Trovare Verde Venezia (Finding Green Venice)

I won’t lie, my job takes me to some fascinating places. I don’t always get to see a great deal of the cities and countries on my itinerary, but I generally experience enough to decide whether I’d want to return under my own steam. This week’s business trip was to the Veneto and Fruili in […]

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In a Tuscan Garden

  My job takes me to all sorts of interesting places, some nice, some not so nice, but always interesting. This week I have been in Tuscany learning about winemaking and tasting some remarkable wines. This definitely counts as ‘nice’, or ‘bello’ as the Italians would say. Italy is my favourite place to travel, exceeding […]

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Il Giardino di Boboli, Florence

  The Medici of Florence were not only one of the richest families in Europe for a time, but also phenomenal garden makers. They laid out the grounds of their multitudinous palaces and villas to demonstrate power and control, making extensive use of precious water, shading trees, citrus fruits and fragrant roses. The Medici gardens […]

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Absence Makes the Heart Grow Fonder

  This week an Italian described their country to me as “Third World”. I may only be a visitor, but I could not agree less. Italy possesses almost everything I want out of life – good weather, delicious food, stylish clothes, amazing wine and a slower pace – although, alas, not good Internet access, in […]

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Daily Flower Candy: Russelia equisetiformis

Wherever I wandered in Sicily there they were, the coral-spangled pony-tails of Russelia equisetiformis, cascading from the brims of elegant terracotta pots. I had admired this Central Amercian sub-shrub before, in the grounds of a monastery in Lebanon, where it tumbled over marigolds to reach the edge of a sandstone wall. Commonly known as coral […]

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Orto Botanico di Palermo

The botanical gardens in Sicily’s first city, Palermo, are among the oldest and most important in Europe. Conceived in the late 1700’s no expense was spared on their construction. As today, early visitors were greeted by a triumphal neo-classical Gymnasium (intended for exercising the mind rather than the body), flanked by symmetrical buildings housing tropical […]

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