208 – Alison, Shannon and Niamh’s Summer Break at Tre Cancelle – Part 2


Recently we have had the pleasure of getting to know a lovely Italian family who live in Italy, although Santo originates from Sicily. They have a large family with two grown up sons, Ivano and Jordan, three daughters, two of them are in their teens, Miriam and Sharon, and then there is the piccolina  Ysabel who is just 5.

We thought it would be a good opportunity for Shannon and Niamh to meet Anna, Santo and their girls.  Shannon had studied Italian for a couple of years when she was at school, so has some knowledge of the language, although perhaps a little rusty.

Anna, Santo and their daughters popped in to see us one afternoon so that they could meet the Shannon, Alison and Niamh. Anna speaks English fairly well, and Miriam and Sharon are also keen students and would like to develop their language skills.


Niamh, Alison, Shannon, Anna, Santo Miriam, Ysabel, Aneurin and Max

Anna invited us to their home in Itri for “afternoon tea” which was lovely.  Anna then said she would like to teach us how to make pasta and so we organised a date, time and the venue, which was to be Tre Cancelle.  Sadly Alison wasn’t going to be able to take part in this, as her two week holiday had just about come to and end and before long she was winging her way back home.

On the designated afternoon Santo, Anna and the girls arrived and Anna was keen to get started.  Sharon and Miriam started to prepare the meatballs and the tomato sugo, in which they were to be cooked.




To make the pasta Anna used 2 kilos of Italian 00 type flour, also known as farina di grano tenero, and 12 eggs.

(I would just like to point out that this made a huge quantity, so perhaps it would be better to at least halve the quantity). 

I thought Anna would use an electric mixer to blend the pasta mixture, but no !!! Anna stated that it was better to get your hands in there, so as to be able to feel the consistency of the dough.



At first it became a sticky mess !!!


However, as they continued working the dough by kneading and stretching the mixture it gradually began to come together and eventually  form a smooth soft ball.


Then this was left to rest for a little while.  Anna had brought along her manually operated pasta machine.  I have one too, however I must admit it sits right at the back of one of my kitchen cupboards, and to my shame I have only used it once.

The dough was then divided up into small lumps.

Little Ysabel wanted to help too.



The rollers of the pasta machine had been set to the thickest setting. One by one the lumps of pasta dough were coaxed into the machine’s roller mechanism.  Then as the handle was turned it began to churn out strips of pasta.


This was just the first rolling.



The strips were then laid out on a clean surface to dry for a few minutes.


The pasta roller mechanism was then adjusted to a slightly thinner setting and the pasta strips were once again fed into the machine, which duly churned out slightly longer and thinner strips of pasta.

Once again the pasta had to be laid out on a clean surface to dry for a few minutes. We were running out of space in our kitchen !!!

The roller was adjusted once more and the pasta rolled out.




Now ….  Was the pasta thin enough? 

No, Anna thought it needed one more rolling !!!

“Che pazienza !!!”


Finally the sheets of pasta were of the right thickness.  So the next step was to feed the strips through a different set of rollers which had a cutting attachment that had been adjusted to make tagliatelle.



Brava Anna !!!



Mamma Mia !!!  Pasta Galore !!! Tante tagliatelle !!!


The tagliatelle were left to dry out a little. We had made such a large quantity that we bagged some up to put in the freezer.


A huge saucepan was put on the gas hob and filled with water.  A little salt was added. Once the water was bubbling the tagliatelle were added a little at a time.  This freshly made pasta only needed a few minutes to cook and then the pasta was drained in a colander.

The meatballs were removed from the rich tomato sugo.


 The sauce was added to the drained tagliatelle

and the pasta tossed so that all of it was evenly coated. 


The meatballs and a little extra sugo were served on top with of course

a generous sprinkling of parmeggiano.


Buon Appetito !!! Mangia !!!

We all ate “al fresco” out on the terrace.

Buonissimo !!!


Niamh, Shannon and Anna


Miriam, Sharon,

Niamh, Shannon and Anna


Miriam, Santo, Sharon,

Niamh, Shannon and Anna

Thank you to Anna, Santo and their girls for sharing this fun packed afternoon and evening with us. 

It was such a wonderful experience for us all.




Sisters !!!

