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

Toledo, Spain – The Top 7 Unforgettable Attractions

Toledo, Spain as seen at dusk

Once an unassuming centrally located city, Toledo, Spain has now become one of the country’s main attractions—and rightly so. It is filled to the brim with historic buildings, a collection of religious structures and interesting museums. In the town center, a maze of narrow streets makes getting around both a challenge and a wonderful experience. While strolling around, visitors will stumble upon ... Read Full Article

Capitoline Museum: The Story Behind Boy With Thorn

Close-up of the statue of the Boy with Thorn

I had never been to the Capitoline Museum. The first time I saw Boy with Thorn, he was a black and white projection snapping in and out of focus on the classroom wall. It was my senior year of college, and I was fulfilling my Literature and Arts general education requirement with an Italian Art History course. The classroom, a small, dusty room on the third floor of the Harvard Fogg Art Museum, ... Read Full Article

The Magic of Lisbon

sunset over Alfama

There’s no city on earth like Lisbon. To feel the vista of sunset drizzling over terracotta tenements and the Pombaline rococo of the old town; to husk over cold cerveza in the dulcet twilight of the banks of the Tejo as the Ponte 25 de Abril bridge blends into nightfall; to see the number 28 tram rattle and clank through cloistered, cobbled amber-lit laneways of Alfama – all of this is to ... Read Full Article

Five Quirky Museums in Europe

Folding Fan of the 1920s

When I travel to Europe, I am always on the look-out for museums or sites that are a bit out of the ordinary. I think that the following five quirky museums fill the bill: From Magic Ice to fans, to computers, these museums present a different slant on museum-going. The Magic Ice Museum - Istanbul Housed in Istanbul, no less, the Magic Ice Museum is one of the first permanent ice museums ... Read Full Article

Puglia: Where to Stay on Italy’s Boot

Corte dei Granai bedroom

The most characteristic choice for lodging in Puglia is a trullo, a stone hut topped by a cupola. These peasant dwellings, found only here in this region of Italy, date back to the 13th century, but don’t worry – those that have been turned into luxury hotels or rental properties are of more recent vintage, with all the mod cons an international visitor expects. The problem with trulli, aside ... Read Full Article

Puglia: A Gastro-Blitz on Italy’s Boot

La Cutura cactus garden

Halfway through a four-day gastronomic tour of southern Puglia, we were struggling to digest the experience.  At least I was, as the only one in our group who was not in the food business as a sommelier, restaurateur, or wine journalist. At this point we were in a gently rocking fishing boat off the shore of Gallipoli on the Ionian Sea, perfect weather on a late May morning. “If you want to eat ... Read Full Article

Solomeo Brings a Renaissance Fair and Luxury to Umbria

Ancient crafts are on display for education and acquisition at Solomeo’s Renaissance Fair.

Solomeo, a tiny town 14 km. (about 10.5 miles) southwest of Perugia, in Italy’s Umbria region, brings history to life every summer with its Renaissance Fair. For ten days between late July and the first few days of August the handful of streets in this dollhouse village (population: 500) are crowded with more than 15,000 visitors from elsewhere in Italy and from abroad. Street performers in ... Read Full Article

Greece’s Mysterious Lichadonisia Islands

The beach at Lichondisi island

It’s an overcast, gray October day and the gulls mewling over the sombre sea makes it seem even gloomier. I am standing at the marina at Kamena Vourla, a resort town on the north-east coast of Greece noted for its hot springs. I’m with a group of seniors who have traveled up the coast from Athens on a mystery trip, one that we will take by boat to visit a cluster of little islands known as the ... Read Full Article

Genoa on Foot – Cultural Immersion the Quick Way

Port Antico

For many visitors, Genoa is a portal to the Mediterranean. It's the largest seaport in Italy and the first stop for many cruise passengers. In fact, as you step off the plane, a queue seems to form automatically, which funnels passengers from immigration straight to the cruise ships. But if you make time for a short walking tour through Genoa's old town you'll be rewarded with an immersive insight ... Read Full Article