Umbria, Where You Slow Down and Savor Everything; Donnie Sexton; GoNOMAD

Italy – Assisi, the Basilica of San Francesco and Other Franciscan Sites

Visiting the towns in Italy’s Umbria region. Assisi, with its famous chapel, Perugia, home to many festivals, Orvieto where great wines are made, and more.

First-time visitors to Italy tend to head straight to Rome, Florence or Venice and rightly so.

Once you have crossed these magnificent cities off your bucket list, go local by exploring Italy’s green heart –Umbria.  This agricultural-rich region, within an hour and half north of Rome, will seduce any visitor with its cobblestoned medieval villages and its abundance of locally produced food and wine.

The pace of life is slower and more affordable, and you’ll come to understand why Italians linger over the pleasures of the table.

Getting Around Umbria

 

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US-funded Makli tomb preservation project completed; Express Tribune

Pakistan – Historical Monuments at Makli, Thatta

Herita­ge sites remind us of histor­ical experi­ences of humani­ty, says US consul-genera­l.

The United States (US) recognises that the cultural heritage sites in Pakistan are essential reminders of the historical experiences of humanity and conservation efforts should be carried for the preservation of such sites so that they continue telling stories of the past.

This was said by US Consul-General Grace Shelton during her visit to Makli on Sunday to attend the completion ceremony of the Ambassadors Fund for Cultural Preservation (AFCP) project for the preservation of the tombs of Sultan Ibrahim and Amir Sultan Muhammad at the cemetery.

Makli is one of the greatest historical sites situated in Sindh. The United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation (Unesco) included Makli in the list of world heritage sites in 1981.

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On the hunt for dragons: Hiking through Komodo Island; Samai Haider; Dhaka Tribune

India – Komodo National Park

Dragons exist, and not just on Westeros. Recounting my encounter with Komodo dragons in Indonesia.

I stared in trepidation at the long, smooth stick offered to me. Expecting a hard day’s hike ahead of us, I turned to our guide, a national park ranger and asked, “Rough terrain?” His sunbaked face split into what can only be construed as an amused smile, as he said, in broken English, “Yes, and also to fight Komodo dragon.”I looked at him in utter disbelief. A relic from the age of the dinosaurs, the Komodo dragon is the largest lizard on the planet, capable of growing up to 10 feet in length. It is known to outrun men, swim long distances in choppy waters to reach other far flung islands and possess a venomous bite – and I was meant to fight one off with a stick.

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In India, not all are pleased by a national park’s World Heritage status; Aadil Brar; DevEx

India – Khangchendzonga National Park

After a successful government campaign, Khangchendzonga National Park in Sikkim became India’s first “mixed” world heritage site — recognized by UNESCO for both its natural and cultural significance. But with key stakeholders left out and environmental issues ignored, some wonder whether the United Nations body should be doing far more due diligence.

SIKKIM, India — At 4,000 meters, the landscape of Dzongri in Khangchendzonga National Park in northeastern Indian state of Sikkim is stunning. The snowy peaks of the Khangchendzonga mountain range peer over steep valleys dotted with lakes and temples. In the spring and autumn, tens of thousands of tourists from all over the world visit the park each year to trek. During the frigid winter and harsh summer monsoon season, however, the landscape becomes hostile and unwelcoming.

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10 Days Caucasus Itinerary: Linking Asia & Europe; Andrew Darwitan; Scarlet Scribbles

Georgia – Historical Monuments of Mtskheta

The fabled lands of Georgia, Armenia and Azerbaijan are unheard of by many, but this mountainous region harbors some of the world’s most stunning landscapes and ethno-cultural treasures where Christian and Muslim heritages intersect, millennia-old civilization thrives between wealthy metropolises, and the boundaries of Europe and Asia blur.

To help you plan your visit to Caucasus, I am sharing my Caucasus itinerary. I will also assign a rating of 1-3 hearts as a recommendation of how much I love each site.

Day 1: Baku

After a brief transit in Istanbul, I arrived via Turkish Airlines in the perpetually windy city of Baku (♥♥)in Azerbaijan, awashed in oil capital and ever-growing skyline of skyscrapers. But it’s a city which doesn’t forget its heritage, with a well-preserved cultural hub in its old walled city which has made its way into the UNESCO World Heritage List.

