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27.07.2021 Last weekend we finally had an opportunity to go to Provence and see the lavenders in bloom, something we had been wanting to do for a couple of years. With an overnight stop in the quant little town of Apt we did 725km in the Boxster on winding country roads through the wonderful landscape and saw plenty of lavenders although they had started harvesting them. We also spotted some sunflower fields in bloom on the way back

19.07.2021 Tomorrow, 20th July 2021, it will be 5 years since we got the keys to our house. One of the best decisions we've ever made, and of course we got to enjoy it more than expected this last 18months. I decided to post some lovely summer pictures from around the house and garden to celebrate. The weather is close to perfect with daytime temperatures around 30-32°C and between 20 and 25°C at night - the pool is 26-28°C and gets used a lot during the season (mid-June to mid-September)

09.07.2021 Meet Ulisse, or Olly as I call him. He is a 12 year old Horsfield's tortoise also know as Russian tortoise although his certificate says that he's actually from Uzbekistan. Due to change of circumstances, one of Bibi's girlfriends couldn't have him anymore, so we offered him a home in the back garden. Tortoises like to dig in the ground, but the foundations are deep on three sides, so we just had to add a cement block wall at the end

08.07.2021 The sixteenth-century Gallinaro Tower or Fortress is just 2km from our house and we often pass there walking. The views are absolutely amazing, and you will have seen pictures on this webpage before. Last night we decided to have a picnic up there to enjoy the sunset, so the picnic basket Bibi bought me many years ago - but for some bizarre reason we never used before - came out and off we went. It was a wonderful warm still evening and we will be back soon

29.06.2021 We went to Tappezzeria Gambriazio in Brescia to get a new soft top for the Porsche Boxster. We choose a high quality Sonnenland - the original Porsche supplier - with a colour change from blue to black and an upgrade to glass window (originally available for the 2003 model year). It really looks good and should last many years, so worth the 775km round trip. You can see the original blue soft top - which lasted almost 19 years - in an older post below (03.05.2021)

28.06.2021 Friday afternoon we drove from Brescia to Sirmione. Here we wanted to see the Castello di Sirmione and Grotte di Catullo, which is actually a roman villa most likely owned by a Venetian family, but incorrectly assumed to be a series of caves and attributed to an ancient poet, when discovered. The castle is remarkable well conserved, the villa much less so as is was abandoned and much material recycled elsewhere presumably after an earthquake

28.06.2021 Brescia is another Italian hidden gem. The old town is relatively small but there is lots to see. In about a day we walked most of it and visited two of the main attractions: Castello di Brescia and Tempio Capitolino & Teatro Romano. The large imposing castle was amazingly well preserved and it was fun to see another Roman theatre, but the highlight was definitely the very unique roman bronze statue (very few survive)

16.06.2021 Summer is definitely here and temperatures are hovering just under 30°C. So this weekend it was time to get the pool ready, and since the water reached 24°C, we jumped right in. Lounging in the pool really feels like summer. We also put the sun shade sails up and it makes a remarkable difference when you “close off” the terrace like that. There are still few tourists around; it's early in the season and covid restrictions are only now lifting, but people have starting going to the beach and in the sea (21°C)

07.06.2021 We passed 25°C for the first time this year this week, so it looks like summer is finally here. We decided to get one more/last hike in and went up the mountain northwest of Taggia, crossing the roman bridge at the start, and ending back in the cosy old town of Taggia. At 13km and with a climb of 540m, it wasn't the easiest of hikes and took us 4:30h including our lunch break. Once home we took a good long soak in the bubble bath!

02.06.2021 Italy is slowly relaxing covid restrictions and we have had our first shot of vaccine, so we feel a little safer now. We have been to Torino for work and to Sanremo and Imperia for fun. We're still waiting for proper summer weather, but the relatively mild and wet spring has been good for the garden - in fact it's never looked better. The trees we planted at Easter are thriving and we have picked 20 delicious apricots and more than 25 lemons

02.06.2021 I'm still waiting for the paperwork for the BSA, although the Automotoclub Storico Italiano (ACI) tells me they are making progress. Meanwhile I have cleaned the rust from the tank of the Norton and Royal Enfield and got both started for the first time in almost a decade. Here are videos of them idling: 1967 BSA A65L Lightning, 1974 Norton Commando 850 MK IIA and 1955 Royal Enfield 500 Twin

10.05.2021 The Milano-Sanremo classic car rally - not to be confused with the more famous bicycle race with the same name - was the first event we planned to attend since 2019 that didn't get cancelled. We took the motorbike (also a “first”) to Porto di Loano, where the cars where due to stop for a short lunch. We have been at much bigger events, but just getting on the motorbike and out of Imperia seem like something of an adventure after more than a year of on/off covid lockdowns

