Anna Woollett


Anna Woollett

I moved to Italy three years ago. I worked for two years in the Tuscany region and this year I've travelled through Rome (6 weeks) Pisa (3 months), Genova (2 months), Bologna (2 weeks), Venice (1 week), Naples (5 days.) Most of this trip was done under the second lockdown when Italy was empty of tourists.

I moved to Palermo, Sicily's capital at the end of May 2021 and lived there for 2 months, I left Palermo and spent 7 days in each of the following cities in this order - Agrigento, Trapani, Taormina, Ragusa, Siracusa and stayed in Catania for September. In October I moved to Naples for a teaching job and I hope to be here until December 2022.

The trip had its roots in unfortunate circumstances and was unplanned, but allowed me to recover from those at the same time as living and travelling in Italy. I have been fully able to appreciate Italian food, culture and language in a way I never could when I was working. Now although I'm returning to work I intend to set aside one hour everyday to complete my blog as doing it makes me really happy !

Feel free to read my blogs and see my photos.

Europe » Italy » Tuscany » Pisa December 14th 2021

No I don't feature in one of Agatha Christie's books as one of the famous murderers who kills victims by poisoning them with Atropa Belladonna, a poisonous plant more commonly known as Deadly Nightshade. Nor have I become the third gardener to accompany the two gardeners / detectives Rosemary Boxer and Laura Thyme in the British TV series Rosemary & Thyme. I have however become quite the detective when it comes to Medicinal Plants, but through a less scandalous and more simplistic way than by carrying out a murder. I simply visited the Botanical Gardens in Palermo, those of Naples and those of Pisa, instead. I've become fascinated by the medicinal properties of plants, especially those from the Asteracea family.This has inspired me to write four short articles on 4 plants from the Asteracea family, with ... read more

Europe » Italy » Campania » Naples December 12th 2021

Each specimen is accompanied by a plate showing 1) The specific binomial These are two scientific names for a plant, based on Latin or Greek words. The first uses the genus name and the second uses the specific epithet. The two names together define the species and are usually written in italics or underlined Example : Achillea Millefolium Achillea is the genus name and Millefolium is the specific epithet. 2) The specific epithet This is the second part of the scientific name. This may describe a plant characteristic, the location where it was found or the person who discovered it. This name is always written in lowercase, even if the name is a proper noun. Example: millefolium, which describes the characteristic of the plant being a thousand leaves. 'Mille' in Latin means 'thousand' and 'folium' means ... read more

Europe » Italy » Tuscany December 10th 2021

BIBLIOGRAPHY INFORMATION BOARDS : ●The Botanical Gardens of Naples ●The Botanical Gardens of Pisa WEBSITES : ● ● ● ● ● ... read more

Europe » Italy » Campania » Naples December 10th 2021

GLOSSARY ■phytotherapy : herbal medicine ■Officinal plants : plants that are used in medicinal preparations ■specific binomial : Two scientific names for a plant, based on Latin or Greek words. The first uses the genus name and the second uses the specific epithet. The two names together define the species. These are usually written in italics or underlined ■genus: a group of closely related species or plants within a family that have more characteristics in common with one another than other plants of the same family, ■genus name: the first part of the scientific name for a specific plant. This name is usually capitalised, eg Achillea ■specific epithet : the second part of the scientific name. This may describe a plant characteristic, the location where it was found or the person who discovered it. This name ... read more

Europe » Italy » Campania » Naples November 29th 2021

The use of plants in the treatment of diseases began in prehistoric times. Herbal practices date back to about 3,000 years ago, and have been found in Egyptian papyrus and in Chinese manuscripts. Theophrastus and Dioscorides, were the two most important works created in Ancient Greece. Pliny the Elder and Galen are important works created in Ancient Rome. This Greco-Roman tradition came up to the Middle Ages, when it was integrated with Arabian medicine. During the Renaissance, the knowledge of medicinal plants spread, partly due to the invention of printing and the development of the scientific method. In the nineteenth century, with the development of contemporary medicine, many of the bioactive compounds occurring in plants began to be artificially reproduced in the laboratory. As a result, many preparations of modern synthetic pharmacology derive from plant mol ... read more

