My last blog was all about our journey through France to England in July. Just to keep you updated, I stayed in the UK for just over a week during which I managed to take part in a 90th birthday celebration in Kenilworth, visited my good friend Maralyn in Devon and attended the Romantic Novelists’ Association Conference in London – I am a member but as yet have not finished my first novel. I am on the New Writer’s Scheme and need to get my manuscript in for appraisal before the 31st August 2015, Yikes! It was a fabulous conference.

Happy 90th Grannie...looking good!
Happy 90th Grannie…looking good

I returned to Petritoli energized and refreshed and brought back with me a couple of guests, The Man’s sister and brother-in-law. We spent the following week going to the beach, eating out and doing a little bit of sightseeing. The beaches here are safe, clean and if you steer clear of the big resorts then the smaller ones are not overcrowded. We favour, Pedaso, with Il Faro restaurant for great seafood dishes, particularly the mussels. In August Pedaso have their mussel festival but we didn’t make it this year. Perhaps next.

Blue Skies on the beach at Pedaso
Blue Skies on the beach at Pedaso
Prawns and Zucchini...Il Faro Restaurant (this is just the starter!)
Prawns and Zucchini…Il Faro Restaurant (this is just the starter!)

After sis and bro-in-law left, The Man and I took a three-week holiday with more family. I expect you’re thinking our whole life is a holiday but it’s not – honest – only the last couple of months might seem like it.

And Relax....
And Relax….
The sea at Cupra…Pedalo in the distance…(you may need glasses)

For part of July and August while the family came to stay, (my daughter, her husband and our granddaughter and my two sons), we rented a house with a pool, 4k from Petritoli in a small place called Montevidon Combate. The temperatures for the period rocketed. It never really dropping below 30 degrees and much of the time it was way up close to 40 so the pool was a marvellous thing to have.

The Man and I did nothing too strenuous, we left the others to take a few days out on the beach at Cupra Marittima, hiring pedalos and being energetic. We also opted out of the visit to the evening market in Fermo choosing instead to babysit for our granddaughter. The joys of grandparenting – you’ve heard it said many a time before I’m sure – much more enjoyable than you r own kids as you can hand them over when the parents return! She was a delight and quite the water
baby, in the pool everyday.

Fun in the Pool
Fun in the Pool

It was lovely to spend time with the family and to recharge our batteries even though we were only a stone’s throw from Petritoli. However, after three weeks away we were ready to return to life in the town, our own bed and the comforts and familiarities that can only be found in one’s own home.


Have you taken a holiday yet this year?

Dining, Dancing, Doting Nonna…..

Viareggio in the Evening Sun

Long time no blog. That’s because Olivespastavino has been travelling – a lot!

In the middle of March we drove up to the North of Italy, first to Viareggio inTuscany, then on to Apricale in Liguria and finally a visit to Gubbio in Umbria. It was fabulous. We absolutely loved each place and plan to visit Gubbio again in June, specifically the Relais Ducale. Another Blog post with more info to follow next week.

Apricale Piazza
Gubbio Hotel Relais Ducale

At the very end of March I jumped on a flight to the UK to meet up with my lovely daughter, son-in-law and granddaughter, they live in New York so this was an opportunity to meet up. Sadly they were visiting the UK because of bereavement on my son-in-law’s side of the family.

The weather was fabulous and despite a sickness bug (for them not me) we managed to have a wonderful time. A visit to Hampton Court Palace Gardens was the highlight. A truly English experience. Spring flowers, shrubs, trees, foot paths and all beside the river Thames.

Spring Flowers in Hampton Court Palace Gardens
Wide Pathways and Beautiful Trees Hampton Court Palace Gardens
Wide Pathways and Beautiful Trees Hampton Court Palace Gardens

It really is truly wonderful being a grandmother, Nonna in Italian.  I love it! Of course I have got the most beautiful granddaughter in the whole world…who hasn’t? Every moment spent with her is precious, she lives so far away.

Nonna and Grandchild
Nonna and Grandchild

I returned to Italy for just one week and then went off again. This time to Northern Ireland for a grand dinner and knees up…splendid do, The Man polished up quite well for this and he was a lot better than the dog at selfies!


From Belfast we travelled over to Bristol where again the sun shone. After visiting Cardiff for family business The Man and I went our separate ways for a few days, him to London and I stayed in Bristol where I suddenly got the fitness bug!

My friend Jan took me to the gym, I don’t often like them but this one was rather lovely…Bristol Health and Fitness I did ten minutes on the bike, ten minutes on the running machine and then five minutes on a machine for toning biceps and triceps, it was a bit like riding a bicycle with my arms. Think I only covered a few metres though. We then had a swim, me in the slow lane and Jan in the fast. I never was any good at swimming.

This is Jan not me!
This is Jan not me!

Jan gave me some of her old gym clothing and I invested in a good sports bra – very necessary! The very next day I borrowed a pair of trainers and I went for a run, yes a RUN – well a walk with a bit of jogging thrown in for good measure. It took me half an hour, up the road and round the park.  I felt very proud of myself.

Back in Italy I am determined to carry on what I have started but so far the bra has only had one outing and I’ve yet to buy the running shoes. BUT – today I collected a registration form from the local gym in Valmir. Not quite up to the Bannatyne standard but what the heck. Watch this space.

Hope you all had a good Easter, our Sunday lunch was taken at Parco Galeano again this year, 33 euro for a meal of several delicious courses, wine, coffee and liqueurs thrown in! No wonder I need the gym!

Easter Sunday Lunch
Easter Sunday Lunch


Thanks for the photos Ivo!