Art & Architecture

Arne Maasik Kahn catalogu, Estoniae

Estonia

10th June 2016
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Thanks to its position between East and West, Estonia has often been a battleground. Over the years, Denmark, Germany, Russia, Sweden and Poland have all fought over it. In 1906, when the country was under Russian rule, Louis Kahn’s family moved to the United States. Kahn was five years old. He went on to become one…

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Genoa artichokes copy

Genoa

26th February 2016
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One of the best reasons for visiting Liguria (capital, Genoa) is the wonderful food. With its long coastline, the region is renowned for its excellent seafood. Then there are regional products like foccaccia, farinata (a delicious chickpea pancake), Albenga artichokes, salt cod, and, of course, pesto. Pesto championships On 16 April, the capital of the…

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Japan

Japan

20th February 2016
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Tokyo, the capital of Japan, is one of the busiest cities in the world – all neon lights and skyscrapers – but hop on a bullet train and within a couple of hours you could be relaxing at an onsen (hot spring) in a green tea bath, in the middle of a forest, with nothing for company but the sound of birdsong…

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Skylines

Skylines

24th August 2015
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August 2015 Just over a year ago, my friend, Yolanda, and I were asked if we’d like to write about architectural skylines around the world. Not just any old skylines; these would made out of our chosen buildings to create an imaginary skyline that would hopefully encapsulate the history, culture and heart of the cities…

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Two Temple Place

Cotton to Gold

26th March 2015
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March 2015 From time to time, the charitable foundation, the Bulldog Trust, opens the charming Two Temple Place for excellent exhibitions. This one is no exception. ‘Cotton to Gold’ brings together some of the extraordinary collections of wealthy philanthropists who made their fortunes in the Industrial North West. The collections were generously loaned by the…

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Cremona

14th March 2015
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Cremona was home to three of the most important violin-making families: Stradivari, Guarneri and Amati. The recently opened Museo del Violino tells their story, and offers an insight into five centuries of violin-making.

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Chiara Vigo, Bisso

Chiara Vigo, Maestro di Bisso

7th March 2015
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A recent story about tiny sea snail teeth that were stronger than titanium reminded me of the time I met a Sardinian woman who harvested ‘bisso’, strong silk-like fibres secreted by a marine bivalve mollusc, known as pinna nobilis or ‘fan mussel’. Chiara Vigo is an interesting woman; a descendant of 30 generations of bisso-weavers,…

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Tunisian mother & girls copy

Tunisia

8th February 2015
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Tataouine, in southern Tunisia, is famous for the trogolodyte buildings of the native Berber* population. It’s so other-worldly, that director George Lucas used it as a backdrop for one of his Star Wars films. The buildings are actually ancient grain stores, or ksour, and you can read more in my Time Out article here.

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Venice

Venice

8th February 2015
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Venice was once a water-logged destination for those escaping the plague on mainland Italy. It became one of the most powerful Italian republics, a great maritime power, and centre for the world’s finest art and music. Today the city seems to be drowning under the weight of its success. Each year it’s invaded by tourists…

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Devon

8th February 2015
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On my latest visit to Devon I discovered a vibrant craft scene that includes ceramics, blacksmithing, and glass-blowing, along with an incredible range of food and drinks. Read about Devon’s quality wine, beer and gin, organic edible flowers, jams, fresh fish and chilli, in my article for Discovering Devonshire Delights for Foodtripper.   Some of…

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