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

The Question is Where Does the Riviera Start?

Themed Walk: Historic Hyères Minds much greater than my own have wrestled with this question without ever finding a conclusive answer: Where does the Riviera start?

It does not take a great mind to see where it ends. Even I can see that it comes to a grinding halt at Cinque Terre, southeast of Genoa. As to its start on the French side, however, there are many different theories. Culturally, the Riviera’s heartpiece

The Question is Where Does the Riviera Start?

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

Take this Easy Hike to See the Best of Capri

The island of Capri – just off the Italian coast near the southern city of Naples – is a truly dazzling spectacle.

You could be forgiven for thinking that a theme park operator had carefully assembled all the familiar Mediterranean motives – azure skies and the turquoise sea, rocks, trees, hills, a marina, caves – to create a fanciful paradise landscape.

On our travels, we have seen many parts of

Take this Easy Hike to See the Best of Capri

Some Tips on How to Get the Most Out of Your Short Trip to Nice

Holidays would be different if we had unlimited amounts of time for them, but we do not. So they are what they are, which largely means: always too short.

As a rule of thumb, the more affluent people are, the more often they will go on a vacation, but – since the time available for holidays has not increased – they will spend less and less time at any of their destinations. Time

Some Tips on How to Get the Most Out of Your Short Trip to Nice

In Nice? Take the Train des Pignes to Entrevaux!

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 and

In Nice? Take the Train des Pignes to Entrevaux!

How Easy it is to Cross the Border Between Two Old Foes

Half-German-half-Polish Usedom is used to playing second fiddle among Germany’s Baltic coast islands, but has a unique distinction

Usedom is Germany’s sunniest spot. Talk about damning with faint praise, eh?

But before any of you can accuse me of sneery sarcasm, let me point out that Usedom gets an almost Mediterranean 1917 hours of sunshine every year, more than some places in Italy (Bolzano, Milan) and Spain (San Sebastian), never

How Easy it is to Cross the Border Between Two Old Foes

The Queen of the Ligurian Hills

Apricale is not only picturesque but also a great base for hiking trips into the Riviera’s mountainous hinterland Apricale may well be the most beautiful but is certainly the most visually stunning of all the towns on the Ligurian hills. Growing out of the cliffside like something perhaps not altogether benign …

… the town has preserved much of its ancient, medieval atmosphere …

The Queen of the Ligurian Hills

The Bliss of the Greek Mediterranean Wonderland

#LoveIOS A walk from Limani to Valmas and back to Chora that provides a perfect introduction into the charms of Ios Our first walk in Ios, and – of necessity – a short one. Such is the nature of the busy schedule that the municipality of Ios has prepared for us.

In the morning, we were chauffeured around the sights of the island (more of that in some later post), and we had

The Bliss of the Greek Mediterranean Wonderland

Frolicking in a French Rococo Garden in Germany

Walks in Germany: A Historic Walk in the German Countryside The trail around the Bagno Park in Steinfurt-Burgsteinfurt (in northwest Germany) makes for the perfect winter walk. It is not too long to be exhausting, but not too short either (just right, as a matter of fact, to get you going after all the rich Christmas food and too many days of idleness) and features everything that makes such a walk successful: an Old Town,

Frolicking in a French Rococo Garden in Germany