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

Watching the sun set from Monticchiello in Tuscany

On my Tuscan travels, I had a chance to stop for the evening in Monticchiello and contemplate the surrounding landscape like a painting as the sun set. Perched on a hill in the Orcia valley, this fortified medieval village is an unspoilt jewel which offers stunning views of Pienza and the neat rows of cypress … More Watching the sun set from Monticchiello in Tuscany

A moment in the oratory of St. Catherine of the Night

I’ve always hoped to discover more about St. Catherine of Siena (1347-1380). I was drawn to her firstly because I share her name, but also because she was a strong woman, producing a lot of spiritual writing, not being afraid to speak her mind, and working hard to help the poor and sick. When I … More A moment in the oratory of St. Catherine of the Night

San Giovenale: a little gem overlooking the hills of Orvieto

When I am in the Umbrian hilltop town of Orvieto, what I like to do best is to wander through the backstreets, all the way to the viewpoints on the far outskirts, in front of the pretty little church of San Giovenale (Saint Juvenal). This spot is a jewel for many reasons: firstly you can … More San Giovenale: a little gem overlooking the hills of Orvieto