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Dolce Vita

8 Jun

Dolce Vita

I have had some splendid holidays with my wife, but none can compare with the two weeks we spent in Cotagnano in Northern Italy in the Chestnut forests above La Spezia. A region known as the Cinq Ports, where Byron, Shelley and all the other mad, bad English Poets hung out.

This little medieval building was our home – cool and restful, it could be reached only by following an ancient cobbled footpath on foot. The path was built by Roman soldiers two millennia ago. Half an hour’s walk took us to a neighbouring village where a tiny restaurant with two tables served whatever was good on the day – wild boar, truffles, fresh bread, pancetta, olives – local produce cooked with skill and love.

I have been inspired by every visit we have made to Italy to visit Rome, Pisa, Florence, Assissi and the incomparable Sienna. The food is fantastic, the wine superb and the weather divine. The people are just amazing:

We were passed once on the Autostrada by a boy wearing shorts, an open shirt and flip flops doing 180 KPH on a Ducati 916 – speed, colour, flair and a devil-may-care attitude. It is with such intent that I executed this water colour. Viva Italia, Viva La Dolce Vita.

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