Phileas French

Travel Writer

Phileas French

Phileas French

Travel Writer | Exploring every country in the world, one adventure at a time

Hidden Highlights of Thessaloniki

IMG_2673To a certain extent, the whole city of Thessaloniki flies slightly under the radar of most travellers, who tend to either dart on and out on business trips or cruises, or head straight to the beach mecca of Chalkidiki. A sprawling, congested city with most street signs exclusively in Greek script, it can be hard to get to know and love without a fe...
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Balkan Border Crossings

IMG_2583I’ve made the journey overland between Kosovo and Macedonia and Macedonia and Greece in the last couple of weeks. On both occasions I was with my children aged eight and three, first time with my husband, the second time just me on my own with the kids. It struck me that I didn’t really know what to expect on either occasion and that it might be he...
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Two Perfect Tuscan Bed and Breakfasts

IMG_1852[caption id="attachment_926" align="alignnone" width="300"] All breakfasts should be like this one at Napiaia b&b. I’ve just had a very problematic stay at the Waldorf Palace Rimini: it may deserve a write-up of its own later. The silver lining is that fleeing it brought us to lovely Padova by accident. The stresses of the Waldorf Palace have ...
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They Said Don’t Go to Venice in August…

IMG_2495I’ve bought into the scaremongering about giving Venice a miss during Agosto for twenty years. Now here I am on a family trip through Italy with two children who’ve never seen it and a husband I haven’t been with since we had our very first holiday here. Missing out on Venice during our trip from Treviso to San Marino was not an option. In all h...
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The Quintessential Versilian Village of Seravezza

IMG_2017Situated in the province of Lucca and the Apuan Alps park, Seravezza is a classic Versilian village that nevertheless harbours a few distinctive eccentricities, including a mysterious skeleton. Proximity to the Cervaiole marble quarries and sponsorship through the centuries by powerful patrons such as Grand Duke Leopold II has ensured that Serav...
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Seven of the Best Places to Eat with Kids in Vilnius

IMG_2250There’s some helpful writing on eating out in Lithuania’s genteel and charming capital, Vilnius. Even so, I really struggled to collate the data around the best places to eat with kids, so I thought that I’d come up with my own. Cili Kaimas This traditional folk restaurant , especially the 8 Vokiečių gatvė outlet, reeks of tourist trap, but sin...
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Family Fun: the Summer Season at the Waldhaus Sils

IMG_0959I had the great good fortune to stay at the Waldhaus Sils, one of the Swiss Historic Hotels last September, when the 2012 summer season was still in full swing, with cow bells ringing out in the perfect, clear sunny mountain air. The Waldhaus is proud of its rich heritage, which it absolutely should be considering that this is its 106th summer…! I ...
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Dodge Clubbing for Cretaceous Creatures at the Thalassa Museum, Agia Napa, Cyprus

Cyprus BoatsHow often do you get to go into a museum with no-one else in it? We were rather thrilled to fossil record onwards. The three storey structure is very architecturally appealing, partially constructed of wood, marble and onyx. It’s open every day during the summer season and even during the winter season only closes on Sundays. There’s some (limited)...
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My New Highlights of Tuscan Cuisine

IMG_2039As with so many towns in Versilia, Camaiore has understated charm. The attractions and the really complex and committed culinary practices reveal themselves over time.  A recent trip with Wish Versilia ensured that my knowledge as well as waistline was expanded. As a  previous resident of Milan and frequent visitor to other culinary capitals of Ita...
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Gombitelli: Lardo and Language Islands

IMG_1886As the minibus climbed higher into the hills on its ways to the beautiful Versilian village of Gombitelli, the views of the valley and sea below began to take on a slightly misty look. This is the famous “Tuscan haze”, where at this time of year, the amount of pollen from the greenery everywhere gives each landscape the sheen of Renaissance art. A...
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