A delightfully disorienting circular labyrinth with white houses and streets glinting in the sun, Locorotondo (the name deriving from ’round place’) can be found deep in the Itria Valley of Puglia, surrounded by vineyards. On arrival there is a postcard view of gleaming white facades, elegant, clean and joyous with geraniums in summer. A Balcony… Read More Locorotondo: The Circular City and its Metamorphic Houses
It’s very tempting to use meaningless superlatives to describe places in Italy: Venice is surreal, Tuscany is charming, Sicily’s beaches are stunning, Rome’s architecture is magnificent. I think one of the greatest challenges in travel writing is to describe Venice in an original manner, and I haven’t read many pieces that succeed in capturing its… Read More The Most Enchanting Place in Italy?
Vipiteno / Sterzing, Trentino-Alto Adige This is one of the most attractive towns in the region trapped in the ‘wrong’ country, i.e. South-Tyrol. This region has a complex and moving history (see A Nationality Trapped in the Wrong Country?) and was once part of a larger German-speaking area. After the war one half was annexed… Read More The Town Left Over the Wrong Border
Castell’ Arquato, Emilia-Romagna – ideal day getaway from Milan. A hilltop wonder, you approach the town through a grand archway, looking up at the towers and spires that define the skyline. Just inside the gateway we witnessed a scene worthy of a Fellini film. A window banged open above us and grandmother’s head popped out. ‘Filippo!’,… Read More An Italian Medieval Village Untouched by Modernity
Arquà Petrarca: The pearl of the Colli Euganei, Veneto This could more accurately be nicknamed ‘the city of flowers’, as all residents seem to have taken it upon themselves to adorn their window ledges with boxes of blooming, brightly coloured displays.
The tiny village of Civita di Bagnoregio, in Lazio, sits precariously on a rocky mound in the Calanchi Valley, marooned except for a narrow bridge. It is celebrated as one of the most beautiful ‘borghi’ (villages) in Italy, and it really does have no equal. Unfortunately, however, this fairytale image is crumbling beneath the surface.… Read More Civita di Bagnoregio: 8 Inhabitants and 12 Cats