Tag Archives: Italy

World’s 12 best shopping cities

From a shopper’s perspective, frequent traveling can be crippling. It can get worse in the holiday season where Christmas dominates many people’s calendars. Why buy something in one city when a trip to a better shopping city is coming up?

To pinpoint which cities around the world deliver the most gratifying, enjoyable shopping experiences, we consulted global experts, such as fashion merchandising firm Donegar Creative Services and Marie Bergfelt, senior spokesperson for Global Blue, which publishes the Globe Shopper City Index.

Then we judged cities in four areas, using a one-to-10 scoring scale for each category:

1. Getting around: Quality of public transportation, affordability and availability of cabs, transport time

2. Value: Bargain opportunities, such as sale seasons and average prices.

3. Variety: Number of available brands, range of shopping categories, quantity of upscale shops, department stores, boutique and vintage retailers and market stalls.

4. Experience: City beauty, quality of window displays and shop décor, friendliness and competence of clerks and service staff, dining and accommodation options.

Then we charged into the breach.

READ MORE: World’s 12 best shopping cities

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An Artist’s Gift

”Creative work is not a selfish act or a bid for attention on the part of the actor. It’s a gift to the world and every being in it. Don’t cheat us of your contribution. Give us what you’ve got.” ~Steven Pressfield

Bay Area Artist Mary Lonergan is a client and friend of All About Travel and we wanted to share with you a bit about her creative endeavors.

I have personally known Mary for many years. We worked together in the Bay Area in the music scene managing bands and producing live events. In fact, Mary and I have created artwork alongside one another working on our own projects, spending the day creating with music in the background. It’s definitely something I miss quite a bit. I actually worked with oils mostly until Mary introduced me to acrylics.

In fact, Mary’s first show in Florence I was going to attend with her. I had my ticket and everything. Unfortunately, a week prior to departure I broke my right foot. I still haven’t made it to Italy, but plan to and hopefully in 2013 to see Mary show some more of her work.

I shared an image of Mary’s art being shown in Times Square in June and had requests to know more about Mary and her art. That’s where this interview takes us. I hope you enjoy it as much as I have.

AV:   Your art has been mostly shown in Europe and the Bay Area. Where in Europe have you exhibited your art pieces?

ML: My first public show was in Florence, Italy at the Biennale in 2007.   Since then I have exhibited pieces in London, Monaco and Paris.

AV:   I know you have attended some of these faraway places while your art is being shown, what has been your favorite place and why?

ML: Well, showing in Florence was absolutely amazing.  It was my first public show, so I was literally walking around the city in a daze I was so happy and nervous at the same time…. But, honestly, showing in Paris was my favorite… truly a life altering experience!  The show was at the Grand Palais and was attended by over 40 thousand people in a five day period.  I had never seen anything like it!   I kept asking the others around me….”where are they all coming from?” and they thought it was funny.  There’s a very high level of respect for art in Paris…it’s inherently part of their culture. They love it and they support it.

AV:   How long have you been showing your art?   

ML:  I’ve been showing for close to five years.  I’d love to do some shows in California and New York. I’m currently building my inventory.

AV:   How do you create your artwork? Environment? Tools? Artistic medium of choice and why that medium?

ML:  I’m very lucky that I can work out of my home studio in Oakland.  It’s a lovely room with great light and ventilation…which are key!

I use acrylics because they’re fast and easy to use; they dry much quicker than oils. I tend to get a bit impatient when I’m working if I can’t go back to an area because it’s still wet with paint. 

I enjoy working on canvas, but also work on paper and often use mixed media.  Some of my work starts as a painting, then it’s photographed and developed further on my computer to come up with a final image.  That’s what happened here with a piece called ‘pink tree ribbon’

AV:   Do you have any particular thing that inspires you to create?

ML:  Being in nature really seems to allow room for me to go deeper into myself and find a path or a doorway to my creativity.   Also, seeing/experiencing other art/artists definitely creates a spark.  I went to a live music show last weekend and the performers were so in tuned with one another, they were so in the moment, that I found it exhilarating to watch them create.  That type of energy is always inspiring.

AV:   When you are creating your pieces do you ever find yourself going in a different direction than you originally started?

ML:   Yes!  This happens quite often actually.  A piece called, ‘gloria’ started as a landscape but then as I went along, I could see a face emerging from the canvas.  I love it when this happens.  It’s always a surprise and feels like the painting is really already there just waiting to be uncovered!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

AV:   How long have you been creating your art pieces?

ML:   I started painting in late 2003 when I saw an advertisement for an all day painting workshop in San Francisco. This guy used to open different warehouse spaces and invite people to come in and paint.   He provided the paper, paint & supplies and you just had to show up…and you could pay him whatever you could afford, so some people gave him money and others brought him lunch or would do trades with him.  It was the day I remembered how much I LOVED to paint and knew that somehow I had to incorporate it into my life.

