Italy’s Boundless Zest for Citrus

Italy’s food culture is a constellation of countless regional specialties, so place-peculiar that dishes can vary significantly in the span of just a few hundred meters. Such is the case of some mountain valleys, for instance, where the natural landscape has helped keep the local from spreading further. But one aspect that unites all these […]

Unostentatious Comporta is a State of Mind

As we move through the last official days of summer, my thoughts turn to the beach, or rather, the beach vacations I didn’t take this year. I’m actually not much of a beach person. Or to be more specific, lying on a beach and a swim among the waves isn’t so much my thing as simply the […]

Finding My Way North – the Camino de Santiago

I’ve found that the old dictum “hindsight is 20/20” has taken on new meaning this year. My realization has been that for much of my adult life, travel has defined my most significant moments. I don’t want to come off sounding like some Instagram travel influencer racing around the globe to collect passport stamps for the […]

Changes in Burgundy’s Wine Harvest Reflect a Bigger Picture

On the one hand, isn’t it lovely to see an image of such unchanging tradition? Cart horses being used to transport the grapes being picked by hand in Burgundy’s Côte de Beaune, with the picturesque village of Pommard in the background, under a beautiful August blue sky… Lovely. On the other hand, hang on a […]

Greek music: beyond Zorba

I am trying to recall my first introduction to Greek music. I was a teen when my parents took me on holidays to the island of Corfu. Was it during the taxi ride to the hotel – taxi drivers love their music, and they like it loud – or was it that night we signed […]

Tuscia? Touché

Meet the region of Tuscia [“Two-Sha”] – Tuscany’s rugged cousin. A few weeks ago, once the lockdown was partially lifted in Italy and we could travel within the regions where we live, I decided to escape and so to Tuscia, just a few kilometres outside Rome, did I head. Geographically, Tuscia stretches from the coast […]

Sisters of Fate – A Fado Playlist

As I’ve been writing this post, Portugal has been commemorating a special anniversary: the 100th anniversary of Amália Rodrigues. Her name may not mean much outside Portuguese-speaking circles, but here she is revered as the “Queen of Fado”, and her anniversary is an appropriate time for me to confess: I am a die-hard fan of this music. Let […]

One Step At A Time

After a 7 hour train journey from my home in Provence to Evian-les-Bains on the shore of Lake Geneva, I find myself standing on the side of a road, surrounded by beautiful alpine scenery on one side and the clear waters of the lake on the other. I am holding a piece of cardboard salvaged […]

Aeolian Women – A Real Catch

Here we are in a snow globe of uncertainty. At first, we read every headline. Then we retreated from the media all together for mental well-being. Some wore masks. Some went rogue. We all wonder when we will next travel? How far? Where to? Will the buoyant snow flakes of our current globe settle to the […]

Menorca on my Mind

Ok, who hasn’t said to themselves at least once in the last couple of months, “Get me the hell out of here”? I think we’re all hankering for some new found freedom right about now and just the idea of going anywhere that isn’t a supermarket or a pharmacy has me breathless with excitement. For […]

Defying the Mafia In Palermo

I was in elementary school when the images of magistrate Giovanni Falcone’s car blowing up on its way back from the airport filled every TV-screen in the country. The third instalment of Francis Ford Coppola’s The Godfather had come out just a couple of years prior, but this was not a scene from a movie. […]

An Expedition to the Stars

The story I have to tell begins in Portugal in 1881. A team of scientists from the Lisbon Geographic Society gather to undertake an expedition to the Serra da Estrela mountains some 300km away. The Serra, the highest point in continental Portugal (the peak at Torre clocks in just shy of 2,000 meters) acquired its main […]

Forty Days and Forty Nights

As Italy and most of Europe are gradually lifting the lockdown, many of us over the past few months have become intimately familiar with the concept and the challenges of ‘quarantine’, or sheltering in place for an extended period of time as a measure of public health. Italy reached the mark of 70 days. Some […]

Make Lemonade

March 17, 2020. France has just entered into confinement with strict rules: we are locked down for the foreseeable future and limited to 1 hour a day outside our homes and within a 1km radius. Difficult times ahead for keen travelers and nature lovers like me. … May 11. The French government has eased the […]

Venice, The Fragile and Resilient

Venice recently made headlines for all the wrong reasons. On November 12th the city was swallowed by a whopping 187 cm (or six feet) of “acqua alta” (high tide) above mean sea level. It was just a few centimetres below the record reached in 1966, which Venetians still refer to with horror as ‘Acqua Granda’ […]

Mountain Magic

When I was younger I used to love lying on the beach. I could do it for hours, day after day. I had no care for SPF, much less so for changes in elevation. The sun, my towel, and a flat bit of sand by any body of water was all I needed. And then, in […]