Where's Frankie?

Looking forward to Villa Manin

Tuesday 18th October

Sunday morning was grey and misty but that wasn’t going to keep us away from the Villa.

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The front gates with fish ponds either side. 

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And the reverse view from inside the Villa. The stone arches enclose a huge area and if you turn around…

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More columns with the villa itself in the background. The Villa was built by a rich Florentine banking family and the upkeep must have been immense. The entry charge is usually €10 each but since work is being done we have free access to part of the Villa.

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The first room that we walked into was beautiful, not sure it is somewhere I would want to live but for entertaining the neighbours…

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And the second room, again very impressive. And that was it, very glad we didn’t have to pay because all the other rooms are closed off. Apparently everything will reopen in November and if the rest of the house is half as impressive as the two rooms we’ve been in you’ll be impressed.

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There is a lot of tidying up to do at the back as well. The attached gardens stretched for as far as you could see (it was misty) and when built resembled the gardens at Versaille. Now it is mainly laid to lawn.

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A quick look at the map showed a point of interest not too far away and amazingly it had a free sosta for 10 units. Luckily for us there were only two other vans there because the bays were not for Frankie sized lumps, you might have got 10 day vans squeezed in. Whilst eating our lunch we noticed lots of people returning to the car park with bags. We’ve barely been in Italy a week but can recognise something strange straight away, siesta time on a Sunday and people are shopping!! 

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It’s market day, all the usual fruit and vegetable stalls but Xmas is coming and all the Xmas decorations are on show.

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I managed to get off very lightly, a 3l box of apple juice was the only outlay. We are in Portobuffonte, 30 miles from the sea but there is a port here which was used for bringing salt to one of the main trade routes. In the background is the salt Customs House.

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One of the many displays of pumpkins and squashes, halloween is coming so we have checked the Italian halloween customs to make sure we don’t get caught out again. During our first year travelling in France there was a knock at the door from trick or treaters. No sweets other than travel sweets and by the third door knocking I was having to sing to the poor little kids as a punishment (for them or me was never made clear). Second year out we were prepared with a big bucket of sweets but no one came knocking. Trick or treat doesn’t seem to be a big thing here but I’m sure we’ll have to buy a couple of boxes of chocolates just in case.

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Since the sosta wasn’t that big, or that great we moved on to Treviso which to be honest was slightly rough but next door to a Police station so we felt reasonably safe and wandered into the city. Treviso is famous for radicchio, United Colours of Benneton and it’s canals. Nothing like Venice (which we won’t be visiting, we’ve both been before) but still with it’s own charm. The river was diverted through the town in the 19th century.

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Attractive building stone is very rare in this area so most buildings have been plastered and painted, some with intricate patterns but during the second world war almost 50% of the town was destroyed in one evening. It’s still Sunday and there are still some shops open!

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Beer of the day was every bit as naff as it sounds, they won’t get done under the trades description act.

On Monday we moved on in the general direction of south and reached a small town called Adria. They have a small sosta holding 4 motorhomes on the edge of town with free water, elsan, waste and electric. We didn’t really need the electric since our batteries were showing 95% even after a week without hookup but if it is there, we’ll have it. A walk into town was very disappointing, nothing was open and I saw nothing worth taking a photo of at all. The sosta was very quite though.


Next morning we continue our voyage south, about 50 miles a day is a good speed for us but we really would like to catch the sun up soon. Lucy checked the guide books for Ravenna and it sounded very interesting, I found a sosta and off we went. My sosta was at Marina de Ravenna, about 6 miles from the town centre so we might pop in there tomorrow. What we do have is a very long beach, a huge harbour and the longest breakwater I have ever seen. It must be about 2 miles long so for our daily exercise w walked to the end and back. Along the way were five of these fishing net structures. We’ve seen much smaller versions before but these looked like they had cabins, kitchens and living areas. Some had satellite TV. The sun is trying hard to burn away the mist, fingers crossed things get warmer tomorrow, my tan is starting to fade.

5 thoughts on “Looking forward to Villa Manin

  1. Giorgio

    Great blog about Villa Manin – thank you.

    So you are now in Emilia-Romagna, the bread basket of Italy, from tagliatelle, lasagne, cappelletti, ravioli and tortellini with ragu’ in Bologna to parma ham and parmiggiano reggiano [parmesan] in Parma to balsamic vinegar in Modena.

    Most ,importantly you are in Ravenna which has art, history and culture in every corner. In particular, it is known for its fifth century mosaics. Walking through the city centre is like reliving ancient history.

    The city was also rediscovered thanks to visitors like Lord Byron, Oscar Wilde, Sigmund Freud and Gustav Klimt. More recently [read today?] Mark and Lucy…can’t wait for the next post.
    if it is hot, head for the nearby coast.

    p.s. forget beer, if you can, for a couple of days and enjoy Alabana, Lambrusco, Sangiovese, Trebbiano.
    and as you like your cars, how about Ferrari, Lamborghini e Maserati for a start?

    1. Mark Post author

      Just read your comments after writing and posting. Revanno was fantastic but we didn’t see Byron, Wilde, Freud or Klimt. Weather is still a bit too cool, had to wear trousers again today but we are near a beach, Rimini. Bit like Margate, passed it’s best but we will explore.
      I’ve made a note of the wine, have been having some bottles of Chianti as well as the beer – I can multitask.
      How on earth Italy managed to make some of the most desireable cars in the world escapes me. I was going to have a little motoring rant today but that can wait until tomorrow.

    1. Mark Post author

      Thanks for the comments.
      I’m not a camera expert so I joined a local camera club for a year before setting out on our voyage and forced myself to submit photos into their monthly competitions – it really did help.
      I have a Canon 70d with the 18-135mm kit lens but the Ivory Throne photo today was taken on my phone and yesterdays photo of the fishing nets was taken on a Nikon Coolpix. I think it is the post processing that I do.
      I always shoot in raw, import the photos into Lightroom (the pre subscription version) and process according to a huge number of Youtube videos made by Serge Ramelli. He has hundreds of videos and the process to start is almost always the same. The only other program I use is HDR Efects Pro by Nik Software (which I believe is now free) to process the HDR photos. Many of the places we visit are dark so you need to use HDR although I have just found the handheld night panorama setting on the Canon. If you need any help email me at mark@wheresfrankie.co.uk

  2. Giorgio

    Q – How on earth Italy managed to make some of the most desireable cars in the world …

    A – The Italians probably got bored with mosaics and churches and tried their hand at making cars. Not a bad result.

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