Spring into Summer

Finally the sun has appeared! It’s March and will soon be time to set the clocks forward! Spring is a wonderful time to visit Italy. It’s quieter, the temperature is perfect for sightseeing on foot – and you start to feel that wonderful atmosphere of anticipation for when we can all escape the city at weekends and enjoy “La Dolce Vita” as the Italians do. It might not quite be the same as it was for Fellini but Italian habits die hard.

Over the next weeks we are going to be evaluating Lazio’s themal spas and beaches – I’m quite excited, since spas, especially, are one of my absolute favourite things: the naturally occurring hot mineral water is so soothing (I once booked a massage at a spa, but I really didn’t need it – the water alone was plenty enough to relax my tight stressed muscles), and since most of the complexes are set in beautiful countryside so you get to relax your eyes too – a change from staring at a computer screen all day long.

The spas we will visit are located around the Lazio region. The diversity of the geology means that the waters offer differing benefits depending on where you go – for example the water at the well know spa resort of Fiuggi is not actually hot at all, and is suited to drinking rather than bathing. In fact nobles once travelled from all over Europe to take these waters, having heard of their remarkable properties.

Our first spa visit (weather permitting) will be posted here later this month!







Christmas in a Medieval Borgo

This Christmas has been a bit different! Rather than the usual Rome or back home in England, I have spent it tucked away in a medieval village about an hour from Rome. I hadn’t known what to expect but it has been quite magical. There are Christmas lights literally everywhere, plus two trees and a large angel made out of fairy-lights. The great thing about a small place like this is that you constantly bump into people you know, exchanging Christmas greetings and good cheer (mulled wine).

There are many of the ‘Living Nativities’ (in Italian: Presepe Vivente) in various other towns throughout Italy as well as here, taking place between 26th December and 6th January, generally starting from around 5pm so that you get the full effect of all the candles and costumed participants.

The origin of the Living Nativity is better explained here: St. Francis in Greccio

Did I mention….wherever there is a Medieval “borgo” there’s often a Medieval castle? Well, there is one here….and I have a great view of it from my window.