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Some travel surprises are good: discovering a hidden gem of a trattoria in Florence where you are greeted with hugs and an open bottle of Chianti. Or finding out that the Louvre is free the one day you are in Paris.

Latest Stories Da Vinci Decoded? Mona Lisa Identity Solved!updated: Thu Feb 03 2011 11:29:00

An art researcher claims Leonardo's male assistant posed for the portrait

About icon, CNN International's arts and culture showupdated: Fri Dec 10 2010 12:15:00

Icon is a monthly arts series that promises viewers a journey into the worlds of visual arts, architecture, literature, music, photography, dance, opera, fashion and design, accompanied by interviews with their innovators and influencers as diverse as I.M. Pei, Quincy Jones and Herbie Hancock.

Megabucks sex up Middle East art explosionupdated: Mon Nov 08 2010 12:26:00

It's not just oil they talk about in the Middle East, these days. With millions of the region's dollars being spent in an explosion of art collecting, they could just as easily be talking about oil paintings.

The importance of video game historyupdated: Wed Aug 25 2010 14:33:00

Music has the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. Visual arts have the Met, Louvre and Guggenheim. Radio and TV have the Museum of Broadcast Communications.

Saudi Arabian treasures in Parisupdated: Thu Jul 29 2010 07:31:00

CNN's Icon previews a new collection of Arabian artifacts, the fruit of a 40-year archeology project.

Pre-Islam Saudi treasures on show for first timeupdated: Thu Jul 29 2010 07:31:00

A "groundbreaking" new exhibition of rare artifacts from Saudi Arabia's ancient past -- some which have never been shown abroad -- has opened in the Louvre, Paris.

I.M. Pei returns to the Louvreupdated: Wed Jul 28 2010 08:44:00

Exclusive: Icon meets architect I.M Pei at the Louvre to talk about his famous pyramid.

At 93, Louvre Pyramid architect I.M. Pei is still going strongupdated: Wed Jul 28 2010 08:44:00

It's 27 years since award-winning architect I.M. Pei began work on his glass pyramid at the Louvre Museum in Paris. Cameron Diaz Shops at Six Boutiques in Parisupdated: Tue Jul 27 2010 11:48:00

• Cameron Diaz took an active approach to shopping in Paris during her stopover in France. The Knight and Day star hit up Chanel, Louis Vuitton, Hermès, Effect and two Lanvin boutiques before picking up a local guide who brought her on a tour around several city landmarks. Diaz stopped for pictures at the Louvre and Place de la Concorde, and then joined friends for a late evening supper at Chez Diep, where she showed off her snapshots over spring rolls, sole and rosé wine.

CNN expands arts and culture coverage with new show, Iconupdated: Thu Jul 08 2010 12:21:00

The world's leading news network, CNN International, is planning a major expansion of its coverage of the arts and culture.

This month on Icon: The Louvreupdated: Thu Jul 08 2010 12:08:00

Home to the Leonardo da Vinci's Mona Lisa and Caravaggio's Death of the Virgin, the Louvre Museum in Paris houses one of the largest art collections on earth.

Winter in Paris: A cool time to go localupdated: Wed Jan 06 2010 09:55:00

The City of Light shines year-round, but Paris has a special appeal in winter. Sure, the weather can be cold and rainy (the average high in January is 43 degrees), but if you dress in layers, you'll keep warm and easily deal with temperature changes as you go from cold streets to heated museums and cafes.

Tips for healthy, happy travelsupdated: Mon Nov 02 2009 08:17:00

It was my last day in Athens after spending several weeks producing two exciting television shows on Greece. My brain was fried. I was concerned I was getting a cold, and I felt that getting sick was God's way of telling me to slow down. Instead of heading out on a shoot, I ditched work and spent the day lounging poolside on the rooftop of my hotel. Thankfully, it worked. The next day, I felt recharged.

