Category Archives: History

The Chestnut Of A Hundred Horses

Some call it the Hundred Horse Chestnut, but that confuses me because it’s a sweet chestnut (Castanea sativa) not a horse chestnut (Aesculus hippocastanum). Maybe it should be the Sweet Chestnut of a Hundred Horses. In Italian it is called … Read more

Neapolis Archaeological Park

Last August, on holiday in Sicily, a short walk out of Ortigia through the hot dusty streets of Syracuse brought us to Neapolis, one of the largest archaeological sites in the Mediterranean. The entrance is beside the little Norman church … Read more

Noto Antica

The original city of Noto was 12km further up the valley of the Asinaro River from where present day Noto now stands. It was relocated after the devastating earthquake of 1693. The original site is now an overgrown ruin, reclaimed … Read more

Fonte Ciane

Two days on the island was playing tricks with my head. Maybe it was the heat. But for our first outing we escaped the endless tourist stroll around the streets of Ortigia and headed for Fonte Ciane, and the promise … Read more

Passeggiata In Ortigia

“passeggiata /ˌpasɛˈdʒɑːtə/ noun (especially in Italy or Italian-speaking areas) a leisurely walk or stroll, especially one taken in the evening for the purpose of socializing.” Ortigia is a small island, just under 1km square, attached to the Sicilian city of … Read more

Gamlingay

Further on down the road we came to Gamlingay, a familiar sounding place, its pretty name once heard and hard to forget. We got lunch at the Cock Inn while villagers hung out flags for St George. And I remembered … Read more

Cucuruzzu & Capula

We’d tried to visit earlier but been turned away, the site was closed due to the high risk of wildfires. But today, touch wood, the situation appeared safer and we were allowed inside. And maybe because we’d already been denied … Read more

Pagliaghju

Pagliaghju was difficult to find. We drove past it a few times without even seeing the sign. Each time we looked it up the spelling was different. The sign was invisible and the spelling was variable. I’ve seen Pagliaghju, Palaggiu, … Read more

In Lincoln

The approach to Lincoln was long and flat with wide vistas of huge arable fields, along straight roads accompanied by oversized tractors, through countryside reminiscent of the industrial-scale farms of northern France. But lest we should forget where we were, … Read more

Filitosa

We came to Filitosa by a circuitous route from Propriano via Sollacaro, a handsome old village perché of granite houses that almost seem to have sprouted organically from the terraced mountainside. As we descended into the Taravo valley we passed … Read more