Category Archives: Italy

Civic Vandalism

The way they run things in Italy is often infuriating. As I write I can hear chainsaws at work cutting down the beautiful umbrella pines on one of the main streets in Battaglia. Apparently some inhabitants have complained through social … Continue reading

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Another discovery in the hills

I thought, having lived in this part of Italy on and off for 8 years that I knew all the local interesting places, but this afternoon I discovered another. The Santuario at Monteortone, only about five miles away, is half … Continue reading

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The Saving of a Crumbling Castle

On the fringes of my Italian village is the enormous Catajo castle which has almost sleeping beauty status, having been neglected for 100 years. It went up for auction recently but there were no takers, presumably because however cheap it … Continue reading

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Loreto and the Flying Holy House

The strange – ridiculous – story of Loreto intrigued me so much that I had to go to see it. The home of the Virgin Mary miraculously found its way to Loreto carried by angels, and landed in an olive … Continue reading

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A Midsummer’s Night in Padua

A Shakespeare festival in Padua? Someone had the brilliant idea of imitating Speakers’ Corner in Hyde Park and allowing anyone who wished to recite Shakespeare for 400 seconds to mark the 400th anniversary of his death. I asked naively whether … Continue reading

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The Genius of Fortuny

I knew Fortuny was a talented man: an inventor, artist, photographer, designer…but I didn’t realise until this week that he was a genius. We had an appointment to see the Fortuny showrooms and private gardens on Giudecca in Venice. When … Continue reading

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Not one, but two BBC interviews!

To the BBC’s Pink Palace this morning to record an interview about life in NE Italy compared with life in NE England. It was specifically to discuss the link between the boatyard of the North East Maritime Trust in South … Continue reading

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Putting the Canal Museum on the Tourist Map

The Museum of Inland Navigation in Battaglia Terme is going from strength to strength, and deservedly so. The collection is unique, and beautifully displayed. A couple of months ago, they developed an audio guide, and asked me if I’d do … Continue reading

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Diary of a non event

I was half hoping that the Canale Fiorito Festival might be better organised this year, given that I had actually been allocated a space (number 23). Typically though, when I went the previous evening to see where it was, (a … Continue reading

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The power of the humble dishcloth

For decades the ancient castle, Catajo, in my Italian village has been allowed to crumble, unloved and in urgent need of tlc. But time moves on, and the three sisters in their 90s who owned it are no more. It … Continue reading

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