Some of the other things that Shannon, Niamh and Alison achieived / enjoyed during their stay here at Tre Cancelle included:

Helping Paul to re-build a dry stone wall, helping to prepare the apartments for guests, helping me (Louise) with some jewellery making,  a trip to the beach at Sant’Agostino, wandering around the local markets of Gaeta and Fondi, sunbathing and cooling off in the swimming pool, and of course sampling ice-cream.



The girls are real animal lovers and have numerous pets at home.

They also helped out with the horses

which were proving to be ardent escapologists.


Paul has been feeding a stray cat for several months now, a big white fluffy thing and just recently, during the girls’ stay, two more cats have turned up here, The girls have named them “Starla” and “Chester” and we’ve also caught a fleeting glance of a little kitten.


Shannon and Niamh also helped to bath the dogs, and generally spoiled them by giving them lots of treats, fuss and attention ……




….. especially Max.




Sorry Paul, I just had to sneak this picture in !!!


Just to say “Thank You” girls for all your help,

your great company and for sharing with us your fun and laughter !!!

Niamh is to return to Tre Cancelle

soon with her parents and other sisters Caitlin and Bethan.


Soon after getting back to the UK,

Shannon and Alison attended their graduation ceremony

and they are both about to start their new jobs.


Well done girls and good luck with your future careers !!!



Tre Cancelle Farmhouse Apartments Near Sperlonga and Itri in South Lazio

207 – Alison, Shannon and Niamh’s Summer Break at Tre Cancelle – Part 1

Alison, Shannon, Niamh

In June we welcomed Shannon, Niamh and Alison to Tre Cancelle.  This was not to be their first visit, especially for Shannon and Niamh who have stayed with us many many times now, in fact we are practically like family.  The three girls had just completed their exams, Shannon and Alison had just taken their finals at university and Naimh her ‘A’ Levels. They now had some well deserved time off and we hoping to relax a little and unwind from the stresses and strains of the last new months. Shannon and Niamh, who are sisters, were to stay for a month with us, and Alison for 2 weeks. They very kindly volunteered to help with a few jobs around Tre Cancelle during their time with us.

Alison, Shannon, Niamh

Alison, Shannon, Niamh

The grass and weeds in the olive groves had grown almost waist high, and if left like this would become a definite fire risk during the hot and dry summer months.  Since his heart problems Paul does not have the energy to strim all the grounds, so Pietro had recently brought back some of his horses to graze under the olive trees and at the same time do a little natural fertilization !!!  This time there were 6 mares, and old Pino came back just for a few days.  Alison is a lover of horses so she was in her element.





The girls’ visit coincided with Kay and Elsie being here for a few days. Last year Kay and Elsie drove to Tre Cancelle from South Wales.

Here is Kay relaxing in the pool.


We were all invited to have lunch with our American friends, Pat and Melinda, at their apartment in the characteristic Medieval town of Minturno.  Their property has a beautiful sun terrace with a magnificent panorama of the Campania coastline and plains.



Elsie and Kay



The following day Shannon and Alison were on tenterhooks as the results of their final exams were due to be published imminently.  Suddenly we heard high pitched screaming and screeching !!! The girls were elated !!! Both Shannon and Alison had obtained first class honour degrees. 

We decided to celebrate with a bottle of bubbly to congratulate them both on their wonderful achievements.


Shannon and Alison’s visit also coincided with the arrival of our grandson Aneurin, his Mum Emma and another of our good friends, Michäel.

We all decided to celebrate being together by going for a meal at one of our favourite restaurants in Campodimele. Pat and Melinda have nicknamed it as the “Gas Station”. They decided to tag along with us too.  I have written about the “Casareccia” restaurant before,  Maria’s food there is simply divine !!!















Alison, Shannon and Niamh were inspired to do some cooking of their own.  Our amareno cherry trees had a bountiful crop this year.  The girls and Aneurin helped to de-stone them.



Some were to be used to make jam. Some were bagged ready to go into the freezer and some were set aside to make a bottle or two of cherry liqueur (see more about making liqueurs below).


This was the girls’ first attempt at jam making.




They also had a go at making some lemon marmalade.


They baked a cake or two …..


….. and then tried their hand at making scones to go with the jam.


