You don’t have to live in Italy to get married here. Although there is quite a lot of legwork and paper chasing involved, countless American citizens have tied the knot in Florence, Rome, and many other cities. If you are thinking of an Italian wedding, check that rules haven’t changed with an Italian Consulate office in the U.S.
Italy is home to the Cittaslow movement which combines “Slow Food” with the art of leisurely good living. As delectable dining is one of the great joys of Italy, make time to discover at least one or two of the network’s 70 small towns. Most Cittaslow communities come with historic treasures, but the big attraction is their strong sense of identity and spirit of place. To be accredited, they must have less than 50,000 inhabitants. With an emphasis on regional recipes, traditional agricultural practices and seasonal local produce, it’s an authentic taste of Italy guaranteed to make your tastebuds zing. Here are four inland and coastal gems to whet your appetite.
Few places in the world offer the cultural bounty that France does. The country offers excellent and diverse cuisine, jaw-dropping works of art, fascinating historical relics and so much more. Culture can be found in virtually every corner of France, but here is my take on the top three French cultural retirement havens…
“You don’t have to be a millionaire to enjoy everything Malta can provide,” says Gigi Griffis. “Rents in the capital start from as low as $450 a month. Milk, bread, and other groceries can be bought for $1 apiece, while a bottle of quality wine can be had for $6. Private insurance is a fraction of what you would expect to pay back in the States, with annual premiums for a couple starting as low as $800 for expats I spoke to.”
Cancún’s huge, maze-like outdoor mega-mart, Mercado 23 is where locals go to find the best deals. Here you’ll find dozens of food vendors and fish mongers, a large aromatic spice shop, butchers’ markets filled with cages of squawking chickens, sweet-smelling bakeries, and a dizzying array of specialty shops. Unfortunately, as entertaining and culturally enriching as it is, most visitors to Cancún never find their way to Mercado 23.
When visiting Hoi An, Vietnam there are some obvious must sees and do's. You must visit some of the old cultural sites in the Unesco World Heritage Ancient Town and you must have couture clothing and shoes made for a fraction of the price it would cost you to buy them back home. But how do you get off the beaten path in a town so well-trodden by tourists? Check out these five out of the ordinary experiences:
For special occasions, especially the Christmas holidays, nacatamales are the go-to traditional meal in Nicaragua. Making this delicious dish is a bit labor intensive and a multi-step process—so the whole family gets involved. The basic ingredients are masa, chicken or pork seasoned with...
Get out into this spectacular countryside, where Lanna culture is king, and see all its hidden treasures first-hand. Whether you rent a car or scooter, hire a driver for the day, or sign up for an organized tour, plan on a trip outside Chiang Mai’s city limits while you’re in the area.
When most people think of Costa Rica, they picture white-sand beaches, rainforests, monkeys frolicking in the trees, and clear-blue ocean. And that’s all true. This little tropical country is full of natural beauty.
When you meet a local in Penang they’ll ask you two questions. Firstly, “How are you?” And then “sudah makan?” which roughly translates as “Have you eaten yet?” It’s asked when you get a haircut…when you get a taxi…when you shop at the market… And they truly want to know. If you answer yes, they will ask “What?” and “Where?” and then proceed to tell you their favorite food and where to get it. It's a conversation, not just a question. Food is that important in Penang. (And don’t worry, people speak English…you only need to know a few words of Malay.)