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…

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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…

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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,…

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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…

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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…

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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.…

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