After a quick stop in Zürich and Montreux visiting friends and my parents and doing another prenatal checkup, we crossed the Simplon pass to Italy. I would like to say it’s a stunning mountain pass winding through the Alps, but I actually had my obligatory mid-afternoon car nap as we drove through it, so I’ll have to trust Kai on this.

And so, onto the next country. Italy really knows how to do lakes and sunshine, and we got to enjoy a bit of both in Lago Maggiore and Lago di Garda. But the main star of our time in Italy was always going to be Verona: one of the most beautiful cities you can find and where I did my Erasmus exchange back in the year 2000.

The reason for this homecoming was none other than the civil union of Andrea and Roberto. These guys know how to throw a party and we had a weekend full of good company, good food, and a wedding to remember. The main event was black tie, and I can say that for being campervan travellers in the middle of our trip, we clean up rather well.

There were many highlights to this wedding weekend, but two stand out for me. The first was being back in Verona seeing old friends like Laura, Damy, Max, Silvia and of course Andrea. It made me realise that even though many years can go by without seeing each other, and our lives go in different directions, we can always meet up and truly enjoy being together again. The other highlight was participating in the beautiful civil union of two men that have had to overcome their share of adversity in order to profess their love, and for it to be legally accepted in a conservative society as is northern Italy. Actually it was very emotional to see that their guests of honour was an elderly gay couple, both in their mid-eighties who had been together for around 60 years…and had also gotten married last year as soon as they were allowed to by law.

After Verona we camped for a few days in Cavallino, just opposite Venice. This was a proper 5-star camping ground, with swimming pools, various restaurants, kid-entertaiment and a very good beach. And of course we took the opportunity to visit Venice, which although it had its usual flux of tourists, still displayed all its beauty. Liam did rather well with a day of tourism, looking out for winged-lions, counting bridges and visiting the surprisingly good natural history museum in Venice.

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