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Robin and June's Holiday Page

Updated at 2050 BST UK Time ( 1950z /GMT/UT/GPS Time ) on Monday 17th June 2024.
Updates are in progress ! Robin hopes to add more of the 2024 holiday soon ;-)

white strip For many years, Robin and June took Caravan holidays, in Cornwall, England. The last was 1998. We met Flavio in 1999, and gave him Nanook, for his baby daughter. white strip 1999 Holiday in Italy

Hi ! Welcome to Robin and June's "Holiday" page, started in 1999. It gets bigger every year :-)

Since 1999, we have been taking most of our holidays in Italy.

After England, our home, Italy is our favourite country: the Weather, Food, and - of course - the warmth of the Italian People ! :-)

We took Italian lessons for many years. We have now progressed beyond "Ciao !". We even know some Sicilean dialect.

Below are a few pictures and videos from our holiday last year, followed by those in earlier years, back to 1999.

If you scroll down, you will see some of our holidays were not in Italy or Sicily. e.g. Austria, Spain, Corfu, and even the Isle of Wight, in sunny England ! In 2007 we took our first holidays in Sicily, on the suggestion of Robin's friend Andy, in Poland. We've been back almost every year since ! :-)

Sadly, Covid19 , stopped us taking our holidays in Sicily, in 2020 , 2021 , and 2022 . <- details are in these Christmas Newsletters. But see how Enrico helped further below :-) white strip

Tap or Click on these pictures to expand or play videos. e.g. those old photos sent by Andy in Poland in 2022, of him using my GPS Software to navigate, in the snow, between Poland and Croatia. VERY topical, because some of Robin's old friends were on holiday in Miami, USA, hoping for warmer weather, but got more snow than the 0.5 metre in Poland, and the brief flurry of snow, and freezing temperatures here. But not as cold as our friends such as Andy in Poland, and many others experienced :-) white strip Robin and June Lovelock's long weekend in Cornwall visiting James Lovelock's old place video of Camper trip to Devon video of Camper trip in 2022 heatwave white strip

Robin's beard shaved off from Robin's 2022 Christmas Newsletter : QUOTE: Many will say "Robin's time is one long holiday", and it is true that he likes to combine "work" with "pleasure" ;-) What "work" ? Well, there's all that driving, such as the chauffeur service for his Grumpy Old Men friends for Pub Grub each week. e.g. Storm Eunice :-) Also, those miles driving our Camper: three trips to the south west: that for Snoopy's 2022 Trans-Atlantic Attempt is further below, but before that we had two other lovely trips, caught in rough cut videos with photo trails. First our trip in July, to Devon, during that heatwave: June & Robin Lovelock's Camper Trip South West from 11th to 15th July 2022 . Then that in August, as far as Lands End in Cornwall, returning in torrential rain: Snoopy's Camper Trip to Cornwall with June & Robin Lovelock in August 2022 and Snoopy's Trip to Cornwall with June & Robin Lovelock - 3D GPS tracks & more pictures and shorter . Robin used the Cornwall trip as an opportunity to grow a beard again, not done since 2015. The problem is that it resulted in violence, with June shaving it off with a kitchen knife. The evidence is on video: Robin's Beard being shave off :-) UNQUOTE.

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On 18th March 2020, Enrico sent us that lovely satirical picture, and Robin's Covid19 page was born. Please visit it, to bring smiles, and maybe educate. It provides an explanation, then access to my Google Group.

On 10th June 2020, Robin put up pictures from our 1998 holiday in Cornwall, England. These were in the Chrismas 1998 Newsletter and have been put at the very end, of this page.

Several pictures are at the very top of this page. Flavio's daughter still has Nanook after 20 years ! That's Flavio again, standing by that vehicle.

white strip Please visit my Covid19 page, which you will enjoy and may learn from - particularly when you see the "One-Liners" from a few friends around the World. It then takes you down to my Google Group, called ROBINLOVELOCKSFRIENDS. It explains how it works with your email, and the vast number of Topics anybody can discuss. white strip

Sicily is "Special" :-)

Click here for map of Sicily and places we often return to Of all Italy, it seems we love Sicily the most. Tap or Click on the map to see places we often return to, such as Giardini Naxos.

The five minute video below gives you a flavour. e.g. Sicilean Kangaroos and penguins :-)

There are historical extracts from "The Godfather" here for friends.

Don't worry: it is not every hotel in Sicily where you wake to find a horses head sharing the bed with you :-)

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Holiday videos with the most recent first. The rest are still on VHS ! :-)

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Sicily in May & June 2024 with daughter Samantha - her first trip to Sicily ! :-)
- Giardini Naxos, Montalbano, Siracusa, Scoglitti, Agrigento, Noto, Zefferana, & more ...

