As the rest of the world continues to power through the COVID-19 pandemic, a delightful and intoxicating respite has returned to Italy — one of the planet’s most ravaged and earliest hit countries — in the form of tiny windows scattered throughout the luscious Tuscany region. The surprise awaiting imbibers on the other end of the opening is vino, pure and simple. A staple beverage that is ubiquitous to Italy; presented, with discreet charm, in a historic display that seems to indicate that things, finally, might just be returning to normal.
Life moves at a frenetic pace. It often feels impossible to hit pause on the obligations and distractions that come with modern life. One 92-acre village in the heart of Indiana is just the place to change all that. With its authentic Amish food, hospitality, and culture, Gasthof Amish Village is the perfect place for a weekend getaway to recharge and refresh.
Amid the current pandemic, the debate continues about the efficacy of personal protective equipment, especially face masks. According to some, if they are not of the N95 grade quality, they may not be effective at protecting the wearer’s immune system from absorbing foreign airborne pathogens. Pandemics are not a new phenomenon, and how they are handled now is a sharp contrast to the yesteryear methods. However, one similarity involves the protective gear worn by today’s health care workers—our new plague doctors.
What began as a practical scarecrow creation for the family plot has transformed into a whimsical display of memories in the remote village of Nagoro, Japan. When someone passes on or moves away, Ayano Tsukimi, an elderly crafts hobbyist, makes life-sized scarecrows to remember their presence. These ubiquitous cotton-stuffed dolls are ten times more than the human residents in the village and have become a major attraction for visitors from around the globe.
The Isle of Man, a tiny, self-governing British Crown dependency situated between Ireland, Scotland, England, and Wales in the heart of the Irish Sea, features prominently in Britain’s history of scintillating storytelling. A proud population of around 80,000 Manx occupy this mythical territory, and most are keen to preserve its rich connection to traditional fairy folklore. And they’ve recently gotten some help from an outside source.
Nestled deep in the hidden valleys of Yunnan, China, east of the Himalayas and abutting the blue waters of Lugu Lake, sits a community of inhabitants known as the Mosuo people. And like most members of this community, they collectively share several similarities—traits, ideals, morals, beliefs. What sets this group apart from the rest of their mainland counterparts is their surprisingly modern approach to Chinese tradition. In this mysterious and unspoiled region, known as the “Kingdom of Women,” men take a backseat.
In the quaint Romanian town of Săpânţa, the local Merry Cemetery features a colorful tableau of more than 800 grave markers that manage to elicit emotions that are uncharacteristic of traditional burial grounds. Somber slate and graphite mounds are replaced with colorful wooden crosses—each depicting, in almost playful detail, the life and death of each of the town’s former residents.
Sarasota, Florida, can elicit many different images: sunny beaches, lush golf courses, groves of orange trees. The possibilities are endless – it’s a veritable paradise for outsiders looking to escape the year-round doldrums.
Few patron saints have birthed polarizing legacies as lasting as Saint Valentine. Valentine’s Day, or Saint Valentine’s Day, is a recognized holiday, occurring each year on February 14, wherein lovers exchange gifts and indulge in pleasantries. Alternatively, the unattached are often left to feel castigated for their failures to find a partner. Whatever your thoughts on the occasion, Saint Valentine’s history is as important as it is fascinating and murky.
In the remote Mountain Province of Sagada, Philippines, the natives practice a burial ritual that draws curious visitors and photographers from countries all over the world. For over 2,000 years, the Sagada people have laid their deceased residents to rest in coffins that dangle from the side of Sagada’s steep Echo Valley cliffs as well as inside its many caves.