My Stay With City Lodge

Tamika-Court-Yard-Hotel-3

Thank you to City Lodge Hotel Group who recently hosted me at their Courtyard Hotel in Port Elizabeth to blog about their resort. I found The Courtyard Hotel to be healing, pretty on the eye, well-run and inviting. The staff were all very capable of making me feel safe, organised and welcome. They truly aimed to give me the best service and insight into the city’s tourist attractions for my convenience and pleasure. I had two dedicated receptionists – Pretty and Roniqu- who were cheerful and professional. A special mention must also be made to Matthews and Thabisa.

City Lodge

I found the room very clean and spacious. I had no problems. A large bathroom offering a bath and shower greeted me, as well as a self-catering kitchenette with coffee and tea making facilities. This was beyond my expectations for a standard room. I enjoyed the full DSTV bouquet and the balcony, overlooking Port Elizabeth’s gorgeous ocean. A thrilling sunrise greeted me when I woke up from a cold South African winter’s night – Thank goodness for the air conditioner to warm me up. I was also pleased with the delicious bed and the extra blanket.

The complimentary drinks and snacks at the fireplace in the hotel’s lounge relaxed me after I arrived to check in following a busy day! Complimentary hot snacks and drinks – alcoholic and non-alcoholic – are available to guests every night between 5pm and 7pm. The sight of their large, well-furnished lobby and seating area was a sight for sore eyes. I loved the modern feel of the whole hotel. I particularly remember how sweet the air smelt when I caught sight of their clean, blue pool overlooking the salty PE sea.

Breakfast offered a delectable selection for guests. There was an extensive buffet for both Continental and full English options. Here’s a tip: Try ordering a white omelette – the chef prepares it superbly.

Port Elizabeth has a lot to offer the tourist. A day trip to Kragga Kamma Game Park can be organised by the hotel. For R185 you can do a 2-hour safari and the hotel can organise transport for you. If you like wildlife, my other suggestions are:

The Boma Reptile World

SAMREC

Seaview Predator Park

Again, the hotel offers a “kind-cierge” which organises day trips for you.

For an experience at sea, I recommend Jester Cruises. They offer 90 minute cruises through the bay at R150 on Saturdays and Sundays between 3pm and 4:30pm. On Wednesday and Saturday evenings, their braai cruises are R100 more per person and run from 6:30pm-10pm.

If you’re anything like me, you would enjoy a true African Spa experience. I visited the Africology Spa - a 5 minute walk from the hotel. The hotel can organise a shuttle for you. This spa experience is definitely a must for the tourist if you need some pampering. I enjoyed a cleansing 35 minute “Majestic Spa Awakening” therapeutic massage. It treated my neck, shoulders and scalp. My therapist, Zola, is a true asset to her craft. Her massage ability is heaven-sent and her God-given ability will leave you asleep on the bed. Enjoy this for R400. During this month of July, they are offering a “Madiba” special, which includes an extra 20 minute foot massage. The spa also offers Hydrotherapy, Grooming Packages and Skin Wraps. For an added R150, enjoy a sauna, hydro-bath or steam therapy. End off your experience with a cup of mint tea in their relaxation room.

Africology Spa

Africology Spa

Bloggers South Africa

Make sure to visit these nearby spots PE is famous for:

Sun International’s Boardwalk Casino and Entertainment World

Bridge Street Brewery

Mangiamo Restaurant 

Bocadillos Bakery and Coffee Shop

PE is also famous for its “Stanley Street” which can be compared to the Camps Bay strip in Cape Town. No ocean, but many pretty bars and restaurants. (Hint: Make sure to get a taste of craft beer at the Beeryard in the evening. A small tasting tray is only R25!)

Three restaurants I love in this street are Charlie SuperstarFor The Love of Wine and Salt.

If you like your Internet access, The Courtyard Hotel offers 60 minutes complimentary Wif-Fi daily. If you’re a health fundi, they also have a gym! For business travel, make sure to use their conference room.

Thank you City Lodge! And thank you to my photographer Kevin Ruth.

Bloggers South Africa

City Lodge South Africa

Bloggers South Africa

Giving Back This “Madiba Day”!

