I’ve been to Hell and back.
My trip to Hell wasn’t thanks to someone verbally sending me there after a spat. It was a wonderful trip, a summer holiday. Hell is a geographical spot—yes, it actually exists. It’s the island of Vulcano off Sicily’s coast, part of Italy’s stunning Aeolian archipelago. It was dubbed the “Mouth of Hell” by my ancestors who believed it was the “Door to Hades” during the Renaissance, with access here banned by the Catholic Church. So, like a modern-day Dante Alighieri, I embarked on a journey to discover what this inferno is like.
Tangled up in green.
Surrounding ourselves with trees can be relaxing and give us a sense of being closer to or more connected with nature. Sometimes in the heart of cities, on the outskirts of town, or in forests, rows of trees on either side of the road or path can form what is often referred to as a tree tunnel. The high or low canopies of the trees create a nature-made tunnel. There are different places throughout the world where you can walk or drive through these tree tunnels and experience what it’s like to be embraced by nature.
Hot springs eternal.
Is there a better feeling than letting the waters of a naturally fed hot spring soak your weary bones (and soul)? It’s like getting a reassuring hug from the earth itself. Whether you prefer to experience hot springs in the lap of luxury or in the natural beauty of the wilderness, there are plenty of hot springs located in the United States just waiting to welcome you into their healing waters.
Hop out of bed and into the sea at these dreamy beachfront hotels along France’s coast.
Encircled by over 10,000 kilometers (6,000 miles) of coastline, France boasts some of Europe’s most beautiful beaches. From the glamorous hotspots of the French Riviera to the windswept shores of Brittany, from the historic seaside resorts of the Atlantic coast to the silky sand and turquoise waters of Corsica, there’s a beach to be found for every type of traveler. Despite this wealth of beaches, there are surprisingly few hotels right on their sands. If you’re headed to the French coast, consider booking one of these stunning ocean-front hotels.
Putt-putt taken to the extreme.
Mini-golf is perfect for first-time club holders and first dates. It finds the perfect balance between just-for-fun and lively competition—some, however, take it to the next level. Not golf, we’re talking extreme putt-putt. We’re exploring courses that turn the favorite kid’s game on its head with elaborate holes and—sometimes—not so kid-friendly add-ons. These are the craziest putt-putt courses in the U.S.
And these statues shall reign forever and ever.
The little-known town of Encantado, in southern Brazil, has grabbed international headlines with the news that it’s constructing a gigantic Jesus statue even bigger than the world-famous Christ the Redeemer in Rio de Janeiro. At 43 meters (140 feet) Christ the Protector will be five meters taller than its Rio counterpart. But it’s not the first statue to knock Rio’s Cristo off his perch. There are gigantic Christ statues all over the world, with a succession of locales proudly declaring their own Jesus as the “World’s Tallest.” One of the New Seven Wonders of the World, the Rio statue turns 90-years-old this year, and its crowd-pulling success has spawned copycat Christs around the world, some of which have been notably more successful than others. Here’s our round-up of some of the biggest and best Christ statues around the world.