Posts Tagged ‘church’

Exploring Greece: Shoulder Season in Mykonos


Sunrise at the Armenistis Lighthouse

When you visit the Greek island of Mykonos during the shoulder season, you’re not coming for the beach clubs and all night dance parties. But the “Island of Winds” still has plenty of appealing sites to check out.


A view of Ornos

The Windmills of Kato Milli are a popular tourist destination all year long, particularly at sunset. It’s worth checking them out during dusk, and then take in the sunset views from one of the bars in the Little Venice area. My favorite is Katerina’s.


Aegean color story on Mykonos

Mykonos town is worth exploring, especially for those who like to shop. Window shopping on the winding streets and look at all the jewelry, crafts and souvenirs you could wish for.


Ouzo in an amusing souvenir bottle


Shoulder season at a beach club in Ornos


Gorgeous street scene in Mykonos


Friendly local cat on Mykonos


View of Ornos Bay from the Buddha-Bar


View above Mykonos town 


Cocktails at 180 Sunset bar

If you don’t want to deal with the crowds in Mykonos town, check out the Santa Marina Buddha-Bar  in Ornos Bay, where the view is zen and the music is eternally chill. It’s open for both lunch and dinner.


Panorama shot of the lighthouse at sunrise

If you’re looking for things to do on Mykonos, consider taking a day trip to the island of Delos, the mythical birthplace of Artemis and Apollo. You can wander among the ancient Greek ruins of one of the most important archaeological sites in Greece. There are several tour operators who provide half-day tours, and since you have to take a boat to reach it, it’s a nice way to get a sense of the maritime importance of the Cyclades.


View of Mykonos by boat

There are also plenty of options for a private tour by boat but keep in mind… boats are expensive. Unless you have cash to burn, it’s going to be more comfortable if you go on a group tour by large yacht or boat.


Private boats don’t come cheap


Among the ruins on Delos


Exploring Delos


Signage on Delos


View of Delos


Boats arriving on Delos


Boat near Delos


Church in Mykonos town

If you are a fan of churches, there are several cool ones worth checking out on Mykonos. Along the water in Mykonos town.


Church interior on Mykonos


Church in Little Venice

Buddha Bar at Santa Marina, Mykonos

Ornos Bay, 84600,
Mykonos, Greece

T: +30 22890 23220

Monday – Sunday
13:00 – 19:00
20:00 – 01:00

Katerina’s Restaurant & Cocktail Bar
Agion Anargyron 8.
Little Venice, Mykonos. Greece.
telephone.: 0030 22890 23084

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Why You Should See It: Duomo di Milano Milan, Italy

Editor’s Note: Anastasia Chernykh is the social media manager for My Life’s a Trip. She is also a great photographer and traveler. She recently visited Milan, Italy and I asked her to write a guest post. I hope her excellent guest post inspires you to climb up to the roof of the Duomo.

– Jen Pollack Bianco


Go up to the roof to realize how huge the cathedral actually is (behold tiny people figures on piazza)

The most impressive thing about the Milan Cathedral is how much time and effort were spent on its construction. Thousands of artists, builders, craftsmen and 78 different architects from all over Europe worked on the project for 500 years!

The result is thoroughly impressive. The fifth-largest Christian church in the world, the Duomo is decorated with over 4000 statues, gargoyles, and figures (it is the most decorated building in the world) and the size of a city block on the inside.


Duomo and Galleria Vittorio Emmanuele II

The Duomo’s building, topped with a spire statue of the Madonna, was the tallest in Milan for almost two centuries. And its construction even changed the appearance of the city. In order to build this impressive Flamboyant Gothic church, marble was brought from the quarries of Candoglia. The canals built for marble delivery turned Milan into a small Venice, and they still can be seen in the Navigli area of the city.


Ubiquitous Italian Pigeons on Piazza del Duomo

Unfortunately the kind of marble used on the Duomo is very fragile and needs to be replaced every 50-100 years. This expensive reality has provided continuous work for the Veneranda Fabbrica del Duomo di Milano, the organization that has been responsible for the cathedral’s construction and maintenance since 1387.


Interior of Duomo di Milano

The interior of the cathedral is not as impressive as the exterior, but it’s also well worth visiting. Some believers think the most precious thing in cathedral is The Holy Nail relic, with which, per the legend, Christ was crucified. It is placed over the altar and is illuminated with red lightbulb.

There is a sundial on the floor near the main entrance that was once used to regulate clocks in the whole city. It was placed in Milan Duomo by astronomers from the Accademia di Brera.


Artsy Windows of Duomo are Illuminated from Inside   

The archaeological area displays the remains of the early Christian baptisteries of S. Giovanni alle Fonti and S.Stefano and the remains of the basilica of S. Tecla, which dates back to 355 A.D.

Milan’s magnificent Duomo was the first cathedral in the world to illuminate its windows from within so that, at night, the sacred images can be admired from the outside.


Sky and Spirals: First Thing You See After Climbing The Dark Spiral Staircase

The roof climb is another visitor’s must-do. The views of the city are incredible and the opportunity to see 135 spires rising above the cathedral, like a marble forest, is worth the climb alone!


“The Marble Forest”

There is a gilded statue of Madonnina, the Virgin Mary, at the top of the highest spire Milan Cathedral. Traditionally, no building in Milan can be higher than the Madonnina. The Duomo was the tallest building in Milan until the middle of 1950s, when the higher Pirelli Building was built. So to keep up with tradition, a smaller replica of the Madonnina was placed atop of it.


