Colin and I at Sirmione Lake Garda

An Italian honeymoon… continued

44

Well it seems as though there are many of us who share a fondness for Italy, particularly the places that Colin and I have visited! Thank you all so much for your lovely comments and stories of your own holidays and honeymoons – I have really enjoyed reading them.

Piazza Duomo, Florence

Piazza Duomo, Florence

I’ll be honest, it’s taken me ages to pull together the photos for this next blog, mainly because I have loved looking at them and reliving the memories!! : ) I will start where we left off last week, and that was journeying towards Florence. Once again the traffic was light, and the roads a joy to drive on, especially with so much to see. Our hotel was cheap and cheerful – bit like the Super 8 we stayed in while holidaying in Memphis, but the receptionist spoke perfect English and was most helpful when suggesting a restaurant for dinner that night. Il Gatto e la Volpe (The Fox and Cat) was right in the centre of town and we enjoyed fabulous pasta washed down with a bottle of Valpolicella! We mooched around a little, doing a bit of window shopping before chancing upon the Piazza Duomo which was beautifully lit, and then headed back, knowing that we had the following morning to explore properly.

The sun was splitting the pavements as we headed towards the Piazza di Signoria where there is a copy of Michaelangelo’s statue of David. The original was removed from the square some years back because it was deteriorating, but now has pride of place amongst the fabulous artwork on show in the Galleria degli Uffizi. As we were rather short of time, and there were mighty queues for the Gallery, Colin and I decided to visit the Piazza de’ Pitti with it’s beautiful Boboli Gardens instead, and we certainly had our fill of amazing masterpieces by painters such as Botticelli, Rubens, and Caravaggio. Some were quite faded, and unclear, but others were so vivid, the paint looked as though it would be wet to the touch.  From there we walked to the Ponte Vecchio – the beautiful covered bridge that has the most incredible collection of jewellery shops on either side of it. I was in heaven looking at all the gold, silver, pearls and gemstones, but Colin managed to tear me away to get some lovely photographs!

Colin pulled me away from the Ponte Vecchio to take this pic

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Our next port of call was Genova (Colin loves Genoa cake!) but to get there we chose to drive through Tuscany rather than take the motorway. We had heard SO many wonderful things about this particular part of Italy we set the sat nav for San Gimigano, which is a small walled medieval hill town in the province of Siena. I don’t think I have ever driven through such beautiful countryside. Colin described it as a giant landscaped garden, and he was right.  Wherever you looked there were field upon field of stunning yellow sunflowers, all with their heads turned away from the bright sunlight. Occasionally green rows of  grapevines would break the sea of colour, and on most of the hillsides we saw picturesque little towns surrounded by Cypress trees.

The photos don’t really do it justice, but suffice to say we were completely hooked, and will definitely be returning. It was just on 3.30pm when we arrived, and this was the temperature!!! Completely still, and incredibly hot and sunny, we both found it quite uncomfortable to do anything much more than make our way to the Palazzo Comunale to have a cold drink and a sit down! Feeling somewhat refreshed, we did then walk through the narrow cobbled streets, and enjoy the, shops, churches, and traditional architecture, some of which dates back to the 13th Century. We returned to the car – which was literally like an oven – by 5pm, and decided to head towards the coast and the Port of Genoa – although the Italians call it Genova.

Temperature gauge when we were at SanGimigiano in Tuscany

Temperature gauge when we were at SanGimigiano

The little Motel we’d stayed in the night before paled into insignificance was we walked into the reception of the incredible hotel Colin had booked us into. It was right in the centre of the City adjacent to this huge fountain spouting purple water in the Piazza De Ferrari! Amazing.  Our room was absolutely huge with seriously high ceilings, and about the size of a tennis court; we were delighted : )

Piazza De Ferrari in Genova

Piazza De Ferrari in Genova

Yet again we awoke to clear blue skies and sunshine, and after a fabulous breakfast in the very swish restaurant of the hotel, we went exploring in the Via Garibaldi, passing the Santa Maria de Castello and the Palazzo Bianco, and up towards the Albertis Castle. There was an antiques market set up in one of the squares, but unlike England, where you can usually find a bargain, the beautiful porcelain plate we enquired about was 200 Euros!

