Manchester and Yorkshire Are England’s Cultural Sphere

The 14th floor at Manchester’s Radisson Blu Edwardian meets eye to eye with the Clock Tower of the 18th century Town Hall

The 14th floor at Manchester’s Radisson Blu Edwardian meets eye to eye with the Clock Tower of the 18th century Town Hall

Northern England, North Country, and the North are geographical nicknames for England’s upper half, a world away from the country’s more-visited south or, shall we say, London. Mention Manchester, and most seem to know it as an industrial city, myself included—that is until I thumbed through “Where to Go: Manchester,” a not-so-ordinary guidebook that hooked me with its first line, “Look, we’re all friends here.”

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Day Trip From Rome: The Amalfi Coast and Pompeii

The Amalfi Coast

The Amalfi Coast

We were up before the sun. Monica, our cheerful guide from Avventure Bellissime Tours, greeted us in the lobby of our hotel near Piazza Navona. It was 7 a.m.—dark and early, but not too early for two double espressos to go. After one stop to pick up three additional passengers, we were on our way. The road out of Rome took us east toward the Apennine Mountains and Tivoli, then south to Amalfi, our first destination. Along the way, Monica shared tidbits of Italian history, pointed out notable landmarks, and answered all of our questions; there weren’t many at that early hour—she was much more awake than we were.

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Art, Fashion, and Food in Florence

View of the Arno River from Hotel Lungarno

View of the Arno River from Hotel Lungarno

Our train pulled into Florence on a sunny afternoon. We’d originally planned to be there earlier in the week, but the forecast called for downpours, so we revised our itinerary at the last minute. We were happy to have done it as there were no rain clouds in sight. We grabbed our luggage and headed out of the Santa Maria Novella train station to catch a taxi.

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Celebrating Women in West London

Pont St features round booths, perfect for a cozy and private dining experience

Pont St features round booths, perfect for a cozy and private dining experience

West London is known as the place where the posh socialites and wealthy foreigners spend their time in the city, but it is also a great place to celebrate female empowerment. I discovered this recently while staying at the Belgraves, A Thompson Hotel in Belgravia. Though I lived in London, I can’t say as a student I really frequented this area very often, finding the West’s posh reputation daunting for the most part. However, on my first trip back in a long while I found myself in this area, surprised not only at how much I enjoyed it but also at how many opportunities there were for women to be their very best, to celebrate and empower visitors to London and the residents of the city as well.

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Exploring London’s International Food Scene

The lush view from the restaurant in the hotel

The lush view from the restaurant in the hotel

London, in my mind, is the center of the world. People from all corners of the planet come to the United Kingdom capital, and all these different cultures have left their mark on the city. This is very apparent in the food scene of the large city; one can find any cuisine they desire, sometimes in unexpected places—such as the first floor of a hotel. What follows is an introduction to just some of the many international cuisine experiences one can have in the city, including where to stay to enjoy it all.

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