Exploring the Hill Towns of the Gargano Peninsula

Drive around the Gargano Peninsula and you will see towns and villages of white-walled buildings perched on the hilltops. Many of these towns look as if time has passed them by, providing a glimpse of a way of life that seems to have disappeared from other parts of...

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Things to do on Puglia’s Gargano Peninsula

There is far more to Italy than the tourist hotspots, and Puglia's Gargano Peninsula is comparatively neglected by overseas visitors. But, as I discovered, this is a beautiful region with plenty to see and do… Walking and Cycling As long as you don’t mind hills, this...

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Valley of the Temples: Sicily’s Greek Heritage

Nestling among the wilds of the Sicilian landscape, the Valley of the Temples comes as a surprise. Sicily is unmistakeably Italian: we had explored hilltowns and Roman remains, and spent long evenings with Italian food and wine. But here we were, in a pocket of...

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Eating Out in Helsinki: an Unexpected Treat

Finnish cuisine? No, I hadn’t heard of it either, but food was the unexpected highlight of our trip to Helsinki, an eclectic mix of local ingredients and impeccable Scandinavian design. There seem to have been two consequences from the unpromising combination of harsh...

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Walking on the Roof of the Cathedral of Milan

Never mind that it is a very fine Gothic cathedral, the fifth largest cathedral in the world. What makes the Cathedral of Milan really special is that you can walk on its roof. And not just a short walk, either: you can walk all around the roof, admiring the 3000 plus...

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The Bits of Pisa that Most Tourists Miss

Pisa is full of tourists, but most of them seem to be clustered in one spot. In front of the Leaning Tower, capturing a selfie or photographing their friends as they pretend to prop up the tower. But, as we discovered during a recent autumn visit, there is much more...

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A Peaceful Interlude at Pisa’s Botanic Gardens

Even at the end of October Pisa is hot and packed with tourists. But the Botanic Gardens were cool and shady, and we had the place to ourselves. A Garden of Simples I’d been wanting to visit these gardens for years. Founded in 1543 as a ‘Garden of Simples’, or...

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