Thursday, 11 September 2014

Dorset on my doorstep

It's been a little over a month since I touched down in England after 5 months in South East Asia and Italy.

Since then I've started a new job, Mark bought a car and we found a place to live.

We've also been out and about making the most of the surprisingly lovely British weather and seeing some of the best Dorset has to offer.

Famous for the Jurassic Coast, Cerne Abbas Giant and a cheeky sounding biscuit, Dorset is and always has been my home county. Over 3.2 million Brits visit Dorset each year and its easy to see why with our rolling countryside, award winning beaches and chocolate box villages.

Our first trip was to an old favourite, Durdle Door and Lulworth Cove.

Durdle Door is a natural limestone arch on the Jurassic Coast, about a 30 minute drive from Poole. The drive itself is exciting as you pass through MoD training land and are warned to be aware of "sudden gunfire" and "tanks crossing".

To reach the door, you drive through the Durdle Door Holiday park, park your car and head down the hill. There's a handy kiosk for a cup of Dorset Tea and an ice cream at both ends of the path - which are much needed after a steep climb.

Reaching the door is a magnificent moment. The beach below is framed perfectly by the door giving everyone a stunning view. The cliffs spread out into the distance from both directions and the sea drifts endlessly to Portland and beyond. It's an unsteady path to the beach itself, but well worth it to take a plunge in the sea and swim through the door.

Following the south west coastal path back up the hill, we then carried on to Lulworth Cove. The views on the walk are breathtaking; sprawling fields of green to the left and endless blue sea to the right.

After fish and chips (of course) we ambled down to the shore where kids crabbed and dogs frolicked in the sea. The village was full of tasty looking bistros, and quirky British charm. There was even a red phone box. It was the perfect way to re-aquatint ourselves with Dorset life.

Wednesday, 6 August 2014

Footprints in the sand

5 months after flying off into the unknown, we are coming home!

It's been an incredible journey; I've seen amazing places, met wonderful people and learned a lot about myself.

Before I left I could only dream about being on the road and hopefully living somewhere different for a change. I spent my days dreaming, not sure how to make it a reality.

Now, I can honestly say it takes losing everything to find out what you really want, and whilst a life on the road isn't for me, I've still had a wonderful time.

We are about to pack up our tired and worn out belongings for the last time, so I've been thinking about my best memories from our journey. There are a lot, but here is my top ten!

1. Mui Ne, Vietnam

Mui Ne will always be special to me as its where we recharged our batteries after a stressful and emotional start to our trip. In Mui Ne we found good food, cold beers and a very chilled out vibe. It was just what the doctor ordered.

2. Hoi An, Vietnam

Walking into old Hoi An was a magical experience and one I wasn't prepared for. It was quintessential of the orient and had everything I had been craving to see; ancient temples, lanterns and even a tea house.

3. Halong Bay, Vietnam

Sailing through the cliffs of Halong Bay is top of many peoples top ten, I imagine. Travelling by boat is a firm favourite of mine too and I can't imagine a better end to our time in Vietnam.

4. Angkor temples, Cambodia

The hot weather, bugs and incredibly early start didn't dampen our wonderful day at the temples of Angkor one bit. I loved exploring the ruins and seeing the sun rise over Angkor Wat.

5. Songkran, Thailand

Celebrating a festival with the locals from across the street! On Songkran we shared beers, food and laughs with the families opposite our beach bungalows and loved every minute of it! There was also a German man, but I don't know where he came from!

6. Pad Thai on Ko Phangnan, Thailand

Surprisingly the best Pad Thai we has was in a little hut restaurant on a quiet stretch of road near Haad Yeo beach. It was so ridiculously cheap and ridiculously amazing we went back for more!

7. Monkey forest in Ubud, Bali

Real monkeys stealing my bananas and sitting on my shoulder like I'm Captain Barbossa! Enough said!

8. Catching waves in Kuta Bali

I loved getting sporty (and an awesome tan) on the beach in Kuta. The water was deep and clean. There is nothing like the rush of riding a wave all the way to shore.

9. Eating pizza in Naples, Italy

7 days and I-dont-know-how-many pizzas! That was some very good eating and definitely the best thing about Naples.

10. Living like a local in Santo Stefano, Italy

Finding the real Italy after spending so much time in the cities. The life and culture in our corner of Piedmont is traditional and rich. I have always wanted to live in Italy and I'm so proud that I've had the chance to do so in such a wonderful place!