Me close to the Albertis Castle in Genova

Me close to the Albertis Castle in Genova

We were back on the road again by early afternoon, and drove through some beautiful towns and villages before arriving at Santa Margaretta which is right on the coast. The countryside is pretty hilly around this part of Italy, and so the buildings often face out to sea. What is fascinating to see is the use of Trompe L’Oeil and 3D painting to make the flat walls appear to be filled with shuttered windows. The houses themselves were incredible shades of orange, blue, cream, pink and pale green, and made for some of the prettiest streets I’ve ever seen.

Trompe l'Oeil

Trompe l’Oeil

With temperatures again in the low 40s the small beach was crammed with Italian families enjoying their Sunday afternoon in the sun. A swim would have been nice, but we were on a mission to visit Portofino, and having parked the car, we caught the bus to this stunning little town.  You may remember that Colin and I took my sister Jenny and her partner Linda to Portmerion last year, and the entire premise of that incredible seaside village built on the coast by the Welsh architect Clough Williams-Ellis, is in Portofino. It is absolutely beautiful, with incredible architecture and colour. We ate in a restaurant that was on the waters edge, and this was the view from there.  I had grilled shrimp which were just delicious, and as the sun started to sink into the sea, we decided to get the boat not the bus back to Santa Margaretta – a perfect end to a perfect day.

Restaurant in Portofino

Restaurant in Portofino

Our journey to Lake Garda, took quite a while, and we arrived in darkness, so had not really appreciated just how huge it was until the morning! I don’t think I’ve ever seen a lake that has a horizon! We had planned to take a drive around it, but were feeling pretty tired after our long day in Portofino, and once again, the temperatures were in the low 40s, and very humid. So, we opted for a pool day and lounged here making the best of the cool water and stunning view of the Lake. That evening we took the hotel shuttle bus to Sirmione which had been recommended to us. The air was still and VERY warm, and I had more hot flushes than Colin’s had hot dinners!! That said, it was a great night, with more beautiful views to look at and take pictures of – I particularly liked this one that Colin took of the sunset.

Sirmione Lake Garda

Sirmione Lake Garda

It had occurred to me a few days previously that we seemed to have seen pretty much all of the places we’d planned to, but had only been away for 10 days or so. I knew weren’t flying home for another week or so, and so I mentioned this to Colin who promptly produced two envelopes. One contained our homeward bound flight details on the 21st July, but the other was a flight to an unknown destination!! Well, unknown to me, but obviously not to him : )! I was beyond excited, and more than a little desperate to find out where we were flying to, but it was to stay a secret until we got to the airport, and so feeling thoroughly spoilt, we packed the car and set off to our final port of call in Italy, Venice.

I was going to continue with my travelog, but realize having read this back, that yet again it’s quite a lot for you to get through! I do hope you enjoy the photos and next time I will conclude and let you know of the amazing surprises Colin had arranged for me… Took my breath away – literally…

Looking forward to hearing from you as always : )

With my love, Ali xx

44 Comments

  1. Gwen August 21, 2015 at 11:46 am -  Reply

    Hello Dear Ali,

    Absolutely wonderfully breathtaking, you really do make it all come alive, and how lovely to see you and Colin looking so happy and relaxed. I really can’t wait for the next instalment. Thank you so much for taking the time to share it all with us, keep well Ali
    lovely lady,

