Barcelona and Ibiza

Barcelona is full of treasures. Despite claiming it has more visitors every year than the Italian capital of Rome, it is unabashedly laid back. Instead of throngs of tourists clamoring to view of every sight, visitors seemed to adopt the Barcelona vibe by enjoying strolls along the harbor and sunbathing by the ocean.

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Monaco and the French Riviera

Ahh the French Riviera. My initial reaction conjures up thoughts of sophisticated Europeans strolling promenades, sandy beaches, vast resorts and quiet charm. It in fact was almost the opposite of what I had envisioned. In our three stops along the French riviera in Cannes, Nice, and Monaco, we experienced a more urban feel that mixed working […]

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The Last Hill Town Exploration

As my journey and Italy dwindles  down to the last month, I have been very lucky to have an abundance of family visits to savor my remaining moments in Italy. For my Aunt Barbara’s trip,  I planned a four-day road trip through small hill towns in Chianti and the Val d’Arno. Our itinerary was derived […]

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Budapest

Budapest surprised us. Our initial thoughts of an old Soviet- run city was soon replaced by scenes of grand palaces, spring festivals, and a vibrant restaurant and bar scene. My mom’s side of the family is originally from Budapest, and my grandparents escaped communist rule in 1956 when they immigrated to the US. My mom’s […]

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Genoa

Genoa is a working port city that exudes an authentic Italian feel. The city is famous for being the birthplace of Christopher Columbus and was a major port town for the Romans in Liguria. During the Renaissance it became a trading stronghold for international goods. Throughout the ages, the city was built “up” rather than […]

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Rome

My Rome post is long past due. We visited Rome briefly during the AS Roma vs Barcelona game, but did not venture much farther than the Piazza del Popolo. I had also been to Rome after my high school graduation in June, when the city was hot, sticky, and mobbed. This time, I made the […]

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