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Travel and Culture

Alf in Italy – Pranzo al mercato di Sant’Ambrogio

Jun 17, 2020
I am in the Mercato Sant'Ambrogio in Florence with a paper bag in my hand. Inside the paper bag is a plastic bag so that none of the contents can ooze out and flow down my shirt front. This double bag arrangement holds a panino stuffed with a huge spoonful of unctuous, flavourful deliciousness. Some come to Florence for the art and the renaissance magnificence of the architecture. This can become overwhelming and after a morning processing this my brain

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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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