Two days to go ... and why books and bullets ... and bombs? And why head first for Berlin, a city so unlike Venice than anywhere imaginable? Except for that lovely river, of course.
Although, to be fair to the German and Austrian empires, Vivaldi was very familiar with these two countries, and much more appreciated there in the 1700s than he was in his home city. He died in Vienna in 1741, Austria; buried amongst the common folk, in the same graveyard as Mozart was 50 years later.
Sadly, after much rebuilding in the area, Vivaldi's last resting place was lost when Vienna’s Technical University car-park was built over the top (an intriguing story I won't tell you here).
If you click on the image of the memorial plaque at University, you'll hear a beautiful piano adaption of Vivaldi's RV 299 - largo. (arr. for piano by Alexandre Tharaud). Nobody knows exactly where Antonio Vivaldi's bones lie.
So, why are we staying in Berlin for two weeks? It happened in a roundabout way.
Ross is active in the Australian peace movement, in IPAN, The Independent and Peaceful Australia Network . Over a three day conference in Berlin, he will present a couple of talks at the Disarm! International Peace Bureau's World Congress 2016, from the Australian context. Hence my reference to bullets.
Over those first three days, I'll be checking out the fabulous bookshops in Berlin - in particular, an international children's bookshop, Mundo Azul. And a whole heap of others - apparently this is a great city for books. Here are some of them for English readers.
Will I be able to resist buying books? Who knows. My good friend, Aussie author and illustrator, Tania McCartney swears by the 'posting back home' method, for those totally unresistible children's picture books.
And if you've seen a selection of European-published children's picture books, you'll know what I mean. My favourite European duo is Swiss illustrator and artist, Albertine, and her partner, author Germano Zullo. Unmistakably classy and gorgeous.
Until next time. Signing off...