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Lisbon is my new favourite city. Its beautiful architecture tells a story of a southern European city and port evolving over centuries, including St George's Castle and the Torre de Belem as well as the ancient Monastry of Jeronimo. The salty breeze of the sea blows in from the south and provides some much needed relief from the summer heat. Built on seven hills, Lisbon has a vibrant bar and cafe culture that rivals Paris and indeed many French people have relocated to Lisbon and its easy to see why when you have the sun, city and sand on your doorstep.
I went to Madrid as an art student and the overriding memory I had was of standing in front of the most significant piece of art that I have ever seen: Guernica by Picasso. The Prado, which houses this masterpiece, is included in my illustration of Madrid, as is the Barrio de la Latina, the wonderful area of the city where the little tapas bars can be found and forms the only other memory that I have of the city. Gosh that rioja must have been good!
I've visited Paris for decades, first as a child when I was entranced by the Eiffel Tower, then as an art student where I spent a full day wandering the corridors of the Louvre. I returned to Paris a designer when I showcased my fashion collection in the city in the 1990s and came back as a retailer when I bought French boudoir lingerie for my lingerie and erotic accessories boutique in the naughties. I cannot count how many times I have been to Paris over the last few years as I have showcased my sustainable and customisable Cityscape souvenir brand at trade shows within the city. I like to stay in Montmartre as I love the village atmosphere and the hill at the top of which sits the sensational Sacre Coeur. I love to look over Paris from here and see the twinkling lights of the Eiffel Tower. I always tag on time for me in Paris whether it's chilling with a cafe creme at Les Deux Magots or taking time to walk amongst the trees of the Tuileries. The architecture is outstanding, the food is fabulous and Paris is indeed pretty as a picture, which I hope to capture in my eponymous Cityscape.
Vulcano is an island of Eolie's archipelago, consisting of seven islands : Alicudi, Filicudi, Salina, Panarea, Stromboli, Vulcano and Lipari. Vulcano together with Stromboli is an active volcano. All the seven islands are a well known turist destination. Around the crater and under the sea close to the arbour are active fumaroles that give out sulphur's gasses.
The Cinque Terre, (Five Lands) is a rugged portion of coast on the Ligurian Sea. So called because comprises five villages: Monterosso al Mare, Vernazza, Corniglia, Manarola and Riomaggiore. The surrounded land and the villages are National Park and a UNESCO World Heritage Site. In the past was possible to reach the villages only by boat, from the harbors of La Spezia and Portovenere.