The Artichoke, Rome’s 8th King

The Italian artichoke usually has dark purple leaves and is eaten as an appetiser, in pastas, and as a vegetable with meats and fish. It can be boiled, fried, roasted, steamed, sautéed, or marinated and I will gladly eat it any which way! In Rome I usually had it “cariciofa alla giudia” which I was told is an ancient Jewish method from the 16th century and entails the vegetable being deep-fried twice. That flavoursome oil dripping down one's chin. Decadent, I know, but delicious.

Rome: View of the Forum at Night

Rome and the Tiber

Castell Sant'Angelo across the Tiber - Photo Mari Nicholson The Tiber has been the soul of Rome since the city’s inception, and it could be said that Rome owes its very existence to this strategically important river on whose banks the first settlements were built.  The two sides of the river are joined by more … Continue reading Rome and the Tiber

Photography Challenge 101: Landscape

Took me a while to think about some landscapes, and unfortunately, I was unable to get out and about to photograph some, so here is a selection of some of my favourites.   This was taken on a fairly good day in Chicago from the top of the famous landmark, the Sears' Tower.  The skyline … Continue reading Photography Challenge 101: Landscape

Photography 101: BIG and P.o.V.

Having difficulty in keeping up with the daily stint and due to other work commitments am not free to wander out and about with camera.  Frankly, even if I were, the bitter cold is enough to prohibit my photography excursions, as I find cold hands do not for good photos make! I have just returned … Continue reading Photography 101: BIG and P.o.V.

Photography 101: Connect

Connections between rooms in castles are well documented, less well known is the connection between the Castel Sant'Angelo in Rome and the Vatican City. The Castel of Sant'Angelo, the massive fortress-like building on the right-hand side of the Tiber, was originally built by the Emperor Hadrian (117-13 AD), as a monumental tomb for himself and … Continue reading Photography 101: Connect

Photography 101: Street

I was away last week but managed to log on to my tablet and saw that the subject was Street.  I hope I've got this right because I cannot now remember how to get the rest of the week's Photo Challenge words up.  I thought they were to be emailed to me, obviously I've got … Continue reading Photography 101: Street

The Violin Makers of Cremona

I went to Cremona last winter and two things from that trip I remember clearly: one was how cold it was, so cold that I had to buy a woollen hat from a street trader who charged me an outrageous €20 for a very inferior product:  the second, but most important, was my meeting with … Continue reading The Violin Makers of Cremona

Florence, A City for the Florentines

Florence is a place where art, culture, food and wine come together to create a city close to perfection.  A medieval maze of ochre-coloured houses with the River Arno gliding beneath the ageless Ponte Vecchio, and Michaelangelo’s magnificent David dominating the Piazza della Signoria. Florentines talk of the Stendhal Syndrome, a reaction to the city’s … Continue reading Florence, A City for the Florentines

Madonie National Park, Sicily

Sicily has long been one of my favourite countries to visit.  Some will say it’s not a country but an Island that forms part of Italy but to me Sicily is so different in every way that it can be considered another country.  The food, the people, the extreme variety of environments and the landscape … Continue reading Madonie National Park, Sicily

Syracuse, Sicily: Greatest Greek City in the World

Syracuse (often spelt Siracuse) in south-east Sicily, is often overlooked in favour of the more touristy Taormina but the visitor to Sicily should not miss this city that was described by Cicero as the greatest Greek city in the world. Assaulted by Romans, Byzantines, Vandals, Arabs, Normans and Spanish, Sicily has absorbed these foreign cultures … Continue reading Syracuse, Sicily: Greatest Greek City in the World