The Black Forest was apparently the inspiration for Grimm’s Fairy Tales although there’s no concrete evidence it’s true. What is true is the aptly named forest is a wonderland of outdoor natural fun from an endless maze of hiking trails to spas throughout the region. We spent four days bouncing from hiking trails to the Jacuzzi to an exquisite dining table.
So many people liked last week’s blog about how Italy stacked up against other retirement destinations, I decided to re-post a blog I wrote almost exactly a year ago about how to move to Italy. They’re valuable tips that you should cut and paste. I’m in Germany on assignment this week and you can thank me later.
How old are you? How close are you to retirement? Getting there? Well, if you’re thinking of following your dream and retiring overseas, there are numerous rankings to guide you to your last destination. None of them that I saw include Italy in their top 10. I retired to Italy in 2014 at 57 and I believe it’s paradise. But it does have some drawbacks that would turn off many potential expats. I list the pluses and minuses of retiring to Italy and what surveys see as the top destinations.
Asturian cuisine: Spanish comfort food hits sweet spot with beans and sausage but cider hits a sour note
When you think of Spanish cuisine, you think of tapas. It’s the fun, social way to eat., Go tapas bar hopping and fill up on little plates of local delicacies. In the Northern Spain region of Asturias, nothing is small. Asturian cuisine is hearty, big and flavorful. Sausage. Beans. Soups. Seafood. We spent four days gorging on Spain’s most underrated cuisine. But you can have its sidra.
Asturias occupies a small sliver of land on Spain’s northwest coast but in an area smaller than Connecticut it packs some of the most picturesque forests, majestic mountains and raw beaches. It’s a great escape from the crowds that flock to the rest of Spain.
Italian vs. U.S. healthcare: My healthy heart is with Italy but some here see problems hidden under the cheap costs
Italian vs. U.S. healthcare. I love the Italian healthcare system. Here’s why: I had my annual full-body check up Wednesday. They gave me a battery of tests and consultations. It cost all of 450 euros. In the U.S. it would be five times that. However, an American doctor and Italian doctor here both punched holes in the Italian healthcare.
The 2008 film “Mamma Mia!” made Skopelos famous and made a tiny church atop a 300-foot cliff one of the world’s ideal places to get married. Now couples from all over come to this little Greek island for their ceremony. They say it’s more romantic than you can imagine and less hassle than you’ll believe.
Skopelos became famous in 2008 when Meryl Streep and Pierce Brosnan sang and danced their way across the island in “Mamma Mia!” But the scenes you see in the movie are just a snippet of the real beauty of this island of 5,000 people. Great beaches. Deep forests. Excellent food. It’s our new favorite Greek island.
Rome’s Gladiator School: My two months swinging a sword and learning truth was bloodier than fiction
In Rome’s Gladiator School, I learned to fight three men at once with a 7-pound sword — and how to lay dead without pulling my tunic over my underwear. My two months in La Scuola dei Gladiatori was a rollicking ride of humility combined with insight into one of the bloodiest period’s in man’s history.
After a two-year renovation project, the Colosseum Undergound reopened in June. I was able to go into the bowels of the stadium last week.
Tortoreto is a little-known corner of the little-know region of Abruzzo where tourists are sparse but culture rich. Tortoreto stretches from the beaches of the Adriatic to hill towns staring out at the Gran Sasso mountain range. It’s hard to reach but worth every step.
Every day when I walk through Rome, I remind myself that I’m living in the most beautiful city in the world. But the other night I saw how even more beautiful this city once was. More than 2,000 years ago, Rome was a city of towering marble temples, expansive forums, countless statues, beautiful cobblestone streets […]