A stroll around San Quirico d’Orcia and its public gardens

When I was preparing my trip to Tuscany while working as an English teacher in Rome, I surveyed my Italian students to uncover the best hidden jewels in the area around Siena. One of them I remember immediately suggested San Quirico d’Orcia, a town I had never heard of but that sounded ideal for my … More A stroll around San Quirico d’Orcia and its public gardens

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

Cerveteri’s Banditaccia: the Etruscan kingdom of the afterlife

Cerveteri’s Necropolis of Banditaccia is the greatest example of Etruscan burial traditions and architecture and one of the most significant ancient sites in the Mediterranean. If you are interested in learning more about the Etruscans, who held power in the Italian peninsula before the Romans and strongly influenced its culture, Cerveteri is an essential stop … More Cerveteri’s Banditaccia: the Etruscan kingdom of the afterlife

Calabria in the footsteps of the poet Edward Lear: Stilo

I first read about Stilo in the English poet and landscape painter Edward Lear’s account of his journeys throughout Calabria in 1847, which brought him to this hilltop town. Lear, who is best known for his nonsense poems including “The Owl and the Pussycat” spent part of that year walking across this southern Italian region … More Calabria in the footsteps of the poet Edward Lear: Stilo

Scylletium and its manuscript collector son Cassiodorus

A trip to the ancient site of Scylletium on the eastern Calabrian coast, south of Catanzaro, is a journey back along the historical roots of the Italian peninsula. Its beginnings are unclear, but in classical times it was either believed to have been founded by an Athenian colony involved in the Trojan War or by … More Scylletium and its manuscript collector son Cassiodorus