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Anywhere but Here.


Lent in Venice: Basilica San Marco

Visit the Basilica San Marco at 9:30 in the morning, about a half hour before the tour groups arrive. We climbed the steep stairs to the balcony, and had the outdoor roof terrace, overlooking the piazza, almost completely to ourselves. They charge three euros to access the balcony now, and inside they have created a […]

Lent in Venice: Hotel Villa Igea

The Hotel Villa Igea, right on the Campo San Zaccaria, was a real find: comfortable, quiet, conveniently located. It had two lovely terraces overlooking the largely unvisited campo (despite being a steps from the main vaporetto stop as well as a short walk to Piazza San Marco.) We were fortunate too in having the very […]

Lent in Venice: Torcello

Perhaps nowhere has as many beautiful sites to see as Venice, so it can be quite a challenge to tear yourself away from the city’s main sestieri. Still, Venice comprises many far flung islands, each with its own character. If you have more than a few days to explore the area, trips to the outlying […]

Lent in Venice: Eating Well

The only restaurant guide worth having is Venice Osterie, a slim volume available in English, and on sale in Venice (and perhaps nowhere else). Even this requires some reading between the lines, and won’t include the obscure, bargainy places seemingly known only to locals. For some dining suggestions, see my previous post: Venice Restaurant picks

Lent in Venice: Getting Lost

Guidebooks, and even recent articles on Venice seemed of little use, and in fact we rarely used our maps. It’s important to settle into the slow rhythm of the city—a slowness dictated by the complete absence of cars and scooters, and the necessity of walking everywhere in a city of tangled alleyways in which it […]

Lent in Venice: Early Morning Walks

Eric and I took advantage of our jet lag—waking the first days at 6 am—to take early morning walks through the deserted streets. We watched Venice slowly come alive: coffee bars just beginning to open, the vegetable sellers setting up shop, and finally hordes of local children rushing off to school. The first morning was […]

Lent in Venice: an Introduction

Lent begins today, and though it is supposed to be a time of penance and sacrifice, if you’d rather indulge yourself, there is no better time to visit Venice than during the 40 days between Ash Wednesday and Easter Sunday. It’s an especially tranquil time in this usually tourist-mobbed city. For me, Venice is all […]

Eating Beef in Buenos Aires: Best Parrillas

Though Buenos Aires is a large, cosmopolitan city whose exhaustive variety of cuisines range from authentic French Brasseries to Sushi Bars, the national cuisine of Argentina is most definitely beef and the most traditional restaurant the “Parrilla.” The Parrilla specializes in grilled beef, both steaks of various cuts and mixed grills, plates of offal often […]

Spritz Aperol: A Venetian aperitif

While in Venice in March of this year, we discovered a refreshing warm weather aperitif: the Spritz Aperol. (A true Venetian bargain too… we found them as cheap as 1 euro 50 at a nameless cafe on the Campo Bander e Moro.) Though it is now made by the same company that makes the venerable […]

Amsterdam A to Zed: B is for bicycle

You just have to ride a bicycle—it’s by far the quickest, easiest way around the city. It may look intimidating at first, but once on a bike you have the advantage as bicycles have the right-of-way. Rent one from Frederic Rent-a-Bike—their bikes don’t have any annoying logos that label you as a tourist. (Many shops […]

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