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If like Team Coco, when it comes to travel you like a bit of glamour and luxury then you’ll love our round up of this summer’s stylish stays. From beachside villas in St Tropez to luxury apartments in Rome, perfect for a cultural getaway, we have selected the most exclusive and luxurious places to stay.

Located in an exclusive residential area in the prestigious Baie de Canebiers area of St Tropez, Villa Canoubwest, is a grand Mediterranean masterpiece. Its peaceful setting amongst 8,000 square metres of perfectly manicured gardens with rolling emerald lawns fringed by tropical flowers and palms and with direct access to the sea, offers the perfect backdrop for sophisticated garden parties and large family gatherings. The villa’s modest traditional terracotta exterior is a stark contrast to the opulent interiors, where gleaming marble, soft Italian stone and elegant parquet is adorned with sumptuous furnishings, stylish finishings and fine art. Features include a 20-metre outdoor heated pool, specious terraces overlooking the azure blue waters, ample parking and a staff apartment. It is also possible to moor a boat within view of the property at nearby Plage des Canebiers, where there’s also a secluded stretch of sand.
France, St Tropez: Villa Canoubwest- Five bedrooms, sleeps 10; price from £52,577 per week

Classic Renaissance architecture complete with a Baroque inspired palette blends seamlessly with modern Italian glamour and elegance at this newly renovated apartment, which stands regally on the famous Piazza Navona. Stunning Michelangelo-style frescos feature on virtually every ceiling whilst independently commissioned furnishings adorn each room like works of art. The apartment features two stunning master bedroom suites at either end of the property, each with luxury bathrooms and impressive views. The Pope’s bedroom offers a king-sized bed, theatrically placed centre stage on a raised platform, surrounded by luscious velvet curtains. The communal rooms, which separate the bedrooms include a sophisticated dining room, a music room complete with grand piano, a library and a bar with lounge and TV area. There’s also a studio, kitchen and staff quarters.
Italy, Rome: Apartment Sant’ Agnese- Two bedrooms, sleeps four; price from £46,200- £62,000 per week

Situated above a private stretch of beach and featuring a show stopping infinity edge pool overlooking the deep blue Ionian Sea, Royal Infinity Villa, with its exotic architecture, is quite simply a masterpiece. Packed with state-of-the-art amenities and bespoke luxury furnishings, the villa comprises an entrance hall, two master king-size bedroom suites with walk-in dressing rooms, a spacious living area which can be converted into a sleeping area, three bathrooms, two Jacuzzi, a work-space and kitchen. A private staircase from the infinity pool area leads directly to the sandy beach where each villa has its own private area complete with sunbeds and umbrellas. In-villa dining and spa treatments are available or guests can enjoy use of the resort’s Waterfront Spa and restaurants.
Greece, Zakynthos: Royal Infinity Villa– Two bedrooms, sleeps 7; price from £34,767

This beautiful lakeside villa offers the best of both worlds – an intimate bolthole combined with five-star hotel service. The Mosaic House is situated within the grounds of the Villa d’Este hotel estate and as such, guests benefit from access to the many bars, restaurants and wellness facilities located onsite whilst the hotel’s staff are on hand to provide attentive service to villa guests. Recently restored from top to bottom, the modern villa offers stunning views of the surrounding landscaped grounds and the calm waters of Lake Como from every window. The king-sized bedroom suite features an opulent marble bathroom and floor to ceiling windows, with direct access to a private outdoor terrace – the perfect spot to enjoy breakfast.
Italy, Lake Como: Mosaic House is sold on a weekly basis only and the starting price is 2,800 Euros per night (approx. £2,480)

Peacefully nestled amongst the vineyards and olive groves of a private estate and nature reserve that rests on the borders of Umbria and Tuscany, Villa Piantaverna offers a luxurious farmhouse experience, ideal for groups of adults and families. There’s oodles of space both inside and out across the three-acre plot plus plenty of rustic charm which is complemented by modern amenities and sumptuous furnishings. Facilities include a stunning heated outdoor infinity pool, wine cellar and impressive kitchen with separate larder for those wishing to self-cater. The estate also has a private restaurant and kitchen, the Osteria, serving a menu of delicious dishes made from fresh organic produce from the estate and wider area. It also serves hand-picked Italian wines, including its own called San Giovese.
Italy, Umbria: Villa Piantaverna– Four bedrooms, sleeps six; price from £13,100 per week

