Recent Post -  Patmos Garden From the Archives Desert Island Discs

Monday, 16 May 2011


The background of many a Renaissance painting, the Val d’Orcia is of a beauty unparalleled.  In Spring, sheep graze in undulating lush, green country, punctuated by towering cypress, majestic oak and chestnut trees. 

Whereas the towns have kept their character, the hilltop villages – exquisite in the landscape tend to be over-restored, empty, mere remnants of past bravery.

Lunch in a top, Tuscan garden with the gifted artist,

Betty Stokes                                      

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Montalcino is a charming wine capital.  Italian wines are getting better and better, vino Brunello di  Montalcino and Argiano and, of course, from elsewhere in Tuscany, Antinori and Frescobaldi.  Argiano belongs to the charming Noemi Marone Cinzano, an exemplary patron, whose Regency London villa I had great fun restoring, improving and decorating.  You might have to go to Patagonia to find her – she has the Bodega Noemiade Patagonia S.A.
Do not let the wine get the better of you!

Architectural details in Pienza

Pienza – 15th century urban ideal, built as a new town by Pope Piciolomini [Pins II], a meeting of Gothic and Renaissance styles and the classical principles as laid down by the great Alberti who might have designed my JS Malcontenta chair – [below]

JS Malcontenta Chair - Breakfast Terrace, Patmos, Greece

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A feature of Italian towns, lurid fly posters which advertise, side by side, a Good Friday procession, a sexy nightclub, horse races and auctions!

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POETRY: Osip Mandelstam