“THE END IS WHERE WE START FROM”

In my last post about my visit to Cinque Terre I tantalised my readers with the following words :  “I was on the home stretch of Journey 2.   I had one famous sight to see (i.e. Cinque Terre) then it would be a slow return via Italian countryside to Courcheval, through the Mont Blanc tunnel, … Continue reading

CINQUE TERRE – WHERE POETS ALSO WALKED

Leaving lovely Lucca and Tuscany behind, I was on the home stretch of Journey 2.   I had one famous sight to see then it would be a slow return via Italian countryside to Courchevel, through the Mont Blanc tunnel, to my home in France just outside Geneva.  It would be on this last, leisurely leg … Continue reading

LUCCA – LOVE AT FIRST SIGHT

For me, Lucca was a love at first sight that grew and grew into total adoration.  Rarely has a town captured my heart so and filled it with joy.     Part of its appeal is that Lucca is small, compact and self-contained within its city walls, full of history and beauty at every turn with … Continue reading

SIENA – IN THE FOOTSTEPS OF GHOSTS

Quite recently I read a book on Michelangelo by Irving Stone called ‘The Agony and the Ecstasy’ that brought the man, his art, his times and his contemporaries remarkably to life.  Evidently Stone spent years in Italy researching his subject, working in a marble quarry, as an apprentice sculptor, and reading Michelangelo’s 495 letters which … Continue reading

THE SURPRISING GIFTS OF ASSISI

In Assisi I was to receive a soulful gift, a joyful gift and a life lesson. But not in the way you might expect. For these events did not occur in one of the many churches there, nor in the famous Papal Basilica di San Francesco – one of the most impressive, expensive and art-abundant … Continue reading

LORETO & MARY’S SACRED HOUSE

There is a legend – that after the crusaders were expelled from Palestine in 1291, angels carried Mary’s house in Nazareth away to safety.  This was the house in which she had been visited by Angel Gabriel who revealed that she was to carry the son of God.  This was the dwelling in which she later … Continue reading

THE CHARM OF AUTHENTIC ITALY

As I left the heel of Italy to meander slowly home to Geneva I had a rich choice:  south-west to Sicily and a boat to Genoa; travel up the west coast of Italy through Naples, Pompeii and Rome; or follow the lesser known east coast for a while.  What do you think I chose? Yes, … Continue reading

NOT ‘DOWN AT HEEL’ IN ITALY!

Neither my words nor my photographs can portray the utter “over-the-topness” of the baroque architecture of Lecce in southern Italy.   The building façades are so ornate and flowery with their statues, curlicues, gargoyles and festoons, that the style has its own name – “barocco leccese”. I was staying right down in the stiletto heel of … Continue reading

I AM PENSIVE IN PADUA

A question.  Can a garden be as artistic as a fresco? For what is art? If it is about expression, beauty, the effect on the beholder, some essence transmitted from a creator to a recipient, then surely both can count. This was the question I pondered in Padua. Padua is famous for the Scrovegni Chapel … Continue reading

A LETTER FROM VERONA

Beautiful beautiful little Verona! The wide Piazza Bra holding the famous 1st Century Roman Arena, where concerts and opera performances are still held in an acoustically perfect amphitheatre.  Cosy Piazza delle Erbe, from the word for herb, where markets have been held for centuries watched over by the tall Lamberti Tower and prettily painted houses … Continue reading