All of the properties featured can be booked through Firefly Collection. To view the full collection, visit Firefly Collection at www.firefly-collection.com

A simple idea that evolved into a cultural phenomenon. What started as an interim way to occupy The Charlatan’s front man Tim Burgess for a period of three weeks at the onset of the pandemic has become a shining light in what was one of the most tumultuous and unpredictable periods of our lives.

Tim has united music fans through lockdown thanks to his tireless and herculean crusade to promote his musical peers and use the power of social media for good. His Twitter Listening Parties have not only received critical acclaim, but have also provided a much-needed boost to both his fellow musicians and fans alike.

The charismatic singer had the fantastic idea for fans to play a certain album, all starting at the same time, with the artist or significant people behind the album offering commentary and answering questions on Twitter. At a time when people were living in isolation, it was a force for good in social media which sometimes can be a hostile and negative place “I felt like it was something that was really important and that kept me going” he revealed.

Positively received, the listening parties grew and grew and soon listening parties were being organised from the likes of Blur, Oasis, New Order to Paul McCartney and Kylie Minogue.

Last night was the 1000th Twitter Listening Party and it was the turn of Chris Stein and Debbie Harry from the iconic band Blondie to take to the (Twitter) floor and tweet along to their 1978 album ‘Parallel Lines’.

Prior to that, Tim was joined by an illustrious panel which included Helen O’Hara, Nitin Sawhney, Tim Pope, and chair Pete Paphides. Tim recalled the moment that Paul McCartney accepted his response to take part in a listening party “Six weeks later!” in the form of a simple ‘thumbs up’ emoji as one of his highlights. He also commented on how the listening parties has made appreciate and listen to music in a different way naming Spandau Ballet as an example of this.

Blondie’s Chris Stein also joined the panel via Zoom answering questions like ‘What was the best ever gig you played?’ Hyde Park, Glastonbury and Glasgow were named highlights alongside Susannah Hoffs (The Bangles) and Matt Johnson (The The) who also regaled the audience with endearing and funny ancedotes.

When asked what music has had the most impact on him, Tim revealed to the audience that it was The Buzzcocks album ‘Love Bites’ and how he likened them to the Beatles to his dad who swiftly disagreed with Tim’s appraisal which was a lovely insight into a teenage Tim.

1000 listening parties is a phenomenal achievement, but who is on Tim’s wish list now? “Kate Bush or Peter Gabriel would be amazing”

Tim Pope, Helen, Nitin and Charlatans guitarist Mark joined Tim on stage for an exclusive singalong which included some of his most-loved hits and a rousing edition of ‘Come On Eileen’.

What Tim Burgess has done is nothing short of amazing – bringing eternal sunshine to music lovers and enabling both musicians and music fans alike to reexamine and fall in love with both seminal albums and lesser-known gems in real-time.

The Charlatans’ boxset A Head Full Of Ideas and the Twitter Listening Party book are both out now. Head over to https://timstwitterlisteningparty.com/ where you can replay every single listening party in real time.

Words: Emma Harrison, Music Editor

Monte Carlo is one of the four quartiers of Monaco, and situated along the French Riviera. It is world-renowned for having the highest number of millionaires per capita and as a result of the huge cash injection this affords the city-state, it has everything to offer from luxury food to luxury shopping. After Vatican City, it is the second-smallest sovereign state in the world and it is bordered by France to the north, east and west, it is lapped by the Mediterranean Sea to the south, making it as picturesque as it is wealthy.

