June 15 2015 / Places

Vows and Views, Assisi

Assisi, Umbria

The beautiful town of Assisi in Umbria is utterly identified with a merchant’s son, Giovanni di Pietro di Bernadone, better


February 6 2015 / Local Interest

FUNICULÌ, FUNICULÀ!

Mount Vesuvius, Campania

From the days when British Ambassador William Hamilton wore through his shoes (and those of his long-suffering servants) upon the


December 7 2012 / Places

Venus Revealed: The English Garden

Caserta, Campania

Think Caserta, and you think High Baroque style, a desire to out-Versailles Versailles in terms of scale, magnificence and power-projection.


June 8 2012 / Places

Giochi d’Acqua at the Villa d’Este

Tivoli, Lazio

Cardinal Ippolito II d’Este had, shall we say, powerful relatives – a grandson of Pope Alexander VI, son of Alfonso


May 24 2012 / Local Interest

Sea Naples and Revive

Naples, Campania

A few years ago I wrote about the pleasures of Sunday mornings by the sea in Naples. Traffic was banned


March 19 2012 / Art & Archaeology

Santa Caterina a Formello

Naples, Campania

Not far from the Porta Capuana, one of the ancient gates of Naples, stands a church with Renaissance roots. Originally


February 24 2012 / Art & Archaeology

Cuma, Messages from the Past

Cumae, Campania

Ancient sites jostle for attention across Campania but Cuma deserves a special place in the heart of any European, for


December 16 2011 / Local Interest

Bologna the Red

Bologna, Emilia-Romagna

Bologna has three soubriquets – la dotta, la grassa and la rossa. The city is dotta (learned) thanks to her


November 10 2011 / Places

A View with a City

Napoli, Campania

App or map, you have to orientate yourself in an unfamiliar city. In Naples the view from the Castel Sant’Elmo


June 21 2011 / Local Interest

A Tug at the Heartstrings

Naples, Campania

Not far from Piazza Dante, Naples, wedged into the side of a palazzo courtyard, is a small studio. Wood shavings


April 28 2011 / Art & Archaeology

The Fountain of Neptune

Bologna, Emilia-Romagna

If you were Bolognese, you’d be used to it, pass it every day on the way to market, lean against


April 4 2011 / Places

The Bourbon Tunnel

Naples, Campania

1848 was a year of riot and revolution across Europe. The Bourbon king of the Two Sicilies, Ferdinand II, beset


March 23 2011 / Places

La Mortella

Ischia, Campania

La Mortella is a garden on the island of Ischia, the result of a love affair. Look around you; you


February 15 2011 / Local Interest

A Balcony in Naples

Naples, Campania

January always feels like the turning of a page. Resolutions, new beginnings, out with the old. We review the past,


January 19 2011 / Events

Naples Rocks

Naples, Campania

Something unusual at the Palazzo delle Arti Napoli – Rock! – an exhibition telling the story of rock music and


December 17 2010 / Art & Archaeology

Carotenuto’s Painted Presepe

Salerno, Campania

If you are passing the Duomo (cathedral) in Salerno, look out for two angels above the doorway to the Sala


December 2 2010 / Art & Archaeology

Duomo di San Matteo – The Crypt

Salerno, Campania

(related to this note…) There are many places in Italy where a ‘wow!’ cannot be suppressed and I defy you


November 17 2010 / Food & Wine

Insalata Caprese – deceptively simple

Naples, Campania

What’s so special about a simple salad of tomatoes, mozzarella cheese and basil? Well, it does fly the Italian flag


November 10 2010 / Art & Archaeology

Mazzoni’s Compianto

Naples, Campania

Amongst the many Renaissance treasures to be seen in the church of Santa Anna dei Lombardi is an extraordinary group


October 27 2010 / Places

Palazzo Reale

Naples, Campania

In 1600 Viceroy Fernando Ruiz de Castro heard that his master Philip III of Spain had decided to visit Naples


October 11 2010 / Art & Archaeology

The Suburban Baths

Ercolano, Campania

Few ancient sites have the power to thrill like Pompeii and Herculaneum – the cities Vesuvius destroyed in AD79. Here


September 28 2010 / Art & Archaeology

Santa Anna dei Lombardi a Monteoliveto

Naples, Campania

Naples is home to much glorious baroque, but here’s a place where the Florentine Renaissance extended south. The church and