Patricia Irish’s Europe
Collected by Patricia Irish
SP94, 07021 Arzachena OT, Italy
There are few places that blend dramatic scenery, old-world history, and stellar food culture as beautifully as Sardinia. In early summer, wildflowers color the island, cherries are at their juiciest, and many regions are surprisingly tourist...
Via Addolorata, 5, 98050 Valdichiesa ME, Italy
Just returned from four weeks in Sicily. The time we spent on the Aeolian Islands was incredible. Italy with no crowds, unbelievably fresh seafood, and days spent boating around the small islands (Salina was our favourite), stopping to swim...
Piazza Europa, 38, 91023 Favignana TP, Italy
Favignana is the largest of the Egadi Islands off the western coast of Sicily, the butterfly shaped island is small enough to easily explore by bicycle or moped. Stay: Cas’almare , a small boutique hotel adjacent to the sea and an ancient roman...
98055 Vulcano Porto ME, Italy
Just off the coast of Sicily you'll find the archipelago of the Aeolian Islands noted for its volcanoes and rugged beauty. The islands can be reached by hydrofoil or ferry boat from Milazzo. Lipari is the largest of the islands, but is still only...
Piazza S. Rocco, 89058 Scilla RC, Italy
We finally got a chance to visit Calabria in 2011, on our way back up from Sicily. Scilla was our destination and paradise awaited us. This old fisherman's town has more charm than you could hope for with a postcard setting to boot. If you're...
07021 Porto Cervo, Province of Olbia-Tempio, Italy
This island lies in the Strait of Bonifacio, between Corsica and the top end of Sardinia. The Strait of Bonifacio is famous among sailors for its notorious weather and fantastic wind. It’s quite an art to navigate around the rocks along the coast....
Via Ercole, 09040 Torre Delle Stelle (Maracalagonis) CA, Italy
When I was planning my trip to Sardinia, I heard that the north of the island was where the yachts and the European fanciness resided. I wanted the exact opposite in my Sardinian vacation. I looked for a town to relax in, where the vibe was chill,...
07028 Santa Teresa Gallura, Province of Olbia-Tempio, Italy
A quaint town located on the Northern tip of the Italian Sardinia Island. It boasts a brilliant white beach and a laid back atmosphere. Stay: Live like a local and rent a vacation apartment near the café lined piazza. Eat: Do not leave Sardinia...
Vrijdagmarkt 22-23, 2000 Antwerpen, Belgium
I'll be the first to admit, a museum of printing didn't sound terribly exciting to me, at first. Antwerp Belgium's Plantin-Moretus Museum certainly changed my mind. This is the only museum on the UNESCO World Heritage list and the recognition is...
Via San Giovanni Vecchio, 89, 75100 Matera MT, Italy
I'm not one to skip breakfast, especially in Italy, where thoughts of cappuccino, pastries, and local ham tend to rouse me early from slumber. But on my first morning at the Hotel Sant’Angelo, in the old quarter of Matera, I was having a hard time...
18038 Sanremo, Province of Imperia, Italy
Cinque Terre may get all the glory when the topic of the Riviera is brought up but I think the lesser-known Sanremo is delightful in its own way. Because it's a town that stretches for such a great distance along the Mediterranean and has...
84017 Positano, Province of Salerno, Italy
A friend and I were walking down the road, lugging our suitcases and looking for our hotel when I glanced up and saw this view. It was one of those moments when I realized how insanely beautiful the Amalfi Coast is, especially in peak summer. The...
84010 Scala, Province of Salerno, Italy
Picture a historic village perched high above the sparkling Mediterranean, surrounded by lush mountains and stony cliffs. A charming, three hundred year old country home is nestled among the trees and warm breezes carry the tantalizing aromas of...
Traversa Punta Capo, 80067 Sorrento NA, Italy
About 2 km outside of the town center of Sorrento, Italy is a natural pool set behind the bluffs that characterize the Amalfi coast. You can only reach it on foot (or Vespa) by turning right off of Via Capo at the sign on a red building that...
19016 Monterosso al Mare, SP, Italy
We spent the day exploring the 5 villages of the Cinque Terre. Since there are no cars in any of the villages, choose to travel by train, ferry or foot to connect you from one village to the next. We opted to hike in and ferry out to take...
