On September 4, I throw my leg over a 700cc motorbike and ride out of Rome towards Tuscany on a 14 day tour of Italy (this assumes I surivive Rome’s traffic and driving on the other side of the road, he says). Then it’s off to Venice for a serious breakfast at Piazza San Marco for my birthday and, possibly, a quick jaunt to Budapest before returning at the end of the month.

And it will all be done with somewhat less urgency than my fellow journeyman below (no, it’s not me) as it will be the first “real” holiday I’ve had since I started my company in 2000 (contrary to popular belief, travelling eight months a year with camera in hand is not quite a holiday). No clients, no deadlines, no having to please anyone really – just Italy at my own pace at a time in life when my body will still allow me to enjoy it.

I couldn’t be more excited.

“Taking a camera?” you may ask …well, yes but only a small compact with the view of recalling the experience – and, even then, no “tourism pictures.” There will be more writing, certainly more eating and, I expect, an unbridled appreciation of the exquisit aesthetics that have emerged from the ancient Italian civilisation and its oh-so-stylish, contemporary culture.

Ci Vediamo.

off riding around Italy

Off riding around Italy (…apologies to Ned Devine)