Carol Stigger

Travel Writer

Carol Stigger is a travel writer specializing in Italy and other European destinations as a solo traveler. She lives in Rome every spring and in India every winter volunteering with a community development organization. She lives in a Chicago suburb with two Boston Terriers enjoying frequent visits from her six grandchildren. She is also a certified teacher and occasionally braves the classroom as a substitute. She is mastering the art of living and traveling alone.
Chicago's Peninsula Hotel Redefines Luxurious Elegance
May 1, 2014
"Luxury" is a word seldom paired with "easy," and "elegance" rarely implies "comfortable." So when the Peninsula Hotel combined Midwestern hospitality with Far Eastern graciousness 13 years ago, glass ceilings in hospitality shattered all over Chicagoland. From the doorman to the Michelin star chef, staff believes guests' needs should be anticipated before they are articulated.
Cincinnati, the Queen City, is Fit for a Princess
May 1, 2014
I am torn between touting Cincinnati's treasures and keeping the city under wraps so I can continue to easily park my car downtown. The spirit of Cincinnati is what I imagine the spirit of Florence was during the Renaissance: so much happening and most of it creative, innovative and exciting. The streetcar is a work in progress and will add to the city's charm and convenience.
Where the Elite Eat in Yuma, Arizona
March 10, 2014
If you've been to Wall Drug in South Dakota, you know the spirit of Lutes Casino in Yuma, Arizona. It's the state's oldest pool hall, but who wants to play pool when there is so much to eat and look at. Yes, that is an old cowboy boot plunging through the ceiling and a plane gliding overhead. Suspended from the ceiling are a full sized Signal Gas sign and a sign for Western Union. Wall art, ceiling art, and standing curiosities give the casino a weird-dream ambiance. Lutes describes the art as "early eclectic." If that is too fancy a term, just think "interesting junk."
Paris: Little Stars in the City of Light
December 12, 2013
In the midst of our heated debate between Switzerland and Italy, my sister offered "Paris" like a peace treaty, and that ended the controversy. We made a list of things to do besides buy scarves and visit the Mona Lisa and booked a boutique hotel in the Latin Quarter. We learned to decipher a Metro map (with a magnifying glass) along with the rewards and the limits of lists.
Galveston's Pleasure Pier for good, clean fun
November 8, 2013
Like most of Galveston’s attractions, its Pleasure Pier that opened, or re-re-re opened, in 2012 has a history punctuated with hurricanes. The original Pleasure Pier stood from 1943 until Hurricane Carla demolished it in 1961. In 1965, an over-the-water hotel delighted Gulf lovers until Hurricane Ike splintered it in 2008.
Hotel Galvez, Queen of the Gulf
November 7, 2013
Galveston, Texas, is a resilient barrier island with a celebratory spirit. When Hurricane Ike flooded 75 percent of the island five years ago, only the islanders believed that Christmas would come again in all its radiant beauty.
Galveston's Holiday Magic
November 5, 2013
Galveston is a resilient barrier island with a celebratory spirit. When Hurricane Ike flooded 75 percent of the island five years ago, only the islanders believed that Christmas would come again in all its radiant beauty. "Yes," Galveston proclaims, "there really is a Santa Claus." He will arrive December 14 on the Galveston Railroad Museum's Harborside Express Train.
Garden of surprises in Rockford Illinois
August 24, 2013
Nicholas Conservatory and Gardens along the Rock River in Rockford, Illinois, combines tropical greenery with whimsical figures made of that most famous of Venetian glass, which is crafted on the island of Murano. Tropical plants gathered from around the world thrive in the 11,000 square-foot glass house that reaches 52 feet into the sky.
Rockford’s Japanese garden is haiku for the sens
August 24, 2013
Stone, water, and plants are essential elements in a Japanese garden, and Rockford, Illinois, is home to the nation's top-rated one. Anderson Japanese Garden, 318 Spring Creek Road, is a place for reflection, meditation, relaxation and renewal where guests are cautioned to respect the serenity of its 14 acres of paths and ponds. And koi fish. Don't forget to buy food to feed the koi.
Rockford's Klehm Arboretum and Botanic Garden is poetry in leaves
August 24, 2013
I've always thought of art museums as poems where I wander keeping hands away from alarm sensors. From the Uffizi, the Louvre, the Prado, the Winter Palace, to the more local Art Institute in Chicago, misty words float among the Renoirs and Caravaggio's waiting for me to scan and rhyme them. Which I haven't -- yet.
Off the Grid Greece
April 8, 2012
Wisdom and common sense suggest that vacation planning should be completed months before the journey. Thus, my friend Susan and I agreed that we would not complain when our last-minute plans to visit one or more Greek islands went awry.
Carol Stigger
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