We flew out by British Airways from Gatwick on Wednesday 29th May 2024, and returned in the early hours of Thursday 13th June. Silly Robin left his 'phone in the taxi, sliding out of his pocket, and under the front passenger seat. But, since it was tracked, from Sicily, we soon saw it was in the taxi, and Saskia collected it from Ali, who had already become a friend on our journey. Coping without a 'phone made the holiday more interesting ;-)

The UK DVLA had still not recognised their mistakes, so Robin could not drive. BUT, June had insisted on hiring a car from Europcar, and did a brilliant job on the trips we made, to some of our favourite places.

We started our holiday in Giardini Naxos, and our favorite Hotel La Riva. Other places were driven by places Samantha and ourselves wanted to visit, and plans to meet up with old friends Enrico & Matilde in Fleri, near Zefferana Etnea. So after La Riva, it was south to the lovely Somoa Beach B&B, hosted by Danielle & Carlos, not far from Siracusa. Then it was west to Scoglitti, and hotel Il Gabbiano ( the seagull ), where Enrico & Matlde joined us. We then returned north, not far from Catania Airport, staying at the nice Poggio Felice ( Happy Hill ) B&B, in Fleri, near Zefferana, and just 6 minutes walk from Enrico & Matilde's.

As always, it was not just the lovely places and great food - but the people you met. These included old friends from decades ago, in Hotels, B&B, Restaurants, Bars, etc. But also amazing coincidences in who you strike up a conversation with. e.g. the young man who lived near where I worked in the 1970s, at SHAPE Technical Centre . Strange to put a link to that page ? Watch that space - but don't hold your breath ;-)

Tap or Click on photos below to expand. Finding the best photos to put below will take some time. You can always use the Youtube time bar on the video ;-) e.g. 34 minutes into video for those below: our trip up to Montalbano on Sunday 2nd June 2024. Matilde driving, but why do a U-turn, rather than "give it a bit of welly", and jump over that gap in the road ? :-) Some of those stone carvings are from ancient civilisations. Maybe the Greeks, or earlier, had motor bikes and wore crash helmets ? :-)

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white strip Here are some from Giardini Naxos, near start of holiday, including the women's bus trip to Taormina ... white strip white strip white strip
Youtube seemed to have problems doing automatic subtitles for when I correctly prenounced that Schizzo Bar above as "Shizzo". I wonder why ? :-) white strip

More to be added soon - IF and WHEN Robin has the time ;-)

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Sicily in June 2023 - Giardini Naxos, Taormina, Antillo, Calabria, Zefferana and more ...

We flew out by Easyjet on Thursday 1st June and returned to England on Thursday 16th June 2023. Most of our stay was at our favorite Hotel La Riva in Giardini Naxos. The UK DVLA say Robin must not drive, but this turned out to be a benifit: we were delighted at being ferried to and from Catania Airport by Enrico & Matilda - seldom has a holiday been so relaxing - even if hectic ! :-) e.g. the surprise stay in Calabria; the trip north to see Giorgio & Agata's new house near Antillo, to taste their cherries and Stawberries :-)

Few will want to play all the hour of rough cut video, on the left, but it does more than "give a flavour" of the delicious food, lovely places, people, and wildlife - including dogs, cats, cows, and sparrows :-)

Robin did a better job of that 2015 video on the right, despite poor sound syncronisation. Some will enjoy seeing the same places and people 8 years earlier :-) Maybe in slower time, Robin will extract a few of the many photos, to put here, and/or on a linked "Sicily in 2023" page. But, as he often says, "There are just not enough hours in the day" ;-)

Tap or Click on photos below to expand. That video has MANY others, and better ones, but these are a sample. Is that June with Michael Corleone at the Pirate Bar ? :-)

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Sicily in May 2019 - Naxos, Fleri, Scoglitti, Noto, Vulcano, and more ...

We flew out by Easyjet on Tuesday 7th May and returned to England on Wednesday 22nd May. We started and ended our stay at our favorite Hotel La Riva in Giardini Naxos, and hired a little Fiat Panda from Europacar. We also spent a few nights in Scoglitti and Noto, and with our friends Enrico and Matilde in Fleri, near Zefferana. The highlight must have been our two nights with them on the island of Volcano. We actually got to climb to the edge of the volcano itself ! :-)

More photos and information are on the new Sicily in May 2019 Page . The video is now here ;-)

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Sicily in 2018 - Naxos, Fleri, Capo d'Orlando, Scoglitti, Ragusa Ibla, Siracusa, and more ...