This year for Madiba Day the Rotary Club of Algoa Bay gave back for 67 minutes – 1 minute for every year Nelson Mandela worked to make the world a better place – at The Provincial Hospital. The hospital is in Port Elizabeth, Nelson Mandela Bay, South Africa. In honour of his birthday, the call is out for people everywhere to give 67 minutes of their time to help their community in some way. Everyone has the power to change the world. The United Nations declared 18 July as “Nelson Mandela International Day” in 2009.

Wise African Proverbs

Courtesy of http://afritorial.com/

All photos courtesy of http://afritorial.com/

African proverbs on Learning
  • Learning expands great souls. ~ Namibian proverb
  • To get lost is to learn the way. ~ African proverb
  • If you close your eyes to facts, you will learn through accidents. ~ African proverb
  • By trying often, the monkey learns to jump from the tree. ~ Buganda proverb
  • You always learn a lot more when you lose than when you win. ~ African proverb
  • You learn how to cut down trees by cutting them down. ~ Bateke proverb
  • The wise create proverbs for fools to learn, not to repeat. ~ African proverb
  • By the time the fool has learned the game, the players have dispersed. ~Ashanti proverb
  • You do not teach the paths of the forest to an old gorilla. ~Congolese proverb
  • What you learn is what you die with. ~ African proverb
  • Instruction in youth is like engraving in stone. ~Moroccan Proverb
  • When you follow in the path of your father, you learn to walk like him. ~Ashanti Proverb
  • Ears that do not listen to advice, accompany the head when it is chopped off. ~African Proverb
  • Advice is a stranger; if he’s welcome he stays for the night; if not, he leaves the same day. ~Malagasy Proverb

African Jewellery

African proverbs on Peace & Leadership
  • A fight between grasshoppers is a joy to the crow. ~ Lesotho proverb
  • Milk and honey have different colors, but they share the same house peacefully. ~ African proverb
  • He who thinks he is leading and has no one following him is only taking a walk. ~ Malawian proverb
  • An army of sheep led by a lion can defeat an army of lions led by a sheep. ~ Ghanaian proverb
  • He who is destined for power does not have to fight for it. ~ Ugandan proverb
  • Do not forget what is to be a sailor because of being a captain yourself. ~ Tanzanian proverb
  • He who fears the sun will not become chief. ~Ugandan proverb
  • Because he lost his reputation, he lost a kingdom. ~ Ethiopian proverb

African Proverbs

African proverbs on Unity & Community

  • Sticks in a bundle are unbreakable. ~ Bondei proverb
  • It takes a village to raise a child. ~ African proverb
  • Cross the river in a crowd and the crocodile won’t eat you. ~ African proverb
  • Two ants do not fail to pull one grasshopper. ~ Tanzanian proverb
  • A single bracelet does not jingle. ~ Congolese proverb
  • A single stick may smoke, but it will not burn. ~ African proverb

African Proverbs

African proverbs on Family

  • If I am in harmony with my family, that’s success. ~ Ute proverb
  • Dine with a stranger but save your love for your family. ~ Ethiopian proverb
  • Home affairs are not talked about on the public square. ~ African proverb

African proverbs on Friendship
  • A friend is someone you share the path with. ~ African proverb
  • Show me your friend and I will show you your character. ~ African proverb
  • Return to old watering holes for more than water; friends and dreams are there to meet you. ~ African proverb
  • Between true friends even water drunk together is sweet enough. ~ African proverb
  • Bad friends will prevent you from having good friends.  ~ Gabon proverb

African Proverbs on Beauty

African proverbs on Beauty
  • If there is character, ugliness becomes beauty; if there is none, beauty becomes ugliness. ~Nigerian Proverb
  • The skin of the leopard is beautiful, but not his heart. ~Baluba proverb
  • Ugliness with a good character is better than beauty. ~Nigerian Proverb
  • You are beautiful, but learn to work, for you cannot eat your beauty. ~Congolese Proverb
  • The one who loves an unsightly person is the one who makes him beautiful. ~Ganda Proverb
  • Three things cause sorrow to flee; water, green trees, and a beautiful face. ~Moroccan Proverb
  • A pretty face and fine clothes do not make character. ~Congolese Proverb
  • A pretty basket does not prevent worries. ~Congolese Proverb
  • It’s those ugly caterpillars that turn into beautiful butterflies after seasons. ~African Proverb
  • The most beautiful fig may contain a worm. ~Zulu Proverb
  • It is only a stupid cow that rejoices at the prospect of being taken to a beautiful abattoir. ~African Proverb
  • A chicken with beautiful plumage does not sit in a corner. ~African Proverb
  • There is always a winner even in a monkey’s beauty contest. ~African Proverb
  • Dress up a stick and it’ll be a beautiful bride. ~Egyptian Proverb
  • Beautiful discourse is rarer than emerald ~ yet it can be found among the servant girls at the grindstones. ~Egyptian Proverb
  • When a once-beautiful piece of cloth has turned into rags, no one remembers that it was woven by Ukwa master weavers. ~Igbo Proverb
  • A woman’s polite devotion is her greatest beauty. ~African Proverb
  • If you find “Miss This Year” beautiful, then you’ll find “Miss Next Year” even more so. ~Nigerian Proverb

