Page 103. " the Apennine Mountains as its backdrop "
                                                              Pietra di Bismantova (500 * 277)
GNU Free Documentation LicensePietra di Bismantova in the Tuscan Apennines - Credit: Paolo da Reggio

The Apennine Mountains are a chain crossing over 1000km of peninsular Italy, from the Alps in the north-west to Calabria on the coast in the south. The name is thought to derive from the Celtic ‘Penn’, meaning ‘mountain’. The highest peak is Como Grande (Big Horn) at 2,912m (9,554 ft) which has the only glacier in the range – the rest of the mountains are largely green and verdant. The Abruzzo National Park is found in the Central Apennines and the mountains are criss-crossed by a number of walking trails, including European Walking Route E1 and the Grand Italian Trail, both of which traverse the entire range.

Page 104. " the Egyptian cotton sheets "

Cotton plants
Creative Commons Attribution Share AlikeCotton plants - Credit: Joseolgon
Egyptian cotton is a type of long staple cotton which is grown in Egypt. The cotton tree is a small bush which flowers yellow and produces cotton in fibrous balls on its branches.

Egypt was one of the first world locations in which cotton was grown and produced, although in later years its industry was somewhat overtaken by cotton grown on plantations in America. Today it is still widely used especially in bedding, where it is synonymous with luxury and high quality goods.

Page 104. " the Armani toiletries "

 Armani is an Italian fashion brand founded in Milan in 1975 by the designer Giorgio Armani. It has achieved international fame and is now one of the most well-known fashion labels in the world. Armani sells haute couture and ready-to-wear fashion, as well as accessories, cosmetics and homeware. Whilst it makes skincare and make-up products it does not have a range of traditional toiletries (body wash, body lotion etc) as such. The fashion house also owns a series of cafes, a bar and a nightclub and a chain of luxury city hotels is in the pipeline.

Page 105. " the Visconti family "

The crest of the Visconti of Gallura (Pisa and Sardinia)
Public DomainThe crest of the Visconti of Gallura (Pisa and Sardinia) - Credit: Fabiocarboni
There were two Visconti dynasties who were prominent in Italy in the Middle Ages. This probably refers to the Visconti family of Pisa who also had a family branch in Sardinia. The patrician of the Pisan Visconti clan was Alberto; his grandchildren Lamberto and Ubaldo I brought the dynasty to its height in the late 12th century. Both of them held control over Pisa until around 1213 when power was divided between four families and the power of the Viscontis diminished greatly.

Page 105. " Hickstead, that sort of thing "

Michael Whyte descending the Derby bank during the British Jumping Derby in 2011
Creative Commons Attribution Share AlikeMichael Whyte descending the Derby bank during the British Jumping Derby in 2011 - Credit: Owain Davies
 Hickstead is an equestrian venue in West Sussex which is home to the All England Jumping Course. It was the first permanent showjumping course to open in Britain in 1960. Competitions including the British Jumping Derby and Royal International Horse Show are held here and there are also facilities for dressage and polo.

Page 106. " as good as any around Killarney "

 Killarney is a town in County Kerry, south-western Ireland, with a population of just over 14,000. The Irish name, Cill Airne, means ‘church of sloes’ and it was originally founded as a monastery by St Finian the Leper. The town is home to numerous famous landmarks such as St Mary’s Cathedral, Ross Castle and Lough Leane, the lake on whose shores it rests.

Killarney has been a popular tourist destination since the mid-eighteenth century and has had several notable visitors including Queen Victoria in 1861. After Dublin, Killarney has more hotel beds than any other town or city in Ireland. The land around it is Killarney National Park which is renowned for its walking, cycling, fishing and great natural beauty.

Ross Castle on Lough Leane
Creative Commons Attribution Share AlikeRoss Castle on Lough Leane - Credit: Lis Burke

Page 106. " red and white bougainvillea "

Bougainvillea flowers
GNU Free Documentation LicenseBougainvillea flowers - Credit: Jengod
 Bougainvillea is a type of flowering plant native to South America. They are evergreen scramblers which use their thorns to help them climb over other plants or structures and flower mainly in white, although also red, yellow, orange or pink. They were named for the French explorer Louis Antoine de Bougainville who led a circumnavigatory expedition to South America in 1789 on which the plant was first recorded. Bougainvillea is a popular ornamental plant found in countries with warm climates, from the Mediterranean to South America and the Caribbean.

Page 107. " a soft West Country accent "

A map of the West Country
GNU Free Documentation LicenseA map of the West Country - Credit: Kelisi
The West Country refers to the largely rural area of south-western England which includes Cornwall, Devon, Dorset, Somerset and sometimes Wiltshire and Gloucestershire.

The dialect of this part of the country differs from standard English quite dramatically, with influences from the Welsh and Cornish languages. It is actually quite close to historical English from the Anglo-Saxon period. Popular culture considers the West Country accent to be connected with farmers and fishermen – the traditional economy of the area – but a recent study suggested that Britons view their fellow countrymen with a West Country accent as more trustworthy than many other accents!

Page 107. " his broad Dublin accent "
Dublin Castle
Public DomainDublin Castle - Credit: FoekeNoppert

 Dublin (population 527,000) is the capital city of Ireland. Its Irish name is Baile Átha Cliath, meaning ‘town of the hurdled ford’. It was established at the mouth of the River Liffey as a Viking settlement and has remained the economic centre of the country since its beginnings.

