Barga, a beguiling 10th century hilltop town, sits on the edge of Tuscany’s Garfagnana region, nestled beneath the towering peaks of the Apuan Alps and the Apennines. It’s a champion of ‘slow food’ – think locally grown porcini mushrooms, pecorino cheeses, sublime chestnut-inspired desserts, indulgent black truffles and leisurely lunches – but it sticks in my mind for an entirely different reason.
On 13 December, the new Brussels-Amsterdam high-speed line launches and trains from Brussels to Cologne switch to a high-speed line. London to Amsterdam will take four hours, 15 minutes. It’s just as quick as flying – the check-in is only 30 minutes and of course you travel city centre to city centre
Scriptwriter, comedian, novelist, TV presenter, actor and playwright – Michael Palin is a man of many talents.
The Sporades, an archipelago off the east coast of mainland Greece, caught my attention this year. A ‘so bad it’s good’ film has put the spotlight on Skopelos, a tiny pinprick in the Aegean with pine-clad vertiginous peaks that’s about as green as the Greek islands get. Luckily the terrain has deterred the Greeks from building an airport here, and after a white knuckle landing at Skiathos (the runway, flanked by the sea at both ends, is the shortest I’ve ever seen!) and a speedy hop by ‘flying cat’, we’re in peaceful Skopelos.
The Faroe Islands gained some avid fans at a balmy evening reception co-hosted by Sunvil Discovery and Atlantic Airways on Tuesday night. Held at the Danish Ambassador’s residence in Belgravia, the event set out to raise awareness of this little known, yet stunning archipelago. Cocktails on the breezy terrace, delicious canapés and beer, and traditional