Italy

Sardinia – Living Like a Local in Alghero

Sardinia – Living Like a Local in Alghero

When Shane was a teenager he had a t-shirt with the slogan “Be a traveller not a tourist” which neatly summed up his and my attitude to travelling. I’ve often pondered the distinction between the two. A typical Italian sea-side holiday at a beach-front holiday apartment or hotel with days spent lounging on a lettino under an ombrellone is not for me although thousands upon thousands of Italian tourists love nothing more than...

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Sardinia – From the Mountains to the Sea

Sardinia – From the Mountains to the Sea

The ability to use long haul travel to visit  family in China and Australia is a privilege but it is also tiring and takes its toll. At least once a year I get the urge to do something closer to home, to hop on a plane that will get me to my destination in a few hours, no jet-lag to contend with, no lost days of recovering from exhaustion, just a week to unwind, away from it all, to while away the days with long walks, good books, great food...

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Images and Flavours of Tuscany (Part 2)

Images and Flavours of Tuscany (Part 2)

I smiled ruefully when I tore the end of week page from my calendar last night. It read “What great thing would you attempt if you knew you could not fail?”. Hands up those of you who can answer that question without a moment’s hesitation? I know I can – we all have our dreams – but yesterday I would have settled for more modest achievements – a perfect lemon tart, a creamy panna cotta with a topping of summer...

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Images and Flavours of Tuscany (Part 1)

Images and Flavours of Tuscany (Part 1)

Hello lovely readers. It has been awhile… That’s because I have been diverted from Chinese cooking and my Big Green Egg while we spent some time in Tuscany. We went there to join our friends Solange and Agustin in the celebration of their twins first birthday near Pisa and took advantage of the opportunity to unwind in the coastal area of the province south of Livorno. I love this part of Italy which is a bit off the beaten track and...

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Shananigans is back

Shananigans is back

I’ve been on holidays… a brief diversion for a week in Sicily, a land of magic and colour, of sunshine and history, of baroque cities, rugged coastline, rolling fertile landscapes and beautiful beaches all in a compact package. It was a week to savour a combination of excellent food and wine, stunning cityscapes, the wilder northwest and the gentler south east of the island and to soak up the late summer colours, aromas, light and...

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Sicily – already dreaming of coming back

Sicily – already dreaming of coming back

It’s official. A week isn’t long enough to appreciate Sicily but it’s enough time to fall in love with it and dream of returning. We’ve spent the last 3 days wandering the necklace of baroque cities in this south east corner of the island: Ortigia in Siracusa, drifting through its narrow tangle of alleyways and streets to its elegant Piazza del Duomo and out again to catch the breeze off the sea; Noto with a hint of the...

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