Europe » Italy » Campania » Naples November 24th 2021

ENGLISH NAME : The Artichoke Thistle LATIN NAME : Cynara Cardunculus ITALIAN NAME : Carciofo NICKNAMES : The Cardoon IMPORTANT PARTS OF PLANT : leaves SYMPTOMS TREATED : it reduces cholesterol, it helps with water retention, it increases bile excretion and improves digestive problems ADDITIONAL PROPERTIES : It is a perennial herb with blue to purple flowers. It is a naturally occurring species but it is cultivated in many forms, including as the Globe Artichoke CONTAINS : antioxidants, fibre, vitamins, minerals OTHER INTERESTING INFORMATION : it tastes like a bitter artichoke. It is often served as a simple side dish, or put in a stew or tangine. The stalks are commonly used traditional Christmas meals, such as in Italy, Spain and France. WHERE IT GROWS : Abundantly in the Mediterranean. It is in season from November ... read more
Artichoke Thistle in December
Artichoke Thistle taken in December

Europe » Italy » Campania » Naples November 24th 2021

ENGLISH NAME : The Greater Burdock LATIN NAME : Arctium Lappa ITALIAN NAME : Bardana Maggiore NICKNAMES : Greater Burdock, Gobo, Edible Burdock, Lappa, Beggar's buttons, Thorny Burr, Happy Major STORY BEHIND NAMES: Arctium Lappa : Arktos is the Greek word for bear and Leppa means to seize. These refer to its rough-coated fruits, which are covered in bracts, which cling to clothes and fur on contact. Beggar's Buttons refer to the appearance of the plant's pods. Gobo is the Japanese name, which refers to the roots of Burdock which are served as a vegetable in Japan. IMPORTANT PARTS OF PLANT : roots, leaves and seeds SYMPTOMS TREATED : diseases related to the glandular system and metabolic diseases, it reduces toxic states, diabetes, acne, boils/ulcers, eczema, psoriasis, rheumatism, gout (inflammatory arthritis) ADDITIONAL PROPERTIES : In Chinese ... read more
Greater Burdock, not yet in flower

Europe » Italy » Campania » Naples November 24th 2021

ENGLISH NAME : Yarrow LATIN NAME : Achillea Millefolium ITALIAN NAME : Achillea Millefoglie NICKNAMES : Common Yarrow, Devil's Nettle, Devil's Plaything, Bad man's plaything, Old Man's Pepper, Field Hop STORY BEHIND NAMES: Achillea Millefolium : 1: It is named after Achilles, the Ancient Greek hero that was immortal and invulnerable except for his heel. The name of the plant was linked to this myth due to the plants reputation for accelerating wound healing 2: Achilles used plant extracts to treat soldiers' wounds in the battle of Troy Millefolium : It refers to the finely divided leaves that appear to have thousands of segments. ' Mille' means a thousand and 'folia' means leaves in Latin. Devil's Nettle, Devil's Plaything, Bad Man's Plaything : it was associated with the Abrahamic devil Old Man's Pepper: Due to its ... read more
Achillea Millefolium
Achillea Millefolium
Achillea Millefolium

Europe » Italy » Campania » Naples November 24th 2021

ENGLISH NAME : Elecampane LATIN NAME: Inula Helenium ITALIAN NAME : Enula NICKNAMES : Horse-heal, Heal, Elfdock, Medicinal Elecampane, Horseman's herb STORY BEHIND NAMES: Inula : Comes from the Greek 'Ineo' which means 'I purge', which refers to the plant's medicinal properties Helenium : Greek mythology tells the story of Helen of Troy who wept as she was taken away by Prince Paris. From her tears it is said that the Elfdock plant grew, and the kidnapping triggered the great Trojan wars. The name Hellena was passed on and over time became distorted to 'Helenium.' Elecampane: In Christian beliefs, this plant became a symbol of healing of the soul after having confessed one's sins. This was because Horse-heal's medicinal powers were so effective it was said to mirror God's mercy in the forgiveness of sins. Hence ... read more

Europe » Italy » Campania » Naples November 23rd 2021

● il rimedio - a cure ●Ai suoi mali - for his illnesses ●risale a milioni di anni fa - it's dates back to millions of years ago ●trovò - found (past tense) ●Da quel momento - from that moment on ●l'essere umano - man ●il valore - value ●risalgono ad almeno 8000 anni a.C - date back to at least 8000 years after Christ ●e aD utilizzare - to use ●seguiti poi - followed then ●dagli Egizi e dai Greci ● Erodoto - Herodotus ●Ippocrate - Hippocrates ●Dioscoride - Dioscorides ●dai Romani - by the Romans ●Galeno - Galen ●Celso - Celsus ●Gli Arabi - the Arabs ●realizzando droghe ritenute magiche - ●il Medioevo ●medicamenti ●tratti da piante ●(X plural) si sono notevolmente incrementate ●molti farmaci sintetici - many synthetic drugs ●principi attivi naturali - ... read more

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