“Beauty is not a Luxury” -John O’Donohue The Irish poet and philosopher John O’ Donohue, (God rest his soul) eloquently spoke and wrote about the need for Beauty that our human souls have to feel complete, to be whole. The experience of Beauty, whether it be music or poetry; liturgy and scripture; a caring relationship … More A Walk Around Mont Blanc
The lost Kingdom of Ruthenia is undergoing a rebirth and is attracting renewed interest from adventurous travelers. You may be a history buff, or a vagabond tourist, but could you find Ruthenia on a map? … More Where on Earth is Ruthenia?
We want to inspire you to leave the smart phone at home, turn off the GPS navigation system, stop checking for new Facebook posts and get out and enjoy the wonders of this world and experience your life by getting lost and then finding a new way home. Get outside your comfort zone by jumping … More Get Lost!
Bucharest is a city near and dear to my heart. Between Fall 1994 and Spring 1996, while providing volunteer humanitarian service there, I walked the grey avenues, packed into crowded buses, licked summer ice cream in the parks, and cuddled orphans. Even after leaving Romania for my native California, I felt I had taken part … More The Historical Fiction of Bucharest
October is an important month for Russia, especially if you’re a communist! ‘The October Revolution’ which began in St. Petersburg on October 25, 1917 (O.S.), under the leadership of Vladimir Lenin, moved Peter the Great’s Tsarist capital in St. Petersburg back to the original capital of the Russian state: Moscow. Spurred on by the philosophies … More Discover Moscow Through Books
Last Train to Istanbul was written by Ayse Kulin, a Turkish short story writer, screen writer and novelist. First published in 2002 in Turkish as Nefes Nefese, it was later translated into English in 2006 by John W. Baker, and published by Everest Yayinlari in the same year. A later publication came in 2013 by … More Book Review: Last Train to Istanbul
We are currently reading Last Train to Istanbul by Ayse Kulin as our June pick for the bookclub Travel Europe Through Books; the country of our current focus is Turkey! Kulin is an author of international renown whose works have been frequently published in English, but most foreigners will be unfamiliar with the majority of … More 5 Great Literary Sites in Istanbul
Will you be travelling to Italy this summer? Knowing something about the history and culture of Italy can greatly enhance your experience. Here are five of our favorite books on Italy, a sampling to give you a taste of what to expect besides pizza and gelato: ROME: THE BIOGRAPHY OF A CITY by Christopher Hibbert. … More Read Your Way Through Italy
In the snooty, intellectual circles of cosmopolitan neighborhoods, where money is merely a fashion accessory, a more sophisticated version of the causality dilemma, regarding the order of the first chicken and the egg from which it hatched, is discussed endlessly, without ever coming to agreement. Those gathered for wine and cheese after the debut of … More Art Imitating Art: An Introduction to Little Sicily
26 April 2023 I am sitting on the edge of Lake Como, a vision of sparkling blue, nestled in the Cyprussy hills of northern Italy. Yesterday we arrived here in the train after eight hours of travel, much of which was through the alpine valleys of Switzerland. Tomorrow we’ll train into Rome. Everything is so … More Travel Log: Rome & Florence
On December 5th, 1791, around 1:00 am in the morning, the great composer Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart passed away at just 35 years old. He had lived a prolific musical career, creating operas, concertos and symphonies–often for royalty–and around 800 works in every musical genre of his time. His influence is still widely felt throughout the … More The Face of a Genius: Mozart’s Death Mask
To me, Vienna has always been the most beautiful city in the world, since I was 10 years old and read a historical novel called Vienna Prelude. Other kids wanted to visit Narnia or Avonlea, I hankered after Vienna. To me, it was a city of beautiful steeples, a million kinds of coffee, opulent opera balls and music. … More Vienna is my Muse
If you are a lover of historical fiction set in Europe, you have probably heard of at least one of the foremost novels featuring Vienna. A literary traveller can enjoy stepping into the locations described in these novels as she explores this imperial city. … More Austria for Literary Travellers