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Author Archives: Fred Hoyt

Ants and Virgins

Big bottomed ants, a virgin, and tropical dry forest add up to “the most beautiful city in Colombia” January 6, 2018. If you look at the CIA World Fact book, as I did, you’ll get an idea of the expanse of Colombia. Superimposing a Colombian map on the United States stretches the country the length … Continue reading »

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Villa de Leyva 2 January 4, 2018

January 4, 2018 Villa de Leyva (continued) When we got to explore the city and the region, I found Villa all that I hoped it would be. The Plaza Mayor, the largest public square in Colombia (perhaps outside of Bogota), surrounded by cobblestone streets, and lovely old colonial architecture—the stucco with balconies or overhangs with … Continue reading »

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Villa De Leyva (1)

Villa de Leyva January 3, 2018 The trip to this city took root over a year ago when, in Cartagena, I read in the Lonely Planet guidebook that Villa de Leyva was one of the best preserved colonial cities in South America. That and about $5 leftover Colombian pesos closed the deal for me. It’s … Continue reading »

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How to Spend One Day in Florence, but Don’t Try This At Home

August 22, 2017 With only one day, I had to plan carefully to get my ration of churches, forts, palaces—and here, Renaissance art museums. I’m happy to say that, despite the challenges of being one among 22 million, I was reasonably successful. The morning began with a local guide taking us past the highlights: the … Continue reading »

Categories: Malta and Italy August 2017 | Leave a comment

The First Italian Meal in America–Verrazzano tartare

  August 21, 2017 Twenty-two million tourists visit Florence every year, and while they aren’t all here now, the presence of 22 million in a city of around half a million certainly is obvious. It’s Florence’s biggest business (public restrooms are 1 euro—x  million); the other is fashion.  The Ferragamo family owns one of the … Continue reading »

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Two surprising days in Siena

August 20, 2017 When people ask me, “What’s your favorite place,” I usually respond, “Where I am.” While that’s unusually diplomatic for me, it may well be true about where I am now; Siena would definitely earn a place in my top ten. It certainly has many attractions that have kept me busy the last … Continue reading »

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We’re ruin-ed

We’re ruin-ed August 16, 2017 We saw a (bad) movie, “My Life in Ruins” on the boat, which was about a tour group in Greece. Our ten days has been about “ruins” and yesterday we arrived in the “biggest open-air museum in the world,” the city of Rome. The day began with ruins.  We woke … Continue reading »

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The Pontine Islands

The Pontine Islands August 15, 2017 They say a picture is worth 1,000 words.  If that’s the case, our visit today should be worth over 100,000 words, since I took over 120 pictures on our two trips to the island of Ponza, the biggest island in the Pontine chain. I’ll try to make it shorter…. … Continue reading »

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I Was in Hell (again)

I’ve been to hell (again) August 14, 2017 I say again because you may recall last year hell was in Lalibela, Ethiopia. That was then.  This is 2017, and hell—the Roman entrance to it at least—is but a short cab ride from our boat in Pozzuoli, Italy.  I went there today, and discovered it is … Continue reading »

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Capri-cious

Capri-cious August 13, 2017 Heeding the strong northwest wind that more than rippled the waves, our captain changed course slightly today—we left Salerno at 5 am, bound along the Amalfi Coast for Sorrento, about 40 miles away. While that meant we didn’t get to see much of the small villages tucked on high cliffs (I … Continue reading »

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