The scones came out of the oven more like biscuits.  Shannon named them the “Scones of Death” !!!  Paul still devoured them anyway and lived to tell the tale !!!


Now moving on to Making Liqueurs. 

Melinda was keen to have a try at making some home-made liqueurs, and she started using some of our amarena cherries, and some white mulberries that had been gifted to us by Frank. I had never seen white mulberries before. Shannon was more than happy to assist Melinda.

The cherries were washed and then dropped one by one into a large wine bottle. When each of the bottles were approximately two thirds full neat alcohol was added until it covered all the fruit. The fruit in the alcohol then has to be left to steep for between 30 or 40 days.  Ideally you need to shake the bottles from time to time.

After this period the mixture must then be strained and filtered to remove the fruit from the liquor.  Next between 300 and 500 grams of sugar  is slowly dissolved in a pan containing a litre of warm water to make a clear syrup, Then this must be left to cool thoroughly.  The infused alcohol is then diluted with the sugar syrup using about the same amount of syrup to alcohol, however some people may elect to add a little less if they want the liqueur to pack a real punch.

Melinda and Shannon carried out the same procedure with the mulberries.

Next – Walnut Liqueur

This liqueur is traditionally made on the feast day of St John the Baptist which falls on the 24th June. So we took 24 green immature walnuts from our tree. These then needed to be cut into quarters and placed into a larger bottle with a wider neck, such a demi-john or kilner jar.  A cinnamon stick, a vanilia pod and 5 cloves were then added and enough alcohol to cover the fruit, and were then set aside to steep as above.


Next – Cedrino Liqueur

In our garden with have a cedrino or lemon verbena bush, the leaves when crushed between one’s fingers give off a wonderful lemon aroma.   We gathered 120 cedrino leaves and dropped them into a large wine bottle.



We then added the rinds of 4 lemons and topped the bottle up with a litre of alcohol and left it to steep.



Let’s wait and see how all the liqueurs come out !!!

Melinda can’t wait !!!

photos except where indicated are © me, Louise Shapcott, Shannon White and Melinda Abbott


Last year Last year Kay and Elsie drove to Tre Cancelle from South Wales:

182 – Kay and Elsie’s 2014 Mega Road Trip To Italy

A previous post about the Casareccia Restaurant:

177 – Ristorante La Casareccia In Campodimele


TCTitleTre Cancelle Farmhouse Apartments Near Sperlonga and Itri in South Lazio

205 – Aneurin’s Italian Holiday 2015


We haven’t been able to make a trip back to the UK for some time now, and I must admit that sometimes I do feel homesick, with regard to seeing our family, especially our grandchildren.  So we were delighted to hear that Emma, Michael and youngest grandson Aneurin had booked flights for a little Italian holiday. 

They spent the first few days in Firenze where they stayed in a lovely BnB called Casa Palmira which they would highly recommend.  They also greatly enjoyed taking in many of the beautiful sights of Florence.

They all then drove down to Itri.  My goodness how Aneurin has grown.  He is now 4½ years old, and quite tall for his age.

 We celebrated their arrival with a meal at the Bellavista Restaurant.

Aneurin just loves pizza !!!


And Italian chocolate ice-cream !!!


He loves having his photo taken while he is pulling funny faces !!! He has such a charming character. I could see him perhaps becoming an actor or some sort of performer in years to come.




Aneurin loved his frolicks in the pool even though it was a little on the chilly side for some !!! The weather has been quite cool so far this summer.







Chiara came to play, however her Mamma thought it was too cool for swimming in the pool. It seems that we Brits are of sturdier stock !!!



As you can see Aneurin seems to have no fear !!!




Also 5 year old Isabel and her family paid us a visit.




Alas, Aneurin’s  five days in Itri passed so quickly,

and too soon we had to say our good-byes.

We miss you and our other two fine young grandsons,

Jamie and Tommy, so much !!!

We hope we can manage to organise a trip back to the UK

perhaps in the Autumn.

Sending love and hugs to you all

Nonna and Nampi


All photos by me © Louise Shapcott

#holiday #itri #italy #TreCancelle



Tre Cancelle Farmhouse Apartments Near Sperlonga Beaches and Historic Itri, South Lazio, Italy

200 – Always a Warm Welcome at the Bellavista


We have some very close friends that run a Restaurant and Pizzeria in Itri.   The Bellavista is situated up on a hillside overlooking Itri with a splendid view of the Castle and old town  nestling in the beautiful Aurunci mountains.



