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October 15, 2019

Monaco: Borders

Filed under: Architecture, Europe, Monaco, Photography, The List, Travel, Travel, Writing — Tags: , , , — anotherheader @ 3:04 pm

Monaco in the foreground, France in the background

During our short stay in Monaco we took the opportunity to walk across the border to France. It’s easy to do: You just walk behind the Monaco train station and you are in France. There is no barrier or sign that you changed countries and no obvious border marking. Unless you check with a real estate agent or look closely at Google Maps there’s little to tell you that you exited one country and entered another. (more…)

October 9, 2019

Italy: Alba, the White Truffle Festival


Black truffles on a plate of pasta

In early November 2018 we arrived in Alba Italy at the time of the commune’s famous truffle market. As we learned immediately on arrival, the six weeklong International White Truffle Festival is very popular. Indeed on a long Italian holiday weekend the streets of Alba were packed. (more…)

October 7, 2019

Italy: Torino, Residences of the Royal House of Savoy


Turin’s skyline in the rain and fog

As we arrived in Torino Italy the weather turned cold and rainy. After a long stretch of excellent end of the season weather in the fall of 2018 there was now a wet cold in the air. Winter was making its entrance. Fortunately there’s a lot to see inside in Turin. (more…)

October 6, 2019

Italy: Sabbioneta


The interior of Galleria degli Antichi

We paused to explore Sabbioneta, breaking up the drive from Bologna to Torino. The stop let us visit the historic center of the commune of 4,000+, which was inscribed on UNESCO’s World Heritage list in 2008. At the time there were only small clusters of tourists wandering the streets and a few residents going about their business. It felt as if we had the town mostly to ourselves. (more…)

July 8, 2019

Most Serene Republic of San Marino


The second of San Marino’s three towers, the Cesta, is located on the highest of Monte Titano’s summits.

The Most Serene Republic of San Marino is a geographical curiosity. Based on land area it is the third smallest country in Europe behind only Monaco and the Vatican City. Population-wise, only the Vatican has fewer residents than San Marino.

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June 21, 2019

Italy: Aquileia and Ravenna, the Mosaic Tour


A mosaic ceiling in Ravenna Italy

Mosaics, it turned out, became an unplanned theme of the Northern Italian segment of our 2018 road trip. (more…)

April 28, 2019

Slovenia: Škocjan Caves


The suspended walkway leaves the cave.

Before departing Sovenia we had the opportunity for one last stop. We used this chance to see the Škocjan Caves. In 1986 the caves and area around them were established as an UNESCO World Heritage site, Slovenia’s first. As usual the UNESCO designation provided motivation for our visit. (more…)

April 10, 2019

Croatia: Crossing the Border and Trakošćan Castle

Filed under: Croatia, Europe, Photography, Slovenia, The List, Travel, Travel, Writing — Tags: , , , , — anotherheader @ 12:11 pm

St. Mark’s Church is one of Zagreb’s most famous sites.

Leaving Ptuj Slovenia we headed to Zagreb Croatian. When we arrived at the border kiosk we handed over our passports to the agent. On seeing our American passports the guard, in a combination of a few words of broken English and ten times as many emphatic hand gestures, explained that we could not cross the border into Croatia here. (more…)

April 5, 2019

Slovenia: Ptuj


 

The view of Ptuj from its castle

Three weeks into our road trip we reached the commune of Ptuj Slovenia. By this time in the journey we had crossed European borders ten times. We were completely confused about the language. Even the polite words we knew in the language of the country were in were lost in confusion. Not that we knew any words in Slovene anyway. (more…)

March 31, 2019

Austria: Graz


Pedestrianized central Graz

In retrospect I knew surprising little about Graz Austria before we decided to visit in October of 2018. I didn’t know that the commune is Austria’s second largest city. Before we planned to visit I did not know of the existence of Schloss Eggenberg, a Baroque palace located on Graz’s perimeter. Nor did I know that Graz was the capitol of Styria. In fact I didn’t know of the existence of Styria at all, though I probably should have. As always, travel is a great teacher. (more…)

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