Here you will find the latest information on travel in Europe, as well as lots of other great stuff like recipes for some of my favorite European foods, schedules of upcoming travel seminars, tips and tricks on traveling in Europe, and answers to reader questions about European travel.

For more information about hotels and restaurants like those featured in our blog, or for help in planning your own independent trip to Europe, please contact us about our Self-Guided Trips or Custom Itinerary Planning services.


Will Scotland go it alone?

The last day of campaigning before Scotland votes on independence, and it's too close to call.

Comments

The last castanets

Making castanets is a dwindling art.

Comments

New life for Florence's Central Market

Nestled between the main train station and the cathedral, Florence's Mercato Centrale has been a fixture of local culture and life for more than 100 years. I have always enjoyed wandering through the bustling market, filled with foreign sights, sounds and smells.

Modern hypermarkets and changes in buying habits have put pressure on the old market, and in recent years the beautiful iron and glass structure has fallen on hard times. I was very happy to see and experience the results of an initiative to breath new life back into Mercato.

The lower level still serves as a market, with dozens of individual stalls selling everything from fresh flowers and vegetables to beef tongue and calf brains

After a multi-million dollar renovation, the upper floor is now like a giant food court, only better. Think trendy food trucks, without the trucks.

Wander around, sample foods, and pick up lunch, dinner or a snack. Grab a seat at one of the tables in the middle and one of the staff will be by to take your drink order.

On a recent mid-week evening there was no problem finding a seat -- there are over 500 of them -- but by 9:00 pm the place was packed and buzzing. Most of the patrons seemed to be locals, as interested and excited by the idea as we were.












Comments

Florence at sunset

View from the Ponte Vecchio.


Comments

Iona, Scotland

Just off the west coast of Scotland is the rugged and sparsely populated Isle of Mull. And off the west coast of Mull is a tiny dot of land, just 3 miles by 1-1/2 miles, called Iona.

In 563 AD Columba, a monk from Ireland, landed on Iona after sailing across the Irish Sea with 12 companions. They began preaching the Gospel to the island's inhabitants, and eventually established a monastery.

Despite numerous Viking raids, the community flourished until the mid 1500's, when it was abandonded after the Scottish Reformation. The scriptorium at the monastery copied numerous books, often decorating them with colorful drawings. Among the surviving books produced here is the Book of Kells, now housed at Dublin's Trinity College.

In the early 20th century the abbey was restored, and a new international ecumenical community established.

A visit to Iona is not only a beautiful day out, it's a powerful reminder of the hardships endured and the tenacity shown by early Christians in spreading the Gospel.








Comments
See Older Posts...

For more information about hotels and restaurants like those featured in our blog, or for help in planning your own independent trip to Europe, please contact us about our Self-Guided Trips or Custom Itinerary Planning services.