St Francis believed in a life free of material goods where worth was measured in kindness. How a visit to the Italian town of Assisi reinforces this idea.
Hannibal’s great victory at Lake Trasimeno On the land I’m standing on in rural Italy, tens of thousands of people were once killed. Of such a scale was the slaughter that the waters of the nearby lake were reportedly turned red for days. Even as the blood was still flowing, the battle here at Lake […]
The Italian restaurant food challenge Move over Masterchef, Iron Chef and My Kitchen Rules. There’s a new cooking competition in town and it’s happening right in front of my eyes. Two great chefs, pitted against each other, are battling for my stomach. Two appetizers, two entrees, two mains and two desserts. At the end of […]
Brunello Cucinelli cashmere factory Inside an ancient castle, high in the hills of the Italian region of Umbria, a small army of women hold court. The lands around the castle no longer belong to the royalty but these women are queens of their domain. They are the cashmere makers of Brunello Cucinelli and they take […]
Agritourism in Italy For the Italians, it’s no secret. In the past five years they have embraced a new way to see their country. It’s about getting closer to nature, closer to tradition and closer to peace of mind. For foreigners, it’s a mystery. But there’s only one thing stopping them from having the same […]
The Perugina chocolate factory Who knew that making chocolate would be so filthy! It’s only when I look down to see my hands covered, my shoes with drips on them and my apron smeared with brown traces of fingers, that I realise there is no clean way to do this. I’m having a chocolate-making lesson […]
At a villa in the Umbrian countryside, I relax into a soothing Italian way of life and learn to appreciate the weather we get.
The annual Good Friday procession through Umbria’s ancient city of Assisi is an important Easter event in Italy. To be there is a strange experience.
This old railway line between the towns of Spoleto and Norcia offers an incredible walk through the Umbrian countryside.