AV:   What was the last show you attended?

ML:   The last show I went to was at the Vessel Gallery in Oakland.  It was an event for a nonprofit called Coach Art.  It’s a really fantastic gallery and had some beautiful work.  Before that I went to the Oakland Museum of California to see the “1991: Oakland-Berkeley Fire Aftermath, Photographs by Richard Misrach”…it was devastating.

AV:   How do you think/want other people to respond to your art?

ML:   I want people to be turned on by my art.  I want an immediate emotional reaction. Does it capture your heart, does it make you feel happy when you look at it, etc.   Or, does it make you cry… If I can get that kind of reaction from someone looking at my art, I’ve done my job.  I believe my best work has a sound and movement to it that finds its way directly to the core of the viewer and there, the connection is made.

AV:   Describe an important goal with your artwork that you have achieved?

ML:   I launched my website a little over a year ago.  Getting my art work out into the world has really made a impact on how I view myself as an artist and how I think about my art business. It was an important goal and I can’t understate how much of a difference it’s made in being able to connect with my collectors and with people in the art world who I’ve wanted to work with.  It’s a great tool.

AV:   Recently your piece, great peacemaker (Iroquois) was shown in New York City’s Times Square on a 9ft x 12ft billboard… how amazing was that?

ML:   I was so thrilled to be a part of it!  Artists Wanted is a wonderful group in New York that connects artists with opportunities & they joined up with Chashama, a not for profit that transforms vacant properties into places where artists can thrive.  Together they presented the works of nearly 5,000 artists in a huge exhibition on the billboards in Times Square.

At the time my work was shown, I couldn’t see it as the webcams weren’t functioning (I wasn’t able to be in New York), so I was a bit disappointed, but then two days later, an artist that I follow on Twitter (who lives in Africa!), posted the photo of my art work being shown on the big screen!  I was beside myself I was so happy.  I cried actually when I saw it.  It was a wonderful moment!

“Great Peacemaker (Iroquois)” by artist Mary Lonergan (left)

 

To plan your trip today:

All About Travel
6104 Northwest 63
Oklahoma City, OK 73132
info [at] allabout-travel.com
405.384.3880

About All About Travel

Opened in 1978, All About Travel is located in the Oklahoma City area.  We are a family owned and operated company that has strived to provide our clients with the highest quality of service for more than 30 years.  Our agents can arrange all your travel needs from the individual hotel and/or car reservation to an around the world cruise.  Nothing is out of reach.

We can help plan your honeymoon, your destination wedding or the much needed getaway for two.  Don’t forget about your business, we can handle all the travel needs for your company as well.  Anything from an airline flight and hotel for a meeting or all the planning needed for your next company-wide seminar.  We can arrange hotel space for all attendees and meeting rooms for all purposes.

Our agents travel to many destinations on FAM trips (Familiarization trips) these trips are designed by tour operators and cruise lines to make certain that travel agents are up-to-date on popular destinations and cruise ships.

So the next time you need to, or better yet, want to travel…Let us help, it’s what we do.

 

50 years gone, Marilyn’s legend lives on

She was a star and a style icon, a “dumb blonde” who was anything but and an abandoned child adored by millions. She was, of course, Marilyn Monroe and she died 50 years ago this Sunday.

And yet, she lives on — on the big screen, in advertisements, in proposed plans for salons and cafes and, of course, in the hearts of fans fascinated by her life, her beauty and her untimely death.

“People relate to her because she came from a very humble background and through her own drive pulled herself up to become one of the greatest stars of all time,” said Greg Schreiner, president of the Marilyn Remembered Fan Club.

Read more: 50 years gone, Marilyn’s legend lives on

Travel Tidbits – The world’s weirdest festivals

Event Name: Baby Jumping Festival
Start Date: Wednesday, 6 June 2012
End Date: Wednesday, 6 June 2012
Venue: Castrillo de Murcia
Country: Spain
Category: Feast & Carnival

The world’s weirdest festivals
Some of the world’s most bizarre festivals, from tomato throwing to baby jumping… Telegraph (London)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Where to Find Perfect Pork Dumplings in San Francisco
One thing that is an absolute can’t-leave-until-you-do-it priority–find an awesome Chinese restaurant… Conde Nast Traveler

 

 

 

Top five adventure cruise ideas
A new type of cruise has been gaining popularity amongst holiday makers with more adventurous spirits… Fox Travel News

 

 

 

Unsavory truths about airplane food
The cold, stale truth is out — “tasting good” is not a top priority for airline caterers, but rather food safety… CNN

