From a snake as snack to crocodile meat as an antidote for a bad heart — in the Philippines

In the Puerto Princesa Public Market, pink duck eggs lay stacked next to white hen and pied quail eggs, eggs so pink that a flamingo would want to borrow it for its plumes. The crowd was milling in the Philippine island of Palawan and I heard a voice piping in the clamour of a marketplace. “Want an embryo for a snack?” After a long day rowing inside an underground river, one of the New Seven Wonders of Nature, I sure required nutrients. But an embryo? I thought my ears were…

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In the heart of Madrid, El Campo de Cebada offers a space for all

At the crossroads in La Latina, the old-town barrio at the heart of Madrid, a scruffy blue-and-white painted fence of corrugated steel runs the curve of the corner. Peer through a porthole, and you’ll find yourself looking down into a wide, space of poured concrete and graffiti, scattered with tiered benches, a basketball hoop at either end. This is El Campo de la Cebada, a community space created por y para los vecinos – for and by the neighbours – when the local authority demolished the swimming pool. The money…

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The Venice synagogue at the heart of the world’s first ghetto

The 16th-century Schola Grande Tedesca is worth a visit for its extraordinary interior but, as the arts writer discovers, also for what it reveals about the history of the Jewish community in Europe The interior of the Schola Grande Tedesca This is one of the oddest spaces I’ve ever been in. The geometry is unique: it is a trapezoid tapering toward two windows, softened above by the elliptical women’s gallery which Silvia, our guide, tells us was added in a later restoration. I’m on a tour of some of the…

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