A Perfect Day in Venice

There’s nowhere in the world quite like Venice with its winding canals and teeny-tiny bridges, age-old churches, and local artisan shops that sell everything from delicate antiques to colorful papier-mâché masks. It’s an easy city to fall in love with, and an even easier one to get lost in; turn down one topsy-turvy alley too early and land somewhere entirely unexpected, which isn’t necessarily a ... Read Full Article

Musee du Luxembourg: A Paris Must-See

Angelina Luxembourg

  I love the small museums of Paris; the Orangerie, located in the Tuilleries, has two fantastic oval rooms with Monet's Water Lily canvases surrounding you.  Another favorite small Paris museum is the Marmottan, a former estate that now houses a treasure trove of impressionist paintings, including Monet's painting that gave Impressionism its name: Impression Sunrise. On our last trip to ... Read Full Article

Don’t Miss These Strasbourg Museums

Brandy container. Betchdorf 1862

  Strasbourg is just a 3-hr train ride from Paris, but it seems worlds away. This Alsatian city is a beautiful blend of French and German. And, that may be because it has lived under both flags at different times in its existence. Strasbourg is blessed with eleven great museums. Here is a glimpse of what Strasbourg's Museums have in store for you. Alsatian Museum The Alsatian ... Read Full Article

Searching for Picasso in Paris

Hotel Sale - Picasso Museum

  A few years ago, after visiting Picasso museums in Spain and Switzerland, my husband and I set out to find Picasso in Paris. Spanish born, Picasso came to Paris as a young man at the dawn of the twentieth century where he influenced the art world for more than fifty years. As a young man, he lived in the bohemian Montmartre area, and during the First World War, he held court in ... Read Full Article

Three Extraordinary Istanbul Museums

I came by three extraordinary Istanbul museums because I was suffering from a case of culture overdose! For four days, I had ‘done’ all the obligatory Istanbul sights: I admired the tiles in the Blue Mosque, visited the soaring columns of the underground cistern, jostled with the crowds in the Grand Bazaar and the spice market, and I duly stood in line to visit the treasures of Topkapi ... Read Full Article

Up Close Picture of the Week: Chagall Ceiling at the Opera Garnier in Paris

The Opéra Garnier, or Palais Garnier, in the 9th arrondisement, is anything but mundane. It’s huge, grandiose, over-the-top opulent, and a Paris sight not to be missed. It took 14 years to build and was the world’s largest theater when it opened in 1875. The ceiling, surrounding a 6-ton chandelier, was painted in 1964 by Marc Chagall. Chagall’s work is a contrast to the rest of the grand décor. ... Read Full Article

Exploring the Museums of Nürnberg, Germany

Durer self-portrait

  The city of Nürnberg is considered to be the cultural capital of Franconia, a distinct region in the German state of Bavaria. While many tourists visit the city to frequent the Christmas market or have their photograph taken in front of the Schöner Brunnen fountain while turning the golden ring for luck, some of the best places to tour are any of the many museums. From historic houses to ... Read Full Article

The Cluny: Paris’ Museum of the Middle Ages

One of the most interesting museums in Paris, a city filled with great museums, is the  Musée National du Moyen-Age Thermes de Cluny in the Latin Quarter.  The two important sites on the grounds are the 15th century mansion (the Cluny) with its collection of medieval art, and the 3rd-century Gallo-Roman baths (the Thermes). The Cluny’s renovation in 2002 included the dramatic lighting of the ... Read Full Article

Opéra Garnier, A Baroque World

The Opera Garnier There really is a lake beneath the old opera house in Paris, just as The Phantom of the Opera says.  No phantoms are boating on it, however, as far as anyone knows. The “lake,” which is more like a water-filled hole, has a more mundane purpose; it’s a reservoir used by the city’s pompiers-sapeurs (firefighters). The Opéra Garnier, or Palais Garnier, in the 9th arrondisement, ... Read Full Article

Le Musée National Picasso in Paris, France

One of my favorite places to spend an afternoon in Paris is at Le Musée Picasso, a gem of a museum in the historic Marais quartier.  As one would guess, it is devoted completely to the collection of Picasso masterpieces. Over the years, the museum has amassed a very diverse and skillfully curated collection of several thousand of the master’s sculptures, paintings, engravings, and sketches. The ... Read Full Article