Category Archives: Italy

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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Yet Another Glorious Villa

In my apartment there is a poster showing photographs of villas in and around Padua. Mostly we have ticked them off, but a few remain, mainly because they require group visits and there are only two of us. However, I … Continue reading

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The Comfort of Strangers

When I was in London recently, I was on my way to Tate Britain by Underground and found myself sitting next to a man who had rummaged around in his briefcase and pulled out a text which he proceeded to … Continue reading

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Should I kill a pig?

At the last English conversation group, Arturo, who spends his summers in the Dolomites with a herd of cattle, announced that he had something interesting for me to do. He knows I like to experience Italian life, warts and all. … Continue reading

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A Magical Evening of Opera in Venice

There isn’t much publicity for these opera in a palazzo events, so I count myself lucky that my friend knew, and booked for La Traviata. Being Italy, it wasn’t as straight forward as buying tickets. We had to join a … Continue reading

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