On his return to Lisbon after discovering the sea route to India in 1498, Vasco da Gama proclaimed “Somos a gente do mar” (We are the people of the sea). Using small, light, high-powered caravel sailing ships based on an ancient Mediterranean design, 15th and 16th-century Portuguese explorers voyaged the...
Archive for category: History
In general, the Supreme authorities in the Catholic Church have not been conspicuously hostile to sensual pleasure, or even ascetic in their culinary habits. Whereas, at the beginning of the 13th century, Pope Innocent III was still advocating spartan living, and insisting that only one main dish was served...
Via San Martino, Pisa, on the left bank of the Arno, stands in an area of the city that was once called Kinzica. Here, there is a curious marble statue of an elegant Roman matron that dates from the 3rd century AD. Over time, the figure depicted became...
Closed in 1804, the cemetery attached to the Church of Sainte-Marguerite in the 11th Arrondissement in Paris, contains a small tomb with the inscription “L XVII – 1785-1795”. There is a mysterious story associated with this, as for a long time it was taken to be the tomb of...
Cradled in a majestic circle of Alps, the Vallée des Merveilles in the Mercantour National Park, Provence is aptly named. It is a landscape of rock-strewn valleys, jagged peaks and eerie lakes. Just west of the Lac des Mèsches is the Minière de la Vallaure, an abandoned mine quarried...
By way of an introduction into some more history pieces I am going to write, I thought I would give you just a little history on the Croatian language…… there will be some more on this in a coming post!! The Croats speak and write Croatian, which...
At the transept crossing the Church of I Gesuiti (Santa Maria Assunta), the statues of four archangels sculpted by Giuseppe Torretti (c.1660-1743) are enthroned within specially created niches. Whilst the archangels Gabriel, Raphael and Michael are well-known, the fourth – Sealtiel – is much less so. In the choir...
(Portrait by Tintoretto, c,1575) Veronica Franco (1580-1625) was a poet famous in her own time who made her living as a courtesan. she received her training from her mother, who was also a courtesan until she married. The Franco family was of relatively high birth for Venice, coming...
A variety of taverns and inns in fourteenth century Venice catered to clienteles of differing social stations, offering clues about modes of socialisation. Prior to 1355 some taverns received state privileges to serve the most costly white wines that came from Romania and Candia as well as Ribolla from the Friuli....
Tycho Brahe (1546-1601), the famous Danish astronomer had a fascinating life and much has been written about him. There is however, one fascinating theory about him – that he was the father of Christian IV and the source for Shakespeare’s Hamlet. Tycho Brahe lived on the island of Hven from...
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.
- An ode to play – A painting by Pieter Bruegel
- A return to your childhood is good for the soul
- 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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