Click on the video to play, and the pictures to enlarge them. The video lasts almost 50 minutes, but it starts with a 2 minute summary of what we did - including the bicycle-car drive with Enrico and Matilde in Capo d'Orlando, in the far north. Don't miss June meeting Caterella, during filming of Montalbano in Ragusa. We started and ended our holiday in our favorite place: Naxos and Hotel La Riva. Lots of places to visit, including taking the bus up to Taormina, walking through the ancient greek ruins of the Gardens of Naxos, and following dry rivers upstream. We joined Enrico and Matilde for two nights in Fleri and the Windmill Hotel in Capo d'Orlando. We stayed in Scoglietti and Punta Seca in the deep south. Also Siracusa - where Robin met several parrots ! Enrico took us to wilder places like the hill towns such as Savocca. Plenty of sun, fun, and good food ! :-)

Taormina seen from Naxos Lido bar Taormina Taormina Duke with Robin's hat Robin, Enrico, Matide, and June at breakfast in Capo d'Orlando Enrico and Matilde inspect our new bicycle-car Robin in Ragusa June with Caterella Scogletti Etna river near San Marco Robin and Sicilean food June in Sicilean apron white strip

Sicily in 2017 - Giardini Naxos, Portopalo in the extreme south, and much more ...

Click on the video to see what we did, and the pictures to enlarge them. Enrico and Matilde were our guides, and Duke came to dinner in Naxos too. We visited a few favourite spots within easy reach, such as San Marco, and Taormina. Three nights in Portopalo allowed us to explore the deep south of Sicily, including the amazing ancient church in Ispica. Robin had problems prenouncing "Monte Arso", when we were shown around the farm where Alessio is working. We had a picnic with friends near Antillo, and pinched most of the cherries they were growing :-)

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Sicily in 2016 - pictures and the video.

See the 2016 Sicily Holiday page for more pictures, and the 30 minute video. We had another lovely two week holiday in Sicily, staying in our favorite Hotel La Riva in Naxos, below the more famous Taormina. June spent much of the time, as always, sunning herself on the beach, and reading a book. Robin took cigar-smoking lessons from Enrico, until interrupted by June. We spent three nights in a B&B with Enrico and Matilda, at Scala di Turki (Turkish Steps) near Agrigento, in the south. We saw lots of other places with Enrico and Matlda, including picking cherries near Antillo, and attending the famous "Territorio in Festa" in Punta Lazzo.

Sicily in 2016

Tennis on Corfu in September 2015 ....

See Pictures from our Tennis Holiday in Corfu - June had the tennis lessons, but Robin assisted with seeing Corfu, enjoying good company, and tasting the wine ! :-)

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Cowes Week on the Isle of Wight in August 2015 ....

See Robin's GPSS on Water page for details of this weekend break with Stuart Quarrie, Robin's flat-mate, and Best Man at our wedding in 1971. Play our Cowes Week 2015 video.

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Sicily in May & June 2015 ....

What a fantastic two weeks - and this year we used the bus instead of the usual hire car. They work great - and are really cheap ! Our main base was our much-loved Hotel La Riva, in (Giardini di) Naxos, and just a long walk or a bus ride from the famous Taormina, on the hill. We took day trips by bus along the coast, north the Letojanni, for the tandem hang-gliding, or south to Riposto or Achreale. We spent lots of time with our crazy italian friends, including those in the picture near the giant bell, in the hills towards Messina. Enrico and Matilda took three nights holiday with us on the remote island of Salina, reached by train and ferry. Enrico showed Robin how to light a Tuscan cigar, so Robin could blow the smoke in June's face. Matilda and June just LOVE the smell. More pictures are on our 2015 Sicily Holiday page, uploaded while in Sicily.

You need only watch the first 2 minutes introduction of the 26 minute video of "Sicily in 2015" now ready !


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Sicily in September 2014 ....

Another lovely two weeks holiday in Sicily, but this time in late September. June loves the sun and warmth, and Robin enjoys hanging out with the other old men sat in the town squares. Next year, we will probably go in late May again - later sunsets, to coincide with the prosecci before eating, and fewer months to wait until the next ! :-) We stayed the first few nights in Naxos, and then the majority in Scoglitti, on the south coast. We managed to visit many of our favorite places, plus a few more, like Ragusa Ibla, where we had not spent time before. Many Thanks to our friends, for making us feel so welcome, and spending time with their friends and family. The 15 minutes from our 30 minute home video of "Sicily in 2014" gives you a "flavour" of why we enjoy Sicily so much: or just see some 2014 Holiday Pictures.

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Sicily in May 2013 ....

Here is a little mosaic of pictures from our holiday, and there is now a short video, after a few words below the pictures. Enjoy! :-)

