Italian Design: 90 Years Of ‘Pininfarina’ Celebrated

The world’s most famous automotive design house, Pininfarina celebrates 90 years of style and innovation with a new exhibition at the MAUTO in Turin, open from May to September.

Founded in 1930, Pininfarina has evolved from an artisan concern to a global brand employing over 600 people. In those 90 years Pininfarina has given us some of the world’s most beautiful automobiles, but also demonstrated exciting innovation. Divided up in to six areas the exhibition will showcase the unique breadth of the brand from the gorgeous Cisitalia 2020, to the 1969 Sigma Grand Prix and off into the future with the exciting new Battista, electric hypercar concept.

Read more at Classic Driver

Analysis: Can EV Battery Swapping Gain In The U.S.?

San Francisco-based Ample has brought electric vehicle battery swapping to the U.S. The company was in stealth mode for seven years before launching recently with five swapping stations in the Bay Area. Uber drivers in the area are Ample’s first customers.

The concept isn’t new. A start-up called Better Place launched an EV and battery swapping company after it raised $850 million in venture funding, but it ultimately went bankrupt in 2013. Tesla also demoed battery swapping in 2013 but only opened one station for about a year. Elon Musk said Tesla owners were not interested in it.

Battery swapping is already common in China. Electric vehicle maker Nio, for example, plans to double its network of swapping stations to 500 this year and plans to open stations in Norway as part of its expansion into Europe. Ample has a different approach, with modular batteries and a focus on fleets. CNBC got an inside look at its headquarters and battery factory in San Francisco to learn how the company plans to bring battery swapping into the mainstream.

Art & Architecture: ‘The Pinault Collection’ – Paris

French billionaire François Pinault is not only one of the richest men in the world, he’s also an art collector of international renown. Now, he’s opening a museum for contemporary art in Paris. The new palace of art is located inside the former Bourse de Commerce, which has been redesigned by star architect Tadao Andō.

River Views: Castles Of The Rhine Valley, Germany

Imbued with the spirit of German Romanticism, the Rhine River has inspired fairy tales, fables, poetry, and paintings. Its mythical underwater maidens and their magic gold provided the muse for Wagner’s “Ring” opera cycle. The evocative voyage from Mainz to Koblenz has been a favorite with travellers since the 19th century. The stretch from Bingen, west of Mainz, runs through a steep and narrow gorge, and has more castles than any other river in the world. Below these cliff-top fortresses sit villages of half-timbered houses, like the settlement of Bacharach, which owe their existence to the Riesling grape grown along the hillsides.

00:00 Intro / Upper Middle Rhine Valley 00:38 Klopp Castle, Bingen 01:04 Mouse Tower, Bingen 01:46 Niederwald Monument, Rüdesheim 02:15 Rheinstein Castle, Trechtingshausen 02:52 Stahleck Castle, Bacharach 03:23 Pfalzgrafenstein Castle, Falkenau island near Kaub 03:51 Loreley Rock, St. Goarshausen 04:27 Katz Castle, St. Goarshausen 04:54 Maus Castle, St. Goarshausen 05:08 Rheinfels Castle, St. Goar 05:34 Marksburg Castle, Braubach 06:01 Stolzenfels Castle, Koblenz

Spring Walks: Covent Garden – London (Video)

A shopping and entertainment hub in London’s West End, Covent Garden centres on the elegant, car-free Piazza, home to fashion stores, craft stalls at the Apple Market, and the Royal Opera House. Street entertainers perform by 17th-century St. Paul’s Church, and the London Transport Museum houses vintage vehicles. Upscale restaurants serve European cuisines, and nearby theatres draw crowds for plays and musicals.

Aerial City Views: Tallinn – Capital Of Estonia (4K)

Tallinn, Estonia’s capital on the Baltic Sea, is the country’s cultural hub. It retains its walled, cobblestoned Old Town, home to cafes and shops, as well as Kiek in de Kök, a 15th-century defensive tower. Its Gothic Town Hall, built in the 13th century and with a 64m-high tower, sits in historic Tallinn’s main square. St. Nicholas Church is a 13th-century landmark exhibiting ecclesiastical art.

Green Travel Views: The Faroe Islands – Denmark

These 18 rugged spikes of basalt half way between Shetland and Iceland are windy, wet and wild. The crew shooting aerial scenes for the upcoming James Bond film, No Time to Die (out September 30) had to bring in a small helicopter on the ferry from Denmark to film the sheer cliffs surrounding the deep road tunnels that link the four tiny villages on the island of Kalsoy (total population: 70).

In reality the Faroese are probably the people least likely to ever harbour a Bond villain—a tight-knit community of just 52,000 where most people can still name a common ancestor. Getting there is easier than many imagine, with twice weekly flights from Edinburgh (with Atlantic Airways) or twice daily from Copenhagen.

Read more at Country Life UK

Aerial Views: Island Of Santorini – Greece (4K)

Santorini is one of the Cyclades islands in the Aegean Sea. It was devastated by a volcanic eruption in the 16th century BC, forever shaping its rugged landscape. The whitewashed, cubiform houses of its 2 principal towns, Fira and Oia, cling to cliffs above an underwater caldera (crater). They overlook the sea, small islands to the west and beaches made up of black, red and white lava pebbles.