Summer is here and that means its time to pack your bags! Contrary to widespread belief, having kids doesn’t mean you have to say goodbye to your travel plans. I am always amazed at how many families with small children I see traveling all over the European continent. While it is clear that Europeans travel more than Americans, with or without children, the addition of new kids programs and family centric vacations has made family travel more accessible than ever.
In a bustling city like Naples, it can be difficult to find peace and quiet, especially in the city center. But the other day while strolling among the crowds of tourists and street vendors, I decided to duck into Santa Chiara, a church/monastery complex I had walked by a few times before. The few euro I had to pay for entry proved to be more than worth it. Upon entering the courtyard of this 14th century convent, a feeling of complete peace and serenity washed over me. I was taken back not only by the beauty of the courtyard (more formally known as the Cloister of Clarisses), but even more so by the peaceful, even euphoric feeling that made it easy to recognize this was a place of spiritual refuge.
For years I have had a lovehate relationship with the city of Milano. In the past I have told clients, if you only have 9 days, thenk skip Milano and get right to the lakes, but now my sentiment has changed and that something happened with the preparation for The Worlds Fair of Food- Expo 2015- Feeding the planet which is now in full swing at the Milano Fair grounds -October 31, 2015 . The city has removed her dull dusty 1940's gray mask and has replaced it with new look, which is fresh, and reflective of her position as #1 ( move over Paris) in art and style. The city's new identity is encouraged by the numerous publications which have been flashing her new look under our nose. You can't read Savour, Architectural Digest, Departures , Travel + Leisure or Conde` Nast Traveler without seeing even a mention of something happening that is very Milanese.
Italy has been know to be a socially conservative country given it is the seat of the Catholic church, and is the ony country remaining in Europe that does not recognize same sex marriages or civil unions. With the church's anti - same sex relationship stance it is no surprise that any change to the current position regarding man-women, women- women, man-man would take great debate.