We spent several days with our old friends Enrico and Matilda, and joined then for a day out with their Zefferana biker's club, on a day trip to the "deep south", not far from Montalbano's home in Punta Secca. Who would have guessed that Montalbano was a keen biker, photographer, had a shop in the town, and that we would actually meet him ? We had visited Punta Secca before, but this was the first time we'd spoken to him on the 'phone and actually spent time with him ! We visited Cava Grande again, the 300 metre deep canyon near Noto. We walked the 2km down to the river and lovely clear lakes at the bottom (right), then walked all the way back up again! It was great to see familiar faces again, at places we had stayed before: Hotel Riva in Naxos, below Taormina, for five nights; Hotel La Ferla in Noto two nights - we visited "Il Buco" to eat, who introduced us to Pasta Con Sarde years ago; Then to the south and four nights in Scoglitti, at our favourite Hotel Oasi - to watch the sunsets - and visit places like Punta Secca. Then a lovely one day with our biker friends in Mazzarino, from where we could still see Mount Etna, even though 55 miles/88 km away ! (see below) We also checked out a wine factory, a few miles from there, via dusty pot-holed roads. That night we stayed just outside the town of Piazza Armarina, near the Roman villa with the floor mosaics of girls in bikinis. We loved the stay in the bed & breakfast named "My House in the Garden" and trying to chat with Maria in her local Sicilian Dialect - even Enrico and Matilda found it difficult! :-) That night we ate in the smallest but nicest family restuarant "da Gianna" in the town. Then, for the first time, we stayed with our old friends, Enrico and Matilda, with their four young men and pack of guard dogs - including "Spike", "Duke", plus Duke's two wives and a host of puppies ! Here is a flavour of our holiday in the 4 minute video of "Sicily in 2013".

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Sorrento then Roma in October 2012 ....

It was 1999 that we last saw Rome - all in one day - see below! We stayed in Sorrento 11 years ago, and this year we booked the usual cheap Easyjet flights, but instead of a hire-car, we took the trains and buses - more adventure! It was lovely to enjoy some of our favorite places - like the lemoncello forest in Sorrento :-) See the first 40 secs of their holiday video here :-)

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Sicily in April 2012 ....

We only had a week in Sicily this year: 2 nights in Siracusa, home of Archimedes, then 5 nights in Naxos and our favorite Hotel La Riva.

It was great to visit new places we had not seen before, like the "Ear of Dionysus" in Siracusa, and Castelmola, the hill top village even higher than Taormina.

We took the bus up to Taormina, but walked back down to Naxos, despite the warning signs about a landslide - now fixed. But most of all we enjoyed seeing familiar places and friends, including this spot on the beach, after a stroll through the Gardens of Naxos, and along a small stream that runs down to the sea. white strip

Sicily in June 2011 ....

Here are just two of the pictures taken this year in Sicily Last year's video is here. We just loved the baby donkey - and Sicilian kangaroos ! :-)

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Sicily in May 2010 ....

This year the cheapest flights were Easyjet into Palermo airport. We decided to see Palermo for the first time, but stayed in Monreale, a small city on a hill overlooking Palermo. It was an easy bus ride down to see Palermo.

We saw "interesting" bits of road, and heeded the signs. Then we stayed near the ruined, ancient greek town of Selinunte. We enjoyed a long walk through dusty paths of wild flowers between the ruins overlooking the sea.

Scogletti is the best little town on the south-west facing coast: within reach of Agrigento (greek temples) and less well known spots. Then Noto, preparing for the flower festival, then Naxos and a bus trip up to Taormina and it's amphitheatre.

The majority of our stay was in Giardino Naxos and our friends. We were honoured to attend the 25th birthday celebration of son Luca and to meet their extended family including Gran and Grandad. We ended our stay in Castellammare, not far from the airport.

You can see the first two minutes of our Sicily 2010 holiday video here - including glimpses of Sicilian kangaroos and penguins ! white strip

Sicily and Lipari in 2009 ....

We spent much of our holiday in Naxos, and near our friends Enrico, Matilde and the boys on the slopes of Etna.

We also got to meet up with David and Jeanette in their boat on it's way from Malta via Sicily to Corfu.

We enjoyed a few days in Lipari after a stormy but safe crossing to the island by car ferry.

We took boat trips to see eruption of Stromboli and people bathing in smelly mud on Volcano.

After returning from the islands, to the mainland of Sicily, we found ourselves in Naxos again, and still managed to find lovely and interesting places we had not seen before.

This was another fly-drive holiday: booking the cheapest flights we could find, and the lowest cost hire car.

We flew out on 10th May, drove to Naxos, and found "La Riva" - our favourite hotel there. After a few nights, we drove up to Milazzo and stayed there two nights before catching a car-ferry to Lipari. A few nights there, taking boat trips, then back to Naxos for the remainder of our holiday - never long enough !

from Robin in May 2021: I just could not find the holiday video from 2009 anywhere - but my friend Enrico came up Trumps - sorry Donald :-)

It could have been edited down from the 45 minutes, such as that time on a boat watching Stromboli erupt, but there are also some nice bits. Wasn't everyone so much younger then ? :-)
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Italy and Austria from May into June in 2008 ....

In 2008 we drove our old Merc E240 to northern Italy and Austria instead of taking the usual fly-drive. We did not expect to clock-up 7200 km (4472 miles) but that's what we did. The Channel Tunnel is certainly better organised than airports - and maybe even quicker ! :-)

Here are some places we slept: Aosta in north-west Italy, Jeselo near Venice in the east, then Vienna in Austria - after attending the robot boat event at Breitenbrunn. But read on ...

