New discoveries under a Venice Moon

Under a Venice Moon by Margaret Cameron.

By Tania Phillips

There is life and love and adventure after retirement as Perth writer Margaret Cameron discovered.

An ardent traveller Margaret fell in love twice, first with Venice and then with a Venetian called Rossano.

But in the process of journeying to discover the quirky stories and the real Venice off the tourist track, she made a lot of self discovery – which led to her first book Under A Venice Moon due out through Hachette this month.

Like many Australians, travel headed Margaret’s post retirement agenda, but what she never imagined was that one particular holiday would prompt a reassessment of life’s pathway.

Under A Venice Moon is the story of one woman’s journey to step outside her comfort zone to discover a new life in an old country but also to rediscover that her old life and her home country was something special too. It’s a story that showcases Margaret’s post retirement travel adventures which led to her next adventure of writing her first book. In good health and now in her 70s, chatting with Margaret leaves you wondering just what is next on her horizon.

“I’ve been to Venice several times, the time when the book is based I was 66-years old from memory – it’s a few years in the past and I’m now 73,” she said.

“I was well into retirement when I went to Venice. I went for a friend for a months holiday around Italy, we went to Venice and like so many people before me I fell under it’s spell and decided I would like to go back – I wanted to know more about the city. I was fascinated by it’s history. It just struck me as unique, I guess. That from marshy swamplands that were desolated, uninhabited, this mighty city developed, which at one stage in the early middle ages, the most prosperous, affluent and powerful city state in the world. And it started from nothing.

“And now when you go down the grand canal and you look at the palazzi and so forth it just blew me away. I came home determined to go back and determined also to find out more about Venice and the quirky stories that are more likely to appear in the footnotes of references rather than the main text.

“I always had the feeling that I wanted to go back and explore behind the tourist façade. I wanted to see how real Venetians lived their lives, what there lives were like, their living circumstances – if at all possible to get to know some of them. I decided the best way to do that was to go back for a months holiday by myself. I always knew I would be going by myself – and rent an apartment away from the main tourist mecca.”

Stepping out from her comfort zone, Margaret found that friendships – unexpected and spontaneous – blossom within palazzi walls and she made a discovery: life can lead you along rewarding paths, if you let it.

As each day passes, Margaret said her time in Venice became more than just an interlude; soon, the city begins to feel like home and Margret she considered the prospect leaving Perth and starting anew in Venice.

While you have to read the book to find out what happens – Margaret’s book proves that life doesn’t end when you retire for some it is just the beginning and being in your late 60s doesn’t mean you can’t have adventure, love and lovers in your life.

Under a Venice Moon is released by Hachette this month.

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