Anyone for Venice?

When Venice’s only female gondolier, Alex Hai, rows through the meandering canals, she says she feels the buildings are moving away to give her space, everything is fluid and magic can happen at any moment. After 30 years of being on the water in her sleek black gondola, she describes Venice as divided between boat … Continued

Rome with a view

The allure of Rome has cast a spell through the ages for its narrow streets, church domes, plundered treasures, and golden light. I was mesmerised, magically restored. My hotel of choice is the grand neo-Renaissance Regina Baglioni on the tree-lined Via Veneto, the glorious main drag of Fellini’s La Dolce Vita. It has that special … Continued

Cape Expectations

Cape Town’s natural setting never stops changing and making its impact on mesmerised visitors as clouds sweep down the granite face of Table Mountain, Atlantic breakers crash on to soft beaches and the blazing African sun ignites towering palms and vivid hibiscus. Cape Town has soul. Africa’s most passionately creative city has become a playground … Continued


Perched on a clifftop, Taormina dominates all around, valleys of almond, olive and cypress trees that sink into the dancing Ionian Sea. On clear days, the view is to Italy’s tip, the peninsula of Calabria, and behind, the looming smoky presence of the majestic volcano, Etna. There you stand with a truly momentous feeling between … Continued

Berlin – Into the Light

Berlin plays havoc with your emotions. The brutalities in its recent history are glaring everywhere. reminders, markers, memorials of the holocaust and the subsequent terror of communism and the stasi, are spread among the stones of this intelligent, thinking city. There’s nothing dumbed down about Berlin. I found myself flipping from fascination to tears  and … Continued