Thank you everyone for sharing the journey with me through this blog! I'll be posting about my future and past adventures as they come up so keep a weather eye on the horizon!

Friday, 1 August 2014

Turin: Take 2

Sports and cinema was the name of the game when we returned to Turin for a second visit during our stay in Piedmont.

Find out what we got up to our our first trip to Turin.

At just under an hours drive from where we were living and working as au pairs for the summer, Turin ticks all the right boxes; museums, architecture and gelato.

On our second trip we headed straight to the Juventus stadium and museum. Mark was obviously more excited than me, but I was pleasantly surprised! The museum was interactive and very engaging, with all sorts of videos, interviews and storyboarding about this iconic club.

I especially liked the video feature at the end which spoke of the characteristics of the club, its fans and players. It was enough to even make me think I wanted them to win everything, Viva Juve!

Inside the Juventus Museum

Afterwards, we joined a tour group to visit the stadium. The members club and public facing areas were impressive, so much so that you could forget momentarily that football is meant to be a working mans sport whilst we gazed at private boxes and in-seat video screens. Deep inside the stadium though, we were led down corridors and into rooms which more closely resembled the delivery entrance to a large hotel than a space for millionaire footballers to hangout. The pitch space however was great, and despite it feeling very small, I could image a great atmosphere on match day.

After Juventus we risked life and limb to drive into the city centre. To say Turin is a tricky drive is an understatement, especially when your sat nav and maps are about 5 years old and clearly a lot of road changes have been made. I am not lying when I tell you that people in Turin are aggressive drivers, honking you for the slightest hesitation and stopping smack bang in the middle of the road to pop for a caffe!

Eventually though we arrived at the cinema museum in the spectacular Mole Antonelliana.

The Mole

The Mole was completed in 1889, the same year as the Eiffel Tour in Paris and although different has a similar effect on the Turin skyline.

Inside, the Cinema Museum is a Mecca for any would be film enthusiast, with everything from the history of image capture to a hall of fame for Oscars best actress winners. One room told the story of peep shows, from the raunchy to the sublime.

Famous movie costumes and behind the scenes photos were also a big hit and there was even a nod to Lumiere with a screening of "Train pulling into a station" with a real train appearing from behind the screen. This reflected the legend that when the 50 second movie was originally shown, the audience were scared the train would burst through the screen and into the room.

By the end of the day I literally had to peel myself away knowing there were a few exhibits that I'd missed and that the silver screen had once again left me wanting more!

The archeology of cinema

I was so glad we made it back to Turin. It is a beautiful city with so much to offer tourists who have had their fill of quaint Italian cities and are looking for a true European city.

Thursday, 24 July 2014

Life in Italy

A very old bottle of Barolo
It's been well over a month now since we arrived in Piedmont, and moved in with a local family to help look after their two children.

Above all else this experience has given us a unique insight into Italian life, its customs and nuances.

For example, did you know that Italians eat pasta with their right hand only, and never with the help of a knife. I noticed this one dinner time and was surprised to see the family switch which hand held the fork depending on whether they were eating pasta or anything else. I've always been a backwards eater, but this was something else!

Canale, the neighbouring "city" is where we have spent many an afternoon beside the pool and chatting away. The city is tiny, I know of larger villages in England. Its the kind of place where all the shops still close for 3 hours over lunch, there is a big market every Tuesday and a week long carnival in the summer. Every time we wonder the streets we bump into one family member or another. It's mad to think that places like this still exist, when back home I rarely bump into people and lunch time is prime time for shopping.

Breakfast, where my healthy eating ends!

Those long lunches are starting to take their toll though. A typical days eating here consists of some cereal and an espresso for breakfast, pasta, protein and vegetables for lunch, and similar for dinner with added antipasto, cheese and bread. Whilst travelling I think I stayed about the same size, but I can feel the lb's creeping up on me now! What's hardest is I know this amount of food is typical here!

Corrado and the birthday present we got him

Aside from all the pasta, one weekend I got to eat a lot of cake as it was Corrado's birthday! To celebrate the family held a small party at their grandparents house. There weren't any decorations, but the whole family turned up to wish him a happy 6th birthday. Corrado received a few carefully chosen and completely appropriate presents and stuffed his face with cake and crisps. He played with his friends whilst the family chatted, and we all sang when the candles were lit.

