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Travel and Culture

Alf in Italy – A day in Umbria – Part 2

May 14, 2020
We leave serene Bevagna and drive across the plain. Farms, factories, housing estates and the rest of the essential marks of the twenty first century rapidly return us from lunchtime reveries. Bypassing Foligno and, still on the ancient path of the Via Flaminia, we drive to Spello where there is a wonderful unexpected surprise, one of the great works of Renaissance painting. Spello clambers up a ridge overlooking over the Umbrian plain towards Assisi. Entering the village through the Roman Porta

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Travel and Culture

Alf in Italy – Il mercato di Ortigia

May 14, 2020
We are walking through the Ortigia market in Siracusa because it is nearly lunch time and we are hungry. It is a jumble of people and produce. Even though it is open every day except Sunday it has a temporary look and only the buildings lining Via Emanuele di Benedictis give it any suggestion of permanence. There is a rather elegant market building -Mercato Antico - at one end of the market street. Completed in 1900, it has been restored

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Travel and Culture

Alf in Italy – Foraging in Abruzzo

Jul 19, 2019
Italy has a long tradition of producing great cars . Ferrari, Maserati, Lancia, Alfa Romeo and so on. Beautifully designed high performance vehicles that make you smile as they pass. They are so wonderful that they could be described as art on wheels. As well as these dream machines, Italy is also responsible for the Fiat Doblo: a rounded, dumpy looking van, useful for making deliveries or  transporting a few cages of chickens to a new home. There is a

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Travel and Culture

Alf in Italy – Cupello Artichoke Festival

Jul 19, 2019
Spring in Italy this year was unseasonably cool with quite changeable weather. The weather in May was so unusual that the Month was christened Maggio Pazzo, Mad May.  On a cool damp April night in this crazy spring, what is the best thing to do: stay at home, pour a warming glass of local red wine and start to prepare a comforting mushroom risotto? Or drive through the drizzle for more than an hour to a small village called Cupello to help

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