Making an Easter tradition: ciambella mandorlata

About 20 years ago I wanted to learn how to make bread so I bought a book, Eric Treuille and Ursula Ferrigno's Bread. One of its recipes is for an Italian Easter bread, ciambella mandorlata, originating in Bologna. It's a brioche-type bread – the dough enriched with lemon zest, eggs and unsalted butter – topped … Continue reading Making an Easter tradition: ciambella mandorlata

Winter dreaming: the Greco-Roman theatre at Taormina, Sicily

On days that I work from home I'll always start with a walk. Nothing special at all, just a way to get some fresh air and a little exercise before turning on the laptop. Today, leaving the house I looked at the sky and was confronted with a quintessential January day in southern England: it … Continue reading Winter dreaming: the Greco-Roman theatre at Taormina, Sicily

An Italian oddity in Cheltenham, Gloucestershire

Every town has its oddities and Cheltenham is no exception. Behind the Town Hall in Imperial Square, tucked away in a recess in one of the buildings is a fountain. It's not functioning, or even very clean, but there it sits behind a fence with a nice little ornate hedge in front of it. The … Continue reading An Italian oddity in Cheltenham, Gloucestershire