Introduction

Over the six years I lived in Italy from 2010, I had many weekends when I could go and explore hidden corners of Rome and its surroundings. I gradually uncovered increasingly intriguing places that were barely known to most people, especially outside the country, yet had much to teach us. When I switched to freelance … More Introduction

A weekend journey through Valpolicella and Valpantena

Valpolicella in the Veneto, known locally as the “pearl of Verona”, is a hilly and scenic area of Italy where you can tour vineyards, discover the local range of wines from Valpolicella Classico to Amarone, and visit some of the most beautiful and elegant villas in the country. If you are planning a holiday to … More A weekend journey through Valpolicella and Valpantena

Villa Palagonia: the enchanted mansion of monsters

At a first glance, Villa Palagonia in Bagheria, to the east of Palermo, could be a villa like any other. But walk further into its gardens, and you will enter into the strange and mysterious world of Francesco Ferdinando Gravina II, the eccentric 18th century Prince of Palagonia. The villa was constructed on behalf of … More Villa Palagonia: the enchanted mansion of monsters

Leonardo da Vinci’s vineyard: the revival of a hidden passion

I returned to Milan for the first time in years this month and I decided to seek out the sites linked to Leonardo da Vinci. Of course I wanted to see the “Last Supper” masterpiece in the Church of Santa Maria delle Grazie, but I also heard there was a chance to discover a more … More Leonardo da Vinci’s vineyard: the revival of a hidden passion