Dangerous secrets: Verdigris, by Michele Mari, reviewed

20 January 2024 9:00 am

A lonely teenager on holiday in Italy befriends his grandparents’ elderly gardener and slowly coaxes out his painful memories of betrayals and reprisals during the war

Politicians can’t win on illegal migration

23 September 2023 9:00 am

It is eight years now since The Spectator sent me to Lampedusa to see the boats coming in. That was…

You have to be truly incompetent to eat badly in Paris

23 September 2023 9:00 am

Paris has enough great restaurants to maintain its claim to be the world capital of gastronomy. That said, Parisian residents…

A perfect slice of Calabria

9 September 2023 9:00 am

The Romans wrote the history, or at least the myths. But long before Romulus murdered Remus, the Mediterranean – the…

Cosa Nostra notebook

2 September 2023 9:00 am

Italy is under attack from a killer crab

26 August 2023 9:00 am

Italy is under attack from a foreign crab

Where to drink Tuscany’s finest summer tipples

15 July 2023 9:00 am

Some subjects invite an eternal recurrence. One such is Tuscany. The other day, I wrote about that glorious region: its…

What’s so super about Super Tuscans?

1 July 2023 9:00 am

In Fellini’s La Dolce Vita, the hopes embodied in the title dissolve into grimness and black irony. It was all…

Tuscan chiaroscuro

17 June 2023 9:00 am

A trio of formidable British women are enjoying peaceful retirement in Italy – until their idyll is disrupted by a series of unforeseen events

An eye for the absurd

13 May 2023 9:00 am

Come for the satire, stay for the one-liners, and take succour from the hope Walter finds in a world where everyone needs an angel from time to time

Georgia Meloni’s first 100 days have proved her critics wrong

5 February 2023 11:00 pm

Macho Italy’s first woman prime minister Giorgia Meloni has now governed for 100 days and I cannot help but notice…

Portrait of the week: Chancellor unveils his unBudget, Hilary Mantel dies and corgi prices soar

1 October 2022 9:00 am

Home Kwasi Kwarteng, the Chancellor of the Exchequer, presented a far-reaching ‘fiscal event’ (ineligible to be called a Budget), said…

Giorgia Meloni can’t afford to fight the EU

27 September 2022 10:25 pm

Ravenna, Italy The victory of Giorgia Meloni in Italy with ahuge majority of seats in parliament has prompted the expected…

Will Meloni be able to govern Italy?

26 September 2022 8:10 pm

Mario Draghi’s national unity government lost badly in yesterday’s Italian election – worse even than the polls predicted. Fratelli d’Italia,…

Second chances: The Marble Staircase, by Elizabeth Fair, reviewed

3 September 2022 9:00 am

To reject ‘in rainy middle age the poignant emotions that belonged to youth and Italy’ is the lesson learned by…

Pre-Mussolini, most Italians couldn’t understand each other

3 September 2022 9:00 am

Towards the end of Dandelions, Thea Lenarduzzi’s imaginative and deeply affecting memoir, the author quotes her grandmother’s remark that there…

Europe’s new migrant crisis

21 August 2022 5:50 pm

Earlier this month I spent a week in Sicily, driving south from Palermo to Agrigento and then east to Syracuse…

Dark days in Hollywood: Mercury Pictures Presents, by Anthony Marra, reviewed

30 July 2022 9:00 am

Summer is a time for blockbusters and Anthony Marra has delivered the goods with Mercury Pictures Presents, a sweeping book…

Italy’s hostility to Nato is building

21 May 2022 9:00 am

  Ravenna, Italy   The war in Ukraine has caused an unholy convergence of the left and right in Italy.…

The horror of gluten-free beer

14 May 2022 9:00 am

I was reminded of the worst liquid that I have ever consumed. It was the last occasion on which I…