African Culture Photography

 African proverbs on Love & Marriage
  • A happy man marries the girl he loves, but a happier man loves the girl he marries. ~ African proverb
  • If you marry a monkey for his wealth, the money goes and the monkey remains as is. ~ Egyptian proverb
  • Marriage is like a groundnut; you have to crack it to see what is inside. ~ Ghanaian proverb
African proverbs on Patience
  • Hurry, hurry has no blessings. ~ Swahili proverb
  • Patience is the mother of a beautiful child. ~ Bantu proverb
  • To run is not necessarily to arrive. ~ Swahili proverb
  • Patience can cook a stone. ~ African proverb
  • A patient man will eat ripe fruit. ~ African proverb
  • At the bottom of patience one finds heaven. ~ African proverb
  • A patient person never misses a thing. ~ Swahili proverb
  • Patience attracts happiness; it brings near that which is far. ~ Swahili proverb
  • Always being in a hurry does not prevent death, neither does going slowly prevent living. ~ Ibo proverb
  • However long the night, the dawn will break. ~ African proverb (personal favourite!)
African proverbs on Wealth, Riches, Money & Poverty
  • The wealth which enslaves the owner isn’t wealth. ~ Yoruba
  • Having a good discussion is like having riches ~ Kenya
  • Do not let what you cannot do tear from your hands what you can. ~ Ashanti

African proverbs on Food

  • If you see a man in a gown eating with a man in rags, the food belongs to the latter. ~Fulani Proverb
  • They ate our food, and forgot our names. ~Tunisian Proverb
  • An abundance of food at your neighbour’s will not satisfy your hunger. ~Bayaka Proverb
  • Food you will not eat you do not boil. ~African Proverb
  • When your luck deserts you, even cold food burns. ~Zambian Proverb
  • Happiness is as good as food. ~Maasai Proverb
  • Good words are food, bad words poison. ~Malagasy Proverb
  • The goat says: “Where there is blood, there is plenty of food.” ~Ghanaian Proverb
  • Eat when the food is ready; speak when the time is right. ~Ethiopian Proverb
  • The forest provides food to the hunter after he is utterly exhausted. ~Zimbabwean Proverb
  • Fine words do not produce food. ~Nigerian Proverb
  • If you watch your pot, your food will not burn. ~Mauritanian, Nigerian, and Niger Proverb
  • A spider’s cobweb isn’t only its sleeping spring but also its food trap. ~African Proverb
  • Man is like a pepper, till you have chewed it you do not know how hot it is. ~Haussa Proverb
  • When the food is cooked there is no need to wait before eating it. ~Kikuyu Proverb
  • Words are sweet, but they never take the place of food. ~Ibo Proverb
  • A healthy person who begs for food is an insult to a generous farmer. ~Ghanaian Proverb
  • Don’t take another mouthful before you have swallowed what is in your mouth. ~Malagasy Proverb
  • The grasshopper which is always near its mother eats the best food. ~Ghanaian Proverb
  • The chicken that digs for food will not sleep hungry. ~Bayombe Proverb

Keys To Good Communication

Bloggers in South Africa

Happy Sunday!

Here is a nice devotional for today that focuses on communication. I believe good communication is so important. Here are some key basic principles to get down in your spirit that will help you be well on the way to happy, productive relationships.

Honesty. If you want to get off on the right foot with others, be honest and straightforward from the start.

Tact. It’s important to be honest, but it’s also important to be loving and considerate in your presentation, especially with people who are naturally sensitive or when the subject could be sensitive.

