A walk around Ancona’s picturesque old town
My visit to Ancona was something of a happy accident. My friend and I were propelled here by convenience, but found an atmospheric old city worthy of a visit in its own right. The reason for our stay was simply that I had to catch a train to Milan the following morning and wanted to be near the station. A budget hotel just across the road made a convenient base for an early start, but we made sure we arrived in good time the previous day so that we could…
On a walk through Serra San Quirico
Imagine a small hill-top town, its old buildings ringed by a defensive wall. The wall is threaded through with covered passageways, known as copertelle. In the past these afforded the residents a safe route around the town even at times of attack. Today they repay exploration by visitors who want to absorb some of the unique atmosphere of this pretty town.
Bologna la Grassa: a foodie’s delight
Not for nothing is Bologna known as ‘La Grassa’, the Fat One. A visit here is truly a foodie’s delight! The city has had the nickname since medieval times, indicating that it was already famous throughout Europe for its wonderful food and drink as far back as the 1300s.
Around the world in ten photos: day eight
This pretty garden, originally laid out by a wealthy silk merchant, later became a popular beer garden. The small palace to which it belongs bears the name of the brewer who once had his brewery in its cellars and is still owned by his descendants.
The Palio della Balestra in Gubbio: a centuries-old tradition
Gubbio took a little while to weave its spell on me. When I first started to explore it seemed simply an old and attractive Italian town perched invitingly on a hillside, like so many others. Then I attended the Palio, the festival of the crossbow fighters, a centuries-old tradition.
Postcards from the past: a small town in Italy
Towards the end of the 19th century, one of many Italian families to leave their home town to seek their fortunes in England was the Quaglieri family from Arpino. They settled in Newcastle as did several other families from that region of Italy.
Gallery: Comic and Games festival in Lucca
For three days we had wandered the streets of the ancient walled city of Lucca. It was all very laid-back and very Italian. Then on the last day of our stay, everything changed...