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

Greece: The Mystical Oak Shrine of Dodoni, Epirus

Castle_Gate

Most people who visit Greece have made a pilgrimage to Delphi, the most important oracle of the ancient world on Mt. Parnassos. However, not many people know about Dodoni, the country’s second most important oracle, tucked away in the mountains of Epirus, in north-east Greece. I’ve visited Dodoni on several occasions. The best way to reach the ancient site is via Ioannina. Once an Ottoman city ... 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

A Perfect Day in Venice

Venice bridges

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

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

A Brief History of Spain

Moorish influence in the Canopy at the Alhambra

Before embarking on a trip to Spain, learning a bit about its history can make your trip more meaningful. The Iberian Peninsula was first inhabited around 800,000 BC and proved to be a much-desired piece of real estate through the centuries, as evidenced by the large number of foreign invaders that chart Spain's history. First came the Phoenicians, then the Greeks, and then the ... 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

Anafiotika: The Hidden Village under the Acropolis

View with Lykevettos Mountain

The great city of Athens, Greece is made up of numerous small villages that have melded together over the years. Plaka is the most ancient, original part of the city where most of the archaeological sites are located. Just up on the hill above Plaka, under the flank of the Acropolis (“the high city”) there is the tiny village of Anafiotika, unique because of how it came to be. In 1841, King ... Read Full Article

Three Romantic Getaways in Europe

Dubrovnik, Croatia. Old Town

Valentine’s Day, a holiday steeped in romance and devotion, has been inspiring lovers to declare their love for centuries. It’s a day for heartfelt gifts, fancy dinners, pretty jewelry and even poems. And for travel lovers who use any excuse to plan a trip (that would be me!), it’s an opportune time to discuss a romantic summer getaway—of course, a European romantic summer getaway! Though ... Read Full Article