Vespas in La Morra

Last week, the other au pair Evanne's mum came to visit. They were off to tour the Italian countryside for a week, but before they left we took them out to the Langhe. We had been to this area before but looked forward to returning at a much slower pace. Our first stop was La Morra for the unparalleled view of the stunning countryside. We grabbed lunch in a tiny courtyard which was offering amazing wine. We topped lunch off with a wonderful Moscato gelato which was every bit as sweet and refreshing as you can imagine.

Wine on tap!

One Sunday we were invited to the opening of a wine bar down the road. The place had been a bar for a while but was opening under new management after a little refurbishing. As we arrived, lots of the locals were bundled under cover from the drizzle sipping their reds and whites. As the weather cleared up the band started to play their jazzy tunes on the drums, guitar and bass. The wine flowed freely and for free and we grazed on bar snacks such as fried aubergines and omelette.

Making pizza the best way

Last weekend was also filled with parties. On Saturday night the large courtyard outside the families house was filled with tables for a very special occasion; Davide was firing up the wood oven and making pizza. Davide is a chef by trade and hoping to open his own pizzeria in Canale this year, so we expected good things.
In the early evening the neighbours and friends started arriving and the tables were pilled high with bottles of wine. We started with pizza topped with cold fresh tomato, basil and red onion then slowly moved through gorzongola and sausage, stracchino cheese and rocket, tomato and grilled vegetables and Margherita.

Feast your eyes!

Towards the end of the evening the neighbour Gianpiere was opening Barolo wines from 1970 and 1965. This was a very special treat and we were honoured that he chose to share them with us. We finished off the feast with tiny cakes a bit like petit fours. Can you believe we cooked 48 pizzas for about 20 people; some did make it into the freezer for another days lunch though!

Its only 2 more weeks now before we pack up for the last time to head home. Our social calendar is all ready filling up with family events and nights out with friends. It all still feels a world away as I sit here in small town Italy with the church bells chiming in the distance...

Saturday, 5 July 2014


Turin is an often overlooked city in Italy. Less ancient than Rome and arguably less pretty than Florence, I was surprised to learn than Turin is only the 8th most visited city in Italy, despite being the countries first capital.

Regardless, being so close to the city whilst staying in Santo Stefano we expected to visit a few times.

Always time for gelato!

Trip 1

We were excited to arrive on the train without being weighed down by heavy bags and an immediate need to get located and find out where we are going.

The first thing I noticed about the city was how wide the streets were. This wasn't like many other cities in Italy, grown around narrow, winding roads. Turin's grid design and art nouveau architecture made it feel larger and sort of Parisian.

Belle Epoque exhibition

We followed a walking route to help up get our bearings for when we inevitably return with children in tow. There was a distinct lack of tourists, which really gave the impression you were seeing a real city at work.

Glorious Galleria Subalpina

Being the home of the Savoy (the former Italian royal family) Turin is home to a palace, large gardens and wonderful museums. The Egyptian Museum is famed for being the oldest in the world as it was founded in the 1800's before the excavations which brought Egypt to the masses. Inside is an impressive collection - second only to Cairo - which includes mummified cats, tombs and scrolls from the book of the dead.

Coffee stop!

We made time for coffee in Caffe Mulassano, nestled in the porticos of Piazza Castello and stood in wonder at the Galleria Subalpina which looked like it was plucked straight from an art nouveau poster. It was lined with historic book and antique stores and its glass ceiling flooded the space with golded light.

In the afternoon we walked towards the river Po and Piazza Vittorio Veneto, stopping for a wonder around a belle epoque exhibition and having grown very fold of the city.

Looking forward to our next visit!

Friday, 27 June 2014

Settling into Santo Stefano

Standing in the town square watching the traditional dancing with the vineyard spotted hills behind me, I though I'd fallen into a Peter Mayle book. But this isn't Provence, this is Piemonte.

Santo Stefano Roero, Piedmont

Its been 2 weeks since we arrived in Santo Stefano from Milan. We are starting a brand new kind of adventure. Over is the wilderness of South East Asia and the tourist saturated Italian cities. Now we are settling in small town Italy for the summer.

