The Colosseum

Known as the eternal city, Rome has withstood invasions, civil wars, and plagues. In modern times, the euro has replaced the lira and technology threatens to rush a culture predicated on “la dolce vita” (the sweet life). Despite that, Rome is a place where remnants of ancient history and the Renaissance peacefully coexist within a very modern, vibrant city.


When you hear the phrase “The Pacific Northwest,” the first thought this part of the world  probably conjures up is rain. But while it does rain a lot in winter, it’s a great vacation destination when the rainy season is over. You’ll enjoy moderate weather, outstanding natural beauty, a laid-back atmosphere, and an incredible variety of cuisines.

Gordes village in Provence, France.

Provence contains a wide range of geography, everything from Alpine mountains to some of the chicest beaches in the world, like Cannes and St. Tropez. 

Jane Durrell onboard the Ryndam ocean liner, 1953.

"Life on board ship is my life, and obviously I was born in Indiana by a fluke,” I wrote in a letter to my parents in 1953, a letter that miraculously came to hand all these years later.  Air travel then was exotic and, at least to me, a little scary.

Writer and traveler Jane Durrell with grandson William in Santa Fe.

Santa Fe is its own place. Walking its inviting streets, you are not likely to think, “Oh, this reminds me of Dayton, Ohio. Or San Francisco. Or Indianapolis.” I was in Santa Fe recently—not for the first time—and found it as individual and pleasurable as on my previous visits.  

Prato della Valle, Padova, Italy

Admittedly, Padova (or Padua as this northern Italian city is called on U.S. maps) is not on most people’s travel list of must-sees. But while it’s not Rome, Florence, or Venice, it has many charms, and because it’s so close to Venice, makes a wonderful base of operations for visiting the city of canals.

The Grand Tetons

In Big Sky Country, the moniker fits. But as Montana’s skies open for pastel sunsets, ominous storms, and star-sprinkled nights, the earth below provides equal wonderment. A clockwise circuit of Bozeman and Yellowstone and Grand Teton National Parks proves a memorable adventure celebrating the beauty of America.

Spoon sculpture at The Walker Art Center in Minneapolis

Minneapolis is a good theater town. It’s a good art town. It’s an interesting town architecturally. I understand a famous mall isn’t far away—the enormous Mall of America in nearby Bloomington—but theater and art and architecture kept me too busy to check that out. I understand it’s the most visited mall in the world, although not by me.

The Root River Trail in Minnesota

People come to the quiet southeastern Minnesota village of Lanesboro for two reasons: to bicycle the splendid Root River Trail and its adjunct, the Harmony-Preston Valley Trail, or to go to the theater. Or to do both.