 

 

 

 

Italy’s New High-Speed Train
It may not be faster than a speeding bullet, but Italy’s new Italo–which connects Turin and Salerno, as well as Rome and Venice–sure looks like one… Travel and Leisure

 

 

 

Child-free flying? Airline pulls April Fool’s prank
Feeling exhausted at just the thought of flying with children? Canadian airline WestJet proposed a humorous alternative in this April Fool’s commercial… MSN.com

 

All About Travel
6104 Northwest 63
Oklahoma City, OK 73132
info [at] allabout-travel.com
405.384.3880

Travel Tidbits – The best stargazing spots on Earth

What’s new in Italy in 2012
What doesn’t change about Italy is that it’s always changing… USA Today

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

McDowell Sonoran Preserve, on the edge of Scottsdale, Ariz., makes a brilliant spot for an early-morning hike. (Christopher Reynolds / Los Angeles Times, Christopher Reynolds / Los Angeles Times)

Arizona: First-rate journeys in the 48th state
When Arizona sought to become a state, an Indiana senator stood in its way, and President Taft vetoed the first try… LA Times

 

 

 

 

 

The best stargazing spots on Earth
Big Bend National Park in Texas is the latest venue to be named an International Dark Sky Park… USA Today

 

 

 

 

 

Lobby at the new 55-room Nolitan hotel.

Hotel Review: The Nolitan, in New York
The Nolitan’s friendly staff makes for an inviting welcome, and its downtown location makes walking around a pleasure… New York Times

 

 

 

Courtesy Rosewood

Unusual Hotel Amenity: Perfume Butlers
New Fragrance Butler program, wherein a butler bearing a tray of ten fragrances is at your disposal at any time… Conde Nast Traveler

 

 

 

 

 

Journey to the unknown with ‘mystery’ travel
Mystery is one of the great joys of travel… USA Today

 

 

 

To plan your trip today:

All About Travel
6104 Northwest 63
Oklahoma City, OK 73132
info [at] allabout-travel.com
405.384.3880

About All About Travel

Opened in 1978, All About Travel is located in the Oklahoma City area.  We are a family owned and operated company that has strived to provide our clients with the highest quality of service for more than 30 years.  Our agents can arrange all your travel needs from the individual hotel and/or car reservation to an around the world cruise.  Nothing is out of reach.

We can help plan your honeymoon, your destination wedding or the much needed getaway for two.  Don’t forget about your business, we can handle all the travel needs for your company as well.  Anything from an airline flight and hotel for a meeting or all the planning needed for your next company-wide seminar.  We can arrange hotel space for all attendees and meeting rooms for all purposes.

Our agents travel to many destinations on FAM trips (Familiarization trips) these trips are designed by tour operators and cruise lines to make certain that travel agents are up-to-date on popular destinations and cruise ships.

So the next time you need to, or better yet, want to travel…Let us help, it’s what we do.

Travel Tidbits – The best hotels in Wales

The best hotels in Wales
Four of the best places to stay in Wales, from classic country house hotels to restaurants with rooms… Telegraph (London)

 

 

 

Seven irresistible country retreats
When you want to get away from it all, few places satisfy like the countryside… USA Today

 

 

 

 

Bolzano surrounded by the Alps. Photo: Andrew Bain

A cultural guide to Bolzano
A cultural guide to a city that boasts churches, frescoes and a 5,300-year-old man… Telegraph (London)

 

 

 

 

 

Portuguese island of Madeira and its namesake wine
Madeira is a Portuguese archipelago located about 400 miles off the coast of north Africa… Yahoo Travel News

 

 

 

 

 

 

You’ll find your heart in San Francisco
Even if you only have only one evening you can still enjoy the most romantic city on the U.S. west coast… Globe and Mail

 

 

 

 

Stay The Night: Hotel Lone, Istria
The classic Istrian hotel of the Seventies was the unlikely cue for this high-design property… The Independent

 

 

 

To plan your trip today:
All About Travel
6104 Northwest 63
Oklahoma City, OK 73132
info [at] allabout-travel.com
405.384.3880

About All About Travel

Opened in 1978, All About Travel is located in the Oklahoma City area.  We are a family owned and operated company that has strived to provide our clients with the highest quality of service for more than 30 years.  Our agents can arrange all your travel needs from the individual hotel and/or car reservation to an around the world cruise.  Nothing is out of reach.

We can help plan your honeymoon, your destination wedding or the much needed getaway for two.  Don’t forget about your business, we can handle all the travel needs for your company as well.  Anything from an airline flight and hotel for a meeting or all the planning needed for your next company-wide seminar.  We can arrange hotel space for all attendees and meeting rooms for all purposes.

