Thursday 25th June 2015
After much sorting of dog minders and interminable packing we left 20 Avebury Drive in the hands of Southern Cross limos who helpfully provided a Turkish driver. He was able to prepare us very effectively for the Turkish national activity of haggling over everything and how to negotiate coffee selection (and did a great job avoiding a major accident hold up on the Tullamarine Freeway. Singapore Airlines provided a fantastic flight with only a 90 minute stopover in Singapore to change planes.
This trip has been five years in the saving and planning with many books read and much consultation of trip advisor. Initially I read hugely on the history of Sicily espccially the Normans in Sicily by John Julius Norwich but when the time came to get serious Sicily had to go and so did Krakow and Vienna. I read Burckhardt on the Renaissance twice; Cellini and Vasari on the painters; The huge illustrated Ars Sacra, The Rolf Tollman books on Rome, The Renaissance, Gothic, Romanesque and Baroque; The Art Treasures of Italy; The Folio Best 100 paintings; The Louvre..All the Paintings; The Vatican..All the Paintings; Pevsner: The Architecture of Europe; and quite a few other reference works too many to mention.