Category: Transformative Travel

Upstairs at San Marco

How do you get upstairs at the San Marco Basilica in Venice? And is the venture worthwhile? Photo credit: M. Ciavardini

Glimpse the World as a Venetian As a tourist checking off a list of must-sees in Venice, one might be tempted to just move with the masses through the main floor of the San Marco Basilica. The wait can be…

Cruising Cemeteries around the Globe

Grave marker of Anastasia Romanov at Peter and Paul Cathedral in St. Petersburg, Russia Photo credit: M. Ciavardini

Touring Graveyards for History and Understanding I suppose if you are bashful, a cemetery is a great place to visit given that no one is likely to talk to you much. I like cemeteries for the opportunities they provide to…

In Praise of Pachamama

An image of a shaman at a cemetery in Cusco, Peru

Experience the Tranquility of a Session with a Shaman The organized religion to which I was introduced as a child is one of repetition and repentance; we must constantly seek to avoid damnation for repeatedly soiling ourselves in sin. Also,…

The Ups and Downs of Mont Saint-Michel

First sighting of Mont Saint-Michele. Photo credit: V. Laino

I both love and loathe my experience at Mont Saint-Michel. I’m enamored of its history—how the Archangel Michael appeared to a priest some 700 years ago and told him to build this church in the water, how the priest equivocated…

On My Knees at the Scala Santa

My scant interest in anything associated with the church limited my first visit to Italy, where I opted only for visits to the Vatican and to a church in Milan where the body of a saint was on display, encased…

Even Non-Birders Can Enjoy Galapagos

In Galapagos, the animals aren't afraid of humans. Photo credit: L. Tripoli

I didn’t head to Ecuador to be at one with the birds. I’ve never been especially drawn to the things. I didn’t appreciate the claws on the parrots at Parrot Jungle. My grandmother’s caged parakeets—still singing despite their incarceration—annoyed me.…