Top 3 Spots to Travel with a Genie

by Kellyann Zuzulo

As any writer will tell you, a lot of research goes into describing settings in your book. If you're lucky, you can actually travel to the locations that are described. Then again, if you're a writer, you probably don't have the pesos to make it happen. That's where the imagination comes in. Since I write romance about the jinn, my travel would focus on the exotic world of jinn origination and I'd even let them handle the arrangements.
So bring a pashmina because it's breezy when you fly on a molecular draft from one end of the world to the other.

Amman, Jordan

I want to taste the colors & flavors of Amman.
Maybe it's because Amman was known as Philadelphia until the Ghassanian period, and I'm a Philly girl. (I wonder if I could get a cheese steak wit'). Well, if not, I'm sure I could find something spicy and flavorful. This city seems toretain the culture and essence of its ancient roots, with the style and vibrancy of a modern city.
Amman was one of the ancient cities of the Decapolis and is one of the oldest continuously inhabited cities in the world. Archaeological excavations have revealed buildings belonging to the Stone Age. Indeed Amman is widely believed to occupy the ancient Biblical site of Rabbath, Amman. 

Amman spice market

There are Roman ruins and five-star hotels in this Middle Eastern City. Once here, you are in a great gateway to visit other locations of this part of the world. And if you have a genie in your pocket, that shouldn't be too expensive. My next stop would be Cairo, Egypt. And then....

The Casbah, Algiers

"Rockin' the Casbah"
Once a stalwart citadel, the Casbah has fallen prey to the ghosts of what it once was. But imagine what it would be like to walk these cobbled streets. Just don't trip. You can still sense the lives, intrigue of centuries, but today it’s almost as if humans have abandoned possession to the jinn. There is beauty here. But there is disquiet, too. A lingering unease. A perfect place to look for the jinn. I think tourists should return here just to walk the streets and listen. Hot draft on your ankles? It’s either a turgid breeze or a genie. Salty scent tickling your nostrils? Either an approaching jinni or wind off the Mediterranean Sea. I want to see Americans in pastel pants and white linen shirts glancing back over their shoulders as they walk up this staircase. The streets are ancient and the atmosphere is fraught with mysticism. That’s hard to find in the
A "ruelle" or street in the Casbah.
States. Well, you could visit the Wizarding World of Harry Potter at Universal Orlando in Disney World. But it’s not quite the same. You’ve got to go the Casbah to Rock the Casbah.

Urbino, Italy
Who wouldn't love to go to Italy? I included Urbino as a location in my novel The Genie Ignites. After all, genies love good food, too. If you love cobbled streets, terra-cotta roofs, provincial cuisine made with lamb, rabbit, swine, and cheese, you may just love Urbino. This hill town lies nestled in the calf of the boot that is Italy, in a region known as Le Marche (MAHR-kay). Divided into four provinces Pesaro-Urbino to the north, Ancona, Macerata and Ascoli Piceno to the south the Marche extends from the Adriatic coast in the east to the Sibillini Mountain chain of the Appenines in the west.  From north to south, the region is characterized by gently rolling hills and fertile valleys that run east to west from the sea to the mountains.
Urbino, Italy
The name Le Marche was bestowed sometime around the 10th century from a German word meaning a border town.  And the authentic Italy here seems to linger on the periphery of foreign binoculars. The tourists who have traversed Tuscany have not yet “marched” en masse into these very Italian hamlets, whose origins reach back into millenia. At the Ducal Palace of Urbino, works by Raphael hang on the walls. You might still capture a whiff of history while sitting at the cafĂ© tables of the Piazza della Repubblica. And if the scent is not the enchanting aura of the past, it is likely an Italian staple of sharp formaggio di fossa; a cheese that is entombed in limestone to age. Once your appetite is piqued, there are plenty of restaurants to satisfy. After all, you’re in Italy.  Make your cheese selection part of an antipasti of local salami, stewed beans and polenta.  Move on to the pasta. A fresh pasta of egg, parmesan and breadcrumbs, known as passatelli, is a traditional Marchigiani dish.  Chunky strips of pasta in a creamy spinach sauce is called strozzapreti. Predictably, no culinary tableau will be complete without a wash of the local wine.

I have to stop. I'm making myself hungry!

There are so many places to go and see. Reading a book is just one inexpensive, magical way to see them.
Happy Travels!
Kellyann Zuzulo

Visit the Middle East with your own genie in The Genie Ignites and The Genie Smolders.


  1. Take me to the Casbah! (I couldn't resist saying that, lol) I love that genies are also foodies. :) I'd love to go any of these places!

  2. Genies love food, Cate! The spicier the better! And, of course, nobody can resist Italian cuisine IMHO. ;)
    Thanks for stopping by!


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