Ignazio Altieri & Sicilian Ceramics Tell the Story of the History of Sicily

In this in-depth interview, meet Ignazio Altieri, co-owner and artistic director of Maison Altieri, purveyor of fine Sicilian ceramics in the magical mountaintop town of Erice. I know you'll enjoy Ignazio's insights on not only Sicilian ceramics, but also on the history of Sicily, the Stile Liberty movement, and how Sicilian ceramics memorialize Sicilian traditions like Carretto Siciliano and Tonnarotti.

Ignazio Altieri & Sicilian Ceramics Tell the Story of the History of Sicily

Peter Trowles on Architecture of Glasgow, Charles Rennie Mackintosh Designs & Art Nouveau Movement

In this lively in-depth interview with heritage professional Peter Trowles, meet Glasgow favorite son Charles Rennie Mackintosh, the renown Scottish architect and designer who was a driving force behind the Art Nouveau movement. Peter served as the Mackintosh Curator at the Glasgow School of Art in Glasgow, Scotland for more than thirty years. He was responsible for the School’s important art, design and architectural collections and curated and co-curated exhibitions in the UK, throughout Europe, and in the USA, Japan and Colombia. Enjoy Peter’s virtual tour of Mackintosh’s legacy to Glasgow and the world!

Peter Trowles on Architecture of Glasgow, Charles Rennie Mackintosh Designs & Art Nouveau Movement

A Carnival Festival in Occitanie: Mardi Gras Costumes & Customs of Limoux France

Enjoy colorful cultural celebrations? Revel in the pageantry of one of the world's longest Mardi Gras Carnival festivals, held in Limoux, a medieval city of Occitanie region of Southern France. BCD's account of this vibrant tradition is written by local resident Christine Barrely who shares the history of the Limoux Carnival, its masks, pierrot costumes and roots in pagan rituals.

A Carnival Festival in Occitanie: Mardi Gras Costumes & Customs of Limoux France

Snapshots & Soundbites Photo Essay: Anado Mclauchlin, Founder, Chapel of Jimmy Ray Gallery

Here we present observations on culture, kismet, creativity, home, and relationships that nurture & inspire us from Anado Mclauchlin, an assemblage & mosaic artist, and founder & curator of the Chapel of Jimmy Ray Gallery in the Casa de Las Ranas Compound about a half hour outside San Miguel de Allende in Mexico. Tune into our chat with Anado while you peruse his soundbites!

Snapshots & Soundbites Photo Essay:  Anado Mclauchlin, Founder, Chapel of Jimmy Ray Gallery

Hebrides & Scottish Highlands Tour of Cultural Highlights

Enjoy this Scottish Highlands tour with a virtual visit to nine stunning locales, narrated by the poetic voices of people ranging from clan chiefs, chefs, and weavers to curators, crofters, pipers and genealogists. This circuit takes you north from Newtonmore to Inverness, circling up to Durness in the northwest corner of the country, then down to Ullapool, over to the Outer Hebrides and the islands of Harris, further south to the Isles of Skye, Mull and Iona, ending in Inveraray. Prepare to be wowed!

Hebrides & Scottish Highlands Tour of Cultural Highlights

Snapshots & Soundbites Photo Essay: Burren College of Art

Here we present observations on how the landscape of the Burren influences culture & creativity from Mary Hawkes-Greene, President of Burren College of Art. Illustrating Mary's quotes are images of the experiences and art the College inspires.  Mary founded the College with her late husband Michael Greene in 1994,  The Burren College of Art is an internationally recognized Irish non-profit college specializing in undergraduate, postgraduate and alternative approaches to fine art education, and located in the Burren, a region in Ireland famous for its natural beauty and unique ecosystem. Tune into our chat with Mary while you peruse these images from the Burren College of Art!

Snapshots & Soundbites Photo Essay: Burren College of Art

Snapshots & Soundbites Photo Essay: Mexico's Indigenous Masks

Here we present images and observations on Mexico's indigenous mask-making tradition from Bill LeVasseur, founder & curator of Another Face of Mexico folk art gallery and mask museum in San Miguel de Allende, Mexico. Tune into our chat with Bill while you peruse these pieces from his collection!

