Recycling: are repeat travel experiences worth it?

Everyone seems to have a bucket travel list. Instagram is populated with hero images that aim to make us green with envy. You know the ones where it appears someone is teetering alone on a mountain edge, admiring the panoramic view. Or standing by the ocean on a vast deserted beach. The more exotic and off-the-beaten-track the destination, the more authentic and life-changing the experience. New and remote locations are the only ones worth seeking out, right?

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Sweet memories are made of this

Just rocking up at the airport gets my heart racing with excitement. I’ve been that way since my first flight as a child (to Dublin, and on to Galway Bay, thanks for asking). When we entered cloud, I thought the engine was on fire!

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Bye bye 2019: the highlights

It seems like only yesterday since the Millennium but another decade ends and 2020 begins. The past ten years have taken me from a long career in public relations to writing for publication in my third act. I’ve joined a new demographic (age really is just a number!). Like most people, there have been ups and a few downs. I’ve learned a lot and it’s true that retaining your curiosity is the foundation to a life well lived, including health and happiness.

Summer opening at Buckingham Palace
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Abbeys and cathedrals: intrigue, love and hubris

I’m not a church-goer although regular Sunday services were a part of my upbringing. I don’t know if it’s that familiarity between heritage churches and childhood, but I love the feeling of peace and contemplation in the soaring spires, graceful arches and supporting buttresses of these historic buildings. The stories of the people who built them and those who worshipped, remain in the exquisite architecture and dramatic frescoes. The very stones are imbued with history and all its attendant intrigue, love, ambition and power.

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A life of contemplation: Abbey of Santi Nazaro and Celso

The Benedictine Abbey of Santi Nazaro and Celso was founded in 1040. It was also a fortification hence the disproportionate watch tower.

It seems like every town and city in the Piemonte region of north west Italy features a magnificent historical building, or two. If, like me, you appreciate classical architecture, incredible gardens and exquisite frescoes this should be on your list of places to visit. This part of Italy is so different from the sunny climes further south and it has a distinctly Gothic atmosphere.

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The Italian job

A still from Bitter Rice (Riso Amaro) with Silvana Mangano (1949). Dir. Giuseppe De Santis on the hotel reception wall

Last month I spent some time in the Piemonte region of Italy well known for skiiing in the winter and summer sports such as canoeing. I was visiting the many beautiful historic sites, more on that to come soon. In between times, I fell in love all over again with Italian style from the architecture, interior design, shops, food and more.

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Tutankhamun: Treasures of the Golden Pharaoh

The Valley of the Kings

A new blockbuster exhibition opened last week at the Saatchi Gallery, London. 150 treasures are on display at Tutankhamun: Treasures of the Golden Pharaoh as part of a world tour before returning forever to Egypt. Over 60 pieces are on loan outside their home country for the first time. London is the third stop in a ten-city world tour, which broke records in Los Angeles before becoming France’s most attended exhibition ever attracting over 1.4 million attendees. The hottest ticket in town this winter!

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