The fine Renaissance Palazzo Carafa holds a copy of the horse’s head originally exhibited in Naples National Archeological Museum in the 18th century. Considered as a symbol of the city, the provenance of the head has always been disputed: some have seen it as a Greek original while others ...
Archive for category: History
The lock at the end of Via San Marco, below Viale Monte Grappa, once marked the arrival point for those coming into the city from the north along the Naviglio Martesana (NM): now emptied of water, it still has the decaying wooden lock gates which are identical to those...
Sebastião José de Carvalho e Mello, Marquis de Pombal and Count of Oeiras (Lisbon 1699 – Leiria 1782), held the position of Secretary of State of the kingdom of King Dom José I from 1750 to 1777. A representative of this enlightened despotism, he experienced first hand Portugal’s...
Standing just a few steps from the Church of Santa Maria dei Miracoli, the Façade of Palazzo Bembo-Boldù is decorated with a very distinctive sculpture: a life-size figure of a hairy man holding a round shield adorned with the Sun. This pelt-covered figure us a rare depiction of Homo Silvanus,...
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,...
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...
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...
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...
I have sat down several times to write a review of Imprimatur and, quite frankly, the way to describe this outstanding 2002 published book has defeated me. But, never one to give up, and now into the first sequel of this book, I have turned my mind to this...
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...
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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