velvet | cultural holidays

A passion for Lambrusco

Travel is an endless source of inspiration (and wisdom) and I find nothing more inspiring than meeting people during my travels who are so passionate about what they do. On my recent trip to Reggio Emilia [map], I had the opportunity to meet a crowd of people who share one passion: Lambrusco. For those of […]

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Asia on my mind

Asia is the world’s largest continent and home to more than 60% of the world’s population. It’s a continent of incredible contrasts; from the frozen north to the expansive steppe in Central Asia and the deserts in the Middle East, and the glistening peaks of the Himalayas to the pristine beaches of Southeast Asia, and […]

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Ten places in Armenia you should not miss

Armenia (map) is an ancient country situated at the crossroads of Europe and Asia. This small country is known for its 3,500-year-old history, rich culture and amazing mountainous landscapes. Each year, an increasing number of visitors book Armenian tours to explore this interesting land, immerse themselves in centuries-old customs and traditions, learn about its colourful […]

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Impressions of Strasbourg

Strasbourg (map) is the capital and the largest city of Alsace, a region in northeastern France bordering Germany. This historic city is home to a renowned university and is also the seat of the European Parliament. In 1988, its historic centre, also called Grand Île (or Grand Isle as it’s situated on a big island […]

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Luxury Myanmar river cruise – and the art of giving back

I met Janice and George Mucalov, two travel writers, on an Alaska cruise in 2011 and we’ve stayed in touch ever since, following each other’s travels via social media. Janice, George and I enjoy travelling in the same manner, i.e. comfortably, or rather… the ‘velvet’ way, so when Janice approached me with an idea for […]

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The murals of Dozza

Dozza (map) is a hill-top medieval village about a 30-minute drive south of Bologna. Listed as one of the most beautiful villages in Italy (“Borghi più belli d’Italia”), Dozza is dominated by an imposing fortress, Rocca Sforzesca, and consists of a main street that circles the village in an elongated form. The village is best […]

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What I’ll be up to in Emilia Romagna

My next trip takes me to the Italian region of Emilia Romagna. Located smack in the middle between the famous cities of Florence and Venice, Emilia Romagna is a diverse region boasting beautiful sandy beaches on its Adriatic coast, historic cities like Bologna, Ravenna and Modena, expansive plains and impressive mountains. Add to that an […]

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Sunset in Kota Kinabalu, Sabah, Malaysia.

Sabah – where I was born

Sabah is a Malaysian state that occupies the northern corner of the island of Borneo. Blessed with superb white sandy beaches and coral islands, and large tracts of virgin tropical rainforests, Sabah is a nature lovers paradise. Sabah is also the home of Mount Kinabalu, at 4,095 meters, the highest peak in Southeast Asia; the […]

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A nation of big smiles

It’s a nation of big smiles. It’s one of many reasons why South Africa has a special place in my heart: the spectacular nature, melting pot of cultures, amazing food and wines, and yes, the big smiles! This video, produced by Caspar Diederik, shows us what it’s like to Meet South Africa, and experience its […]

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Exploring the Itria Valley in Puglia

The Valle d’Itria or Itria Valley is situated in the heart of the region of Puglia, in the ‘heel’ of the Italian peninsula (map). This area is characterised by charming villages, historic towns, wooded slopes, vineyards, mile after mile of olive groves and the intriguing ‘trulli’ (whitewashed, cone-roofed houses) that dot the countryside. The trulli […]

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