'Bad taste' cries as McDonald's moves into 'Mona Lisa' museumupdated: Thu Oct 08 2009 08:30:00

Shortly after McDonald's celebrated its 30-year presence in France, the fast-food chain is conquering one of the country's most valued cultural institutions --the Louvre.

Egypt severs ties with France's Louvre museumupdated: Wed Oct 07 2009 11:02:00

Egypt is suspending ties with France's famous Louvre museum until the latter returns artifacts that it knew were stolen when it purchased them, the head of the country's antiquities council said Wednesday.

Woman throws mug at 'Mona Lisa'updated: Tue Aug 11 2009 16:08:00

Leonardo da Vinci's masterpiece the "Mona Lisa" was attacked with a mug earlier this month, but the world's most famous painting -- protected by thick glass -- emerged with its enigmatic smile undimmed. The Obamas' Whirlwind Paris Weekendupdated: Mon Jun 08 2009 12:27:00

From visits to the Eiffel Tower and the Louvre to a cruise down the Seine, the First Family explores the City of Light

Fortune: Road Warriorupdated: Fri May 22 2009 10:04:00

Running jeweler John Hardy takes endurance. The company is based in Hong Kong and has offices in Bali, and the men's and women's styles are sold all over the world through jewelers and stores like Saks and Neiman Marcus.

Paris: What to seeupdated: Fri May 08 2009 03:56:00

Paris is a city made for strolling. When you arrive, follow the route from the Hotel de Ville to the Arc du Triomphe, through the Louvre, the Tuileries and up the Champs Elysees to gain an idea of how the city links together. If you've got lots of energy, keep going from the Arc du Triomphe to La Defense and the leafy neighborhoods of Neuilly-sur-Seine.

Paris: A seasonal guideupdated: Thu Feb 12 2009 03:44:00

No matter when you go, Paris has that certain 'je ne sais quoi' that makes it special. But time your visit right and you could find yourself taking part in one of the city's signature events.

Secret sketches a Da Vinci mysteryupdated: Thu Dec 18 2008 15:20:00

Drawings on the back of a Leonardo da Vinci painting may have been sketched by the Italian Renaissance artist, but only more tests by museum experts will tell. Who Owns Ancient Treasures?updated: Thu Nov 06 2008 18:00:00

Sharon Waxman explores the contentious intersection where museums, antiquities dealers, and national pride meet in Loot: The Battle Over the Stolen Treasures of the Ancient World

Paris: Insider Tipsupdated: Thu Jun 19 2008 04:55:00

In a city famous for being the birthplace of the avant-garde, it can be hard to keep up with the latest trends. Here's a rough guide to what's hot right now in the French capital.

The art of investmentupdated: Tue Apr 08 2008 01:50:00

Despite the credit crunch and rising inflation in the Gulf, the region has found a new passion for investing. And one of the biggest growth markets at the moment is modern art.

Gulf art a popular investmentupdated: Tue Apr 08 2008 01:50:00

Investors in the Middle East are finding art to be a good place to put their money. CNN's Wilf Dinnick reports. Jean Nouvel Wins Architecture Honorupdated: Sun Mar 30 2008 14:00:00

The Pritzker Prize goes to a man whose signature is buildings that grow out of their surroundings

Romances made of everyday gesturesupdated: Wed Feb 20 2008 16:33:00

Ever hear the one about the guy who had peachy-pink peonies imported from Chile every February? Apparently, he wanted to guarantee his sweetheart a touch of spring each morning.

The sad, wonderful, complicated life of Charles M. Schulzupdated: Fri Jan 04 2008 12:17:00

Who was the real Charles M. Schulz?

Five hotels: Paris at a price that's rightupdated: Tue Oct 30 2007 12:32:00

From bohemian to luxe, here are five boutique hotels with atmosphere to spare.

A High view of Impressionism's rootsupdated: Thu Oct 18 2007 09:32:00

It is an irony of contemporary art-museum management: Sometimes the museum that creates an exhibition doesn't get to premiere it.

