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The charm of Cesenatico

There is something truly wonderful about going for a walk in a small, seaside town. It’s even better when you realise that you’re the only native English speaker around. This was the case for me in Cesenatico, where it was almost as if the locals were all actors in a play put on for solely [...]

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European beaches kinda stress me out

Until I visited Cesenatico, I’d always been slightly intimidated by beaches in Europe. This is coming from someone who, like many Australians, pretty much grew up between the flags with a boogie board velcro-ed to her wrist. Each summer (and often the odd spring or autumn holiday too) we would pick a beach and plonk ourselves [...]

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Bologna: The learned, the fat and the red

I wasn’t very creative the first time I went to Italy. I hit the Big Three; Rome, Florence and Venice as well as spending a bit of time in Milan (bad decision); Naples (good decision) and Siena (genius decision). I checked myself into hospital in Bari, got my shot holding up the Leaning Tower of [...]

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Italy and that foreign feeling

Last night I got back from a few days in Italy. I had grand plans to do something that I hadn’t done for many years; update this blog when I was actually on the road. I even brought my laptop with me, convinced that I would jot down at least a few words on my [...]

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A European summer in pictures

This blog has always been about writing. I didn’t even start adding photos to posts until about a year ago, and even then it was initially a struggle. I changed my attitude this year, and add photos to about ninety per cent of my posts. I never think that they’re any good, but I post [...]

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Back to school: Visiting the Gelato University in Bologna

My good friend and tour guiding colleague Ola Pach has quite an obsession. I’ve seen it in person; nothing will get in the way of Ola and her beloved gelato. This makes her quite the travelling companion in Italy, where she’s been the last few weeks. Her first day in Rome saw her down fourteen [...]

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The O’Dowd pizza rating system

My Dad and I like to rate things. Growing up in Altona, we would drive past Kooringal Golf Course on the way to my high school each day. For years, we would rate the golf course as to how good it looked on that particular day. Of course, I’ve never played golf before. I’m even [...]

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Perche no?

The part of my job I take the most seriously has got to be food recommendations. Think about it. You’ve got a tour guide jumping about at the front of the bus, claiming she’s the go-to person in terms of European knowledge. Generally, people don’t blink if you recount the date of the Berlin Wall [...]

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Where you might find me this summer

I can see the light at the end of the tunnel. Two essays have been handed in, one to go. In a weird way, it looks as if I might finish all of my essays a week early. I have a deadline a week before everyone else. Because in sixteen days, I’ll be flying out [...]

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Venice’s forgotten islands

There’s more to Venice than Venice. Literally. Although most visitors stick to the main island of Venice to explore the city, Venice itself is a lagoon, and therefore people set up shop in a sprinkling of nearby islands. The two most famous of these ‘other’ islands are Murano and Burano. In order to actually get [...]

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