I don’t know about you, but whenever we come across a town that has been labeled a City of the Arts, I get a queasy feeling in my stomach. From experience I know that all too often, this means grim medieval palazzi and stuffy churches that have been packed with dark, baffling and impenetrable paintings of minor biblical anecdotes or scenes from the life of the local saint.
The art historian and TV
… How Graffiti is Celebrated in City of Arts Dozza
Today, we will start our second set of walks in Emilia-Romagna. In contrast to the first group of hikes that we posted a few weeks ago – which were full day trips – the shorter walks from this second group require less of a commitment and take a much smaller chunk out of your holiday schedule. The principal objectives, however, remain the same: our walks in Emilia-Romagna are meant to provide some diversion, to drag
… Our Second Set of Walks in Emilia-Romagna
In our previous London spy walk on the trail of the Cambridge Five, we left off with Maclean and Burgess just about making it to Southampton for the day’s last ferry to France, never to return to the UK.
The sudden disappearance of two middle-ranking foreign service officials, at least one of whom was under acute suspicion of being a Soviet spy, caused a bit of a stir in contemporary Britain, but things
… A London Spy Walk in the Footsteps of the Cambridge Five
Themed London Walk London may not be the world’s most beautiful city but it is probably its most storied. Almost every street corner has a story to tell: about rock music, Charles Dickens, Jack the Ripper and so on – the list of themes is virtually endless.
London is also the capital of spy stories, and the most thrilling of these is the one about the Cambridge Five. Or
… The Spy Story of the Cambridge Five in London
MEDVIEDENKO Of all the cities you visited when you were abroad, Doctor, which one did you like the best?
TREPLIEFF Why Genoa?
DORN Because there is such a splendid crowd in its streets. When you leave the hotel in the evening, and throw yourself into the heart of that throng, and move with it without aim or object, swept along, hither
… Why Genoa is Like Audrey Hepburn to Me
Hiking in Italy, like so much else in this sweet and lovely country, is by turns an exasperating and wonderful experience.
Whether you are getting one or the other is largely determined by the kind of people who are in charge of the town or municipal district you are visiting.
Some towns could clearly not care less about hiking, to the extent where one can almost physically feel the
… We Took a Wondrous Easy Hike in Noli Italy
Two scenic train rides from Nice into its alpine back country are on the itinerary of most Riviera visits: the Train des Merveilles (to Tende near the Italian frontier) and the Train des Pignes (to Digne-les-Bains in the northwest). Ticking off the Train des Merveilles from our own travel schedule was one of the first things we did on the Riviera – we had not even moved for good in the area yet
… In Nice? Take the Train des Pignes to Entrevaux!
Gardens are to nature what fictional stories are to real life. They are carefully plotted, laid out to amuse and to entertain, and they do not try to conceal that everything you see has been put there for a reason. Gardens are highly artificial, but holding that against them is like going to the theatre and complaining that everything was, well, a bit stagey.
This does not mean that all gardens
… Where is the Serre de La Madone Garden?
Earlier in the year, we took you on a “sculp-tour” through the city of Münster (in northwest Germany), which hosts an internationally famous sculpture exhibition every ten years and which – since 1977 – has become one of Europe’s hot spots for urban modern art. The city, one of Germany’s finest, is equally well-known for its historic town centre and for its large number of urban beauty spots. Having concentrated on the first for part
… Where and How to See Modern Sculptures in Muenster
Where to Find Fellini in Rimini For most of its history, Rimini – established by the Romans more than 2000 years ago – was a sleepy provincial town on the Adriatic coast.
Within 20 years after the end of WWII, however, two dramatic changes occurred: first came the arrival of mass tourism. And then a local boy, the scion of a respected middle-class family, became the most famous movie director on
… Amarcord: I Remember the Rimini of Fellini