Filed under Travel

Umbria unleashed

Umbria unleashed

No matter where you dine in Italy, the food is simply delicious, every ingredient infused with sunshine and minerals from fertile soil lovingly tended for centuries. I was reminded of this fact time and again during a June visit to Umbria as a guest of the Italian trade agency and Rome-based Cia, which promotes the … Continue reading

Magical Umbria

Magical Umbria

    According to our schedule, the day began with a visit to a theatre. Which felt strange on a @Made in Italy agricultural tour, and even stranger as we drove down (yet another) winding dirt road through the woods with no signs to anything. We stopped outside the gate of what turned out to be a … Continue reading

O Porto!

O Porto!

    It’s been a slice, of francesinha! Of course we had to try this famous Portuguese specialty, advertised on every menu in Porto, if only to advise you not to bother! Unless, of course, you grew up loving hot roast beef sandwiches on soggy white bread swimming in gravy. The minder of our apartment … Continue reading

Do you caravanserai?

Do you caravanserai?

    We were on our way to the Zein-o-Din caravanserai for the night, the Iranian equivalent of a stagecoach inn, a place to rest, dine and break up the long trek through the desert. Unlike travellers traversing the Silk Road centuries ago, when the inn was built, we arrived by bus instead of by camel. But we did see a few of the shaggy long-legged beasts in … Continue reading

Jazzed in Yazd

Jazzed in Yazd

  We pulled into the large parking lot in front of Tehran’s imposing central station with more than an hour to spare before our evening train. Posters of ayatollahs Khomeini, (left), who died in 1989, and Khamenei looked down on us benevolently. Inside, chaos reigned as families began or ended their New Year journey in Tehran. So many women wore … Continue reading

Tehran for a day

Tehran for a day

  “So who had friends and family tell them not to come to Iran because it’s too dangerous?” our guide Mahdi asked. All 11 of us put up our hands. Yet in my years of travel in foreign countries, I’ve never felt safer or more welcome. Perhaps it was his time in the military during … Continue reading

Well Come to Iran

Well Come to Iran

After months of anticipation and fussing over what to pack, March 23 arrived. Off to Iran for a G Adventures tour. Air France made the first leg a delight with an upgrade to their luxurious business class, where foie gras and Daniel Boulud’s salmon with fennel, chickpeas and sumac awaited for dinner. After a movie or … Continue reading

Napa Sojourn

Napa Sojourn

Napa Valley residents can afford to be smug. The weather is gorgeous, you can live in a cottage with a rosemary hedge and a lemon tree out front, cycle past world-famous vineyards and sip fairy-tale pumpkin soup. An hour’s drive across the Golden Gate bridge from San Francisco, Napa is also the perfect place for a … Continue reading

Ciao Calabria!

Ciao Calabria!

January 2016 Green hills, blue water, bright sunshine and the occasional palm tree welcomed us to Calabria in late January. Reggio Calabria, where we landed, sits at the very toe of the Italian boot separated from Sicily by the Strait of Messina and surrounded by the Ionian and Tyrrhenian Seas. Apart from the millions of … Continue reading

My year of Elsewhere

My year of Elsewhere

Christmas Day, 2015 My year of Elsewhere began with a dinner party last December, where friends Helen and Ron invited me to spend a week at their rented condo in the colonial town of San Miguel de Allende. I arrived the first week of March, catching a ride at Mexico City’s airport for the four-hour … Continue reading