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Showing posts from 2019

Top places less traveled

Top places less traveled By Damien Martin
     Travel is easier than ever before, and as a result, we are becoming incredibly well-traveled. Just when you think you’ve seen it all, working with a trusted advisor can open up new regions and territories you haven’t thought about to expand your horizons even further. Maybe you saw the major places on your trip or two to a country or region, and now you want to go even more in-depth. These places are for you.
Western Australia
      Most of the major cities Down Under are located on the eastern and southern coasts. There’s a whole lot of Outback separating Adelaide in South Australia from Perth, the capital of Western Australia. Perth, the fourth-largest city in Australia with about 2 million inhabitants, is the gateway to the Margaret River wine region, succulent seafood and black truffles just as good as any you’ll find in Europe. These factors contribute to Perth having the most restaurants per capita of any Australian capital and a gre…

Top travel movies

Top travel movies By Damien Martin
     There’s nothing like seeing your destination on screen to really get you excited for your trip. While there are a whole host of travel-themed movies, we’ve selected a few of our favorites to highlight this. Watch at home to get inspired or bring on the plane with you to psych yourself up even more for the journey.
Before Sunrise
     This movie has it all: Romance, trains, Ethan Hawke brooding. The real star, though, is the city of Vienna, which provides the setting as Hawke’s Jesse and Julie Delpy’s Céline stroll around after meeting on a train. The pair discuss music, philosophy and all the hopes and dreams of unfettered youth. The sequel “Before Sunset” sees the pair reunited in Paris nine years later, looking back on the intervening years while strolling through Paris. “Before Midnight,” the finale of the trilogy, shows the now-married couple vacationing in Greece’s Peloponnese.

Y Tu Mamá También
     A classic coming of age road trip takes a …

Memories of Notre-Dame

Memories of Notre-Dame By Damien Martin
      As the world watched Notre-Dame de Paris burn last month, many of us thought of our visits to the iconic cathedral that has stood in the heart of the French capital for hundreds of years. Those of us who have studied art history admire it as a leading example of Gothic architecture, with its signature gargoyles and flying buttresses.

      While Notre-Dame’s treasures and rose windows were thankfully spared major damage, many people wept at the sight of the roof collapsing and the church’s spire crumbling down. Largay Travel advisors shared some of their memories of Notre-Dame. I myself was fortunate enough to ascend to the roof on my first visit at age 17, and each trip to Paris for me must include a visit; now more than ever.

      Stefany DiManno Ceccato of DMC Travel Tailor first visited Paris and Notre-Dame in her early 20s. “I remember admiring the Gothic architecture, as I wasn't used to seeing that in the States,” she wrote. “I…

A family reunites in Southern Italy

A family reunites in Southern Italy By Joe Decker, Lush Experiences
     The vast majority of the 4 million Italians who migrated to America in mass migration at the end of 19th and beginning of the 20th centuries came from the Mezzogiorno in southern Italy. Their descendants have spread throughout the U.S. especially the Northeast. As heritage travel has surged in popularity in recent years, Largay preferred partner Lush Experiences has put together this sample itinerary exploring Naples, the Amalfi Coast and family history.

     Imagine your children are getting older and you want to give them the opportunity to explore their Neapolitan background, possibly meet some distant relatives. As your Largay Travel advisor thinks about connecting you with relatives in Italy, you gather as much information as you can and your advisor reaches out to Privilege Italia to take advantage of its Italian Ancestry program. Working in the “family business” all their lives, Mario and Francesco Staiano a…

Celebrate Earth Day with sustainable travel

Celebrate Earth Day with sustainable travel By Damien Martin
     We have only one Earth, and while it’s exciting to explore every corner, it’s important to preserve as many of the wonders as we can for future generations. Working with partners who are committed to sustainability and leaving things better than they found them is something that sets us apart and makes us comfortable sending our travelers across the globe. In honor of Earth Day, check out some of the initiatives a few of our preferred partners have created.
Natural Habitat Adventures

     Natural Habitat became the world’s first carbon-neutral travel company in 2007. Since then, Natural Habitat has offset more than 34 million pounds of carbon emissions. Partnering with the World Wildlife Fund, Sustainable Travel International and The International Ecotourism Society among other conservation-driven institutions, Natural Habitat is always looking for ways to improve in its stewardship of the natural world. All of the comp…

