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...
Archive for category: Tuscany
The Church of San Sepolcro, Pisa, has a well that is associated with a remarkable 12th century miracle. Born in Calcinia (Pisa) around 1136, Ubaldesca Taccini would from a very early age reveal her great spirituality and charity. One day, while she was working in the fields, a stranger...
I am a passionate collector of Phaidon cookbooks (www.phaidon.com) and I am starting on a journey of sharing these with you. The first one I have chosen is the lusciously illustrated Tuscany. This cookbook originates from II cuuhiaio d’argento Cucina Regionale, first published in 2008, and from II cucciaio d’argento first published...
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...
Carved to the right of the main doorway into Lucca Cathedral is a labyrinth measuring some 50cm in diameter. The accompanying inscription reads: “This is the labyrinth designed by the Cretan Daedalus. None of those who ventured into it ever found their way out, with the exception of Theseus,...
On the left side of the cathedral, on practically the last part of the wall that is visible, there is a strange square formed of five Latin words carved into a slab of white marble. Arranged one work per line, these form a palindrome which reads : SATOR AREPO ...
In Florence on the corner of Palazzo Vecchietti at the junction of Via degli Strozzi and Via de’Vecchietti is a bronze statue of an insolent, jeering little devil. The work of Giambologna (or Jean de Boulogne, 1529-1608) it was commissioned by Bernardo Vecchietti to commemorate a mysterious incident in Florence’s...
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...
This is one of those rustic, simple, delicious dishes made for sharing. Served with Parmesan, ciabatta or Tuscan bread and a red like a Sangiovese, you have a dish made in heaven! This recipe will serve 4-6 and you need to allow around 1 hour 20 minutes cooking time....
In Via Padre Cristoforo Chiantini, San Sano 53013 Gaiole in Chianti you will find a curious statue of a frog gulping down wine. Even more curiously, the statue owes its existence to a television programme. In the 1967 programme Tappabuchi, a word that might be translated as “stopgap”, 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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