Montevecchia, the old hill

Montevecchia: ancient settlement of Neanderthal man and homo sapiens, amongst the oldest in Lombardy; Monte delle Vedette (literally, lookout hill) since Roman times; microclimate favourable to Mediterranean plants including rosemary; the wine of its vineyards, first cultivated by the Celts in 1 AD has been praised since the 1600s, and was celebrated by the Milanese … Continue reading Montevecchia, the old hill

Montespluga

"Go there today," the woman in the café tells me. "You don't get many days like today." "No?" I ask her. "Not up the Spluga. You probably get about five clear days every summer, really clear days." I'd set off that morning, passport at the ready, with the intention of going up the border into … Continue reading Montespluga

Down the Navigli

It was one of those rare days at the weekend where I found myself alone. Or rather I had to work and therefore I was alone. You can't really work with two kids with you unless it's  something family-based or child-based and in this case it wasn't. I was off to a café to write … Continue reading Down the Navigli

Memories are made of breakfasts

When I was young, I can distinctly remember going around telling everyone: "When I grow up, I'm going to live in France," France being the only place that I'd visited outside the UK. I'd been on a school trip to Normandy when I was about ten. It was the early 80s and a big event, especially … Continue reading Memories are made of breakfasts

Being home

It changes when you move away, the perspective. The familiar is still familiar but you see it through a different lens. The old lens has long been cast aside. Or maybe it's still the old lens but it's transformed over the years. You're still holding the camera and you decide the angle. Which is why … Continue reading Being home

Leftover risotto and the women’s refuge

Arancini di riso are literally small oranges of rice or leftover risotto, deep-fried and delicious. My kids love them, so whenever I make risotto I generally make extra for arancini the day after. My recipe was given to me by a woman I met in a women's refuge. I was there at the refuge with my eight year … Continue reading Leftover risotto and the women’s refuge

Nutella for grown-ups

My kids were little and we were by the lake. I was making Nutella sandwiches. "And if we ever have kids, they're not eating any of that crap," this guy sitting near(ish) to us said to his girlfriend. Now I wonder if this guy really thought I couldn't hear or thought I couldn't understand. Although … Continue reading Nutella for grown-ups