Florence, Italy: Currently Closed. Our Recent Visit Affirmed the Need for Sustainable Tourism.

Today the jewelry and souvenir shops lining the Ponte Vecchio—in medieval stalls once occupied by tanners, farmers, and butchers—are closed until further notice. For several weeks now, response to the Coronavirus global pandemic has shut down many businesses throughout the world deemed non-essential. Tourist destinations have been the most vulnerable to the virus, and Italy…

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Honoring Gothic Inspiration and Quality: Paris Notre Dame, the Masterpiece

Certain places throughout the world exude quality and inspire each of us to be the best version of ourselves. In Paris (and throughout France, for that matter) quality is the standard rather than the exception. At the heart of the city, rising over the banks of the Seine on the Île de la Cité, Notre…

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Brussels: More Than Meets the Eye

Discovering a City—Beyond Just a Hub in Belgium It wasn’t love-at-first-sight when we first arrived in Belgium, and particularly not with Brussels. But ultimately our affection for the city grew, as did our appreciation for this underrated, picturesque country. The city unveiled itself to us gradually. Our perspective of this place, whose allure we didn’t initially recognize,…

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Weekend in Amsterdam

Diversity is embraced here. “Weird” might be the Dutch norm due to pragmatic tolerance. This trade city has been accustomed to associating with different cultures, ideologies and lifestyles for centuries. Cooperation defines the Dutch. Tolerance makes Amsterdam’s heart beat. Rather than losing control to the social issues that can’t be eliminated through legislation—such as soft drugs,…

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Yosemite Spring

Winter Deluge Enhanced the Beauty of this Natural Treasure Original article on Medium Yosemite Valley — photo by Caden Giaudrone Wet Winter February 2017 — according to reports, this was the wettest water season on record in Northern California. One stormy winter day, flashes of lightning filled our dimly lit sky. Daylight struggled to find its way through thick, ominous…

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Monticello: Jefferson’s Iconic Virginia Estate

Inspired by the classics, Thomas Jefferson's iconic home in Charlottesville, Virginia--whose name Monticello means "little mount" in Italian--has become an American icon. In 1987, 200 years after it was built, Jefferson's Monticello was named a UNESCO World Heritage Site (along with the University of Virginia’s Academical Village that he also designed). This beautifully maintained example of Neoclassical architecture was…

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