Although I have been lucky enough to visit a fair few countries, I had never been to Italy before and so jumped at the chance to tick it off my list and visit Vicenza – home of the Vicenza Oro jewellery trade show – for a short filming trip. I dropped my car at Gatwick, and took a chance to grab a breakfast panini and light drink in the lounge.

I couldn’t believe the flight was only an hour and 40 minutes to such a beautiful country, and the views were spectacular providing a dramatic look at the alps during the journey. I love flying, and the flight was smooth and uneventful.

Arriving in Verona I was immediately hit by a wave of heat and sunshine! The weather forecast had predicted 20 degrees which would have been slightly warmer than the UK. In reality the temperature was a searing 30 degrees, which surprised me for Northern Italy at this time of year, and was rather at odds with my denim jeans, shirt and summer jacket. The film crew met me at the airport sporting near beachwear of shorts and T-shirts, making me feel even more out of place!


The landscapes on the way to the hotel were glorious; long, flat vineyards that reminded me of those on a previous holiday to Napa valley, California that rose in the distance to a view of the dolomites section of the Alps. Again, the perfect blue sky was tremendously relaxing and uplifting – and perfect weather for filming.

Having checked into our hotel, we immediately went out into downtown Vicenza to commence our shooting. The place is like a movie set; beautiful pastel coloured buildings, ancient churches, statues dedicated to town economists and mayors of the past, amazing stucco faces above door lintels and ornate stonework architecture. Frankly, point a camera just about anywhere and you could have yourself a stunning backdrop.


Our initial filming location was on a picturesque street at a pretty little coffee shop; this provided one of the moments of translation difficulty for us on the trip and also a moment of hilarity the crew will never allow me to forget. Having ordered a latte (believing it to be the latte found in the American chain coffee shops here in the UK and forgetting its actual translation to be literally “milk”) I was given a glass of hot milk by the waitress. I did wonder why she looked at me with incredulity when I ordered. Much sniggering all round, then, before I sheepishly requested a cappuccino to go along with my hot milk! The crew had already had their own translation faux pas, asking for more pepperoni on a pizza had resulted in it being covered in green pepper….the literal English translation of pepperoni.

The heat was almost unbearable in the sun, but we managed to get our script recorded over a panini and cappuccino (…and hot  milk) in between applying copious amounts of blotting powder to my brow.

They really do make a good coffee over there.

I won’t go into detail into the promotions we were filming themselves as you will see them on the channel, but suffice to say there is a great competition we will be running and more.

I took the chance to buy a couple of lighter linen shirts to go with the unexpectedly warm weather, had a quick costume change, and then we went out to film some more. Walking and talking in the piazza, a piece to camera over a romantic bridge, talking about gold and silver and chains, discussing the fashion of the country, and so on. We certainly hit the jackpot with the gorgeous weather, glorious for early May.

We were pretty happy with our day’s work by the setting of the sun, and decamped back to the hotel to look at our filming rushes and get ready for dinner.

The evening was spent in the company of the two chaps Russell and Joel, director and cameraman respectively for the trip. We had probably the biggest pizza in the world each, a huge bowl of salad, complimented by Russell’s pasta soup! They don’t do anything by halves when it comes to gastronomy over there, I can tell you that. Pizzas covered in toppings, tons of cheese….time to book back into the gym on touchdown back in London methinks.

It was great to chat to the guys about the trip, life, filming, TJC, and listening to Joel regale us with tales of life back in his homeland of Australia was fabulous….all washed down with a spritzer which became the trademark go to drink for the short break. So much so that we even grabbed some in duty free at Verona airport.

Next morning, we dropped off our hire car and made our way to check-in for the short journey home.

Suffice to say, although the trip was short and sweet, we got a lot filmed and it was an amazing experience. I definitely aim to go back soon; given the fact it’s only 2 hours away, it may be an idea to take in some opera in Verona during the summer over a glass of chilled white wine. Or perhaps a glass of warm milk….

I’ll leave you with a few more photos.

Derek G