Venice, Italy

After studying Venetian Art for a semester at University, Pat wanted to go to Venice. We created a trip that put her in front of all the great things she had studied, which included five nights in Venice, then popping around the Veneto to see more important works in Ravenna, Mantua, Vicenza, and Padua. The last night was in Asolo at the special Villa Cipriani.

Stages we love...

You don't need to love golf to enjoy The Masters, horses aren't your thing, you'll still get a kick out of the Kentucky Derby. Similarly, you don't need to be an opera buff or an Impresario to appreciate the spectacle of these beautiful stages in Italy.

Ravello Festival has a stage with a view - overlooking the Amalfi Coast.

This amphitheatre in fair Verona has been in use since the 1st century. This summer, you can see famous operas; such as Aida, Carmen and Turandot.

Notes from the Road ... The Palio in Siena

Watching the Palio in Style...

Twice a year Tuscany's biggest event, the Palio, comes to Siena.

The Palio is a year-long strategic battle culminating in a crazy horse race, where jockeys ride bareback and sprint around the Piazza del Campo on dirt laid to create a track. If the Derby is the most exciting two minutes in sports, this is the most exciting 90 seconds in travel.

Where were our travellers? Ensconced in front row seats on the balcony of a private palazzo overlooking the famous piazza, the ultimate flies on the wall!

Dinner was 50m away with a table al fresco, where the adults could recount the race over Chianti, while the kids ran across the cobblestones.

Da Adolfo, Positano, Amalfi Coast, Italy

We think Da Adolfo is exactly the type of restaurant experience everyone desires to have on vacation. Hidden off in a tiny cove, one takes the restaurant boat 10mns from Positano to Laurito Beach. Upon arrival one discovers a cabana restaurant so unpretentious - its hip!

Wine served by the jug, waiters in bare feet and a menu created this morning chalked on a solitary blackboard.

This is our kind of place.

Da Adolfo