Louvre Atlanta: An 'Eye' for the 'Ancient'updated: Wed Oct 17 2007 09:48:00

Two-hundred thousand visitors later, it's a year since Louvre Atlanta opened at the High Museum of Art.

Paris in Atlantaupdated: Wed Oct 17 2007 09:48:00

Take a tour of the latest collaboration of art between the Louvre in Paris and Atlanta's High Museum of Art.

Creating a sceneupdated: Fri Oct 05 2007 09:41:00

In a gallery in Dubai this month, local Emirate collectors, passing American tourists and Egyptian expats will mingle to admire the Fez-clad, cigarette-smoking youths in the photographs of London-based but Moroccan-born artist, Hassan Hajjaj.

Architectural dreamingupdated: Fri Oct 05 2007 05:01:00

A visit to Abu Dhabi best illustrates the scale of the dream projects underway. Some projects that probably would never get off the ground elsewhere are finding a home in the Middle East, specifically the Louvre and Guggenheim outposts planned in Abu Dhabi.

Sophisticated taste: Paris museum restaurantsupdated: Thu Sep 27 2007 11:51:00

Art is on the plate at five top spots where the views are as fine as the food, and you can keep the security guards up late. Katie Holmes and Suri's Day Trip to Parisupdated: Sun Aug 26 2007 12:53:00

In years to come, Suri Cruise's first-ever Paris visit will be remembered as an introductory mix of rainy weather shopping, snacks, Mom's ruined pair of heels and a "strategic" museum nap.

Fortune: Falcon questupdated: Wed Aug 01 2007 22:36:00

If it's your idea of fun to admire the fabulously wealthy, brilliant, and charismatic person you will never be, you'll want to read "Mine's Bigger: Tom Perkins and the Making of the Greatest Sailing Machine Ever Built," by Newsweek senior editor David A. Kaplan. But if holding up the ludicrously self-involved for public examination makes you whimper with delight, you'll like it just as much.

Louvre Atlanta: Louis luxuryupdated: Fri Mar 02 2007 04:41:00

The first large change-out of artworks in the three-year Louvre Atlanta cycle of exhibitions at the High Museum trades charcoal drawings for cabinetry and sketches for silver.

Paris city guideupdated: Thu Nov 30 2006 11:59:00

Check out The Scene's recommendations for the French capital and send us your own ideas and suggestions.

Louvre Atlanta: Haute at the Highupdated: Fri Nov 24 2006 15:44:00

The delegation assembled at the High Museum of Art awaits you in regal rows, beautifully ordered, devastatingly confident, graciously imperious. They watch through glass, unsmiling, as you approach. Serene. Accomplished. French.

American museums go 'full tilt' updated: Sun Nov 19 2006 20:05:00

From Glenn Lowry's vantage point at the Museum of Modern Art, the momentum American museums enjoy today requires only more ... momentum.

Toni Morrison 'raps up' the Louvreupdated: Wed Nov 08 2006 21:42:00

The Louvre is inviting slam poets into its gilded galleries to rap about paintings. If that seems unusual, it is. With Toni Morrison as guest curator this month, the museum is dreaming up new ways to look at art.

Fortune: Get a trip to Europe with that new carupdated: Fri Oct 27 2006 11:47:00

Some people travel to Europe to see the Louvre and Saint Peter's Basilica. Chris Basse went there to pick up his BMW M5 in Munich, then drive the $90,000, 500-horsepower vehicle 140 miles an hour o...

Atlanta: City guideupdated: Wed Oct 04 2006 11:08:00

See: If you fancy some offbeat Atlanta history, head to Oakland Cemetery. Amongst the leafy oak trees, camellias and magnolias is buried all of Atlanta, from princes to paupers. Look out for ornate carved monuments of the great and the good, contrasted with the unmarked indigents' graves in Potter's Field.

