Barcelona is an eclectic and vibrant city with a captivating culture. Travelers from around the world flock here for a taste of that savory Spanish cuisine, to admire the city's history and architecture, and of course for the opportunity to bump to Barcelona's rhythmic musical beats once the sun goes down. Given all there is to do in and around town, it's easy for first-time visitors to feel overwhelmed. To help you plan your itinerary, here are some of the best offbeat and off the beaten path things to do in Barcelona, each of which will give you a real…
If you love all year round sun, beaches and nightlife, the Canary Islands are where you should head for your summer holiday in 2015. The sun-soaked screen of the West African coast has everything to offer. The best thing about a cruise is you can enjoy everything the Canaries have to offer, without committing to one place for the duration of your trip. You can sit back, relax and enjoy all your cruise package has to offer, just a stone’s throw from the shore. A day in Tenerife Tenerife is the biggest of the Canary Islands and boasts a huge…
I had dreamed of visiting Greece ever since high school when I first read the Iliad and the Odyssey. At the University of Arizona, my studies in art history compounded my fascination with ancient Greece. But for the time being, my experience with the country and its culture was confined to the descriptions and the washed out slideshow images offered by my professors. After graduation, I felt even more compelled to make it to these places which were, quite literally, the stuff of legends. It would take many years, but I would finally make it to Greece. If you're an…
In the north of the Greek Ionian island of Zakynthos at an area called Skinari you will find the magnificent Blue Caves. The Blue Caves are one of the islands most famous natural attractions and were discovered in 1897 by Antonio Komouto. The caves attract thousands of visitors each year and are located just below the lighthouse at Cape Skinari. The caves owe there name to the blue waters inside them. Objects below the water appear to turn blue. This includes people who can enter the water inside the caves to swim. The Blue Caves can only be visited by…
I am not proud to say that I used to assume that Saint Peter's Basilica was just the biggest church in Christendom, the pilgrimage and gathering place of all Catholics in the world. What I didn’t know is that not only it is actually one of the most incredible examples of Late Renaissance architecture and Baroque art anywhere, but it is also a place that holds an unexpected secret... Underneath it you can find the Vatican Necropolis, a first century necropolis (city of the dead) -- basically a roman cemetery where the actual Tomb of Saint Peter is believed to…
In my first article in this series I covered the generalities and historic background of the Vatican Necropolis. (Go back and read itif you haven't, I'll wait.) In this second post I'll cover the mausoleums in the underground tour under Saint Peter's Basilica, one by one with the its highlights. I hope this compendium will bring us closer to the people who built these tombs, the care they poured into these family spaces commissioning the decoration and the architecture, the dedication and the sentiment in making these the best place possible for their dead. And ultimately, let us go back…
So here's my final post of this three-part series about the Vatican Necropolis under Saint Peter's Basilica and the Tomb of Saint Peter. In the first article we covered some generalities and the historical background for Saint Peter's Basilica. In the second article we went one by one through the mausoleums in the Vatican Necropolis tour, explaining each major highlight. Today we finally reach St Peter's Tomb! Who Was Saint Peter? Peter was one of Twelve Apostles who accompanied Jesus. After Jesus' death, Peter led the founding the Christian church and became the first pope. 30 years after Jesus' death…
When I was invited to come on a press visit by Borgobianco Resort & Spa, a luxurious hotel in Puglia, I couldn’t believe my luck! While I’d been on numerous photographic assignments this would be my first freelance trip. What a treat! And so when the day came I packed my camera kit, pen and note-book and flew off to Bari airport via Milan feeling excited and, ssh… don’t tell anyone, just a little nervous. At Bari I met up with Sage Russell from Food Pilgrimage and we were greeted by the driver from the hotel. Soon we were on…
As I walked up to the entrance of Antimachia Castle, I heard a voice call out: "Ya Svenge?""Sprechen Sie Deutsch?""Dag!""Australian, mate?" The little man was a character straight from the pages of history. Part court jester, part musician, all personality. He was dressed in a native, medieval costume to match his surroundings, this guy was the official greeting party for the Fourteenth century Antimachia Castle. "English? I speak all language! Tell me, where you are from?"I laughed at his persistence as I walked up the stairs to enter the Castle. "California.""American! Ah, U-S-A. Not very many Am-reekans visit Kos. Welcome!"…
I love Málaga, but it is sadly under-rated. Its name is synonymous with the airport destination for drunken Brits who scatter themselves - generally westwards - along the Costa del Sol. But it shouldn't be. Málaga is one of the oldest cities in the world; its culture and history date back to the Phoenicians in the eighth century BC. It is an elegant, vibrant and interesting city. Málaga has been the home and birthplace of many famous people including Pablo Picasso and Antonio Banderas. It is home to art galleries - Picasso Museum, Carmen Thyssen Museum, CAC - museums and…
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