    Love Gwen.
    XXXX

  2. Emily Curtis August 21, 2015 at 12:04 pm -  Reply

    Alison yours and colin’s honeymoon photographs in Italy are beautiful you look so loved up and I’m so pleased to see you both looking so in love with each other. Italy is a beautiful country I have only visited portofino and it was such a beautiful place but very hot to hot for my blue porcelain skin but ultrasun saved the day and there was no burn. All I need now is to find my own Colin to have a beautiful English summertime wedding and then an Italian honeymoon one can only dream. Also I just wanted to say how beautiful you looked on your wedding day and your peony flowers bouquet was gorgeous plus last night during the diamonique with Alison show I saw your engagement and wedding rings for the first time and they too are beautiful. Enjoy married life its making you glow on screen and I can see in your face how happy you are its brilliant after all the hard times you’ve had over the last few years. Enjoy married life love Emily

  3. Elizabeth Keenan August 21, 2015 at 7:13 pm -  Reply

    Hi Ali
    Oh you are giving me many memories here. We have been to Florence and also Portofino two years ago, which was on my bucket list could not believe we were actually there really gorgeous place. When we head off in a few days time we will also be going to Sirmioni, don’t know Alison if you are following me, or I am following you he he ?.
    Thank you again for all your beautiful photos they are really lovely.
    Much Love
    Elizabeth Keenan X

  4. Hazel August 21, 2015 at 8:35 pm -  Reply

    Hi Alison its been a pleasure to read about your fantastic honeymoon.you’re photos are so beautiful.im not likely to ever get to Italy and see all the wonderful places that you and Colin enjoyed ,but because you have shared them with us I now can see what a beautiful place Italy is do thank you so much.you’re a lovely lady and I enjoy all you’re blogs and enjoy you’re happy friendly presenting on qvc.love hazelxx

  5. Sue Radford August 21, 2015 at 10:02 pm -  Reply

    Hi Ali,

    That was fantastic! Having been to so many places how on earth do you remember the names, places and all the details! Whenever I go away, I get so muddled remembering the different places I visited when I arrive home lol! I haven’t visited Tuscany, but it sounds so beautiful – definitely another one to add to the ‘bucket list’. Your description of the countryside is just as I’d imagined – wonderful! We hope to book a cruise before the end of the year, as it’s a fantastic way to see so many fascinating places. I’m sure you would love a cruise as you can sunbathe and relax in between visits, and enjoy the fabulous food.

    I spotted your beautiful wedding and engagement ring during one of your shows. They look so lovely together and the style suits your hand so well. I was so upset to find I lost a diamond from my favourite ring this week, I’ve had the house apart, but I think I may have lost it while washing my hands, so it’s gone forever aargh!

    Once again, many thanks for sharing your travelling experiences.

    Love Sue Radford xx

  6. Christine Auchterlonie August 21, 2015 at 11:13 pm -  Reply

    Hi Ali once again enjoyed reading the next episode of your journey through Italy … Looking forward to the conclusion.The most recent photograph of Honey was lovely.I have to say you looked stunning in the Tova hour that huge necklace and the earrings were stunning along with the gorgeous dress and Tova
    Is remarkable she always looks so beautiful and so elegant.I viewed the video of Will talking to Tova at The Ritz… In fact my daughter and I were at The Ritz a week past Saturday for Dinner and felt like royalty!!! Hope all is well with you and yours..till next time x

  7. Tina S August 22, 2015 at 12:03 am -  Reply

    Hi Ali,
    What stunning photographs of your honeymoon. I was trying to picture being there with the sun shining down and feeling the warmth on my skin as I listen to the rain dripping on the windowsill!! The weather here in Wales along with the rest of the U.K. has been dreadful. It would be so nice to get away somewhere sunny out of this rain. But if we didn’t have the rain we wouldn’t have such stunning countryside would we? At least we have our own little piece of Italy here in Wales in Portmeirion. We’ve been there a couple of times and would visit more often if it was not such a long drive from our part of Wales. We hope to be going away for a few days in October to see the starlings roosting on Aberystwyth pier. They were shown on Autumn Watch. It is a sight to see as they gather in their thousands. We may get a chance to go up to Portmeirion as it’s not too far from Aberystwyth. My birthday is in October so I’ll have to get hubby to treat me. Hopefully we may get some nice days that time of year before the winter sets in.
    Hope you and your family are well and that you are enjoying married life.
    All the best, Tina S (S. Wales.) x

