Getting back in the swim of an Italian holiday - Fiona Duff

So, after filling in forms, having a swab shoved down my throat and up my nose not to mention trying to work out what to pack, I made it to Italy. Of course, as soon as I stepped on the plane the sun hit Scotland. Flaming typical.

Thursday, 9th September 2021, 8:00 am
Covid tests are a price worth paying to enjoy la vita bella

However, the good weather away from home is different. I don’t have to worry about the mess in our home or be distracted by other mundane chores.

In fact, I am rather hoping that the cat is doing some ironing and a spot of light dusting in our absence. To be honest that is more likely than my 20-year-old daughter lifting a finger, apart from texting her friends to announce she’s got an Empty.

Here it stays warm enough to sit outside until midnight, which we have done every evening, and the food somehow tastes better. The downside to the latter is that I shall definitely be returning with the waistband on my trousers straining somewhat.

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My friend, with whom I am staying pretty much lives here all year round and while I love visiting, I doubt I would want to stay here full time.

For one thing l am hopeless at learning foreign languages. I am in awe of Jen as she babbles away to the locals, or picks up the phone and books a table at a restaurant.

Then again I am not sure if I am as bad as my husband. He and a friend of his decided to learn Italian a few years ago. They went to the beginners course for three years and still can’t do much more than order a beer. Needless to say that they are quite happy with this result, and use their skill as often as possible.

Talking of alcohol, it’s amazing how cheap the wine is in this country. Over the years we have discovered several places which will fill up a five-litre flagon with extremely quaffable grape juice for around €10. It’s strange how it evaporates so quickly in the heat. Note to reader - revert to comment on Mediterranean diet.

Still, being on holiday out of Scotland for the first time in over a year isn’t about worrying over the size of my stomach nor liver. The only concern is whether I have slathered enough sun cream on my pealy skin.

With our flight back on Saturday we now have to book another test and complete further forms. But, that can wait until tomorrow - right now the swimming pool beckons.