Dining With Romans: an Exhibition on Food in Marseille


We’ve Invented Nothing!: Products, Commerce and Gastronomy in Ancient Rome, On n’a rien inventé ! Produits, Commerce et Gastronomie dans l’antiquité romaine, Museum of Marseille’s History, Marseille, France   Sometimes it feels like the modern world has an obsession with food which is unlike anything European society has experienced before.  Social media is playing its part in exaggerating the natural…

Swedes on the High Seas: the Maritime History of a Nation in Stockholm


Maritime Museum, Sjöhistoriska museet, Stockholm, Sweden Maritime history, and the way that people have used the sea for exploration and trade, is fascinating.  I never really got it until I visited the oh-so wonderful Maritime Museum in Amsterdam.  Since then, if there is a museum on the subject, I’m there. Unfortunately none of the ones I’ve visited since have really…

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People of the World in Stockholm’s Ethnographic Museum


Ethnographic Museum, Etnografiska Museet, Stockholm, Sweden What is interesting about going to Ethnographic Museums in different countries is that they all have a slightly different emphasis: some, like the Museum of Culture in Basel, have a lot of objects from Papua New Guinea; the Ethnographic Museum in Zurich has an extraordinary Chinese collection.  Each reflects the interests of the people…

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Aix-en-Provence’s Granet XXe: 20th Century Boys


Granet XXe Collection Jean Planque, Aix-en-Provence, France It’s an interesting juxtaposition for the modern art of Aix-en-Provence to be housed in a pretty little chapel built in 1654.  It’s been adapted to house the impressive collection of Jean Planque, which is 20th century heavy, and made up of works which he sometimes got straight from the artists, which is pretty…

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Solid Granet: Old Masters in Aix-en-Provence


Granet Museum, Musée Granet, Aix-en-Provence, France It’s not surprising that the smart, prosperous town of Aix-en-Provence has a major art gallery – especially considering the fact that two major artists were born here. Before the start of the French Revolution, the town hall housed a collection of historical and archaeological objects and in 1821, a cabinet of curiosities belonging to…

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An Aix-eptional Experience: the Cathedral of Aix-en-Provence


Cathedral of St Saviour, Cathédrale Saint-Sauveur d’Aix-en-Provence, France The elegant town of Aix-en-Provence has an unexpectedly low-key cathedral.  There isn’t a huge square in front, there’s only one bell tower, and the outside looks a tad decrepit.  Once you go inside, however, the dark interior gradually brightens up and offers a cosy space for exploration and worship. The cathedral is…

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A Day in Aix-en-Provence: Three Must-Dos


Aix-en-Provence, France The smart, attractive southern French town of Aix has quite a different vibe to it’s neighbour, Marseille.  It’s sleepy, it’s refined, it gave birth to the delightful confection, the calisson… and it’s served as an inspirational spot to paint for countless artists. Certainly if you are a fan of Cézanne, Aix is worth a visit.  He was born…

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Simple and Stately: Mora Church


Mora Church, Mora kyrka, Mora, Sweden Right at the end of Mora’s main shopping street are two of its main attractions: Zorngården, which is dedicated to local boy, Anders Zorn, and a grand church.  I say grand, but it’s not grand in a south European sort of way – it’s grand by Swedish provincial standards.  And that makes it charming…

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At Home With Mr & Mrs Zorn in Mora


Zorn’s House, Zorngården, Mora, Sweden Behind the yellow-painted timber walls of this modestly sized house, lies the delightful home of Anders Zorn and his wife Emma, right by the Mora Church.  Unfortunately you aren’t allowed to take pictures inside, nor are you really allowed to linger, because you have to take guided tours.  This isn’t an ideal combination for me,…

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Flying Through the Air: Up at the Matterhorn Glacier Paradise


Matterhorn Glacier Paradise, Zermatt, Switzerland If you’re into hiking and skiing, the area around Zermatt is a paradise, with just so many options it’s incredible.  If you’re not so into those sorts of things, then you have the exciting option of going up Europe’s highest aerial cableway to the mountain station in the Alps. Now, I’ve never been up a mountain…

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