Category Archives for Travel Lifestyle

19Jul2014

Decision Time

Pavement stop sign by Steve Snodgrass on Flickr's Creative Commons.

Only months after Mongolia, the death drop is Zac’s second near-death experience within a year. I am crystal-clear when I wake up in the morning – yes, even before coffee! – that Ethiopia and Sudan are now firmly off the cards. We have used up our luck for the year, and there’s none left for […]

13Jul2014

When Travelling Kids Hit Their Teens

Zac and friend looking quite grownup on a quadbike.

I’d heard that something happened to travelling kids when they hit their teens – that they became averse to longterm travel, unwilling to make new friends and desirous of (eek!) settling down. It happened to the Vogel family, who cycled from Alaska to Argentina. It appears to be happening now to my online friend Talon […]

21May2014

One Night in Paris…

Gorgeous Montmartre panorama thingy by Alexandre Duret-Lutz.

Zac stops at the door of Peck, Milan, in a state of panic, brandishing his iPhone. “We can’t go in there! Everyone says they’re really rude, and will throw you out if you look like a tourist.” Peck, for those of you who aren’t obsessed with Italian food, is a little like a Milanese version […]

30Apr2014

Art and Alchemy in Florence

In Florence, Zac meets Clet, the artist.

It would be remiss to visit Florence without: a) eating a steak as big as your head b) doing the art thang, c) crossing the Ponte Vecchio and d) (if one of you has a thing for mozzarella and you aren’t headed to mozzarella country) visiting the Obikà mozzarella bar for a tasting. Since Zac’s […]

15Apr2014

We Learn to Make Pasta in Bologna

Learning to Make Pasta

“My great-grandfather bought this farm just before the Second World War,” Federica explains. “He was an industrialist, importing vegetables from Egypt, and he could see that the family would need a place outside the city.” Her farm, Podere San Giuliano, is no longer a farm. It’s a restaurant and agriturismo, a hybrid farm and tourism […]

11Feb2014

A Whirlwind Tour of Italy’s Food Museums

Gelato with balsamic vinegar in Modena.

The last bastion of the four-hour lunchbreak, the home of Slow Food, the birthplace of the world’s first University of Gastronomic Sciences, Italy is almost certainly the world’s most food-obsessed country. And Emilia-Romagna is, without a doubt, its single most food-obsessed province. And so, logically enough, it is home to at least five food museums, […]

29Jan2014

A Sexy, Sexy Shop

Billboard advertising sexy shop in Palermo Italy - image by David Holt.

After a slow start – an automatic handbrake? What fresh hell is THIS? – we take the slow road from Pisa to Modena, and it’s beautiful. We stop for lunch in Lucca, a walled, medieval city so ludicrously pretty and so thoroughly Year In Provence-ified, that it feels, from the posh delis through to the […]

15Jan2014

Pisa — Not, Actually, Horrid at All

The Duomo at Pisa.

Bologna is almost entirely shut for Ferragosto, AKA August. So, rather envious of the Italian approach to life, with its six week vacations, four hour lunchbreaks and all, we resolve to come back when Bologna’s actually open and head to Pisa instead. Why? Well, for the Leaning Tower, obviously. And, in particular, to get that […]

08Jan2014

Venice — Woot!

The view from Venezia Santa Lucia train station, over the Grand Canal. With Zac.

Our train trundles slowly across the open sea, stucco buildings threading the skyline, waters lapping at their base. “Look!” I exclaim, quite childishly excited. “It’s Venice.” “Yeah,” says the boy, with frankly limited enthusiasm. After ferrying from London to the Netherlands – “Look, son! Windmills!” — and wandering the canals of Amsterdam, I’m beginning to […]

06Jan2014

Accidental Tourists in Milan

The Galleria Vittorio Emanuele II in Milan.

We hadn’t exactly planned to go to Milan. But, due to the insane economics of travel within Europe, unless we want to spend hundreds of euros on a whole series of trains connecting at godawful hours like 5am, the best way to get from Amsterdam to Venice by train is… Well, fly to Milan. And […]