I think my favourite country in the world is Italy. At Uni, I studied Roman History and couldn’t wait to visit Rome to see the Colosseum and ruins around the city. I’ve been to Italy four times now, the last time being in 2008 on our way to Portugal. Hubby wanted to visit South America and thought Rome would be boring. What the?

But I finally convinced him and we spent five wonderful days in Rome. Even hubby will admit it was one of our most enjoyable holidays. We rented a small apartment not far from the Vatican and, despite the searing heat, walked all over the city. We visited all the tourist spots sure but the best thing we did was eat in non-touristy areas. So we really appreciated the freshness and taste of Italian food.

Universe: should there be such a thing as reincarnation, I want to be reborn Italian please. You can check out my 2008 Rome photos here. Go on, knock yourself out. On Flickr, I use my middle two names – Victoria Evans – I’m not stealing the identity of some other person. When I finally finish my novel, it will be published under this name – there’s wishful thinking for you! I’ve written the first chapter at least. But I digress.

One of the things I most associate with memories of Rome are the tree canopies that act as backdrops to famous sites. Mostly common pine trees, the tree silhouettes are wonderful to see in the early morning or late afternoon light. The other day, I was walking around Hagley Park, glanced to my left and suddenly thought I was in Rome again. Similar tree shapes and silhouettes.

Ah Christchurch: what an amazing city. It looks English with all its willow trees and the Avon River but it’s got a touch of the Italian about it. Bellissima!