local experience

Jemaa el-Fnaa After Dark – A Food Lover’s Paradise

Marrakech, Morocco – Wandering the twisting, narrow streets of the Medina, it’s impossible to get very far without hearing a familiar phrase, “The square is that way!” By daylight, I keep Jemaa el-Fnaa – Marrakech’s main square – at my back while walking the labyrinth of alleys, ducking through arched passageways and arriving at more than one dead end. Marrakech …

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Amazing Local Markets Around the World (PHOTOS)

One of my favorite ways to experience local culture while traveling is by visiting a market. Loud, crowded and colorful, it’s easy to immerse oneself in this multi-sensory slice of daily life abroad. In every destination, I’ve found a market worth visiting, from Tokyo’s Tsukiji Fish Market – the biggest seafood wholesaler in the world, to Bamako’s recycling market – …

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Photos: Making Backyard Grappa in Tuscany

The farmer and I walk down the dirt path in silence. The unseasonably warm October sun heats my shoulders and I can hear my sandals crunching against the gravel. Before we reach the shed he stops and turns to me. “You know, this is illegal.” I did, in fact know it was illegal. My latest Facebook status update reads, “I’m …

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Exploring the Streets and Eats of Split, Croatia

SPLIT, CROATIA — I step off the high-speed Snav ferry from Ancona, Italy, after a four hour smooth-as-glass Adriatic crossing. The coastal city of Split shimmers in the hot summer air like a white marble mirage, seeming to rise from the sea itself. Much of the city’s center is bound within the ancient walls of Diocletian’s Palace, built by the …

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Sunday Lunch at a Farm in Tuscany

There’s something about a toasted slice of Tuscan bread and a single raw garlic clove that makes my heart beat a little faster. Farm-style bruschetta is one of my favorite foods, especially in autumn, when the olive oil is hours-old and bread is toasted over a roaring hearth. But this is July, and one of the hottest I can remember …

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How to Watch Football Like an Italian

Last night I watched the semi-final match of Euro 2012 from a square in Montisi, a tiny medieval hill town in southern Tuscany. The teams: Italy vs. Germany. With more than 200 locals and visitors crowding the piazza and cheering on the Italian team, Montisi served up an unforgettable home-cooked feast flanked by big screen TVs. Food and football go …

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