Venice flooding a sign of deepening climate crisis

Think of Venice as a metaphor for humanity’s tepid response to the swelling climate crisis

Venice flooding a sign of deepening climate crisisIn the last week of September, I spent an interesting hour talking with an Italian doctoral student in ecology on the banks of the Venice lagoon. She wanted to know why I had come to Venice and what I knew of its insular yet urban environment. “Did any aspect of the Venetian lagoon’s environment draw…

Taking a broader, ecological view of Venice

How many of us think of the Venetian lagoon and its imperilled circumstances when we imagine a trip to Piazza San Marco?

Taking a broader, ecological view of VeniceVenice has been a feast of art, archaeology and escape for tourists since it began to attract them in the 15th and 16th centuries. But it is under attack. One of the world’s first cities to be founded almost exclusively on the conduct of financial transactions, its promotion of mercantile capitalism led the way to…

Travels and hikes in Italy’s mini Canada

The shared borders with France and Switzerland have clearly contributed to a multilingual society in this very northern and beautiful corner of Italy

Travels and hikes in Italy’s mini CanadaNewly retired and eager to explore some new territory, I admit I knew nothing of the Italian Alps. We flew into Switzerland, and then drove south through the 11-plus km of the Mont Blanc Tunnel into northern Italy. We were with old friends who know the area well because they have a son who lives…

Travelling with Greta Thunberg in mind

Living with your environmental choices and the ones others make for you while on the road

Travelling with Greta Thunberg in mindWe must reckon with the environmental impacts of our personal travel decisions in this time of climate crisis. For us, it was our current trip – to hike in northern Italy with friends, just after my wife’s retirement and, coincidentally, climate activist Greta Thunberg’s trip to New York from Sweden on a sailboat – that…

Riding in Riccione and the unsurpassable beauty of Tuscany

The beauty and hospitality of Italy soon becomes apparent whether astride a bicycle or driving down its twisting, narrow country roads

Riding in Riccione and the unsurpassable beauty of TuscanyThe Most Serene Republic of San Marino is located in the middle of Italy. At 62 square km, it's one of the smallest nations in the world. Although only a few dozen kilometres from Italy’s Adriatic Coast, San Marino’s summit is almost 800 metres above sea level. And crowning this mountainous micro-state is the medieval…

Overwhelmed in Rome, overfed in Matera

Basking in the splendour, charm and hospitality of southern Italy, particularly when you wander off the beaten track

Overwhelmed in Rome, overfed in MateraOn a lonely country road near Ostuni, in the province of Puglia – the heel of Italy’s boot – I stopped to photograph a field of poppies in an olive grove. After a few happy snaps, I jumped back in the car and motored on. Fifteen minutes later, I reached for my daypack and realized…

A town-to-town hike along the Ligurian Sea

Cinque Terra offers astonishing vistas of beauty and a rigorous test of your hiking fitness

A town-to-town hike along the Ligurian SeaWhen I was first asked about going to Cinque Terra, I didn’t have a clue where it was. “Northern Italy – on the west coast, north of Pisa,” I was told. “Not quite on the French border. At the top of the boot!” I consulted my iPhone Google atlas and read some travel essays. What…

Sirmione, Italy, a magnet for tourists

The magnetic pull of Sirmione dates back to the Roman times when it was used as a spa by members of nobility

Sirmione, Italy, a magnet for touristsSIRMIONE, Italy, July 25, 2016/ Troy Media / - [popup url="http://www.visitgarda.com/en/garda_lake/" height="1000" width="1000" scrollbars="1"]Lake Garda[/popup] in Northern Italy is the largest of the celebrated Italian Lakes. Aside from its sheer size, it is also famous for its dramatic landscape of rolling hills and the towering mountains which surround the lake. The town of Desenzano del Garda …

Italy’s hidden wine valley: the Valtellina

Valtellina is one of the most dramatic vineyard landscapes in the world, invoking comparisons with Germany's Mosel, Portugal's Douro and Italy's Alto Adige

Italy’s hidden wine valley: the ValtellinaPORTLAND, Ore. July 24, 2016/ Troy Media/ – The Nebbiolo grape variety has long been associated with Italy's Piedmont region. There it is used to produce two of Italy's greatest wines: Barolo, the self-styled king of Italian wines, and its equally distinguished cousin, Barbaresco. There is one other kingdom, however, where it reigns supreme. This…