Snapshots & Soundbites Photo Essay: Mexico's Indigenous Masks

Armenia Tour of Cultural Experiences: Armenian Churches, Matenadaran, Duduk & More

Armenia is a gem of a country to visit and the reasons to travel to Armenia are many; in this guide we share some of our favourite Armenia places to visit and share some of the country’s distinctive draws for travelers interested in encountering a rich cultural heritage and having a transformative experience! Our top ten highlights were selected based on the insight they offer into Armenia’s soul and psyche.

Armenia Tour of Cultural Experiences: Armenian Churches, Matenadaran,  Duduk & More

Interview with Anado Mclauchlin, Founder & Curator of Chapel of Jimmy Ray Gallery

Anado Mclauchlin is an assemblage and mosiac artist, and founder & curator of the Chapel of Jimmy Ray Gallery in the Casa de Las Ranas Compound about a half hour outside San Miguel de Allende in Mexico. Anado, who was originally named James Rayburn McLauchlin III, became a Mexico resident by way of Oklahoma, New York, India and California.

Interview with Anado Mclauchlin, Founder & Curator of Chapel of Jimmy Ray Gallery

Interview with Bill LeVasseur, Founder of Another Face of Mexico Mask Museum

Bill LeVasseur is founder & curator of Another Face of Mexico folk art gallery and mask museum in San Miguel de Allende, Mexico.
Bill has been collecting Mexican ceremonial masks since 1997, and still travels extensively to see and film dance ceremonies and acquire masks. His mask-collecting hobby has now become an avocation to document and share the indigenous ceremonial customs with mask museum visitors, college audiences and Mexican school children. The museum opened to the public in February of 2006.

Interview with Bill LeVasseur, Founder of Another Face of Mexico Mask Museum

Interview with George Patterson, Founder of Tofino Botanical Gardens, Vancouver Island

In this podcast interview, meet George Patterson, Founder & Director of Tofino Botanical Gardens on the west coast of Vancouver Island, part of Canada's province of British Columbia. George founded Tofino Botanical Gardens in 1997 and its twelve acres of gardens, old growth forest, and shoreline explore the relationship between culture and nature. I know you’ll find enjoyable and inspiring George’s take on the relationship between culture, nature and science; the ‘War in the Woods’ that occurred in the Tofino area in the 1990s between the logging industry and activists; themes of moderation and believing in your vision; and the role of a garden as place to set the heart free.

Interview with George Patterson, Founder of Tofino Botanical Gardens, Vancouver Island

Darkroom in the Desert at the Fayoum in Egypt

Travel with contributing writer Liz Doles to the Fayoum in Egypt, an oasis in the Sahara where art and connections are nourished. Join Liz at the Winter Academy, a six-week artist’s retreat & workshop at the Fayoum Art Center in Tunis, established in Egyptian painter Mohamed Abla and now run by his son Ibrahim, a film-maker. See Liz’s view of the land of the Nile and the Pharoahs through the medium of her art—a pinhole camera. Let Liz instruct you in the 19th century realm of photograms and the pinhole camera, fundamental in the history of photography, both part of the earliest image-making processes.

Darkroom in the Desert at the Fayoum in Egypt

Azores Holidays: Best of Sao Miguel, Terceira & Pico

Azores Islands travel offers an array of ways to appreciate Mother Nature, explore pineapple plantations, geysirs, and vast expanses of patchwork emerald fields. This North Atlantic archipelago calls to mind the scenery of Hawaii, Iceland and Ireland. Discover the cultural landscape of Sao Miguel, Terceira and Pico!

Azores Holidays: Best of Sao Miguel, Terceira & Pico

Armenia: Cultural Endurance & the Divinely-Inspired Armenian Alphabet Letters

To understand the story of the Armenian writing system and Armenia’s alphabet is to have a glimpse into the heart, soul & identity of its people. One of the world’s ten oldest countries, Armenia has endured despite onslaughts from aggressors and its alphabet may well be the reason why.

Armenia: Cultural Endurance & the Divinely-Inspired Armenian Alphabet Letters

Cultural Heritage Advisor Emilie Vezina-Dore on Unique Architecture of Old Quebec

There is no better way to understand the Old Quebec history than through its unique architecture, which reveals the story of the city’s diverse cultural influences that include French, British, Romantic and Art Deco. Vieux Quebec was declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1985—close to half of its buildings were built before 1850

Cultural Heritage Advisor Emilie Vezina-Dore on Unique Architecture of Old Quebec

Life's Diversity & Inter-Connectedness Affirmed in Belize

Belize offers stunning lessons in both life’s diversity and universality: A population that encompasses Mennonites, Mestizos, Garifuna, Arabs and Chinese; an ancient Mayan site that reveals a common thread among man throughout millennia; an abundance of bird and plant species co-existing in harmony. Let naturalists Miguel and David share the secrets of Belize!

