If 2020 teaches us anything, it may be to rally around people, places and principles we value. And, just as with the people in our lives, let’s not hold back in showing our love for special places in our communities. In that spirit, this seems a grand time to shine a spotlight on places we treasure in this magical Tuscan town of Lucca.
In this time of social distancing, raging wildfires, loathsome-leaders, and when every day’s news seems too much to bear, here’s a tasty topic to bring us all to the table.
Il Cibo d’Italia, aka, Italian food.
Let's dig in!
Here we go again singing the praises of the Italian region that stole our hearts over 16 years ago on the first visit. Is now the right time to talk about travel to Trentino, or anywhere for that matter?
We believe it’s always the right time to DREAM…about travel, about experiencing new places and about meeting new people. So, here we go, let’s dream together about these majestic mountains.
Dream travel lists have become a natural accompaniment to a new year filled with possibilities. While I’ve booked a flight based on little more than a sunny weather forecast, I have come to realize the most memorable trips are those with intention at their core. And intention can help you turn a big dream—say, a general desire to explore some of the best cities in Europe—into an actual travel plan.
That purpose need not be too serious. You might follow your taste buds in pursuit of sampling S...
When my husband and I began planning a trekking trip to Jordan with Intrepid Travel last year, I gleefully jumped down Instagram rabbit holes in search of my favorite activities/rewards for off-trail days: #art and #architecture.
Images from Jordan’s capital city Amman were flat-out astounding. Excitedly, I reached out to fellow travelers for Amman-centric recommendations and, once again, astonishment set in: it seems, most view the metropolis as ‘gateway to elsewhere’ – Petra, Wadi Rum, Dana...
When the James Beard Foundation named Highlands Bar & Grill as America’s Most Outstanding Restaurant, foodies everywhere took notice of what Birmingham locals and visitors have long known: Alabama’s largest city is a seriously delicious food destination.
From sleek dining rooms to street cart counters, a spirit of relaxed refinement prevails in Birmingham, making dining an act of pleasure.
It's been said that on his deathbed on May 2, 1519, Leonardo da Vinci lamented his life’s purpose, saying, “I have offended God and mankind because my work did not reach the quality it should have.” We may never know the accuracy of that screenplay-deserving quote nor how the man—celebrated as painter, sculptor, scientist, inventor, and architect—perceived his life’s work. What is certain, even given his famously fertile imagination, is that the Renaissance master could hardly have conceived ...
Not to throw my husband under a bus, but… those three letters, “b-u-s,” made his palms sweat as we began discussing Intrepid Travel’s Trek Jordan trip. “Will we be stuck on some mega bus rolling all over Jordan?” he asked.
Though I had not yet participated in an Intrepid trip either, I knew enough about the company to be certain this is not how they roll. “Intrepid is known for small group, sustainable travel. No mega buses,” I promised. “Besides, we will be walking all over Jordan.”
It was t...
Raise your hand if your new year’s resolution list – whether recorded on paper, keyboard or screenshot in your mind’s eye – includes an entry that reads something like:
Visit (insert dreamy destination)
Climb (insert daunting mountain)
Experience (insert long-aspired-to adventure)
Or simply, travel more.
The annual ritual of poring over annual must-visit lists inspires our imagination and stokes dreams of adventure. This process, inherently hopeful, encourages setting intentions and working t...
“Yalla, Habibis!” Those words come to mind instantly when I think about Jordan, even now, four months after trekking through the beautifully diverse landscape.
This endearing bit of Arabic slang, loosely translated as “Hurry up, my loves,” became our Trek Jordan group’s daily refrain as tour leader Usama uttered the phrase often. (Seriously, if we had group t-shirts, they would say “Yalla, Habibis!”).
It wasn’t that our group was unfit or unconditioned – every single traveler had trekking exp...
If you listen, closely, can you hear the trajectory of a shooting star as it streaks across the sky?
This question, along with a multitude of others – some deep and philosophical in nature, others not so much – dances around my brain as we lay underneath a vast blanket of stars on our first night in the desert.
Have I ever seen so many stars in one night’s sky? Did Lawrence of Arabia feel this same sense of awe as he gazed up from these sands? What if a scorpion crawls in my shoe? Will I crav...
Best events in Venice
For two weeks leading to Shrove Tuesday (Martedi Grasso or Mardi Gras), the city is aglow with pageantry and spectacle of Carnival. Many events centre on St. Mark’s Square, such as the highly-anticipated “Flight of the Angel” (Volo dell’Angelo) which sends a young beauty flying overhead via zip line, but celebration can be found in every neighbourhood and nook. Colourful parades on water and land, regatta boat races, kids’ fairs and free live performances keep the city a...
The best restaurants in Venice include canal-side Michel-starred spots, tiny enotecas and cozy family-run eateries
Every meal in Venice, from cichetti-style cheap eats to world-class fine dining, can be an extraordinary experience—once you navigate where to go and not go (easy tip: avoid restaurants with touts outside attempting to lure in tourists).
On the cheaper end of the spectrum, if you'd rather spend your money on the city's great things to do, eat as the locals do and nibble on cichet...
Sip your way through canal-side wine spots, cocktail dens and beer havens for a taste of the best bars in Venice
Venice’s bar scene is different than anywhere else in Italy, or the world, for that matter. Venetian traditions guide drinking rituals including the highly-social (and inexpensive) giro d’ombra, an afternoon spent hopping from one bar (bacaro) to another for small glasses of wine (ombre), accompanied by small bites (cicheti).
A classic Venetian spritz after work is as elemental to ...
For a few precious days this summer, a 10-year-old child did not focus on her battle with leukemia. Her attention was swept away by the awe and wonder of Walt Disney World’s Magic Kingdom, where she and her family experienced her dream vacation. She met favorite characters, glided to the front of attraction lines, and received VIP treatment. She, and everyone with her, felt the joy of childhood.
As executive director of Magic Moments, an Alabama nonprofit that grants wishes to children with c...
2018 is taking shape as a robust year for travel to Europe, particularly during the summer months. A surge of new nonstop routes from the U.S. and Canada, not only from legacy carriers like Delta and Air Canada but also from discount powerhouses such as Norwegian Air, ensure competitive flight deals. Yet cheap tickets for Europe 2018 trips are far from the only reason to pack a bag.
A more crowded and diverse flight market means easier access to emerging destinations across Europe—hello, Buda...