In the Municipal Museum of Lucignano, Tuscany, you will find an exceptional example of Arezzo’s goldsmiths – the Golden Tree. Also known as the “Tree of Life”, the “Tree of Lucignano”. the “Tree of Love” or the “Tree of St. Francis”, this Golden Tree is, in fact, a reliquary....
Archive for month: April, 2016
“Txakolí is an acquired taste,” Basque wine buffs will say with a smile. The strange name conceals a slightly sparkling, sweet and lively white wine with fresh acidity and rather restrained fruit. The name Txakolí (Spanish Chacolí) is derived from the Arabic, chacalet, which means something weak, light, or thin. The fresh, light...
I must admit that I’ve not quite got swept up in the new fad of adult colouring books, although I have indulged in a couple and admit that there is something therapeutic about sitting down and forgetting you are an adult for a while with a bunch of coloured...
Armagnac has the reputation of being as individual and unique as are the people of Gascony. Individual vintners, distillers and éléveurs who age, assemble and offer this golden liquid are, in the main, responsible for its creation. Rather than asking for a particular brand, restaurateurs and sommeliers select a specific...
The fresco The School of Athens by Raphael (c1509-11) is one of my favourite works by Raphael, so I decided to share a little about this work here, and as an aside I am currently doing an embroidery of this wonderful work. This fresco is the most famous of...
During excavation work in the mid-19th century, some rooms were discovered from the Roman period about 8 metres underneath the current street level of Via della Settima Coorte. The building was identified as housing a detachment from the seventh cohort of the city’s guards, or firemen, thanks to the...
I love reading historical travel accounts and diary entries, especially about the Mediterranean and here is a small extract from Goethe about Sicily which I wanted to share with you…. Towards the end of the 18th century, Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, who loved travelling in Italy, kept a...
Agios Oros, the holy mountain of the Orthodox world, is a place of peace and reflection, geared totally to a monastic way of life. In actual fact, it is ruled over by a woman, even though it is now only accessible to men. The Holy Mother of God is...
Located just a short distance from the Termini train station in Rome and squeezed in between the tracks of old and new railway lines, the small Church of Santa Bibiana goes laregly unnoticed due to its unfortunate position, hidden by train pylons, by its own enclosure, and by the...
In the Basilica of Sant’Eustorgio, Milan, with some difficulty, you will see a haut-relief on the capital of the fifth column to the right of the nave, which depicts the transport of the bodies of the Three Magi to Milan. Dating from the eleventh century, it shows Eustorgio leading...
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
- The pelican fountain that becomes a fountain of wine….
- A Donatello head of Virgil’s horse, Palazzo Carafa, Naples
- Codex Gigas or The Bible written by the Devil!!
- A lock in Milan designed by Leonardo da Vinci
- Who was the Marquis of Pombal?
- The curious sculpture of Ancient Rome’s “Man of the Forests” – Venice
- The mystery of the magic Square, Sagrada Familia, Barcelona
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