility of those scrambling aboard determines how far towards the precipitous drop the attendants must run in order to stuff them in and snap the door handle shut. There is much hilarity amongst those in the queue.

IMGP0055 Continue reading

Porridge in the Pale Mountains

Signor Porridge is giddy with excitement.

flower with whirling background

So much so that he barely knows what’s up and what’s down.

Porridge in the Dolomites Continue reading

Take One Steering Wheel, Add a Dash of Italy…

After rain drove us from our intended walk at Sasso we devised Plan B: drive north-west to Lago d’Idro. This is a scenic, winding drive alongside Lake Valvestino,

past the dam and on to the southern end of the lake.

Not long after that, the fun began. Continue reading

Walking at Lake Garda

I live in a cul de sac – physically, not metaphorically. What would the latter mean anyway? Does it imply peace and a sense of rounded harmony within a safe, and not necessarily uninteresting, place or does it mean you’ve reached the end of a road and are stuck there with the only option for exploration the way you’ve already experienced? It’s just a thought exercise because today I’m talking about physical exercise. Continue reading

Wine & Oil Tasting (and Smelling)

It seems the entire Brescia region is dense with wineries offering tastings, including one we chanced upon more by smell than anything else, near the base of the road to Rocca del Garda in the town of Manerba. It wasn’t the wine so much as the cows. In a tiny and odoriferous plot a tiny, grinning 79 year old man makes cheese, olive oil and wine. As if that is not enough, he also cooks in his own restaurant 30m down the road. He recently had to let an 18 year-old hired hand go – she couldn’t keep up with him. Continue reading

Three-wheeled Truck

From Piaggio, the makers of the Vespa (Italian for ‘wasp’), comes the Ape (pronounced ah-pay and Italian for ‘bee’.                                                                        First built in 1948 for goods transport, these little bewdies were useful  for people who couldn’t afford larger vehicles after WWII.  They are still putting around the roads and streets of Italy. I love how the rear wheels tilt inwards or outwards depending on the weight of their load.