Wisdom. Wisdom is what helps you be tactful. You’ll find a lot of useful wisdom within the pages of the Bible, but you can also get wisdom that is tailor made for each situation by asking God for it. That is promised in the Bible, but you need to ask.

Love. You may not do or say everything right, but if others see that you are motivated by love and concern, little problems or misunderstandings are less likely to become big ones.

Prayer. Sometimes praying together about a shared situation can help things click between two people like nothing else.

Positiveness. Being upbeat usually elicits a like response.

Timing. Knowing when to say something is often as important as knowing what to say. So is knowing when not to say anything.

Approachability. Dictionary definitions of approachable include accessible; easy to meet, know, talk with, etc.; friendly. When someone knows you will take time for him or her, you’ve won a friend.

Attentiveness. Listen to what others have to say without interrupting, trying to hurry them along, or finishing their sentences for them. Nothing opens a channel for constructive dialogue better than being a good listener.

Open-mindedness. People’s opinions and the way they approach problems are as different as people themselves. Letting others express their thoughts and feelings conveys respect and fosters positive, fruitful exchanges. People will be much more at ease with you and more likely to turn to you for advice if they know you will be open to what they have to say, even if you don’t agree.

Empathy. Be sensitive to others’ likes and dislikes, needs, and moods. Put yourself in their shoes. Practice the Golden Rule.

A sense of humor. A little laughter can be just the thing to keep potentially difficult exchanges from getting too intense. Lighten up!

Clarity. There would be a lot fewer misunderstandings between people if they didn’t beat around the bush or rely so much on hints. Don’t leave others guessing; say what you mean. If you’re not sure they understand your point, ask them.

Effort. Sometimes communicating is plain hard work.

Consistency. People who communicate regularly understand each other better and are more likely to be able to work through problems when they come up.

Colossians 4:6 ESV – Let your speech always be gracious, seasoned with salt, so that you may know how you ought to answer each person.

Proverbs 15:1 ESV - A soft answer turns away wrath, but a harsh word stirs up anger.

Psalm 141:3 ESV - Set a guard, O Lord, over my mouth; keep watch over the door of my lips!

Success at South Africa’s Regional Business Achiever’s Awards!

Tamika Doubell

I was honoured to receive an award at this year’s Business Women of South Africa’s Regional Business Achiever’s Awards. Held at The Crystal Towers in Cape Town, I was thrilled to receive this recognition of distinction in business as an entrepreneur in the film industry! Skybok is all about connecting South Africa and moving us forward in the travel / tourism sector. I look forward to our exciting future doing so. I am very blessed that I was able to turn something I am passionate about into a profitable venture. It’s exciting to have been named in amidst such successful women across the region in all industries. I am proudly South African and marvel each day at our beautiful country and our people. Thank you, BWA!

BWA South Africa

BWA South Africa

 

June Greetings

 

Skybok

This past couple months has been very busy. On the Skybok front, we filmed a couple awesome places to add to our database of online video profiles showcasing South Africa. Scoot on over to our blog here and read about them. This includes work not only showcasing places here in Cape Town, but also work done at the Durban Travel Indaba. Read about it and see pictures here. I’ve done some voice work at my favourite studio, West Beach Studio, which is run by music producer Frank Smuts who also happens to be one of South Africa’s top triathletes! I did an awesome interview with Grootbos Nature Reserve who recently hosted me to blog about their 5-star luxury resort. Check out the interview here and read my article on the place here. Concurrent to that, I did an interview for HotelsCheap.Org on what to expect when travelling to South Africa – read the interview here. On the PR / Social Media Management side of things, the RetroAfrika Bioscope has received some stunning news regarding their digitally remastered 1980′s South African film Joe Bullet; that it’s to be premiered at the Durban International Film Festival in July this year. Check out their press received here and their gallery of behind-the-scenes at the Waterfront Film Studios here. Up in Johannesburg, The Art Meets Fashion event took place at Constitution Hill and showcased some stunning work by local fashion designers and artists, following in the footsteps of its partner event up in New York. Read about my involvement as an ambassador for this cause here. International collaborations to strengthen ties between South Africa and the rest of the world in order to move us forward in the global arena in any and all creative spheres is something I feel passionately about. I feel we have a pool of undiscovered talent here. Modelling wise, I did a great hair shoot with Sarah Keogh who is an asset to her craft and always produces strong images. I’m looking forward to the BWA Awards (Business Women’s Association of South Africa) in which I’m a finalist in the category of “Emerging Entrepreneur” and whose ceremony is at The Crystal Towers here in Cape Town this week. On the blogging front, an exciting enterprise coming up is a campaign I’m taking part of with City Lodge Hotel Group, where they’re sponsoring me to travel to their hotels around the country and blog. Looking forward to a busy month ahead with lots of different projects! Hopefully I can provide you with some entertaining stories ;)

