A week in Italy


Summer! Oh how I love it when the sun is shining and the air is warm. It’s such a rarity in dreary England that, as usual, I had to escape to find the summer I was desperate for. Thankfully I found it in Italy and it was completely wonderful, largely consisting of girly chatter, reading on the beach and pizza pizza pizza.

I’ve never been to Italy before, except for once when I went to a conference in Milan and didn’t see anything outside of the hotel and conference centre. One of my friends is lucky enough to have a family home in Castelbellino – a small town outside of Ancona – and so we, along with our other halves and four friends, packed our bags and headed for the hills.

If you’ve never been to Castelbellino, I highly recommend fixing that. However, it’s not a tourist area so if you don’t know any basic Italian, I’d recommend fixing that too. The town square in Castelbellino is small and quiet, and full of absolutely beautiful buildings.

The view by night is just as stunning…

Castelbellino is at the top of a hill and overlooks the peaceful Italian countryside. If sitting on a quiet balcony, sipping wine and preparing for an evening of Italian food isn’t your thing then…what’s wrong with you? For us, it was exactly what we needed to forget about work and relax.

By day, we spent our sunshine hours on the beach. We played games and read books or, in my case, book. I’m reading a particularly challenging one in preparation for book club, which I’ll tell you all about very soon.

The games were pretty essential; we had to burn off all the pizza, pasta and seafood somehow. From a fibro-friendly point of view the holiday worked out well. I couldn’t play beach ball, an old family favourite, but discovered I could play boules – and enjoyed it. I also remembered how good it feels to be immersed in water and sunshine, which further enhanced my desire to start swimming again. As for eating, well I never have a problem with that.

We ventured out into Jezi, a larger town not far from Castelbellino, on a slightly cloudy day and wandered through the beautiful old town streets and ate gelato – yum!

Overall it was exactly what I hoped for in an escape from reality. I had good food and good friends, laughter and laziness; we were busy but it was relaxing and really really fun. Plus, extra bonus: it ticked a couple off my list of things I hope to do in the year I’m 30!