Blue Lagoon, Comino Island, Malta

The Blue Lagoon on Comino Island, Malta. This photo is unretouched. The waters really are as vibrant and spectacular as they appear here. What’s not visible in the photo are the hundreds of tourists that decent on the lagoon each day. On the day this photo was taken, masses of stinging jellyfish kept everyone out […]

Mgarr Harbor, Gozo

Mgarr Harbor on the southern side of Gozo island, Malta. The 25-minute ferry service from the island of Malta runs between this small harbor and the town of Cirwekka.

Pantheon ceiling, Rome

Looking up at the hole in the Pantheon ceiling, Rome. Dating from around 126 BC, this former temple has been used as a Catholic church since the 7th century. One interesting bit of trivia: the height from the floor to the oculus (the hole) is the same as the diameter of the interior of the […]

Fort St. Angelo, Malta

Fort St. Angelo on Malta’s Grand Harbour, as viewed from the town of Senglea. This fort takes up the northernmost tip of the town of Vittoriosa, also known as Birgu. Located next to one another, Vittoriosa, Senglea, and Cospicua make up the “Three Cities,” a largely residential area across the harbour from Valletta. Because access […]

Marina Piccola, Isle of Capri

View of the south side of the Isle of Capri from a beachside cafe at the Marina Piccola (the Little Marina). Although less than 1 1/2 miles from the Marina Grande, where most tourists land on the island, the Marina Piccola is significantly quieter and less developed. Much of that has to do with the […]

Country lane in northwest Malta

Country lane, northwestern Malta. Much of the island of Malta and it’s sister islands to the north, Gozo and Comino, look like this. Rolling hills, crumbling seaside cliffs, and hardy trees and scrub brush. Malta is an island of huge contrasts, too. The western side looks much like it did seven centuries ago when people […]

Vesuvius peaks towering over Pompeii

Before the huge eruption of Mt Vesuvius in 79 AD, the two peaks in this image formed part of a much larger cone shaped volcano. Falling ash and pyroclastic flows eventually buried Pompeii to a depth of as much as 17 feet in some areas. Nearly 2,000 residents of this town, alone, died during the […]

Dubrovnik, Croatia

View of Dubrovnik’s historic Old Town from the 16th century wall that completely encircles it. A UNESCO World Heritage site since 1979, the town suffered significant damage during the 1991-1992 Yugoslav War. Nowadays, though, there are few physical reminders of the war years. And the town has been reborn as a major Mediterranean tourist destination. […]

Amalfi town, southern Italian coast

Picturesque Amalfi. This tiny town 1 1/2 hours south of Naples is the namesake for Italy’s most spectacular coastline. Stretching from Sorrento in the north to Salerno in the south, it’s wild, steep, and gorgeous. And one heck of an unnerving bus ride to get to. Think hairpin turns, 400 foot vertical drops, narrow roads, […]

Storm waves washing into Sliema Pitch pool, Malta

Storm swell washing over the seawall into Sliema Pitch pool, Malta. The pool faces north and takes the brunt of many of the storms that hit Malta during the winter months. Although rainfall is usually minimal, the wind can blow for days at gale-force strength, kicking up 15-20 foot waves in this part of the […]

Seaside cafe, warm blue waters, and a cloudless sky

A seaside cafe, warm blue waters, and a cloudless sky. One of the many secluded inlets and coves on the western side of the island of Malta. Low hills and a vast network of walking paths make it easy to get from one cove to the next. In fact, if you had the time, you […]

Mark Abbot Memorial Lighthouse, Santa Cruz, California

Mark Abbot Memorial Lighthouse, Lighthouse Point, Santa Cruz. This brick lighthouse constructed in 1967 is located on the bluff above Steamer Lane, Santa Cruz’ most famous surf break. Dedicated to the memory of Mark Abbot, a local surfer who drowned while surfing nearby, it has been home to the Santa Cruz Surfing Museum for the […]

Għajn Tuffieħa cove, northwestern Malta

Għajn Tuffieħa cove on the northwest coast of the island of Malta. Despite what’s shown in the photo, this small beach is mostly sandy and far less touristy than Golden Bay Beach, which is the next cove north. There’s a small cafe/restaurant right at the edge of the water called Singita. Hours vary by season […]

