Tag Archives: italy

Arm chair Travel. :)

It might be just about now that your thinking about booking a foreign holiday, somewhere you can laze in the sun maybe,or take in the sights. Recently I watched one of my fave films ~ Under The Tuscan Sun , which never fails to make me long to explore the rolling hills and vinyards of Tuscany in Italy.  Here are a few movies that inspire me to journey to these places for real. Or just enjoy a spot of armchair travel. 🙂

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Lost In Translation ( 2003 ) ~ A tired actor ( Bill Murray) and a photographer’s young wife ( Scarlett Johanssen) both find themselves in Tokyo and form a close friendship, whilst getting to grips with Japanese culture and figuring out what they want out of life. Love this movie.

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Amelie ( 2001) Charming romantic comedy set in Paris about a young waitress ‘Amelie’ who dishes out good deeds along with her creme brulee.A magical film.English Subtitles.

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The Way (2010) ~Tom an American doctor ( Martin Sheen) travels to France to collect the remains of his estranged son who was killed in an accident in the Pyrenees. He had died walking the Camino de Santiago, also known as ‘The Way of St James’. Tom decides to complete the pilgrimage for him and embarks on the 800Km trek across the top of Spain, meeting other troubled souls along the way. A road movie where the characters walk…..and the journey is also one of self discovery.

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Roman Holiday ( 1953) ~ Why not discover Rome through the eyes of a Royal princess playing truant. Audrey Hepburn plays the princess longing to do normal everyday things in the city….and Gregory Peck is the undercover reporter showing her the sights, looking for a good story and finding himself falling in love. A fairytale romance. 🙂

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Only You ( 1991) ~ To Italy again and Marissa Tomei plays Faith, who travels to Europe in a quest to find her one true love and destiny. A sweet rom com about mistaken identity and dreams coming true , with scenes shot in Venice and Positano and Rome.

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In Bruges ( 2008) ~ Irish hitmen and dwarves in Bruges.This black comedy stars Collin Farrell and Brendan Gleeson as assasins waiting on instruction in the historic Belgium city one Christmas, after a job goes wrong. Darkly funny.

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Midnight in Paris (2011) ~ Discover the Paris of today and the Paris of the 1920s in this time travel romance directed by Woody Allen. A nostalgic writer ( Owen Wilson) finds himself mysteriously going back in time to the days of Ernest Hemingway and Salvador Dali everyday at Midnight. A homage to the citys artistic history with a love story thrown in too.

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The Motorcycle Diaries (2004) ~ Based on the journals of ‘Che Guevara’ this is the tale of two medical students who travel through South America by motorcycle in the early 1950s. Enjoy the stunning scenery and find out how the Cuban revolutionary got his calling. English subtitles.

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Breakfast at Tiffany’s (1961) ~ New York is the setting for this iconic Audrey Hepburn movie.She plays madcap socialite ‘ Holly Golightly’ who lives in a Manhatten appartment with her cat with no name. George Peppard is the unknown writer who falls for her charms.One of my favorite films ever!

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Under The Tuscan Sun (2003) ~ Diane Lane plays a writer who whilst holidaying in Tuscany after her marriage breaks down, impulsively buys a crumbling villa. Life changes for her in many unexpected ways.A fabulous little film. 🙂

Which films inspire you to book a holiday?

Passport Tales.

Well Dear Passport, its time to trade you in for a shiny new one. Its ten years since I went to the post office and battled with the photo booth for a semi decent passport pic. Ten years since I treated myself to a lime green soft leather passport holder adorned with cities of the world I hoped to visit. I know it will be ten years in August this year because ten years ago in August 2004 I was one of those silly people who found out their then passport was out of date………..at the airport!  Oh the horror, the shame!  I was there in the queaue with three of my best  friends ( we had organized a girls week away in sunny Turkey)  and I was pulled away to one side and gently told I couldn’t board the plane, my passport was out of date by nearly a year. A whole year! 😦  I pleaded it must be a mistake ~ I had only got the offending item six years earlier when I had changed my surname.  It turned out I had presumed when they had updated my name they had automatically given me a full ten years on my new passport. They hadn’t. They had only given me the time I had left on my old one. Off course I should have checked. I should have double checked! My friends jetted off to Bodrum and I made the tearful journey by taxi from Manchester Airport  back to Costa del Clitheroe. The ground could have swallowed me up whole.:(((

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Of course since then I have always been extra vigilent with my passport date checking. My non holiday adventure became the cautionary tale everyone I knew  checked their passports by.  I got a nice new passport in a nice new passport holder and I’ve  even  actually managed to get further than the airport on several occasions. Thank goodness!