It’s a must-visit city, but if you can’t visit Monte Carlo right now then the good news is that you can recreate many of Monte Carlo’s most famous experiences online. Here’s how:

A Night at the Monte Carlo Casino

The Monte Carlo casino is an imposing building steeped in history and myth: it a place of legendary tales, of high rollers and of elegance. It is one of five casinos based in Monte Carlo, and it is by far the most famous, and the most architecturally imposing.

Luckily, it’s easy to replicate a night at the Monte Carlo casino online. Pick your poison from a wide range of white hat gaming sites and casinos and perhaps even look for a casino that offers table games with live dealers, or augmented reality options to make your casino gaming experience as realistic as possible. Unleash your inner James Bond by whipping up a martini (shaken, not stirred) and you’ve got all of the luxury of a night at the Monte Carlo casino, but from the comfort of your own sofa.

Indulge in Some Luxury Shopping

Monaco is renowned for its luxury fashion and shopping experiences, and the huge number of designer brands that call the region home. If you’re in Monte Carlo then on the border of the Casino Square you’ll find the famous shopping district of Carré d’Or: this is where all the elegant luxury boutiques are found. But if you’re not in Monte Carlo that doesn’t mean that you can’t visit all of the same stores, and indulge in a little designer retail therapy online. French luxury brand Chanel offer an online boutique whilst fashion house Dior also have an online retail offering that includes complimentary shipping.

To replicate that luxury boutique experience, why not sink into your most comfortable share and play some classical music with the volume low as you scroll for the sites hunting for your latest must-have piece.

Compete in the Monte Carlo Grand Prix

The Monaco Grand Prix is the biggest event on the principalities calendar. The race usually takes place in May, but thanks to the magic of the internet, you can experience it at any time of the year. If you want to be involved in the excitement of the race in real-time, you could join a fantasy Formula One team and compete in an online league. There is also a whole genre of online gaming that allows you to race around the streets of the world’s biggest cities, including Monaco.

As Monaco is the only Formula One race that is actually a road race, taking place on the streets of Monte Carlo, you could even take a virtual walk around the whole route (thanks to the magic of Google maps) to fully immerse yourself in the Monaco experience. Whilst you might not be able to travel to Monte Carlo right now, with these clever tricks, you’ll feel like you’re actually there in no time.

Thanks to the COVID-19 crisis, many of our travel plans came to a screeching halt. For many, traveling for leisure will surely be a sentimental event once the virus dies and the nations of the world open up again. If you’re a sojourner who loves visiting new places and exploring different countries and cultures, here are some places to go and activities to do to add to your post-pandemic travel bucket list.

Join a year-long dig or volunteer for humanitarian organizations.

If you’re interested in archeology and paleontology, there are plenty of institutions that accept volunteers for paleontological digsand excavations.Many of these programs don’t require specific educational attainments; they just need people who are willing to literally get on the ground and work with their hands. In exchange for sweat and a tuition fee, volunteers will receive hands-on education from experts, as well as the privilege of being part of some of the world’s most important discoveries.

You can also consider going on a volunteer trip with organizations like Habitat for Humanity, Red Cross, and World Vision, who are always at the forefront of extending help to the most neglected and marginalized people in developing countries. What better way to celebrate the end of the pandemic, your health, and your relative privilege than by spending your resources helping the most vulnerable in the world?

Go on a faith-centered vacation.

After what has been a challenging few years, everyone deserves to take the time to process the collective grief and trauma we all went through. No matter your faith, consider going on a trip that will allow you to re-shape and re-connect with your spirituality. If you’re Catholic, consider visiting the Vatican to hear mass from the Pope himself. If you’re Buddhist, volunteer as an English teacher for monks, or work in a monastery. If you’re Christian, go on a tour of Jerusalem and re-traced Jesus’ steps to give life to the pages of the New Testament.

You can take the time to do some meditative or mindful Christianity too. If you’re Muslim, consider going to Mecca as your first order of business when the pandemic is over. If you’re non-religious, go on a hike on the United States’ most stunning national parks to commune with nature and re-connect with yourself.

If you can plan and make concessions in your financial life to be able to afford this trip, do so. You deserve to heal after the pain and devastation the pandemic and recession brought, and going on a faith-centered trip can help you gain some semblance of wholeness.