  8. sally August 22, 2015 at 10:31 am -  Reply

    Hi Ali
    beautiful blog as usual you write effortlessly or that is how it reads we have seen porta fino on one of our cruises of the meditterean and that incorporated lots of the places you visited in Italy. After visiting port fino the captain got as close as he possibly could and we sailed very slowly past a memory I will treasure.
    Andrea Boccelli did a concert in the small fishing bay in porta fino which is on dvd which I enjoy.
    looking forward to your next installment.

    best regards
    Sally

  9. xann godfrey August 22, 2015 at 11:30 am -  Reply

    Have so enjoyed your Memories, so reminded me of all these places my husband and I had visited, we hzd so many wonderful holidays over the years. Italy was our favourite.
    sadly my beloved husband passed away in June, and my mind goes back to Italy.
    I do wish you many more wonderful holidays in Italy.

    amore

  10. Sally August 22, 2015 at 11:34 am -  Reply

    Hi Ali
    Beautiful blog as usual, you write so effortlessly or that is how it reads. We had a 2 week Med Cruise and visited many places you have been in Italy. Porto fino is one memory i shall cherish after we had the day there the Captain sailed very slowly past as close as he possibly could and it was magical.
    Andre Boccelli did a concert there in the square by the shops and water he had distinquished quests in the audience such as Michael Cane. He sang mostly Love songs but recognised most of the song tunes i bought the DVD of it , very nice.
    Look forward to your next installment. PS are you thininking of writing a book as i think it would

  11. Beverley Klymkiw August 22, 2015 at 11:54 am -  Reply

    Oh Ali what a wonderful honeymoon you both have had. Simply stunning scenery. Makes me want to go there even more. Hubby even thinks it looks a fabulous place to visit. Thank you for sharing your fabulous photos and stories. Can’t wait for the final part of your marvellous holiday next week. Best wishes and take care.

  12. Merche August 22, 2015 at 9:29 pm -  Reply

    Glad you enjoyed Florence Alison, my husband and I went there for the 1st time last year to celebrate his 70th birthday and fell in love with it so much that we returned there again this year in May. As he is a train enthusiast we travelled there both times by train, the scenery is spectacular.

  13. Pauline Wilson August 23, 2015 at 9:17 am -  Reply

    Yet again Ali a wonderful blog you have transported me back in time with all your wonderful stories looking forward to the concluding part.

  14. Christine Cairns August 24, 2015 at 5:54 am -  Reply

    OOooh, I can’t wait to read about the next part of your trip! We love Italy and have been to all of the places you mention – beautiful, Colin did you proud! Wishing you good health and many more happy times together.

  15. Teresa August 24, 2015 at 12:26 pm -  Reply

    Oh what memories your tour of Italy has brought back. Italy has to be one of my favorite destination. You seem to have visited all the places I remember so well after one of the tours I was lucky enough to go on. I think Florence is beautiful and a place I would love to revisit. Portofino is just fab and would love to take my husband there as he has never been.
    I had a very nice 10 day holiday on Lake Garda with 2 very good friends and as you say it is huge, it just seems to go on for ever. So many places to visit round the lake a few days or even 10 just isn’t long enough.
    We used to love sitting by the side of the lake in the evening people watching with a nice cool glass of wine and a coffee.
    Looking forward to hearing the last part of your fab honeymoon.
    Love Teresa xxx

