Get to Know Outdoorsy Slovenia

Savica waterfall

I have to be honest, Slovenia was not always on my list of places to visit. I simply didn't know much about the country. But, I did end up visiting Slovenia last summer and it completely blew me away. Slovenia is one of the most "outdoorsy" countries in the world, with more than half the land covered in forest, more than 7,000 kilometers of hiking trails, and home to the largest population of ... Read Full Article

Finding Paradise: Spain’s Cies Islands

View of Rodas Beach and Faro Island

The Cies Islands are a hidden treasure; a 45-minute boat ride from the bustling city of Vigo in the northwestern province of Galicia, Spain, the islands have pristine beaches and rugged cliffs, a network of quiet hiking trails and a stunning coastline. I couldn’t quite believe what I had stumbled upon: my legs stretched out in front of me and my heels dug into the white, velvety soft sand. Ahead ... Read Full Article

Authentic Hotels Near Rimini with Food You’ll Crave

appetizer at Hotel Eliseo.

When in Romagna, Italy do as the Romagnoli do. Go to the beach. Bring your friends, your kids, your parents, even your dog. The hotels in and around Rimini, in Italy’s Romagna region, accommodate all tastes. While most guests come for the sun and the sand, “taste” is also important: they want good food. The hotel’s kitchen is more important in many ways than the amenities in the room, since people ... Read Full Article

Cooking Peasant Style in Emilia Romagna

strozzapreti with pesto.

Why does “peasant cooking” get such a bad rap? In Italy, peasants seem to eat better than patricians in many other countries. That is certainly the case in Romagna, based on my recent trip there at the invitation of #lovingromagna. Admittedly the organizers had an ace: they are related to Nonna Violante, a famed local chef who gives cooking lessons at her family’s hotel in Bellaria- Igea ... Read Full Article

Reveling in the Sights of Emilia-Romagna

Stamperia Marchi

Killer cheeses. Secret caves. Pagan rites. Pirate raids. These are some of the surprises awaiting a visitor to coastal Romagna -- the eastern part of the northern Italian region of Emilia-Romagna, bordering the Adriatic. This area is known mainly for its family-friendly beaches, wide and sandy with shallow coastal waters. But by venturing just north of Rimini, the provincial capital, or by ... Read Full Article

Things to do in Istanbul: Beyoğlu and Beyond

The Galata Tower in Istanbul

For the first timer, or even the consummate return visitor, Istanbul’s endless sprawl and depth can be an overwhelming experience to take in. The history alone of this one-time Roman, Byzantinian, Latin and Ottoman capital is a colossal enough task to bite into, without even beginning to take on its sheer physical size and stunning range of things to see and do. As they say: when you’re eating an ... Read Full Article

How to Visit Florence in One Day

view of Florence, Italy

Alright, you may read the title of this post and wonder why on earth you would spend only one day in Florence, the unofficial capital of Tuscany. And you’re right—the city deserves at least two full days. That being said; if for some reason you only have one day to spend in Florence, that will be enough to get a good feel of the city and to visit a few of its major highlights. As the very ... Read Full Article

History on Horseback in Lipica, Slovenia

Lipizzaner stud stallion in Lipica, Slovenia

You don’t have to be a lover of horses or history to visit Lipica, Slovenia. . . but it helps. This tiny village situated a few miles east of Trieste, Italy, encompasses a concentration of international culture and equine athleticism equaled by no other location on earth. Hippophiles will be in heaven, surrounded by 355 pureblooded Lipizzaners – snowy stallions, milky mares, and incongruously ... Read Full Article

Losing it in a Luxurious Slovenian Spa

Indian lotus blooms

This year, I spent three weeks at a  Slovenia Spa. Every day, I was confronted with difficult decisions. Should the oil for my massage be grape seed (antioxidant effect), almond (softens the skin), or herb-infused oil (detox benefits)? Did I prefer classic, Hawaiian, Tibetan, Indian, or Thai style? What was my preference for duration: the choice ranged from 20 minutes to 90. Making these decisions ... Read Full Article

Falling in Love with Porto, Portugal

# 22 tram in Porto

On our final morning in Lisbon, we meandered along the winding cobbled lanes of Alfama and leapt aboard a three-hour train ride north to Portugal’s second largest city: Porto. It would be a tough act to follow after such a rich and magical time in the City of Seven Hills, but Porto proved equally stunning and memorable. We soon began our love affair with Porto, Portugal. Porto is a UNESCO ... Read Full Article