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 of Italy. One of my favourite aspects of the Veneto … 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 that for a short period of time there … More Leonardo da Vinci’s vineyard: the revival of a hidden passion

Getting lost in Donnafugata castle and its magical gardens

You may be familiar with Donnafugata castle it if you watch the television drama about Inspector Montalbano, as some of the show was filmed there. In fact, the castle is the home of Mafia boss Don Balduccio Sinagra in the series. Situated to the west of Ragusa, the name “Donnafugata” has varying explanations. Information at the … More Getting lost in Donnafugata castle and its magical gardens