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Visiting the cultural, historical, gastronomical, architectural behemoth that is Rome without a plan of attack would be a fool’s errand by any stretch of the imagination. With a blow-by-blow itinerary that included tactical naps, pre-booked, timed tickets, backup bars and restaurants and backups for the backups, there was no way I was going the Eternal City slip through my fingers on my very first trip. I know — I sound like the tourist of nightmares. But I’d like it to be known this is not my preferred approach to a city break. Ideally I’d like to stay for a month,…

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Crunk! Like distant cannon fire, the thunder bounces long and menacing around the rocky rounded inlets due south of where we stand. The sky is split in two as starkly as a half moon cookie, and Porto Selvaggio sits on the dividing line. Just as we settle ourselves on an outcrop to the north of the bay where the sky is still pale, lightning slices through the sky above the squat, square Torre Santa Maria dell’Alto. There is nothing for it, we must turn on our heels and retrace our steps to the car with everyone else on the beach.…

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Carried by the crowd, I moved from the searing heat into the shade of the church. The priest muttered quiet prayers and incantations, and approached me with his arms outstretched before him. He raised the snake and pressed it to my forehead, to my lips, to my chest. He turned to the old woman next to me, a widow, and repeated the gesture. She clutched her walking stick and received the blessing gratefully with a series of sharp nods which sent the tail of her black headscarf billowing into the air. It was the hottest part of the day in…

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Brussels is a foodie’s dream. One of the reasons I loved living there so much was all the eating out I got to do. When I think of the city now, I still spontaneously start to salivate. Take a look at my top picks of places to go and munch. If you go one place for… frites Chips in Belgium are usually thrice cooked in beef fat which makes them taste simply wonderful, but it’s not great if you’re veggie. In fact, it’s not a terribly easy country to be a vegetarian in at all. But while I love you…

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