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Posts Tagged ‘italy’

Is Venice Dying? And other unpleasant questions

Recently the Thai island of Koh Tachai became the latest in a long line of popular destinations to curtail tourism: after shutting down for monsoon season it has no plans to reopen, allowing coral reefs and wildlife to recover from excessive crowds. Koh Tachai’s fight for survival isn’t unique: Beijing is considering some sort of restrictions along the Great Wall;…

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My Perfect Hour in Venice

The shrillest sound of early morning Venice is no sound at all. As I slide across the cobblestones, my rubber soles grip the alleys, sticky but silent. The sun and the moon are invisible, in that tiny wedge of time when dawn is darkest and daytime about to announce itself. Even the motorized vaporetti boats have taken a break…

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Six Hours in Florence [PHOTOS]

The most memorable time I visited Florence was for my 30th birthday, when friends flew me there to celebrate. I now live in France only a few hours away but I don’t go back often enough. I was recently invited to take a Tuscan cooking class near Pisa and spending a few hours in Florence was part of the…

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Anatomy of a Tuscan Cooking Class

These may be the strangest words ever to come out of the mouth of an Italian chef running a Tuscan cooking class. “Good morning. My name is Sunshine.” The name fit like a snug sweater, his smile infectious and every ripple visible. His parents had been “sort of hippies” and named him after the musical Hair. Try carrying…

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Porto Antico, Genoa – Revisited

My two earliest memories of Genoa’s port area – the Porto Antico – involve sailors, and an amazing green sauce poured over pasta. Decades later this maritime city still bursts with sailors, and the aroma of pesto pulls you into the many tiny eateries dotting the docks. In the Genoa seaside of my childhood, come…

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The Unexpected Colors of Assisi in the Rain

Assisi has always been in fashion but as a place of pilgrimage you might expect it to be, well, sober in appearance. Instead I found the colors of Assisi vibrant, almost exploding as the rain fell and continued to cling. I remember my first visit to Assisi, that extraordinary hill town in the middle of…

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