Well. That holiday was one for the memory books.&
Well. That holiday was one for the memory books. Not least because of the wonderful generosity and hospitality of Barry and Pat. From picking us up at the airport and dropping us off again, and all the other things we did, we can't thank you enough. We will most definitely be staying in touch. The kids have already written, I believe.
It was slightly marred by the house which I found through this site and unfortunately was not exactly what was advertised. We will be reviewing it separately later and in the light of the very interesting article I saw on our return from Italy, here:
This may not be the place but can I add some comments to the article based on our experience. If English is not your first language, and you are renting your property to an international audience and therefore including English-speakers, and putting your description online in English, please get someone who is a native English speaker to proof-read your description and if possible even to visit the property to ensUre an accurate description? eg. a cooker means a cooker - grill, oven and 4 or more stove-top rings. 4 rings on a worktop and nothing else is a hob. It makes a big difference when you have 3 kids to feed for 2 weeks on a tight budget! But anyway - more on that another time.
Blimey, Rome was HOT! But we loved it. The Forum was astounding - nothing like what we expected. The Colosseum area and amphitheater was great (see - I did listen to the guide!) amazing something that old is still in reasonably good condition. The beaches at Lavinio and Anzio ware brilliant for the kids. No car meant we had to use trains and busses, but it's such a shame that there is so much vandalism and graffiti. Looking at it as tourists it would put me off possibly using the trains again. However we see ourselves as a something a bit more than tourists, and so see past it. We also came up against suspicion in the Lavinio area where we were staying as the locals initially thought we were eastern European immigrants, and it took a week or so to get through that we are English. Once that was established the attitudes changed. We would go into the local Pam and be greeted with smiles and "Good Morning". We were seen as "The English Family" as there were no other English there. We also came up against the rudeness and arrogance of some of the immigrants as one group of Indian lads shoved past us to get on the bus, pushing our youngest daughter right out of the way. But this also meant no driving mad mountain roads, and so I came back so much more relaxed this year. I may post some photos later. We've come back with yet another view of a different facet of Italy. And we are still in love with the country. But we also know where we don't want to live. Actually, it was a bit too hot for us, and we'd probably go further north - perhaps Umbria. Our favorite so far is the Lake Trasimeno area. But we've come back with so much to think about, ideas, things to investigate - enough to keep us busy till we go back again. Hopefully next year if we can afford it.