Hand Crafted Travel specializes in small group and independent travel to Europe. Discover new destinations, get inspired by our photos, and learn about planning your own European adventure.

Umbrella in the Garden

I was walking around the gardens at Chenonceau Palace, in France's Loire Valley, when the sight of this women caught my eye. Her umbrella and dress fit the setting perfectly. When printed on canvas, this has the look of an Impressionist painting.

Through our Smugmug store you can now purchase this photo in many different formats. It looks great on canvas, as a framed print, or on a coffee mug.


I wish that I could fly, into the sky

Headed to Europe for the start of a busy tour season.


Tales from streets of Rome

After 50 years behind the wheel of a taxi in Rome, Alberto Tomassi has a few stories.


Avoiding the middle seat on a flight

The middle seat on an airplane has got to be the most dreaded destination in travel, especially for a solo traveler. Whether it's the center of a three-across section or, worse, the center of a five-across on a wide body jumbo, you know it's going to be an uncomfortable flight, sandwiched in between people you don't know as you nonchalantly jockey for control of the arm rest. Faint glimpses of the view from the window seat taunt you. The aisle is waaay over there, and there's no way to get to it without disturbing or clambering over your dozing seat mate.

By booking early used to be enough to ensure yourself the choice of a window or an aisle, but airlines are now making it – not harder, just more expensive to avoid the middle seat.


Travel Thought for the Week

“...a good part of all longing to travel consists in a yearning for people one has never seen, a lust for the new — to look into strange eyes, strange faces, to rejoice in the unknown human types and manners.”
– Thomas Mann, German Novelist, 1954

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For more information about hotels and restaurants like those featured in our blog, or for help in planning your own independent trip to Europe, please contact us about our Self-Guided Trips or Custom Itinerary Planning services.