Happy Thanksgiving

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When In Rome…Paint Something

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The Italian street artist known as Blu recently completed this impressive mural funded by the residents of a century-old former military barracks in the heart of the Ostiense district of Rome. Porto Fluviale has been occupied by housing activists, squatters and undocumented residents since the summer of 2003.

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Don’t Make This Mistake in Venice

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The city council in Venice, Italy has introduced a law that can result in fines of €100 to €500 for dragging wheeled luggage or baggage across the city’s cobblestone streets or walkways. The law was enacted to address two issues: noise pollution—those plastic wheels make an awful racket—and serious damage to the city’s walkways, bridges and marble stairways. So, if you visit la Serennissima, be prepared to heft that luggage.

Update: The city government has already backtracked on this legislation. They now say that will only apply to commercial wheeled cart and luggage trolleys.

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The Biblia Antiquarian Bookshop Case Files

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h/t to follower Akira O for the link to this video series

Based on the bestselling novels by En Mikami, “The Biblia Antiquarian Bookshop Case Files” (Biburia Koshodo no jiken techo) is a popular Japanese television series that features Shioriko, a vintage bookseller and amateur sleuth, and her assistants. Now bibliophiles and mystery lovers around the world can catch-up on this charming series by viewing online right here.

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The Last Bookstore

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Arizona-based photographer Bryan David Griffith spent the better part of the last year traveling around the United States in an old camper documenting the surviving and thriving American independent bookstore. Using a large format camera, Griffith created a project called “The Last Bookstores: America’s Resurgent Independents”. Griffith sees the independent bookstore “as a lot more than simply a place to buy books—they’re a meeting place away from the segregated, homogenous world of social media”. You learn more about this labor of love right here.

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A New Light on Michelangelo

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After five centuries, the magnificent frescoes on the walls and ceiling of the Vatican’s Sistine Chapel can now be seen in all of their glory thanks to a new LED lighting system. The unobtrusive 7,000 LEDs provide a surprisingly subtle, controlled light that illuminates the frescoes in a way they’ve never been seen before.

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The four channel “mesopic” system hopes to show the frescoes in a manner that replicates Michelangelo’s intensions and provides ten times the light that the previous system offered.

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I look forward to returning to the Vatican to get a glimpse of the Sistine Chapel in it’s true splendor. Many years ago, I got to visit the Chapel—pre-restoration—when it was completely empty. And, I’ve seen it since ( but with hordes of other visitors) after restoration.

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Another Reason to Envy Norwegians

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This year a design competition was held by the Norwegian government to update the nation’s passports and identity documents. The winning designs came from Oslo-based Neue Design Studio, which created a modern minimalist look with some very cool secret features.

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The coral red, robin’s egg blue and pale gray covers will certainly stand-out from the typical passport, but the most intriguing design features are on the inside. The passport pages are decorated with beautiful Norwegian mountain and fjord scenes. When the passports are held under UV light, the landscapes turn from day to night and reveal hidden text and floating images evocative of Norway’s northern lights.

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Take a spin around Europe

Regular followers of Travel Between The Pages may be getting weary of all the time-lapse videos, but too bad because I’m still enamored with the technology. So, here’s another short, but very sweet video. Titled “Hypeurotrip”, the film is the creation of Krakow-based filmmaker Piotr Wancerz from Timelapse Media productions. The video, produced for Topdeck Travel in the UK, follows a whirlwind, 5,000 kilometer roundtrip jaunt around the continent in quick time.

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No Need To Buckle Up

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If you have ever taken a long haul, red-eye flight in coach class, the notion of voluntarily spending the night on an airplane may strike you as bonkers. But a promotional project cook-up by KLM and Airbnb may change your mind.

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Called “Airplane Apartment”, this retired KLM McDonnell Douglas MD-11 has been transformed into a retro-outfitted two bedroom apartment, with two kitchens, a lounge, panoramic cockpit views and eight bathrooms. The “apartment”, which is parked at Amsterdam’s Schiphol Airport, comes fully equipped and offers free wifi. The only catch is that the unit can only be accessed through a contest at Airbnb. You can take your chances here.

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Why A Pineapple

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Airbnb is one of the best known brands in travel these days, but for some reason they’ve decided to go retro and publish their very own print travel magazine. The publication, which is called Pineapple, will be issued quarterly, without advertising, at $12 an issue (€9 in Europe). Content will be created by Airbnb hosts, guests and freelancers. The inaugural issue for Winter 2014 will focus on London, San Francisco and Seoul.

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The name Pineapple refers to the historical use of the fruit as a symbol of hospitality in colonial America.

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