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The entry hall of Osteria de Poeti in Bologna, Italy

Osteria dè Poeti: Classic Bolognese Food

On my recent trip to Bologna, my friend Shobha (of Just Go Places) and I were fortunate enough to be hosted by Hotel Touring, which I reviewed in an earlier post. The hotel also arranged for us to eat one evening at a nearby restaurant, Osteria dè Poeti (site in Italian only). This was particularly…

San Luca Portico in Bologna

Walking the Portico di San Luca in Bologna

For centuries, in the city of Bologna, Italy, a byzantine image of the Madonna and Child was carried ceremoniously from the Sanctuary of the Madonna of San Luca every year during Ascension week down to the Cathedral of San Pietro in the city center. It stayed there overnight, then was carried back up. The problem…

Notice the rings on the ends of the sides. from the Brilmuseum in Amsterdam.

The Brilmuseum in Amsterdam

I mentioned in an earlier post that I allowed my daughter, visiting from the US, to choose which small museums we would visit together on our day in Amsterdam. She chose the Huis Marseille Museum for Photography and the Brilmuseum (Spectacles Museum). Disclosure: While admission normally costs €4.50, I was admitted for free, but the opinions…

Exploring Amsterdam’s Undiscovered North

Once overlooked by travelers, the borough of Amsterdam Noord (Amsterdam North) has developed into a thriving artistic community, a spot for dance and music festivals, and an escape from Amsterdam’s chaotic and touristy center. This is – or, rather, was – a sponsored guest post, originally published by thehipmunk on Hipmunk’s Tailwind blog on December 10, 2015. The Hipmunk brand…

Only one part of the breakfast on offer at the Hotel Touring

Hotel Touring: quality in a great Bologna location

When I met Manuela Stagni at the World Travel Market in London and saw her enthusiasm in describing her hotel, the Hotel Touring in Bologna, Italy, I made a note to keep her in mind if I ever traveled in Italy again. A couple of months later, when she mailed me an offer to stay…

I love how colorful Roemers photography is, and the contrast between the moving elements and still elements.

Huis Marseille photography museum in Amsterdam

I was very happy when my daughter, visiting from the US, wanted to spend the day in Amsterdam, sightseeing with me. I gave her a list of museums I’d like to visit for my series on small Amsterdam museums, and told her to choose two. My daughter, a graphic designer, chose the Spectacles Museum (now…

These postcards are free for visitors to the Dutch Resistance Museum

The Dutch Resistance Museum, Amsterdam

“That was pretty interesting” is high praise indeed, when it comes from my 17-year-old son after a visit to a museum. The Verzetsmuseum – the Dutch Resistance Museum – in Amsterdam is one of very few that have earned a “pretty interesting” from him. Documenting not just the resistance movement during World War II, but…

Winterwelvaart, with the boats all lit up at night.

WinterWelVaart: Groningen’s Christmas Market

The Christmas markets in Germany are famous for their craft stalls, gluwein and generally Christmassy atmosphere. I’ve gone to several in past years; the one in Oldenburg is only about an hour away from my home here in Groningen. Though they’re much less well-known, Dutch cities, including Groningen, also run Christmas markets. Note added November…

The Valor factory's sign, reflected in the factory building

Visiting Valor in Villajoyosa

Last spring in Guadeloupe I visited an archeological park where I got to sample the pulp from a fresh-picked cacao pod. I heard more about chocolate cultivation at two coffee plantations. Given my obsession with chocolate, I decided to take the process a step further on my short visit to the Costa Blanca in Spain,…