When I was seventeen, and taking my final year exams at school, I was given two choices by my parents. They were going abroad (the first trip overseas) to visit my father’s brother, my uncle Brian, who lived in Australia. Because it was a long way by plane, and because it was to be their ‘trip of a lifetime,’ they were going for at least 5 weeks. I decided to stay at home and keep house (and sit exams and look after the dog). I was also thrilled to be spending five whole weeks at home by myself, I could have friends over, stay up as late as I wanted, and buy all the groceries that I wanted to eat. Bliss! Well, they went, and I remember buying cakes and crisps and exotic ready meals such as chicken curry (this WAS the early eighties, curries were an innovative food at this time!), and having a couple of sleep overs with my besties.
Anyway, MY gorgeous holiday that year was to go to Italy after taking my final exams. I just fell in love with Italy the year previously (at sixteen) and still rave about this holiday to this day – and to anyone that’ll listen! I had been there the year before with my friend and her parents (they tagged along), but this year it was my first holidays sans parents. Double bliss! We stayed on the Adriatic Riviera (which is on the right side) and went to Venice on a day trip – I ❤ Venice! It is the romantic heart of the world, and we rode on a gondola, ate pasta ‘til it was coming out of my ears, and crossed the famous Bridge of Sighs. Back at the hotel, we enjoyed the bella nightclubs around our resort. We spent days and day’s sunbaking by the pool. And late afternoons were spent trawling the fab Italian boutiques, and sitting on the beach with the sun setting in front of us, watching the older Italian women enjoying the last rays, chattering away in their native tongue. We enjoyed the late night cafes/bars that had their chair and tables on the streets – unheard of in cold, wet Blighty.
I have to mention the holiday the previous year, which was the first time that I had been to Italy. We stayed at the same resort, but had gone on a day trip to Florence. We crossed over the mountain range (Apennines) that runs right down the centre of this beautiful country, which was an experience in itself (nearly brought up my breakfast). I have to mention this gorgeous city (to me as lovely as Venice), as I had never seen so many statues displayed wherever you turned: in the shopping areas, local parks, squares and along the roadside. Such culture and such art and displayed so frequently that you cannot miss it! We went to the famous art gallery (Uffifi) on the river, and saw the statue of Michelangelo’s David and The Birth of Venus. It was in the gallery that I had my bottom pinched! Love Italy – bella!Venice-(Italy)

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