Review: 'Da Vinci Code' compels play in gameupdated: Fri Jun 02 2006 11:54:00

You've read the book and seen the movie -- now you can play the game.

Finding China in Guilinupdated: Tue Mar 28 2006 22:22:00

I knew the "Two Rivers, Four Lakes" evening cruise had taken a peculiar turn when I glimpsed the Tower Bridge of London standing tall along a city canal in one of China's top tourist destinations.

Computer decodes Mona Lisa's smileupdated: Fri Dec 16 2005 09:17:00

Scientists analyzed the portrait of the Mona Lisa, a woman with famously mixed emotions, hoping to unlock her smile. They applied emotion recognition software that measures a person's mood by examining features such as the curve of the lips and the crinkles around the eyes.

South Carolina: 72 holes in 72 hoursupdated: Thu Aug 18 2005 14:07:00

For the golfer, planning a weekend trip to South Carolina is like an art aficionado preparing to step inside the Louvre for a day. There are so many treasures to behold that the only way to do it justice is to make multiple visits. In Golf Digest's ranking of America's 100 Greatest Public Courses, 11 are in South Carolina. Talk about an embarrassment of riches.

Hunt for 'Code' clues in Franceupdated: Tue Sep 28 2004 06:48:00

It is a dark and stormy night. Yet at the Church of St. Sulpice in Paris, there isn't a single self-mutilating albino monk in sight.

CNNMoney: Girding for the G7updated: Fri Feb 06 2004 05:38:00

Market participants were quick to label last fall's Group of Seven finance ministers' meeting in Dubai the "mini-Plaza" because, as at the famous confab at New York's Plaza Hotel in 1985, the get-together seemed to signal an agreement that the dollar needed to keep dropping.

FSB: Digital Galleryupdated: Sun Feb 01 2004 00:01:00

Flying to Paris to see the Louvre's collection of great art might be priceless, but two startups would rather you view it in your living room. Palo Alto's Roku and Seattle's RGB Labs have each laun...

Money Magazine: Museums For Lessupdated: Thu May 01 2003 00:01:00

PARIS WITHOUT THE WAIT Just how long is that line to see the Mona Lisa in the summertime? Buy a Paris Museum Pass and you'll never have to find out: It gets you in without having to stand in the to...

Fortune: That's The Ticket Before you decide where your company should be headed, perhaps you and your employees updated: Mon Sep 03 2001 00:01:00

Many "isms" dominate the managerial mindscape: capitalism, Taylorism, cynicism. But one particular "ism" whose potential business impact seems woefully undervalued is tourism.

Money Magazine: TO WIN WITH TECH, BET ON THE BEST AND THEN HANG ONupdated: Fri Mar 01 1996 00:01:00

Want to invest like a pro in the risky high-tech field? Then listen to Garrett Van Wagoner, who now heads his own San Francisco money-management firm after three years as skipper of the Govett Smal...

Money Magazine: Questions to Ask Your Agent THE ROAD TO purchasing a life insurance policy can be pocked with potholes. Get answers to these fivupdated: Fri Jan 01 1993 00:01:00

In 1993 alone, more than 12 million Americans will spend an estimated $10 billion in premiums on newly issued life insurance policies. Trouble is, it's a fair bet that most of those buyers won't re...

Fortune: REGAN ON HIS OLD FIRMupdated: Mon Jun 20 1988 00:01:00

Just before he set off on tour to publicize his new book, former Merrill Lynch chief executive Donald Regan talked to FORTUNE in the offices of his investment firm, Regdon & Associates, in Alexandr...

Fortune: THE DOLLAR: HOW LOW SHOULD IT GO? A modest decline from recent levels would be a lot better for the economy than trying to keep updated: Mon Dec 07 1987 00:01:00

CONFUSED about the dollar? So are Washington, Wall Street, and financial markets the world over. As the dollar danced the limbo in late October, sometimes dropping more than 1% a day against the ye...

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