Cimber Sterling was not in the least intimidated by the threat from Eyjafjallajökull so we made it to Italy. It seemed to me that the flight from Copenhagen, where the sun had at last begun to shine, was slightly higher and slightly bendier than the usual route but perhaps I was imagining that. The clear skies and unfolding sunny terrain made memories of the past wet and windy days fade quickly. A rented Smart waited at Marco Polo airport and, after clearing out the filthy interior and removing the empty plastic bottle that had wedged the driver’s seat against the wheel, it was off to the 15th century Tenuta Castel Venezze, an agriturismo near Rovigo. Driving along the E4 was a contrasting experience; you quickly got used to the manic driving but it was harder to believe that the swathes of poppies stretching to the horizon hadn’t been painted on the landscape. The historic surroundings at the castel extended to the computer facility that was generously made available to guests so, with data downloading at the speed of a saline drip and no connectivity for my laptop, I let it alone. Consequently, my intended daily travel diary will now be a more relaxed reminiscence of sunshine and warm days in the Veneto.