Five Movies to Watch before your Next European Vacation

Beautiful Austria

If you’re planning your next holiday in Europe but don’t know how you’ll get through the time before you leave, it’s a good idea to get settled on the couch with a travel-based film. Make some popcorn, put your comfy pants on, and indulge in a weekend movie marathon — only those shot in Europe though, of course! There have been dozens of great films set in European countries over the years, so it ... Read Full Article

Angoulême’s Fabulous Flights of Fancy

Angouleme City

One of the reasons I travel is to discover and learn. When I first visited Europe, I didn’t know what a rampart was. But as I travelled from one old French town to another I saw how towns, questing for invincibility, had fortified themselves with surrounding walls. They were standard issue in Europe of yore. As barbarous behavior diminished and towns grew, they eventually burst those walls leaving ... Read Full Article

The Five Best World War II Museums for Americans to Visit in Normandy

US memorial at Normandy

On June 6, 1944, 150,000 American, Canadian and British troops landed in rough seas along a sixty-mile series of flat sandy beaches on the French coast at Normandy. The liberation of France and Western Europe was underway. They fought their way up sloping white sand dunes, towering cliffs, and through small seaside villages until, after two month’s bitter fighting, they broke out of Normandy. ... Read Full Article

Back in Time to Villeneuve les Avignon

Sur la pont du Avignon

Peppered with gorgeous towns, lush vineyards and sweeping rural scenes, Provence remains one of France’s most sought after getaways. While soaking it all up through the window of a romantic TGV train remains an alluring option, we decided to hit the road and satiate our wanderlust in a hired black Volvo. While it wasn’t quite a DeLorean, it took us through Provence, and six centuries back in time ... Read Full Article

Marvellous Montpellier – The Romantic, Wandering Gourmand’s Guide to a Medieval French Gem

Place de Comedie

Though you’re spoiled for choice in the European summertime, it doesn’t get much better than 10 days on the shimmering French Riviera—cue glorious sun, sumptuous food and wine, and cool, crisp dips in the azure waters of the Mediterranean. The only dilemma is where to go next. After filling our tanned bellies in Nice for 4 nights, we decided to venture west across the Cote D’Azur on a TGV, ... Read Full Article

The Loire’s Castles and Gardens

Chateau Villandry

Touring in the Loire Valley means you don't have to travel far to see the grand chateaus and pretty villages that dot the landscape. John and I stayed in one place, Chenonceaux, and found a multitude of treasures on short day trips along and over the rivers that wind through this green, broad valley. The farthest we drove was to Fontevraud Abbey. Fontevraud was high on my list because I'm ... Read Full Article

Montmajour, the Oldest Abbey in Provence

Montmajour Abbey

  Vincent Van Gogh visited Montmajour Abbey at least fifty times, he wrote, just to look at the view across the plain.  Today's visitors to Provence, France, are drawn to the abbey for the same reason and to see the impressive old ruin in stone, a French historical monument and the oldest abbey in Provence. It was a significant site from the time construction began in the tenth century, ... Read Full Article

Favorite Villages in Provence: Eygalières and Mausanne-les-Alpilles

La Maison Sucrée, a creperie in Eygaliéres, France

  Dozens of  inviting villages are scattered throughout sun-drenched Provence, in southern France. Two of my favorites, perhaps because they're lesser known and have such unpretentious charm, are Eygalières and Mausanne-les-Alpilles,  in the Bouches-de-Rhone region. Both lie near the Chaine des Alpilles, a low east-west range of limestone peaks that rise steeply from the Rhone River ... 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

Following the Footsteps of Cezanne in Aix en Provence

Paul Cézanne Mt. Ste. Victoire

  Paul Cézanne was devoted to his hometown of Aix-en-Provence, in southern France, and it's easy to see why. More than a hundred years after the great artist's time, it's still a lovely, livable city. “When you're born here,” Cézanne said, “nothing else is good enough.” He was fascinated by the light of Provence and painted the region's landscapes over and over—some 60 versions of Mt. St. ... Read Full Article