What drives an issue home each and every time is when it is made personal, when the headlines become faces, or in this case when the refugees of war, hunger, religion or politics, turn into human beings -- just like you and me.
My dad was a piano tuner, and in my travels, any time I see a piano, I have an urge to play it or hear it played. At Il Canto del Sole agriturismo, Luciano showed me around his farm while his son, Marco, attentively followed, seemingly fascinated by my work as a guidebook writer.
Travel in Tuscany these last couple weeks has given me a chance to really improve my Rick Steves' Florence & Tuscany guidebook. And that time has been filled with great travel memories.
You know your taste in clothes, shoes, food and cars, but do you know your taste in wine? If you had asked me ten years ago before I started living in Italy, I would have said, "No." and "Who cares? Wine snobs are boring."
Broadcast media are under intense pressure, given tight deadlines, security threats, competition and shrinking budgets. The key challenges are: How do we define media ethics and who sets the standards when the journalism of terror is becoming the new normal?
I often say the Volterra is my favorite Italian hill town. Returning this year for my research chores, I was wondering if that was overstating things. But as soon as I settled into the town, my opinion was affirmed.
A sea of fear divides Europeans from migrants. Migrants fear death on the sea. For Europeans, there was, and still is, the fear of accommodating, of sharing. There's a lack of courage in not putting these people -- who have risked their lives -- first.
A girl hides, quietly hoping the leaning tower doesn't find her. (Or perhaps I misinterpreted this scene. Can you give it a better caption?)...
San Gimignano comes off as a pretty greedy place during the day. (But at night, they've made their money, and the place becomes more romantic.)
When it comes to hill towns in Tuscany, San Gimignano is the region's glamour girl, getting all of the attention from passing tour buses. A quick stro...
Due to hectic work schedules and tight budgets, Americans are traveling less this year than they have in the past forty. But they're certainly still traveling, and this summer, many are jetting off to international locales.
When you hear of a country that is bound by multiple cultures, landscapes and seasonal activities, you know it's worth a visit. Nestled at the foot of the Dolomites, South Tyrol is a picture-perfect alpine dream.
Summer is well on its way in Italy. It's 6:30 a.m. The sand is still cool under my feet and the sun has almost finished rising behind the stillness of the Adriatic sea. The breeze carries the scent of oleanders, pine trees and magnolias.
What would happen if, rather than focusing all our energies on such sophisticated plans, we spent a little more time listening to our hearts?
The eurozone is playing a dangerous game with Greece. Officials are treating the Greek crisis of payments as a liquidity problem. And that's true as far as it goes. But Milton's famous line from Paradise Lost in the title of this post may still be true for the European Union.
They jam the place for four seatings (two for lunch and two for dinner) every day. It's a long room with communal tables under a medieval barrel vault. In the back, like the engine of a steam train, a fire roars behind a huge hunk of cow lying flat as if on a gurney.