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If we take Italo Calvino’s words that a city “says everything you must think and makes you repeat her discourse” to be true, then Albanian cities have certainly had their way with the collective imagination of an entire population. For many years under Communist rule, Albanian cities were dominated by grey, a color which reflected its gloomy property on the lives and imagination of its citizens. This implicit lack of freedom enabled a totalitarian regime to flourish for more than 45 years. However, this purposeful lack of variety and creativity has been gradually overturned in the last several decades and an amazing array of colors has covered the building façades of many cities.
As Albanian cities continue to be reshaped, we find facades painted in Mondriani’s contemporary patterns, electrical city boxes decorated with street art, the walls of forgotten palaces covered in political graffiti and residential buildings displaying gigantic figures, Banksy-style. It was Calvino who also wrote that a city “does not tell its past, but contains it like the lines of a hand, written in the corners of the streets, the gratings of the windows, the banisters of the steps, the antennae of the lightning roads, the poles of the flags.” Albanian cities have opted for an extreme makeover, a look which stands in stark contrast to the past, perhaps defying it and, while in the freshly painted cities of Albania, you will still encounter its deeply layered past, you will also be confronted with a decisively brighter and more beautiful future.
The largest bookstore chain in Albania handpicks the must-reads of summer 2020. Compiling a summer reading list is one of the most challenging tasks when it comes to vacation preparation. Up there with picking the right destination and booking the room with a view, selecting which books to take with you, or upload to your [...]
Vacationing has definitely changed this year so IntoAlbania pitches in to offer some inspiration for a fun and safe summer in the country. All we can think about in the warm summer months is how to best spend them before they end. Some of us may have already planned our vacations while others are more [...]
Its stunning mountains and beautiful landscape guarantee that you will find an amazing variety of plants in Kukës. Besnik Hallaçi, a biologist and the director of the Administration of Protected Areas in Kukës, has selected 10 of the oldest and most unique plants of the area for IntoAlbania. This perennial herbaceous plant, is found in [...]
Entrance nr. 18 on Him Kolli St. in Tirana will be, from now on, not only the newest publishing house for Albanian up-and-coming authors but an ideal workspace where everything is about books. Let’s begin with the name of this new cultural hotspot: Berk. If it sounds a lot like “book,” that’s because it coincidentally [...]
Hailed as the Thailand of Albania, the pristine Shala River and its surroundings are a spectacular summer alternative to the Riviera and other coastline favorites. Known for its clear aquamarine waters, Shala River’s popularity has sky rocketed in the last few years with more locals looking to the north for their summer fun. Perfect for [...]
With the looks and climate of Scandinavian fjords, Lake Koman is a nearly otherworldly retreat, nestled among green-covered hills in the northern part of the country. The north of Albania has been enjoying well-deserved accolades from international and local tourists in the last few years. It is slowly but surely claiming its rightful place at [...]
With the Coronavirus pandemic locking everyone in, IntoAlbania thought to get some of the country’s travel bloggers and curious explorers talking about their most memorable destinations. Here is what they had to say. The self-proclaimed “Alberican” (i.e. Albanian-American) travel photographer has chosen this off-the-beaten path site as her top most memorable destination: “Finally got to [...]
While the Coronavirus pandemic kept everyone safely locked inside their homes, IntoAlbania launched the #IntoAlbaniaTravelsInTime campaign in May to celebrate our readers’ favorite travel memories around the country and to keep them looking forward to their summer vacations. Among the great contenders, there were some expected destinations (many people were missing the Riviera!), some more [...]
Lately, IntoAlbania has been sharing the charming videos of Ben Washburn, the American young man who stayed in Albania during the pandemic and really enjoyed it. If you haven’t had the chance to meet him, let us have the pleasure of introducing him. He loves so many things about Albania that he has chosen to [...]