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Senegal’s Saint-Louis town beating the odds to emerge best tourist destination; Africa News

Senegal – Island of Saint-Louis

Ambient beaches, palm trees, and a sunny climate are just a few elements that place Saint-Louis, which is the third city in Senegal, a major tourist attraction. With its many ancient buildings, this city is in addition classified as the world heritage site by the UNESCO.

Saint-Louis is a city deeply rooted in history by both Africans and Europeans. Unfortunately as many secondary cities in Africa, it has not been accorded special attention just like capital cities, and little has been done to improve its infrastructure.

Tourism enables people to improve the image of such secondary cities in Senegal often ignored by governments. Tourism has lead to thousands of employment thus enhancing the per capita of such cities.

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Paraguay, the hidden gem; Anna Ahronheim; Jerusalem Post

Paraguay – Jesuit Missions of La Santísima Trinidad de Paraná and Jesús de Tavarangue

While still somewhat unknown to Israelis, Paraguay has become the fastest-growing tourist destination in South America.

The post-army trip – commonly to India, Southeast Asia or South America – is an important milestone for many. But ask any of those who went to South America about Paraguay, and you will receive a puzzled look, followed by “Para-what?” Figures from a 2015 Central Bureau of Statistics report found that 410,000 Israelis between the ages of 20 and 24 go abroad every year. But tourists, especially Israelis, are uncommon in landlocked Paraguay, which has been overshadowed by its giant, high-profile South American neighbors.

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Amazing and Diverse KwaZulu-Natal in South Africa; Robert Glazier; Goway

South Africa – Maloti-Drakensberg Park

KwaZulu-Natal is a province in South Africa absolutely teeming with exciting and diverse attractions. Located in the south east of the country, it borders three other countries – Mozambique, Swaziland, and Lesotho. Its capital is Pietermaritzburg, and the largest city is Durban. KwaZulu-Natal has a long, beautiful shoreline of outstanding beaches on the Indian Ocean, as well as game reserves, historic battlefields, dramatic mountain ranges, and ecologically important wetlands.

The following is a list of great places to see in KwaZulu-Natal while on your South Africa vacation.

Durban

Durban is South Africa’s third-largest city and a semi-tropical urban metropolis. Durban’s downtown area is a mix of grandiose colonial buildings and Art Deco architecture. It is a very important tourist centre because of its warm, subtropical climate and excellent sandy beaches.

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A Trip to St. Kilda, Scotland’s Lost Utopia in the Sea; Fergus McIntosh; New Yorker

UK – St Kilda

For centuries, residents of the tiny archipelago scratched out a living for themselves amid its forbidding cliffs. Then, all at once, they left.

In 1877, George Seton, a visitor to the tiny Scottish archipelago of St. Kilda, observed that the men living there had an unusual physiological characteristic. “The great toes of the cragsmen are widely separated from the others, from the circumstance of their frequently resting their entire weight on that part of the foot in climbing,” Seton wrote. These men with prehensile feet were residents of the most remote settlement in the British Isles, forty miles out in the North Atlantic, where seabirds, garnered from the towering cliffs, formed the major part of their diet. A hundred years after Seton, another visitor wrote that “even today a boat setting out for St. Kilda is by no means assured of reaching its destination.”

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Timelapse Captures Fog Blanket in Meteora, Greece; Tasos Kokkinidis; Greek Reporter

Greece – Meteora

Meteora is a rock formation that is home to 24 monasteries.

A blanket of fog could be seen moving through Meteora, Greece, on December 1. 

Minh Phan, a meteorologist traveling in Greece, captured the footage. Phan told Storyful, “Valley fog is common in and around these mysterious rock formations.”

The monasteries emerged on the countless summits of the rocks from the 14th until the 16th century, 6 of them remaining to be explored and admired by all.

These monasteries became the centers of the Orthodox creed in the Byzantine era, having produced some of the best pieces of religious art and craft and still possessing a collection of precious manuscripts, which today are on display in their museums.

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