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Sardinia

Sardinia

When D H Lawrence visited Sardinia with his wife, Frieda, back in 1921, they weren’t much impressed. Food was scarce, and they found little to eat but cabbage and bread. Some ‘hotels’ were little more than shacks, and yet in Sea and Sardinia he wrote: ‘This land resembles no other place. Sardinia is something else. […]

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Japan

Japan

Tokyo, the capital of Japan, is one of the busiest cities in the world – all neon lights and skyscrapers – but hop on a bullet train and within a couple of hours you could be relaxing at an onsen (hot spring) in a green tea bath, in the middle of a forest, with nothing […]

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cremona violin copy

Cremona

Cremona was home to three of the most important violin-making families: Stradivari, Guarneri and Amati. The recently opened Museo del Violino tells their story, and offers an insight into five centuries of violin-making. It also examines the method of construction and acoustic characteristics. A recent article suggested that the violion’s evolution might have been a magical accident, rather than design: an […]

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Tunisian mother & girls copy

Tunisia

Tataouine, in southern Tunisia, is famous for the trogolodyte buildings of the native Berber population. It’s so other-worldly, that director George Lucas used it as a backdrop for one of his Star Wars films. The ‘Festival of the Ksour Saharien’ is a music and cultural festival held in the desert. It’s the perfect opportunity to […]

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Krakow Schindler Factory

Krakow

The German army marched into Kraków on 6 September 1939. By November, all Jews over the age of 12 were commanded to wear armbands. This was the beginning of the occupier’s segregation of the population. Synagogues were closed and non-Jews were discouraged from using Jewish shops. By May 1940 more than 40,000 had been forcibly […]

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Ferrari Museum, Modena

Modena

Balsamic, Bottura and beautiful cars… In The Italians, Luigi Barzini offered a consummate portrait of the national character of his compatriots. He cheekily suggested that the art of appearing rich was perfected in places like Modena. The tiny principality boasted ‘immense princely palaces, castles, vast churches, and stately opera houses’ wildly disproportionate to its size. It […]

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Faroe Islands

Faroe Islands

The Faroes – a group of 18 islands located in the Norwegian Atlantic – are halfway between Scotland and Iceland. I’d heard of them, of course; I’m a Radio 4 listener, fan of the arcane Shipping Forecast (Westerly, veering northerly or northwesterly later, 7 to severe gale 9, increasing storm 10 for a time. Squally […]

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mexico, naples

Naples

I decided to skip the private jet, and take the overnight train to Naples. I was about to spend the next seven days cycling and sailing. It’s cheap, eco-friendly and a lot of fun… If you can’t explore one of the most spectacular coastlines in the world in a classic sports car, the next best […]

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