Prints of Castel Nuovo up to the mid 19th century show a stuffed crocodile hanging above the main doorway. No historian has been able to provide a rational explanation of what this exotic animal was doing or when it was put there. A symbolic act, some say. But...
Archive for month: July, 2016
In the last chapel on the right in the Cathedral of Pescia, a chapel known as the Turini Chapel, you will find a painting which you may think you have seen somewhere before, and if you have visited the Pitti Palace in Florence, then you will doubtlessly have seen...
Standing on the steep main road that runs through the hills above Lucca, Tuscany, the town of San Gennaro is not far from Collodi (which provided the writer Carol Lorenzini, author of The Adventures of Pinnocchio, with his penname). Re-built in the 12th century, the church of San Gennaro...
In the ancient heart of Naples. where almost 3,000 years of stratified history is frozen in time, part of Via dei Tribunali (the main east-west axis crossing the Graeco-Roman city) is closely associated with stories of witchcraft. Here (before it was swept away by the wave of modernisation...
I was reorganizing my bookshelf recently and I admit I didn’t get far – as I ended up pouring through my many cookbooks and recalling some of my favourite dishes. As part of this process I found myself, once again, delighting in the recipes of Silvena Rowe in...
If you visit the Museo di Palazzo Poggi, Bologna’s main university museum, you will discover a room dedicated to the work of a 16th century naturalist, Ulisse Aldrovandi, where you will see some of the ‘18,000 varieties of unusual things’ he claimed to have accumulated. Many of his...
One of the many books I am reading at the moment is The Physiology of Taste by Jean Anthelme Brillat-Savarin (1755-1826),a lawyer, who was mayor of Belley, France until he fled to the United States after the Revolution in 1793. On returning to France he was appointed a judge in Paris,...
The 16th and 17th centuries were particularly disastrous for Naples: earthquakes, eruptions, famines and epidemics followed one another (the 1656 plague alone killed 250,000 out of 400,000 residents), with everything made worse by the negligence of the Spanish viceroys. As the church cemeteries were filled to capacity, gravediggers...
Here is a recipe for the chocolate lovers out there – a superb French inspired Chocolate Cherry Tart which is sure to be an absolute hit with family and friends. Warning – this is a little bit of ‘death by chocolate’ so be prepared!! I have made this...
Located between Piazza D’Azeglio and Piazza Santissima Annunziata is a palazzo that is unique in Florence – a spectacular demonstration of how aesthetic canons can change. During the Renaissance no-one would ever have thought of creating so eclectic and idiosyncratic a façade for a palazzo, but by the end of...
Welcome to my love affair with the food, wine, history and culture of the Mediterranean, past and present. Here you will find not only recipes, drinks and fabulous products, but the history of the food and culture of the Mediterranean.
My purpose is to get you to explore and experience new tastes and along the way to immerse yourself in the wonderful history of this diverse and wonderful region – from Venice to Istanbul, Rome to Dubrovnik, Athens to Crete and all places in between and in the surrounds. Be prepared to be surprised, delighted and enthralled as you take this trip with me.
- A return to your childhood is good for the soul
- An ode to play – A painting by Pieter Bruegel
- The Siege – Arturo Perez-Reverte
- A perfect flourless dense tart cake with caramelised slices of lime
- A wonderful Greek chicken dish to share – Kotopoulo Tiganito
- Pacharán – the sloe liqueur from Navarra
- A miraculous potion containing dried wine lees…..
- A perfect Pea, Mint & Feta Crostini
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