by World Hum | 04.28.09 | 4:06 PM ET
To mark World Hum's eighth anniversary, we've collected eight favorite stories from our archives that explore the sweet spot where taste meets travel
by Eva Holland | 04.22.09 | 12:11 PM ET
Looks like the bestselling author has been keeping busy. While we’ve been pondering the “Angels and Demons” boycotts and bus tours, Brown has been hard at work on his next novel—and now, his publisher has finally announced its impending release.
“The Lost Symbol” will hit stores in September with a staggering first print run of 5 million copies, the largest in Random House history. Naturally, Columbia Pictures—the studio behind the first two Brown adaptations—wasted no time snapping up the film rights.
But with all the excitement, I’m left wondering: what, exactly, are we waiting for? Where will Robert Langdon (and the resulting hordes of movie tourists) go next?
by Eva Holland | 04.20.09 | 4:22 PM ET
These days, there are more accommodation options than ever for the budget traveler: everything from house swaps to pod hotels to rock-bottom recession-era deals at more traditional travel digs.
But even with that abundance of choices—most of which I’ve sampled, and enjoyed—I think my shoestringer’s heart will always belong to the youth hostel. I love the hosteling community, I (sometimes) love the fiesta atmosphere, and—of course—I love the price. From grungy party pads to serene dorm-room retreats, here are five hostels I have loved:
by Eva Holland | 03.23.09 | 10:00 AM ET
Get the Big Picture blogger Colin Boyd rounds up rumors from Reuters and Italy’s La Stampa newspaper about a possible Vatican-backed boycott of the upcoming Dan Brown adaptation. The movie—which has already spawned the inevitable bus tours—hits theaters in May, and Boyd is doubtful that a boycott would have much impact (or at least, not the sort of impact the Vatican is hoping for) on its potential success. He writes: “Perhaps there is no better, more effective form of advertising and buzz-building than a good ol’ fashioned protest. I can’t think of any product or service, actor or athlete who became less well known following a public ignoring session.”
by David Farley | 03.16.09 | 1:33 PM ET
I once interviewed a chef whose Michelin-starred restaurant is tucked in the hills of eastern Lazio; when I asked what he thought of fusion cuisine, he said—without blinking an eye—that he liked it: using tomatoes from the Campagna region and basil from Genoa was great, he remarked. My question had broader ingredients in mind, but I got the point. Lucca, a walled medieval town in the northeastern part of Tuscany, made headlines a few months ago when the right-wing-leaning city banned ethnic foods from its historical center. The city claims it has since received mountains of letters from around the world supporting the ban.
by Terry Ward | 03.12.09 | 10:33 AM ET
Terry Ward takes a look at seven of the best cities in the world to sit and sip
by Michael Yessis | 03.02.09 | 9:06 AM ET
- A major snowstorm in the eastern U.S. has disrupted travel throughout the country.
- GlobalPost began a five-part series about the favorite hotels of war correspondents.
- NPR says the “stimulus puts high-speed rail on the fast track.”
- Rome’s mayor announced an unorthodox way to fight “violence and thuggery” in the city. (via @theroadto)
- What can modern cities learn from slums?
- World Hum contributor Eric Lucas is dumbfounded that nobody tells the truth about Las Vegas.
- Some travelers are feeling guilty about traveling at all in this economic climate.
- Thailand thinks you’ll want to visit the country more if it has a signature cocktail. So it created the “Siam Sunrays.”
- Congrats to the winners of this year’s Solas Awards. David Torrey Peters took the grand prize for best travel story of the year.
by Eva Holland | 02.05.09 | 10:04 AM ET
The movie isn’t due out until May, but that hasn’t stopped Roman tour operators from getting an early start. In fact, as Jessica Spiegel points out in a post at WhyGoItaly, “Angels and Demons” themed tours have been popular with visitors to Rome ever since the Dan Brown phenomenon really took off a few years back. She’s got the details on six different tours on offer in the Eternal City (Six! And people say nobody reads anymore), along with a stern warning to anyone who might be planning to bring a chisel along for the ride. For those so inclined, the movie trailer is after the jump.
by Michael Yessis | 02.03.09 | 8:24 AM ET
- Marketplace looks at U.S. efforts to lure Chinese travelers.
- More than one million people have already played Flight 1549: The online game.
- Flight 1549 pilot Chesley B. Sullenberger III won’t have to pay fees on the library book that’s still in the plane’s cargo hold.
- At the Window Seat, World Hum contributor Rolf Potts recommends five travel experiences in his home state, Kansas.
- AP Travel Editor Beth Harpaz has a new book out about parenting teenagers, 13 Is the New 18.
- Now we know what the penalty is for smoking on a no smoking flight in Saudi Arabia: 30 lashes.
- Rome’s traditional delis are facing extinction.
- More and more, Mexican singers of narco corridos are becoming victims of the drug-related violence that’s the subject of their songs.
- The Telegraph’s slideshow of the world’s weirdest hotels includes Idaho’s Dog Bark Park Inn.
