If the name Ohrid sounds new to you, then you are probably missing one of the many hidden gems of Europe! Ohrid: the town and the lake Ohrid is the name of a beautiful lake, one of the oldest and deepest lakes in Europe. And Ohrid is the name of the city that lies on the shore of this lake. We are in Northern Macedonia. Bits of history Ohrid is a town of about 40.000 and it’s a very old city. In middle age, it was the middle-point of great cultural transformations. The Ohrid Literary School was established here in
Eger is a beautiful historical town in northern Hungary. It’s relatively less known than other Hungarian touristic attractions. And that’s good because it’s not exploited by too much crowd. But at the same time, it’s a pity, because such beauties should be more enhanced Less than two hours (both by car or train) from Budapest, it lies on the edge of the crowded tourist routes. Yet it is a pleasant town, with many things to see. Baroque buildings and churches, the amazing old town, the spas, the wine cellars. Many have ruled over Eger, from Mongols to Turks to Austrians.
When the sun goes down in Zadar, the earth and sky melt together at the horizon. They share the same colours in a fantastic psychedelic show. Alfred Hitchcock, who was a connoisseur, used to say that from Zadar’s waterfront one can enjoy the most beautiful sunset of the world. But since the times of Mr Hitchcock, many things changed, not only in the field of movies. Greetings to the sun The new waterfront of the Dalmatian city is a great place for a stroll with a view. But not only. It also hosts a couple of modern art structures. Made
È un fantasma ad accoglierci. Una forma evanescente, che sembra appena abbozzata. I raggi del sole che cala la attraversano senza difficoltà. Eppure è solida, solida come il ferro di cui è fatta. E’ un fantasma ma non sembra minaccioso; è lì per custodire la chiesa, che già si intravede. E’ una chiesa della stessa materia del fantasma: tonnellate metalliche attraversate dalla luce radente del tramonto. La (sostenibile) leggerezza del ferro. Si distinguono agevolmente le colonne, i capitelli, le capriate del tetto. E si distingue perfettamente il cielo, dietro. Il fantasma mi lascia passare senza difficoltà. Non c’è neanche bisogno
Located in Northeastern Italy, Palmanova, the star-shaped town, is a unique destination. A great example of a Renaissance-era planned town meant to be used as a living area but also as a fortress and stronghold. The star-shaped town Palmanova has the shape of a star. Right in its middle, there is a huge square, an enormous empty space that was once used for military musters. The town was built, following the ideals of utopia, at the end of the XVI century by the Republic of Venice. It was the last outpost before the border with the Austrian empire. Unfortunately, no
Finally, after hundreds of kilometres of steppe, you’ll get to a barren, uninhabited tuff rock. It might sound like an introduction to hell and yet it’s just the prologue to the wonders of Cappadocia. A mix of geological and human uniqueness ignites the imagination and sparks delight. A diagrammatic landscape, all peaks and slopes, pockmarked by water, wind and humans, who for centuries have carved the tuff to create dwellings, shelters, churches. Shapes and colours always change, depending on the position of the sun and the weather conditions. Who knows what the landscape looked like when the first, amazed Western
Nested among high peaks and green valleys in Northern Romania, near the Ukrainian border, lies the tiny village of Săpânța An ordinary village with an extraordinary cemetery It’s an ordinary village, close to the river, with the main road passing through. Like every ordinary village, also Săpânța has a cemetery. But it’s not an ordinary one. Think of it as the European Spoon River. In Săpânța the whole scene looks much different than a usual cemetery. Under wooden crosses painted in a characteristic bright blue, the departed past life is engraved with a humorous epitaph, a brief but poetically sincere story
At the extreme point of the right-hand promontory, on a bank of rocks the Trabocco stretched, a strange fishing machine, constructed entirely of beams and planks, like a colossal spider-web. (Gabriele D’Annunzio, The Triumph of Death) A Trabucco is an old fishing machine. It’s common along the Southeastern coast of Italy, namely in Abruzzo and in Puglia. A platform jutting out into the sea and anchored to the coastline by massive logs. From the platform hang out nets and all the structures needed to sustain it. A literary fascination The Italian writer Gabriele D’ Annunzio, who lived nearby, wrote some
This is the story of a dark night. The darkest night of the year. At least, this is what they say in Southern Italy. A night light up by fascinating bonfires. We are in Nusco, in Campania, province of Avellino, the green and hilly Irpinia. Nusco Nusco sits on a windy hilltop at almost a thousand meters in height. With the morning light, from here you get a wonderful view over the valley of the Ofanto River and the Southern Apennines mountains. During a January night, it’s freezing cold, but it’s well worth a visit. And now it’s the night of
A visit to the floating section of Cesenatico Museum is absolutely a must if you happen to be in the area. Multicoloured sails greet the visitors of Cesenatico every day between Easter and September. A rainbow show that cannot be missed even from the nearby main road or if you’re travelling by train. The floating museum Dozens of traditional sailboats stretch along the old canal designed by Leonardo da Vinci. The wooden hulls are painted in bright colours. The typical details such as the “eyes” on the bow are more or less stylized. Red sails, or ochre or orange. And
