Exploring Pienza Italy; Restaurants and Sightseeing

The first four days of our trip were spent in Tuscany, where we stayed in the tiny hilltop town of Pienza. Our hotel, La Bandita Townhouse, was right in the center of things and we loved every minute there. It gave us plenty of time to explore the village, where many tourists visit on day trips,…

La Bandita Townhouse and Restaurant, Pienza Italy

The first stop of our 20th-anniversary trip was the tiny hilltop town of Pienza, in Tuscany.  We arrived, jet-lagged and sweaty in the 100-degree heat, after getting directly off the plane in Rome and into a rental car at the airport. The drive to Pienza was easy enough and we even stopped at my favorite AutoGrill. La…

Shanghai Street Scenes

Wandering around Shanghai, I could not help but be fascinated by the colorful and varied scenes from everyday life in the city. As in many cosmopolitan cities, there are places which are still more “developing” than others. In those neighborhoods, as you will see below, many people live partially outside, preparing food, practicing hygiene, and exercising. Transportation can be…

Old City Shanghai

In among all the skyscrapers and apartment buildings, a tiny part of “Old Shanghai” remains. In it there are remnants of the old city wall dating back to the Ming Dynasty (1553) as well as pavilions, temples, and markets. On one of our days in Shanghai, we had the opportunity to explore a small part…

People’s Square, the Marriage Market, and Museums in Shanghai

Our hotel, the Le Royal Meridian Shanghai, overlooked the Shanghai People’s square, a large area containing several museums, a theater, a major metro hub and a huge park. We found ourselves walking through or around it several times a day. Every Saturday and Sunday the park hosts a Marriage Market. This is where parents come to…

Walking the French Concession in Shanghai

  During our days in Shanghai, we visited the neighborhood known as the French Concession twice. It’s a lovely neighborhood which has a few streets that still retain some of the “old Shanghai” charm which is rapidly being replaced with high rises and highways. Oddly enough, the area was never really populated by the French, but…