Stories from travels in


Genoa, Italy

There’s an earthiness about the Italian city of Genoa (Genova) that appeals to me. Perhaps it’s because it’s a port city. Maybe it’s because of

Sunlight bathing an apartment building in bright yellow

Milan, Italy

For someone so attached to old stuff, I’m enjoying whatever detour it is that I’m on. I’m a huge fan of tradition and have, on

Padova (Padua), Italy

I grew up with St Anthony, the saint who, for a fee, can find just about anything you’ve lost. And you don’t have to be

Trieste, Italy

Trieste feels different. It’s very much an Italian city, and yet it feels different. Almost entirely surrounded by Slovenia, perhaps it’s had to absorb more

Art Biennale, Venice, Italy

There is such a thing as having too much … of a good thing. I’m a massive fan of the Biennale  – ‘a celebration of

Venice, Italy

Himself has a huge grá for Venice. Last time I went without him, he pointed me in the direction of Tintoretto, a man I’d love

Brighly painted terraced houses lining a small canal

Islands in the Venetian Lagoon, Italy

Visitors to Venice are often time poor or so focused on the city and all its splendour that they neglect the islands in the Venetian

navy blue sky frames a row of 17th century buildings lit up at night facing a large square

Verona, Italy

Romeo and Juliet? Truth? Fiction? Visiting Verona, I had to keep reminding myself that Shakespeare’s play was fictional. Yet the characters may well have been

Gangi, Sicily

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

A town too often overlooked: Scicli, Sicily

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