Category: All Natural Blog

Falling for fabulous Ferrara, a city of pasta and palaces

  • Ferrara is one of northern Italy’s less heralded cities – and weekend destinations
  • It sits in the Emilia-Romagna region, about 40 miles north-east of Bologna
  • Attractions include the Castello Estense, once the home of Lucrezia Borgia 

The walls around Ferrara were built to repel enemies. Now, though, the wars that kept medieval Italy busy are a distant memory, and those same walls feel more like the packaging around a scrumptious selection of sweets. read more

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The other Queen of Jordan: In search of Fahrelnissa Zeid

  • Jordan is arguably the most accessible country in the whole Middle East
  • It is most famous for the ruined Nabatean city of Petra, deep in the south
  • It was the home of artist Fahrelnissa Zeid, the subject of a Tate Modern show  

 When T. E. Lawrence passed through Amman a century ago at the head of the Arab Revolt, the city had fewer than 6,000 inhabitants. The only aircraft flying in were Ottoman biplanes hoping to drop a bomb on the British officer’s head. read more

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A weekend trip to Bordeaux for a glass of claret? Why not?

  • Bordeaux is rightly known as France’s – and the world’s – capital of wine
  • It is now more reachable than ever thanks to France’s modern rail network
  • A new high-speed line means the train journey from Paris is just over two hours 

Fancy a rail trip to Bordeaux?

A new section of high-speed line means the train journey from Paris, via TGV, now takes just over two hours — 70 minutes less than before. read more

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Malaga’s Picasso Museum and Mariposa Hotel are stunning

  • The Daily Mail’s Andrew Harris toured the Spanish port city of Malaga to explore its latest offerings 
  • Museums there include the Pompidou Centre, the Carmen Thyssen Museum and the Picasso Museum
  • He stayed at the four-star Mariposa Hotel, a chic, ultra-modern abode which was great value for money

Malaga’s red light district has been shown a red card.

And in its place? Well, take your pick from the Pompidou Centre, the first European branch of the State Russian Museum, the Carmen Thyssen Museum and the Picasso Museum, in honour of Malaga’s most famous son. read more

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Naples guide: The scruffy city in Vesuvius’s shadow

  • There is more to Naples than the shadow of its big volcano, and trips to Pompeii
  • The city is busy, chaotic, choked with traffic – but a lot of fun for a weekend
  • Visitors can sip Lacryma Christi (Christ’s Tears) – a local wine made by monks 

Crucifixes that talk, shop assistants with the faces of Botticelli angels, cathedrals where miracles are commonplace.

You could believe anything might happen in Naples, never more than a Hail Mary away from being buried by the fractious Mount Vesuvius. read more

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An Inspector Calls: Mimi’s lands in London’s Soho

  • The Daily Mail’s Inspector called into Mimi’s, a new hotel in London’s Soho
  • He found his small room required nimble footwork to squeeze around the bed
  • In the early hours, he was woken by a rubbish truck and a beer barrel delivery

Rating:

We all know it’s absurd to suggest that Germans don’t have a sense of humour. 

Even so, I was tickled by my exchange with the receptionist when booking at Mimi’s, a new venture from the German Land Union Group, which has four boutique hotels in Berlin. read more

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Stress-free Seattle: Uncover the charms of a coffee city

  • The biggest city in Washington state is a must-see for fans of urban America
  • Virgin Atlantic has just launched direct flights to Seattle from London Heathrow
  • The city is home to museums and markets, but also framed by volcanic scenery 

Seattle may not have the iconic sights of New York or the glitz of Los Angeles, but nor does it have the frenetic pace and brashness.

Known as the U.S.’s tech capital (Microsoft and Amazon are based here), it also has the terrific backdrop of the Mount Rainier National Park, home to the famous 4,392m-tall snow-capped peak. read more

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In search of a Swiss master: On the trail of Giacometti

  • Alberto Giacometti was one of Switzerland’s foremost 20th century painters
  • He is the subject of a detailed exhibition at Tate Modern until September
  • His home area of Bregalia, near the Italian border, is a fine place for a holiday 

Alberto Giacometti was a mountain goat. As a boy he disappeared into the meadows above the village of Stampa in Bregaglia near the Swiss-Italian border.

When the sun was high he daydreamed in a cave in the hillside. A farmer tried to employ him in the fields but the future painter and sculptor just gazed at the sky. read more

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Jeremy Clarke takes a rail trip through Europe

  • The Daily Mail’s Jeremy Clarke toured Europe on a 30-day Eurail pass 
  • Stops included Barcelona, Alicante, Granada, Seville, Madrid and Marseille 
  • Jeremy, aged 60, stayed at various budget youth hostels along the way

‘Hallo! Yes you my friend! Do you want some drugs?’ said a cheery teenage narcotics salesman.

‘No!’ I said, standing in the sunshine outside Marseille St Charles railway station contemplating the city rooftops while waiting for a train. read more

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How to see Europe’s key cities without breaking the bank

  • The euro is still strong against sterling, but cheap weekend breaks are possible
  • Cities such as Dubrovnik, Riga and Budapest can all be enjoyed on a budget
  • Several museums in Lisbon offer free entry on the first Sunday of the month

Exploring some of the top sights in Europe need not cost a fortune.

A two-night city stay, flights and even an activity can come in at around £300 for two, sharing a room. read more

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