Malabar Farm: Agricultural Legacy & Living Classroom

By |2018-07-29T22:41:30-04:00July 25th, 2018|Articles|

Malabar Farm “As soils are depleted, human health, vitality and intelligence go with them.”  ~Louis Bromfield To say Louis Bromfield was a strong advocate of scientific agriculture is an understatement. Bromfield not only championed the American farmer in a time of great depression, but spearheaded a radical conservation effort in the name of soil, rain [...]

Picturing Christmas: The Nativity in Renaissance Art

By |2018-06-12T14:20:05-04:00December 7th, 2016|Articles, Blog|

By Shawnie Kelley, as published in Renaissance Magazine, Issue 58.      " ... she brought forth her firstborn son, and wrapped him in swaddling clothes, and laid him in a manger, because there was no room for them in the inn ...     This line of text has been visualized a thousand times over. [...]

Comments Off on Picturing Christmas: The Nativity in Renaissance Art

On the Trail of the Holy Grail: Knights Templar and Cathars

By |2016-07-05T14:43:02-04:00August 17th, 2016|Articles, Blog|

On the Trail of the Holy Grail: Knights Templar and Cathars Château Montségur, a seemingly impregnable castle perched in the Pyrénées Mountains, became the final stronghold of the Cathars–a heretical religious sect against whom the Catholic Church launched a ferocious crusade in the mid-thirteenth century. The Cathars supposedly fled to this mountaintop château with their [...]

On the Trail of the Holy Grail: Pyrénées Mountains

By |2018-06-12T14:20:06-04:00August 10th, 2016|Articles, Blog|

On the Trail of the Holy Grail: Pyrénées Mountains Holy Grail traditions and Mary Magdalene’s enigmatic legend persists from the southern French coast inland to the mountains. Rennes-le-Chateau, a sleepy village in the foothills of the Pyrénées Mountains, plays a central role in several Grail stories.  In the 1890’s a poor parish priest named Father Bérenger [...]

On the Trail of the Holy Grail: Southern France

By |2018-06-12T14:20:06-04:00August 3rd, 2016|Articles, Blog|

On the Trail of the Holy Grail: Southern France Southern France is a hotbed of grail tales with a far flung cast of characters ranging from medieval jongleurs to Knights Templars to the biblical Mary Magdalene.  Local Provençal legends persist that the grail, along with other treasures looted from the Holy Land during the crusades, are hidden in caves, castles, and cathedrals throughout [...]

America’s Grand Dames: History & Hollywood at Pittsburgh’s William Penn Hotel

By |2016-07-17T15:29:32-04:00July 27th, 2016|Articles|

After hopping aboard a Visit Pittsburgh media tour several years ago, I learned of the William Penn Hotel's Hollywood connection–and have been fascinated with it ever since. The luxurious 1916 hotel has been the Grand Dame of Pittsburgh for 100 years. Having just celebrated its centennial, I decided to write a few articles over the next few months [...]

A Taste of Travel: A Culinarian Trifecta in Philadelphia

By |2016-07-12T12:49:30-04:00July 24th, 2016|Articles|

A Taste of Travel looks at the ways food connects us with a culture and each other. Sharing the recipes and restaurants we have encountered along the way...  It has been a long time since I have visited Philadelphia. The last time (declining to say how long ago) was to give a paper at a conference at the [...]

Queen Victoria Made the Riviera Royal, guest post by Carol Drinkwater

By |2018-06-12T14:20:07-04:00April 6th, 2016|Articles, Blog|

We are excited to share a guest post by author and actress, Carol Drinkwater. Years ago, I came across Carol's beautifully-written trilogy about her experience buying a Provençal château and olive grove. The Olive Farm book led me to her book, The Olive Route - a first-hand story of the migration of this precious commodity from the Middle East into Europe. [...]

Cathar Country: Languedoc, France

By |2018-06-12T14:20:07-04:00February 25th, 2016|Articles, Blog|

This article was published in Rennaisance Magazine, issue #55.   By Shawnie Kelley Southwest France is synonymous with sensuous Mediterranean beaches, hillside vineyards and peaceful hamlets, but upon closer look, the Languedoc’s rugged landscape reveals a turbulent history steeped in religious rebellion, bloody battles and grail legend. This region, historically known as the County of Toulouse, is home [...]

Provence’s Sweet Holiday Tradition: Thirteen Desserts

By |2018-06-12T14:20:08-04:00December 22nd, 2015|Articles, Blog|

As published in the Winter 2012 issue of Edible Columbus. Les treize desserts de Noël- or the Thirteen Desserts of Christmas- is a delectable holiday tradition celebrated throughout the south of France. An array of symbolic sweets made in Provençal kitchens is reinterpreted here by Pastry Chef Spencer Budros of German Village-based bakery, Pistacia Vera, in [...]

La Joute Nautique: The Tradition of Water Jousting

By |2018-06-12T14:20:10-04:00August 5th, 2014|Articles|

Each August, the Mediterranean village of Sète, located on a pencil-thin peninsula in southern France, plays host to the Festival of Saint Louis. The fête’s main attraction is a spirited sporting event officially known as la joute nautique – or water jousting-- during which competitors use feats of arms to attempt to knock each other off man-powered, wooden [...]

The Laurel Highlands: Adventure & History

By |2018-06-12T14:20:10-04:00July 9th, 2014|Articles|

The Laurel Highlands Adventure: History and Nature in Southwestern Pennsylvania Having grown up in Pittsburgh, I took for granted the city's perfect location only an hour north of a most beautiful region known as the Laurel Highlands. During the past 10 years I've been experiencing fantastic places that were practically in my backyard, yet I only (re)discovered after moving [...]