Friday, October 16, 2009


With my current taste for novels of a quirky and slightly odd flavour, I've just finished reading a great piece of nonsense fiction by New Zealand author Sarah Kate Lynch. It's called Eating with the Angels and much of it is set in Venice. It's written with tremendous flare, considerable wackiness and quite a passion for Italian food, so of course it reminded me of my own recent visit to that wonderful country.

I have just looked through the photos I published of Pisa, and see I never added the other places I visited. Seeing the sea was mandatory on this trip, so one afternoon, I took myself off to Livorno. A nice enough town, and much larger than Pisa, it exists mainly for its port, which is the third largest in Italy - so I'm told.

Its best feature is its harbour, and what is even better is that the river through the town is also used for mooring thousands of small cruisers, fishing boats and even just rowing boats. I never think of Italians as being great boaters themselves. Having romantic trips in gondolas is one thing, but steering themselves around instead of chowing scrummy delicacies on a sun drenched terrace does not seem to me to tie in with the Italian thing. I must be wrong though. There were throngs of them (boats, I mean, not Italians). I must admit, however, they (the boats again) were all in the harbours and NOT out on the water, so on this occasion, I guess the terraces won!

Now the autumn rain is soaking us every time we set foot outside, these photos help me to remember those golden days. I hope they bring a little sunshine to you too - if you should need it, that is.


  1. Oh how lovely! I am so in the mood to go to Venice...I hope next year.

  2. It's always nice when novels bring you back to places you've been.

    Glad those lovely photos are helping you deal with the rain as well. Why am I not surprised that you went near water on your recent Italian trip? hummm...


  3. We don't need the sunshine here, but the warmth certainly helps.

    I love the pictures, Val. Italy and Spain are on my wish list for next summer, with a detour through Rotterdam of course. :)


  4. What is nonsense literature? Something that isn't, say, Dostoyevsky?

    This reminds me I really need to make my way to Pireus and take a good long stroll along the seafront.

  5. String, I'll come to Venice with you...

    Thanks Stu!

    Yes, Lesley, I can't seem to resist the water. Nowhere is complete without it :)

    Anne Marie, you just dare to come to Europe and NOT pass through Rotterdam...;)

    Maria, LOL! But I mean it, this book really was nonsense, but great fun. By the way I've got something exciting to tell you. I'll send you an that's a teaser isn't it?

  6. Hi Val!
    I'm late here... I did cruise through a couple of times, but only read.

    It seems your watery way of life extends to many parts of Europe! I do like the way the scooter in the second photo is tucked away on that ledge - it must be tricky getting it up that ladder...

    On which body of water is the port at Livorno located? Are the canals sea water, too? Are there any beaches?
    Hey, I'm a landlubber...

    I also enjoy a whimsical read!



Apologies for switching on comment moderation, but this is to make sure everyone can comment without jumping through captcha hoops! However, anonymous comments will not be published, so please would you sign your name.