  16. Joanna Downey August 24, 2015 at 12:28 pm -  Reply

    Buongiorno Ali, Once again you have given us Italian sunshine on a dismal “Summer” day and it has been wonderful. I have probably told you that I love Italy with a passion and your blog has reminded me of so many aspects of that lovely country – I could smell the coffee and feel the warmth of the Sun. San Gimignano is amazing and Colin’s description of the countryside around it is perfect, I love the colours of Portofino and the crenellations at Sirmione. We only came back from Sicily a week ago and I so want to return asap. I am now on my own for a week because Colin has gone climbing in Slovenia, I had a text on Saturday that read “In Bled”..! I spent the weekend in Somerset babysitting Tallulah and had a great time. She is an absolute delight and a real clown and I spent two days just playing – when she was born I said that I only wanted to do the nice things and so I don’t even see a nappy change. Her favourite and most-used saying is “Oh no” said with a Gaelic shrug and used, with great effect, when anything goes wrong or she can’t find something. The Duplo girl went behind the sofa cushions many, many times and was always found with great surprise from me and hysterical laughter from her. We also had a lot of fun with the game of “Do you know you’re my favourite granddaughter?” when she was asked this question she spun on the spot and then walked using big giant steps, laughing all the time and shaking her head. Why it caused this reaction I don’t know but we loved every second. In your previous reply you kindly asked about Ellie’s wedding plans – the only things needed to be found are the bridesmaid shoes and everything else is organised, I don’t know if it is because she’s a teacher, star sign Virgo or just my daughter – I’m a list writer of some note and love being given a project to manage – but she’s done really well and is spending her holidays putting all the fiddly things together including book folding to make the table numbers. I thought that I had got my outfit sorted but have now changed my mind so I’m waiting for the A/W collections. I loved the photos on twitter of your rings and delectable Honey Bea just wait for all those games of hide the toy – you’ll be in your element. Love Jo x

  17. Alison Keenan August 24, 2015 at 5:21 pm -  Reply

    Dear Emily lovely to hear from you, and I’m so glad you liked the photographs and they made the places come alive for you.it is my pleasure to share it all with you, with love Ali xx

  18. Alison Keenan August 24, 2015 at 5:23 pm -  Reply

    Hi Emily, it sounds as though the weather was as hot for you as it was for us, but so glad that you visited Portofino and were saved from burning by your Ultrasun! I love the factor 30 facial tint one! Yes, Colin couldn’t have planned a better honeymoon – it was everything and more than I had expected and we were so lucky with the weather. Glad you liked my wedding band too – Tova said she thought it was exquisite :) I will keep my fingers crossed that you too will find someone to love and cherish you and take you to somewhere wonderful like Italy. Thanks for writing to me, love Ali xx

  19. Alison Keenan August 24, 2015 at 5:25 pm -  Reply

    I am too am not sure who is following whom, but either way we both know you will have a fabulous time when you get Italy. So glad that you enjoyed the photographs and you also have been to Florence and Portofino – as you say, both gorgeous places. I very much hope you will enjoy Sirmioni, and I highly recommend eating in the square there – a fantastic range of restaurants. Enjoy! Love Ali xx

  20. Alison Keenan August 24, 2015 at 5:26 pm -  Reply

    Ooops – that previous reply was for Elizabeth Keenan! I forgot to address you first, :) x

  21. Alison Keenan August 24, 2015 at 5:27 pm -  Reply

    Dear Hazel, I have to admit that both Colin and I were thrilled that the photos came out as well as they did, considering that we were both using our smartphones and not a camera! To be honest I didn’t think I’d ever get to see Italy this way either, but I’m glad the pictures have brought it to life for you – more to come next week in the final instalment. I do hope you enjoyed the weekend, love Ali xx

  22. Alison Keenan August 24, 2015 at 5:30 pm -  Reply

    Hi there Sue always lovely to hear from you – to be honest I don’t remember the names of the places or very much of the detail, but I do make notes every time we visit somewhere new! You really must try to visit Tuscany, it is absolutely stunning and as I’ve mentioned, one of several places that we would like to visit again. Yes I too love my wedding ring – I was very upset when it had to go back to the jewellers for a week, but he has refinished, and it looks far better now. I was so sorry to hear that you have lost a diamond from one of your favourite rings.. maybe you could find out how much it is to replace it? Hopefully not too much? Good luck with that, and I hope you have a great week, love Ali xx

