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…

Orkney Island Adventure in Scotland, U.K.

The Orkney Islands lie off the north coast of Scotland and have been inhabited for over 8500 years. They are home to thousands of identified Neolithic sites and are frequently visited by the aurora borealis.    

Excellent Edinburgh in Scotland, U.K.

When visiting the Scottish capital, stay downtown to take advantage of all the wonderful things to see and do. We stayed at the Ibis Centre South Bridge, which made it easy to explore the Royal Mile and surrounding areas. Wish we could have stayed longer! 

Reims-ing of a white Christmas in northeastern France

The unofficial Champagne capital of France, Reims, is a great hidden gem to visit when road  tripping across Western Europe. This small former Roman city is the site where French kings were crowned for over 1000 years.   

Traversing the Alps via Monte Bianco/Mont Blanc

Crossing from Italy to France through the tallest mountain in the Alps sure is a breeze thanks to modern infrastructure. The drive from Lerici in Italy to Bourg-en-Bresse in France is smooth and scenic.