Fine Food, Fast Cars & Faulty Towers: Bologna

I fell for Bologna. For its wide, porticoed streets lined with amber and red stuccoed buildings and mosaic patterned sidewalks. For its laid back university town vibe in the evening. For its civilized light traffic and lack of tourist crowds. For its amazing understated restaurants with their tables spilling out onto sidewalks. And for its […]

Venice: Grand or Grating?

I wasn’t sure if I’d love or hate Venice in summer. I’d heard the city was over-crowded, smelly and hot in peak season. I did loathe the crowds around the main tourist areas, and the muggy heat in July was uncomfortable. But I couldn’t help letting the city sweep me away either. That first breathtaking […]

Delicious & Dazzling: Naples, Sorrento, Amalfi

The Amalfi Coast draws scores of international visitors for a reason: it’s drop dead gorgeous. We based ourselves in Sorrento so we could easily take day trips along the coast and inland to Pompeii and Mount Vesuvius. But on the way, we made a little stop in … Navigating Naples Since we had to pass […]

Ruins of Civilization: 5 Lost Cities

The Roman historical sites we visited in both Rome and Pompei got me thinking about just how many ruins I’ve seen in my travels. Many times I’ve sought them out. There’s something fascinating about walking through the remnants of a society and contemplating how and why the place was abandoned. Here are five of the […]

How We Survived (& Enjoyed) Rome in Summer

We knew Rome would be hot in July, but even the Romans were complaining that temperatures were higher than usual. The crowds were at their peak too, but still we were spellbound, following in the footsteps of popes, emperors and gladiators in the Eternal City. A piazza to call home Our home base at the […]

Exploring Southern Spain

One of the best ways of exploring southern Spain is to pick a home base and take a series of day trips. That way you only have to unpack once, and you can relax in between excursions as you get to know your adopted neighbourhood in more depth. I hadn’t hear of Frigiliana before planning […]

Up the Coast of Croatia

Our first experience of Dubrovnik’s old town was at dusk, and we felt like we’d stepped into a fairy tale. The stone-paved streets are polished smooth as marble by the thousands of feet passing over them daily. The city walls and buildings are made of golden stone with red terracotta roof tiles. As we entered […]

Italy Planning: Routes, Rooms & Resources

I’m excited about the Italy trip I’ll be taking with my sister and nephew in July. Visiting in high season will have its challenges, but I’m hoping we’ll survive with our sanity, wallets and relationships intact if we plan things carefully. Neither my 18-year old nephew nor my sister have ever been to Europe, so […]

Classical Ruins in Turkey

Turkey is a paradise for lovers of Greco-Roman history. In fact, it’s been said that there are more Greek and Roman ruins in Turkey than there are in Greece or Italy. We managed to see quite a few during our travels around Western and Central Turkey, and each one offered something unique. Ephesus Even though […]

Beauty & Bullet Holes in Croatia

The scenery in Croatia’s Plitvice Lakes National park was breathtaking. It was what I imagine the Garden of Eden must have been like, and it was one of the most beautiful sites I saw in Croatia. There were hundreds of waterfalls and cascades of all different sizes connecting a network of 16 beautiful turquoise lakes. The colour of the […]