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

Come to the 2015 Gastronomic Expo in Milan – This is Big!

The French Pavilion bursts with gustatory greens-001

Thoughts of Italy invariably bring to mind thoughts of food. So hard-core foodies don’t need an excuse to make their way here. But they have a special reason to do so this year, when Milan hosts Expo 2015 – the first universal international exposition to be held in Europe in 15 years. The theme of this world’s fair is Feeding the planet, energy for life, a natural complement to the host country’s ... Read Full Article

Old Athenian Hangouts Take a Modern Twist

Music concert at Second Skin nightclub in Athens' Psirri district

Ancient Athens’ golden glory may be the reason why the city’s vibrant present is often overlooked by visitors. Its inhabitants, though, don’t like to dwell on the past. Well, sort of.. It’s been a few years now that the city’s modest old neighbourhoods, like the once unwelcoming industrial Gazi (Gas in English), have been given a new lease of life courtesy of a vast choice of modern restos ... Read Full Article

5 Reasons to Try Turkish Wine While in Turkey

The vineyards

Need five reasons to drink Turkish wine on your next visit to Turkey? The country's wines are quickly growing in prominence worldwide, and it's no wonder why. First, the world's very first wines were likely made in the region. Second, Turkey ranks sixth in the world in total grape production. Third, the only countries that have more land dedicated to vineyards than Turkey are France, Italy, and ... Read Full Article