10.05.2021 We have done many hikes in our local area, as I'm sure you will have noticed, and yesterday we went around Vasia and Castello Prčla which turned out to be one of the best hikes so far. The terrain was very varied, with few steep ascends despite still being a respectable 380m uphill. There was forest, olive groves, narrow tracks and small villages, water posts and the weather was beautiful: perfect day out for us

10.05.2021 The spring seems to stretch on and proper summer is still not in sight with temperatures hovering around 20°C. I have bought a very nice new gas grill to replace to one we bought 13years ago in Denmark, as we now use it more and more and the old one had almost rusted through. It took me the best part of three hours to assemble and is really excellent. We also moved the bubble bath upstairs to make more room for the dining table and our sun loungers on the terrace

03.05.2021 The original 19 year old soft top on our Boxster is in fair condition, but the plastic window has gone brittle and has cracked on both sides. Unfortunately, a repair is not economically viable, so we need a new soft top. With a glass window upgrade the new soft top should last many years, and can be folded without getting out of the car. The best price was from a shop in Brescia, so we'll combine it with a weekend trip to Lake Garda in late June, now covid restriction seems to be easing

24.04.2021 There are few places left within scooter-distance (30min) of our house to go hiking where we haven't been, but I managed to find a lovely 10km round trip in our neighbouring valley around Moltedo and Montegrazie. The views are just as spectacular as around Pietrabruna and the hike was a little easier than last week, which was nice since the weather was warm (20°C) and sunny. We had our picnic lunch at the highest point (517m) and took some great pictures

18.04.2021 Pietrabruna is at the bottom of our valley and the views over the landscape towards the Mediterranean are quite spectacular. It's about 30min away on the scooter and we've done most of the possible hikes around there but managed to find some trails that we haven't done before. We're still “orange zone” lock-down (2nd highest category), but the you can get a takeaway from the cafe (in San Lorenzo al Mare)

17.04.2021 When we go to Taggia it's to shop in the Carrefour supermarket or Self DIY-store. Today we took the scooter up to the old town of Taggia, where we had only visited the old Roman bridge (on our bikes back in September 2019). We were pleasantly surprised at how much there actually was to see. It's a small town, but with lots of little shops, churches and narrow streets. We bought some cheese and sausages and we also found three chilli plants to bring home

05.04.2021 We knew that Italy would be in lockdown during Easter, so in the weeks before we visited several garden centres to buy stuff to keep us busy. Four adult trees: lemon, cherry, apricot and pear, two smaller mandarin and orange trees and a bunch flower and herbs. And to go with it all 25 sack of soil at 45 liter each. I also bought some split bamboo screening online. Digging holes is our soil is hard work; it's mostly rock with some building waist mixed in, but it was nice to get some more plants in the garden

29.03.2021 Very occasionally - and usually in conjunction with a major change in the weather - we can see the island of Sardinia and the coast of Toscany approximately 160-190km away from our house. Most of the time the view is obscured by sea mist or clouds, so it's quite a treat when it's clear. We also had the traditional Milano-Sanremo bicycle race come through followed by two helicopters

15.03.2021 Last weekend we took our walk along the coast and in the marinas looking at boats. This weekend we were out again at Laghetti Lecchiore a series of small ponds formed along a river, where apparently the locals like to swim in the summer. Over Easter a nationwide lockdown is expected so we stocked up on garden supplies so we have something to do. Since we can't go to the restaurants, I thought I'd attempt a stone backed Italian style pizza on the gas grill, worked a treat!

05.03.2021 September 2019 - that's when I last rode my Triumph Explorer. Because of covid and a broken arm, I did zero km in 2020 - the first year in 20 years I haven't used any my motorbikes. The Triumph has accumulated just 25.650km over six seasons (with 7.500km in the first 2015 season alone), and I aim to do better in 2021 (fingers crossed). I just did an oil and filter service, and installed a new battery. Sunday it was warm enough to go out for the first ride, so I took advantage of the very light traffic and had a lovely ride along the coast to Diano Marina, where my parents met for the first time almost 60years ago ... 20km from where we now live would you believe it? I also did an oil and filter sevice on the Beverly scooter, that we have used relatively often although we have only added 1.800km in 3 seasons due to the short journeys we make

02.03.2021 To keep ourselves (relatively) sane during continued lockdowns, we head out in nature given the opportunity. We can still explore our immediate area, so we took the scooter to Trincheri for a hike in the Lecchiore area northwest of the lovely little town of Dolcedo, 30min from our house. Including a lunch break in the woods, we had a lovely 4:30h walk in above average for February weather conditions … and using the GPS, we didn’t get lost this time!

