2006 SPRING TOUR - LOMBARDY - ITALY

Our spring tour this year was organised by Phil Parham with his friends Andrew and Jean now living in Viadana - North Italy. We traveled via Ryanair to Brescia and then by coach to stay in Sabbionetta; a Medieval "new town" planned and built in the C16 by Vespasiano Gonzaga Collona.


2006 - A00 Italy - Map

2006 - A01 Italy Sabbionetta

2006 - A02 Italy Mantova

2006 - A03 lake in alps 3

2006 - A04 hotel sign

2006 - A05 outside hotel 2

Our first afternoon after checking-in Sabbionetta was spent sight seeing around the town and taking a guided tour of the Medieval City seeing the Garden Palace with the Corridor of the Ancients, the Ancient Theatre, the Ducal Palace, and the Synagogue.


2006 - B00 Italy - Town Plan

2006 - B01 Italy - sabbioneta palace

2006 - B02 Italy - Corridor

2006 - B03 Italy - Palace Ceiling

2006 - B04 Italy - Palace Ceiling

2006 - B05 Italy - Church

2006 - B06 Italy - brick church

2006 - B07 Italy - Theatre Model

2006 - B08 Italy - Theatre Gallery

2006 - B09 Italy - Ducal Palace

2006 - B10 Italy - Synagogue

2006 - B11 Italy - cupola

2006 - B12 Italy - Stret

2006 - B13 Italy - small church

2006 - B14 Italy - Bill and friend

The evening was spent in the company of Andrew and Jean at a local restaurant where we were introduced to the local fayre - many courses of local produce and every flavour of pizza washed down with the local wine - white & red Lambrusco. Then dancing and a hearty sing-song. Later we introduced ourselves to the local tipples of Grappa and Limoncello.


2006 - C01 Italy - At Table

2006 - C02 Italy - Indoor Rapper

2006 - C03 Italy - Free Champagne

Next day (Friday) we went to Viadana which is more an Industrial & Commercial town - where we were scheduled to meet the Mayor. It was market day & we entertained a bemused crowd of shoppers before going into the Town Hall for a civic reception.


2006 - D01 Italy - Viadana Market

2006 - D02 Italy - Viadana Market

2006 - D03 Italy - Viadana Market

Formalities exchanged, we danced in the Council Chamber and took refreshment.


2006 - E01 Italy - Council Chamber

2006 - E02 Italy - Tankard

2006 - E03 Italy - Gifts Received

2006 - E04 Italy - Ode to Joy Bledington

2006 - E05 Italy - Reception

2006 - E06 Italy - Plaque

The outside for a further dancing with the dignitaries of Viadana.


2006 - F01 Italy - Viadana Market

2006 - F02 Italy - Viadana Market

2006 - F03 Italy - Viadana Market

Then off to Mantova which is a significant historic town with magnificent buildings. It was lunchtime & we took this in the grand square and danced after before touring the town. An exceptional visit was to the Theatre where Mozart played at age 14.


2006 - G01 Italy - Mantova

2006 - G02 Italy - Mantova

2006 - G03 Italy - Mantova

2006 - G04 Italy - Mantova Palace

2006 - G05 Italy - Mantova

2006 - G06 Italy - Mantova

2006 - G07 Italy - Mantova the piazza mantova

2006 - G08 Italy - Mantova Theatre

2006 - G09 Italy - Mantova Theatre

2006 - G10 Italy - Mantova

2006 - G11 Italy - Mantova

2006 - G12 Italy - Mantova

2006 - G13 Italy - Mantova

2006 - G14 Italy - Mantovaunderneath the arches 5

2006 - G15 Italy - Mantova

2006 - G16 Italy - Mantova

2006 - G17 Italy - Mantova

2006 - G18 Italy - Mantova

That evening Andrew, Jean and some local Rugby Club Friends took us to a restaurant famed for only serving locally produced food - 70% must be produced locally. This was indeed a feast - of much more variety than the first night and an eye-opener to real Italian cuisine, again washed down with more local wine - followed by dancing.


2006 - H01 Italy - Thanks

2006 - H02 Italy - Mine Hosts

2006 - H21 Italy - Rapper

Saturday we were scheduled to dance for the local middle school in Sabbionetta town. About 200 children turned out and soon got pulled into the ring around us. They were genuinely appreciative - not least when they and their teachers were pulled into a dance.


2006 - I01 Italy - School

2006 - I02 Italy - School

2006 - I03 Italy - School

Then off for coffee courtesy of the local pastry shop.


2006 - J01 Italy - Cafe

2006 - J02 Italy - Cafe

2006 - J03 Italy - Cafe

Before leaving Sabbionetta we dances at the Tourist Information office to say thanks for hosting our tour on Thursday.


2006 - K01 Italy - Tourist Info

2006 - K02 Italy - Tourist Info

2006 - K03 Italy - Tourist Info

2006 - K04 Italy - Tourist Info

2006 - K05 Italy - Tourist Info

2006 - K06 Italy - Tourist Info

The afternoon, we traveled to Viadana and had the option of watching the 6 Nations game Italy vs Wales at the Viadana Rugby Club - or more town sight seeing.


2006 - L01 Italy - Viadana Rugby

2006 - L02 Italy - Viadana Rugby

2006 - L03 Italy - Viadana Rugby

Early evening, we did an hour show in Viadana town centre, a bit quiet at first, but we soon drummed up a crowd. The East Suffolk three checked-in their credentials...


2006 - M01 Viadana Square

2006 - M02 Viadana Square

2006 - M03 Viadana Square

2006 - M04 Viadana Square

2006 - M05 Viadana Square

2006 - M06 Viadana Square

After a short break, we slipping into a local Pizzeria for another feast of local fayre. More singing but no room to dance.


2006 - N01 Viadana Restaurant

2006 - N02 Viadana Restaurant

2006 - N03 Viadana Restaurant

Our thanks again to Andrew and Jean for their magnificent hospitality - and to Lombardy for being such a good region to visit.