Author Archives: Robyn

About Robyn

Butterfly mind, I move from interest to interest with the true nature of the Renaissance woman. The black hole of information technology has sucked me into its endless, bottomless depths. It also provides me with an income. Italy had become my destination of choice and the focus of my current passion. The language is challenging me, hence the dual language posts. Renaissance art and architecture keeps me endlessly fascinated and the medieval villages and towns keep my camera busy when I visit for my holidays every year. I am owned by a cat named Meg. Saper vedere. (to know how to see) - da Vinci

The prophesy comes true …

I’m not sure if I have mentioned before that I have a recurring nightmare before I travel that I will get to the airport and find I have left my passport at home and there is no time to go back for it. Because of this, the first thing I do as I am packing is to put my passport into my handbag.

Like most modern females, my mobile phone is more or less grafted to my hand. So it might surprise my friends and family that when I got to the airport I discovered it was not in anything I was carrying. I had left it at home.

You don’t realise how much of your life is rolled up in such a small electronic device until you are faced with 5 weeks of not having it close to hand. Since I had been planning to eventually upgrade I suppose this was a sign but then it gets complicated. I keep realising that this or that app that I use all the time needs to be downloaded and reconfigured.

My worst, ongoing problem is the tie between Citibank and my Aussie phone number. My holiday savings are in a Citibank account which I only access when I am … well, on holiday. Trouble is to do ANYTHING you have to enter a special PIN that they text to your phone. That phone is in Sydney with all of those text messages piling up uselessly while I am frittering away the money that should be left alone to pay my bills.

So much for being financially organised.

I have tried emailing them but I haven’t had any response except the usual automatic receipt. If anyone on our Helpdesk was that careless of a customer we would be explaining to the boss from a standing position.

I wonder if leaving my phone at home has broken my recurring passport nightmare or if it has just added another thing to worry about next year.

Categories: Money | Tags: , , | Leave a comment

momenti brillanti

È importante avare esperienze nuove e interesante in la fine settimana.

Un momento scintillante può aiutarmi quando la settimana diventa scura.

Categories: The View from Sydney | Leave a comment

Sono in corsa

Io faccio fretta tutto il tempo!

Salto giù dal letto come un coniglio e mi precipito a vestirmi.

Corro per l’autobus e poi mi precipito in treno.

Per tutto il giorno mi affretto a rispondere al telefono e rispondere alle domande dei miei clienti.

In sera corro per il treno e poi mi sbrigo sul bus.

Io faccio fretta tutto il tempo!

Ho bisogno di una vacanza.

Categories: Italian, The View from Sydney | Leave a comment

In vacanze

Ieri sera ho sognato in italiano. Le vacanze devono essere vicine!

Categories: Italian, Language | Leave a comment

Why didn’t you tell me earlier

A favourite activity in Firenze is to visit the bookshops. There are always books in English, not only offering information about what to see, where to eat and how to speak, but also books on Italian life and culture. I have recently picked up one entitled Italian Life Rules by an expat American, Ann Reavis. It was published in 2014 and it explains much of my bewilderment about my experience with the local people. In simple terms it all comes down to my shoes.

Categories: Books | 2 Comments


I have returned, once again, from 5 weeks enjoying the experience of exploring Firenze and Roma. When I left Australia just before Christmas, I fully intended to write regular updates to my collection of stories about my experiences in the places that I love, however, I became so engrossed in my days and keeping my physical journal that I never got around to writing the digital stories. I know that one or two people, at least, checked in to see if there was something new and I thank you for your loyalty. How do I know? Well, Facebook lets me know.

I have plans of recalling some of my adventures in the days and weeks to come to relive the memories of the last 5 weeks so, if you are still interested in coming on the journey with me then please keep your eyes open for updates. In the meantime, I did regularly upload my photographs to Instagram as I was on the go so check in the at Oz Planner for tasters.

Categories: The View from Sydney | Leave a comment

A Spin Around the Block

When a friend in Sydney suggested that I have been spending a bit too much time doing indoor things like visiting museums and galleries I decided that maybe I should take a bit of a walk around the block today. It took me 5 hours and I covered just on 7 kilometres. In that 7 kilometres, I found many things to engage my interest. Continue reading

Categories: Archeology, Museums, Roma, Sighteeing | Tags: , , , , , , | 1 Comment


I am wandering up Via Cavour. It is 2:30 in the afternoon and the only thing on my mind is where I should go to get something to eat for lunch. It could be said that it is somewhat late to be thinking about lunch but I did get up from my comfortable warm bed at an embarrassingly late hour. Here I keep my room very dark for expressly the purpose of sleeping late. Continue reading

Categories: Firenze | Tags: , | Leave a comment

Murphy messes with money

IMG_6427For the fortunate few who have never come across Murphy’s Law, it goes:-

Anything that can go wrong, will go wrong.

Having had an anxious few days in a country where my bank is not, I thought that I might offer a few thoughts on managing your travel funds and avoiding messing with Murphy. Continue reading

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Museum Surprises

About 6 months ago I wrote a post which lists many of the museums and galleries in Firenze. I divided it into two parts, those I had visited and those I still have to see. My plan was to just strike through the plan-to-see places and add them to the bin-there, done-that list as I visited. The current spell of wet weather has been ideal for spending time indoors and I have managed three strike-throughs so far. My original idea was not to comment any further above maintaining the list, however, in the words of Robbie Burns “the best laid plans of mice and men often go awry“. Continue reading

Categories: Archeology, Firenze, History, Museums | Tags: , , , | Leave a comment

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