The Island of Palmaria in the Golfo dei Poeti, SP, Italy

A few hundred metres off the coast of the town of Portovenere lies Palmaria, the largest of the three islands in the Golfo dei Poeti at 1.9 sq km. The archipelago is part of the same UNESCO world heritage site as Portovenere and the Cinque Terre. We took the little ferry boat over for lunch…

Mary Shelly’s San Terenzo, Frazione of Lerici

San Terenzo is a frazione of Lerici that we often walk to via the waterfront boardwalk from downtown. Mary Shelly, English author best known for Frankenstein and political radical, moved here in 1818 with her husband Percy Bysshe Shelly. She left shortly after his untimely drowning death near Viareggio (just south of here) in 1822.

A Visit to Castelnuovo Magra, SP, Italy

Castelnuovo Magra is a Ligurian hilltop town easily recognizable from the Magra River Valley below. It has a big castle tower on the north side and a big church tower on the south side. We went up and checked it out.  

When in Rome, Lazio, Italy

Given the proverb “all roads lead to Rome”, it was inevitable we’d end up in The Eternal City eventually. And what better adventure after Dan and Nicole’s wedding than a family visit to the Italian capital and former seat of the mighty Roman Empire? For pictures of another beautiful Canadian dog in Rome, check out…

The Ancient Hilltop Town of Volterra in PI, Tuscany, Italy

Perched on a peak with panoramic views of the Tuscan landscape lies Volterra, a walled hilltop town with plenty of ancient sites. We stopped on the way from Lerici down to Rome and spent our time eating delicious food and admiring the glorious views. 

The Medieval Borgo of Certaldo in FL, Tuscany, Italy

2017 has been declared l’Anno dei Borghi – the year of ancient villages – by the Italian Government Culture Minister, coinciding with the UN’s Year of Sustainable Tourism for Development. We visited one of Tuscany’s many hilltop borghi, a borgo named Certaldo. 

The Royal Borough of Kingston upon Thames in SW London, England, U.K.

Yet a third ancient coronation site proved a superb holiday road trip stop – this time, the historic market town where Saxon kings were once crowned. Kingston upon Thames is situated in southwest London and is a more affordable alternative to staying downtown. The small and vibrant borough is easily walkable and true to its…

A Visit to Pemberley – Lyme Park, Peak District, England, U.K.

Pride and Prejudice, published by Jane Austin in 1813, is one of the most-loved books in English literature. The BBC aired a 6-episode television adaptation in 1995. It too became a smashing success and is watched and rewatched on DVD by fans around the world, including Bosco. It was therefore imperative that we visit Lyme…

Culloden Battlefield in Scotland, U.K.

The final battle of the Jacobite Rising against the British Government was fought on Culloden Battlefield in 1746. It was a decisive victory for William Augustus’s Loyalist troops over Charles Stewart’s primarily Scottish Jacobian forces. It is estimated that 1500-2000 Jacobites died versus only 50-300 Government soldiers. It was the last pitched battle (both sides…