And what a place to be settling in. The Alps are in sight and the Ligurian coast is just an hours drive away; the hills produce world famous wines and much of the landscape is protected by Unesco.

We are staying with a family who have generously allowed us to stay with them in exchange for some au pair work with their children. Neither Mark or I have ever au paired before, or even been trusted with our nieces for more than a few hours, but we were excited to find some creative ways to spend our time with Corrado, 5 and Adelaide, 9.

First meetings

Mama Virginia knew us straight off the train and it wasn't long before we were on our way home and getting a run down on everything from the landscape and local culture to the children's temperaments and excitement for the World Cup.

But is was clear this was no ordinary family. Arriving at Nonni's we were introduced to more aunts, cousins and sisters than I could remember and it seemed that everyone was gifted in some way, be it as an artist, musician or singer.

Nonni's is also where we met the kids for the first time; Adelaide smiling sweety at the door and Corrado from a distance as he ran around the pool completely naked!

Brutta figura

We met Papa Davide at the house and joined the family for dinner al fresco. We were amazed at the competency of their English, but were also happy to hear some more day to day Italian phrases and get the opportunity to ask what they meant.

During the meal Corrado didn't want to do something because it would be "brutta figura" which means ugly figure, or something embarrassing. It didn't take long for Corrado to forget all about this over the next week as he made faces, insisted in playing football naked and ate out of his belly button!

Corrado after a day of mushroom picking

Getting creative

Our first week we mainly looked after Adelaide as her school had already finished for the summer. Unfortunately the weather wasn't with us, but we kept each other entertained with documentaries, card games and some homework.

I had been inspired by the beautiful scenery and landscape around us and as soon as the weather turned we drove out to the neighbouring town to do some sketching. I'd noticed Adelaide's talent during a round of Pictonary and as I thought she flourished during our morning out.

The rest of the week we continued to get to know each other; the boys bonding over the football, and the girls over the food!

Mark, Adelaide and I in Fossano

Food glorious food!

Part of our reason for coming to Italy was because we loved Italian food, but during our stays in the cities we felt we weren't getting the real experience.

This was quickly addressed and put to bed as soon as we arrived in Piemonte. Mama claims she only knows about 15 recipes but we've already be feasting on fresh pesto, carbonara, mozzarella cartridges and ragu all coupled with fresh tomatoes, salad, wonderful cheeses and bread. I've never eaten so well, and I'm definitely making notes for when we get home!

8 weeks in Piedmont

We were lucky enough that in our first few weeks, Santo Stefano was having its annual festival. The weekend evenings saw the town square transformed into a hive of food, wine, beer and entertainment, and people came for near and far for the traditional dancing and music.

Fancy footwork at the Santo Stefano festival

Standing in the town square watching the traditional dancing with the vineyard spotted hills behind me, I though I'd fallen into a Peter Mayle book. But this wasn't Provence, this is Piemonte and that meant a new language, traditional foods and local wine.

I'm beginning the think these 8 weeks will be the most influential of all the time we have been travelling, as our thoughts turn from adventure to building a new life in the UK.

I can't wait to find out more over the coming weeks! Ciao x

Friday, 20 June 2014


5 - 10 June

I was especially excited to be arriving in Milan on the 5th as I knew my 2 best friends were also on their way too! After 3 months I was going to be reunited with my besties!

Here come the girls!

Not that we've ever really been apart. Travelling in the social media age really does mean your friends and family are just the touch of a button away, and we'd been trying to keep up with the group chats from the road.

A few hours after we arrived I heard their voices at the door, and I greeted them with hugs and tears just the same as I left them. After a welcome drink we headed to the city for dinner and a long overdue catch up! We spent the evening on the balcony like no time had passed at all.

Sforza Castle and fountain

The following day we (our usual group size doubled to 4) visited the Sforzesco Castle and grounds and walked to the canal area, where we cooed over the ducklings and the beautiful view.

Outside the castle there were loads of food, drink and sweets stalls. We sank our teeth into noodles, souvlaki and hotdogs whilst sipping on sangria and dipping our feet in the fountain.

La Dolce Vita

In the gardens we picked up a deck of cards to play with in the evening. When the time came we quickly realised these are cards for the Italian game Scopa! We'd no idea how to play so instead played a bastardised versions of uno, gin rummy and pairs.

