Although many tourists can get by with English alone, a big part of cultural immersion is being able to understand and communicate in the native tongue. You don't need to become fluent, but picking up a few key phrases will help you make most of your travels abroad (and keep you safe, too).
Perugia is about an hour's train ride away from Spoleto, and Steve McCurry's exhibit there is fabulous. He is a terrific photojournalist, probably best known for his powerful National Geographic cover shot of the beautiful 'Afghan Girl' with the piercing eyes.
It is quiet again here in Spoleto, and that feels so good. The Festival Dei 2Mondi (Festival of 2 Worlds) ended with a glorious Final Concert in the Duomo Piazza, complete with American show tunes from the 50s and 60s!
The Spoleto Festival dei 2Mondi (big big arts festival) started on Friday and the town, its residents and its shops have all been spiffed up; the air of anticipation and the wandering tourists are both readily evident.
Sicily continues to amaze me. The history here is so multi-layered and so ancient that I, from Boston with its proud and (very) young history, am overwhelmed and find it incomprehensible on many levels when faced with 8000 years or so of history.
On Pasqua/Easter, springtime shone brightly here in Firenze, and the whole city of Florence, as it has done for at least the past 500 years, held its Scoppio del Carro ('explosion of the cart') in the beautiful Duomo piazza.
South Africa has an immense range of opportunities for travelers, whether you're looking for a rugged adventure, a food and wine tour or a spiritual experience. Here's everything you need to know before you travel to South Africa.
I stayed in a beautiful hotel (Villa Athena) right in the Archeological Park which surrounds the temple masterpieces and the night-time views of the illuminated Temple of Concordia and Temple of Juno from my room are truly awesome.
In Sicily, the beautiful Baroque town of Acireale proudly promises "The Best Carnival in Sicily"; for two weeks, huge floats parade around the city on a regular basis and the entire population of Acireale (and many more) join the grand street party.