The Dutch certainly do not have a reputation for fine cuisine; in Amsterdam, the emphasis is more on drinks than food. However, this is somewhat of a misconception. History plays a large part in the array of food offerings available in the city today, as the country’s rich trading history has brought a number of […]

I’m taking a SITA bus along the Amalfi Coast. If you’ve ever taken this nerve-racking trip, you know it’s a roller coaster ride. Every time we go around a corner we swing well into the other lane of traffic, and the driver’s blowing his horn frantically. A year ago I actually had to walk the […]

The first time I drank grappa I was lost in the Trastevere neighborhood of Rome. My girlfriend and I eventually found a bar and we took the only two seats outside. I asked the owner what he recommended. Grappa he said. Ever since that first experience, I’ve admired the strong liquor. The small piazza on which […]

While visiting Prague we stayed at the Hotel a Residence U Tri Bubnu, a charming hotel in a 14th Century building in the city center and just around the corner from Old Town Square. The building is, in fact, on UNESCO’s World Heritage list, as part of Prague’s Historic Centre. And in the house just across […]

Two of Europe’s most popular wine regions – Champagne and Burgundy – have been painted in a new light with Natalie Maclean’s entertaining travelogue, Red, White, and Drunk All Over: A Wine-Soaked Journey from Grape to Glass. She laments the state of most wine-orientated literature: “When I read about wine, I often get the odd […]

The Rougemont Gardens in Exeter, Devon come alive each summer with open air productions of Shakespeare.

I never realized how easy it is to go wine tasting in Chianti until I gave it a try. My girlfriend Kristin and I were staying in Florence and decided to rent a car for twenty-four hours and drive into wine country. It didn’t take more than forty-five minutes and we were in the rolling, […]

Even in a city of architectural splendour, Vienna’s Schonbrunn Palace manages to stand out without much effort. Not a surprising fact considering the property, a Habsburg summer palace, was designed to rival Versailles. It was created with the lavish arrogance of a successful empire; designed as a statement, a trophy. It was little wonder that […]

I could have flown from Bodrum, near the place on the Turkish Aegean coast where I live part of the year, to the Black Sea coastal city of Samsun in the province of Amasya. But, for some reason the air ticket would have cost a fortune, whereas the coach (bus) cost all of 35 GBP (2.36 […]

“You either love it or you hate it,” said a friend of mine. It was the first thing I ever heard about the Italian city of Naples, and the phrase’s authenticity remains intact after all these years. Naples is unlike any other city in Italy: It is busy, loud, and dirty on one hand (many […]


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