We spend most of the rest of out time in Milan playing these crazy card games, going on a picnic and finding some truly needed Mexican food!

Milan Duomo

On our final day, Mark visited the San Siro stadium in the city whilst I got some shopping time with the girls. After we made our way to the Duomo, kind of ashamed we hadn't made time for a visit before now. Inside the stained glass was the biggest decoration, as well as some very much dead bodies of archbishops.

The next thing we knew it was time to go. I was sad to be leaving my friends again, but happy to know when I will see them next in a couple of months time.

But, once the goodbyes were said it was time to go. This time to Piedmont to meet the Scarsi family who we will be living with for the summer! Eeek!

Thursday, 12 June 2014


3 - 5 June

En route to Milan from Florence we had a 2 night pit stop in Bologna. I didn't know much about this small city other than that it is the home of a staple meal in almost every family I know, and it is home to the worlds oldest university.

On our first evening we visited the central square and sought out some spaghetti bolognaise, which conceals itself under the name tagliatelle ragu. Its was different to how its served in the UK; less sauce and all mixed into the pasta, but it was delicious!

Real ragu

Arched pathways decorate this pretty city, and it reminded me of Covent Garden. Countless students on bicycles decorated the streets. Unlike many of the other cities we've visited, Bologna wasn't swarming with tourists; we could move and explore, blend in even!

Archways of Bologna

The biggest sight for tourists in Bologna is the Two Towers. These were build in medieval times and the tallest of the two is 97m. We climbed to the top, for a stunning view of the city and surrounding countryside. We watched the rain sweep over the city, and it passed as we slowly and steadily made our way back down the steps.

The view from the top of the tallest tower

One thing I can say for sure is that arriving at our large faceless hotel showed me that I definitely prefer smaller hotels and bed and breakfasts. They are so much more welcoming and homely; just what I need being so far from home!

After our day in Bologna we made our way to our last tourist stop in Italy. We were off to Milan!

Wednesday, 4 June 2014


30 May - 3 June

After a very scenic and comfortable train ride through the countryside we arrived in Florence before the morning was over.

Dreamy Tuscan villa

We had been to Tuscany a few years ago. We stayed at a winery in Gaiole in Chianti and visited Siena, Pisa and San Gimignano, falling utterly in love with the rolling hills and vineyards. This time we were only visiting Florence though and it felt more like a city than I was expecting. After a little wondering though, the Tuscan charm started to reveal itself in the small alleys and the wine.

Pretty houses on the banks of the Arno

Florence has a lot to offer art fans, and despite my not being able to tell my Michaelangelo from my DaVinci I tried to appreciate what I could. We made time to visit 'David' and the Duomo.


One of the highlights for me was taking the walk across the river to Piazzele Michaelangelo for a stunning panoramic view of the city and the surrounding countryside. On a quieter corner of the square was stared out to the hills listening to the birds a sing in the olive grove below. It was a peaceful moment in a city that was bursting with tourists!

View of Florence

One morning to went for a run in the park nearly. It was a Sunday and full with families walking, runners, cyclists and kids learning to ride their bike. On one side there was a little fair and a market and it was nice to find a slice of local life. I'm really starting to enjoy getting off the tourist path and finding more day to day things to fill our time. I even had a chance to make dinner at our bed and breakfast which was lovely after 3 months of eating out. Its not long now until we finish our travels and start living as au pairs and I'm excited to pack my bag away and settle in for a couple of months.

After our run, we had earned our gelato, and sat in the sun in Piazza Della Repubblica wolfing down cheesecake and snickers flavour whilst watching the carousel spin and sing.

Carousel in the square

One of the finds of our trip to Florence was a Latin bar called Eby's. Its a short walk from the Duomo but serves amazing smoothies and burritos. Mark and I love Mexican food and the burritos made for a great change from pasta and pizza! Be warned though they are huge! "This burrito is delicious but it is filling!"

On our last day we picked up some postcards across the river from Ponte Veccio and enjoyed some more aimless wanderings around this pleasant city! Before we knew it we were back at the train station waiting for our train to Bologna!

Sunday, 1 June 2014

Naples and Vesuvius

23-30 May

After a wonderful week in Rome, we were up bright and early for our train to Naples. We quickly realised we were headed for the wrong station and had to make a detour but we made it. We were sat in a cute 6 seat booth complete with wine glass holders. This was train travel in Italy. It felt like something from a movie, I was just missing some style!

