Ed Hayes

Articles by the author


Travels with Intent

Nothing can be more depressing than to encounter a husband who boasts of having seen everything in Rome in three days, while the wife laments that, in recollection she cannot distinguish the Vatican from the Capitol, St Peter’s from St Paul’s.Augustus Hare: Walks in Rome (


‘Tourists say the darnedest things’

Who would be a tour guide? If you have ever spent a summer in Florence, wincing at compatriots who argue in restaurants and make fatuous remarks in museums, you will have asked yourself this very question. In Too Much Tuscan Sun, Dario Castagno tells of encounters with tourists so strange,


Dirty work in the Bel Paese

While recovering from World Cup fever, Italian football will remain in the grips of a nasty scandal. The investigations of systematic match-fixing are being labelled Piedi Puliti – ‘Clean Feet’, – and the story has already claimed a tragic casualty in the form of the Juventus star


Lasting Love, Politics and Poetry

Elizabeth and Robert Browning arrived in Italy in 1846 following a secret marriage in London. For Elizabeth, coming to Florence was a merciful release. As an invalid, she revelled in the air, “so much lighter and more elastic” than the smog of London. And more, she was escaping



On Thursday, 25 May, Ken Lay and Jeff Skilling, the top executives at Enron, were found guilty of fraud and conspiracy.For a novice like me, the riveting, revolting story of the meltdown of the 6th largest company in the US is rendered surprisingly clear by Bethany McLean and Peter


Trouble in Paradise

With his second novel, The Secrets of Sant’Angelo, Jeff Shapiro brings his readers back to the quiet Tuscan village of Sant’Angelo d’Asso, to bask in the earthy warmth and wisdom of its simpleminded denizens.   The rural peace is shattered when a series of


Who is pinocchio?

Living in Florence, I constantly stumble across more of the city’s famous sons. With Il Genio Fiorentino in full flow, it is not surprising that a few more are coming out of the woodwork. How many of you knew that Pinocchio, the wooden boy whose nose grows when


Open eyes, open mouths

For those of us who are trying to make head or tail of a second language, it does not hurt to give a little thought to the struggle that each one of us made to learn our fi rst. How Babies Talk by Drs Roberta Michnick Golinkoff and Kathy Hirsch-


Successful Plotting

More than two years after the first letter of complaint was lodged, the sensational trial, Baigent and Leigh vs Random House, came to judgement in London on April 7. But a whiff of a mystery still remains, fitting for the trial of Dan Brown’s thriller The Da Vinci