For more than 10 years living in Rome I’ve heard about the wonders of Lucca. The huge wall. The historical center. The great Tuscan cuisine. We stopped there for nights going and coming from Le Langhe last month and came away feeling we cheated ourselves on time. Lucca’s wall meets the hype and while it isn’t off Tuscany’s beaten path, the old town does have an ancient-modern charm to it.
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The New York Times does a wonderful feature in its Sunday travel section called 36 Hours in … It picks a city around the globe and give readers places to go at appropriate times of the day. I did the same for Rome. I don’t include the major attractions such as the Colosseum and Vatican. You know those. I wrote about the places I would go as a Rome resident of 8 1/2 years. Hope it gives you some ideas next time you come to town, especially for the second time.
I spent Rome’s birthday Thursday at two press conferences unveiling high-tech shows that seemed odd in such an ancient city. The Synesthesia is an 8-foot-high orb that is designed to help us understand our relationship with machines which are creeping ever too close to our daily lives. Rome’s Planetario reopened after an eight-year refit with “Return to the Stars,” an hour-long film and light show in the theater’s 300-square-meter screen on the round roof. The day was one part weird and two parts revealing.
Last year was the best and worst of both worlds. Covid travel restrictions continued our isolation from the world outside Italy. When the restrictions lifted, I raced to six countries in six months. But as time wore on, Covid returned and my patience did not. Traveling during a global pandemic is truly tiring. Here’s a month-by-month review of one of the strangest years of my life.
I saw Santa in his hometown in Finland last week and he’s exhausted. I volunteered to sub and pass out presents to all those naughty and nice. The problem is, I’m tired, too. I sprinkled gifts on only the U.S. and Italy but there was plenty of naughty to go around. Donald Trump fans will enjoy his gift. But there were some nice as well. Mario Draghi, take a bow. Enjoy my annual Christmas gifts.
How close are you to retirement? Well, if you’re thinking of following your dream and retiring overseas, there are many rankings to guide you to your last destination.
I’ve traveled to 107 countries but none in the last 14 months. I miss it more than anyone can know. Here is why.
Naples Underground covers 2,500 years of Naples history dating back to the Ancient Greeks.
Seven years in Rome: My anniversary in a pandemic provides another list for reasons why I love living here
I’m very thankful I survived one year of the Covid pandemic. I’m even more thankful I made it seven years in Rome. That anniversary is today. Yes, on Jan. 11, 2014 I landed in Rome on a one-way ticket with three bags and many dreams. The dreams have been fulfilled and the nightmare that is […]
TIVOLI, Italy — Sometimes Rome gets to me, kind of like too much fine wine. Yes, the most beautiful city in the world gets old in more than just age. A Roman outside my window leans on his horn for five minutes until the guy who double parked next to him comes out and moves […]
FREGENE, Italy — The scene is always the same. We park Marina’s car on a quiet, narrow side street and walk down the short driveway to Il Capanno dei Pescatori, the little beach-side restaurant that sells us lanais chairs for only 7 euros. A young cabana boy plops them down on an empty beach, pulling […]
Madain Saleh is the crown jewel of a Saudi Arabia that is trying to make its first inroads in mass tourism. It’s Petra’s sister city without the crowds.