• La Dolce Vita…Sicilian Style!

    Palermo, Italy…Sunday in Sicily…not much to do as much of this town is closed! A stroll through Palermo just gets you in that Italian mood!

    Mangia, Mangia…the freshest homemade food is everywhere! Eggplant, pasta, pizza, and of course cannoli! A must stop for a delicious cannoli and strong italian coffee and I am living “la dolce vita”!

    Old churches, cathedral, and magnificent opera house frame this town. I notice a lot of art nouveau touches especially the decorative kiosks scattered on various street corners.

    It’s a quick visit to Sicily and I hope to return to take it all in a bit more!







  • Cruising in a New Way!

    Civitavecchia, Italy…today I boarded the Celebrity Equinox…this is my first time aboard a Celebrity ship. This Solstice class of ships by Celebrity set a new standard in mainstream cruising with a totally modern vibe when they were first introduced.

    The ship is surprising chic for a boat of this size. Cool futuristic details such as an Ice Bar with molecular drinks, a spaceship looking dining room, and of course the signature lawn on the top deck.

    Walking around, I feel as if I walked into a South Beach nightclub or an interior design editorial from Wallpaper magazine! Multiple restaurants, indoor and outdoor pools, bars galore, cutting edge art collection, and many entertainment venues will keep me busy for the duration of this cruise…

    I look forward to the next 10 nights in my lux digs at sea…setting sail from deck 14 on the m/s Equinox! 20120824-163949.jpg20120824-163904.jpg20120824-164028.jpg20120824-164451.jpg





  • Out to Sea!

    Civitavecchia, Italy…an hour long train ride from central Rome, this port town is the gateway to the Celebrity Equinox and my next cruise!

    The train ride wasn’t ideal, air conditioning failed in first class and deodorant was lacking on the part of several local passengers! But the mood was lively with hordes of gay travelers crowding the train in order to get to port. The train turned into a big party, albeit a sweaty one!

    My friend Jeff is joining me on this all gay Atlantis charter…Jeff and I have been friends since our sophomore year of high school! Decades later, we still find time to travel together and channel our inner adolescents…I am ready to party, dance, and let loose on this 10 night Mediterranean cruise after the seriousness of my Eastern European travels!

    Dame Edna is tonight’s entertainment and Atlantis promises us major surprises as the cruise progresses!

    Arrividerci, Roma for now…Greece and Turkey here we come!



  • Three Coins in the Fountain!

    Rome, Italy…I love Roma! History at every turn…this city is sensory overload for any history buff or anyone who appreciates amazing antiquities!

    After arriving from Poland, it was off for a delicious Italian meal! I got my fix of Artichoke salad (Carciofi) and Bucatini pasta (large hollow spaghetti)…nothing can compare to homemade food in Italy. Delicious!

    A stroll past The Trevi Fountain and The Spanish Steps lets me know I am in Rome…I have been here in the Eternal City a dozen times, but I still get excited by the magnificent Trevi Fountain! It’s an iconic symbol of this city and regardless of the hordes of people, it’s still mesmerizing!

    I won’t be here long but I am trying to soak up all the Roman grandeur I can…every time I am here I stroll upon some never before seen ruin…the riches of Roma are always a travel wow!





  • Water, Water, Everywhere!

    Venice, Italy…I set the alarm for 6 am this morning to watch the magnificent sail into Venice! The cool air and cloudy skies were a welcome change of pace from days of boundless sunshine and soaring temperatures.

    Venice assaults you with historic beauty, ever present smells, a crush of tourists, and the singing of gondola drivers. It’s an overload on the senses…some moments amazing and some overwhelming!

    Getting lost in the winding streets is a must…the best designer clothing shops, exquisite fine jewelry, Italian crafted leathers, and of course Murano glass blown into every imaginable thing all abound down unsuspecting alley ways.

    I made my way thru St Marks Square to the Rialto Bridge and then a much needed rest stop at the Italianate Danieli Hotel overlooking the Grand Canal. Throughout the day, I marveled at the Carnival masks and decor and see people buying it up in droves…what will they do with those masks back home?I guess they are just caught up in the moment…

    I passed on a gondola ride this visit and thought a delicious Italian lunch Venetian style sounded perfect! The concierge recommended “Corte Sconta” and said I would love the seafood & pasta…navigating my way there was definitely a challenge but after finding this little gem, I was seated under a trellised ceiling filled with a bounty of grapes. The setting was perfect and the food was even better! Seafood made with Venetian flair; carpaccio of fresh tuna for starters followed by homemade pasta of red snapper and eggplant and tagliatelle with anchovies. These mild anchovies gave a rich salty taste and were an incredible compliment to the pasta. I hate anchovies but loved this dish! It always pays to step out of the norm and leave your comfort zone behind!

    The wonders of Italy never cease…








  • Abbondanza!

    Ravenna, Italy…we made a beeline across the Adriatic Sea and landed at Ravenna, Italy. Another tiny town I knew nothing about! Famous for it’s ancient Mosaics and its tie to Dante.

    This is no place I ever thought of visiting, but I never met an Italian town I didn’t like… You always know when you are in Italy; even in a small town like this there is the unmistakeable mix of food and fashion done only in a way the Italians can do it, set amongst holy sights and ancient architecture!

    I am mesmerized by all the sights: I go from ogling into store windows obsessing over the best looking sunglasses & chicest designer fashions to marveling at intricate mosaics at the Basilica di San Vitale and then stumbling upon Dante’s tomb. Just as I walk into a shop ready to spend my euros, the gate comes down and the store closes…it’s lunchtime in Italy and nothing gets between an Italian and food!

    So twist my arm, I shall do as the locals…MANGIA time! I wander into a crowded little storefront that looks more delicatessen than restaurant,” Pasta Fresca e Piadina”. I am in love! Freshly made pasta is laid out, you choose the pasta, and then Mama takes it to the back and cooks it up with fresh sauce!
    They also love Piadina here more than pizza…it’s like an Italian quesadilla filled with a myriad of options. I guess I’ll have to try it all!

    I can’t forget fashion! I notice the hip Italian men rocking raw edged scoop neck tees…back home everybody is still pushing how low they can go in the v neck, but here it’s the scoop…the men do have great clavicles! I even see it layered, another Italian signature…
    Women here are also are mix masters; ethnic, 80’s, Chanel, color, etc all at once! How do they make it look so right? A major chunky statement necklace seems to be on every Woman! Ok, I think I carb loaded and need a nap….