My Favourite Holiday: The romance of Italy can lead to marriage, says BBC Scotland’s Theresa Talbot

The historic centre of Verona
The historic centre of Verona

A FAMILIAR voice to BBC Radio Scotland listeners through her travel bulletins and newsreading duties, Theresa Talbot, 53, is also an author.

Her latest book, Keep Her Silent, was published last week.

It’s based on the tainted blood scandal and Theresa, who lives in Glasgow, is donating all of her royalties from the first 500 books sold to the Contaminated Blood Memorial Fund.

THE place that’s clearly at the top of my list is Italy.

It’s both a country I love and the one where I found love.

I first went about five years ago, to Verona Opera House, and was totally captivated by the place.

Verona was too expensive for me, so I stayed in a B&B in Lazise, which is near Lake Garda.

I became very friendly with the owners and they came to Scotland to visit.

I started going back and forth whenever I could get cheap flights. It became almost like a second home to me.

The landscapes are stunning and, although it obviously has lovely summers, it’s hilly and gets plenty rain, so is green and lush.

I went on a wine tour down to Tuscany and – apart from the wine, which I adore – the scenery blew me away.

I made some more Italian friends when I stayed with a family in Florence.

Theresa Talbot

It’s such a stunning city and I found out about a disorder called Stendhal syndrome.

Stendhal was a French writer who was so overwhelmed by the beauty of the place he would get an attack of the vapours and cry and faint.

That’s going a bit far, but the area really does grab you emotionally.

I love the Italian food, too. It seems so simple but is sensationally tasty.

I always try to add more garlic to dishes and they tell me to stop, that less is more.

The only thing I don’t like is the breakfasts will all the pastries, so I take my own porridge – I’ve taken so much, our friends there have stacks of it.

I went back last year and I was in touch via Facebook with a friend, Jeremy, I’d known 25 years ago.

He lived in Liverpool and while I hadn’t seen him in all that time, I suggested he come over and see the country.

Our first date was in Verona, we fell in love – and when we get married in two weeks’ time it’s no surprise where we’ve picked!