Destination: Italy

Paris Offers Free Sparkling Water

In one public water fountain, in a wooden hut, in the Jardin de Reuilly. The Guardian explains:

France’s addiction to bottled sparkling water is up there with its penchant for bike racing, foie gras and Johnny Hallyday. Now, authorities in Paris are attempting to fight back against the national dependence by unveiling a public water fountain that gushes with chilled bubbles.

La Pétillante - literally, she who sparkles - is the first fountain in France to inject carbon dioxide into tap water before cooling it and serving it up to passers-by. Inaugurated today in the Jardin de Reuilly in south-east Paris, it is expected to prove a user-friendly means of weaning the French off the bottle.

France pinched the idea from Italy, which already has 215 sparkling water fountains.

Mr. Suitcase

On the trauma of luggage gone astray (and how an inconvenience turned into an obsession)

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World Hum Travel Movie Club: ‘Eat, Pray, Love’

A big-screen incarnation of author Elizabeth Gilbert heads to Italy, India and Indonesia. Eva Holland and Eli Ellison go along for the ride.

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World Travel Watch: Deadly Heat Wave in Moscow, Underground Colosseum Tours and More

Larry Habegger rounds up global travel news

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‘No Character in a Movie Has Ever Welled Up and Sighed, ‘We’ll Always Have Stuttgart’’

That line comes from a great story by David Segal that explores the pluses and minuses for Italy as it maintains tradition amid the rush of progress and globalization.

In the eternal contest between the meticulously honed and the nationally franchised, Italy knows where it stands. As a matter of profit and loss, it doesn’t make sense to store wool in a spa and let it convalesce for six months, but the methods of Luciano Barbera were never destined for a get-rich-quick guide to manufacturing. His business will make sense only to customers, and for them, quality has a logic of its own.

And of course, the worship of growth has its limitations. The American economy is vastly more robust, but instead of family-owned bakeries, which seem to dot every hectare of Italy, we’ve got Quiznos. And for all the efficiency and horsepower in Germany, no character in a movie has ever welled up and sighed, “We’ll always have Stuttgart.”

World Travel Watch: Dress Code in Vatican City, Taxi Kidnappings in Nicaragua and More

Larry Habegger rounds up global travel news

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World Travel Watch: Volcanoes in Ecuador and Guatemala, Violence in Rome and More

Larry Habegger rounds up global travel news

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In Italy, ‘A Good Restaurant Should Come With a Bed’

On a great meal -- and an even better dinner conversation -- in Verona, Italy

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Travel Movie Watch: ‘Eat, Pray, Love’ Trailer

The movie version of Elizabeth Gilbert’s blockbuster travel book “Eat, Pray, Love” comes out this summer. The trailer was just released:

In December, World Hum contributor Liz Sinclair reported from the set in Bali.

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.

The Frugal Traveler: A Househusband in Italy

Matt Gross is in Italy, where his role in the family household apparently makes for a great punchline.

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)

76-Second Travel Show: Is Italy the ‘Citizen Kane’ of Travel?

Robert Reid goes on a quest to find out -- and David Farley ponders the importance of quests while traveling

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Interview with Susan Van Allen: ‘100 Places in Italy Every Woman Should Go’

Interview with Susan Van Allen: ‘100 Places in Italy Every Woman Should Go’ Photo courtesy of Susan Van Allen

Eva Holland asks the author why female travelers (and travel writers) are so drawn to Italy

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