The story of the Pelican Fountain is interesting for not every day is water turned into wine!! Listed as a historic monument in 1942 (so some classification of monuments went on during the war…), the fountain in Pélissanne consists of a tall, smooth column topped by a partly Ionic,...
Archive for category: Did You Know?
The Codex Gigas is the largest known medieval manuscript. It is also referred to as the Devil’s Bible, on the one hand because there is a large illustration of the Devil inside and on the other because of the legend surrounding its creation. The work contains the Vulgate Bible...
The magic square is one of the greatest mysteries behind Gaudi’s Temple Expiatori de la Sagrada Familia, Barcelona. Its grid is made up of a series of numbers, the sum of which is always 33 whether they are totalled horizontally, vertically or diagonally. Generally in this type of grid,...
The fountain or Nymphaeum of Fata Morgana* (Ninfeo della Fata Morgana) is an astonishing building imbued with a dreamlike atmosphere of myth and, perhaps, magic! According to an inscription carved in stone – I am, o reader, the youthful Fata Morgana, who here gives youth to others – the waters...
Wine ceramic pitchers, known as boccali, had been in use in Italy since the end of the Middle Ages, with many of them decoratively painted. However, by the 16th century, a variant on this common piece of tableware emerged in the form of the puzzle or trick jug. The...
Did you know that the signature jasmine fragrance of Chanel No. 5 comes only from the jasmine fields of Grasse, France? Well, here is a little behind that fact and comes from an article I read by Toni Mason. Grasse lies some 20kms from the Côte d’Azur and is a half-hour drive west...
Gaspard Bouis was born in Besse-sur-Issole on 9 February 1757. It was during a visit to the village by recruiting seageants that Gaspard, no doubt under the influence of alcohol typically employed by the military in those time, signed up for the French army. The following day, once the...
One of the many books I am re-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,...
Did you know the story about the most expensive bottle of wine ever broken? Well, here it is….. In 1989, William Sokolin, a New York wine merchant, was asked to sell an extremely rare and sought after wine on consignment. The wine was a 1787 Chateau Margaux and engraved...
Benedict (image is by Phillipe de Champaigne The Poisoned Cup of Wine c. 1643-48) was born around the year 480 AD to wealthy parents in Nursia, now the region in Umbria in central Italy. As a young man of privilege it is said that he led a life of promiscuity...
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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