2012 - Bilbao, Spain



This is one of the Paradoxplace group of websites and website names created by Adrian Fletcher, aka "Dom Paradox" and "Adriano".  


Paradoxplace is a fascinating site which uses hundreds of the best photos you will find on the web to bring to life people, art, palaces, cathedrals, abbeys and travels in medieval Italy, France, Spain, Portugal and Britain, accompanied by lots of good food you can eat whilst discovering these.




Adrian spent Spring 2014 travelling the length and breadth of England in search of interesting new places - the journey can be shared through




Since then there have been more major family history discoveries, all revealed in Adrian's family history site:





Paradoxplace, Bellatrovata, Ciao Adriano, and Domparadox are the creations of Adrian Fletcher - traveller, foodie, photographer, medieval historian and sometime banker, board chairman, university don and physicist.  He also authors the family history site Ciao Famiglia.


Adrian was born of a British (army) family in Cairo during the Second World War, then lived and was schooled in Hythe and Sandwich in Kent, in the south east of England.  He started his working life with English Electric in Stafford in the UK midlands, after obtaining degrees in Physics and Management from Imperial College, London (where he was an English Electric Scholar and also Student Union President).  He came to Australia in 1972 via South Africa, where he had spent three years building up a computer bureau for Rand Mines.  During the early seventies he directed the MBA business and public policy courses at the Graduate Business School at NSW University (Sydney), and then moved to head up planning and finance for a large packaging manufacturer in Sydney.


He married in 1974 (the marriage was dissolved in 1994) and has a daughter (Emily) and two sons (James and Nick), now in their thirties.


In 1980 Adrian became (by far) the youngest general manager of Australia's largest private sector bank (the Bank of New South Wales, now Westpac) in the days when the bank had only a handful of General Managers.  He was later Westpac Banking Corporation's Chief Financial Officer, putting together strategies, systems and teams to operate in the newly deregulated Australian banking environment in areas as diverse as finance and accounting, capital management, strategy and its implementation, mergers and acquisitions, economics, government relations, management systems and organizational culture and development.  He spent the years 1987 - 90 based in the City of London as Head of Westpac’s Global Investment Banking Group, was a member of the bank's Executive Committee, and senior board member of several subsidiaries including stockbroker Ord Minnett.


During the 1990s Adrian was Chairman of several Australian public companies in the Petsec Energy Group, and also undertook a range of advisory and management consulting assignments.  In parallel with this and the pursuit of wide ranging reading and music interests,  he also set out to learn more about alternative approaches to understanding people in the context of organizations.  This was driven by the clear need to do something about the observably large number of unengaged (alienated) people in most large (private and public) organizations, and the number of unsustainable strategies being followed by these organizations.


In 1999 he donated time as a coach to the top management team of The Smith Family (a major Australian not for profit organization), with a particular interest in laying the foundations for a significant expansion in their Learning for Life program.  This program gives monetary and advisory help to Australian children who do not have the resources to, for example, pay for textbooks, clothing, school outings or a number of other things that are not part of the "free" education system.  Reliable statistics showed that an unbelievable 700,000 plus Australian children (or around a quarter of the school age population) were exposed to various forms of social exclusion as a result of parental poverty.


Already widely travelled and dined as a senior banker in Europe, North America and Asia, Adrian decided to spend the year 2000 on a "sea change" sabbatical in Central Tuscany in Italy (amongst other things working with Australian Greg Page's well known real estate company - Alfaimmobiliare di Gregory Page - in Castellina-in-Chianti).  During this time he became known as Adriano, produced (after intensive research) a guide to Restaurants, Food and Festivals in Chianti, Siena, Florence and Umbria, got into digital photography, and started work on  "The World of the Middle Ages, Italian Renaissance and Central Tuscany"  - easy to read histories / chronologies (especially useful to visitors to Florence, Siena, etc), all of which morphed later into a website called Paradoxplace.


It did not take long for these new interests to munch and click their way to Rome, Southern Italy, Northern Italy then Spain and Portugal and finally France (with a growing awareness of Britain on visits "home" each time).  Having set sail into the Italian Renaissance years, the focus shifted to also embrace the fascinating years between the end of the Roman Empire and the Renaissance, particularly the times which saw the building of the great Romanesque and Gothic Cathedrals, Abbeys and Churches of Western Europe between 1000 and the Black Death in 1348.


All of this new life is driven by the enjoyment of the author, who has discovered a fascinating world of insights and stories which somehow passed by unnoticed during his schooling, university, banking and corporate board career.  Hopefully the work will be enjoyably useful to learners, ffoodies, vicarious travellers and real visitors to Italy, Spain, Portugal, France and Britain, and indeed anyone interested in visually rich information about present day beauty and food, where our present world and ideas came from, and what living several hundred years ago felt and looked like.  The site has also proved a valuable source of photographs for  books, cards, posters, calendars and other stuff.



All material © Adrian Fletcher 2000-14 - The contents may not be hotlinked or reproduced without permission.

Feedback and comments to afletch at paradoxplace dot com