In many cultures there is a suggestion to believe, since childhood, that death should be rejected as it is intertwined with fear. They grow up absorbing this as a concept intrinsically related to destruction and suffering. Therefore, when it's time for a beloved one to depart, even the most peaceful or necessary goodbyes are seen as the worst thing that could happen.
Despite the fact that I’m far from being a religious person, I’m really passionate about holy places. However, I had to process a few self-judgements until I realized that I can be a detached admirer from a distant observer. I don’t have to be a follower of any doctrine in order to praise and respect them.
The Netherlands is a shameless country where the inside of people’s houses is widely shared like an open book. The daily routine of families is unfolded to anybody’s curiosity: as long as somebody is paying attention to it. For the record, I am. This impulse of keeping a secret watch on their privacy is just something I cannot help. Can you?
Throughout Sicily, not only in shops and ateliers, but on verandas and terraces of many houses, we find the colorful and unmistakable pinecones and the adorned heads that carry a lot of symbolism beyond its decorative character. These heads, called "Teste di Moro" or "Moorish Heads", originated in the 11th century.
A Dutch language teacher once told me that I had a too idealist and romantic view towards the Dutch, as though I had pictured a perfect - or naive - impression of its nation. That statement had a profound effect on me. That conversation somehow turned me down and until today I secretly reflect upon this; ever since I have been trying to find out if I was actually wrong.
My first night in Assmanshausen am Rhein was unbearably hot. But when you wake up, with that muggy night behind you, you feel a delicious Taunus mountain breeze that suddenly comforts you. Practicing sport or just walking around the Rhine River early in the morning is priceless. A few places thrill me more when I close my eyes and remember this landscape.
I have always found it important, and part of the process of getting to know the local culture, to explore local markets in certain cities we visited, at least the first time you go there. But when you are in the East, this assumption is fundamental, and in Amman, as in the rest of the Arab countries, local markets are rich with products and well-known Souks.
I guess everyone thinks about Brazil when it comes to Carnival. But after one goes to Holland – especially in the month of February (or March) when it takes place in Brazil, this concept might change. Many cities in Southern Holland celebrate Carnival and it is a very important holiday to celebrate! They take it very seriously!
Cattedrale di Palermo: I could be content by just observing its façade. It has a rich architecture with different shapes and techniques that represents all the cultural diversity that Palermo is made of: Roman, Norman, Greek, Arabic, and even a touch of Sicilian Baroque. A great mix that could not have been more successful.
In 1316 Johannes von Steren founded Bürgerspital, which is still recognized as a center for social assistance for the needy elderly. Because many of these socially originated and business-backed businesses must create ways of subsisting, Bürgerspital has found a very smart and prosperous way to do so: producing wine.
Regardless of your personal taste regarding the wine culture, it is undisputed how much Germany’s countryside reveals vineyards of extreme organization and beauty. In Rothenburg op der Tauber, one of the most attractive places to go for a walk - or do sports such as hiking, jogging, cycling - is the Tauber Valley.