  23. Alison Keenan August 24, 2015 at 5:34 pm -  Reply

    Dear Christine, I have to say I am always worried about what to wear when sitting next to Tova, as she is so elegant and beautifully dressed! The jewellery is some of my favourite in the Diamonique range, and every hour spent with her, a complete pleasure :) I lovely for you to have spent time with your daughter at The Ritz! I was there for 10 mins just to see Tova before her celebration – I was back in and on air at 9pm! I will find another photo of Honey to post up next week – she and Lucy have been over to stay this last two days, and it has been so good to see them both. Honey changes each visit! I do hope all is well in your world. Love Ali xx

  24. Alison Keenan August 24, 2015 at 5:37 pm -  Reply

    Tina I have to say I felt very much the same about the weather, looking through those photographs! But you are right, if we didn’t have the rain, we wouldn’t have such a green country to lives in. I’m glad that you have been able to visit Portmeirion – we had such a fabulous time there last year, I would love to see it again again. I do hope you get to see the starlings roosting – that must be a fabulous sight – whether it’s raining or not! Happy Birthday for October – I am sure your husband will treat you to a day out that would take in Portmeirion too :) Take care, love Ali xx

  25. Alison Keenan August 24, 2015 at 5:40 pm -  Reply

    Dear Sally, I have to say the more I hear about these fabulous cruises that so many of you have been on, the more I feel I would like to try one! Our view of Portofino as the ferry headed out of the harbour was stunning with the sun setting behind the hill. I can only begin to imagine how magnificent Andrea Boccell’s voice would have sounded in that setting. I do hope we have some more sunshine in what’s left of August, and that all is well with you, love Ali xx

  26. Alison Keenan August 24, 2015 at 5:42 pm -  Reply

    My dear Xann, I was so sorry to hear of your husband’s passing… How terribly sad for you. I am glad though that these photographs brought back many happy memories for you of your holidays in Italy… Hold tight to those memories, and lean on those who love you.. Do take care, with my love, Ali xx

  27. Alison Keenan August 24, 2015 at 5:43 pm -  Reply

    Beverly seriously, you and your husband really should try to get to this beautiful part of the world – I know you would both love it! It’s my pleasure to share it with you, and thank you for writing to me. Very glad you enjoyed reading the blog. Love Ali xx

  28. Elaine sallis August 24, 2015 at 6:05 pm -  Reply

    Hi Ali, Your honeymoon sounds wonderful and you both look so happy. We returned last week from our holiday in Berlin, Prague , Vienna and Budapest . All lovely cities but it was just too hot to do them justice. We are definitely going back to Vienna at a cooler time of the year as it was beautiful.

    Elaine

  29. Linda August 24, 2015 at 9:18 pm -  Reply

    Hi lovely Ali ,, have enjoyed reading your blog once again such fantastic pictures , does the fountain in piazza De Ferrari really spout pink water must look amazing , you will remember all the fantastic places to tell your beautiful granddaughter when she is older , can’t wait to find out what the amazing surprises are till next time love to both of you linda xx

  30. Judith Lennon August 26, 2015 at 7:32 pm -  Reply

    Hi Ali
    Well another lovely story from your honeymoon. I feel like I am reading a book by a favourite author and each chapter keeps me turning the pages! You and Colin look really relaxed together and I hope married life continues to bring many great times for you both. I had a quick visit from my youngest grand daughter this afternoon. She will be two next month can you believe. On getting into her Mum’s car she shouts “bye Nanna I love you” I was blown away and had such a lump in my throat. You have all this to come…. My other grand daughter is away on holiday at the moment and rang me today keeping me up to date with her busy social life. When finishing her goodbyes she says ” I love you Nanna and I’ve missed you and grandad so much. Can’t wait to see you. Well what an end to a day. I should be so lucky and I know how blessed I am. Hope all is well with you. Until next time love and hugs as always. Judith xx