What have you been up to? Are you in the film industry here in SA? 

Skybok

Skybok

 

Here We Go: Thailand

Thailand Phuket Jetskii

Thailand is one of the best places for South African travellers – airfare is affordable, night markets offer bargains and you can find good food in both fancy hotels and street-side stalls. Phuket is Thailand’s largest island. You won’t have trouble getting around! I spent New Year’s Eve in Thailand once. It was fantastic because it took me totally out of my comfort zone which I loved. There was exotic food, music, huge crowds, fireworks, a countdown on the streets and lots of dancing! We spent a week on Patong beach in Phuket and a week in Bangkok which was incredible. By night, Phuket has a bustling nightlife which includes literally hundreds of restaurants, beer bars, GoGo Bars and discos. The nightlife is centred around Soi Bangla (Bangla Road) which is a chaotic atmosphere of steaming hot streets, neon lights, tasty food and magic. By day I was on the beach and by night I was either on this street or at the famous “ladyboy” cabaret called the Simon Cabaret in the Kathu District. One of the original ladyboy cabaret with Vegas-ish routines; ladyboys primp and grin through feathered extravaganzas. To top it all off, one day I rode an elephant! Bangkok was also a feast for the eyes. Did you know it has over 9 million inhabitants? An extremely religious city, we travelled around visiting ancient temples and palaces, and made sure we went to Wat Kalayanamit (Thailand’s largest indoor sitting Buddha at 15 metres/49 feet high). I really enjoyed learning about their culture. Buddhism is the main religion in Thailand and you’ll see plenty of colourful, ornately-designed temples. Even if you aren’t Buddhist, you’re free to enter and receive blessings from the monks. Be sure to visit the Big Buddha where a monk will bless you and give you a bracelet that he made himself!  We also spent a day at the Ancient Ruins of Ayutthaya and another day at The Grand Palace & Wat Prakeaw. The Grand Palace was built in 1782 by King Rama I, who established Bangkok as Thailand’s new capital. A palace of jewels and gold and splendor like never seen before in Thailand, it remained the Royal Family’s official residence from 1782 to 1946. Part of the palace compound is dedicated to a royal temple, Wat Phra Kaew. This is the most sacred temple of Thailand and home to the famous Emerald Buddha – a jade statue adorned in gold clothing. To pray before the Emerald Buddha is to make merit. Although this is an important place on any visitor’s itinerary, it’s worth remembering this is a place of worship for many visiting. If you go, be respectful and dress appropriately. Make sure you wear long pants and long blouses, otherwise it’s possible to hire clothes at the gates (you won’t be allowed entry if you aren’t dressed correctly). One more thing: under no circumstances must you point your feet at the Emerald Buddha – according to their beliefs, to do so is sacrilege! If you can’t cross your legs, avoid sitting down. If you do point your feet at the Buddha, you could be escorted out by the guards. Photography inside the Emerald Buddha Chapel is also strictly forbidden… apparently this isn’t just a requirement of the chapel; taking pictures of Buddha here is against the law. The Grand Palace and Wat Pra Kaew are in the Banglamphu area of Bangkok – the ‘Old City’. You can take a taxi or Tuk Tuk.

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Art Meets Fashion – Joburg

Tamika Doubell

MyArts International will be hosting the Art Meets Fashion Joburg this Friday the 13th and Saturday the 14th of June 2014 at the Constitution Hill (Basement). The event aims at creating a platform for collaboration in the creative industry and giving an opportunity to local visual artists, crafters , models and designers to  showcase their talents in fashion, modelling, film, visual and performing arts. The Art Meets Fashion Joburg  will give entrepreneurs in the creative sector an opportunity to network with other entrepreneurs from different fields, trade  and discuss about various opportunities and challenges in their field of work while sharing some drinks. The event will incorporate an arts exhibition, craft market, fashion showcase, modelling workshops and creative business expo. The mission of this program is to create a local and global partnership for development in order to foster job creation and to support the growth of new and existing businesses by providing capacity building information, tools and resources. Our focus is to develop and empower businesses within the arts fraternity and business sector in order to strengthen their business capability and survivability.

