This week… monastery, Mad Max and movies

January is always a quiet month in the travel industry and especially so right now. The new year is proving slow to ramp up as we face the challenges of living through a pandemic. So I’m pleased that this week, invitations have started to trickle into my inbox. In addition to grocery deliveries and Zoom coffee mornings, I begin adding conferences and virtual events to my diary, and suddenly 2021 offers possibilities to connect with the world at large over the coming weeks.

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This week… the festive newt, feasting and festivities

More than ever this year it seems we are all looking to nature and simple traditions to soothe our souls. It’s feels like the time to take a slow, deep breath and steady ourselves as the year draws to an end. It’s also a time to be thankful. We got through the roller coaster ride of 2020. There has been sorrow and sadness but we made it. A new year is on the horizon and we need to nurture that little spark of hope for new beginnings. Let’s take the time to find our simple pleasures where we may and follow the pragmatic example of Dame Joan Collins, who declared this week her intention to “squeeze every ounce of joy from life”. The show must go on.

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A life of contemplation: Abbey of Santi Nazaro and Celso

It seems like every town and city in the Piemonte region of north west Italy features a magnificent historical building, or two. If, like me, you appreciate classical architecture, incredible gardens and exquisite frescoes this should be on your list of places to visit. This part of Italy is so different from the sunny climes further south and it has a distinctly Gothic atmosphere.

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