Gilded Statue of Madonnina as Seen From Cathedral’s Roof

The best way to explore Duomo is a combined Duomo Pass, admission  includes Terraces (by elevator for A pass or on foot for B pass), Duomo, Museum, Church of St.Gottardo in Corte and Archaeological Area.
 The line is smaller near closing time on Sundays, and I’d suggest to purchase B Pass to avoid the queue at the elevator. The climb isn’t that hard (about 200 steps) and there is something utterly satisfying about going all the way up and then being rewarded with a fabulous view!


 The view of the Milan from the Terraces of Duomo

Duomo di Milano


Every day: 8.00 am – 7.00 pm. Last ticket at 6.00 am. Last admission 6.10 pm


DUOMO PASS Duomo Pass A € 15.00 Duomo Pass B € 11.00

Make sure you’re properly dressed before entering the Duomo (no shorts, no short skirts or dresses, no tank tops).

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New Mexico’s Chimayo Chiles and Where to Eat Them

Red hot chile powder for sale in Chimayo, New Mexico

In Northern New Mexico, chiles have been growing since settlers brought them from Mexico in 1598. It’s difficult to find a porch devoid of a hanging bunch of chile peppers between Taos and the airport in Albuquerque. The Chimayó heirloom is thought to to be the best of the bunch.

Bunches of Chimayo chiles outside Potrero Trading Post

It is native to the small, quirky town of Chimayó, located 26 miles from Santa Fe on the High Road to Taos, which happened to be my first road trip of summer 2014.

El Santuario de Chimayo

Chimayo is best known is best known for it’s adobe holy church, El Santuario de Chimayo, which is said to have holy dirt with healing properties.[Note: Stay tuned to the blog for a future post on the El Santuario de Chimayo.]  It’s a trippy little place, and happened to be one of my pit stops on this summer’s first road trip.

Chiles & shadows

If you’re going to be visiting Northern New Mexico, you’ll no doubt be tasting Chimayó heirlooms and other types of chile in the food.

Pork sliders with a kick. Tasting Chimayo chile in Taos

If you happen to be in Taos, try checking out Lambert’s for lunch or dinner.  The atmosphere and service were top notch, and they serve a simple and delicious tree house margarita ($8)  which pairs nicely with the high desert weather. You can order chile cheese fries with your choice of chile or get a cup of New Mexican Green Chile stew for $5.

Lambert’s of Taos
123 Bent Street
Taos, New Mexico

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St. Peter’s Basilica: A Photo Essay

Exterior of Basilica di San Pietro Or St. Peter’s Basilica as seen from St. Peter’s Square

My favorite part of my recent tour of the Vatican came after I left the building and entered St. Peter’s Square. Unlike the Basilica and the adjoining Vatican museums, the exterior piazza wasn’t filled wall to wall with people. Outside I had some space and could get a better grasp on the scale of the cathedral, as well as the adjoining museums and papal apartments.

The sartorial stylings of the Swiss Guard never disappoint

The scale of St. Peters is truly impressive. I the Swiss Guard’s traditional garb highly amusing. The Swiss Guard range in age from 19 to 30 years old are recruited based on their religion (they must be Catholic) and single to work as part of the Pope’s personal guard detail. Their uniforms don’t exactly scream military prowess, but hey, this is the Holy See and it’s not like people elsewhere rock ermine cloaks and get taken seriously.

St. Peter’s Basilica is immense. The seating capacity within the church is over 15,000 people

The interior of St. Peter’s has a seating capacity of over 15,000. Most of the seats are plastic portable chairs not unlike those you’d find at the DMV. The key here is that the chairs can be removed or re-arranged. These same types of seats are sometimes used out on the Piazza for papal audiences, where crowds of 60,000 can fit into St. Peter’s Square. That’s about the same capacity as Dodger Stadium.

Left: Papal souvenirs at one of the many gift shops within St. Peters Right: Paintings in the room before the Sistine Chapel

The paintings in the domed roof of St. Peters were very beautiful

My neck hurt from looking up so much during the tour. The painted details on the domed ceilings in the knave were rather impressive- possibly because there were no modern details (like tourists or plastic chairs) ruining the view.

Sculptures of the twelve Saints adore the exterior roof of St. Peters along the square

The details on the roof and Bernini’s impressive columns make St. Peter’s Square worth the trip to Vatican City, even if you don’t have the time or interest to put up with the crowds to tour the Vatican.

Looking Up at the pretty clouds above the exterior of St. Peter’s Basilica

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A Photo Essay of The Church of Santa Maria Assunta Positano, Italy

The Church of Santa Maria Assunta in Positano, Italy

The Church of Santa Maria Assunta  has a colorful majolica-tiled dome that is easy visible anywhere in Positano. Known as Chiesa de Santa Maria Assunta in Italian, the church seems to have been originally built the 13th century in the Moorish style of architecture.

The church’s interior is white and gold and rather dark. There is a nave and two side aisles.

The church’s high alter  has a rare Byzantine Black Madonna icon above it dating from the 13th century

A side view of the Church as seen from one of Positano’s many staircases

A view of the The church’s iconic domed roof as seen from the pool patio of Positano’s  Le Sirenuse hotel

The church’s colorful tiled roof provides a nice visual contrast to the cliffside architecture so typical of Positano.

Evening view of the church of Santa Maria Assunta

The Church of Santa Maria Assunta

Piazza Flavio Gioi
8am-noon &3.30-7pm

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