What we got up to in Italy

As promised, today I’m going to show a few pics of what we got up to in Italy.

Poffabro, the village where we were staying, is situated on the edge of the Friuli Dolomites Nature Reserve, so we enjoyed lots of hiking. Some routes could be accessed directly from the village…

 … whilst others began a short car ride away.

The terrain was much trickier than anything I’ve ever experienced before, involving steep, uneven climbs and sharp descents on scree. I was often way behind the other two, but I just took my time and concentrated hard on each step so that I didn’t fall. Can you imagine breaking your ankle out here? I have no idea how you would access help!

At times I had to resort to climbing on all fours (very elegant), while Lil’ L’s favourite way of descending was skidding on his bottom. It was very effective, but I’m amazed he didn’t wear a hole in his shorts! 

Some of the paths were no more than a foot’s width… right on the edge of a crag next to a sheer drop. It was a bit scary, very challenging, but all good fun and we thoroughly enjoyed it 🙂

 We also visited some beautiful villages and towns within the region, including Pordenone, Spilimbergo and Barcis, with its stunning lakeside promenade.

We took a day trip to Venice, which was only 1 1/2 hours from Poffabro.

It was beautiful to see but, for me, the Venice of today seems to have lost its ‘heart and soul’ to tourism. After a quick walk round the crowded city centre, we were happy to spend the rest of the day walking round the quieter backstreets.

We also took a day trip to the beach at Lido di Jesolo, where Lil’ L had hours of fun playing in the sea. Have you ever seen a boy wearing socks and crocs in the sea? Well you have now. 

Lido di Jesolo was absolutely buzzing with people and I’ve never seen so many sunbeds in my life. They seemed to go on for miles!  The Lido was only a 2 hour drive from Poffabro, but what a contrast in scenery!

Closer to Poffabro, we found a hotel in Fanna that had a fantastic swimming pool and  beautiful gardens.

For a small fee, non residents were able to spend the day there. We must have gone there at least 5 times. In the morning, the pool was pretty quiet, but it steadily filled up as the day went on. 

We all did a lot of exercise this holiday. As well as the hiking and swimming, M and I did a fair amount of running. Poffabro is situated on a hill and I would run down to the bottom of the village and back up, then back down and up again. The ladies sitting outside the church found this pretty amusing and would wave and call out to me each time I passed them.

Of course, being in Italy, there was a lot of ice cream eating to be done. I believe Lil’ L had an ice cream every day… that’s 15 in total! His favourite flavours were pistachio and bacio (nutella).

Apart from the ice cream, we ate pretty healthily on this break. We ate pizza for the first couple of days but, by day 3, we were all craving something healthier (even Lil’ L was asking if he could have vegetable soup instead of pizza!) From then on, we made our own simple vegetarian meals.  The fresh produce tasted out of this world! We thoroughly enjoyed our home cooked meals and they weren’t a chore at all to make. As well as leaving us feeling good inside and full of energy, they also saved us a small fortune.  

And finally, in addition to all these wonderful activities, we had lots of time chilling out, reading, drawing and, for me, Dharma study & practice. Total bliss! Lil’ L loved to meditate for 10-20 minutes every night before he went to bed and I often joined in. 

After such a refreshing break, I’m on a mission (again!) to ‘declutter’ my daily life back in England. I’m pretty sure I start this mission every time I come back from a break yet, within a week or two, I’m on the slippery slope back to ‘busyness’ (a lot of which is self-created). Time once again to seek the ‘simple life’ (well, as simple as life can be with school runs, lunches to pack, after school activities, uniform washing & ironing, and so forth) 😉 

Summer’s over. It’s time to embrace the new season. And what a lovely season it is 🙂 Have a wonderful September everyone xx


15 thoughts on “What we got up to in Italy

  1. Wow what a wonderful time you had!
    i rejoice! just wanted to say to you that i realy admire your work and i follow your great blog,always makes me dance inside!!
    keep going please ! i am a little over weight so i was wondering if you could recomend a special diet (vegetarian ) for me?
    thank you,and you son is so handsome!!! congratulations : )

  2. I love Italy and these gorgeous photos are making me want to go immediately! I don’t blame Little L for his ice-cream habit – there’s nothing like the Italian stuff.
    I hate going down steep slope and I’m always miles behind everyone else (although I positively storm up hills). If in doubt the going down on your bum technique is the best 🙂

    1. Like you, I’m much better at climbing up hills than coming down. I don’t know why, but I feel really unstable climbing down steep slopes. I wonder if those Nordic poles help? I’ve never really understood what those poles are for but they seem really popular. If they help with balance, maybe I need to get some!

  3. That looks like such a wonderful holiday! I adore Italy and me and James were thinking about going back next year. I had already been planning on going self catering just so I could enjoy cooking with some amazing Italian produce and you’ve conveinced me that’s the way to go!

    1. We always go self catering in France & Italy because there’s so much great produce available in their markets and shops, including big selections of soya milks, yoghurts and ice creams (which are great for me!) and very little choice of dairy free vegetarian food in their restaurants. I don’t find cooking on holiday a chore at all, as we stick to simple, fresh meals. It also has the added bonus of saving us about £40-£50 a day!

  4. Wow this looks like the most amazing holiday! Italy is one of my favourite places in the world, I’ve only been to the Tuscany region but would love to do a tour of the lakes and to visit Rome. I’m really hoping I’ll be able to go back to Florence soon too 🙂

    I agree with Lil’ L, bacio is the most delicious ice cream flavour ever!

    The scenery around where you were staying is absolutely stunning, I love your photos. The hikes sound fantastic!

  5. It sounds like the perfect vacation to me! That hike sounds treacherous though! Lovely, lovely photos, again! Just gorgeous. I know exactly what you mean about decluttering your daily life. I am attempting the same thing, but am just as guilty of quickly sliding back into busyness. But we have two more days of summer break and are squeezing every last drop out of it that we can before we get back to the “routine”.

    1. I’m determined not to start cluttering up my life again. I wonder if I’ll succeed this time? I’ll let you know next month whether I’ve slipped back into old habits 😉
      We’re also decluttering the house at the moment. Anything that’s not used or needed is going straight to the charity shops. It feels so good to be getting rid of so much stuff that’s been clogging up the drawers and cupboards for years 🙂

  6. Beautiful. And i’m sure wearing your socks in the sea will catch on. Lovely post, I’m sure the Italian Tourist Board will be delighted!!!

  7. What a beautiful trip. I would have been running the hills back and forth with the fantastic scenery. Congrats to gettings lots of exercise and for such healthy meals. I love to cook while on vacation (keeps us from spending too much money AND is always better for us…even if there is an ice cream everyday).
    Glad that you all are back safe and sound. De-clutter what you can, but don’t stress over it 🙂

  8. We visited Tuscany a couple of years ago and absolutely loved it! Have you been to Sienna and Lucca? They have got to be two of the most beautiful and interesting towns in the world! I would love to go back again.
    Like you, I would love to tour the lakes and visit Rome. Both are on my vacation ‘wish list’. We’ll get there one day 🙂

  9. Thank you so much Maria for your kind comments! They are so touching! And I do apologize for the delay in replying to you. A bunch of my comments ended up in a spam folder… I have no idea why! I’m just glad that I found them today 🙂
    I’ll email you tomorrow with some tips on how to lose weight on a vegetarian diet without the need for restrictive dieting x

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