Umbria is a landlocked region of central Italy that is known for rolling hills dotted with castles and fortresses interrupted by lush valleys, and medieval towns that have remained largely unchanged for centuries.
The mighty Tiber River flows through Umbria, and Lake Trasimeno, one of Italy’s largest can be found there. Rich agricultural lands yield black truffles, tobacco and olives, and its vineyards produce fine wines. These make Umbria an ideal destination for anyone interested in eco-tourism.
Romantic, and beautifully preserved, Verona is a UNESCO World Heritage City and one of the most sought-after destinations in Italy.
It was once a Roman colony, was conquered by the Goths, and was the site of several battles. The French, under Napoleon, occupied the city, as did the Austrians.
Verano has also been featured in literature. It was the setting for three of Shakespeare’s plays – Romeo & Juliet, The Two Gentlemen of Verona, and The Taming of the Shrew, and was also mentioned by Goethe and Stendhal.
All this has given Verona a colorful history, making this city of just under 80 square miles, a walking museum of cathedrals, monuments, and architectural gems from Ancient Rome, the Middle Age, Scaliger and Austrian periods.
It occurred to me a few days ago that we might finish the hurricane season without getting hit. Then one of my neighbors asked if I’d heard that a storm was approaching. I hadn’t. It was so early in its formation, it didn’t even have a name.
By Monday, it did: Sandy. I know a few people who share the name and had a little laugh at their expense. But there would be no joking about this Sandy.
She was headed directly for Jamaica on a path that would have her cross directly south to north through the center of the island. I was nervous. A broad storm passing through central Jamaica would have untold impact on the entire island, not just the parishes in its path.
The Wag Water River in the eastern parish of St. Mary is, to me, one of Jamaica’s more interesting rivers. It rises in the mountains of St. Andrew, flows for just over 36 kilometers through St. Mary and empties into the sea west of Annotto Bay, in the parish.
Come January 14, 2013, the Cuban government will no longer require exit visas and invitation letters from foreign nationals for Cubans to leave the country. What that means is that for the first time in 52 years, Cubans can leave their country. This is good news that I know my friends in Cuba, and especially those abroad, will welcome.
The Queen’s Theatre production of Les Misérables is a thrilling musical experience that has been shared by thousands of theatre-goers over the course of many years. Indeed, the show has seen over 10,000 performances in London, over 3000 of them at the Queen’s Theatre.
Based on the classic novel by Victor Hugo, the musical stage production of Les Misérables has been delighting audiences all over the world for over 25 years. Written by Claude-Michel Schönberg, Alain Boublil, Jean-Marc Natel and Herbert Kretzmer, the play follows the story of convict 24601, Jean Valjean, over the course of two decades. Over the years, Valjean attempts to redeem himself for his past crimes by becoming a respectable pillar of the community, a fair-minded employer and a loving father, all while being persistently followed by Javert, a man of the law whose strict beliefs allow no room for mercy or compassion.
Devon House is a Georgian style mansion that was built in 1881 for George Stiebel, Jamaica’s first black millionaire. Though having a German Jewish father, Stiebel’s mother was black and in photographs, he appears to have more of his mother’s color. Stiebel was born in 1820.
When he was 20, Stiebel’s father, Sigismund, gave him start up money to buy a ship which he used to transport cargo between North and South America. Eventually, he acquired two more ships and became involved in the lucrative gun trading. This landed him in jail in Cuba.