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: Travel
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...
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...
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...
Dating back to the Renaissance, the historic game of “Florentine football” is sometimes considered the ancestor of the modern-day version, however the rules of and the physical contact in the game make it more similar to rugby than to football. The players in the Renaissance came from the...
About 22km (14 miles) northeast of the town of Évora, in the centre of the marble-quarrying region of Portugal, you will find the beautiful little town of Estremoz, which although much smaller than Évora contains some fascinating monuments. It is also famous for its pinky glow, which is courtesy of the...
In Sainte-Madeleine Church, Place des Prêcheurs, Aix-en-Provence you will find a magnificent piece of art, albeit only the central panel of the Annunciation triptych remains in place, with the left panel (in two parts) and the right panel having been removed to Brussels, Rotterdam and Amsterdam. This work, the...
In the 9th Arrondissement at 6, rue Sainte-Cécile, Paris you will find a beautiful but little known church which is curiously dedicated to two saints: Saint Eugene (in honour of Napoleon III’s wife, Eugénie, who was responsible for the building of the church) and Saint Cecilia (patron saint 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.
- 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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