Visit the locations of your favorite TV shows and movies.

If all you did for leisure during the pandemic was binge-watch the most popular TV shows and movies, consider it your mission to save up enough money to visit the most stunning locations you saw on your screen. If you enjoyed some Korean dramas, list down the places from those shows that you want to visit next.

If you loved historical TV shows that were filmed in the United Kingdom, explore how you can save up enough to fly to those locations and see them in real life. Adding this goal to your travel bucket list can give you something to look forward to when you find yourself being bored watching the same movies and TV shows at home.

Attend a concert or a music festival.

Being able to see our favorite artists live was one of the things COVID-19 stole from us. When all this is over, consider saving up enough money to be able to go to some of the most well-loved music festivals, likeGlastonbury, Coachella, Lollapalooza, and Tomorrowland. Let our post-pandemic world finally be the push you need to see what all the fuss is about. You never know – you might end up falling in love with amusical act you have never listened to before.

The only way for COVID-19 to die a natural death is if we all do our part in wearing our masks, staying home, keeping a safe distance from others when we’re out, and keeping our hands clean and sanitized. The roll-out of vaccines all over the world will be crucial, but we don’t need to wait for everyone to be vaccinated before we take this virus seriously.

This pandemic will endand our unity and kindness towards others will be key to that.If we do our part now, we might be able to finally put a stop to this virus, and allow the world to move freely once again.

How Latin Is Making A Comeback, And Why You Should Learn Latin

Latin is the mother language of different languages, which include Romanian, Portuguese, Italian, Spanish, and French. In fact, Latin even has a resemblance to the English language. Unfortunately, Latin was referred to as a dead language since no one speaks it conversationally anymore. But how is it making a comeback?

From the popular Harry Potter series to the Vatican City, the long-dead Latin started to regain its popularity due to increased mass awareness, which led more people to find Latin classes online. Although relatively few people can speak Latin, some institutions were forced to get rid of Latin as one of the subjects taught to children at schools. However, as time goes by, many institutions have realized the importance of Latin in literature since most artifacts and classic literature come in this language. Due to this, more and more schools have started to reconsider offering Latin as a subject to students.

These days, the best-known Latin speaker in the world is Pope Francis since the official language of the Vatican is Latin. It is also important to note that from the 4th to the 19th century, Latin was the church’s universal language, which united every church throughout the globe.

Today’s influence of Latin in modern culture should not come as a surprise. Like ancient Greek, it was used by the historians and philosophers who laid the foundation of today’s knowledge. As a classical language, there is no doubt that intellectually curious people want to learn Latin to expand their knowledge and understand more about ancient literature.

There are several other reasons why you should learn Latin and these include the following:

  • Learn Latin To Boost Your Cognitive Skills

Learning the Latin language, or any other language, is not easy and may require long hours of study and hard work. You have to memorize Latin grammar and learn to use Latin declensions, which are the set of patterns that have their endings altered to show gender, number, and grammatical case. With this in mind, your cognitive skills will gradually improve.

  • Master English By Learning Latin

It may be counterintuitive to learn a dead language to boost your English skills. But because of the Roman colonization and invasions of France’s Normans, the English vocabulary is made up of several Latin-derived or Latin words.

For instance, the term “agenda” comes from the Latin verb “agree”, which means to act. This word is also used to describe the items that can be discussed during meetings or the ulterior motives of a certain person.

Another example is the word “video”. Did you know that in Latin it means “I see”? In English vocabulary, video is used to describe a short clip or any film.

By being knowledgeable of the Latin origin of English words, it can help you boost your skills in orthography and spelling.

  • Learn Latin To Enjoy Reading Classical Latin Literature

Not all scholars agree that learning Latin is useful since it is a bit complex and requires effort to learn effectively. However, once you start learning a dead language like Latin, you can be assured that your efforts are worth it since you will be able to enjoy reading classical Latin literature, which only few people can do.

Once used in texts, Latin denotes a particular literacy level and can help you add some Latin locutions in essays since you would know how to use them and what they really mean.

