General Travel and Culture

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Surf and Sun in Mirleft: Morocco's New Wave

surfboards at plage sauvage.jpg

By Robert V. Camuto

Special to the Washington Post

Our group landed at the Agadir airport at dusk and drove south for more than two hours along two-lane roads, through tiny Moroccan towns filled with mud puddles after recent rains. At Mirleft, we turned off the coastal road into the town — a grid of a few dirt streets lined with low white- and turquoise-painted cinder-block buildings.

Men cloaked in Jedi-like robes — traditional North African djellabas — sipped hot mint tea on the terraces of small cafes. Women veiled in brightly colored, patterned Saharan fabrics walked home from evening errands. Children played and fought in the street alongside lost-looking dogs. Meat hung out in the open in front of butcher stalls; Berber music blared from a few shops showing off silver and stone trinkets, brightly colored soccer balls, woven baskets, fabrics and other household goods.

Berlin Fusion: Energy, art and nightlife

ROBERT V. CAMUTO Special to Newsday 

A funny thing happened on the way to 21st century: Berlin became cool.

Since the fall of the Berlin Wall in 1989, the German capital has been rebuilt with an extraordinary mix of modern architecture, frankness about its past and an abundance of artistic energy.

Once neglected, war-damaged areas in the heart of Berlin have sprouted new museums, art galleries and design houses. Art more in Newsday

Marseille's having a makeover, but keeps its gritty charm

Fishsellers at Marseille's fish market.jpg

By Robert V. Camuto Special to The Washington Post

It was about 10:30 on a Saturday night. My wife and I were driving back to our hotel in the picturesque old port of Marseille after a relaxing dinner at an Italian restaurant at the far edge of town.

It so happened that on this evening, Marseille's soccer team was playing for its first league championship in 17 years, and the bars across town were packed with hordes of pastis-fueled young fans watching the match. About halfway down the port, I saw that gendarmes were blocking the road and turning away cars. Behind the roadblock, hundreds of national riot police were suiting up in body armor, helmets and shields.

Southbound in France: Driving the old N7

Notre Dame de la Route

Special to the Washington Post

I should have listened to the lady behind the rental car counter. She warned me that there was no sense -- and too much traffic -- in taking Route Nationale 7 through the Paris suburbs.

But I was on a mission to drive almost every inch of France's mythic road, which connects the capital to the Cote d'Azur by nearly 600 miles of what's now largely a back road through La France Profonde, or deep France.

Going Baroque in Sicily's Noto Valley

From Ragusa looking over Ragusa Ibla.jpg


Special to the Washington Post

It is hard for me to be objective about Sicily. In the past couple of years, I've fallen under its spell as I've crisscrossed the island: from the chaotic markets of Palermo to the stillness of the cooled lava flows on Mount Etna to the vast, rugged interior that turns from deep green in spring to a barren brown under a searing summer sun.

Sicily has become my second home: I love the contradictions of this historic place that cherishes its medieval traditions and refuses to follow simple modern rules; the natural bounty of the land; the resilience of the people; the pace of life; a cuisine with one of the widest varieties of local ingredients anywhere; and the monuments, churches and palaces, so often decorated to operatic excess.

At Land's End: Brittany


Read full article in the Sydney Morning Herald or in the Washington Post

By Robert V. Camuto
Special to The Washington Post

Verona: Beyond the Romeo and Juliet hype


Special to The Washington Post

The Italian city of Verona is a sort of Disneyland of Eternal Love. Inspired by Shakespeare's tar-crossed lovers, hundreds of thousands of visitors flock yearly to places said to have been associated with "Romeo and Juliet."

Something Old Something New at Paris' City of Architecture


Special to the Washington Post

If there is one thing the French do better than just about anyone, it's grandeur: the pomp and showmanship so convincing you almost believe that the world revolves (or should revolve) around the enlightened sun of la France.

On the Fields of France: Blood, Sweat and Beers...Rugby World Cup

Allez les Bleus: French Team supporters

Special to The Washington Post

High in the South of France: Loving the Millau Bridge


Special to The Washington Post

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