The turquoise and emerald hues of Caserta’s English Garden

The gardens of the Royal Palace of Caserta are an attraction that I first discovered through Monty Don’s Great Gardens of Italy series. The images of the Bath of Venus in the English Garden had caught my eye especially. So on a recent visit to Campania I made sure that Caserta was on the itinerary. … More The turquoise and emerald hues of Caserta’s English Garden

The spellbinding tales of Benevento’s witches and the walnut tree

In Britain, places like York and Edinburgh pull in tourists by presenting themselves as the “most haunted city” in the country, Europe, or even the world. Tours are organised around sites of spooky events, and thousands of fascinated visitors relish the scary stories. Yet there is a little-known town in southern Italy that could also make … More The spellbinding tales of Benevento’s witches and the walnut tree

A day exploring Benevento’s historical and culinary gems

Benevento is situated about 50 km north-east of Naples, and is first recorded as a city of the Samnite Italic tribe. It was originally called “Maleventum”, which the Romans believed meant “site of bad things”, so they changed it to “Beneventum” or “site of good things” after they gained control around the 3rd century BC. … More A day exploring Benevento’s historical and culinary gems

Returning to Viterbo for the festival of Saint Rose

When I visited Viterbo in northern Lazio for the first time in January, several locals told me about the special festival the town holds for its patron Saint Rose on September 3. I heard stories and saw pictures of the “Machine of Saint Rose”– a lantern-like tower that is carried around town on the shoulders of … More Returning to Viterbo for the festival of Saint Rose