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Burano, like most of the outlying islands, is a microcosm of locals who have grown up with one another for generations and for generations have been making its famous lace products by hand. Linked to Burano by the Ponte Longo, a wooden bridge, Mazzorbo is a quiet island of less than inhabitants and was once an important political and commercial scene in medieval Venice. The seven-mile-long Lido is also a jewel box of art nouveau and art deco architecture — including villas, hotels and ornamental gardens.
Located on the northern edge of the lagoon, Torcello is one of the most remote islands in the Venetian archipelago and the oldest that has been continually populated — in fact, its origin story predates Venice. Once a busy settlement, today Torcello is sparsely populated. The only way to travel the islands is by water. This article first appeared in Bonvoy, March But as any Venetian knows, viewing the city is really all about perspective.
Pro tip: Avoid on-the-hour visits or those bell tolls will drive you out of your mind. And this is where Casanova allegedly was held until his victorious escape. Its number of overstuffed rooms are stacked wall to wall with books, magazines, maps and other ephemera placed in shelves, bathtubs, bins and even a gondola. Pro tip: You can wind your way through the Castello sestiere to get there or sneak in the back entrance — reachable by gondola — only if you take a water taxi.
Venice is an archipelago of small islands, each with its own distinct personality. Pro tip: Bring a camera; the bovolo is decidedly Insta-worthy. Venetians have fine-tuned snacking to an art form. The idea is to enjoy a few glasses and taste a few snacks while catching up with friends and then move on to the next. Pro tip: Bring a great pair of shoes and plan to dedicate at least two days to art hopping.
There is nothing quite like exploring Venice by water, but with daytime traffic from tourists and local deliveries, the very best time to catch a true sense of the floating city is in the evening. Built in , the neo-Gothic loggia has been shacked up with vendors selling their wares for more than a century.
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You can thank a 15th-century confraternity — a group of religious laymen — for funding the creation of a literal wealth of Venetian art. And he did. After 27 years in residence, Tintoretto left the buildings of the Grande Scuola in San Polo almost entirely adorned in his inimitable, monumental paintings. Pro tip: Tintoretto also decorated the adjacent church, San Rocco. This article first appeared in Huffington Post. Somewhere on the north coast of the Yucatan Peninsula, I have found my perfect recharge of sun and sand, and ceviche and margaritas.
Isla Holbox, whose name translates to Black Hole, is a blue oasis. Quite possibly only km from Cancun in our case, it was km as we decided to take the wrong road and then backtrack a few times , Holbox is a tiny island of whale watching, horseback riding, kayaking, nature walks, bungalows and quiet time. From the minute we drove into Chiquila, the last stop before Holbox, I knew this was my kind of place.
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Chiquila docks the ferries that transport to the island. In this case, small and relaxed. Within 30 minutes, we arrived on Holbox and taxied across the island on a golf cart, my second preferred method of travel. Holbox is a conversation of colors — from the vibrantly painted buildings in the small town to the beautiful blue waters — there is color everywhere.
Though my stay was just a dip in the water, the cerulean blue immediately hooked me- slightly chilly, lovingly calm and deliciously salty. How to Get There: Fly into Cancun, and drive west on Merida Libre highway, looking for indications to Chiquila, the port city where you will catch a minute ferry to Isla Holbox. Ferry runs once an hour, depending on the season and costs 80 pesos. There are also short, private flights from Cancun, Playa del Carmen, Cozumel, et al. Where to Stay: Isla Holbox has a selection of beachfront hotels and villas, as well as city apartments, none of which have more than two or three levels.
We're kicking off Sicily week on Fathom, starting with the capital. Contributing editor Erica Firpo calls Rome her home but finds the siren song of Palermo irrestistible. Here's why. The Sicilian capital seems to fit every definition of the astrological symbol: fickle, flirty, feckless, inconsistent, generous, brilliant, and entertaining. Whether it's a sultry summer day or a bitter, humid winter afternoon, Palermo is a tease, a three-dimensional split personality that will tell you one thing and then do another.
To be fair, Palermo has suffered the weight of colonizations, invasions, bombings, and restorations. Reinvention is second nature, and so is moodiness and distrust. The first time I visited, I just got it.
You know that feeling when you intuitively understand the arrhythmic pulse of a person or a place? I felt Palermo's beat inside me, and immediately I was in love and still am. I love the drunken heat that means you can't do anything all day, but you can go out until 5 a. I love the food and its etiquette — as in, everything must be tasted, eaten, and discussed. I love its architecture — the decadent, decaying historic center; lovely Liberty buildings; and even the menacing late 20th-century skyrises. I love how shops close mid-day and people still get their groceries via a basket pulley system that courses all floors of the apartment building.
I love how the beach seems to push up on the city suddenly and how the mountains overcrowd its perimeters. And I love its soccer team jersey of pink and black vertical stripes. Palermo is the proverbial kitchen sink, a melting pot of everything good and bad that the centuries have offered; an ongoing social experiment in chaos theory. Its only constant is that it is a constant contradiction. Most Italian cities center around beautiful, coiffed historic centers, but Palermo left its historic center to fend for itself, and it is now a burnt umber mess of half-standing palazzi, beautifully painted street murals, and late evening ad hoc barbecues.
Palermitani too are a crazy cross-section of the island's history. My fifth grade teacher she of inflexible Italian sterotyping should take note: Palermitani can be tall and blond, small and dark, lanky and curvy, gorgeous and ugly — and they are all beautiful. Like I said, Palermo is a Gemini, a siren and a vamp.
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The city drags you in with its coquettish, technicolor skies and quaint attitude. But that's just for the tease, because you will never truly know Palermo unless you've lived there for centuries, which is why I keep coming back. Palermo: Best Day Ever. Or I may not. What was once a lovely symbiotic relationship [i. We wanted off. We wanted Sicily. Sicily encompasses everything we love and how we want to live- fresh food, fresh air and a necessary slow pace.
One week, hell, even one month is not enough. The Professor's dig was dug, children's activities were no longer, Rome was hot, we found a cheap place to rent, and Trenitalia offered cheap night train tickets. And secretly, where better could we go for a digital detox?
Could we stop checking our email, stop looking at Instagram, stop responding on Twitter, and just turn off for more than a few hours? Realistically, no. There was just some shit that just needed to be done: summer homework assignments, article submissions, a Keynote presentation, job interview, donor outreach, calls, calls and more calls. And there were some things that we wanted to do, like read Night Film , research Etna and make sure to pick up my sister at Punta Raisi, whenever she decided to show up. In other words, absolutely rare downloads, no films, Facetime and Skype calls of necessity, and a strong commitment to not connect.
Did we unplug? All the same things we always do, but taking our time to be in the moment, as opposed to simply taking a photo. Yes, we did that too. And most importantly, I read. I read more books in four weeks than I had from January to June. Scott Fitzgerald tales, and pretty much anything else that was left in my Kindle. Yes, this detox was much more than unplugging from our addiction to digital communication. It was about reminding myself what I liked, not just "liked". Forgive the spelling, I was in a rush to take my time and have lunch. Photo by Erica Firpo.
Pantelleria Pantelleria, a tiny volcanic island 67 miles southwest of Sicily and 37 miles east of Tunisia , has long been a favorite getaway for the reclusively chic, like Truman Capote, Giorgio Armani, and Sting.
The Tuscan Archipelago Yes, Tuscany has islands. Elba was famously home to Napoleon during his exile. Photo by Stefano Valeri.