‘Game of Thrones’ filming locations

‘Game of Thrones’ filming locations By Damien Martin
     The final season of “Game of Thrones” is upon us. There are a lot of questions to be answered. Who lives? Who dies? Who sits on the Iron Throne when it’s all said and done? Will it even matter because everything’s been taken over by the Night King and his army of White Walkers? The most important questions, however, are, “Where did they film that?” and “Can I go see it?” We might not yet know the full implications of Bran’s ability to travel in time, but we know where you can travel to see these incredible Game of Thrones filming locations. Croatia
       Dubrovnik doubles as Kings Landing, with Cersei’s walk of shame taking place in the streets of the ancient city. Fortunately, even though Cersei took her revenge by blowing up the Great Sept of Baelor, Dubrovnik’s Old Town still stands. Ston also lends its beauty to some of the fortifications of Kings Landing, while Dubrovnik’s Minceta Tower serves as the House of the Undying, wh…

Favorite hotel pets

Favorite hotel pets By Damien Martin
      You might have to leave the beloved family pet behind when you go on vacation, but at some of our favorite hotels, you’ll find some furry or feathered friends to make your stay more fun. Blackberry Farm
     This Virtuoso-preferred resort in Walland, Tenn., breeds Lagotto Romagnolo dogs who specialize in truffle hunting. One weekend every February, guests are invited to bring their own Lagottos or enjoy time with the farm’s as they do what they love best, hunt for truffles. The celebration culminates in a feast showcasing the flavorful fungi in a variety of tasty dishes. The farm also has sheep and chickens, plus horseback riding.
Fearrington House Inn
     This Relais & Chateaux property in North Carolina has a barnyard full of more than 30 Belted Galloway cows. They’re black and white and frequently referred to by guests as “oreo cows.” They’re joined in the barnyard by a herd of black and white goats, and since 2015 by rare black and whit…

Spring works of art

Spring works of art By Damien Martin
     It’s officially spring, and things are in bloom — super bloom for Southern California after a rainy winter. The air is warmer and sweeter, and a sense of excitement permeates the air after a brutal winter. It’s enough to inspire any mind. For kids, thoughts begin to drift to summer days free from school. For artists, the rebirth of nature has inspired magnificent works of art. These are some of our favorite springtime paintings, inspired by beautiful destinations.

Primavera, Sandro Botticelli

      This Renaissance masterpiece, which you can see at Florence’s Uffizi Gallery, features the Roman goddess Venus and her son Cupid in the center of an orange grove flanked by Flora (goddess of spring) and the three Graces. At left is Mercury, god of May (April belongs to Venus) and at right is the west wind, Zephyrus, abducting the nymph Chloris. Zephyrus ushers in spring by marrying Chloris and turning her into Flora. The painting is full of mythologica…

Tour of Ireland

Tour of Ireland By Damien Martin
     It’s 365 days until next St. Patrick’s Day, but if you still have some partying left in you after yesterday, get yourself to the Emerald Isle for an authentic Irish cultural experience. With so many regions worth checking out, Ireland is best explored by car, either driving yourself or, better yet, with a driver-guide. Fly into Dublin in the east or Shannon in the west -- preclearing U.S. customs at either airport on the way home -- and circumnavigate the island for an enchanting journey through the land of St. Patrick.
     Visit St. Patrick’s Cathedral in the capital to see where the country’s patron saint baptized converts to Christianity and admire the illuminated manuscript of the Book of Kells at Trinity College. Get some fresh air in the urban oases of Phoenix Park and St. Stephen’s Green or walk in the footsteps of great writers such as Oscar Wilde and William Butler Yeats, or their characters, such as James Joyce’s Leopold Bloom, who…

The case for cruising

The case for cruising By Damien Martin
      If you’ve never been on a cruise, you might have a lot of questions about the experience, and a lot of preconceptions that may or may not be true. The reality is, there are many different types of cruising. If you think it’s not for you, you might be surprised at what’s out there.

Something for Everyone, Part I
      As stated above, the cruising world offers a vast array of experiences. Your preconception might be of a megaship that’s more like a floating city. Yes, those exist. What you might not know about them is that there are plenty of places onboard to find some peace and quiet. While the kids can spend entire days climbing rock walls and riding waves in surf simulators, adults can be relaxing on the veranda or in an exclusive lounge in a separate deluxe block of staterooms. The dining options aren’t limited to one buffet: There are specialty restaurants offering the spectrum of culinary traditions. The entertainment options also appea…