Yummy cakes

As the train approached, I got my first glimpse of Vesuvius and began to get excited about our trip to Pompeii. The city looked as large and intimidating as the volcano and I began remembering everything I'd heard about Naples.

It was early when we arrived so we stored our luggage and went for a wonder to the marina and a castle. Instantly I was getting vibes of Southampton and Cherbourg, both marina towns. The signs, the cruise ships and the atmosphere was oddly familiar.

That night a tour guide staying at our hotel was mugged a few streets away from Corso Umberto, the main street in Naples, and this made us anxious. The following day we were a little nervous to go out, especially as Mark had almost been pick pocketed in Rome. I couldn't believe that in all our months of travelling and scam dodging in Asia, Naples had me scared to leave the hotel. The city wasn't exactly doing much to make us feel any better either, even the ticket man at the train station warned us about watching our bag; all we asked for was a timetable! He was nice about it, and obviously trying to help, but he was a rare breed. Many people in Naples seem to be born angry about something. There weren't a lot of smiles.

I was smiling at the pizza though! If there is one thing the Neapolitan's do well it's pizza, and I munched my way through plenty whilst I was here!

Pizza Margherita in Naples! The best!

On Tuesday we climbed Vesuvius! We had found information on getting there and the prices very sparse, so here is a 2014 update! Get the train to Pompeii Scavi, and get a ticket from the vendor at the station. Their bus will take you from the station to the park, and from the park to the top by 4x4. You still have to walk the last very steep bit to the crater. The price is €22 per person. It was no cheaper to get any other offer as the crater price is €10 alone. Whilst we waited I heard another tourist ask if there was a restaurant at the top. Mark and I giggled his naivety, but actually there was a refreshment stand at the top!

It was a bumpy ride up as the bus was more like an armoured tank. The 4x4s were more comfortable, but also bouncy. We arrived near the summit surrounded by the clouds, and the cool wind was refreshing to the point of chilly at times!

About to be covered in cloud on Vesuvius

When we reached the crater it was so much larger than I expected. To imagine an eruption was quite frightening, especially considering there were constant streams of gases being released from the sides. I think our experience would have been better if the clouds had cleared and we could see the view, but the crater was still worth a visit!

Towards the end of our visit we went to the National Archaeological Museum, which houses an impressive collection of sculptures and a large collection of artistic and domestic items recovered from Pompeii. The mosaics were out of this world and I was astounded to see that the people of Pompeii had impressive glass and silverware.

Boney mosaic

Soon enough it was the end of our visit and we were off to Florence, and whilst I can't say Naples has stolen my heart, its been a great week!

Thursday, 29 May 2014

That's amore! Pizza Neapolitana

Pizza is one of my top reasons for coming to Naples, so here is each one I ate!

We ate at Franco's, Pizzaria la Michele and Cantina dei Mille. La Michele opened in 1870 and people can queue for 2 hours for a table. It was also made popular by featuring in the film eat pray love. They only serve margherita and marinara pizza.

Franco's was close to our hotel on Piazza Garibaldi and had great reviews on trip advisor so really it would have been rude not to!

We had eaten a great traditional Italian meal at La Cantina dei Mille on our anniversary but had to go back and try the pizza too! When in Naples and all that!

Pizza Caprese (cheese, tomato, basil)

Pizza Caprese, Franco's

Pizza Chef (ham, mushroom and cream)

Pizza Chef, Franco's

Pizza Margherita double mozzarella (tomato, mozzarella, oil, basil)

Pizza Magherita double mozzarella, La Michele

Pizza Margherita

Pizza Magherita, La Michele

Pizza Campagnola (tomato, cheese, rocket, prosciutto and parmesan)

Pizza Campagnola, Franco's

Pizza Diavola (tomato, cheese, salami, crudo and basil)

Pizza Diavola, Franco's

Pizza Cappriccio (Tomato, mozzarella, mushroom, artichoke, olive, ham)

Pizza Capriccio, Cantina dei Mille

Pizza Peperonata (Sausage, pepperoni, provola cheese, olive)

Pizza Peperonata, Cantina dei Mille

All were delicious and I would order any of them again, but I can definitely say nothing beats a true Pizza Margherita in Napoli!

Buon Appetite