This week Geoff and I headed to Verona for the Marmomacc marble fair to choose materials for our Bespoke and reproduction marble and stone fireplaces and for the restoration of our Antique chimneypieces.
Italy, the spiritual and physical home of the Ancient world, is at the very core of the country house aesthetic which lies within the heart of Jamb. Like New York, you are subjected to sensory overload from the second you land : food, fashion, architecture and of course, language.
Geoff is one of my oldest school friends and now runs the warehouse at Jamb. We arrived at our rather hum drum hotel and I looked on in astonishment as Geoff broke into what seemed like fluent Italian. I have known him for thirty eight years and had no idea of this hidden talent ! Another man crush was about to begin!
We headed straight to the centre of Verona ( Geoff now chatting endlessly to the taxi driver in Italian. )
The centre of Verona is dominated by the ancient Roman amphitheatre, the Arena and it has stood proudly immovable for 2,045 years. Function and beauty combined, it makes the heart bleed for the monuments being destroyed by the Taliban and Isis in the Middle East.
After a very enjoyable lunch we wandered to the Museo Maffeiano. Charming beyond charming, it was established by the erudite Scipione Maffei ( 1675- 1755) in the early to mid 18th century and soon became an obligatory stop on The Grand Tour.