It takes a village …

The northern Italian village of Bormida has hit the headlines because its council is offering €2,000 to anybody who wants to come and live there.

Savona (Brett Debritz)

The idea is to boost the population of the village, where rents can be as low as €50 a month. I, for one, am tempted — particularly given Bormida’s close proximity to the borders with Monaco and France, and to the beautiful port of Savona, where Costa Cruises has a terminal.

Continue reading It takes a village …

Forget the stereotypes

The French are arrogant, the English are miserable, Scots are tight with their money, Australians are boorish drunks, Italians are dangerously passionate, Americans are loud know-it-alls …

Munich Hofbrauhaus
Not all Germans wear lederhosen and play in oompah bands. But some do.

If you agree with any of these statements, then you’re guilty of buying into stereotypes. While it’s true that stereotypes develop from a grain of truth or experience, they too often get exaggerated and disguise a very important fact about humanity.

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Marseille? Magnifique!


Marseille is magnificent, but if you’re arriving by cruise ship, you’ll need to negotiate, by vehicle, through a huge industrial pot complex before you get to the heart of this city.

The city embraces a smaller harbour, where pleasure craft mingle with fishing vessels, and anglers bring in their catch for direct sale. Continue reading Marseille? Magnifique!