Category Italy

The sacred and profane

This monochrome floor, complete with swastikas, is in Pompeii, one of many hidden by volcanic ash for more than 1,500 years following the eruption of Vesuvius in 79 AD. Almost all the city’s inhabitants died that day but their everyday objects remained: tables, beds, and chairs, these mosaic floors and some intricately decorated walls. The […]

A change of plan

So the plan last weekend was to take a two hour train ride from Lucca to Riomaggiore on the coast, and then walk from Riomaggiore to Monterosso via the three coastal villages of Manarola, Corniglia and Vernazza. This stretch of coastline, and the five villages, are all part of Italy’s Cinque Terre National Park and […]

On songs, and bareback horse racing

Yesterday I stood in the shade and cried a little as I listened to men singing together in the street. I am on holiday in Siena with my son J, during the run-up to the Palio, an extraordinary bareback horse dash around the massive Piazza del Campo which takes place every 16th August, and has […]

Weekly Photo Challenge: Street Life

Venice, 11th November 2012. Rain and wind, and woken by emergency sirens in the middle of the night. Venice had suffered its 6th highest acqua alta (‘high water’) since 1872, and 70% of the city’s streets were under water. My weekend away with friends, already special, became an altogether different kind of experience… 194 cm […]