The body of the Spanish artist Francisco de Goya, lies buried in the small, superb Hermitage of San Antonio de la Florida – but only his body, as his head has never been found. There has been numerous theories concerning the fate of Goya’s skull, and among them two,...
If you walk across the Pont de Toledo over the Manzanares river in Madrid, you will see a stone niche protecting a forgotten sculpture of Santa María de la Cabeza, the widow of San Isidro (St Isidore), male patron saint of Madrid. The bridge was built between 1718 and...
The Church of San José (St Joseph) at No. 43 Calle de Alcalà, is probably the favourite spot of the ghost hunters who seem to abound in the city. The first ghost story associated with the church took place in the nineteenth century shortly after the expulsion in 1836b...
I love this light and fresh mousse from Belinda Harvey from her cookbook Roast Lamb in the Olive Groves, a review of which I will put on the blog shortly. This is a garlic-free tzatziki transformed into a mousse, but you can add a little garlic to it if you...
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...
Here is a recipe for the chocolate lovers out there – a superb French inspired Chocolate Cherry Tart which is sure to be an absolute hit with family and friends. Warning – this is a little bit of ‘death by chocolate’ so be prepared!! I have made this...
I have just finished reading this wonderful trilogy from Michael Harrington and wanted to share the book with you. The book is described in the following way: “The City of Man is a trilogy based on a true story of the Italian Renaissance. The three books are structured on...
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...
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...
Giovanni Battista Moroni – Portrait of a Man (‘The Tailor’) c. 1570, Canvas 97.8 x 74.9cm, London, National Gallery. Moroni is one of the most famous North Italian portrait specialists of the 16th century. He was a native of Albino, near Bergamo. In his early years he worked in...
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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