Alessandra Quattrocchi


My Father, Ezra Pound

Arts and Culture

An interview with Mary de Rachewiltz, daughter of Ezra Pound, from her retreat in the Italian Tyrol. “My father always managed to be on the wrong side”

Mike Leigh: My Turner, Cinematic Painter

Arts and Culture

In “Mr Turner” Mike Leigh draws the impassioned portrait of the last 25 years in the life of William Turner, English master of painting (1775-1851).

Handel in Bhutan

Arts and Culture

In October, Handel’s opera; “Acis and Galatea” will be performed in the Bhutanese capital Thimphu – an ambitious and utopian project that will see combined the genius of Handel with traditional Bhutanese dance and music. The conductor Aaron Carpené assures us; “It promises to be an exciting and mysterious adventure into the world of Baroque opera”.

Banking in the Vatican


The scandals and mysteries of the Vatican Bank may well have been behind the Pope’s decision to resign. The new Pope who is currently being chosen will face considerable pressure to reform and offer greater transparency in both the Church’s financial and ethical dealings.

An Education in Looking

Arts and Culture

The London Royal Academy hosts David Hockney’s “A Bigger Picture” exhibition of new landscape works before it moves on to the Guggenheim Museum in Bilbao and the Museum Ludwig in Cologne. Alessandra Quattrocchi was smitten by the show.

Women Talking to Women


The cartoonist Alison Bechdel invented the Bechdel Test in the 80s to put movies to a simple test. Does the movie have at least two female characters, who talk to one another, but not about a man? How do this year’s Oscar nominations fare and indeed some literary classics?

Renaissance Portraits

Arts and Culture

Following a sellout exhibition at the Bode Museum in Berlin, “Renaissance Portraits” has moved to the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York. Alessandra Quattrocchi survived the queues to take in an amazing collection. Here she explores the glorious origins of Italian portraiture.

France Gears Up: Sarkozy v Hollande


With François Hollande beating Martine Aubry in the primaries, the battle for the Elysée Palace is now between a very unpopular Nicolas Sarkozy and a somewhat uninspiring François Hollande. The polls suggest an easy victory for the Socialists, but could they throw it all away, again?

Stromboli: Under the Volcano

Travel Writing

Despite being an active volcano, Stromboli, one of the Aeolian islands just north of Sicily, is a popular summer destination. “Iddu”, as the locals call the smouldering volcano, is indeed the main attraction. Alessandra Quattrocchi attempts the night-time climb up to the top of the crater.