It was our first visit to Vienna, and we enjoyed the lovely buildings, statues, and the famous "singing toilets" at the Opera underground station ! Then back into Italy, and Belluno in the Dolomites, where we met friends Gino and Carolina.

Then Bologna, with it's leaning tower (yes, it too has one), Pesaro, Bracianno, Orbetello, Albenga - where we could meet our old friends, the Costa family.

Then Verona, home of Romeo and Juliet. We also took in a few nice places such as San Marino and Viterbo, sometimes on days where parking was the problem, rather than just finding a hotel.

Then back into Austria so we could stay with old friends Walter and Gizzy in the lovely Tirol village of Kossen. Then a night in Strasbourg, to break our jouney back to Calais, Folkstone and home to Sunninghill. A lovely break ! :-)

from Robin in 2018: after almost 10 years, I stumbled on this video, in our collection of home videos on VHS and DVD. June and I thoroughly enjoyed it, and we know some of you will enjoy parts too. For us it is tinged with sadness, because Luigi Costa of Albenga in no longer with us, but it was still lovely to see him with his daughters. Sleep Well Luigi. My conversations with Walter, near the end, prove that I speak fluent English, Italian, German, and Dutch ! :-)

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Sicily in March 2008 ....

... the view of Etna from the balcony of our hotel near the gardens of Naxos ... a stroll through the gardens... wild flowers, orange trees, with Taormina in the background ... and a walk up to the ancient theatre in Taormina. ... although one week is never enough, we did manage to stay in Siracusa and the lovely city of Noto again... also to enjoy the company of Enrico, Matilda and the boys.
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Sicily in 2007....

Robin and June went to Sicily for the first time, for a few days in January 2007. They enjoyed it so much that they took their two week summer holiday early - in May. They took cheap Air Malta flights, a Hertz hire car, and found hotels as they needed them, in lovely cities such as Catania, Noto, Cefalu, Castellamare, Naxos and Capo d'Orlando. Below you see Robin standing beside the Ape50 - which he hopes to persuade June to drive instead of the SL500. Thankyou to all who made our brief stay so enjoyable, including Enrico e Matilda, Hugo e Lorenza, Maurizio e Francesca.

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Winter 2006: Portman, Spain again :-)

Yes, June did not need to twist Robin's arm too hard for him to agree to them taking another cheap winter holiday in Spain's Murcia region, staying with Sally and Michael in Portman: see earlier years below. The bay silted up with toxic waste, and derelict factories, has it's own own special charm: in fact, we will probably all miss these unusual attractions when Portman gets it's "makeover", starting in early 2007. In another five years they say we will see a green golf course, lake, harbour for 700 small boats and a beach of yellow sand - instead of that sooty stuff.

On the left you see what we saw, walking up to find a geocache, on the way to the big guns that overlook the bay. Below, you see the view in the other direction, past the La Manga Golf resort in the foreground, over the lagoon, to the distant high rise hotels of the "La Manga Strip". There's June, putting our "no expenses spared" ball point pen and UK 2p piece into the geocache. Robin, Michael, June and Sally make a new friend at the bar where we paused for an evening cocktail.

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Summer 2006: 2 weeks in Sardinia, Italy

This was our first holiday in Sardinia, and will not be our last. The island was far greener than we expected - particularly when compared with much of Italy and Spain. The Sardinians make sure they catch all the water before it enters the sea ! There was much to surprise us, such as interesting names given to villages, and roadside signs used for target practise: the photo on the right only shows what look like 303 calibre holes - there are often hundreds of 177 and a few 202 dents. Most road signs in Sardinia seem to get this treatment :-) As usual we made no definite plans, flying into Calgliari on 4th June, picking up the cheapest hire car we could find (National), and searching small towns for a cheap hotel within a short walk of where the locals gather in the evening to drink, eat and talk. This year Robin took his GPS and Pocket PC to help them get lost, and do a little geocaching. That's June about to put a ladybird toy into the cache we found at a remote spot in the hills near San Antonio di Gallua. I say "remote", but it was the weekend that the whole village have a "festa" and take their picnics - just yards from the geocache location. But it was not difficult to visit the cache without being seen by others, fill in the logbook, etc. We started and ended our holiday in Portoscuso, on the south west corner. Do not be put off by the massive industry south of the town: it ensures the town has a little "life" in it - particularly the first weekend in June, during the festival to celibrate the tuna arriving. The picture on the right is typical of the many lovely beaches in Sardinia - this one near Santa Maria Navarresa, on the east coast. In the north, we enjoyed Palau - another small town big enough to "watch the world go by" in the late evening - don't expect to see many people before 9 or 10 pm in any of these places. Next Year ? Sardinia or mainland Italy of course :-)

P.S. Oh yes: British Airways managed to lose both our suitcases this time :-) But clever June knew to pack what we needed in the hand-luggage. We felt sorry for several other groups of passengers who had the same problem: one couple were passing through Sardinia to Corsica and had little else with them. Thanks also to Francesca and Carlo - our new friends in Sardinia : for that lovely meal in such a nice spot not far from Cagliari.

