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Sicily – in the footsteps of Inspector Montalbano

Is it a detective series, or is it more of a comedy? Having watched several episodes of Inspector Montalbano, I’m still not really sure. The scenery and the filmography date back to the 1970s, albeit with mobile phones and 21st-century fashion. And the endless stream of young,

Culinary delights of the Alentejo region of Portugal

The Alentejo is widely known as the breadbasket of Portugal. My impression of the region is coloured by endless fields, dotted with cork trees casting small shadows under their broad canopies in the scorching sun. I visited first during a rainy week in spring and then again

Winter Holidays in Swedish Lapland

The Northern Lights, or aurora borealis, draw thousands of visitors to northern Sweden every year. Despite no guarantee of a sighting of what is without doubt one of nature’s most spectacular phenomena, many choose to make the trip in the hope that the night skies are clear

A walk through time: Highlights of Syracuse and the island of Ortigia

For obvious reasons, there aren’t that many churches which pre-date the time of Jesus. But the cathedral in Syracuse is no ordinary place of worship: the original building on the site was a temple to the goddess Athena, and I find it easy to make out the

June’s Sunvil Supper Club: Flash-fried Scallops from Skane

This recipe is courtesy of Head Chefs Görgen Jonsson and Marcus Bengtsson at Restaurant Sand in Bastad, Southern Sweden. Flash-fried scallops with a green asparagus, trout roe and migas salad, finished with creamed yellow tomatoes. The southernmost region of Sweden, Skåne is a land of undulating countryside, orchards,

Beating the colossal crowds at the Colosseum in Rome

By most people’s reckoning the Colosseum is one of the 7 wonders of the world, and while you have to take these lists with more than a pinch of salt, there’s no denying that it’s a must-see attraction for first-time visitors to Rome. Unfortunately, every other visitor


Every November, an art installation takes shape on the shores of the River Torne in the heart of Swedish Lapland. It is a project like no other, and on a scale like no other, which brings together designers and sculptors from all over the world. The result

Rota Vicentina: The Alentejo and The Algarve

Since the inauguration of the Rota Vicentina in 2013, these marked walking and cycling trails have been increasing in popularity and now attract visitors from all across Europe. The concept is simple. Stretching from the ancient town of Santiago do Cacem in the north, to the Cape

New procedures for hiring a car abroad

From today (08 June 2015), the paper counterpart of the UK driver’s licence will be abolished by the DVLA and details of our driving restrictions and penalties stored electronically. For those of us who plan to hire a car, in the UK and abroad, we are now

Exploring Maratea without a car

The old town of Maratea is built into the mountainside, and while on the map the train station looks like a very short walk from the town, it would be a hellish climb to attempt with backpacks, let alone a suitcase. As our driver negotiated the series of hairpin