Abbeys and cathedrals: intrigue, love and hubris

I’m not a church-goer although regular Sunday services were a part of my upbringing. I don’t know if it’s that familiarity between heritage churches and childhood, but I love the feeling of peace and contemplation in the soaring spires, graceful arches and supporting buttresses of these historic buildings. The stories of the people who built them and those who worshipped, remain in the exquisite architecture and dramatic frescoes. The very stones are imbued with history and all its attendant intrigue, love, ambition and power.

Continue reading “Abbeys and cathedrals: intrigue, love and hubris”

A life of contemplation: Abbey of Santi Nazaro and Celso

It seems like every town and city in the Piemonte region of north west Italy features a magnificent historical building, or two. If, like me, you appreciate classical architecture, incredible gardens and exquisite frescoes this should be on your list of places to visit. This part of Italy is so different from the sunny climes further south and it has a distinctly Gothic atmosphere.

Continue reading “A life of contemplation: Abbey of Santi Nazaro and Celso”

Emily Brontes’ Yorkshire

Yorkshire is everything Emily Bronte promised in her most successful book, Wuthering Heights. Vast, wild and breathtakingly beautiful. I stayed recently at Gisborough in the heart of the moors and took a day out to explore the coastal town of Whitby which has literary links to another famous writer, Bram Stoker, creator of Dracula.

Continue reading “Emily Brontes’ Yorkshire”