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Winter 2005: 5 days in Portman, Spain

See "winter 2004" below, for more about Portman in Spain, where June and Robin grab the occasional few days of winter sunshine.

This year Robin took his little camera-carrying 'plane and got his sister Sally and hubby Michael to help him get TV pictures of where they live in Portman (see left), and over a friend's place near the big lagoon. June took the piccy on the right, in one of her rare breaks from soaking up the sun or nagging Robin into getting something to replace his tatty leather jacket.
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Summer 2005: Albenga and the North

We made no special plans this year - other than to spend the middle week of our precious two, in Albenga, in the lovely "oldy-worldy" property of Michael and Mario, just a few yards from our old friends the Costas, in the centre of the town. As usual it was cheap flights through Milano and and a hire car. This time it was the first two weeks of May: too early for the jasmine and bougainvillea to flower, but with snow still visible on mountain peaks and a little more water in the streams. We flew out on Saturday 30th April and drove down to stay the first night at Hotel Gina in Vinci (on left) - as we did last year. N 43° 47.371 E 010° 55.765 - for those with a GPS. we drove down through Toscana, past San Giamiglano, with it's tall towers, and Robin got to spy some black kites over what must be the prettiest land-fill site in Europe - see above right. We stayed in Hotel Vittoria in Anguillara on Lago di Bracciana so we could visit the Tolfa Mountains and maybe see some red kites - no chance - it seems there are very few birds of prey in Italy. However, our visit to Riserva Naturale Montevano was rewarded by a lovely walk down the ravine, past sulphur fumes bubbling up through streams (very top), and the ancient ruined city (right). N 42° 07.900 E 012° 05.396 - I think is where we parked the car. Then, returning north, we visited the hill town of Montelcino, home of Isabella Duci who wrote the book, "Vanilla Beans and Brodo" that June finished this year, after starting it last year - June is a slow reader. That's June on the left, stood next to the "Spectacle Well", one of the works of art in the town - although Robin thinks it is where they throw old pensioners. We stayed in Bolsena on lago di Bolsena as we made our way back via shoe factory outlet shops for a night on the edge of Firenza, on the river. Petromoli was a lovely town, situated where two small rivers meet, and we stayed there one night and ate in Norina's place - including the local specialties such as wild mushrooms and "Testerina on Toast" - Robin was a little dubious on what this dish was - but they were tasty. Petromoli has a lovely wild park, on the downstream end of the old town (below left).

Then back for our relaxing week in Albenga - there's June pointing at where we stayed: 9 Vico Poggia: walk along the river towards the sea and turn left near where the geese sleep and at the only skewed zebra crossing. This time we got to check out more bars and restaurants - including "Blu Bar" in the centre and "Luna e la sole" bar, on the main road to the sea, which gets sun in the evening. The "Falcone" restaurant - just a short stagger from 9 Vico Poggia. More shoe shops and markets, of course, and Robin even got to fly his little aeroplane with it's TV camera to see Albenga from the air ! That's a still on the left from the short video given to Michael, Luigi and neighbor Silvana. If you are on broadband, or don't mind the download delay, you can see some of the video here (4MB) Yes, it was a rapid descent for landing :-)

Then we decided to end our holiday further east past Genova around the coast at Santa Magharita. We stayed one night at the Hotel Elena Regina, enjoyed their restaurant but noted it seemed a mile walk from the town centre. So the next two nights were enjoyed at the lovely Hotel Miramar in Rapello, opposite where the little (road) train and water taxi parks. Our biggest adventure must have been our long walk over the hills and down into the little cove of San Fruttuoso, reachable only by footpath or water taxi. After the three hour walk, and ice-cream when we got there, we were very happy to take the boat back to Rapello. Oh yes, we started our walk in Santa Magharita, after taking the boat there from Rapello. Above pictures are looking down into San Fruttuoso, on the boat, approaching Rapello, and from our hotel room. On the right June relaxes for a few minutes on our walk, before we make our way down the hill, and to a bar :-)
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Summer 2004: 13th - 26th June: Vinci, Toscana, Lago di Como

Cheap BA flights via Milano, then the cheapest hire Europacar for another fly-drive. Just two pictures here: that on the right is Vinci, where we stayed for our first few nights - partly because British Airways managed to lose one of the two suitcases :-) However, it did mean we got to do a few walks in the hills around Vinci - home of Leonardo, including to his birthplace on a hill north of the town. The museum in Vinci is well worth a visit, and it includes models of his numerous inventions, including a bicycle, clockwork car, helicopter and diving suit. Robin found out about Vinci, and the museum, while searching the net for wind speed meters - yes, the great man invented one of those too. Below is where we stayed at the end of these lovely two weeks: Bellagio on Lago di Como.

