Val d’Orcia - Well, it is in Tuscany but it isn’t a district you hear about a lot compared to say Siena or, well, Florence :). And yet, it is stunning as these photos attest. You would find it if you embarked on the scent of Montepulciano, Brunello do Montalcino or Rosso di Montalcino. Its the agrarian belt of the region with rolling hills like the rest of Tuscany but also very productive ones that grow primarily grains, legumes and beans. And, yes wine too! Val d’Orcian wines are not well-known outside the region but they are just as spectacular as the neighbors’!Read More
When I think of Venice, I think of a lady dressed in a flowy velvet dress with a black gold eye mask, walking down an alley looking back at you with mysterious smile and a sparkle in her eyes….. One makes an attempt to follow her. She laughs a tinkle and jumps onto a passing gondola and forever skips out of your reach even as you just make the landing where she was not a moment ago. Yet, her laughs echos and rings in your ear forever thence…. You never manage to catch or catch up with her and yet she will always be with you as a memory that always brings a smile and lifts you up!
I feels this about Venice today…. Truth be told, I visited Venice at the lowest point of my life.Read More
On a visit to Turkey in 2014, I had the pleasure of enjoying the traditional way in which coffee is brewed, even today. No matter the medium of heat, the the process is neither solitary nor hastened, yet is very simplistic with most basic of cooking tools. Coal or heated sand is used to cook the coffee with water and the only tool used is the distinctly shaped vessel with the long handle.
But, beyond the technicalities, it is the ritualization of the process that struck a chord in me. The making of a traditional coffee is a communal process. It is neither an individual brewing experience nor one done in bulk. But, rather it is a many to many process. Coffee is cooked in individual vessels but as many vessels as people gathered are placed on the medium of heat.Read More
Indeed, isn't a place nothing but its people? If so, I would say, Jerusalem has a multiple personality disorder!
While in Tel Aviv, I perceived a frenzied energy that served as a the steam outlet of all that pent up tension, here life was rather unremarkably normal on the surface. Despite the looming presence of the Western Wall and all its emotions, that even as an utter outsider with no ties, I was overwhelmed by! One of the defining moments of my trip to the country was at the Western Wall.
As I walked to the wall, at one point, I felt overtaken by a dense wave of energy - an incredibly sad one. And, I found myself uncontrollably crying, tears streaming down my cheeks without control, even as my brain was trying to make sense of what was happening.Read More
Cinque Terre is the quintessential Summer Riviera spot.
For those tired of the French coastline, its crowded beaches and uber expensive real estate, the Italian coast line next to it is very appealing alternative. They may share the sea but not much else, from attitude to cuisine to lifestyles.
While I was living in Italy, my friends and I decided to make a day trip from our apartments in Reggio Emilia in the mid-central Italy to the North-Western coast where the stretch of the riviera is. A quick research on the place told me it was a hot spot for visiting Americans. Somewhere I read that it had been featured in a 70s Hollywood movie and had since become a bucket list destination.Read More