• #SINEQUANON,  Uncategorized

    SINE QUA NON ISRAEL

    ONE The Western Wall, Jerusalem TWO Temple Mount, Jerusalem This is the place which holds the most religious significance in the world for Jews and Muslims alltogether. The Dome of the Rock harbours the planet’s most important rock, namely the one where the Muslims believed the world was created and where Mohamed rose to the heavens, but also where the Jews believe God created Adam and the world and where Solomon built the First Temple. Judaism considers this place as the most sacred of all, where God’s presence is most felt. Temple Mount is only accessible to non-Muslims at very specific visiting times,  going through one checkpoint located on the…

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    Snapshots of Shabbat at the Western Wall

    The Shabbat is the Jewish day of rest. It begins a few minutes before sunset on Friday evening and it ends when three stars are visible in the sky on Saturday evening. The Western Wall is the most sacred place to be and to pray on this day, and every day.

  • #SINEQUANON,  fantastic journeys

    SINE QUA NON: AMALFI COAST

    ONE: RAVELLO This will be a surprising no. 1 for most, as the usual day-trippers and ‘effective’ travel guides will skip it altogether. And that’s a good thing, because the crowds make it difficult enough to reach and enjoy in all its haughty splendour. Ravello is in fact not on the Amalfi Coast, but hanging uphill, just on top of Amalfi. It is spectacular, noble and expensive, and worth it. The narrow road leading to Ravello is cut in the rocky mountain like an initiation path and is called, quite evocatively, the Valley of the Dragon. Ravello is small, which adds to the feeling of exclusivity, especially off- season or…

  • everydaymagic,  Uncategorized

    POSTCARDS: Acqua Alta in Venice

    Like all great beauties, she is incredible, irresistible, fragile and dramatic, alltogether.  Venezia’s destiny as a forever endangered realm of wonder has a tragic beauty to it, and nothing makes it more obvious than the acqua alta days. On October 29, 2018, an exceptional high tide flooded Venice. It was the fourth highest ever recorded, and the most dramatic in over a decade. The conscience of her ephemerity only added to the beauty, as La Serenissima was stripped of the hords of tourists and the waters held the mirror to her face for two days in a row.

  • #SINEQUANON

    SINE QUA NON: NORMANDIE

    MONT SAINT MICHEL The only possible number one. Although is closer and more intimately connected to Bretagne, it will be top-of-mind for any escape in Western France. I wrote more about “the wonder” here. THE ALABASTER COAST AND PAYS DE CAUX La Cote d’Albatre is the French counterpart of the famous white cliffs that are the picture-perfect signature of the English Channel coastline. It makes for a great roadtrip, with its towns and villages of quaint charm and the often striking beauty of the high falaises. Stop in Etretat, Yport, Fecamp, Veules-les-Roses, Dieppe. Etretat has the most beautiful cliffs, Fecamp is a jewel of a town where you cannot miss…

  • #SINEQUANON

    SINE QUA NON: ROME

    Rome wasn’t built in a day, and it’s not to visit in a day. Follow #vacanzeromane to see how endless and timeless Rome really is, but if you have but a weekend or a few days for the città eterna, this is what to absolutely do and the “grazie, però no”. ONE: THE SPANISH STEPS AND TRINITA DEI MONTI Piazza di Spagna is high on the must list, but what you are really looking for is the scalinata (the Spanish steps) in fiore, and the classic climb up to Trinita dei Monti. Take your time in the Piazza della Trinita dei Monti and then some more time to visit the…

  • #SINEQUANON

    SINE QUA NON: VENEZIA

    ONE: OFF-SEASON VENICE Off-season Venice: by all means, travel outside summer season or Carnival week (unless you have tickets to one of the official balls, then you simply have to throw it all in). Venice is so full of tourists that you can hardly call any time of the year “off season”, but I discovered that La Serenissima is only serene in winter, and maybe some blissful days in early spring or late autumn. Check this out for Venice in winter. The wind in the lagoon may be chilly at times, but you’ll discover a truer, more fascinating face of Venice. TWO: A ROOM WITH A VIEW A room with…

  • everydaymagic

    Vendemmia in Toscana

    September is here, so we are slowly getting ready for one of our favorite escapes, the vendemmia/ grape harvest in Toscana. And while we’re at it, we save the dates in the calendar – well, the usual wonders: the winetastings, the community harvest and the exploration of the cantine, the local fairs honoring Baccus, the mystery tours and the pranzoni – all the incredible food of the season. This year, due to hot weather and climate particularities, the vendemmia takes place sooner than usual. Forecast says historical low harvest but some extraordinary grapes to be expected in very limited quantities. Heat waves and extreme weather grew smaller, atypical grapes, and…

  • everydaymagic

    A story about hotdogs

    As we are true fans of #streetfood, one of the pieces de resistance is the hot dog. Foodies may be snobs where hotdogs are concerned, since mass production often spoils the spirit of the perky dog. But there are still brave hot dogs’ creators in the world, proving that any popular food can become a masterpiece, with the right dedication and ingredients. Gourmet hotdogs are on the rise 🙂  A short history of the hot dog Call it Wiener or Frankfurter, the Germans invented this type of sausage, but then it was brought to the United States in the 1800s by immigrants, and quickly it became extremely popular, a working-class food sold at street…