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Winter 2004: Portman, Spain

Our very first winter break, even if only 5 days, but this time Spain. Robin and June stayed with Robins' sister Sally and Michael, at their new place in Portman, a nice little seaside village in Murcia - although you might not choose to go there if you read under "Toxic Threats" on the greenpeace site. We enjoyed exploring the local derilict industrial wasteland, the two 380mm cannon high above the "contaminated bay" (to ward off tourist shipping), and the huge thriving oil refinery further along the coast - but we also enjoyed watching the locals catch fish to eat from the beach, driving on quiet roads, eating good food, and the rare experience of sun-bathing in January.

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2003: Northern Italy again

We decided to drive our old silver Merc (C4 GPS), instead of fly-drive. The last time we did this was 1999 - see far below. We took the Dover-Calais Ferry on 29 May and drove through Paris before staying in a low cost but nice modern little B&B Hotel south west of the city. Next night was Cannes. The first week in Italy was on the coast, between Alasio and Albenga - much loved by us. Later we took in Pisa then Lake Garda and tasted the trout again :-p Finally we came back via northern Italy and Austria (just where was that border :-) stopping on the German side of the River Rhein. Then across small roads of France to catch the ferry back to UK on 15 June.

Apartment in Monte e Mare.... up to the old Roman road.... for Views of the sea...

Alasio is only an hours walk south.... as is Albenga to the north.... with much to be enjoyed....

old Roman baths beside the river.... Olive Oil Museum.... or just relaxing in the sun....

then down to Pisa.... up to Lake Garda.... north to the mountains, para-gliders and Austria....

through to Germany and the Rhein.... la belle France.... including friend Pascal's place :-)

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2002: Napoli and Sorrento to the southern "heel"

Last year Samantha, our eldest daughter came with us. We flew out on Air Italia to pick up a hire car at Roma on 22nd June and returned to UK on 6th July. 2 days at Albano, just south of Roma, then 7 days in Sorrento south of Napoli, then down south, to Lecca and Capo Santa Maria di Leuca, on the southern "heel" tip of Italy. Back up the Adriatic coast to Manfredonia for a night, then into the green mountains west of Isernia - Colli a Volturno - tasty trout :-) Then back for a few hours near the sea south of Latina before returning via Roma Fiumicino to UK. The last time we took Samantha to Italy was over 20 years ago - I remember her in the back of a small hired Fiat 600 shouting "spaghetti !" :-) June and I showed her some now-familiar places, like Roma, Sorrento Pompei and Capri, and we found some new places - maybe also to be visited next year :-)

near the Colosium in Roma.... Ostia Antica near the airport.... Capri daytrip from Sorrento...

Pompei amphitheatre.... waves crashing near Leuca.... Samantha and June in Lecca....

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2001: Firenze-Roma-Napoli-Albenga

Yes, we are slowly begining to think in Italian - for place names at least :-) We flew out to Italy on Friday 18th May, and returned to UK on Monday 4th June; picked up a hire-car at Linate, then two nights at Prato, near Firenze; Then on south to Siena; then Albano south of Roma; nearly a week in Sorrento, across the bay from Napoli and Pompeii; back north to stay with friends in Albenga; then back to Linate and home; a clear day - could see the Alps from 100 miles, including where we stopped for a picnic on the Po River.

Over the bay from Sorrento, Pompeii overshadowed by Vesuvius... theatres... kitchens...

ancient cart-rutted streets... childrens laughter as they play on scented clover lawns...

a gentle stroll from the centre of Albenga, to the seafront, where June has a paddle...
Robin and Luigi... his parents... and a small part of their impressive ancient family home...

and back via a picnic on the River Po to Linate and Sunninghill - with lawns to cut :-(

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2000: Fly-Drive via Milano to Albenga

In 2000 we had another great holiday. But this time we flew to Milano then hired a car: less driving - more time to relax :-) More time to enjoy Albenga, Little Leca and Liguria.

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1999: over 3000 miles in an "old banger" :-)

Prior to 1999, it had been many years since Robin and June last took a holiday to Italy (1981 ?). In June 1991 they decided to "live dangerously" and drive their "old banger" of a Mercedes down through France and around Italy. Places visited included Florence, Rome, Ferrara, Allasio and Albenga. They had a fantastic holiday - made the more enjoyable by meeting some of Robin's "Internet Friends".
Home to Rome

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Albenga, Friends and Florence

Lovely warm weather, even warmer people, fantastic food.....
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Roma - Some in One Day

Rome was hot, and full of 'old and big places' - LOTS of walking that day !

After Trevi Fountains, the Vatican and St Peter's square, back via the Collosium ...
It was great to relax, when we got on our train from Roma back to Monterotondo.
Robin on Train from train June on train
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Campotosto in the Mountains

- a complete 'change of pace' - quiet, but for sounds of sheep bells, and frogs croaking.

