Category Archives: Italy

…and North Again

From Menton, with its glimmering sea and glittering inhabitants, we drove east along the coast and straight into Italy, where the buildings instantly lost their glamour and polish. Manicured gardens became market gardens, pencil pines were exchanged for olive trees … Continue reading

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Rome: a City of Echoes, Illusions and Yearning…

… so says Giotto di Bondone, Renaissance painter. It was the middle of June. We were in Rome to celebrate a significant double birthday that suddenly felt, joyfully, incredibly insignificant among an overwhelming density of history and antiquities. Rome is … Continue reading

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Childhood Holidays

My father found her hanging around outside the Australian Embassy on the Strand in London, just after Christmas 1975. She was already quite elderly, and ran out of puff at the mere mention of a hill. We called her Bella. … Continue reading

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“I can see clearly now…”

Last weekend, in a bustling café on a boulevard in the south of France, I watched two trays of Aperol Spritz heading to neighbouring tables, where diners were keen to kick off with a little splash of sunshine before brunch. As … Continue reading

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Dreaming of Tuscany…

Italy: the land of art, architecture and ancient culture, poetry, pasta and wine; of long, lazy, summer lunches at rough wooden tables strewn with wine bottles and the detritus of a simple feast; of broad, shady terraces overlooking vine-draped hills … Continue reading

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Una Notte in Italia

School went back in August, which means we are back to horrendously early starts, long afternoons of soccer practices and weekends chock-a-block with rugby. If there is a spare moment, the boys are out in the back room madly killing … Continue reading

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A Splash of Heaven

When we left Florence this summer, I had secreted a bottle of twelve year old balsamic vinegar I had bought in the Mercato Centrale. Wrapped tightly in a pair of jeans and tucked into the bottom of my suitcase, it … Continue reading

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Gelato: a truly Italian invention

“Filipinos are not settling anymore for the commercialized, not-so-yummy, imported brands [of ice cream]” according to Filipino blogger Anton Diaz in his popular blog ‘Our Awesome Planet’. And indeed I have watched with fascination as local entrepreneurs create their own … Continue reading

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An End to the Affair

I first went to Florence on a decidedly pedestrian bus tour in the mid-1980s. We struck it lucky with the most magical tour guide, however, an English expatriate who was besotted with Florentine art. Sadly, I don’t even remember her … Continue reading

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A Culinary Mosaic

‘Italy, the country with a hundred cities and a thousand bell towers, is also the country with a hundred cuisines and a thousand recipes. Its great variety of culinary practices reflects a history long dominated by regionalism and political division, … Continue reading

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