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Travel Plans, Cultural Tourism, and a Date with Giotto

In just a few weeks I’ll be headed to Italy!  I was very honored to be invited on this trip and could not pass up the opportunity to connect with professionals in the travel industry, catch up with fellow bloggers, and take an art pilgrimage to see one of the greatest pieces of Western Art.

Tiberius Bridge, Rimini

Tiberius Bridge, Rimini (Photo: zioWoody, Flickr)

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The Art of a Confucian Temple

Several religious practices are popular in Taiwan, although the line between them is often blurred.  Buddha can be found in Taoist temples and living by Confucian ideals is compatible with any faith tradition.  Reliably it is actually the art and architecture of a temple that can be used to determine the beliefs of its worshipers.  One excellent contrast between temple design can be found in north Taipei where literally across the street from the Taoism Baoan Temple is the Taipei Confucius Temple.  Let walk through this elegant temple to understand what is unique about its decorations and why the temple is decorated this way.

Roof of the Lingxing Gate Taipei Confucius Temple complex

Moss and ferns cling to the roof of the Lingxing Gate which leads to the Taipei Confucius Temple sanctuary.

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Beautiful and Delicious Dumplings in Taipei

Preparing for my trip to Taiwan, there was one name I kept hearing again and again.  It wasn’t a temple, or a work of art, or a location – in a way, it was all three!  The restaurant Din Tai Fung known for their Xiao Long Bao, or soup dumplings, started as a small cafe in Taipei and grew to international fame, even earning one Michelin Star.  Hungry from a long day of shrines and museums, I had an amazing dinner at this cultural landmark!

Xiao Long Bao, Din Tai Fung

The classic Xiao Long Bao, or soup dumping, dressed up and ready to eat.

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Finding the “Awe” in Awesome Art

The monthly ArtSmart Roundtable brings together some of the best art-focused travel blogs to post on a common theme.  This month we are finding Art that Inspires from our travels.  Check out all the stories below!

looking at Pollack in a museum

Contemplating a Pollock at (Photo: Pete Aylward, Flickr)

Art by itself is empty; it requires an audience to react, contemplate and interpret it for themselves.  It is the skill of the artist that turns pigments on a board and chipped away marble into something that can elicit emotion or opinion from viewers.  Every art connoisseur is different, so it is very common for us each to like different styles or pieces.  I certainly have my favorites and not-so-favorites.  This month the ArtSmart Roundtable is looking at “Inspiring Art” so I thought I’d take a look at not just art that is beautiful or emotional, but art that simply astounds me.

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Art, Wine, and Miracles – A Road Trip in Israel

In America we call them “Roadside Attractions” – the enticing wonders that dot country highways.  Advertising sensational things like 20 foot long alligator mummies or the world’s biggest dollhouse, these sights are usually good for a laugh, a rest stop, and an ice cream before heading back on the road.  Mostly they are quirky, kitschy tourist stops, but occasionally you find a gem.  I’ve come to realize that these places are not limited to the US.  Here’s the story of one such incredible find in Israel, a figuratively and literally miraculous place.

Israel road to Nazareth to Cana

On the road leaving Nazareth

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