St. George statue, Victoria, Gozo

Statue of St. George slaying the dragon on Triq San Ġorġ (St. George Street), Victoria, Gozo. The idea of decorating street corners with religious statues dates back to the founding of Valletta in the 16th century. Although many streets in Valletta feature these images, this example stands out from the rest. Unlike it’s small, monochromatic […]

Traditional fishing boat, Marsalforn harbor. Gozo, Malta

Traditional fishing boat moored at the Marsalforn harbor on the island of Gozo, Malta. Although Marsalforn has a population of fewer than 1,000 permanent residents, that changes dramatically in summer. From June to September, the town transforms into the most popular tourist resort on the island. Foreign tourists and Maltese locals flock to this northern […]

White Shadows sculpture

Created by architect Richard England, White Shadows is an intriguing sculpture installed on the Sliema (Malta) promenade in 2002. This 9-foot tall slab of stone features life-sized cut-outs of human figures, representing families strolling on the promenade. One critic referred to it as “a clever play with light and shadows”. It is only at night, […]

Giotto's Bell Tower, Florence, Italy

Giotto’s Bell Tower as seen from the roof of the Duomo in Florence, Italy. An iconic local landmark, the tower dates to 1359 and rises 278 feet (84.7 meters) above the Piazza del Duomo. And it’s more than just a frequent scenic backdrop for selfies and group shots. It features a panoramic roof terrace located […]

Surfer statue, Santa Cruz, California

Surfer statue on the cliff above Indicators surf break, Santa Cruz, California. Prominent classical sculptor Thomas Marsh created this 18-foot tall monument in 1992, dedicating it “to all surfers, past, present and future.” Since that time, it has become a cherished part of the local surf culture. And the setting is significant, too. The first recorded […]

Cathedral Museum, Mdina, Malta

Baroque facade of the Cathedral Museum located in Archbishop’s Square, Mdina, Malta. This former seminary became a museum in 1897, but didn’t open its doors to the public until 1969. The museum collection is vast, especially given the size of the town. In the collection are rare coins, intricately designed silver religious artifacts and statues. […]

Nano Nagle pedestrian bridge, Cork city center

Nano Nagle pedestrian bridge spanning the River Lee in Cork, Ireland. Born in County Cork, Honora “Nano” Nagle was an 18th century pioneer of women’s Catholic education in Ireland. In 1775, she founded the Society of Charitable Instruction of the Sacred Heart of Jesus. Unlike most female congregations of the time, the members were not […]

Sextant bar, Cork city center

Last days of The Sextant bar in Cork, Ireland. This iconic neighborhood bar will close in mid-February after 40 years. The building will soon after be torn down to make way for another glass and steel high-rise building.

Duck-banana statues near the Dubai Mall

Duck-banana statues on the corner of Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Boulevard and Dubai Fountain Street in Dubai. And they’re not the only amusing artworks in the neighborhood. In fact, the public thoroughfares and walkways around the Dubai Mall teem with public art. A casual stroll around the Dubai Fountain allows you to view giant dandelions, […]

Carnival float

The Nice Carnival celebration is one of the largest carnival events in the world. Each year, over a million visitors descend on Nice during the festival’s 15-day run. The theme of Carnival changes each year. In 2017 it was Energy, in 2018 it was Space, and in 2019 it will be Cinema. Despite the different […]

The Villefranche-sur-mer Naval Flower Battle features up to 20 local fishing boats decked out in elaborate flower arrangements

The Villefranche-sur-mer Naval Flower Battle features up to 20 local fishing boats decked out in elaborate flower arrangements. The day begins with a short parade on land. And by short, we mean about 250 yards from start to finish. It’s so short, in fact, that by the time the last group begins walking, the first […]

Marsaxlokk parish church, southern Malta

Parish church of Our Lady of Pompeii, Marsaxlokk, southern Malta. Like most churches on the island of Malta, this local parish church has twin spires, a dome, an arched entrance, and thick stone walls. Despite its solid, imposing exterior, it’s surprisingly light and airy inside. Even more impressive than its size is the fact that […]