Komiža, Vis: Savoring the Off-Season Charms of One of Croatia’s Most Remote Islands

The enchanting Croatian island of Vis has had many identities over the last few thousand years. For a time, it was an ancient Greek colony known as Issa. Then, from the 1950s until the 1980s, Vis was a secretive Yugoslavian naval base that was off-limits to foreigners. From there, tourists — and filmmakers — startedContinue reading “Komiža, Vis: Savoring the Off-Season Charms of One of Croatia’s Most Remote Islands”

The Art of Florentine Marquetry: Watching Italian Mosaicists “Painting with Stones”

The arts have long flourished in Florence — the so-called “cradle of the Renaissance.” Hundreds of years ago, there were tens of thousands of artisans in the city, each dedicated to everything from leather goods and hand-decorated paper to jewelry making. Over time, the number of workshops has declined. Nevertheless, Florence still has a sizableContinue reading “The Art of Florentine Marquetry: Watching Italian Mosaicists “Painting with Stones””

The Windows of Pordenone, Italy

With its pretty palazzi and mountain vistas, the northeastern Italian city of Pordenone offers a superb blend of beautiful architecture and nature. Home to just over 51,000 people, Pordenone is located a mere 90km (55 miles) from Venice. This makes for a delightful day trip. But, Pordenone can also be a great place to baseContinue reading “The Windows of Pordenone, Italy”

Watching How to Make Kelaghayi Silk Scarves in Sheki, Azerbaijan

Located among the leafy foothills of the Caucasus Mountains, the Azerbaijani town of Sheki is green, tranquil, and artsy. Low-rise buildings feature eye-catching stone and brickwork. People smile easily and are eager to engage in conversation. What’s more, Sheki still bears delightful evidence of its Silk Road past. Before we got there, I had theContinue reading “Watching How to Make Kelaghayi Silk Scarves in Sheki, Azerbaijan”

Hiking to Georgia’s Gergeti Trinity Church

One of the most iconic images from the country of Georgia features the Gergeti Trinity Church dwarfed by immense mountains. This 14th-century church is crowned with cone-shaped towers and is located in the heart of the Caucasus. It’s just a few kilometers from the Russian border.

Portugal’s Alluring Azulejos

Portugal is a feast for both the stomach and the eyes. It’s a land of irresistible port wine, trayfuls of crispy and creamy pasteis de nata (custard tarts), and buildings adorned with colorful ceramic tiles called azulejos. When you visit Portugal, you’ll spot azulejos on the outsides and insides of many different types of buildings,Continue reading “Portugal’s Alluring Azulejos”

An Apiary on Malta’s Xemxija Heritage Trail

Since ancient times, the island of Malta has been renowned for its splendid honey. There’s even some speculation that the country’s name has its origins in honey. The ancient Greeks referred to Malta as “Melite” (Μελίτη), translating to “honey sweet.” During the Roman period, the island was called “Melita.” In Latin, “mel” means honey.

Armenia, a Land of Lavash

We took the night train from Tbilisi to Yerevan. Arriving in Armenia 11 hours later, we were feeling disoriented, groggy, and ravenous. When Shawn and I chanced upon some ladies baking lavash flatbread inside a restaurant next to our apartment, we immediately perked up. Sensing our curiosity about the baking process, an employee motioned forContinue reading “Armenia, a Land of Lavash”