  31. Denise August 26, 2015 at 8:54 pm -  Reply

    Oh my Alison your wonderful blog brought back many happy memories of our time in Florence. I am mesmerised by the Duomo – I could sit in that square and look at it all day. Simply stunning. We did go to the Uffizzi had to really as my hubby studied Art . We also did the Pitti palace and Boboli Gardens in fact it was my Birthday when we visited and it has amazing views too.
    Portofino looks fantastic too and definitely on my to visit list. Have been to Portmeirion and loved it.
    Lake Garda also looks and sounds lovely and is on my list too. I am really looking forward to hearing the next instalment and where it was! We have just celebrated our 31st Wedding Anniversary and spent a few days visiting Lancaster and the Lakes. For once the weather was kind to us and we had a lovely relaxing time. Much as I love travelling further afield if the weather is good you can have just as good a time here as anywhere.
    Looking forward to your next blog.
    Love Denise x

  32. Rhona Fenton August 28, 2015 at 11:37 am -  Reply

    my computer will freeze any miniute reason not been in touch sorry! everything looks out of this world amazing :) so happy for you both your wedding fom start to finish breath taking, have to try look out a pic of me & my colin as our wedding dresses much the same Alison so glad thed style is still in fashion after all these years :) hope you & colin got your card ok? love and best wishes as always Rhona xx trying to learn this new tablet so still useing the old one for now hope to be in touch better soon xx

  33. Alison Keenan August 31, 2015 at 7:37 pm -  Reply

    Hi there Merche, and how lovely to know that you too have returned to Italy to recapture all that you had years ago. I love the idea of travelling across new countries by train – the rail service seemed very efficient in Italy – well at least in Venice it was! With love, Ali xx

  34. Alison Keenan August 31, 2015 at 7:37 pm -  Reply

    Dear Pauline, thank you for taking the time out to write to me, and I’m very glad you enjoyed the blog. I hope to have the conclusion for you towards the end of the week!
    Love Ali x

  35. Alison Keenan August 31, 2015 at 7:40 pm -  Reply

    Hello Teresa, and thanks for sharing your memories of your Italian holidays. I think the Italian Lakes are a marvellous opportunity to enjoy all that makes this country such a popular resort. I visited Lake Maggiore when Jack was just 6 months old – we had a wonderful week, and visited the Borremeo Islands in the centre of the Lake – WELL worth a visit. I hope you had a good Bank Holiday Weekend, love Ali xx

  36. Alison Keenan August 31, 2015 at 7:45 pm -  Reply

    Dear Jo reading your comment, I can imagine so clearly you playing with Tallulah and not surprisingly having a wonderful time! As you say I have all this to look forward to with Honey :) I do remember you saying how much you enjoyed your time in Italy, and love you that you also visited San Gimigano – as you said – just stunning. Great news about Ellie’s wedding – being organised is definitely key, and I remember my only slight stress was trying to find my shoes! I am sure you will come up with something for the bridesmaids, and as she is a teacher, like my Lucy, she won’t give in until she has! Talking of Lucy she has just had her official photographs of Honey released…. Stunning! Such a beautiful baby – I am beyond proud. Sorry to hear that you’re on your own – I will be too the week after next as my Colin is off to America to make videos to go with the songs on his new album. I have pretty much run out of leave so won’t be going!! Do keep in touch though, and thanks as always for writing. Love Ali xx

  37. Alison Keenan August 31, 2015 at 7:47 pm -  Reply

    Hi there Elaine, and I am delighted to learn that you holiday in Berlin Prague, Vienna and Budapest went so well. I do completely empathise with you though about the heat -altho I am missing it very much here at the moment! I visited Vienna many years ago but in the Autumn and it was beautiful – do go back if you can. Take care, Love Ali x

