I visited the Republic of Georgia again earlier this month and marveled at its little-known wonders. From the beautiful Caucuses to its cuisine to its affordable prices, the former Soviet Republic really is one of the lightly trodden destination gems in the world. I list 10 reasons why Georgia is the world’s most underrated country.
Rome’s Termini train station has a reputation of being dark and dangerous. It isn’t that bad, a couple of incidents over the last two years notwithstanding. In the last decade, Termini has turned into a place to go instead of a place to escape. Forty eating establishments have been built inside, ranging from hamburger joints to French bakeries. We went through Terrazza Termini Saturday and here’s what we found.
On this day exactly 10 years ago, I landed in Rome, leaving behind a 40-year sportswriting career in the U.S. I had three bags and lots of doubts. But I’m still here. And every year on my anniversary, I list a whole new set of reasons why I love Rome. I doubt I’ll ever run out of reasons.
Italy, a four-time World Cup champion, already had not qualified for the last two World Cups and was in danger in not qualifying for the European Championships of which it’s defending champion. But it beat North Macedonia in Rome Friday and tied Ukraine Monday to barely go through. I went to the Friday game. Here’s my report.
You can find fettuccine Alfredo in nearly every Italian restaurant in the U.S. but hardly any in Italy where it was invented. Why? We went to its birthplace, Alfredo alla Scrofa, in Rome to find out. We also tasted it for the first time. Here’s what we found.
So many people make the mistake of coming to Italy in July. I have a better idea. Come now. November is a terrific time to visit. Flights are cheaper. Cities are less crowded. Weather is cooler. Yeah, it rains. Bring an umbrella. Wear a sweater. I offer 10 good reasons to visit during Italy’s off-season month.
Travelers’ Century Club: My new travelers group of 100 countries covers the scope of world and travel modes
Last fall I joined the Travelers’ Century Club, a club for travelers who’ve been to at least 100 countries and territories. The list is loose and the checklist seems way too important for some members. But it got me in touch with 1,500 club members, many of whom have traveled more than I. During our long weekend in Madrid, Marina and I attended the TCC’s Mediterranean Chapter meeting and dinner.
Segovia: Ancient Roman aqueduct and castle that inspired Disney inspires day trip into hills outside Madrid
We love day trips. We dedicated TraveLazio, our biweekly blog, to day trips from Rome. During our long weekend in Madrid this month, we took a day trip to Segovia, one of the prettiest towns in Spain. It’s touristy but it has a 2,000-year-old Roman aqueduct that puts the ones remaining in Rome to shame. It also has a castle that inspired Walt Disney’s Sleeping Beauty castle in Disneyland.
Two weeks ago we came to Madrid for a meeting and found a city rapidly improving and vibrant. The public transportation is fantastic, the streets are clean and the museums still rule the culture scene. We could’ve used some coffee before 9 a.m. but the tapas made up for it. We spent four days in Madrid and came away with this report.
Lovcen National Park is one of Montenegro’s five national parks and offers some of the best hiking in the Balkans. I took two hikes from my luxurious hotel, including one to the tomb of Peter II Petrovic Nejgos, considered the father of Montenegro. The hikes aren’t difficult but they attract few hikers. Too bad. The views are astounding.
Thousands come to Montenegro for its superb white-water rafting. So did I. I came in September when the rapids are only Class 2 but the scenery made up for the lack of thrills. The Dinaric Alps consist of 50 peaks of at least 6,000 feet and Lake Piva and Tara River are two of the bluest bodies of water I’ve seen outside the South Pacific.
Everyone knows the Roman Colosseum. Few know another stadium was built in 86 A.D. shortly after the Colosseum was built. Emperor Domician built Stadio di Domiziano to promote athletics among his Roman citizenry. It was used for running events, wrestling and javelin as well as military training. In 2014 the city opened up the stadium ruins to the public. They’re located five meters below the current Piazza Navona.