Artisans & Antiques; PUGLIA trips 2019

At the heel of the Italian boot, Puglia is a land of wild beauty where the stark rocky coastline seems to fall into the sea; a land of ancient olive groves and carpets of flowers,  where the light dazzles against the white of the Southern baroque piazze. As sure as the sea in Puglia is of the clearest turquoise, the food that comes out of the kitchens all over the region is … Continue reading Artisans & Antiques; PUGLIA trips 2019

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bookmarks: roads less travelled and unique places to stay

May 2018.  It is mid afternoon when we pull into the farm hotel.  A deep calm blankets the property and there is no sign of anyone apart from a French couple that pad across the courtyard toward the pool.  The tractors have been shut down for the day and the farm workers have gone home, but the air is alive with insect and bird life, … Continue reading bookmarks: roads less travelled and unique places to stay

when in Rome – tips for travelers

Since I started writing here back in 2014, I have noticed that readers like information.  So here I am at the start of a new year, and a new decade, with some practical pointers for Rome (and some free opinion). This year I will turn fifty.  Surprisingly I woke up on the first of January feeling kind of excited about it, as if flipping from … Continue reading when in Rome – tips for travelers

bookmarks: Rome, where to lay your head in the eternal city

Where should we stay in Rome? This city has become a jungle of ‘where to sleep’ options trickier to navigate than Piazza Venezia at rush hour, so I spend most of my time avoiding this question. Whilst booking, airbnb and co. have brought us travel hungry 21st century humans incredible choice at the swipe of a screen, they are also to thank for the wild price based competition happening … Continue reading bookmarks: Rome, where to lay your head in the eternal city

an Italian reading list

Sometimes I think about my final year history teacher, and how nice it would be to bump into him in a random piazza somewhere in Italy. Mr Staiff was one of those stand out teachers who take their students far beyond the standard textbook. We started our final year of European history with a screening of Zeffirelli’s Romeo and Juliet followed by a Mediterranean feast, … Continue reading an Italian reading list

Itineraries. Ceramics and the South; a pilgrimage to Grottaglie

The sun climbs as we leave the soft olive hillsides of the Valle D’Itria, where we are staying, for the red plains of the alto-Salento, and the road cuts through carpets of primitivo vines as it reaches out toward the almost irresistible waters of the Ionian sea. We are on a family holiday, but today we are on our way to a place I have been longing … Continue reading Itineraries. Ceramics and the South; a pilgrimage to Grottaglie

itineraries. around the vinyards of alto -Lazio

The Greeks that settled in southern Italy during the period between the 8th and the 6th century BC called the fertile land with its happy climate Oenotria; land of the trained vines.  They most probably brought with them cuttings to plant, among them Aglianico and Greco or Grechetto, varieties that are still found in central and southern Italy.   The Etruscans also cultivated wine in central Italy, … Continue reading itineraries. around the vinyards of alto -Lazio