Savoring September at a Snail’s Pace in the Piedmont

Mercato con Arco nu

Half an hour from the industrial bustle of Turin lies southern Piedmont, a renowned eden for epicurians. Each community has its own claim to fame: the truffles of Alba, the sparkling wines of Asti, the sausage and cheeses of Bra, the world-class wines of Barolo. The landscapes of the Langhe, of Roero and Monferrato, seduce you slowly, with the intricate -- and regionally appropriate -- ... Read Full Article

Undiscovered Italy: Food and Lodging in Polesine

Part of lunch buffet at Agriturismo Corte Carezzabella

In my recent article, Polesine Italy: Two Rivers Run Through it, I told you about a series of attractions in Polesine, an area of northeast Italy which is sadly overlooked and seriously overshadowed by neighboring Venice. Two attractions not mentioned in the previous article are covered here: food and lodging. They are inter-connected in that many of the appealing places to stay are agritourism ... Read Full Article

Polesine, Italy: Two Rivers Run Through it

Along a bicycle path in Polesine

You don’t have to drive Apollo’s sun chariot to find yourself in close proximity to the Po River of Northern Italy. Phaeton did it the hard way when he lost control of his father's horses, and was struck down by Zeus. According to mythology, the mortal fell and drowned in the Po River not far from Crespino, a small town about 37 miles (60 kilometers) southwest of Venice. Today Crespino’s main ... Read Full Article

Sardinia for the Rest of Us

Typical landscape of the Maddalena archipelago

Among the first things you hear when you arrive in Sardinia is a local exclaiming: “Look at our beaches. Look at our water. More beautiful than the Caribbean!” Usually the claim is made by someone who has never set foot on a Caribbean island so its validity is questionable, but you can understand why the assertion was made. The waters surrounding the second largest island in the ... Read Full Article

Warm Yourself in the Thermal Baths of Budapest

The Szecheyni Baths are classic and good for half a day

If you leave Budapest without soaking in a Hungarian thermal bath, you have cheated yourself of a memorable experience. Last visit, I found myself floating naked in a body-temperature pool under a 500-year old Ottoman dome pierced by jewel-colored glass “eyes”. The Rudas (ROO-das) bath experience left me as relaxed as I’ve ever been in my life, I have to say. The Turkish bath experience is all ... Read Full Article

On the James Joyce Trail in Trieste

James Joyce statue by the Canal Grande

The city of Trieste is in border country. Follow the coast all the way around, as James Joyce did in the early years of the twentieth century, and pretty soon you’ll be in Slovenia, with Croatia just a few miles further south. You are as likely to hear people say 'dober dan' as 'buongiorno', and the phone book is full of names like Gravnik and Decic. Trieste has always inhabited an ... Read Full Article

A Tour of London’s Street Art

Crane by Belgian artist Roa

Next time you're in the East End, take a moment to soak up London's street art. It's bold, witty and often subversive, much like the city itself. The works of artists who revel in pseudonyms like Jimmy C, Stik, Ronzo and, of course, Banksy, have turned the formerly mean streets of Spitalfields and Shoreditch into a continually evolving open air art gallery. Once, not so long ago, the East ... Read Full Article

The Darker Side of Vienna

Unveiled in 2008, this memorial was initiated and researched by local residents.

 Vienna is one of the world’s great cities, even though today she has somewhat the air of a vast museum. But these tourist treasures have stories, some very dark, bitter, and complex. Listen to a native son, Sigmund Freud. “Like you, I have an indomitable affection for Vienna and Austria,” the doctor wrote to a friend. “But unlike you, I know her abyss.” The more you know about ... Read Full Article

Copenhagen and Tallinn: A Fine Vacation Pair

Tallinn - Russian dumplings

  Copenhagen’s famed art and design museums, grand historical sites, lively urban parks, and dynamic restaurant scene makes it an easy city to love. Flat and manageable in size, the city center’s streets are abuzz with walkers and cyclists. Get in on the action by lacing up a pair of walking shoes or better yet, rent a bike; Copenhagen is a bike lover’s city indeed. Art and ... Read Full Article

Twenty-four Hours in Helsinki, Finland

Esplanadi: locals relaxing in the park

  Helsinki, Finland is an easy city to love. From cutting-edge art museums and historical sights to a vibrant foodie scene and shopping galore, Helsinki has more than enough to keep travelers enthralled. The soulful, friendly locals are another reason to visit too. Unabashedly original with an eclectic, trend-setting style all its own, a trip to Helsinki could be all about the ... Read Full Article