Voted the most beautiful village in Italy in 2014, Gangi doesn’t have a village feel. From the minute you start the long, convoluted climb to the top, you get a sense of size, if not space. When I think of villages, I think of populations in hundreds, not thousands. Read more

We went to visit Scicli because of its fame as the location of Montalabano’s Vigata. But even if you’re not a Montalbano fan, it’s a town worth spending time in. Read more

It took me forever to remember to pronounce Scicli as Sheekly and it’s not like I was short of teachers or correctors. Vigata was much more manageable. But while the Vigata in Andrea Camilleri’s books is based on his hometown Porto Empedocle, the Vigata of the TV series is an amalgam of various towns and villages in the Sicilian province of Ragusa, which includes Scicli. Read more

Montalbano likes the water. He likes to swim. And he likes to walk the beach. But looking at his place in Punta Secca and the beach he has outside his door, it looked a little short for some of the beach scenes in the TV show. Read more

In July 2019, one of my favourite men in the whole wide world died. Italian Andrea Camilleri created the character Salvo Montalbano and when Camilleri died, so did Montalbano. A lot like Colin Dexter and Inspector Morse, except that the actor who plays the TV Montalbano – Luca Zingaretti – is still very much alive.

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I’m not a great fan of caves. I may well have overdosed on them when we were in Georgia a few years back, but I tend to lose the plot when in Malta on a blue-sky, blue-sea day with the sun bouncing off the limestone cliffs. There’s something very Enid Blyton-y about it all. Read more

‘Blessed is she who expects nothing, for she shall never be disappointed’ is a motherism that I think I’ve taken to heart. When I went to South Africa a few years back, I had zero expectations. Nada. Zilch. I wasn’t even all that excited about going. Read more

Just days before our gift voucher expired, we decided to book a city walking tour of Budapest with Mysterium Tours. It was a miserable, wet winter’s night. We had our guide to ourselves when we turfed up to the zero-mile marker at Clark Ádám tér. Read more

Ireland has five official cities: Dublin, Cork, Limerick, Galway, and Waterford. By official, I mean administrative. Kilkenny, usually referred to as a city, is an exception to the rule. Why I’m not exactly sure, but if you’re interested, I’m sure this will explain it all. For a while back in the seventeenth century, Kilkenny was the unofficial capital of Ireland with its own parliament. Read more

Wowed by the grandeur of Lillafüred, we continued on our way towards the town of Diósgyőr, now part of the northern Hungarian city of Miskolc. Himself had gotten wind of a castle-castle this time and since it was sort of on our way back to Budapest, we thought: Why not? Read more