The Bellavista is a family business run by two brothers, Giancarlo and Massimo, and their Mamma Anna.  The restaurant has a relaxed and friendly atmosphere and the tasty food is quite reasonably priced.


We are always made so welcome there and it is one of Kay and Elsie’s favourite places when they visit us in Itri, and we recommend it to many of our friends and guests.





Giancarlo and Monica have a sweet little girl named Chiara.




They already have Chiara helping in the kitchen to make pizzas from time to time !!!





Occasionally Massimo kindly gives our friends a lesson in the art of pizza making.  It is not as easy as you may think.  Here is Massimo teaching Bethan some of the special techniques.  

The prepared dough had been been made the day before.  It was shaped into small balls and had been covered with a damp cloth and left to prove overnight.

By the next evening the risen balls of dough were ready.  A floured work surface was prepared and each one of the little rounds of dough had to be gently flattened by pressing out with the fingertips, whilst at the same time the dough had to be rotated to maintain a circular shape. Here Bethan is preparing some Focaccia.


Then Massimo demonstrated how he lifts up the dough and gently stretches it over his knuckles and over the backs of his hands, and as the pizza stretches more and more then over his lower arms.  The dough has to be finely stretched and manipulated to become thin, almost transparent, without creating any holes.



Bethan was really getting the hang of it. Well done Bethan !!!


Bethan made her Focaccia into a heart shape and drizzled it with some olive oil which she spread over the surface with her finger-tips. Finally a sprinkling of sea salt and some finely chopped rosemary can be added if required.  The next tricky stage is to get the dough onto the pizza paddle and to transport it to the wood fired oven, where it only needs a few minutes to cook.





Eccoci qua – Bethan’s Focaccia.


All photos by me © Louise Shapcott

#pizza #focaccia #bellavista #LaBellavista #pizzeria #restaurant #ristorante #itri #italy #southlazio



Tre Cancelle Farmhouse Apartments Near Sperlonga Beaches and Historic Itri, South Lazio, Italy

197 – Buon Compleanno Ysabel


Recently we were invited to yet another birthday celebration, by our friends Anna and Santo.  Santo is originally from Sicily and misses his birthplace greatly.  How I would like to visit Sicily one day.

These festivities were for their daughter little Ysabel who was 5 years old.

(Just 55 years younger than poor old Kay and Elsie !!! but my time will come when I am 60 in a couple of years time – where does the time go !!!)

Ysabel is a little “sweet heart” and very comical !!!

Here I think I will let the photos do the talking ….

Birthday Itri Italy

Birthday Itri Italy

Birthday Itri Italy

Birthday Itri Italy

Birthday Itri Italy

Riccotta Pie Dessert

Birthday Cake Italy

Birthday Cake Itri Italy

Happy Birthday Ysabel and may you have many, many more happy ones !!!

Birthday Itri Italy

Isabel's Birthday Itri Italy

Isabel's Birthday Itri Italy

Family Itri Italy

Family Itri Italy

Thank you for inviting us to share this special day with you and your lovely family. Dear friends, my dream is that one day you will be able to meet my family too.

 Auguri !!!

I hope you like the photos.

All photos by me © Louise Shapcott

#birthday #compleanno #itri #italy #southlazio



Tre Cancelle Farmhouse Apartments

Near Sperlonga Beaches and Historic Itri, South Lazio, Italy

196 – Helping Hands In The Groves


A few days after Elsie’s party a couple more good friends arrived from Cardiff, Nicki and Callum, who had volunteered to help out for a week in the “Tre Cancelle” olive groves.  This was their second visit to Itri. 

Sadly this year once again we had no olives.  It is not just us, though, it is the same in many of the olive groves in Itri, because there were strong winds back in early May when the trees are in bloom and the flowers failed to set. 

We have recently got some workers in to help with some pruning in the lower section of the grove, and they had left behind piles of branches and twigs that littered the ground. 

Pruning Olive Grove Itri Italy

The job in hand was then to chomp out and separate the chunky branches from the smaller twiggy ones, called “frasche”, using pneumatically powered secateurs.

