Stephen Travels

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Arcades Provide Sheltered — and Beautiful — Walkways Around the World

Mirogoj Cemetery, Zagreb, CroatiaSuch a simple and practical idea: the creation of the arcade — a succession of contiguous arches, each supported by columns. You’ll see them all over the world, from Salisbury Cathedral in England to the Great Mosque of Damascus in Syria to the Old Town streets of Pisa, Italy. These sheltered walkways, often lined with shops, provide an intermission for pedestrians trying to escape torrential rains, bitter snows, blistering sunshine, and soggy/muddy/icy streets. And they do so with style and elegance. Read about the world’s top five arcades >


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The Best of Zagreb, Croatia

Mirogoj Cemetery, Zagreb, CroatiaWith good reason, visitors to Croatia flock to and concentrate on its gorgeous Adriatic coast and such unmistakable cities as Split and Dubrovnik. But there’s more to this country than its enviable coastline, verdant islands, and pristine beaches. A simple detour east brings you to Zagreb, one of the most underrated capitals in Europe and one of its most surprising. Read more about the top five things to see and do in Zagreb >


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The Greatest Story Ever Told on a Crucifix

Church of St. Teresa, New York, New YorkIf you celebrate Easter, then you most likely start your day by preparing a big holiday meal, tearing into a chocolate bunny, watching your children search your home for hidden colored eggs, or putting on your Sunday best — including the obligatory bonnet — for the Easter Mass. The most important day in the Christian calendar brings with it the most powerful image as well: Jesus on a cross. Although it’s His resurrection that Christians celebrate today, it’s this Good Friday image that solidifies what His life and teachings were all about. Since that pivotal day at Golgotha, the Crucifixion has been represented countless times in countless cultures in countless media — paintings, sculptures, stained-glass windows, and more. Read about the world’s top five crucifixes >


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Top 5 Yellows

Ceramics and pottery, Orvieto, ItalyIt may elicit groans and sighs of dismay from children when a yellow school bus pulls up on the first day back to class in September, but it will also make millions of parents secretly smile. In fact, at least to me, yellow remains the most joyful color. Whether it’s the daffodil fields of Oregon, the Yellow Mounds in Badlands National Park in South Dakota, or the predominant color in the ceramics and pottery made in Orvieto, Italy, yellow is bound to add a little cheer to your day. These are my top five occurrences of yellow from around the world. Read more >


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Unexpected Masterpieces in the Croatian Museum of Naïve Art

Croatian Museum of Naive Art, Zagreb, CroatiaI didn’t know any of their names, and I had never seen their works before. But the artists exhibited in the Croatian Museum of Naïve Art in Zagreb completely captivated me, particularly because just about all of them had never received any formal training or schooling. Despite that, these naïve artists, akin to folk or so-called primitive artists, have created a unique style with their use of striking colors and a common disregard for distance perspective. This museum is easy to miss, and its collection is fairly small, but it’s also one of the most surprisingly delightful and impressive in the capital of Croatia. Read more >


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Fine Dining in the Capital of Croatia

I’ve never been a fan of hotel restaurants. Often overpriced and a deterrent from going out and exploring local eateries, they’re never my first choice. Nor my second. They may prefer an international menu rather than a good selection of the regional cuisine, and I’d prefer to dine among locals rather than other travelers. From the second I stepped into Radicchio, the restaurant in the Hotel Arcotel Allegra in Zagreb, Croatia, however, I changed my mind. This is, by far, a superior restaurant I would have regretted missing. Read more >