The Very First French Riviera Garden Festival

Gardens are a part of the Riviera scenery like yachts, open-top sports cars and deposed government officials from corrupt cleptocracies. Unlike the mountains and the sea, they have not always been there but have become so much part of the cultural landscape that nobody remembers or can even imagine a time when they were not.

The history of the Riviera gardens goes back all the way to the “stone age” of the region

The Very First French Riviera Garden Festival

The Question is Where Does the Riviera Start?

Themed Walk: Historic Hyères Minds much greater than my own have wrestled with this question without ever finding a conclusive answer: Where does the Riviera start?

It does not take a great mind to see where it ends. Even I can see that it comes to a grinding halt at Cinque Terre, southeast of Genoa. As to its start on the French side, however, there are many different theories. Culturally, the Riviera’s heartpiece

The Question is Where Does the Riviera Start?

From Menton, Take a Scenic Walk from France to Italy

Today, we are off to Menton, the easternmost resort on the French Riviera, for a walk that takes in all the best things about this blessed little spot: its history, its scenic location and its vicinity to la bella Italia.

The walk allows you to experience Menton’s picturesque historic town centre, provides you with splendid views over the Mediterranean and, at the very end, takes you across a proper, old-style border crossing into

From Menton, Take a Scenic Walk from France to Italy

Here are Five More Riviera Gardens to Discover

More Riviera gardens to discover!

Read the first collection of Riviera gardens here!

Last week, we surveyed the area east of Monaco and strolled deep into Italy, concentrating on the coast’s “classic” garden country. But the less climatically blessed western part of the Riviera – where the mountains are often further away from the coast and give the cold Alpine winds more room to wreak their winterly havoc – also has its little

Here are Five More Riviera Gardens to Discover

How and Where to Discover the Gardens of the Riviera

The Riviera is famous for … well, many things in fact – speed boats, card sharps, minor royals – so it never ceases to surprise me how many of the visitors we meet have explicitly come to see one of the gardens of the Riviera.

I am – to be honest – not a natural garden enthusiast, but have over the years developed an understanding of why many people seem to be so

How and Where to Discover the Gardens of the Riviera

Fascinated by Fascist Architecture? Tresigallo is for You!

The architecture of fascism is everywhere in Italy. If you have ever visited the country, chances are you will have seen loads of it – unknowingly, perhaps, because these buildings blend in well with the rest of Italy’s street furniture, baroque churches and Renaissance palazzi included.

The architecture of Italian fascism itself is not “fascist”: most buildings from the period between the world wars, including many modernist post offices

Fascinated by Fascist Architecture? Tresigallo is for You!

How Graffiti is Celebrated in City of Arts Dozza

I don’t know about you, but whenever we come across a town that has been labeled a City of the Arts, I get a queasy feeling in my stomach. From experience I know that all too often, this means grim medieval palazzi and stuffy churches that have been packed with dark, baffling and impenetrable paintings of minor biblical anecdotes or scenes from the life of the local saint.

The art historian and TV

How Graffiti is Celebrated in City of Arts Dozza

A London Spy Walk in the Footsteps of the Cambridge Five

In our previous London spy walk on the trail of the Cambridge Five, we left off with Maclean and Burgess just about making it to Southampton for the day’s last ferry to France, never to return to the UK.

The sudden disappearance of two middle-ranking foreign service officials, at least one of whom was under acute suspicion of being a Soviet spy, caused a bit of a stir in contemporary Britain, but things

A London Spy Walk in the Footsteps of the Cambridge Five

The Spy Story of the Cambridge Five in London

Themed London Walk London may not be the world’s most beautiful city but it is probably its most storied. Almost every street corner has a story to tell: about rock music, Charles Dickens, Jack the Ripper and so on – the list of themes is virtually endless.

London is also the capital of spy stories, and the most thrilling of these is the one about the Cambridge Five. Or

The Spy Story of the Cambridge Five in London

Why Genoa is Like Audrey Hepburn to Me

MEDVIEDENKO Of all the cities you visited when you were abroad, Doctor, which one did you like the best?

DORN Genoa.

TREPLIEFF Why Genoa?

DORN Because there is such a splendid crowd in its streets. When you leave the hotel in the evening, and throw yourself into the heart of that throng, and move with it without aim or object, swept along, hither

Why Genoa is Like Audrey Hepburn to Me