Then all the small branches have to be gathered up and burned.

Pruning Olive Grove Itri Italy

Bonfire Pruning Olive Grove Itri Italy

The burn ferociously because of the amount of oil in the sap.

We all got stuck in and worked our cotton socks off for several days and managed to clear several of the terraces.  In fact it became a quite a challenge as to how many terraces we could conquer.   Callum is only 14 but he worked so hard. Nicki you should be so proud of him.

Bonfire Pruning Olive Grove Itri Italy

Pruning Olive Grove Itri Italy

Pruning Olive Grove Itri Italy


Pruning Olive Grove Itri Italy

Firewood Pruning Olive Grove Itri Italy

Dog Max Olive Grove Itri Italy

Max Olive Grove Itri Italy

Sunset in Olive Grove Itri Italy

However, it wasn’t all work and no play that week.

We all went out for a special birthday meal at the “Casareccia” in Campodimele and were joined once again by our American friends from Ohio, Florisa and Patrizia.

Meal at  La Casareccia Campodimele Italy

Meal at  La Casareccia Campodimele Italy

Meal at  La Casareccia Campodimele Italy

Meal at  La Casareccia Campodimele Italy

Once again Maria served up copious amounts of wonderful handmade delicacies.

Meal at  La Casareccia Campodimele Italy

Meal at  La Casareccia Campodimele Italy

Callum is a keen young cook and whilst staying at Tre Cancelle he made a fabulous chocolate cake.

Chocolate Cake Tre Cancelle

Chocolate Cake Tre Cancelle

You can come and stay again Callum !!!

On their last evening we took Callum, Nicki and Kay to the Bellavista.

Here Callum had a one to one lesson in art of pizza making, by the expert himself – Massimo !!!

Making Pizzas at La Bellavista Restaurant Itri Italy

Making Pizzas at La Bellavista Restaurant Itri Italy

It’s not as easy as it looks !!!  It is all about stretching the dough.

Making Pizzas at La Bellavista Restaurant Itri Italy

Callum made a special pizza for his mum ……

Making Pizzas at La Bellavista Restaurant Itri Italy

Making Pizzas at La Bellavista Restaurant Itri Italy

Making Pizzas at La Bellavista Restaurant Itri Italy

Making Pizza at Bellavista Restaurant Itri Latina Italy

Pizza at the Bellavista Restaurant Itri Latina Italy

Bellavista Restaurant Itri Latina Italy

Bellavista Restaurant Itri Latina Italy

Bellavista Restaurant Itri Latina ItalyNicki, Anna and Kay

Thank you Kay, Callum and Nicki

for all your support and hard work during that busy week. 

We couldn’t have done it without you !!!

#olives #gaetaolives #itriitaly #lacasarecciacampodimele #bellavistaitri



Tre Cancelle Farmhouse Apartments

Near Sperlonga Beaches and Historic Itri, South Lazio, Italy

195 – Elsie’s Special Birthday


In November, to celebrate Elsie’s milestone birthday, Elsie, Kay and another friend Brenda decided to take a few days holiday in Sicily, a place Elsie had always longed to visit.  They rented a small apartment in the centre of Palermo and experienced first hand Sicilian life in this hectic city. On Elsie’s birthday Kay organised a sight seeing trip in a traditional horse drawn carriage, followed by a special meal.

Horse drawn carriage Palermo Sicily Italy

Birthday in Palermo Sicily Italy

Palermo Sicily Italy

Palermo Sicily Italy

Park in Palermo Sicily Italy

Park in Palermo Sicily Italy

Palermo Sicily Italy

Evening in Palermo Sicily Italy

They also managed to fit in a day trip to the seaside resort of Cefalù.

lthough it was November the weather was beautifully warm and Brenda was able to have a paddle in the sea.

Beach at Cefalù Sicily Italy

Beach at Cefalù Sicily Italy

Harbour at Cefalù Sicily Italy

Fish Market in Sicily Italy

Meanwhile back in Itri I was busy preparing a surprise birthday party for Elsie at the Bellavista restaurant with some live music by our friends Santo and Anna.

Elsie was really shocked as she entered the room as assembled were many of our friends from Itri and some other American friends from Minturno.

