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Culture and Comfort in Amsterdam

Published in April

Studded with UNESCO World Heritage sites, crenellated castles, royal residences, Roman aqueducts, deep lakes, bright countryside and stone villages, Piedmont (or Piemonte in Italian, meaning at the foot of the mountain) is home to the Slow Food Movement, a global organization that has been called the “cure” for a distressingly 
fast-food world.

Published in January

 

Mystical, romantic and chic, Istanbul thrills honeymooners and all lovers of the fabulous and fascinating. It’s a unique and intriguing combination of ancient city and modern metropolis. You’ll find a well heeled fashionable set, palatial hotels with impressive spas, world class dining, historic sites, legendary night life, happening art scene, amazing shopping and trendy cafes, creating an exotic, lively ambiance.

Published in February

When I was a child, my Midwestern grandmother taught me to spell Constantinople. “C-O-N spells Con,” I would recite, “S-T-A-N” spells stan,” I would continue, in the same way, with the rest of the name, until I would proudly shout “Constantinople“ and be praised for my spelling ability. Little did I dream then that I would, one day, be in that great Turkish city.

In 1930, the city bearing the name of Constantine the 
Great, who founded it in 330 AD, was renamed Istanbul. It is cut in two by the Strait of Bosphorus, which puts part of it in 
Europe and part in Asia. It has a population of 15 million 
people. The evocatively named Golden Horn inlet of the Bosphorus cuts the European section of the city in two. Istanbul is a city full of monumental sites - mosques, churches, synagogues, museums, squares, shops and bazaars - it deserves a minimum of a week-long visit.

Published in February

When your clients have “done” Madrid and the Costa del Sol, suggest they head north to Bilbao, where the glittering Guggenheim Museum is only the beginning. This enticing city is the perfect base for exploring the beaches and Basque heritage of Spain’s north coast, as well as the famed Rioja wine district.

Advise clients to linger in Bilbao at the stylish Gran Hotel Domine Bilbao (www.hoteles-silken.com/gran-ho
tel-domine-bilbao) opposite the Guggenheim, in a room eye-to-eye with the Puppy, a giant terrier sculpted entirely in live flowering plants, part of the museum’s outdoor art (www.guggenheim.org/bilbao). Guests eat breakfast on the hotel’s rooftop terrace, watching the morning sun shimmer off the museum’s golden titanium skin.

Published in February

Flanders: A Culinary Wonderland

Few countries offer a variety of beauty and texture as rich as Flanders’, and few can rival its gastronomy, history and charm. Your stay in Brussels should include a visit to the city’s interesting museums, including the Rene Magritte Museum, part of the Royal Museum of Fine Arts, and the Musical Instruments Museum.

Brussels is filled with awesome restaurants, and it is impossible not to be impressed with the variety and quality of the food. If you are an early riser, go for a run or a walk, and you will be taken in by the aromas of the freshly baked breads and pastries wherever you go. You can eat your way through the city finding the best shrimp croquettes, frittes, croissants, cheeses, pastries and a variety of over 135 Belgian beers. Some of my favorites were Rochefort, Leffe, Duvel & Chimay.

Published in February

This summer, my 18-year-old daughter and I set out on a 30-day “Grand Tour” of Europe. Our goal was to get a taste of as many cities as we could without everything becoming a blur. We decided to travel by train so we wouldn’t miss a moment of scenery or waste time in airports or traffic along the way. Using the Rail Europe website, we mapped our journey through a wish list
of cities.

Published in November

This summer, my 18-year-old daughter and I set out on a 30-day “Grand Tour” of Europe. Our goal was to get a taste of as many cities as we could without everything becoming a blur. We decided to travel by train so we wouldn’t miss a moment of scenery or waste time in airports or traffic along the way. Using the Rail Europe website, we mapped our journey through a wish list
of cities.

Published in November
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