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Showing posts from April, 2018

Staying in a Convent When Travelling in Italy

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I've stayed in convents in Venice, Florence and Rome. One was an old palace, another consisted of white-washed walls and perfect coffee. Convents and monasteries make for an interesting alternative when looking for somewhere to stay - perfect locations, historic buildings, and usually much cheaper than hotels in a similar area.




Above is a view from my room onto a shared courtyard; the top photo shows the entrance to a place I stayed in Venice. Naturally there was a gondola stop outside, and the convent was literally less then 200 steps from St Mark’s.





Another offered this perfect view onto the neighbouring apartments. A true Rear Window experience, watching everyone come and go, complete with a grandma cooking all day long. And in the grand hall below my room, a renaissance fresco was being loving restored.

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Images of Venice

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Since Venice has floated grandly on the seas for centuries, the best way to approach is via a water taxi. I believe everyone should fly into Venice at least once in their life; then catch the vaparetto from the airport into Venice. This day the city hid behind the mist; I felt alone with the sea, until suddenly the boat arrived at the Piazza San Marco.




Squeri, or gondola repair shops, once filled Venice. A few remain, such as the Squero di San Trovaso. Hidden in a side canal, it is closed to the public, but standing on the other side of the canal I got more than a adequate view of a craft which has been handed down the centuries.




The Doge's Palace can be overwhelming with its sheer opulence, the enormous size of so many of the paintings, and the overall grandeur of the building. After all, it was built to reinforce the splendour of Venice to all who visited, and render mere mortals to feel inadequate. Yet even the tiniest details are exquisite, such as patterns on a marble stairc…

Port Vila in the Rain

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A soft rain was falling as I sailed into Port Villa, Efate in the South Pacific. Yet an island paradise it proved all the same.


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