Pienza is a town in Tuscany, Italy. The central Piazza Pio II is framed by 15th-century buildings like the Pienza Cathedral and Piccolomini Palace. The latter was Pope Pius II’s summer residence and features a roof garden with valley views. Flemish tapestries and the pope’s embroidered cape are on display at the Diocesan Museum. West is the Pieve di Corsignano, a Romanesque church with a circular bell tower.
Top Stories of the Week (September 30, 2022) include:
0.15 – China’s trackless trams 01:39 – Germany and Denmark are building the world’s longest undersea tunnel 03:12 Students in the Netherlands have built an electric car that captures carbon 04:09 This tower turns sunlight and air into clean jet fuel
Mont-Saint-Michel, rocky islet and famous sanctuary in Manche département, Normandyrégion, France, off the coast of Normandy. It lies 41 miles (66 km) north of Rennes and 32 miles (52 km) east of Saint-Malo. Around its base are medieval walls and towers above which rise the clustered buildings of the village with the ancient abbey crowning the mount. One of the more popular tourist attractions in France, Mont-Saint-Michel was designated a UNESCO World Heritage site in 1979.
Mont-Saint-Michel is almost circular (about 3,000 feet [900 metres] in circumference) and consists of a granite outcrop rising sharply (to 256 feet [78 metres]) out of Mont-Saint-Michel Bay (between Brittany and Normandy). Most of the time it is surrounded by vast sandbanks and becomes an island only when the tides are very high. Before the construction of the 3,000-foot causeway that connects the island to land, it was particularly difficult to reach because of quicksand and very fast-rising tides. The causeway, however, has become a barrier to the removal of material by the tides, resulting in higher sandbanks between the islet and the coast.
A table! This October, we invite you to a dinner party – a roomful of transatlantic talent like Thomas Chisholm, the French-American chef shaking things up in Paris, New York-based French philanthropists Olivia and Jean-Pierre Chessé, and the team at Bragard, the French house that has been dressing chefs since 1933!
Also in this issue, read how Rousseau inspired not one, but two revolutions; travel to Camargue (“the French Wild West”); and meet French vanlifer Ben Quesnel, who left his job at Facebook to travel up and down the West Coast in a Volkswagen bus and turned his itinerant lifestyle into a company.
Taj Mahal, also spelled Tadj Mahall, mausoleum complex in Agra, western Uttar Pradesh state, northern India. The Taj Mahal was built by the Mughal emperor Shah Jahān (reigned 1628–58) to immortalize his wife Mumtaz Mahal (“Chosen One of the Palace”), who died in childbirth in 1631, having been the emperor’s inseparable companion since their marriage in 1612. India’s most famous and widely recognized building, it is situated in the eastern part of the city on the southern (right) bank of the Yamuna (Jumna) River. Agra Fort (Red Fort), also on the right bank of the Yamuna, is about 1 mile (1.6 km) west of the Taj Mahal.
In its harmonious proportions and its fluid incorporation of decorative elements, the Taj Mahal is distinguished as the finest example of Mughal architecture, a blend of Indian, Persian, and Islamic styles. Other attractions include twin mosque buildings (placed symmetrically on either side of the mausoleum), lovely gardens, and a museum. One of the most beautiful structural compositions in the world, the Taj Mahal is also one of the world’s most iconic monuments, visited by millions of tourists each year. The complex was designated a UNESCOWorld Heritage site in 1983.
Spain has a lot of great cities but there’s something about Valencia that just makes me…happy. The weather maybe? Or perhaps the food? Or the friendly people? Most likely it’s that elusive combination of all three. Valencia is one of those cities that has something to offer all year round.
The port city of Valencia lies on Spain’s southeastern coast, where the Turia River meets the Mediterranean Sea. It’s known for its City of Arts and Sciences, with futuristic structures including a planetarium, an oceanarium and an interactive museum. Valencia also has several beaches, including some within nearby Albufera Park, a wetlands reserve with a lake and walking trails.