Modelling Workshop

A modelling workshop will be held on both days from 12:00 to 14:00. The aim is to give young men and women who are interested in modelling and fashion free information on the industry. The workshop will focus on photography, catwalk and tips about the modelling industry. Interested models must meet at the Constitution Hill at 11:00 to 11:30 for registration. The workshop is free as we believe that the door of culture and education shall be opened to all.

Fashion Activities

Designers from Gauteng, Mpumalanga and the North-West Province will showcase their garments during the various shows and fashion installations. Our relationship with the Brooklyn Style Foundation gives the participating designers an opportunity to showcase on the 4th of October 2014 at the Fashion Week Brooklyn in New York where the BK Style in partnership with MyArts will be hosting a South African show dedicated to the 20 Years of Freedom and Democracy.

Arts Promotion

The event will also include some promotional activities and Arts Development Forums where artists will be informally talking and networking while sharing drink and meals. MyArts International wants this event to serve as a platform to seek out and nurture young, disadvantaged artists and allowing them to reach their potential and enhance the world around them by setting an example of giving, hope and achievement. According the MyArts’ Chief Director, Mr. Denis Ackulay, artists will be celebrating the 20 years of Freedom and Democracy this weekend during the Art Meets Fashion Joburg. “It’s not just a platform for collaboration but also a weekend of celebration as SA celebrates youth months and 20 years.” Active citizenship is very important within the Art Fraternity. It is this generation’s task to reignite the true engine of  the Millennium Development Goal #8, which is Global Partnerships for Development established under the United Nations 2015 Program. “We should think of restoring  the ideal of people working together and collaborating and exchanging ideas,” he added. The event will also feature an Anti-Rhino Poaching Campaign with an auction where funds will be channels to Anti-Rhino Poaching Organisations.

Program

Friday 13 June 2014

12:00 – 14:00  Modelling Workshop (For all young people who want to learn about Modelling)

14:00 – 19:00  Exhibition (Business Expo and Arts and Fashion Market)

16:00 – 19:00  Fashion Installations and Arts Promotion activities

Saturday 14 June 2014

12:00 – 14:00  Modelling Workshop (For all young people who want to learn about Modelling)

14:00 – 19:00  Exhibition (Business expo and Arts and Fashion Market)

16:00 – 20:00  Fashion Shows and Arts Promotion activities

14:00 – 19:00  Exhibition (Business Expo and Arts and Fashion Market)

16:00 – 19:00  Fashion Installations and Arts Promotion activities

Tamika Doubell

 

Here We Go: Assisi

Assisi Italy

A few years ago I traveled from Assisi to Sorrento along the Amalfi Coast of Italy. I remember the time I spent in Assisi like it was yesterday. What a magical town! I got lost in it for hours and learnt so much about it’s fascinating past. It’s famous for the saint who was born there, Saint Francis of Assisi. He was an Italian Catholic friar and preacher. Though he was never ordained to the Catholic priesthood, Francis is one of the most venerated religious figures in history. He reportedly heard the voice of Christ, who told him to repair the Christian Church and live a life of poverty. He promptly gave up the wealth he was used to from his family to become a humble preacher. He devoted his life to Christianity, becoming known all over the Christian world. St Francis of Assisi is honoured by the Catholic Church as the patron saint of animals and ecology. One of his most famous sermons is one he gave to a flock of birds. Later in life, Francis reportedly received a vision that left him with the stigmata of Christ—marks resembling the wounds Jesus Christ suffered when he was crucified—making Francis the first person to receive the holy wounds of the stigmata. He was canonized as a saint on July 16, 1228. Today, he has had a lasting resonance with millions of followers across the globe. Plan your tour now at Insight Vacations. It’s a 2 hour drive from Rome.

Assisi Italy

Assisi Italy

Assisi Italy

Assisi Italy

Assisi Italy

Assisi Italy

Assisi Italy