The first time I ever dreamed of traveling to Paris, it was not because I’d seen the city on television, or photos in a magazine. It was because I was flipping through the pages of Madeline, enthralled by the painted portrayals and a young girl’s adventures. Later, I’d get similar sensations while reading about Lisbon and Lebanon, Lagos, and London. Before there were TikTok travel trends and Instagram influencers, there were novels. Stories set into landscapes that literally leaped off the page, creating a kind of wanderlust you could spend your entire life chasing.
Some cities are more popular literary inspirations than others-Paris is famous for its mentions in novels, essays, and as a home to so many 20th century greats. Meanwhile, London is the home to some of literature’s most infamous characters-Sherlock Holmes just to name one.
The printing experts over at Aura Print have sought to quantify the influence of European cities, by determining the top 20 most influential European cities referenced in books between 1920 and 2019. By evaluating Google Books’ 25 million books, Aura Books was able to create the following ranking. Here are the top 20 most referenced European cities and the decade each city was most popular in literature: 1. London, 1960s 2. Paris, 1920s 3. Rome, 1920s 4. Berlin 1940s 5. Moscow, 1980s 6. Florence, 1920s 7. Vienna, 1980s 8. Athens, 1960s 9. Dublin, 1920s 10. Amsterdam, 1990s 11. Brussels, 1990s 12. Venice, 1920s 13. Madrid, 1990s 14. Stockholm, 1980s 15. Warsaw, 1980s 16. Munich, 1990s 17. Milan, 1960s 18. Copenhagen, 1950s 19. Prague, 1960s 20. Porto, 1920s
Now that you’ve got this list, you can head to your local library and start exploring the wealth of travel inspiration it has to offer. My personal recommendation? I’ve always loved the lore of Rick Riordan’s books as a launch point for my travel inspo.
Mexican restaurant chain Mad Mex has dropped a new protein, and it’s one of the most popular street foods in Mexico.
Enter, Chicken Al Pastor. It’s traditionally made with pork and grilled on a spinning rotisserie with a pineapple sitting a top, but Mad Mex has put its own spin on it, serving chicken bathed in an Al Pastor marinade with a touch of juicy pineapple.
You can order the protein-packed filling in your favourite burrito, bowl, quesadilla, nachos, or in a taco.
As always, these things are here for a good time, not a long time. Pop into your local Mad Mex restaurant, order delivery or through the Mad Mex app today.