A life of contemplation: Abbey of Santi Nazaro and Celso

The Benedictine Abbey of Santi Nazaro and Celso was founded in 1040. It was also a fortification hence the disproportionate watch tower.

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.

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The Italian job

A still from Bitter Rice (Riso Amaro) with Silvana Mangano (1949). Dir. Giuseppe De Santis on the hotel reception wall

Last month I spent some time in the Piemonte region of Italy well known for skiiing in the winter and summer sports such as canoeing. I was visiting the many beautiful historic sites, more on that to come soon. In between times, I fell in love all over again with Italian style from the architecture, interior design, shops, food and more.

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Afternoon delight: sweet Biscottini

Camporelli’s a fifth generation bakery

In Novara in the Piemonte region of Northern Italy there’s a little bakery where golden, crisp, light-as-a-feather biscottini have been made since 1852 using a 16th century recipe created by the nuns in the 1500s to bake biscuits for the Pope.

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