Celia Hart's blog about what's going on in and around her studio.
Art, printmaking, inspirations, gardening, vegetables, hens, landscapes, wild flowers, East Anglia, adventure, travel.

Friday 24 May 2013

How do you select a holiday destination?

Do you visit the same holiday destination over an over again? Or, do you prefer to visit a different places? And how to you choose where to go?

Earlier this year Cliff and I saw a small exhibition at the Museum of Archaeology and Anthropology in Cambridge, it was about ancient carvings on rocks . . . some were 8000 years old! The exhibition PITOTI "explored the links between the world of archaeology and the world of film, digital humanities and computer vision"What was fascinating was the use of 3D printing to recreate the carving as models you could pick up and handle . . . something I'm sure will be much used in in museum displays in the future.

We found out the carvings are found in the Val Camonica, in Lombardy in northern Italy extending north from Lake Iseo (which is one of the Italian lakes near Como and Garda, but you probably haven't heard of it because it seems that the Italians want to keep it all to themselves!)

Last week we flew to Italy for a holiday, we stayed in Iseo and had a stunning view of Lake Iseo from our room. It was only a short walk to the railway station to catch a train up the valley to Capo di Ponte, the town nearest to a large number of the rock carvings.

I'd be lying if I said we joined the hundreds of other visitors to the Archaeological sights . . . in fact we may have been the only visitors that day! But there were some information boards and signs pointing the way up the hill outside the town.

We found a fenced off area with large boulders in a grassy area at the foot of a cliff . . . the boulders were covered with carvings!

Nearby we spotted a small museum full of photos and casts of most of the significant carvings; there were also some fascinating reconstructions of tools and cutting and carving methods. I think the person who showed us the exhibits was the museum founder, Dr Ausilio Priuli.

We were recommended to walk further up the hill to another park where there were many more carvings on the exposed rock faces.

Some carvings were easy to spot, others were subtle and indistinct; but it was a beautiful place and the rocks were surrounded by beautiful mountain wildflowers and trees.

The views were stunning!

We had a lovely relaxing week in Iseo – catching trains, boats and buses to explore the nearby towns and villages. I'd forgotten just how beautiful Italy is!

I bought vegetable seeds and had a pistachio ice-cream . . . that equals a perfect holiday for me!

Yes it rained at bit, but even the storms are picturesque when it's warm enough to sit outside with your shoes off!

Back home, I'm paddling madly to catch up with work. Fingers crossed the weather warms up this weekend so I can sow those vegetable seeds :-)

But right now I'm going to snuggle up on the sofa with a hot drink and a piece of Amaretto chocolate.

Celia xx


  1. Looks and sounds fantastic.. and yes its ok if wet and warm, looking forward to my trip to Italy soon x

  2. I've so wanted to go back to Italy. Now you've given me a destination!

  3. We stayed beside Lake Iseo at least 25 years ago - it is lovely, quiet and unspoilt and if my memory serves me correctly is the smallest of the lakes. We had a hired car and enjoyed visiting the rock carvings too. Another trip we particularly liked was a visit to the nearby city of Bergamo. It is a place I could return to, thanks for bringing back so many memories for me.

  4. Celia, what a wonderfully surprising post! You've reminded me of the difference in geo scale that lets you see a terrific Cambridge exhibit and actually be able to follow its inspiration all the way to its Italian source.

    The rock carvings are so clear and strong examples of very early graphic design, the power of line, and more. Can you imagine carving these images into the stones. Quite different from ipads....

    I loved your photo of that stormy Italian sky too. Gosh, this is the sort of post that makes me wish that I lived closer. I know it would be fun to chat with you about your trip.

    Now...best wishes to you on the gardening. May the pigeon prevention device be powerful. xo

  5. Sounds like the perfect kind of holiday to me, adventure, discovery and treasure to bring home. The carvings look amazing so graphic and clear, I'd love to see them for real.

  6. Wow Celia, it looks wonderful! I used to choose holidays because we wanted an adventure, go somewhere different, so we went to china, India lots of places in the Far East, and we loved it! Every moment, even the 'scarier' moments were great, but we we young and had no responsibilities!
    Now, having the girls, limited funds (zilch!) it's a campsite by the beach, which is still an adventure! (Although at the moment I'm craving some sun so if ever the opportunity to go somewhere warm came up I'd be there in a flash!)
    I'm hoping to stet seeds sown this weekend, nothing so far, I'm just hoping its not too late! :) x

  7. We booked a holiday to bulgaria yesterday by asking the travel agent what was the cheapest week away from our most local airport on the week we had booked off work *lol*

  8. I think it depends on the holiday. We have been back to Guadaloupe several times. We first chose it because we (a) spoke French (b) I was pregnant and we wanted a last ditch glam holiday without the need for jabs and (c) it looked far less developed than the rest of the Caribbean. Since then we have been back several times and (c) is less the case each time but it is still completely different from the gated communities of the rest of the Caribbean. Now our children are older we switch between family holiday home in the far north east of Scotland and new places. Funds are always limited but the internet makes it so much easier than when we first started our adventures and had to turn up with a toddler a pregnant wife and an optomistic smile.....

  9. Hello, I think this is a wonderful way of selecting a holiday. Archaeological sights, wildlife and beautiful countryside would be the perfect combination for me, too. I remember the Italian Lakes as busy, but then I did stay at Lake Garda in high season.

  10. What a fabulous place! I am, of course, now green with envy!

    Thank you for sharing this Celia ... the world is full of such marvels :)


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