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crostata, crostata

There is often a huddle of people waiting outside the nondescript bakery on a corner of the Jewish ghetto, the one so small there is only room for 3.5 customers at a time, the rest obliged to wait outside gazing into the windows filled with biscotti and crostate and whatever festive specialty there happens to be at […]

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a rome list for hunters and gatherers

I’ve been asked quite often recently about whether a Roman version of a charity shop actually exists.  The answer is no, kind of, in a way, yes. Charity shops are my idea of the perfect equation.  Old things are handed on, making room in cupboards for new ones.  The thrifty, like me, get to rummage […]

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itineraries. treasure hunting in the Tuscia

La Tuscia is the ancient land of the Etruscans that stretches between southern Tuscany, northern Lazio and Umbria; a volcanic landscape of rolling hillsides, vines, olives and towns crumbling from their cliff-top perches.  The Etruscans were the sophisticated people who proceeded and were subsequently engulfed by the early Roman republics. They cultivated grapes and built […]

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low tech Italian classics to stuff into your suitcase

Made in Italy is renowned for shoes and bags, fast cars, alta moda and serious furniture design.  Hiding behind the big names and famous brands are the artisans; leatherworkers, furniture designers, glassblowers, mosaicists, shoemakers; craftsmen and women of so many kinds, and in between the famous brands and the artigiani are the medium size businesses that are the backbone of […]

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ten years: la carbonara

The Italy that I love, that I inhabit, that I feel content to be bringing my children up in, is what I call everyman’s Italy.  It is above all an accessible Italy, where the best things in life are free (or at least cheap); a world made up of rambling public parks and bustling markets, of boisterous […]

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ten.7 something old something new

What I have learnt from the Italians on baking and tradition Everyone is baking. In Lewes Dan is baking Rachel’s pangiallo while up in London Rachel is drowning strands of saffron to colour the same recipe, which she learnt in Rome but which she now probably makes using notes from the very same Dan, her friend and […]