How to Spend Two Hours in Piraeus

… and how to avoid spending your entire Greek island holiday on a ferry boat or waiting for one in the port If you are on your way to the Cyclades, having arrived in Athens by plane and planning to continue by ferry, there is a good chance you will have some time to kill in Piraeus.

“Two hours”, in this case, means: if you are lucky. It can easily be a lot

How to Spend Two Hours in Piraeus

Three More Easy Walks on Paros of the Cyclades

Got an afternoon to kill and don’t feel like going to the beach? Then here are a few ideas of how to pass your time 1. Agios Panthes

This is not an easy hike at all – as we found out, just in time. In Paros, most attractive hiking trails start in Lefkes, the island’s highest and most centrally located village. The road to Agios Panthes, the island’s highest mountain, takes off near

Three More Easy Walks on Paros of the Cyclades

The Byzantine Trail of Paros

It’s back to the Middle Ages on the road from Lefkes to Prodromos – or is it only back to the 1950s?

Hiking on the Greek islands is overall a very pleasant experience. The blue skies and the blue sea can be counted on to provide an attractive backdrop, and there are always plenty of things to discover.

It’s all the more a pity, however, that not everywhere more efforts

The Byzantine Trail of Paros

Highest Mountain in Athens

The journey to the top of Mount Lycabettus may not fill you with awe, but it will teach you a thing or two about modern Greece As I said in our last post: Athens is a bit of a strange town inasmuch as nearly everything you see is either more than 2000 years old or virtually new. After a while, you will want to see something completely different from 1970s residential homes and the ruins

Highest Mountain in Athens

Wonder of the Ancient World

Athens does not do many things, but what it does, it does very, very well The great tourist attractions of the world can be divided into two groups, the foxes and the hedgehogs, representing either destinations that do many things reasonably well or destinations that do only one thing but have mastered this to the point of perfection.

The field of foxes is led by the world’s great metropolises such as Paris and

Wonder of the Ancient World

Eating in Tuscany

From Antipasti to Dolci I don’t know to what extent we have become experts in Tuscan art and landscapes (there is simply too much of either to see and to experience), but our recent trip has certainly improved our expertise in one specific area: Italian food, more particularly Tuscan dishes.

We now know that Tuscan cuisine is meat-based, and that the Tuscans are not overly fussy about the type of pasta they consume,

Eating in Tuscany

The Celestial City of the Via Francigena

Once the Pilgrim’s Progress has led him to Siena, the Pilgrim may be excused for thinking that it will not get much better than this For nearly a thousand years, the 2 km stretch of the Via Francigena that cuts through the city of Siena has been the highlight of the trail.

Imagine: most of the medieval pilgrims who came here from northern Europe would have been raised in smoke-filled peasant huts that

The Celestial City of the Via Francigena

Walking in the Footsteps of Ancient Pilgrims

The half-stage to Monteriggioni delivers a good lesson in authenticity –and the key to unlocking the treasures of the Via Francigena

If you have neither the time for a full trip down the Via Francigena from Canterbury to Rome (a journey of 2000 km that features 80 stages and crossings of both the Channel and the Alps) nor for the three-week trek through Tuscany (the trail’s last stretch from Lucca

Walking in the Footsteps of Ancient Pilgrims

New York of the Middle Ages

San Gimignano on the Via Francigena Truly great hiking trails are a mix of four elements, and the Via Francigena – stretching for nearly 2000 km from Canterbury to Rome – has them all.

Firstly and secondly, the Francigena Way features beautiful landscapes and variety: the combination that defines any “good” hiking trail. On top of that, it also offers a historical dimension: as the old pilgrimage trail from northwestern Europe to the

New York of the Middle Ages

The Architecture in Montecatini Terme

Columns and cupolas in search of nervous excitement Montecatini prides itself, with a certain justification, on its reputation as a “city of the arts”.

The Montecatini Contemporary Art Museum is well stocked and the proud owner of a large-scale work by Joan Mirò, and for as long as anybody can remember, artists have always loved the resort: Verdi and all the other greats of the Italian opera came here frequently (sometimes to perform

The Architecture in Montecatini Terme