What Sets Out Trieste as a Different Italian Town

No country in the world is entirely made of one piece: wherever you go, you will always find differences between individual regions. It is equally clear, however, that some countries are more homogeneous than others, and I have always found that the band of cultural variety is particularly narrow in Italy. There is a certain “Italianness” which is shared by most things that you can find everywhere in this lovely country: food, dress

What Sets Out Trieste as a Different Italian Town

Walking with Rainer Maria Rilke in Trieste

Whatever anyone will tell you, Rainer Maria Rilke is the greatest poet in the German language. If you do not speak German well enough to read Rilke in the original (or if you think, with Mark Twain, that life is too short to learn it), try – for flavour – a painting of Rilke’s near-contemporary and fellow Viennese artist Gustav Klimt.

Rilke’s language is decorative and opulent, and

Walking with Rainer Maria Rilke in Trieste

A Cemetery as One of the Wonders of the World?

There are three good reasons to visit the Cimitero Monumentale di Staglieno in Genoa, one of Italy’s (and Europe’s) most famous and important “cities of the dead”. (Hemingway called the Staglieno “one of the wonders of the world”, and writers as different as Friedrich Nietzsche and Mark Twain were among its admirers.)

First, architectural history. Archaeologists argue to what extent the (often surprisingly well-preserved) ancient cemeteries may have mirrored the

A Cemetery as One of the Wonders of the World?

The Easiest of Easy Hikes in the Back Country of the Italian Riviera

If you are a frequent guest of this blog, you may remember our “two towns for one day’s walk” series of short and easy hikes which connect two villages along the Riviera coast (like Ventimiglia to Bordighera or Bordighera to San Remo or from Alassio to Laigueglia).

In the mountainous back country, meanwhile, such a hike is a far more difficult proposition: nearly all of these walks would be a great

The Easiest of Easy Hikes in the Back Country of the Italian Riviera

Walking the Walk Along the Lucca Wall

In Tuscany, landscape and urbanity are so closely interwoven that they create one large tapestry of culture which is governed by consistent aesthetic, economic and historical principles. While the Renaissance town palazzi reflect the pride and the wealth of the landowning families (it is said that Florentine rulers never ate or served anything in their town homes that had not come from their own estates), the landscape – more than anywhere else in

Walking the Walk Along the Lucca Wall

Easy Hiking Experience and More in Cinque Terre

One of the best, perhaps the single best feature of the Cinque Terre’s signature trail – the Blue Path – is its variety of views: you see the villages from different angles, sometimes in isolation and sometimes several at a time, sometimes from the front and sometimes from behind, sometimes from far away and sometimes from close up.

As far as Vernazza is concerned, the good-bye is even more scenic than the welcome

Easy Hiking Experience and More in Cinque Terre

Easy Hiking Experience in Cinque Terre – How to Get the Most Out of Your Trip

Italy’s Cinque Terre National Park is home to the Mediterranean’s most famous network of hiking paths. So famous in fact that nearly all our acquaintances have, over the years, reacted with stunned disbelief when we told them that we – despite living so close to the Cinque Terre’s home region of Liguria – had never been. Imagine you meet an art historian from the Greater Paris region who confesses that,

Easy Hiking Experience in Cinque Terre – How to Get the Most Out of Your Trip

What Do You Know About the Palm Trees of Bordighera?

The Beodo palm grove is one of the most stunning sights in the whole of Northern Italy. If you have ever taken the bus from Ventimiglia in the direction of Sanremo and Genoa, you will probably have seen it and may have wondered what transported this piece of tropical landscape to the northern Italian coast.

If so, then you are not alone. Nobody seems to be entirely sure

What Do You Know About the Palm Trees of Bordighera?

Take a Lovely Spring Hike in the Italian Riviera

One of the most reliably surprising experiences of any trip to the Riviera usually happens right at the start, even before you have fully arrived.

When you come by plane from northern Europe, you will be flying over the snow-capped peaks of the High Alps one moment, then you blink, and the next time you look out of the window you are already looking at the vast blue expanse of

Take a Lovely Spring Hike in the Italian Riviera

Don’t Cry for Me Hiking the Steep Bordighera Hills

As far as most tourists are concerned, the Riviera mainly consists of mountains and beaches. But that does not mean that mountains and beaches are all there is.

In many places, admittedly, the transition from one to the other is rather sudden and immediate.

On the French side of the Riviera (in particular), the mountains can descend fairly steeply into the sea, so one minute on your trip you may hear

Don’t Cry for Me Hiking the Steep Bordighera Hills