Although I have not managed to visit most of the destinations on the cover, In the last ten years I have seen the Berlin Wall, visited the ruins of Pompei, holidayed in Spain with the girls, star spotted in Cannes, covered my ears at the Monte Carlo Grand Prix, whale watched in Canada, stayed in a riad in Marakeche and admired ‘The Scream’ in Oslo. Think I’ve made up for my ‘non holiday’ a little bit…

Inside the Reichstag, Berlin.
Inside the Reichstag, Berlin.
Giant Transformer 'Bumblebee' in Cannes.
Giant Transformer ‘Bumblebee’ in Cannes.
Icecream in Amalfi, Italy
Icecream in Amalfi, Italy
Enjoying the sunset, Vancouver Island, Canada
Enjoying the sunset, Vancouver Island, Canada
Beautiful Essaouira, Morocco.
Beautiful Essaouira, Morocco.
Tropical gardens, Eze, South of France.
Tropical gardens, Eze, South of France.

So now I had better get my new passport sorted. We have just recently booked a much anticipated ( By Me!) short break in Iceland for October and we are hoping to go to France this summer. I still haven’t got round to booking anything to Turkey yet though……….

Have you ever had any passport disasters? Just so I know i’m not the only one out there. 😉

Chick Flick Classics ~~ Roman Holiday.

I thought I would continue with my Classic Chick Flick series with a charming romantic comedy from the 1950’s. Audrey Hepburn won an academy award for Best Actress. She plays alongside a rather handsome Gregory Peck in Roman Holiday ( 1953 ).

Roman Holiday.
Roman Holiday.

Audrey Hepburn stars as Princess Ann, European Royalty on a public relations tour of the continent. Feeling tired and bored of endless social engagements she longs to experience Rome, where she is currently staying,as just an ordinary tourist. One night her doctor and advisers give her an injection to help her sleep but it is very slow at kicking in. The princess escapes the royal palace in the back of a delivery truck and is thrown into the hustle and bustle of late night Rome. Unfortunately she is soon feeling extremely sleepy and starts snoozing away on a park bench.

Princess Ann.
Princess Ann.
The Morning after.
The Morning after.

Luckily she is found by Gregory Peck’s journalist ‘Joe Bradley’ who thinking she has had to much wine, lets her sleep in his apartment. Waking late the next day he rushes to work knowing that he has missed his morning appointment ~ attending a press conference to interview a certain Royal visitor to Rome, Princess Ann. Unaware that the stranger he left snoring away is in fact the princess herself ! That is until he sees her picture on the front of the morning papers, along with a cover up story about the princess suddenly falling ill. Joe realizes he may have the chance of a big scoop …..if only he can keep his identity hidden from the hooky playing Royal. He hotfoots it back home.

Ann confesses to Joe that she is in fact a princess and he offers to show her the sights of the city. He also discreetly requests the help of a photographer pal who has an extraordinary amount of cameras hidden up his sleeve including one hidden in a cigarette lighter. Together they hope to get a story on what the princess likes to get up to in her spare time.

The princess has a hair cut.
The princess has a hair cut.
Dare you put your hand in the 'Mouth of Truth' ?
Dare you put your hand in the ‘Mouth of Truth’ ?
Scooter Ride.
Scooter Ride.
Publicity shot for the film.
Publicity shot for the film.
Historical Rome.
Historical Rome.
The film was shot entirely on location in Rome.
The film was shot entirely on location in Rome.

Of course they find the princess absolutely delightful. Who could not? What follows are japes and scrapes and fun and laughter in the beautiful Italian Capital. And Joe and Ann discover they have feelings for each other. But will Joe get his scoop?, will Ann run away with him ? or will she decide that her royal duties come before true love…….?

Dancing.
Dancing.
Falling in Love.
Falling in Love.

I loved the film but that is no surprise as I am a Audrey Hepburn fan. I loved seeing the sights of Rome too. I wonder if they are all still there? Does the Mouth of Truth really exist? I shall have to visit one day. 🙂

Tuscan Inspiration

check out my lovely friend Scarlets blog and her heavenly descriptions of the tastes of Tuscany.X

The Adventures of Moonie

This is my entry to a competition run by Tuscany Now which offers an extensive choice of holiday rental villas in Tuscany .

“Inspired by Tuscany”
What do you think about when someone says Tuscany to you? Is it the beautiful landscape? the weather? or the lifestyle? Does it inspire you?

To me the most inspiring part of Tuscany has to be the food, although I have never been lucky enough to visit that part of the world is has always been and always will be at the top of my list. In this modern world with internet, television and a food retailers that import food from far and wide we can experience another country at our dinner table, but I see so many people not take advantage of the lessons that can be learned.

Tuscany celebrates food and celebrates with food. Food is honored in many ways from the…

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