• everydaymagic,  THE TREASURE MAP

    Opera itineraries for thehappyfew

    If you’re a classical music enthusiast or an opera lover, you must have been to the Covent Garden or Scala once or twice. But I discovered something that beats even the gilded interiors of Opera Garnier: the exterior. Dream big: ancient theatre with view of the volcano, a huge lake stage or a musical terrace where you can see the sun rising 315 m over the sea. Set in breathtaking outdoor locations, here are my favorite concert halls: Teatro Greco di Taormina Classical music but also rock concerts are taking place in the ancient theatre of Taormina, Sicily. A large crack in the original arena wall offers a magnificent view…

  • fantastic journeys,  THE TREASURE MAP,  Uncategorized

    Mont Saint Michel, legend of tides

                Is it a castle or an island? Is that the desert or the sea? Is it Bretagne or Normandie? Each day, this castle becomes an island, then the sea withdraws to leave treacherous sands behind. Meanwhile, a whimsical little river draws the border between the two realms, making Mont St. Michel part of Normandy. The mountain has always been a place of awe; beautiful and inaccessible, it caused many to perish at the mercy of tides. And as it happens with so many places of awe and beauty, it has always been a site of worship. In the early days of Christianity, monks were…

  • fantastic journeys,  Uncategorized

    Driving through Chianti Classico

      Follow La Strada del Chianti and stop along the way to your heart’s desire. Etruscans were first here, then Romans drove their carts on these roads. A land of tremendous beauty and forever radiating serenity, the wine road witnessed the obsessive conflicts between Florence and Siena, undisturbed by battles and time. Looking at the map, the villages, vineyards and castles of Chianti Classico can be found along the SR222. We started from our beloved Monteriggioni and went up through Castellina to Greve in Chianti, then round towards Castelnuovo Berardenga in our search for Brolio Castle.  In Castellina, we walked the Via delle Volte and visited the Rocca Comunale, the…

  • everydaymagic,  fantastic journeys

    300 years of Chianti Classico

      On Sept. 24, 1716, the Grand Duke of Tuscany Cosimo III de’ Medici officially delineated the borders of the Chianti wine region. Which basically makes him a personal favorite and a hero. Him and Barone Ricasoli, of course. Cosimo had quality control teams patrolling the vineyards in the area and made sure that no other wine outside this blessed realm could be called Chianti, ever again. A predecessor to what would become the modern Denominazione d’Origine Controllata (DOC) and DOCG wine labeling system, the Grand Duke’s act was the first of its kind in Europe. Genius. 300 years later, thehappyfew couldn’t have missed the celebrations. On September 24, 2016,…

  • everydaymagic

    The best travel advice in the world

    Travel to wonderland. Just use the rabbit hole, see some fantasy movie, visit Disney and adventure parks, read Tolkien or Lewis Carroll or whatever works for you, and always celebrate Christmas in style. Travel back to yourself, recapture the world as it was before you grew up. Return to your happyplace. You must have one. It’s either a cabin, or a lake, or a beach, or a city, a precise time of the year, a table with a view, or a person. Return as many times as you can, or move there. Travel with your best friend. Friendship and discovery are never ever getting old.  Take the grandparents or your parents…