Images of Montpellier, France

The fountain of Trois Graces in Montpellier’s Place de la Comedie

One of my greatest joys in life? Discovering a new place with a dear friend.

And should said new place be where said friend makes their home? Double joy, what with the personalized tour guide-ness of it all.

For example, there was that time I was on a road trip with my pal Christine and we stopped off to explore the place she’s lived as an American expat for the last umpteen years: 

Montpellier, the delightful capital city of the Languedoc-Rousillon region of southern France.

[Read more…]

Italy’s Ligurian Coast: Si, Per Favore

Beside the Ligurian Sea in Santa Margherita Ligure, Italy

Fancy a wander beside the seashore? Love seafood, wine and the architecture of a bygone era?

Unconvinced there’s beauty left in the world simply because you haven’t seen it for awhile?

Sounds like you could use a trip to the Ligurian Coast of Italy, also known as the Italian Riviera.

[Read more…]

Nice, Cote d’Azur — Real Nice


At the end of my two-week journey through France, my one and only regret about Nice is that I didn’t have more time there.

Arguably the most famous seaside city along France’s Côte d’Azur, this is the kind of place to hang out for at least three days. You need to let it wash over you, like the Mediterranean washes the rocky shore. 

Or like a tired traveler leaning all the way back in a café chair, sipping a cocktail and staring off at the horizon. 

[Read more…]

A Roam Around Rome

The Hall of Geographical Maps at the Vatican

Before last May, I’d never been to Rome.

Please don’t look at me like that — I know. I’m a travel writer who had never been to Rome. There should be some sort of law.

The important thing here is that I’ve now visited Italy’s capital city for a whole three days, filling my eyes (and my belly) with the glory of a great empire. Oh, and walking in and out of a lot of amazing stuff that’s free of charge.
[Read more…]

Croatia’s Plitvice Lakes: Avatar on Earth

The dawn of a new year usually gets me thinking about all the places I have yet to go. This year, though, all I can think about is the most magical place I’ve yet been:

Croatia’s Plitvice Lakes National Park. 

A sprawling meander alongside travertine lakes and glorious waterfalls, through lacy woods tufted with flowering plants, this European deep breath of a tourist attraction is so vivid, lush and crystal-clean, it can be a challenge to remember that the landscape is 100% real.

But hey, if you want to keep an eye out for the blue Na’vi of Avatar, by all means…knock yourselves out.

[Read more…]