Birthday at the Bellavista Restaurant Itri Italy

Birthday at the Bellavista Restaurant Itri Italy

Birthday at the Bellavista Restaurant Itri Italy

Florisa and I had baked a special cake.

Birthday at the Bellavista Restaurant Itri Italy

Birthday at the Bellavista Restaurant Itri Italy

Birthday at the Bellavista Restaurant Itri Italy

Birthday at the Bellavista Restaurant Itri Italy

Birthday at the Bellavista Restaurant Itri Italy

Birthday at the Bellavista Restaurant Itri Italy

The next day was to be my friend Florisa’s birthday, so after midnight we celebrated hers too.

Birthday at the Bellavista Restaurant Itri Italy

Thanks to everyone for making it such a memorable joyous occasion.

Photos by Kay McRobbie

#birthdayparty #bellavista #itri #pizzeria #restaurant



Tre Cancelle Farmhouse Apartments Near Sperlonga Beaches and Historic Itri, South Lazio, Italy

184 – August Ferragosto


“Ferragosto” falls on the 15th August and is to celebrate the feast of the Assumption.  It is roughly equivalent to the British August Bank Holiday, and when the whole of Italy grinds to a halt.  In more affluent times many Italians would take the whole of the month of August as their holiday, still many shops and business post up notices “Chiuso Per Ferie”, meaning closed for the holidays. However in these days, with the present problems and the “crisi” in Italy many families can only afford to take a week or so as holidays, some only a day or two around Ferragosto. 

Ferragosto Augustus Pontifex Maximus

Augustus Pontifex Maximus

It’s name is derived from the Latin phrase “Feriae Augusti” as  its origins date right back to pre-Christian times when the emperor Octavian Augustus declared the period to be a a day of rest back in 18 BC.  Other Roman summer festivals included the “Vinalia Rustica” or the “Consualia” which celebrated the harvest and the successful end of the agricultural season.

Italians spend Ferragosto celebrating with family and friends and always a large meal is somehow included. This year we were very kindly invited to join our friends Pauline and Filippo, who also live in the countryside around Itri.  This is the view from their house.

Countryside around Itri in Latina South Lazio Italy

It seemed that most of their family were also invited. 

These lovely ladies are in their late 80’s !!!

Ferragosto Itri in Latina South Lazio Italy

Ferragosto Itri in Latina South Lazio Italy

Ferragosto Itri in Latina South Lazio Italy

Of course there is always an animated conversion.

Ferragosto Itri in Latina South Lazio Italy

Ferragosto Itri in Latina South Lazio Italy

Ferragosto Itri in Latina South Lazio Italy

Ferragosto Itri in Latina South Lazio Italy

Ferragosto Itri in Latina South Lazio Italy

Preparing the Barbecue

Italian Vegetable Fritters

Of course, it goes without saying, that there were copious amounts of delicious food …..

Roasted Red Peppers


Italian Chargrilled Aubergine Melanzana

Italian Barbecued Fish with a Lemon Dressing

Italian Barbecued Chicken with Rosemary

Ciambella Italian Ring Cake

Italian Sponge Cake

Ciambella Italian Ring Cake

By the end of it we were fit for bursting !!!

Ferragosto Itri in Latina South Lazio Italy

Then it was somebody’s great idea to start again and to go and make some more !!!

“Mamma Mia !!!”

Making Pizze Fritte

Making Pizze Fritte

Frying Pizze Fritte

Pizze Fritte

Pizze Fritte

“Pizze Fritte”

Pizze Fritte

“Mangia !!!”

Thank you to Pauline and Filippo and all the family for including us in their Ferragosto celebrations.

Happy Holidays !!!

All photos by me © Louise Shapcott

#ferragosto #italy #holiday #itri #latina



Tre Cancelle Farmhouse Apartments Near Sperlonga Beaches and Historic Itri, South Lazio, Italy

183 – Aussie Cousins Come To Visit


It was an absolute delight to have my cousins Cathy and Jeff come and stay with us during the month of June. They had left Australia to visit family in the UK and spend to some time in Wales, a place Cathy loves dearly, where her parents were both born.  Then prior to coming to us they had spent a couple of weeks on a farm in Umbria visiting old friends and helping to look after their flock of sheep.  When they arrived here at Tre Cancelle they came with a wonderful Peccorino cheese which was utterly delicious.

