Tag Archives: Travel & Culture

Views: ‘Bellissimo’ – Italy Magazine Summer 2021

We share more than 100 pages of insider info so you can plan your next visit (or simply indulge in some armchair travel) from sights to see and dishes to try to little-known gems to seek out and discover. 

Learn about the region’s premium epicurean delights, including Parmigiano Reggiano, Prosciutto di Parma, balsamic vinegar, and Lambrusco wine. Explore the top automobile museums marking the birthplaces of iconic brands like Ferrari and Maserati. Head to the hills along hiking trails through the rolling countryside past medieval villages and quiet vineyards. Bask in the resurging art scene in the resort town of Rimini, birthplace of Fellini.

Bellissimo comes out four times a year, so be sure to check out former issues for a deep dive into other captivating regions we’ve explored over time. 

France: The 161st Annual Hospices de Beaune Charity Wine Auction

The Hospices de Beaune or Hôtel-Dieu de Beaune is a former charitable almshouse in Beaune, France. It was founded in 1443 by Nicolas Rolin, chancellor of Burgundy, as a hospital for the poor.

Ahead of the 161st annual Hospices de Beaune charity wine auction, hear about the altruistic history behind this auspicious charity sale, and how the funds raised are looking to the future. In this interview with Francois Poher (Director, Hospices Civils de Beaune) and Ludivine Griveau (Manager, Hospices de Beaune Domaine), learn about the founding of the Hospices de Beaune in the 15th century, as a hospital for the local community. Over the course of time, vineyards were donated by grateful patients and the wine produced has been sold to fund new, state of the art hospitals and technologies. Sotheby’s is proud to host the 161st Edition of the auction, which will be held at the Halles de Beaune on 21 November, the third Sunday in November, as per tradition.

Travel & Culture: The Peloponnese In Greece

The Peloponnese is a hotspot for people from all over the world but still remains to its traditional Greek roots. The olive groves, its rich history and the stunning coastline, which provides kilometres of golden beaches – it never gets old.

The Peloponnese or Peloponnesus is a peninsula and geographic region in southern Greece. It is connected to the central part of the country by the Isthmus of Corinth land bridge which separates the Gulf of Corinth from the Saronic Gulf. 

Travel & Culture Books: ‘Havana Blues’ (July 2021)

Crumbling pastel-colored facades line its streets, parked vintage cars evoke times past, live music permeates the air. Welcome to Havana, home to an overwhelming energy. Situated along the Straits of Florida, the capital of Cuba has been through several identities: Spanish colonial settlement, mobster rule in the 1930s, glamour of the 1950s, Cuban revolution and, most recently, a cultural renaissance. 

Havana’s bold, provocative approach to art, cuisine and entertainment—as well as the eclectic blend of African, French, Spanish and North American influences—including its range of architecture styles from the sixteenth century to the modern day, confer this epic city with a legendary status on par with the world’s greatest cities. While some of the building are in disrepair, the beauty of the baroque, neoclassical and art deco features triumphs.

The iconic Copa Room cabaret that hosted Ginger Rogers and Abbott and Costello still stands. The Gran Teatro de la Habana, built in the early twentieth century, is now home to the Cuban National Ballet. Habana Vieja is undergoing a massive restoration to its former glory. Havana could be seen as a work-in-progress, but it is more a testament to its never-ending determination to improve and progress, which might be the allure that attracts so many visitors. So take a seat at an authentic paladar (family-run restaurant) and enjoy the vibrant evolution of Havana.

Pamela Ruiz came to Cuba in the 1990s and fell in love, both with the country and her husband, Cuban artist Damian Aquiles. Formerly a location scout for photography shoots, she soon began to turn her attention to art, specifically bridging the international art world and Cuba.

Read more at Assouline

Travel & Culture: Paris And ‘Les Parisiens’ (Video)

#Paris has been a source of fascination for centuries and the #French capital is one of the most visited cities in the world. By day or by night, it’s a beautiful city packed with towering #monuments, inspiring #museums and romantic cafés and yet, #tourists often say Paris would be so nice if it weren’t for the Parisians. So where does this bad reputation come from? In this episode of French Connections Plus, Florence Villeminot and Genie Gordula turn the spotlight on the City of Lights and its peculiar inhabitants: les Parisiens.

Views: The Horseback Fisherwomen Of Belgium

The tradition of horseback fishing for fish and shrimp goes back to the 16th century. Large Belgian Draft horses trawl across the beach with fishing nets attached to their saddles. In Oostduinkerke, at the Belgian coast, this 500-year-old shrimping tradition has remained unchanged, except in 2015, when a small but significant change occurred: for the first time ever, 2 women joined the ranks of what was long considered a “man’s job”. We met up with the women who brave the waves on Belgians weighing up to 1 ton every day.