Via Teatro Greco, 98039 Taormina ME, Italy
The Island of Sicily has many wonders. Taormina is a popular resort town on Monte Tauro and has an old Greek Theatre that is still used for performances. The sitting has awesome views of the coast and Mount Etna. I would like to go back and actual...
Nový Svět 76/1, 118 00 Praha 1-Hradčany, Czechia
Prague is a historic city with ornate architecture but is now notorious for its crowds of tourists. This is one part of Prague that provides a glimpse of how the city used to be--quiet, quaint, and beautiful. When I first found this neighborhood,...
Spui 12, 1012 XA Amsterdam, Netherlands
We woke up on day two, intending to wander around, grab lunch and then spend the rest of the day in the park. However, our host suggested a book market only open on Fridays. Within minutes of the suggestion, we were out the door, armed with...
Groentenmarkt 3, 9000 Gent, Belgium
On the Groentenmarkt in Ghent you'll find this wonderful shop that sells its own freshly made mustard. All you have to do is pick out your favorite container and they will fill it from a barrel standing beside the counter. Their mustard is strong...
Staroměstské nám. 1/4, 110 00 Praha-Staré Město, Czechia
Old Town Square, founded in the 12th century, is the center of Prague. In the middle of it all, the Old Town Hall (which also houses the famous Astronomical Clock), built in 1338, still provides the best 360-degree views of the city. For a...
Jiráskovo nám. 1981/6, 120 00 Praha 2-Nové Město, Czechia
Prague is a city crammed with jaw-droppingly beautiful buildings. Most of which is pre-20th century—Gothic and Baroque-era structures, for example. The 20th century, though, has little to represent itself architecturally, save for a few Art...
Marienplatz 1, 80331 München, Germany
Cinnamon, vanilla and anis lead the way. Bells and laughter invite. Two golden angels greet you as you walk through the gate. It's such a special time and no place really seems to bring the joyful feeling of Christmas closer to my heart than the...
V Kotcích 516/15, 110 00 Praha-Staré Město, Czechia
One drizzly December day I came across this intrepid soul teaching archery to a knot of bored preteens in the Czech Republic. I couldn't put my finger on why, exactly, but the scene very much seemed to belong in a tenth story from "Nine Stories."...
Hauptallee 10, 01219 Dresden, Germany
Every other year my wife and I travel to Europe for Christmas Markets. Why? To begin with, most of these markets are traditions stretching back hundreds of years, so each market takes on it's own distinct personality. This trip we visited Erfurt...
Budapest, 1051 Hungary
There's no better way to connect with a culture than through food. It's a universal language, tangible and immediate. Street/market food is particularly insightful. I recently spent time in eastern Europe and was pleasantly surprised by the...
27 Rue des Cordeliers, 13100 Aix-en-Provence, France
Unfortunately, I haven't been to enough European Christmas markets to know whether this one is truly extraordinary, but I really love the marché de Noël in Aix-en-Provence in the south of France. The little stalls are set up along the Cours...
Ovocný trh 19, 110 00 Praha-Staré Město, Czechia
Prague’s Grand Café Orient is the only cubist-designed space of its kind in the world. It occupies the first floor of the House of the Black Madonna, designed in 1911 by modernist architect Josef Gočár. Renovated in 2005, the...
Rozengracht 2, 1016 NB Amsterdam, Netherlands
The atmosphere is heavy, the decibel level very low, and the wooden decor both comforting, and inviting. People in this café are either locals reading the newspapers while sipping a cappuccino, or, like me, tourists who just visited the Anne Frank...
Rua Santa Catarina 112, 4000-442 Porto, Portugal
The Rua Santa Caterina is the most important shopping street in Oporto. It is a pedestrian street which is closed to traffic. Along the Rua Caterina you will find the Mercado Bolhao which is a lively market with many shops to delight the market...
11 Place du Forum, 13200 Arles, France
Once known as the Cafe Terrace, this is the place captured so colorfully in Van Gogh's painting of Place du Forum in Arles, in September of 1888. Still in operation today and now named Cafe Van Gogh, it's a lovely little spot to have your espresso...
8355 Giethoorn, Netherlands
Giethoorn is the most amazing village I have ever seen. Canals go through the entire village making it a little Venice of the Netherlands. You park your car at the boat dock and then you walk or rent a boat to see the entire place. Giethoorn is a...
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