Twists and Turns in Tenerife: Canary Islands Wine Tour

Good company, good wine, good welcome,

Can make good people.

(Henry VIII, 1.4.6-7)

I boarded a small van with a group of strangers. We exchanged pleasantries and discovered that we were all in Tenerife for different reasons, some for pleasure others for business and me for a little of both. But it was our shared love of wine that was the reason for our paths crossing on this impromptu tour.

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Mediterranean Must-eats

Anthony Bourdain’s final book World Travel: An Irreverent Guide will be published this fall. It’s slated to be an illustrated collection of Bourdain’s reflections on his favorite places to visit and eat. It was his TV show that gave me the courage to explore places through food. While at home I am a finicky eater, but when I’m abroad I force myself to be as open as possible. When I’m anywhere in the Mediterranean, though, I don’t have to try that hard. Every. Single. Things. Is. Delicious.

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Leather at First Sight: Shopping in Florence

Illustration by Explore Magazine

We were about to start our dinner when the notion of love at first sight was brought up. Our group went around the kitchen and shared their views, which ranged from a resounding rejection of the entire theory to a sweet and serendipitous how-we-met story.

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Accent on Stonehenge

Listen to Accent on Stonehenge:

“Stone. HeNNNge.”

His English accent thick with disdain for the way my Miami accent shortcuts words with too many consonants. To his refined ear, it sounded like I said ‘stonehetch,’ but I assure you, I know there’s a letter ‘n’ in there somewhere.

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Sorrento For Me

I’m often asked what is my most favorite place I’ve ever visited and, without hesitation, I always answer Amalfi. But it’s not for the reasons you think. Before reaching the picturesque coast, I traveled from Naples to Sorrento with five strangers and an Italian driver obsessed with disco in one of the best (messiest) car rides I’ve ever been in (and that’s saying a lot.) That prelude made reaching the coast all the more special.

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Whoosh You Were Here in Madeira

Spread appeared in Explore Magazine

It was a familiar sensation. The feeling of complete surrender, the incessant giggling, and the particular sound that skating over pavement makes. It wasn’t until my toboggan reached the bottom of the five-kilometer hill that I remembered why. I had recreated my favorite childhood pastime (to the detriment of my mother’s nerves): riding a skateboard while being towed by a friend on a bicycle.

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Luxembourg Syndrome

I read somewhere that Paris, France welcomes more that forty million visitors per year.

Forty million.

Forty million people attracted by the Parisian mystique, delicious food, avant-garde fashion, Gothic architecture, and extraordinary history.

Out of those forty million, there are 12 people who don’t like it.

Twelve.

Twelve Japanese tourists, on average, every year suffer the devastating blow of disappointment known as the “Paris Syndrome.”

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UNESCO You Need in 2020

Visiting the incredible man-made structures and wondrous natural landscapes deemed vital and protected sites by UNESCO is a dream for many. Perhaps, this next decade is a good time to make it a reality. Below, find a sampling of the magnificent places you should explore in 2020.

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At Home with the Medicis: Villas of Tuscany

photo credit: visittuscany.com

Filippo Brunelleschi’s dome over the Cathedral of Santa Maria del Fiore. Sandro Botticelli’s The Birth of Venus, which hangs in the Uffizi. Michelangelo’s Madonna of the Stairs that is on exhibition at Casa Buonarroti. The incomparable Boboli Gardens dreamed up by Bernardo Buontalenti. Each one commissioned by a member of the Medici family.

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On Barcelona Time

Barcelona is in charge. No matter what is on your agenda, she seems to dictate what, where and when. Dinner will start and end whenever she tells you. The most direct path to where you want to go will always be subject to her whim. On certain days, you may end up spending more time at the market than La Sagrada Familia.

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