Culture

Miniature armies.

With Gaudi’s cathedral in Barcelona and Dalí’s surreal theatre museum for starters, Spanish Catalonia already has its share of the quirky. Add to those Castell d’Empordà, a gorgeously restored 14th century castle whose secret heart is a famous battle—in miniature.

Escape to the cinema.

One of the main charms of central Amsterdam is its Renaissance architecture. Just northwest of Rembrandt Square—named after Dutch master painter Rembrandt van Rijn—sits a prime example, the Pathé Tuschinski theatre.

Yes, there's a museum for that.

Museums encourage discovery in unexpected ways, often about the unexpected itself. These seven galleries around the world display the likes of history’s unusual, unpredictable, and oft un-celebrated.

The rare and unusual.

Forget the slew of mass produced items available on the Internet, the Hobo Society is redefining online shopping.

Back in the office.

After five years convincing myself that I was one of the chosen few who could make life as a freelance writer a success, I finally decided to give up on my pursuit of the career-equivalent of magic beans and get a “real” job instead.

The brand’s museum in the heart of Florence.

The Gucci story begins with Guccio Gucci, a Florentine immigrant in London who saw the potential of luggage as a status symbol while he was working as a porter at the Savoy Hotel. Ninety years later, the company built its own cultural institution.

Party ring.

Paris had the triumphal Champs Élysées and London the stately, tree-lined Mall. But in mid-19th-century Vienna—seat of the historic Habsburg monarchy—there was only a faded tangle of old-town streets circled by military towers. And for Emperor Franz Joseph I, that wasn’t good enough.

Portrait by an artist.

FROM THE ARCHIVE: Cecil Beaton, like the Gershwin brothers or Cole Porter, sums up an era of carefree elegance, all depicted in black and white, of course. Beaton is the definitive photographer of glamourous portraiture. He’s influenced every celebrity snapper who’s come after him.

King Kors.

FROM THE ARCHIVE: Fashion designer Michael Kors, the man behind the eponymous label, sets the pace—if not the standard—for jet-set living.