26.02.2021 Thursday-Friday we had a rare and beautiful weather phenomena call inversion: cold air at sea level trapped by warmer air higher up (usually it's the other way around). In this case it was 19°C at our house and only 12°C at sea level. Combined with zero wind (also unusual) it created spectacular clouds over the sea. This is so rare the locals told Bibi they have only seen it twice in 30 years

21.02.2021 The weather turned from quite cold (low of 2°C last week) to sunny and 16°C, so we went for another hike, this time a round trip between our neighbouring towns of Terzorio and Pompeiana with a significant detour up the mountains (11,7km and 4:10h). The views from up there are quite spectacular as you see the Mediterranean Sea and the coast stretching out to both sides. On the way back on the scooter we stopped in San Lorenzo al Mare for an ice cream, a coffee and a Coke

13.02.2021 It's been wet, windy and cold lately (i.e normal winter), but not as cold as in Denmark where they recorded -16°C and snow at my parents house this week! I have installed a Plexiglas storm/rain shield on the terrace door upstairs, made a shabby chic bathroom cabinet from recycled wood and installed two gas struts on the pool pump house to support the lid. I have also ordered the last few parts for the BSA, but the paperwork with the agency seems to have stalled

07.02.2021 We finally had a chance to get out of the house, so yesterday we took a long walk from Civezza via Tarraza to Dolcedo and back. It was supposed to be 12-13 km, but we got off track following my phone GPS app (never again) and ended up doing 15.7 km. My feet were a little sore, but it is beautiful terrain for hiking and there is a lot to see around here

07.02.2021 My lovely BSA Lightning was fully restored to concourse condition 15 years ago. Unfortunately, the bike has spent much of the last six years in storage and has suffered. I was rushed packing the bikes in England and forgot to rustproof the fuel tanks inside, as a consequence they rusted. Many rubber parts have perished and the BSA fenders were never of good quality and started rusting from day1. Now I'm almost done with the re-fresh. Here is a little video of the bike running (sound on!)

10.01.2021 The holidays are over, and we got most of what I hoped for done. The sofas look quite good with the glass fronted cupboards and the large Goodwood painting where the dining table used to be. We found a nice spot for the two other Paul Smith paintings that we love so much and for the television. The new gym in the basement is also complete and ready and looking good. Now I can get back to working on the BSA, that I hope to get registered on Italian plates by spring

03.01.2021 We're getting there .... all the boxes have been unpacked and most things have found a new home. Next Thursday 7th Jan the removal guys will arrive with the big and heavy stuff we had to leave behind in Torino. We have converted the first room on the right in the basement into a small gym in preparation for our elliptic trainer and 'new' exercise bike to arrive, and all the garden furniture has moved into the attic room accessible from the upstairs terrace. And there is still one week left of my holidays!

27.12.2020 Merry Christmas & Happy New Year!
Just before Xmas there was a window of opportunity and we managed to move almost all our things from Torino over one long and very exhausting weekend. The professionals will handle the rest (sofas, bed, and exercise machines) first week of January. Now we're busy finding room for everything and rearranging the furniture, but take time out to celebrate Xmas and open a nice surprise from our dear friends Kinga & Witek

05.12.2020 Looks like the covid situation in Italy is getting worse unfortunately, so collecting our furniture in Torino is still not possible. Meanwhile, we're getting the house ready, tidying up, selling stuff we don't need and making more storage space for the things we want to keep. Since the workshop is now done, I have started going over my 1967 BSA Lightning to get it ready for spring. There are quite a number of smaller issues that need attention - now 15 years after the complete restoration

08.11.2020 Piemonte is unfortunately back in lock-down, so our plan to collect some furniture in Torino was obviously cancelled. Instead we went hiking from Badalucco up to Madonna della Neve. A very nice walk, but quite hard at 10,6km with a 593m climb to the top. With a lunch break it took us 4:30h. A really good day out and warm enough (22°C) that we could travel the 20km to Badalucco on the scooter

02.11.2020 NEWS: Effective 1st November 2020 we have moved permanently to Costarainera. We will empty out the apartment in Torino over the next two months, starting with the first van load next weekend (6-7 Nov). Meanwhile work continues on the house. I'm currently painting the floor in the motorcycle workshop, which is a massive job with all the preparation needed. We have also applied an oil/water sealer to the travertine on the roof terrace

25.10.2020 We decided to spend our Fall Break in Denmark visiting family and friends, most of whom we hadn't seen for far too long. We drove by car (with an overnight stop) to avoid air travel and to give us that extra freedom. It was wonderful reconnecting with everyone, catching up on what's new... and the weather was surprisingly pleasant with not a drop of rain all week. The pictures are from our visit with Helle & Lars, sailing on Randers Fjord and walking Skandinavisk Dyrepark