It’s the 8th century BCE. Colonists have arrived in Sicily from Corinth, a city-state between Athens and Sparta, to establish settlements. On this southeastern part of the island, across the Ionian sea from the motherland, rises the great capital city of Syracuse. Allied with Corinth and Sparta, Syracuse will one day help dominate Magna Graecia, growing as large as Athens in the 5th century BCE.
There is no right way to travel.
This is what I tell people who reflexively condemn cruising as not “true travel.” It may not be the ideal method for many experienced travelers, but for others, from families to older folks, it’s a very appropriate and convenient means of seeing the world.
New Orleans is arguably the most unique city in the United States.
Settled by the French, ceded to the Spanish, turned back over to the French and eventually sold by Napoleon to the United States in the Louisiana Purchase of 1803, one can get a sense of the city’s diverse background from the change in management alone. Add upon this the culture brought over by the enslaved Africans and the influence of the Native Americans and Caribbeans, and you’ve got Creole, a stew of diverse ingredients not unlike the city’s beloved gumbo.
Florence, I just can’t quit you. After an adventure in Northern Italy, Austria and Slovenia, I found myself in my favorite Italian city for the second time last year. I had already posted on many of my favorite places in Florence in my previous posts, yet, until this trip, I still hadn’t ascended the Duomo or the Campanile, nor had I been inside the Battistero. These are perhaps the most touristy of tourist things to do in the city, undoubtedly the “top attractions in Florence” (there’s a lil’ sum’n sum’n for the Google keyword crawlers #transparency).
How to build my perfect European town.
Add to one part old world history a dash of chic modernity. Let it age into a unique culture. Drizzle in a beautiful river and sprinkle with romantic night lights. Top with an epic castle. Keep cool with comfortable weather and serve at reasonable prices.
Order up: Ljubljana, the capital of Slovenia.
Imagine a beautiful, small town surrounding a lake. The water is pristine and the trees surrounding it are a vibrant green. High above sits a majestic castle overlooking the scene with a quiet grandeur. At the center of the lake is an island, and on this island is a church with a bell that grants wishes…
Sound like a fairy tale?
It started to rain a day after I arrived in Villach, a small town in Austria near the Italian border. Having just arrived from a very muggy Udine, I was more than happy to spend some wet moments in the brisk chill. As many of you know, the music you choose on a trip can stay with you forever. On this stop, I opted for Radiohead’s most recent album, A Moon Shaped Pool. Listen to “Glass Eyes” and note the travel-centric lyrics as you look at the photos below to experience Villach as I did.
The Castello di Miramare is one of the highlights for anyone visiting Trieste. The historic building (more a “mansion” than a “castle”) includes a museum and an expansive park and marine reserve located around it. It can easily be a full-day affair if one decides to enjoy the premises slowly. It’s so lovely, I chose to visit it twice on two separate trips to Trieste within the year. (For more info on what to do in the city, check out my past post on top attractions in Trieste.)