Books On Italy: ‘Tuscany Marvel’ (May 2021)

The Italian region of Tuscany is a feast for all senses. A creative incubator that has cultivated art and architecture for eras including Etruscan, Roman, Renaissance and modern times. Timeworn churches, once stops on nineteenth-century Grand Tours, stand tall in the towns’ piazzas. Rolling hills of wheat and colorful olive groves, that inspire authentic Tuscan cuisine, are dotted with villas built by the prestigious Medici family. 

 The Tyrrhenian Sea extends off its coast, lapping the shore of Elba, the island where the emperor Napoleon was exiled. Quaint villages, historic towns and bustling cities are scattered across its landscape, which is almost as varied as the communities themselves. From annual horse races at Piazza del Campo, and the centuries-old winemaking traditions of the Chianti region to the city of Pisa, an ancient Maritime Republic known for the youthful spirit of its Scuola Normale Superiore and Leaning Tower alike, Tuscany is the place of dreams, where thousands come to relive its history and take in the beauty of a region.

In the fashion world, Ferragamo, Gucci and Pucci all have ties to Florence and its endless inspiration. However, what truly defines Tuscany is its timelessness. Masterpieces from centuries past still lure immense crowds. Brunelleschi’s dome in Florence never fails to strike onlookers with awe.

Read more

Views: Stern Sculling On French Island Of Groix

The French island of Groix, off the coast of Brittany, is ​​the land of stern sculling, a single-oar technique used for centuries by fishermen. Although traditional fishing has disappeared today, the island continues to keep the tradition alive by organising a world stern sculling championship each year. Islanders of all generations take part and competition is fierce. We went to check it out.

Cultural View: What Will An Independent Scotland Look Like? (Documentary)

What does it mean to be Scottish? Since Brexit, people here at the northernmost end of the island of Great Britain have been asking this question with renewed vigour. Now, with the Scottish Parliament election approaching, many Scots see their future outside of the United Kingdom. So how do ordinary Scottish citizens see their homeland?

On her journey through Scotland, journalist Diana Zimmermann quickly learns that it is impossible to travel through the country these days without talking about Brexit. Geography and history have brought the Scots to a breaking point. Just ask Sophie Gault, a deer-hunter whose breath-taking workplace is in the heart of the Highlands, at the foot of Ben Alder. “Being Scottish is something I’m really proud of,” says Gault, adding that taking this job was the best decision she ever made.

“Being with nature and with wildlife, it makes you appreciate Scotland even more. There’s always that sense of community. And I’m very proud of our own Scottish humour.” What does fisherman Victor Laurenson, who had hoped Brexit would bring him better fishing conditions, think of his country now?

Janey Godley, a comedian from Glasgow, brings yet another perspective: In the Scottish independence referendum in 2014, she says, the English told the Scots to vote against independence so that Scotland could stay in the EU. “It’s basically like your Mum and Dad saying – look – if you go to bed early, when you wake up, you will have a pony. And you go to bed, you sleep early, you wake up and there’s just a cushion in the shape of a cat instead, and it’s not even a good cat.”

Culture Views: ‘The Gábor Of Transylvania’ (Video)

For 500 years, Transylvania’s Gábor people have held onto their values and rituals. This film explores the insular world of the Gábor Roma, and asks whether they can maintain their traditional lives in a globalized world. The Romanian village of Karácsonyfalva is the center of the Gábor Roma community. More than 1,000 Gábor live there.

The men wear large black hats, the women long skirts. The men travel all over Europe as traders, while the women raise the children. Most Gábor belong to the Adventist denomination. Many only learned to read in order to study the Bible. Abstaining from pork and above all from alcohol and tobacco makes them targets of curiosity. Considered aristocratic among the Roma people, the Gábor have their own laws in all areas of life. Problems are solved within the community; in cases of conflict, even the police turn to the community leaders.

Their biggest and most important celebration is the wedding, the foundation of their society. Gábor marry exclusively among themselves. For this reason, girls are removed from school at age 11 and married at 14. Boys move from organized education to the “school of life” at 14. This documentary follows the marriage of 14-year-old Mundra to 16-year-old Bobbi, while giving a portrait of their families and the wider community. For the first time, they share an insight into their exciting, colorful, contradictory and insular world, in which wealth and poverty collide. This is a tight-knit community, one caught between tradition and the pressures of modernity.