Life's Diversity & Inter-Connectedness Affirmed in Belize

Bowl of Time: Valles Caldera National Preserve by Tom Ribe

Contributor Tom Ribes shares a beautiful and thoughtful look at the history and seasons of New Mexico’s Valles Caldera, a place he knows intimately. Valles Caldera was born about 1.25 million years ago, its 13-mile wide depression created by a a spectacular volcanic eruption. Use of Valles Caldera dates back to the prehistoric times: spear points dating to 11,000 years ago have been discovered. Let Tom guide you through its slopes, grasslands and woods and introduce you to those who have called it home over the ages.

Bowl of Time: Valles Caldera National Preserve by Tom Ribe

Tips from Locals Around the World on How to Access Authentic Culture at Your Next Destination

Are forging local connections important to you when you travel? Here are some ideas from people around the world on how to have an authentic cultural immersion and meet local people in the destination you are visiting. According to Travel Weekly, “In 2019, ‘Living like a local’ will go up a notch with holiday makers getting so under the skin of a destination, they consider themselves honorary citizens. Fueled by the rise in sustainable tourism and growing awareness to put tourist dollars to good use by supporting local communities, travelers in 2019 will seek out more local experiences than ever before.”

Tips from Locals Around the World on How to Access Authentic Culture at Your Next Destination

The Great Scottish Castle Trail by David Weinczok

Scotland is the land of castles: Discover which are the best castles in Scotland and get the “Must-Sees” from local and Castle Connoisseur David Weinczok! We’ll take you on the great castle trail of the lowlands, highlands and western Islands to discover Scotland’s historic gems.

The Great Scottish Castle Trail by David Weinczok

The Legendary Ceramics of Sicily's Caltagirone

The mountaintop town of Caltagirone in Sicily is the ceramics capital of a region renowned for this ancient art form. Out of a history of warfare, disease and natural disasters, Caltagirone’s multi-hued heritage of majolica pottery took shape. Get a glimpse of the history of this artisanal tradition from curator of the town’s Museo della Ceramica, marvel at the artistry of Stairway of St. Mary on the Mount’s 142 steps, browse through the laboratory of Silva Ceramica, and learn the story behind the star-crossed lovers memorialized in ceramic form.

The Legendary Ceramics of Sicily's Caltagirone

Lessons from Tuscan Spa Town Montecatini on Harmony & The Flow of Life

The Tuscan spa town of Montecatini Terme offers life lessons in how the flow of life ensures eventual harmony. Experience its cultural landscape from the perspective of local people, and learn about the history of its healing spring waters of the Terme Tettuccio spa; the philosophy of its Stile Liberty architecture; the challenges and bounty of Fucecchio Marsh and its connection to the infamous Florence flood of the Arno River; and the story behind Bargilli Cialdi di Montecatini, one of Italy's best-loved sweets. Find out the true secret behind La Dolce Vita!

Lessons from Tuscan Spa Town Montecatini on Harmony & The Flow of Life

Discover Goro! Charming Fishing Community in Italy's Emilia-Romagna Region

Go off-the-beaten path with Francesca Lamantea for a taste of local, small town coastal life with a visit to Goro in the Province of Ferrara in the Italian region Emilia-Romagna, located about 80 kilometres northeast of Bologna and about 50 kilometres east of Ferrara, near the mouth of the Po River. Meet fisherman Roberto and learn about life harvesting clams & mussels, and feast your eyes on some of the tasty traditional dishes served at popular fish festivals!

Discover Goro! Charming Fishing Community in Italy's Emilia-Romagna Region

Live Like a Local In Another Country with Long Term House Swap

Are you a traveler who is keen to experience a destination through locals’ eyes? To get under the skin of a culture and celebrate its uniqueness, as well as feel part of our universal shared human condition? And get free lodging in the process? Then a long term house swap might be right up your alley! While cost-saving may have motivated many to try home exchanging, this this mode of travel, it has become an effective grass roots form of cultural diplomacy.

Live Like a Local In Another Country with Long Term House Swap