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Numarna on Adriatic, Ferrara and Friends

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- then back to Alassio by the Sea

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- and home via Dijon and the Hovercraft

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- with GPS to help us Get Lost :-)

...of course, we HAD to take a Laptop computer and GPS - just in case we got lost - and we still did a few times... well, not so much lost, as took the wrong turning off the road - but the GPS got us back out of difficulty... We humans were less confused than the GPS, everytime we went into a tunnel - and there were a lot of those on our 3000 mile trek - some miles long.

The 'old banger' of a Merc did not let us down... a puncture in Alassio cost us a couple of hours, and 7 GBP for a repair. After we got back, the water pump started to leak, and that cost all of 25 GBP, and a few hours to fit - so 'the old girl' can be congratulated :-) The old brown Mercedes lasted another few months, but then it eventually "died" due to rust - so we sold it for £90 :-) We now have another Mercedes which is a little newer, with registration "C4 GPS" (see for GPS) - so you don't know how old it is :-)

Many Thanks for taking the time to look at these pictures.

Robin and June would like to say sorry now, to all those that we did not have time to see while we were in Italy, and a great big 'Thankyou' to those we did see - and who helped to make this such a wonderful experience. We certainly hope to see Italy again. ....... that was back in 1999. Well, I guess we've been a few time's since :-) GPSS

Caravan Holidays during the 1980's until this below in 1998 ... then we rediscovered Italy !

It's lucky Robin put some pictures of Cornwall in the 1998 Christmas newsletter, linked off our Family page :-)
Tap of Click on the pictures to enlarge, or fingers to stretch, on a Smartphone or Tablet.

GPSS Caravan Holiday in 1998 in Cornwall Caravan Holiday in 1998 in Cornwall GPSS

(c) 1991-2020 Robin Lovelock.
Robin Lovelock, Sunninghill Systems, 22 Armitage Court, Sunninghill, Ascot, Berks SL5 9TA, United Kingdom.


Back to 2020: Flavio & Nanook, 20 years later ... This is from Robin's NEWCAR page: GPS and AI in electric cars ! :-)

white strip AsOnTV Utube video Utube video Utube video Utube video Utube video Nanook white strip

Robin Lovelock from Sunninghill Flavio in Italy John's Tesla This "NEW CAR" page was thrown together quickly, on 9th June 2020, to support a Topic of discussion on the "ROBINLOVELOCKSFRIENDS" Google Group, described and accessed via the bottom of the Covid19 page.

I started with material from the AsOnTV page, which is very appropriate.

It shows my close involvement with advanced technology for cars, from doing an Artificial Intelligence (AI) project, in 1968, at City University and at Ferranti DSD, through NATO , my Business years, until retirement, and talking with my wise friends, here and overseas.

Robin and June met Flavio during that holiday in 1999. Thay gave him a fluffy dog for his young daughter. It is called Nanook, and a member of the family for over 20 years ! :-)

Electric cars, and applying Drone Technology, such as cameras and AI, is a favourite topic of conversation for our Last Of The Summer Wine Team below.

In most things, it's not what you know, but who you know. There are a lot of other friends, or friends of friends, out there ;-) white strip

See Covid19 page for One-Liner" " Flavio in Reggio Emilia, Italy: " ... ... RAI TV ... CF3000 Automotive Electronics ... ". Pioneer; used GPSS ; see Flavio in 1999 Holiday :-) "

Flavio Corradini

Our Ascot and Sunninghill "Last Of The Summer Wine" Team in 2019: Stuart, John, Richard, and Robin. That's Dick from Reading with John and Snoopy :-)

white strip Last of the Summer Wine Team: Stuart and John Last of the Summer Wine Team: Richard and Robin Snoopy's Trio white strip

Covid19 page: John in Ascot,UK: "... B.Sc Biochemistry, School Teacher, Driving Instructor + Robot Wars , Team-Joker , LINK ... " - L-Driver , Snoopy + Lateral Thinker :-)

Who has visited this "Holiday" page ?

Robin Lovelock From Robin: It's very convenient for me, that there are so few visitors to this page: just those given the link. See map and words near end of my Home page ;-)

Visit Counter after reply to Microtransat Group The visit counters may give a rough indication on who else is visiting, or has visited, this page. I don't hide or disguise my visits, but they may appear as "Ascot", or miles away, like "Redhill" or "Southend-on-Sea, England" (on my Lounge PC), or "Southall, England" ( on the Study PC). Positions may not be accurate, but times are. These may change at any time, without control by me. e.g. if we have a power cut, or I reboot a router. So, you may see if I'm "working" in the Study, or "playing" in Lounge :-)

Not all visits are seen, and some browsers hide location, but you may find Revolvermaps livestats for Holiday page interesting. These are visits since 17th June 2024. Or maybe a bit earlier ? :-)

The video on the right shows several guys visiting at the same time, after I posted the link on the Microtransat forum :-)

© 1991-2024 Robin Lovelock.

There have been Hit Counter by Digits visits to this page counted by

Note from Robin in June 2024: Revolvermaps have made changes. I'm experimenting to try and get them working again. They were good for years :-)