Hello Tuscany … And DD!

I only gave you half the holiday story. I’ve been holding out on you … DD flew to Rome to meet me on Sunday night. Lucky me! The rain was absolutely bucketing down when he arrived, so he was drenched when he finally puddled into the hotel from the station. But we only had one […]

Kiss and run in Rome

My ex was waiting for us when we pulled into Rome Termini Station yesterday morning. It was time for me to say goodbye to the kids for three weeks. We hugged and kissed and I wished them a good holiday. Then they were gone, without a backward glance. You know you’ve created a secure environment […]

Our vibrant Naples neighbourhood

Our Naples hotel, Il Convento, is in a great part of the city. It’s a block into the Spanish Quarter, right near the bustling Via Toledo. Via Toledo is full of boutiques and buskers and market stalls and thousands of boisterous, strolling locals. Our backstreet is crammed with little shops selling fresh fruit, seafood, deli […]

Our Pompeii adventure

Things didn’t get off to the best start with our Pompeii adventure. I decided we should take the tourist bus there. But could I find the bus stop in the relentless rain – after paying 35 euros for our tickets? No, I could not. Various helpful Napolitanos pointed us in various unhelpful directions before we […]

Buzzed by Naples

I was nervous about spending three nights in Naples. One friend told me it was a horrible place, while my mum begged me not to go out after dark because she’d heard it was the Mafia capital of Italy (she’s also convinced Mt Vesuvius is about to blow). But I’ve found myself unexpectedly charmed by […]

You only live once, sooooo …

While visiting the Blue Grotto, the youngest gazed longingly at the little wooden boats anchored around the entrance with their stripey canopies and cushioned prows. She was desperate to go sailing in one. I quite fancied the idea of circumnavigating the island in one myself, so I Googled the cost – 150 euros for two […]

Gawping at the Blue Grotto

Let’s walk to the Blue Grotto, I said. It’ll be fun, I said … And it was for the first 30 minutes, as we meandered down tiny lanes, peeking into gardens and plucking grapes from the vines hanging over fences. Then we hit the major roadway and things got a bit hairy because despite the […]

Cruising to Capri

DD likes to tease me. I sent him a snap of the view from our B&B in Capri yesterday and he replied “Looks like Avalon.” Cue hooded glare at mobile screen. Does a woman who has trekked 1.5km with her luggage and two kids to Rome Termini train station, negotiated the extremely vague departures board, […]

Our Roman adventure

So the kids and I hit Rome today … After a 13-hour sleep … Under strict instructions not to go anywhere near the Colosseum because my ex and SSF are taking the kids there next Sunday. We kind of glimpsed it on our travels … I hope that doesn’t break the rules … I have […]

Well, hello Rome!

I was top of the class in English at high school and bottom of the class in French and German. I am HOPELESS with languages other than my native tongue. It’s a bit like swimming – I’ve been for endless lessons but nothing sticks. Oh the money I’ve wasted at Alliance Francais and WEA! The […]