Derek Takes Italy

I would say I have been lucky enough to visit a fair few countries in my life, however, I have never been to Italy, so, when TJC offered me the chance to visit Vicenza – home of the Vicenza Oro Jewellery trade show – for a short filming trip, I jumped at the chance to tick it off my list.

On the day of my trip I drove to Gatwick, parked my car at the airport, and even had time to buy myself cheeky breakfast before boarding my 1hr 40 minute flight.

The Spectacular view of the Alps from the plane!
The Spectacular view of the Alps from the plane!

Once I arrived in Verona I was immediately hit by a wave of heat and sunshine! I couldn’t believe such a beautiful country was so close to the UK. The weather forecast had predicted 20 degrees which would have been only slightly warmer than the UK, but in reality the temperature was an almost searing 30 degrees – I definitely wasnt prepared for such hot weather, I was wearing denim, a shirt and summer jacket!

Soon after arriving I was joined by two of the guys from TJC’s marketing team; Promo-producer, Joel and Camera guru, Russell, who met me at the airport sporting near beachwear –  as you can imagine I felt so out of place.

The landscapes on the way to the hotel were glorious; long, flat vineyards that reminded me of Napa Valley, California. The perfect blue sky was tremendously relaxing and uplifting – perfect weather for filming. I was excited to get this project underway while soaking up Italy.

Point a camera just about anywhere and you could have yourself a stunning backdrop!
Point a camera just about anywhere and you could have yourself a stunning backdrop!

After checking into our hotel, we immediately went out into downtown Vicenza to start filming. 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, if you point a camera just about anywhere you could have yourself a stunning shot.Derek Takes Italy

Our first filming location was on a picturesque street at a pretty little coffee shop, this outing included one of many moments throughout the trip where words were lost in translation and one that Joel and Russell will never allow me to forget. Having ordered a latte (believing it to be the latte found in coffee shops here in the UK) I was given a glass of hot milk by the waitress… I did wonder why she looked at me with incredulity when I ordered! There was much sniggering all round, before I sheepishly requested a cappuccino to go along with my hot milk! But I wasn’t alone, the crew had already had their own translation faux pas, asking for more pepperoni on a pizza resulted in it being covered in green pepper (the literal English translation of pepperoni).

Despite the language barrier, we managed to get our script recorded over a Panini, cappuccino… and hot milk, in between applying copious amounts of blotting powder to my brow.

Before going to film more footage at our second location, I took the chance to buy a couple of lighter linen shirts to wear in the near unbearable hot weather. We started with a piece to camera talking about Gold and Silver Italian chains and Italian fashion, and moved on to more dynamic shots of walking and talking in the piazza. I would say we certainly hit the jackpot filming in such gorgeous weather, glorious for early May.

A sneak Peak at some footage we captured!
A sneak Peak at some footage we captured!

We were all pretty happy with our day’s work by sunset, and decided to head back to the hotel to look at the footage, and get ready for dinner.

Italian’s definitely don’t do anything by halves when it comes to gastronomy, I can tell you that. We all went for what probably was the biggest pizza in the world, a huge bowl of salad, complimented by some of Russell’s pasta soup! Our Pizzas were covered in toppings, tons of cheese….time to book back into the gym back in London methinks.

It was great to be joined by Joel and Russell, as it was a good opportunity to get to know them better. We had time to talk about the trip, life, filming and work. Joel even regaled us with tales of his homeland, Australia… all washed down with a spritzer which became the trademark ‘go – to’ drink for the short break. So much so, we even grabbed some in duty free at Verona airport!

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 especially given the fact it’s less than 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!

Here are a few more photos from the trip…

Tune into TJC next week on the 19th May to see our finished promo video, get in on an amazing competition and shop luxurious Italian chains.

Derek G

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