Category: France

The Mystery in the Bayeux Tapestry

The Bayeux Tapestry in Bayeux, France manages to make the Battle of Hastings in 1066 an adventuresome mystery. Photo credit: V. Laino

It’s Not Just about 1066 and the Battle of Hastings It having been a very long time since I learned about William the Conqueror, the Battle of Hastings, and the importance of the year 1066 to British history, it is…

Stasis in Sculpture

Umberto Boccioni's Unique Forms of Continuity in Space at the Museum of Modern Art (MOMA) in New York City. Photo credit: M. Ciavardini

David Stands, but Unique Forms of Continuity in Space Rocks As much as I love Michelangelo’s David (that stone! that body!), it’s a work of art that’s made to be adored. And indeed it is. David just stands there, commanding…

How Would You Draw It?

Capture Notre Dame Cathedral--and possibly a spectral presence--in just the right light. Photo credit: V. Laino

Art Tourism at Notre Dame Cathedral As if anyone ever needed an excuse to linger on the Île de la Cité in Paris, sticking around and drawing, or painting, or photographing Notre Dame Cathedral would be a good reason. So…

Slacking the Saint James

When the going gets tough, the tough get going . . . after a cappuccino or two, anyway.

Doing the Camino de Santiago Your Way The little nagging fear about embarking on a pilgrimage is, at least in my case, that everyone else on the trail will be a whole lot more religious than I am. So it…

Day Trip from Geneva to Yvoire, France

The castle in Yvoire, France, was built in the Middle Ages. Photo credit: © foxytoul — stock.adobe.com

Make Time to Go Medieval in a Small French Village From fast-moving and modern Geneva, with its trains and efficiencies, escape for a day to nearby Yvoire, France, a medieval town replete with a castle. Situated on Lake Geneva (also…

Retro Saint-Michel

Will a Half-Century Old Guidebook Help a Tourist View an Attraction Differently? Picking up an old guidebook on Mont Saint-Michel that was published in the 1960s, I flip through to find out what highlights were deemed important 50-plus years ago.…

Mont Saint Michel for Changing Times

Tides of Mont St.-Michel book cover

Roger Vercel’s 1938 novel about the mount still entices What I like about Mont Saint Michel is that the closer you climb to the top of the mount, the farther you are from the touristy crappiness that can accompany any…

Le Penseur Two Ways

Street art in New York City's Little Italy: A version of Auguste Rodin's Le Penseur with a contemporary twist Photo credit: M. Ciaardini

In New York or Paris, Rodin’s Sculpture Charms What sculpture might be as well-known as the Statue of Liberty? Could it be Auguste Rodin’s Le Penseur (The Thinker), accessible at the Musée Rodin in Paris and, with a contemporary twist…

Finding Napoleon beyond France

Napoleon's army left a cannon behind in the Kremlin, Moscow. Photo credit: M. Ciavardini

Enamored with the French Revolution on my visit to Paris, I pay scant attention to Napoleon during my time there. Stopping by at Les Invalides, I focus more on a car show on its grounds than to the tomb of…

Celebrating Louis XVI

Excess at Versailles Photo credit: L. Tripoli

Accomplishments besides Marrying Poorly Louis XVI, king of France, was born 261 years ago on August 23, 1754, and what many seem to remember about him is his wife, Marie-Antoinette, originally of Austria, and his general ineffectiveness in leading his…