That fine building, St Paul’s

That fine building, St Paul’s

When Christopher Wren’s new cathedral was finally finished in 1697, people thought it very fine indeed.  One contemporary asked: ‘How shall I fitly name this matchless pile?’

City Breaks London Episode 03

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Traveltheworldclub.com

Traveltheworldclub.com

This excellent website takes you to dozens of cities worldwide, giving practical info and a real sense of what each city is like.  On Venice, site creator Barry Till gives the tip that staying in Murano, rather than Venice itself, can be a good idea: ‘I loved the glass sculptures in public areas, the views across the lagoon to all sides and a feel of tranquillity after the hectic crowds of Venice’.

www.traveltheworldclub.com

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The beauty of Florence

The beauty of Florence

‘I am astonished at the profusion of fine things we meet with in every part of this city.’ (David Garrick, 1763)

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Some well-chosen words

Some well-chosen words

Niccolo Machiavelli wrote what’s been called ‘perhaps the most famous letter ever written in Italian’.  You can hear all about it, along with his ideas on such topics as how to dominate at work and how to seem generous to others while actually benefitting yourself.  And we explain too where in Florence today you can find traces of him.

Florence Episode 12.

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Finding better company in Bath

Finding better company in Bath

‘After staying long enough in the Pump Room to discover that the crowd was insupportable … they hastened away to the Crescent to breathe the fresh air of better company.’  (Northanger Abbey)  Join Jane Austen and indeed Charles Dickens and a host of other writers on their trips to Bath by listening to our latest series.

(Episode 07: Jane Austen’s Bath  Episode 11: A Bath Anthology)

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City Break Ideas: Larnaca

City Break Ideas: Larnaca

In Larnaca (Cyprus) you’ll find a lovely old town, the Hala Sultan Tekke, one of Islam’s holiest places, the 9th century Orthodox Church of St Lazarus, a 12th century castle built to protect the harbour and the lovely salt lake where pink flamingos flock from November to April.

City Break Ideas Episode 06

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Paris remembers Victor Hugo

Paris remembers Victor Hugo

Victor Hugo lived in 15 different houses in Paris, and the last road he lived in was renamed after him. The actual house has gone, but today if you pass 124 Avenue Victor Hugo, in the 16th arrondissement, you can tell it’s the site because of this frieze. 600,000 people filed by in 1881 to wish him a happy 80th birthday!

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Food from the gods

Food from the gods

A Spanish saying points to the gastronomic delights which await you in Seville: ‘A quien Dios quiere bien, en Sevilla le da a comer’  (He whom the gods favour, they feed food from Seville)

(Seville Episode 11)

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The surprise palace.

The surprise palace

In the early 1700s, Peter the Great gave his wife Catherine some land and she secretly had a palace built on it. A generation later, their daughter, the Empress Elisabeth, got Italian architects in to turn it into the sumptuous residence which is the Catherine Palace.  

(St Petersburg Episode 04)

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