Studying Gargoyles and Grotesques Gargoyles and grotesques were a hallmark of the Gothic period of architecture, which grew popular in Western Europe from the 12th to the late 15th centuries, and which was carried over …

Istanbul, Imperial City

Blue Mosque, Istanbul

Istanbul, Imperial City For more than a thousand years, Constantinople stood as the capital of the Byzantine Empire, surviving numerous attacks and internal rebellions, until the cannons of the Ottoman Empire breached its walls. Constantinople, …

European Travel Information and Authorisation System (ETIAS) The EU has recently announced a system for its border entry process to the Schengen Zone.  The system is called ETIAS, and here is everything  you need to …

Constructing Versailles

The golden entrance gates of the Palace of Versailles

Constructing Versailles, the making of a Palace The Château du Versailles is an iconic destination for all of those interested in French history. A stone’s throw away from Paris, Versailles was the official  residence of …

‘Queen of the Sea’: A History of Lisbon In 1554, the writer Damião de Góis claimed that out of all the European cities, only Lisbon and her rival Seville ‘could rightfully be called Ladies and …

Monet’s Gift to France

Monet's gift to France

Claude Monet’s Water Lilies are among the most beloved artworks of the 20th century. Displayed in Paris’s Orangerie in a set of rooms devoted entirely to the paintings, they are Monet’s gift to France at …

The Beginning of Human Civilisation Ancient Greece is well-known as one of the earliest civilizations that contributed significantly to human advancement. “Greece reached heights in almost every area of human learning” (Mark 2013).  Generally speaking, Ancient, …

Designing Paris

Paris Seine River

Designing Paris The Paris that many of us know and love did not always look as it does now. When Napoleon III instructed Hausmann to tear down the urban centre to make way for the …

Problem of “Overtourism”

Crowds and Queues on holiday Milan

Problem of “Overtourism” The night crowd at the Trevi Fountain in Rome, Italy Tourism is a double-edged sword: it brings economic prosperity to a community, but can also be a burden on its resources. Cities …

Secrets of Florence

Florence, Italy

Secrets of Florence Florence, capital of the Italian region of Tuscany, is considered the birthplace of the Renaissance and left behind a legacy that shaped the Italy we know today. This article reveals some of …

Key 19th century painters

19th century painters

Key 19th century painters No trip to any country in Europe is complete without a visit to one of the many impressive art galleries that are lined with the artistic talents throughout history. Especially in …

Secret Venice

Secret Venice

Secret Venice: The Council of Ten and Medieval Espionage The city-state of Venice emerged on a lagoon from the ruins of the Roman and Byzantine empires in the 9th century, and grew to become the greatest …

Uncovering Albania

Uncovering Albania

Uncovering Albania Albania sits on the Ionian and Adriatic Seas in southern Europe, bounded by Montenegro, Kosovo, Macedonia, and Greece. This small and mountainous country in the Balkan peninsula had roots in ancient Illyria, and …

Seeking Caravaggio’s “Nativity” The hunt for Caravaggio’s stolen “Nativity” painting may just be the most high-profile art crime of the 20th century. One stormy night in 1969, an altarpiece painted by Italian master Michelangelo Merisi da …

Southern Italy

Southern Italy

Southern Italy: from Magna Graecia to Italian Unification When you ask people about Italy, more often than not one of the first places they mention is the capital city, Rome, or the submerged streets of …

South West France

South West France.

For centuries, trade via France from the Atlantic to the Mediterranean has been of the utmost importance for the country’s cultural and economic development.  From as far back as the 3rd century BC when Cornish …