What to read when in Florence? Fiction or non-fiction? So many books capture the heart and history of this city. Here a few suggestions, ranging from medieval works to modern ones.
What to read in Florence? There are many novels set here, and more than a few films. Here a few works to take the reader into Medieval and Renaissance Florence, with further suggestions.
Barcelona is a vibrant city and a tourists' delight - easy transport, much to see, far too much to eat, perfect to sit and watch the world go by. A city you can leave only with the promise to return.
Rome, The Eternal City: forever reinventing herself. Whether you're walking her streets for the first time or a return visitor, why not be a traveller and not a tourist, and see a few unusual things?
Angkor Wat draws tourists from around the world, yet in the surrounding jungle some 70 temples - or wats - have been discovered. Some have been restored, others left the way they were when discovered.
Bruges, Brugge, Venice of the North - whatever you call her, Belgium's medieval town Bruges is a delight. Wander the cobblestone streets, visit the art museums, cruise the canals - and eat chocolate!
Île des Pins (the Isle of Pines) justly called l'île la plus proche du paradis - the island closest to paradise. The place embraces you with charm as soon as you sight the pristine beaches and waters
Paris is a city for walking, for discovering unexpected sights, whether in a crowd or a little-known back street. It's a place for sitting, and watching the world go by, and for discovering oneself.
Port Vila, Vanuatu, South Pacific: the romantic words conjure images of mysterious islands and an idyllic paradise bathed by the sun and lost in an emerald sea - an image not too far from the truth.
Ah, Venice. Every tourist will have their list of things to do, in far too short a time. Here are a few different suggestions for an itinerary, to help discover unseen delights in the heart of Venice.
Whereever you may visit in Japan, there is always something different, something unusual, something unique to find. Embrace the spirit of wanderlust and you'll be amazed at what you will find.
Amédée Lighthouse is a jewel in the South Pacific, and a perfect day trip from Nouméa. Soft sand stretches down to a warm ocean; fishes and coral abound, and sea turtles swim in the marine reserve.
Kowloon has more to offer than crowds and touts. Kowloon Park and the Chi Lin Nunnery offer an oasis of peace, and the Bird, Goldfish, Flower and Fa Yuen St Markets are well worth a visit.
The history of coffee dates back over 1000 years, and taste for the bean has permeated around the globe. In the style of Proust, each country and city offers a unique taste and blend - and memories.
Our weekender is my literary retreat. Keeping the small pantry stocked makes it easier not only to escape for a few days on a moment's notice, but be able to prepare simple but healthy meals.
Mentioned in The Tale of The Genji, Ohara is an ancient town only a short bus ride from Kyoto. In the cool of a mountain side lie a cluster of fascinating temples, gardens and restaurants.
The zombie apocalypse is imminent; a little planning, however, and it will merely add to gastronomic adventures and discoveries when travelling the globe.
The drive from Sydney to Melbourne: the inland highway, or the longer coast road? Both are great drives, but the coastal road begs a meandering holiday, with empty roads and forgotten beaches.
When in Florence it's all too easy to succumb to cultural overload. Here are a few practical tips for surviving a visit to Florence that can make a trip so much easier—and so much more enjoyable.
Alle Veneziana: In the Style of Venice. Venetian markets overflow with seafood, yet the Veneto boasts lush farmland, and her history of seafaring and trading can be tasted in every meal.
Saigon or Ho Chi Minh? Although racing to the future, this vibrant city is full of ghosts from the past - the touch of Indochina, the words of Graeme Greene, the influence of the French.
Reading an Italian menu can be both daunting and confusing, yet the specialties of Florence are not to be missed. The memory of their flavours will remain long after the city has been left behind.
Walking through Nara Deer Park is walking back in time. Temples and shrines are hundreds of years old, the chant of monks fills the air, and tame deer, regarded as messengers of the gods, roam freely.
For all their diversity, Hong Kong and China have the same historical and cultural roots. Many works set in Hong Kong reflect the dichotomy of its classical past, while others cover both places.
Nestled on the slopes of Mt Subasio, Assisi remains the spiritual home of the Franciscan order. Birthplace to St Francis, it is impossible to walk the medieval streets without feeling his presence.
A Seine bateau tour is a perfect introduction to Paris, for nearly every major monument and building is on display. Sit and relax like a Parisian as some 2000 years of history drift past.
Hidden amongst the skyscrapers, Singapore's Chinatown retains the air of the past while creating a true tourist attraction - cultural integrity, sightseeing, great shopping, and excellent food.
On reading Haruki Murakami I discovered the world of Japanese curries. Inspired, I set out on a quest which spanned three continents, and left me wanting to return to Japan to continue my odyssey.
Just to drink the coffee in Italy is reason enough to visit. With the type of coffee drunk often determined by the hour of the day, ordering coffee in an Italian cafe is a ritual in it itself.
Florence is where Michelangelo was raised, and where he learnt his craft. The Casa Buonarroti is a delightful museum, dedicated to the works and legacy of the great renaissance artist.
An ancient town in Central Vietnam, Hoi An is a tourist's delight. The Old Town is small enough to wander without getting too lost; and there is always an historic house, temple or cafe nearby.
What to wear when riding an elephant - a difficult question. In the tropical heat of Ayutthaya, Thailand we relaxed aboard our elephant as she wandered the ruins of Thailand's ancient capital.
Memories from the War to End All Wars still linger, nearly one hundred years after it began. Travelling through France and Belgium it is impossible not to be touched by the horrors which are still visible in the...
Agatha Christie remains one of the most popular and famous of mystery writers. She often used poison to dispatch her victims. This article covers some of the common, and readily available, poisons she used, plus also...
Revered as Japan's Grand Master of Buddhism, the Kobo Daishi brought Shingon Buddhism to the country in the 800s. His mausoleum, the Oko-in, is at Koyasan, one of Japan's most sacred mountains.
A bus ride from Kyoto, Arashiyama offers a glimpse into a world long vanished. In an ancient tradition dating back over 1000 years, the dying art of using cormorants to catch fish can still be seen.
Only one night to explore Rome; yet simply walking her streets by moonlight threw a new air over the Eternal City. Even as darkness falls, there is much to be discovered, including Rome's best coffee.
Take a walk through medieval Florence, to places easily missed. Florence boasts a range of forgotten gems, from the literary to the scientific ones, to places simply to sit and watch the world go by.
Once an essential stop on The Grand Tour, there is always something to discover in Venice. A convent or monastery stay gives a unique experience when visiting this treasure of a city.