Matera: Italy’s magical city of stone

After 10,000 years, the ancient city in Basilicata is having a moment: it’s a European capital of culture for 2019 – and even James Bond is making a visit ‘This room is called Senza Nidd – without anything – because the people who lived here were so poor,” said the receptionist. Our modest-sized hotel room in Matera, southern Italy, once housed an entire family – not back in the middle ages, but within living memory. Read more…

Like Cinque Terre – but without the crowds

A few miles from Italy’s honeypot villages, but overlooked by the cruise ship tours, Framura offers tranquil hamlets and gorgeous walks, sea views and cuisine ‘For me this is the best place in the world,” says Elena Bisio, as I puff behind her up the stony path. We crest a hill known as Salto della Lepre (hare’s leap) and I have to agree the climb is worth it: from a natural terrace 200 metres high Read more…

Checking out Melbourne

Out last stop in Australia was Melbourne, a lovely city on the South East coast, a quick flight from Sydney. I was getting pretty excited about visiting Melbourne as we had arranged to stay with a friend of mine I hadn’t seen in nearly a decade. (Wow, that makes me feel really old.) We were planning to meet up with my friend, Victoria, and her family and head to nearby Phillip Island to relax a Read more…