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Category: Europe travel

Vicenza, Italy – An Open Air Museum of Palladian Architecture

Challenge anyone to list the world’s most famous architects and names like Frank Lloyd Wright, Antoni Gaudí, and I.M. Pei will likely be bandied about. Most would be surprised, however, to learn that a 16th century Italian architect known as Palladio is widely considered to be the most influential individual in the history…

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Munich, Germany: So Much More than Oktoberfest

When discussing what to do in Munich, Germany, many travel writers wax lyrical about Oktoberfest. Ah, the beer! The sing-alongs! The pretzels, bratwurst, and schnitzel! But the festival also has its drawbacks. More than 6 million visitors descend upon the city every year beginning on the third Saturday of September. If, like me,…

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The Welsh Dragon, Symbol of Wales Since Time Immemorial

The Welsh love their symbols. The leek has been a national symbol of Wales since Saint David ordered Welsh soldiers to wear a leek on their helmets to identify themselves. The tradition ostensibly hails from a battle with Saxons that occurred in a field of leeks. The daffodil, also known as “Peter’s Leek,”…

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Monumental Cemetery in Milan, Italy – An Open Air Sculpture Museum

When I prepared my Last Will and Testament some years ago, I included specific provisions that I wish to be cremated. I promised my sisters that if they put me in the cold, hard ground, I’d come back to haunt them. But a recent visit to the Monumental Cemetery in Milan, Italy, had…

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Chisinau, Moldova, One of Europe’s Friendliest and Least Touristy Capital Cities

My guide for the day, Valery Brady, began my tour of Chisinau, Moldova, at the Pushkin Museum. Alexander Pushkin, considered to be Russia’s greatest poet and the founder of modern literature, angered Emperor Alexander I with his poem, “Ode to Liberty,” which was critical of the regime. As a result, in May of…

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Santorini Island: An Explosive Past, Present, and Future

Throughout its history, Santorini island in Greece has been shaped by volcanism. The island first appeared about two-million years ago when volcanic craters emerged from the Aegean Sea. Initially, the craters united into a small round island with a caldera in the center. Herodotus tells us that the island’s first name, Strongili (meaning…

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