This category contains 42 posts

A car ride to Vannes

FOR far too long, driving in France has for me been no more than a direct route to Italy. But if France has been under-appreciated, my week in Brittany has changed all that and reminded me what a simply beautiful country it is. One of the best things was that we were able to avoid … Continue reading

What’s fat, red and clever? Beautiful Bologna

ITALIANS love to pin nicknames on their favourite cities like Rome, Venice and Naples – so it says much about Bologna, the pride of northern Italy’s Emilia-Romagna region, that it can boast at least three. There’s ‘La Dotta’, the learned one, a reference to its great university, founded in 1088, the oldest in the world, … Continue reading

So many heartfelt ways to say thank you

Originally posted on Rosie Staal:
? A surprising discovery in Sicily There are quite a lot of sights, when you’re in Italy, that cause you to break step, do a second take, shake your head and shrug before moving on, with the vision playing through your head long after. My visit to the Shrine of…

Out of sight: an important piece of history

Originally posted on Rosie Staal:
It is hard to believe that under this depressing mound of litter lies an important historical site. There, buried under the grime and grot, is nothing less than the late-Roman tomb of a wealthy Christian family, dating from around 400 AD, containing two sarcophagi and decorated with frescoes of roses,…

A surprise discovery beside a dusty road

Originally posted on Rosie Staal:
Walking along a busy, dirty, going-nowhere sort of road called Via Elorina in Siracusa, lined with derelict buildings and some scruffy stores, an open space was revealed on my right, behind a length of paint-peeled railings. A gate was propped open so I went in, my feet brushing through the…

Naples: third time lucky

                            ALTHOUGH we had visited Naples twice before, both were brief and superficial, so we felt we owed Campania’s great city a proper visit. Our first time was in 2005 when we had spent a few days staying in Pompeii; we had … Continue reading

Bristol fashion

IMAGES of Bristol during a brief visit.

Remembering the Exmoor flood

                                IF you’ve heard of Lynton and Lynmouth at all, chances are that the catastrophic floods of 1952 were the reason. On August 15 and 16 of that year, a storm of tropical power and intensity dumped nine inches of … Continue reading

Madeira: a change of seasons

                                IT’S mid-March and the UK is wrapped up against the chill, braced for the next storm. Spring is only days away but is still hiding its face behind winter’s grim countenance. Here in Funchal, capital of one of Europe’s … Continue reading

Abruzzo: an Italian secret worth discovering

LARGELY overlooked by the holiday brochures and travel writers, Abruzzo is arguably one of the least known regions of Italy – and that’s a crying shame. This sizeable territory, midway down the ‘calf’ of Italy’s shapely leg, has much to offer visitors and could certainly use a healthy injection of tourist currency. Abruzzo borders Le … Continue reading