Ivy creeps across the exterior of the faux neoclassical building on Katharina-von-Bora-Strasse. Now home to several Munich cultural institutions and exhibits, there is no hint that this was once the Nazi party administration building, where files on its eight million members were stored.
Few of us need a particular reason to visit Tuscany but, if you do, the Puccini Opera Festival, commemorating the 90th year since the Italian maestro died, should do the trick.
There is, certainly, nowhere better to enjoy Puccini’s soaring operatic melodies than on warm nights under a moon-lit sky at an open-air amphitheatre on the edge of Lake Massaciuccoli in Torre del Lago.
It's one thing never to have sampled an ingredient, quite another never to have even heard of it. Yet here, spread out on the chef's table among the more familiar limes and lemongrass, is something called galangal.