Our agents travel to many destinations on FAM trips (Familiarization trips) these trips are designed by tour operators and cruise lines to make certain that travel agents are up-to-date on popular destinations and cruise ships.

So the next time you need to, or better yet, want to travel…Let us help, it’s what we do.

TRAVEL: Milan, Italy

Travel Tidbits – Planning an African Safari

San Francisco: City by the Bay is abloom with floral festivals
Talk about flower power… LA Times

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Mouse ears or keggers for spring break?
Check out seven hot spots and uncover what’s new and happening… USA Today

 

 

 

 

Planning an African Safari
An African safari is a true adventure An African safari is a true adventure … IndependentTraveler.com

 

 

 

 

48 Hours: Hollywood
Make this iconic district your base for a weekend of celebrity-spotting in glamorous LA… The Independent

 

 

 

 

10 great places to be hosted by celebrities
You don’t have to walk the red carpet to soak up the celebrity experience this Oscar season… USA Today

 

 

 

 

Italian hilltown is a historic gem
The ancient hilltown of Civita di Bagnoregio in central Italy is a favorite of European travel specialist Rick Steves… Seattle Times

 

 

 

To plan your trip today:
All About Travel
6104 Northwest 63
Oklahoma City, OK 73132
info [at] allabout-travel.com
415.384.3880

About All About Travel

Opened in 1978, All About Travel is located in the Oklahoma City area.  We are a family owned and operated company that has strived to provide our clients with the highest quality of service for more than 30 years.  Our agents can arrange all your travel needs from the individual hotel and/or car reservation to an around the world cruise.  Nothing is out of reach.

We can help plan your honeymoon, your destination wedding or the much needed getaway for two.  Don’t forget about your business, we can handle all the travel needs for your company as well.  Anything from an airline flight and hotel for a meeting or all the planning needed for your next company-wide seminar.  We can arrange hotel space for all attendees and meeting rooms for all purposes.

Our agents travel to many destinations on FAM trips (Familiarization trips) these trips are designed by tour operators and cruise lines to make certain that travel agents are up-to-date on popular destinations and cruise ships.

So the next time you need to, or better yet, want to travel…Let us help, it’s what we do.

Travel Tidbits – Cambodia after the killing fields

A New Way to See Sicily
In the hilltop city of Corleone, the sacred meets the extremely profane… New York Times
 

 

 

 

10 great places for a rural ‘haycation’ 
U.S. farm vacations around … USA Today

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The best of Las Vegas: Daytime
Vegas visitors have ever-expanding options of where to stay, eat and play… USA Today

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

An Eden for Rare Birds in Hawaii   
Rare birds aren’t a rarity in Hawaii, which leads the nation with 35 birds on the endangered species list… New York Times

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Cambodia after the killing fields
Yes, you want to visit Angkor. But for a more complete understanding of the Southeast Asian nation, also include visits to Khmer Rouge-era sites… LA Times

 

 

It’s a Bear’s World in Kodiak, Alaska

Kim Hubbard for The New York Times

Kim Hubbard for The New York Times

Some of the best-known bear watching spots are on the mainland just across the Shelikof Strait from Kodiak… New York Times

 

 

 

 

 

To plan your trip today:
All About Travel
6104 Northwest 63
Oklahoma City, OK 73132
info [at] allabout-travel.com
415.384.3880

Travel Tidbits – 36 Hours in San Francisco and other destinations

36 Hours in San Francisco
San Francisco typically wows visitors with its heights or its sights… New York Times

 

 

 

36 Hours in Milan
With new museums and restaurants, and an ambitious center-city development nearing completion, the future is already on display in Milan… New York Times

 

 

 

Jeppe Wikstrom Johner

Jeppe Wikstrom Johner

36 Hours in Stockholm
During the long days of summer, Stockholm moves outdoors, an easy feat since water and parkland make up nearly two-thirds of the city… New York Times

 

 

 

36 Hours in Bologna
Vibrant, independent and home to one of Europe’s oldest universities, Bologna is a dynamic counterpoint to more popular, touristy cities like Rome and Florence… New York Times

 

 
36 Hours in Cape May, N.J.
At the southernmost tip of New Jersey, where the Garden State Parkway’s exit numbers wind down to zero, Cape May, one of the oldest seaside resorts in the nation, has welcomed vacationers for more than 200 years… New York Times

 

 

36 Hours in Honolulu
The city brims with summer’s delights: overflowing farmers’ markets and lei stands, and Hawaiian music spilling onto beaches from oceanfront lounges… New York Times

 

 

To plan your trip today:
All About Travel
6104 Northwest 63
Oklahoma City, OK 73132
info [at] allabout-travel.com
415.384.3880