A Country Feast

We were told that the mill where we have taken our olive harvest for years was hosting a supper in aid of the restoration of the local church. ‘Why don’t you come?’ I was asked to pay at the local bar, but they only wanted my name and how many in our group. We were to...

Ferrara II

Isabella d’Este learnt the prestige value of artistic patronage, and she indulged it when she became the Marchioness of Mantua. Before her, the Gonzaga family were noteworthy patrons. Their court artist, Andrea Mangegna, created some of the most striking series of...

Ferrara

Slanting across northern Italy between the Alps and the Apennines is the Val Padana is the plaIn where the river Po flows through probably the most extensive cultivation of rice in Europe. After the disintegration of the Roman Empire from the fourth century A.D....

Bruno

Bruno accosted me in the rough and ready outhouse where local smallholders and farmers sell their produce directly to the public. The potatoes and root vegetables still have earth clinging to them to prove authenticity. No ‘washed and ready to eat’ claim....

Harvest

This is the time for merrymaking. The harvest is gathered in and storms are already massing on the horizon. Not long ago early morning voices would be calling across the valley to find out who would be helping with the bundling, stacking and, if time and weather...