It had been 16  long years since we had seen Cathy.  These photos were taken on her last visit with her mother. Sadly Aunty Betty is now is in her 90’s and in a nursing home.


Aunty Betty and Cathy on their last visit


Cathy doing her Boadicea impression !!!

However it seemed like no time had passed at all as we all got on so well.  Their visit coincided with that of our most frequent visitors, namely Kay and Elsie who are  always good fun to be around.

My Aunty Betty and Uncle John had decided to emigrate to Australia in the 1960’s at the time when there was a scheme which encouraged the British to relocate to Australia.  They were enticed by promises of employment and housing, a more relaxed lifestyle and a better climate.  For the assisted passage adults had to pay just £10 each and children traveled for free.  Such families became known as the “ten pound poms”.   

I can remember that they came to stay with us at Woodside before the set off on their new adventure.


Andrew, me Louise and Cathy


Cathy, Andrew and me Louise


Me Louise, Cathy, Andrew

What an incredible experience it must have been for my cousins travelling around the world by ship. 

ten pound poms emigration to australia

ten pound poms emigration to australia

The family eventually settled in Melbourne and there they made a good life for themselves.

So, back to the present …………..



Cathy is a superb cook and was keen to get into the kitchen. 

Italian Chargrilled vegetables

She produced the most wonderful vegetable lasagne that I have ever tasted.  “Delizioso !!!” “Squisito !!!”  “Brava!!!”

Vegetable Lasagna

Indeed we enjoyed some wonderful meals together out on the terrace “al fresco”.

Tre Cancelle meals

Tre Cancelle meals

Jeff is a very talented artist and he took me and Elsie up to the Bellavista, where there is a marvellous view of Itri and its ancient castle, to do some sketching – it was really enjoyable.

Itri Castle Latina South Lazio Italy

This is Jeff’s finished sketch.  Just Beautiful !!!

Sketch of Itri Castle Latina South Lazio Italy

Artist at Tre Cancelle

 This is another that he did of the view from our terrace.

Sketch of Olive Groves Tre Cancelle Italy

Cathy and Jeff, Kay and Elsie kindly helped us around the place, weeding and watering the veggie patch, even helping to bath some of the dogs.

Bathing dogs at Tre Cancelle Italy

One day we drove down to the nearby coastline and we showed them some of the wonderous delights that  Sperlonga offers.  This is one of my favourite places and I always make sure I have my camera at the ready.

Looking down to the Grotto of Tiberius

and the Roman excavations and Museum.

Grotto di Tiberio Spenlonga Italy

Sperlonga Blue sea

Sperlonga’s beautiful sandy Levante Beach

Sperlonga Levante Beach Latina South Lazio Italy

Sperlonga Levante Beach Latina South Lazio Italy

Sperlonga Levante Beach Latina South Lazio Italy

We came across a newly wedded couple who were having their photos taken in the romantic setting of the old town.

“Che principessa !!!”

Sperlonga Wedding Italy

Sperlonga Wedding Italy

Old Sperlonga in Latina South Lazio Italy

Sperlonga Latina South Lazio Italy

Window in Sperlonga Latina South Lazio Italy

Bicycle in Sperlonga Latina South Lazio Italy


One evening we all went out to our preferred little restaurant that is tucked away in Campodimele – The “Casareccia”. 

La Casareccia Campodimele Latina South Lazio Italy

Elsie and cousin “Caterina”


Me, Paul and Kay

Maria’s dishes never fail to satisfy us.

La Casareccia Campodimele Latina South Lazio Italy

La Casareccia Campodimele Latina South Lazio Italy

La Casareccia Campodimele Chocolate Dessert

La Casareccia Campodimele Fresh Fruit Salad




Bella “Caterina”

So Cathy and Jeff, please don’t leave it another 16 years before we get to see you again. 

We really hope it will be much sooner than that !!!

All photos by me © Louise Shapcott

#emigration #australia #TenPoundPoms #casareccia #campodimele



Tre Cancelle Farmhouse Apartments Near Sperlonga Beaches and Historic Itri, South Lazio, Italy