Destination: Florence

How Air Travel is Bringing Back God

Roger Cohen has a half-baked theory:

I’ve noticed God is making a comeback. It’s not just all the craziness in the Middle East. Soccer players now look to the heavens when they score goals. Come on! A touchdown prompts skyward glances. This didn’t used to happen. It would have been considered loony. My theory is it must have something to do with air travel. Survivors of it feel compelled to search out a savior.

Must I Get ‘Off the Beaten Path’ When I Travel?

Vagabonding traveler Rolf Potts answers your questions about travel and the world

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‘If You’re Ever In Florence, You Have To Visit This Mediocre Trattoria I Know’

The Onion has a recommendation for you. (Via @mikebarish)

The Audacity of David

michelangelo's david Photo by see.lauren, via Flickr (Creative Commons)

Christopher Seneca was losing faith in the world. Then he went to see Michelangelo's masterpiece.

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Italy on the Cheap

Venice, Italy gongolier Photo by Eva Holland
Photo by Eva Holland

Jessica at Why Go Italy recently offered up her “must-see” destinations and activities in Venice. It’s a thoughtful, off-beat list—think “get lost” instead of “take a gondola ride”—and best of all? Most of her suggestions are free, or close to it. Meanwhile, Eurocheapo dishes on how to land a free, guided tour of Florence’s Duomo, courtesy of the city’s Center for Art and Culture.

Cheap and enlightening: what more can you ask for?

Hoscar the Grouch

Hoscar the Grouch Photo by Big Richard C via Flickr (Creative Commons)
Photo of Lisbon Lounge Hotel by Big Richard C via Flickr (Creative Commons)

It’s the Hoscars! No, it’s not an Oscar party with your friend from Rome, but rather Hostel World’s ranking of the top 10 hostels in the world, based on the opinions of some 800,000 hostel bookings in 20,000 different properties. We heard that backpackers the world over were scratching themselves with anticipation and/or scabies while waiting for the 2009 winners to be announced. The top dog: Travellers House in Lisbon, part of a clean sweep of the top three by Lisbon hostels.

Meanwhile, hostel fans on the other side of the Atlantic are out of luck, as no American—neither North nor South—properties made it on the list. It’s proof positive of something, probably the lure of Spectravision at a Motel 6. Even so, do take the list with a grain of salt, as even old travel writing greybeards like Leif Pettersen have yet to grace the sheets at any of the top 10.

Check out the top ten below.

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‘The Monster of Florence’: Murder and the Pursuit of Truth

Douglas Preston's latest book, the true story of a serial killer in Italy, shows that the world is far from exhausted for those who want to travel deep. Frank Bures tells why.

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