Krakow is a beautiful city. If you are either a street photographer or an urban one, you’ll find here plenty of interesting subjects for your lenses. Walk around the Planty, get lost in the narrow streets of the old town. Visit the many beauties and monuments of the city. Pay a visit to the museum to admire a real Leonardo’s masterpiece like Lady with an Ermine. You have countless possibilities in Krakow. But if you are on a run and just want to see the most appalling photographic subjects, here are my tips for you. 5 wonderful things to see in Krakow
Have you ever visited Saint Petersburg? If not here is a list of the top 5 beautiful attractions to visit in Saint Petersburg (plus one!). Saint Petersburg is a planned city. It’s not built at a cross point of trades and cultures but built under the will of a Czar who had planned its topography well in advance. But when you first visit the city you won’t notice all this. You will surely love the opulence of its baroque palaces, the grandeur of its wide streets and imposing governmental buildings. Saint Petersburg is a huge city. If you don’t have
San Pietro Infine is a tiny medieval village in Southern Italy, almost halfway between Rome and Naples. It is uninhabited and completely in ruins. If you’re interested in history, you probably know what Cassino means in WWII. But does San Pietro Infine tell you anything? Probably not, even if it lies a few kilometres south of Cassino. Centre point of an epic battle Because of its position, on the slopes of Monte Sambucaro, it was the centre point of an epic battle between the American V Army, and the German 29th Panzer Grenadier Division. Americans were on their way to
Do you remember the foolish stories of Don Quixote? Do you remember when he was battling against windmills? This is one of the chapters of Cervantes’s book I like the most and I have read it over and over. At this point they came in sight of thirty forty windmills that there are on plain, and as soon as don Quixote saw them he said to his squire: “Fortune is arranging matters for us better than we could have shaped our desires ourselves, for look there, friend Sancho Panza, where thirty or more monstrous giants present themselves, all of whom I
Closed in 2008, Berlin Tempelhof airport was the main airport of Germany during the Nazi era. It fights for the title of the oldest operating commercial airport and still is an iconic landmark. It’s one of the few airports in Europe still showing its pre-World War II architecture. All the other classical airports in Europe have been demolished or refurbished. Think for example of Saint Petersburg’s Pulkovo 2 airport terminal. You can visit the airport. There are regular tours throughout the year that show the visitors most part of the structures, from hangars to the hotel and offices. It’s
Come with me discovering a hilly land covered with olive trees,
where the sun shines almost 365 days per year.
Come and discover a land that once was ruled by Arabs,
faithful and dotted with majestic churches.
No, not really.
Read my blog and you’ll discover where is it! … Continue readingFive Amazing Towns Worth A Visit In Apulia, Italy
Praza da Quintana, Santiago Santiago de Compostela’s Praza da Quintana is not only a simple town square. Located at the back of the Cathedral, it’s one of the oldest and most historical squares of Santiago. The Quintana is physically divided into two parts by a large staircase. The upper part is called Quintana dos vivos. If you are at the top of the stairs and look down you see what is called Quintana dos Mortos, and was once a graveyard. Go there in the middle of the night and you’ll be able to see the dead, at least that’s what the legend
Wroclaw is a beautiful city with beautiful streets, an incredibly gorgeous and tranquil medieval district (Cathedral island, on an island on the river Oder), lots of bars and restaurants. Many cities in the world have similar amenities. But Wroclaw is the city of dwarfs! Scattered in the old town, hundreds of small dwarfs are waiting to be discovered by adults and children. The tourist office even prints a map of their locations! You can find these dwarfs busy in various occupations; counting money, leaving for a trip, cheering the incoming tourists, sleeping, guarding the entrance of their hidden city. There
Liguria, in North-Western Italy, is a huge rocky arch that stretches from Tuscany to the border with France. Almost at its middle, upon a small promontory, lies Camogli. Today a tourist destination, a few decades ago a fishermen village and earlier an important trade harbour. Camogli is a real gem of Liguria. The tiny harbour was once – around the end of the Middle Age – one of the most trafficked in Europe. Camogli was called the “city of a thousand white sails” because of the many ships that were always cruising through its port. The fake facades Today there
When in Safranbolu, sip a cup of salep under a vine; the sun sparkles through the green leaves and the purple grapes. Around you are mosques and Ottoman houses, three caravanserais and the Arasta Bazaar. It once housed all the cobblers of the town and is now a gem of wood and peace, surrounded by vines, with a great bar that serves traditional Turkish coffee. Safranbolu, UNESCO World Heritage town In Safranbolu, the Silk Road was one step from its longed Mediterranean end. I can imagine how the caravans would welcome this green and shady valley just before the infinite