Life is short, break the rules, forgive quickly, kiss SLOWLY, love truly, laugh uncontrollably, and never regret ANYTHING that made you smile. Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things you didn’t do than by the ones you did. So throw off the bowlines. Sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover.
— H. Jackson Brown
Travelogue for Italy, 2013
Welcome! To read my latest travel journal, please click 2013 – Italy on the navigation menu for entries on the following destinations:
- Bassano del Grappa
Also, you should know that while I’ve embedded some photographs into the entries, many more are posted on Flickr, and travelogues for all of my previous trips to Europe are still available, including those from Italy in 2008 and 2010.
Top 10 Travel Experiences
Top 10 lists are necessarily selective. They are also intensely personal. Mine reflect my own interests and biases, but with that caveat in mind I gladly offer them here, under Travel Resources on the navigation menu—one city at a time over the next few months—in the hope that it will inspire others to visit Europe and create memories of their own.
Photo of the Month
On October 25, 2011, flooding from a vicious storm devastated one of my favorite corners of the world—the Cinque Terre in northern Italy, a cluster of five small fishing villages perched on the rocky cliffs overlooking the Ligurian Sea. To mark that event and to celebrate the region’s remarkable recovery in the two years since, here is a view of Vernazza that I took on a warm summer’s night, with a belly full of pesto and focaccia bread.
Even now, if I close my eyes I can hear the bells of the lemon yellow church of Santa Margherita d’Antiochia, and I can see the rows of pastel houses that fold back from the snug harbor, watched over by the ancient Doria Castle and a fleet of small boats bobbing in the teal green sea. It was a picture postcard then, perfect in every way. And because of the heroic efforts of so many, thank goodness it is once more.
To read more about my visit to the Cinque Terre in June 2010, click here.
Letters from “The Grand Tour”
Here in Vermont, the autumn leaves have faded and gone and the sky is a dull gray. Driving home from work last week, there was a fierce wind blowing snowflakes onto my windshield, so it seems that winter has come early to New England this year. I’ve lit the fireplace and settled in with a cup of coffee and a good book, but the cold weather has me longing for a balmy Italian summer.
To get me through the next few months, I’ve been reading and transcribing a set of long letters written by a young Harvard grad in the 1870s while on “The Grand Tour” of Europe and the Holy Lands. They are a travelogue from a different age, filled with lush details and wide-eyed observations, as well as some boisterous merrymaking over few pints of beer in Munich.
When I think of my own tramps across Europe through the years, I’m struck not by the differences, but by just how little has changed…