Some Latin locutions that are normally used in today’s writings by academics include “bona fide”, which means genuine or real. Other Latin locutions include “alter ego”, which means other self, and “ad lib”, which is frequently used for describing an artist’s performance who hasn’t prepared for anything.

  • Learn Latin To Be More Methodical And Rigorous

To translate from English to Latin or vice versa isn’t easy, even if you know the declensions like the back of your hand. The translation process basically requires real investigative words if you do not want to miss out on the real meaning of a story or sentence. The method you’ll learn to get it right can be used easily in other subjects. Hence, as every translation will be a mini brain-teaser, you’ll realize the utility of the rigor and logic you have been applying so methodically in your studies.

Conclusion

Latin may be considered as a dead language, but it never faded away because it’s still part of several languages such as Italian, Spanish, Portuguese, French, Romanian, and even English. This is just one of the reasons why you should learn Latin, and why more and more people are becoming interested in this language. So, whether you want to boost your knowledge or enjoy reading Latin literature, studying Latin will surely be worth your time and effort.

Poland is one of the most frequently toured places in Europe, especially after joining the European Union in 2004. It has a largely diversified natural environment that remains rather unaffected by human development. With a rich history and significant annual cultural events, the country draws millions of tourists across the world.

If you are looking for an adventurous place for your next getaway, here are exciting places to visit in Poland. You can make the trip even better by planning your vacation in Poland with experts. You’ll learn non-tourist hangouts and other essential attractions.

1. Old Town of Cracow

Cracow is one of the most entertaining cities in Europe due to its unique history. It is one of the few cities that escaped World War II destruction to maintain its outstanding architectural features. It was attested a World Heritage Site by UNESCO in 1978, the first of Poland to acquire that status.

Cracow has the biggest market square in Europe with a network of streets and squares representing a historic reserve of the town. Located on the upper side of the Main Market Square, St. Mary’s Basilica is one of the most recognized religious structures in the city. Its past is wreathed in famous legend and anecdote.

Cracow also has plenty of charming, historic such as the Pope’s Window and Collegium Maius (the oldest building of Jagiellonian University) among many others.

2. Tatra National Park

Tatra National Park is located in the Tatra Mountains, which is the highest range in the Carpathian Mountains. The park includes mountains, over 650 caves, long streams of water, mountain lakes and waterfalls. It is mainly known for its large forest cover and rocky-ribbed hills.

With 270 kilometers of trails weaving from Zokapane towards the Slovak border, it offers a delight to hikers during the summer.

3. Slowinski National Park

Slowinski National Park is located in northern Poland in the middle part of the Baltic coast, between Leba and Rowy. It is the perfect destination to explore moving sand dunes, which are pushed by the winds by 10 meters towards the east every year. The sand dunes offer an impressive sight, especially at their highest peaks that consist of white sand resembling snow.

The park has extensive swamps and a heritage park in Kluki that depicts the early life of the Slowincy, the early inhabitants of the area. You will also get a chance to view various bird species including cranes, white-tailed eagles, and herons.

4. Malbork

Malbork is a Polish town best known for being the location of the medieval Malbork Castle, which was built in the 13th century by the Teutonic Order knights. Malbork Castle is comprised of three castles, making it the world’s largest brick castle. It’s also recognized as a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

The Castle portrays the history of the Polish kings and the partitioning of Poland. It is interesting how the Castle survived after World War II and looks perfect though it was partially rebuilt. Additionally, the entrance point into Malbork through the Neo-Gothic train station is a fascinating location with intriguing, well-maintained wall designs.

Bottom Line

Being Europe’s geographical center, Poland is a great tourism destination. It’s a beautiful place that you can visit at any time of the year because every season offers unique activities and beautiful views.

Due to Poland’s association with World War II, the country offers a lot to history buffs. You will also enjoy the view of beautiful mountains, forests, lakes, seas, wildlife, castles, and interesting cities.

A visit to any of the above sites and other destinations in Poland is a delightful experience.