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Hello again…. I think I’ve finally (almost) completely organised our next trip to bel’italia. I managed to find a lovely apartment in the Ghetto area of Rome for the first part of the trip. It was very reasonable, although I think it has no windows facing outwards onto the street ~ which for some people would be a problem, but I don’t mind one bit, as it will mean no road noises. Then we’ll be renting a car and travelling northwards. I’m not sure how sensible it is to pick up a rental car from Rome and then try to drive out… but I’ll let you know.

I’ve never been anywhere in Lazio other than Roma, so this is our opportunity to see whats out there, so to that end we’re staying near the little lake Bracciano, about 45 km’s from Rome.

I had a little chuckle to myself when I looked at it on the map. Its 45km’s from Rome, well in the countryside. About the same distance from the CBD in Sydney you’d still find yourself in the outer Sydney suburbs. Anyway, I found a lovely little apartment in Bracciano near the lake. After that, we hope to spend a little time in the Maremma (northern Lazio/southern Tuscany) so that we can visit the thermal springs in Saturnia and le Vie Cave, and the abandoned town of Montemerano. After that we have a week in Florence, then… well, I’ll leave the rest as a surprise.

This trip we’re scouting a little, as we hope to spend a few months in Italy next year, and I suspect that northern Lazio might be a good place to be, being so close to Rome, and close(ish) to Florence too. Funny how us Aussies have such a different concept of what constitutes ‘close’.

Anyway… I’ve started thinking about what to pack for this trip too, as it will be cool in November, and this being Italy there will be lots and lots of walking. Actually I suppose we should be prepared for anything at that time of year. With the bones still healing in my broken foot I will be restricted to flat and very comfortable shoes, and clothes that are comfortable and easy to wear, and that don’t need a shoe with a heel. Luckily I have a really comfy pair of flat soled boots ~ which have already made the trip to italy once before. But I think I might have to invest in a pair of comfortable and stylish italian shoes when I get there. Happily Rome is the place where I can find a shoe that is both comfortable AND stylish.

Maybe ten years ago I bought a pair of Nero Giardini shoes in Rome. They were unlike anything I had ever seen before, but I noticed that lots and lots of italian women wore them. Styled like fashionable shoes, but built and soled like trainers. With a bit of a heel. Perfect for negotiating cobbled streets and walking all day long.

I know there are sneakers and trainers with heels out there now, but I’ve yet to try on a pair that are as comfy as those Nero Giardini shoes were. They looked fabulously good on the italian women, particularly on those who aren’t teenagers any more. Nothing like those dreary Homy-Peds, and not like I’ve stolen my daughters shoes either. I’ve only just thrown them away, so my first shopping expedition in Rome will be to find a replacement pair.

I just searched the Nero Giardini website and here are my two choices. I hope they still have some in stock when I get there!

Nero Giardini trainer

These don’t look so stylish in the photo, but are fairly similar to the ones I had. Its not so easy to see, but they’re actually quite finely made. And I like the little bronze details.


These are so cute too! I’d be happy with either pair, although these are maybe more fashionable.

Can’t wait!