Which brings me back to this notion of the ‘eternal Europe.’ Despite the upheavals of past centuries, the colonizations and cataclysmic wars, Europe still endures and enchants. Great cities like London, Paris and Venice continue to fascinate and attract visitors from around the world. Ancient villages and towns seemingly unchanged by time can beguile one for days. In many of these places it can be both surprising and reassuring to find traditional ways that have also endured alongside the advances of modernity.
Ultimately, it is the European sensibilities that I find most appealing. The belief in ‘taking time’ during the day to breathe in the life all around is common to all European nations. From Great Britain to Greece, people make time to watch the world go by, either sipping an espresso at a sidewalk cafe, taking lunch in a plaza or chatting with friends in the park.
This enlightened sensibility has produced some of the most attractive public spaces anywhere. For centuries, the great pedestrian plazas and squares found throughout Europe have promoted the common good by bringing people from all walks of life together.