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 category: Naples
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...
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...
The Veiled Christ statue in the Sansevero chapel in Naples, carved from a single block of marble by the Neopolitan Giuseppe Sanmartino (1720-1793), is considered the great masterpiece of 18th-century European sculpture. However, did you know that there is a theory that this sculpture was created through a process which...
When you are next planning a trip to the wonderful city of Naples, you must pay a visit to the extraordinary Museo di Capodimonte, one of Itay’s finest museums, which sits in the hilltop haven of Capodimonte. When Charles III of Bourbon became king, he gathered all the artworks...
The fountain on the wall of the church of Santa Caterina della Spinacorona in Naples has a curious and interesting story. The fountain was installed on the orders of Viceroy Don Pedro de Toledo in 1498 and is the least known of the three Naples fountains representing the Siren...
The remarkable frescoes that decorate the Chiostro del Platano in the former Benedictine monastery of Saints Severino and Sossio – now the State Archives – are attributed to Antonio Solario, nicknamed Lo Zingara (The Gypsy) but this attribution cannot be verified as the artist is shrouded in a mystery...
On the wall to the left of the main entrance of the church of San Domenico Maggiore, Naples is a marble plaque inscribed with Latin verses whose meaning has totally baffled even the most eminent researchers from the 17th century to this day. The plaque is also a mystery...
I love visiting libraries when I travel and the Biblioteca Alfredo De Marsico is a ‘must see’, especially if you have an interest in legal history. Housed in Castel Capuano, (the Norman royal palace from the 2nd century), which was converted into the Palace of Justice in the 16th...
Palazzo Penne, built in 1406 for Antonion Penne, the private secretary of King Ladislas of Anjou, is a rare example of the architecture of this period with its blend of Catalan (doorway) and Tuscan (façade bosses) elements. The renowned Antonio Baboccio was probably the designer. Penne’s influence at court was...
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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