Dublin and its surroundings (known as ‘the Pale’) was the first area in Ireland in which English was spoken – brought by the Normans at the end of the 12th century, it is now the official spoken language. The English which is spoken in Ireland is known as Hiberno-English and features many influences of the Irish language which is also still spoken and written throughout the country.

Page 108. " home for geriatrics in Truro "

The rooftops of Truro with St Mary's Cathedral at the centre
Creative Commons Attribution Share AlikeThe rooftops of Truro with St Mary's Cathedral at the centre - Credit: Chris Downer
 Truro is a city in the South-West of England, in the county of Cornwall. It is the main administrative city in Cornwall, despite being only its fourth most populous town with 17,400 inhabitants. A settlement has existed on the site of Truro since Norman times and the castle was built in the 12th century. It was long an important port and also a mining town, central to the industry of England’s South-West. With the decline of the mining trade, however, came the diminishing importance of Truro, despite it maintaining its city status and administrative role.

Its main attractions include the Gothic-revival cathedral of St Mary, the Royal Cornwall Museum and its large number of specialty shops and markets.

Page 114. " the iconic church, the Dome "
The Duomo towers over the city of Florence
Creative Commons Attribution Share AlikeThe Duomo towers over the city of Florence - Credit: Owmn

The decorative marble facade of the Duomo
Public DomainThe decorative marble facade of the Duomo - Credit: Jebulon
The main church in Florence, known as the Duomo (Dome) is the Basilica di Santa Maria del Fiore. Although construction began in 1296 it was only completed in 1436 by Pope Eugene IV. The cathedral was designed in a Gothic style by Arnolfo di Cambio and is decorated on the outside with marble panels of green and pink, bordered by white. This ornamentation was not in fact completed until 1887.

The Duomo towers over the city of Florence and is one of its iconic images and most visited sights. Until modern times it was the largest dome in the world and remains the largest brick dome ever built. The cathedral, baptistery and Campanile (bell tower) are listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

Page 114. " the Croydon Holiday Inn "

A Holiday Inn sign used by roadsides in America in the 50s and 60s
Creative Commons Attribution Share AlikeA Holiday Inn sign used by roadsides in America in the 50s and 60s - Credit: JMG717
 Holiday Inn is a brand of economy hotels which was founded in Tennessee in 1952. Its founder, Charles Kemmons Wilson, was disappointed by the poor standard of American roadside motels and vowed to do something about the problem. It is now one of the world’s largest hotel chains with over 1,300 properties worldwide. It is part of the InterContinental Hotel Group.

Croydon is a town and borough in South London which is one of the largest shopping districts in southern England, due in part to its location – many road and rail links to London from the south pass through Croydon.

Page 114. " the Church of San Marco "

The Neo-Classical facade of the Church of San Marco
Creative Commons Attribution Share AlikeThe Neo-Classical facade of the Church of San Marco - Credit: Joanbanjo
The Church of San Marco in central Florence was founded by Silvestrine monks and consecrated in 1443 by Pope Eugene IV. It contains notable artworks such as a 14th century crucifix and a Madonna with Saints by Fra Bartolommeo.

There is also a convent attached to the church, which is now a museum, home to a library of Latin and Greek manuscripts collected by the artist and sculptor Michelozzo. The convent was home to the famous painter Fra Angelico in the 15th century.

Page 115. " a list, in Harrods, I think "

Harrods on Brompton Road
Public DomainHarrods on Brompton Road - Credit: Sokkk y
Harrods is the most famous department store in London, situated on Brompton Road in Knightsbridge. The business was founded in 1824 by Charles Henry Harrod as a drapers and haberdashery and was expanded by his son to sell other merchandise. In 1898 Harrods showcased Britain’s first moving escalator.

The shop occupies a 5-acre site which gives it over one million square feet of selling space throughout several departments. It is said that anything in the world can be bought from Harrods – even if it isn’t physically in the store, it can be ordered. The shop is most famous for luxury goods and has a Food Hall and Christmas Store which are known the world over.

Harrods also owns other businesses such as a bank, estates agent and aviation corporation. It is currently owned by Qatar Holdings.

Page 118. " 'Don't Mess With Texas' "

Don’t Mess With Texas’ was the slogan of an advertising campaign created by the Texas Department of Transportation in 1986 as an attempt to reduce roadside litter in the state. It appeared on roadside billboards, radio, television and printed adverts and soon became a cultural icon. Texans have adopted the slogan as a demonstration of state pride and despite being a registered federal trademark it appears on many souvenir items, from beer mats to bumper stickers.

Page 120. " an investment opportunity in Capetown "

Cape Town, with Table Mountain in the background, as viewed from Robben Island
Public DomainCape Town, with Table Mountain in the background, as viewed from Robben Island - Credit: Matthias Kniese
 Cape Town (population 827,000) is the second largest city in South Africa and the home of the National Parliament. It is the country’s most popular tourist destination as it is home to famous landmarks such as Table Mountain, Cape Point and the city harbour.

Cape Town was first mentioned by Bartholomeu Dias, a Portugese explorer, in 1486 and was developed by the Dutch East India Company as a supply station for its trading ships, making it the first permanent European settlement in South Africa. The late 19th century saw a rush of immigrants to Cape Town after the discovery of diamonds in the surrounding area, and it remains a very multicultural city.

Cape Town was home to many leaders of the anti-apartheid movement in South Africa and it was here that Nelson Mandela made his famous speech in 1990 to mark the end of his imprisonment and the segregation.

Cape Town waterfront
GNU Free Documentation LicenseCape Town waterfront - Credit: Andres Tusche