Tuscany’s richly deserved fame as one of the world’s premier art, food, and wine destinations draws millions of visitors every year. While adults flock to Florence, for young travelers, one of the region’s highlights is hidden away in the tiny town of Collodi, roughly halfway between Florence and the Ligurian coast. Carlo Lorenzini, the Florentine writer who created Pinocchio, had family in Collodi and adopted the town’s name for his pseudonym. Modern-day Collodi is replete with all things Pinocchio, and its quirky amusement park dedicated to the famous long-nosed marionette is a must.
Posts tagged ‘movies’
According to a recent study, “traveling will help you lose weight, feel younger, and have more sex.” Now, the word ‘study’ here has to be taken with a large grain of salt — the survey in question was carried out by Expedia, which has a pretty direct interest in getting people to travel more. Given how much delicious food we ate in Paris, we’re not sure that the first claim stands up to scrutiny, but our recent trip did make us feel younger — not so much because we were traveling, but more so because we were traveling without our son.
In a city as busy and bustling as Paris — with its rich artistic and architectural heritage — it is easy to lose oneself in a mad dash between various cultural sites. If you don’t stop and look around every once in a while, you might wind up missing some great contemporary art.
Vegas, baby! VEGAS!! The Holy Grail for gamblers and 90’s cult movie fans, and the final destination of our Southwest road trip. En route to Sin City, we stopped by the Valley of Fire, a small Nevada state park that packs a lot of punch. In fact, we had to strike a balance between seeing all of its highlights and reaching Vegas at a reasonable time.
It was difficult to leave Moab. Not only did we have an amazing time in Arches and Canyonlands, but we also knew that heavy rains awaited us in the Grand Staircase region where we were headed. So we dawdled, and wound up visiting a surprisingly scenic state park that initially was not on our itinerary. The park is called Dead Horse Point, and if you’re in Moab, it is not to be missed.
Ever since watching Banksy’s documentary Exit Through the Gift Shop, we’ve tried to keep our eyes peeled for some of the pioneer urban artists whose surreptitious stencils, tags, and paste-ups add vibrancy to sometimes drab city neighborhoods. We still have not come upon any of Space Invader’s tile work or the once ubiquitous Obey posters — the brainchild of Shepard Fairey, who prior to creating the Obama Hope design dedicated himself to plastering innumerable city walls the world over with posters of André the Giant. Though the names of the artists who have applied their skills to Lisbon’s walls are less well known, the city is the most graffiti-friendly metropolis we have ever visited, and some of the artwork is nothing short of brilliant.
There is a great scene in the director’s cut of Pulp Fiction that did not make it to the big screen when the film premiered in the United States. At her apartment, Uma Thurman greets John Travolta with a small hand-held camera and proceeds to interview him before they go out to dinner and dance that memorable twist routine. In an interview, Quentin Tarantino said that he omitted the scene not because he didn’t like it — on the contrary, it sheds light on some subsequent dialogue that otherwise has no context — but rather because there were too many other movies in the early 90’s that featured similar on-camera, confession-style interviews. He did not want to be part of a fad, even if he had thought up the idea first, so he axed the scene.
There is a vignette in one of our guidebooks that tells of how Erasmus killed a Hapsburg prince in a duel and then hid out at Predjama, a small castle in the Slovenian countryside, from whence he launched raider attacks on the local nobility while the emperor’s army laid siege to his fortress in vain. Though the time period fit, this was a difficult image to square with the Dutch humanist who is now the namesake of one of the better known student exchange programs in the world. We did some fact-checking (i.e. Wikipedia) and it seems that while the author of our guidebook got the name wrong — the robber baron was actually named Erazem Lueger — the legend of his escapades is very much based in real-life events.
There are several lodges in Karlovy Vary that are variously cited as the inspiration for Wes Anderson’s Grand Budapest Hotel. We have yet to visit this Czech resort town, but in Bovec we stayed at a small boutique hotel that can accurately be described as the Grand Budapest’s spiritual cousin.