Travels

  • An adventure in Prague - I don’t usually travel in the summer, but a chance to see two friends from the USA in Europe was too good to pass up. We met in Prague and despite the heat and crowds, had a great time discovering this fascinating city. Our first day, we had a lunch that included fresh lemonade—perfect for … Continue reading An adventure in Prague
  • Lisbon bits and pieces - Bits and pieces from Lisbon: This scene was a nice start to my visit. Left my table at the restaurant where I was having dinner to capture this combination of color and light, blue and white. Whoever designed this pavement was devilishly clever! It’s flat, but can you imagine walking on it in a state of altered … Continue reading Lisbon bits and pieces
  • The Museu Nacional do Azulejo - What an absolutely fabulous visit to the Museu Nacional do Azulejo in Lisbon – truly one of the best times I’ve spent in a museum! I looked forward to visiting this museum, also known as the National Tile Museum, because I knew that Portugal was famed for its tiles, but it was even better than I … Continue reading The Museu Nacional do Azulejo
  • A day in Belém - I spent a day in Belém because one thing led to another: the Monastery of Jerónimos was high on my list of places to visit in Lisbon, then I saw that the Tower of Belém was part of the same UNESCO World Heritage site, then I noticed that the  Museu da Marinha was in the same area and I … Continue reading A day in Belém
  • A walk around Lisbon - Visiting Lisbon, I did something different – I booked a guided walking tour of the city for my first morning there. It turned out to be a good move, not only because I got an overview of the city, but because my guide was so knowledgeable and entertaining. The tour filled my head with new names, … Continue reading A walk around Lisbon
  • A day in Montepulciano - Images from a day trip to Montepulciano.
  • What bad could happen here? - If you could see the village of Vallucciole as I saw it today, you would wonder – what bad could happen here? This small, isolated village is located in the hills of the Casentino, which at this time of year are awash in the bright greens and colorful flowers of spring, set off by a … Continue reading What bad could happen here?
  • Henry James on Ravenna - One of the things I liked best about Ravenna were the placards along a main thoroughfare titled “La vie dei poeti. Appunti di viaggio / The street of poets. Travel notes.”  Each placard had a story about or a quote from visitors to Ravenna. This quote from Henry James was one of my favorites: “The greyness everywhere … Continue reading Henry James on Ravenna
  • Ravenna - I’m waking up from a dream, one filled with glowing color and intricate patterns. The dream is called Ravenna and the colors and patterns are those of the Byzantine mosaics. With several early Christian monuments on the Unesco World Heritage list, I had expected the mosaics of Ravenna to be wonderful, but I was astounded … Continue reading Ravenna
  • Chefchaouen, the blue city - Walking into the town of Chefchaouen, Morocco was like walking into an enchantment. There were blue walls and doors, a rich mix of colors and textures, and life going on all around us. It was, as the saying goes, a feast for the eyes. Click (or double-click, depending on your device) on any image to … Continue reading Chefchaouen, the blue city
  • Scoppio del Carro - As Easter mornings go, this one was pretty spectacular! I attended the Scoppio del Carro (‘Explosion of the Cart’), something I’ve wanted to do since I read about it a year ago. The morning started at Via Il Prato, where the cart starts its journey to the Piazza del Duomo. The cart is pulled by white oxen. They … Continue reading Scoppio del Carro
  • Biblioteca Medicea Laurenziana - If I have a religion (used in the sense of “an interest, a belief, or an activity that is very important to a person or group”), it is that of the book. It’s not just that I love reading, but that I respect the knowledge and imagination that are captured in books. As a result, … Continue reading Biblioteca Medicea Laurenziana
  • Santissima Annunziata - I stepped into Basilica della Santissima Annunziata to light a candle and saw this beautiful sight.
  • Il Duomo - I love this from the brochure at Santa Maria del Fiore: “So it is your house, even if you are not Florentine, even if you are not a believer. Welcome!”
  • Learn something new every day - When we were children, one of my siblings or I would often share at the dinner table something we had learned at school or in our reading. I can still hear, down to the enthusiastic tone of his voice, my dad saying, ‘well, is that right? You learn something new every day!’ Over the years, that … Continue reading Learn something new every day
  • Salone di Firenze - Having seen an advertisement in the bus for the Salone di Firenze, a furniture and home accessories fair, we took a jaunt there today. It was held at the Fortezza da Basso, a fort built in the sixteenth century and now Florence’s primary exhibition venue. Our first stop was the food hall, where we had a panini; … Continue reading Salone di Firenze
  • Adventures in the Banana - I’ve never been a car or driving person. In fact, I’ve said for years that if I was ever required to identify a getaway car, my reply would be along the lines of ‘it was [insert color here]’ because make and model would not register with me. And while I can drive, I’ve rarely found … Continue reading Adventures in the Banana
  • Stia - A year ago, I took the bus from Florence to Stia in order to visit Castello di Porciano. At the time, Stia was just the place where I got off the bus. Little did I know how much more familiar with it I would become! That first time, our host picked us up at the … Continue reading Stia
  • Three castles - Earlier this week, I took a walk up a nearby hill, from which I could see three castles: Castello di Porciano, Castello di Romena, and Castello dei Conti Guidi – Poppi. They are joined in the history of the Casentino Valley and each is special in its own way. I wrote about my first visit to Castello … Continue reading Three castles
  • On safari - This post is a little random in that the topic dates back to safaris some years ago. However, being in Texas very often reminds me of being in the Serengeti – the flatness, the enormous and sometimes dramatic sky, even the smell sometimes. That prompted me recently to revisit my photos from those times. Without wanting … Continue reading On safari