San Juan, the capital, melds the bustle of a large American city with the grace of its Spanish heritage along with colorful Caribbean touches. It has its share – and more – of shops, restaurants, bars and night clubs. Plus, its environmental diversity is echoed throughout Puerto Rico, a destination which many people visit in search of sun, sand and sipping rum drinks. But as anyone familiar with the island knows, there’s more – a lot more – to enjoy.
Our temporary Italian home away from home could have been in an upscale hotel – but it wasn’t. Its two spacious bedrooms, comfortable living room and full kitchen had recently been renovated. The antique furnishings, heirlooms of the family that owns the property, were casual and comfortable. Yet the setting, in the midst of gently rolling hills blanketed by olive trees, was unlike any traditional accommodation my wife Fyllis and I have experienced elsewhere.
Umbria, Tuscany’s next door neighbor, has not been as celebrated and glorified. Yet that often-overlooked region encompasses artistic, scenic and other treasures that reward those who seek them out. For starters, Umbria boasts a setting of magnificent landscapes. The jagged Apennine Mountains lead to rolling hillsides that flatten into lush valleys blanketed by fields of wildflowers.
St. Augustine Florida celebrated its 450th anniversary during 2015, and with such a long history, it’s no surprise that the city has its share of ghosts. The St. Francis Inn, the former home and current haunting place of Lily, shares much of the city’s history.
The traffic-clogged streets, towering skyscrapers and dazzling lighted billboards could be in Times Square, New York – but they aren’t. I’m walking through Japan down an ancient trail that snakes through dense woods and over mountain passes.