Cinque Terre Ruined by Rick Steves

In response to my request for a 3-day apartment rental in Vernazza, I received the following email: “Mrs. Villa is an 80 year-old woman. She uses no technology. You may have trouble finding the house because there are no street signs. To meet Mrs. Villa, get out of the train station and walk until you…

A Grandame of Globalization: Genoa

As the train pulled away from Milan’s graffiti-encrusted suburbs, the concrete retreated with each clickety-clack and we were treated increasingly to majestic palazzi perched on hills. Destination Genoa. Once an independent republic and major Mediterranean mercantile power, Genoa is Italy’s largest commercial port and one of its liveliest cities. When you arrive in Genoa for…

You Say Fashion, We Say Beer.

We saw no billboards, signs or sexy shop windows announcing the upcoming fashion week in Milan. Brera and Via Montenapoleone specialize in upscale window dressing, but on the streets there were no Vogue Moda reporters, no svelte models emerging leg by leg from Ferraris, no poodles pimped in Prada. So we decided to drink beer….

The Perils of the British Invasion

I grew up in the tourist ghetto that is Miami Beach and have visited many others, from the Costa del Sol to Khao San Road. Qawra, Malta can now been added to my list. The haphazard construction of shoddy concrete apartment blocks mars much of the Mediterranean coast of this tiny southern European country.Outside of…

Banana Leaves Glasgow

Time to say goodbye to Bonnie Scotland and we intend to finish with flourish. For us that means drinking as much as possible in Glasgow, while remaining a beer or two behind a hangover. Tough job! It’s especially tricky to be sober in this town, as Glasgow has some of the finest pubs in the…

An Evil Twin in Aberdeen

With a few days to spare prior to our September 5 departure from Scotland, we squeezed in Aberdeen. It’s Scotland’s third-largest city and home to its most famous and successful modern brewery: Brewdog. Fellow Ratebeerian and gypsy brewer Evil Twin (Jeppe Jarnit-Bjergsø) happened to be at Brew Dog. The busy twin brother of Mikkeller hosted…