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In Ferraria de Sao Joao, even some of the animal sheds are decorated with flowers. <br>Jeanine Barone/For The Washington Post

Portugal's Schist Villages become a haven of eco-friendly travel

Ferraria de Sao Joao and 26 other rural villages built wholly or partly of schist are now part of the Aldeias do Xisto (Schist Villages), an eco-tourism complex located in a mountainous region of Portugal’s interior that is geologically rich in this metamorphic rock.


Louvre exhibit shows Vermeer was both a revolutionary and a borrower

Vermeer, the unique jewel in Dutch painting's crown, copied ideas from his contemporaries like every other artist, argues a new major exhibit at the Louvre Museum.


Iceland's geothermal pools soak away the cares of a weary traveler

On the 50-minute drive from Iceland’s Keflavik International Airport to downtown Reykjavik, the landscape switched from long, flat stretches of dirt to patches of grass studded with rocks.

Danube cruise pleases despite less-than-perfect conditions

Delayed at the airport in Nuremberg, Germany, and thoroughly frazzled, we checked and re-checked our watches as the miles ticked by, with the Danube River and our Scenic River Cruises ship, the Pearl, nowhere to be seen.


Italy's San Gimignano is a powerful, towerful town

San Gimignano is the epitome of a Tuscan hill town. About 25 miles from both Florence and Siena, it’s the region’s glamour girl: Visually striking and perfectly preserved, it gets all the fawning attention from passing tour buses. But despite its tourist-trap feel, it’s still worth slotting into your Italian itinerary — especially if you can sidestep the hordes who descend during the day.



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La Conca in Vigonovo, Italy, offers a varied menu of regional food

At unassuming La Conca, workers from nearby factories and warehouses make up the majority of customers during lunch hours on weekdays. The food is typical of Alto Livenza, an area west and northwest of Pordenone that is home to many Americans.




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