  38. Alison Keenan August 31, 2015 at 8:04 pm -  Reply

    Dear Linda, Yup that was exactly how the fountain in Genova looked – I wonder if they change the colour of the water depending on the seasons! :) You know, writing this blog is so useful, because my memory really isn’t all it should be, and to read back over the last eight years worth of holidays is a real joy to me, and something I shall definitely look forward to sharing with Honey :) I hope to have the final blog up at the end of this week – rather busy at work though, but will make time :) Love Ali xx

  39. Alison Keenan August 31, 2015 at 8:06 pm -  Reply

    Judith, what a lovely thing to say.. you have made me really inspired to crack on with writing my book – I am taking a short break next week to try and add to the 10,000 words I have already written, although I know from Julia it takes a great many more than that to make a whole book!! :) I loved hearing about your little granddaughter – such a fabulous age, and I can’t wait for Honey to learn to talk also. I’m not surprised you were choked either by her words.. I’m sure you’re a wonderful Nanna to her though :) Honey mimics noises I make and she blows bubbles at me too which is really sweet. I’ll have some more photos of her in the next blog I promise. Enjoy the week – we’re meant to be having some sunshine! With love, Ali xx

  40. Alison Keenan August 31, 2015 at 8:12 pm -  Reply

    Denise so glad you enjoyed the blog although you’re right, if the weather is fine you can have just as good a time in the UK as anywhere! It must have been wonderful for you and your husband to visit the Uffizzi Gallery especially as he was studying art. My understanding of art is very limited, but our guide around the Vatican made it all a great deal clearer and so much more interesting too! If you’ve visited Portmeirion then you must visit Portofino you would love it!! And of course there’s a strong chance the weather will be warmer there too :) Congratulations on your 31st Wedding Anniversary – so glad that you had a good time away in Lancaster and The Lakes. I haven’t been there for about 9 years. My aunt took me after her husband sadly passed, and although it was bittersweet, my memories are all good. Thank you for writing to me, and for sharing your experiences – take care, love Ali xx

  41. hedgerows norfolk September 1, 2015 at 7:32 pm -  Reply

    Cannot believe this . Guess I will cause lots of anger but how smug is this,

  42. martin forbes September 2, 2015 at 6:40 pm -  Reply

    hi alison lovely photosdd of your honey moon hope you and your family sare wel,l iam not bad how is your grand daughter geeting on how old is she now 2months maybe.

  43. Mandy Mitchell September 7, 2015 at 12:39 pm -  Reply

    Hi Ali,
    I am absoloutely loving the stunning photos taken by you & your Colin of your romantic honeymoon! You recommended Rome as a place to visit in your last reply as I love architecture so have already told hubby its “on my list” of places to visit!I do feel that that list is going to get longer as I love the photos of Portofino; gorgeous & so pretty! It does remind me of the beautiful Greek island of Symi(I know you love Greece too)The houses are so pretty & sailing into the harbour was like being on a film set, we sailed to a monastery nearby too which was the same pretty pastel colours & looked like it had been iced with icing!I HAVE to go on boat triips when I am away, being in the middle of the sea with my hubby & beautiful views is my favourite thing & when I am the happiest!I think it is being surrounded by nature & escaping the commotion of every day life for a while….bliss!It is also a pleasure to feel the cool breeze when you have been sightseeing in the hot & sometimes unbearable heat!!
    I have wondered why you weren’t on the little jewellery film with the other QVC ladies talking about their special pieces of jewellery as I love hearing your little stories (I am a true sentimental Piscean too) Hubby laughed at your comment about not being amusec & sitting outside with a bottle of wine(he said your humour was very Eric Morecombe lol!)
    We’re off to Suffolk tomorrow for a little holiday so probably won’t see QVC much so have a lovely week Ali & I look forward to your next blog.
    Love & hugs
    Mandy xxx

  44. Alison Keenan September 7, 2015 at 9:36 pm -  Reply

    Hello there Martin, lovely to hear from you. The family are all very well, and Honey is now four months old! I have posted some photographs of her in my new blog which you should be able to read now. I do hope all is well with you, Love Ali xx

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