Jerusalem is one of the oldest cities in the world, founded as Urusalima sometime around 2400 BC. Today, it is more known for the region’s politics, but visitors shouldn’t let conflict overshadow the history of Old City.
Modern Jerusalem has far outgrown the walled-off center, divided into four quarters: Christian, Muslim, Jewish and Armenian. One can easily walk the entire day, but if you want to explore outside the walls, taxis are readily available, though foreigners might be ripped off so always make sure the driver is using the meter.
In the Christian Quarter, be sure to stop by the Church of Holy Sepulchre, the place where Christ is said to have been crucified and resurrected. The area is actually made of several churches, as different branches of Christianity control different parts of the Sepulchre with their own altars and chapels.
Head to the Muslim Quarter to get your Instagram shot. The Dome of the Rock is the most iconic picture of Jerusalem, as well as the most controversial due to non-Muslims being prohibited from entering the Dome and al-Aqsa Mosque. The Temple Mount is open to visitors Monday–Thursday 7:30–11 a.m. and 1:30–2:30 p.m. (and only morning hours during Ramadan).
A visit to the Jewish Quarter needs a stop by the Western Wall. Open 24/7, Ha-Kotel Ha-Ma’aravi is more than 2,000 years old as is the only surviving remnant of the Temple Mount, built by Herod the Great in 20 BC. Today, it is an outdoor synagogue where worshippers insert prayers into the wall’s crevices.
The Armenian Quarter is the smallest section of Old City and the location of St. James Cathedral, an 11th-century Armenian church considered to be one of the most sacred buildings in Jerusalem. Every day at 3 p.m. (except Sunday), it holds Armenian Orthodox vespers, which are chanting prayers services open to Christians and non-believers alike.
ONCE THE FINAL MEETING WRAPS and the last contract is signed and sealed with a handshake, what’s next? Do you catch a flight back home or do you take advantage of the destination? If your next business trip is to Italy, we suggest adding a few more days to explore the country’s most amazing hot spots. Make time for more than a mouthwater- ing Italian meal in these three cities.
Ristorante Consorzio is almost as famous for its selection of fine cheeses as its delicious wines. After one evening dining here I understand why. The selections of both are extensive and top-notch, and feature a variety of each from around the country.
Once business concludes, a world of wonder awaits in many of Italy’s incredible cities.