- It’s the 50th anniversary of the plane crash that killed Buddy Holly, Ritchie Valens and The Big Bopper, and fans are paying tribute in Holly’s hometown of Lubbock, Texas and elsewhere. Eva
will havehas more in her blog.
- Video: Overzealous Amtrak police arrested a man for taking pictures of trains for an Amtrak photography contest. Stephen Colbert has the hilarious story.
by David Farley | 01.23.09 | 9:47 AM ET
Missy Robbins, the new chef at the posh New York City eatery A Voce, was relatively unknown to the New York City fooderati. That is, until Barack Obama came along. Robbins was the chef at Chicago’s Spiaggia restaurant. Like A Voce, Spiaggia serves up lauded Italian cuisine in a chic setting. And Obama was a regular, thanks, apparently, to Chef Robbins’ wood-fired scallops, among other menu items. With the circus surrounding the Inauguration, I decided to dine at A Voce a few days ago, hoping I’d get a chance to taste what kept Obama coming back to Spiaggia again and again (he was just there last month, in fact).
by Eva Holland | 01.20.09 | 3:20 PM ET
This weekend, on a long distance bus ride, I found myself watching The Terminal. (You know, the one where Tom Hanks lives in JFK for a year and makes out with Catherine Zeta-Jones?) Under ordinary circumstances, I probably would have found it sweet, if fairly forgettable—but on the bus, with snowy, nondescript Western New York sliding by, I was surprised by the way the film’s themes, about waiting and limbo, grabbed me. Airport terminals have a static in-between-ness all their own, but long bus and train rides—despite, obviously, keeping travelers in motion—can have that same quality of suspended animation, too. Being in a strange place, surrounded by strange people, dozing and eating in semi-public, I felt much less like someone watching Hanks’ character from the outside, and more like a colleague—or, well, like a fellow-traveler.
by Valerie Conners | 01.16.09 | 8:39 AM ET
- Yesterday’s incredible US Airways rescue in the Hudson River has yielded a medley of media coverage including eye-popping slideshows, surprising facts about bird strikes on planes and even a sprinkling of gallows humor.
- One New York City diner is taking the ultimate road trip to Alabama.
- Boston.com is featuring a series of stunning photos taken from NASA’s Earth Observatory website.
- Gorillaz frontman Damon Albarn announced plans for the band’s third album, dubbed the “Syria Sessions” and inspired by Arabic orchestral music. The band will head to Syria to record in March.
- The backlash against Slumdog Millionaire has begun, including harsh words from one critic describing the film as “poverty porn.”
- With the number of foreign tourists to Rome down more than 12 percent from last year, the dolce vita is no more for the city’s “glum” gladiators, carriage drivers and other tourism operators.
- Vegas’s iconic topless showgirl review, “Les Folies Bergere,” is closing after entertaining oglers for 49 years.
- We previously noted Australia’s call for applicants for the “best job in the world.” Now, the video applications are rolling in, and there’s no shortage of “nutters and nudies.”
by Jim Benning | 12.26.08 | 11:58 AM ET
- Air travelers will soon be able to buy carbon offsets from self-service kiosks inside San Francisco Airport.
- A British tourist volunteering at an archaeological dig in Jerusalem discovered hundreds of gold coins dating from the 7th century.
- More trouble in Venice: All that water is causing the Campanile on St. Marks Square to tilt.
- The French edition of Michelin restaurant guide gets a new editor and—gasp—she’s not French.
- Thailand’s tourism economy is enduring its worst slump in decades.
- World Hum contributor Doug Lansky put together an audio slideshow about a new hostel in Stockholm—it’s set inside a jumbo jet.
- A three part series on NPR looks at the rise of earthquake tourism in Sichuan.
- Gladiators could soon return to Rome’s Colloseum. Now that’s ultimate fighting.
- Thomas Friedman just flew from Hong Kong’s state-of-the-art airport to New York’s aging Kennedy. His conclusion: It’s time for the U.S. to reboot. Funny, I had the same feeling not long ago, only I was flying from London’s Heathrow to LAX.
by Michael Yessis | 12.16.08 | 9:38 AM ET
- The Taj Hotel, one of the Mumbai sites stormed by terrorists last month, plans to reopen some of its rooms Sunday night.
- Joe Brancatelli writes: “Like it or not, acts of terror aimed at travelers and the places they frequent are very good business tactics indeed.”
- Rome and Milan are now connected by the high-speed Red Arrow train.
- Tony Perrottet continues his Pervert’s Grand Tour at Slate. “Sex,” he writes, “Sex has always been the unspoken inspiration for travel.”
- Delta adds WiFi to some East Coast shuttle flights. The airline says it will make its entire fleet wireless by the middle of next year.
- Robbie Knievel will jump the volcano at the Mirage in Las Vegas on his motorcycle on New Year’s Eve. I’ve been to Vegas on New Year’s Eve. This will not be the craziest thing that happens that night.
by David Farley | 03.06.08 | 12:57 PM ET
Walking across a busy street in Italy's capital is no easy feat. It's an art, and as David Farley explains, you need some serious sprezzatura.