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Misbehaving tourists of 2023: Couple abandons baby at check-in

<i>Getty Images</i><br/>People walk on the Ponte Vecchio onto Arno river
Getty Images
People walk on the Ponte Vecchio onto Arno river

By Maureen O’Hare, CNN

Our weekly travel newsletter brings you snapshots of what’s happening around the world right now, from the delivery of the last Boeing 747 to a selfie-loving Colorado bear and former monasteries for sale in Italy.

Yas queen

Boeing said farewell to the “Queen of the Skies” as the last-ever Boeing 747 jumbo jet was delivered to Atlas Air. During the seven-hour flight from Washington to Cincinnati on February 1, the plane’s path traced the shape of a crown in the sky, along with a “747” nested within the shape. See it here.

The 747’s swan song follows that of the Airbus A380, the other four-engined gas-guzzler that passengers loved but which fell out of favor with airlines when more fuel-efficient models came along. Several A380s have already been scrapped or recycled, which is a lot of material when you’re talking about the world’s largest passenger plane. Here’s how they do it.

Icy weather was hitting hard in much of the United States this week, with thousands of flights canceled over several days. However, those numbers would be a lot higher if it weren’t for the rigorous cold-weather testing that planes undergo before they ever enter service.

Crime and misconduct

After a slow start to the year, misbehaving travelers are back in force. A couple abandoned their ticketless baby at check-in at Tel Aviv as they ran to get their flight to Belgium, and a US tourist was fined for driving a car over Florence’s famed — and pedestrianized — medieval bridge Ponte Vecchio.

In other illegal behavior, there’s been an alarming spate of animal thefts at US zoos and animal sanctuaries: Tamarin monkeys have been recovered in Texas, squirrel monkeys were stolen in Louisiana and an exotic toucan was taken in Florida.

Then in China, an influencer was fined for livestreaming herself cooking and eating a great white shark, a protected species in the country.

Finally, from February 1, Hong Kong is criminalizing CBD as a “dangerous drug” on par with heroin, despite cannabidiol being a booming new industry in the city until recently. Travelers caught bringing CBD products into the region could face penalties.

Heavenly homes

Humble little Italian villas are great and all, but for a private retreat with wow factor, there are heavens-to-goodness actual former monasteries, convents and abbeys for sale all across Italy. If you’re banking a couple of mill’, you can buy one to turn into your luxury estate.

If your budget’s a little smaller, but you still want a home that’s far from humdrum, you can take inspiration from the people who live in converted planes. Once you’ve got your hot tub in the cockpit and your bed and living area in the main cabin, you can get along just like other folks — apart from the windows not opening.

Greece’s ‘virgin island’

Once a religious sanctuary, the Greek island of Samothrace now pulls in ecotourists keen to explore its rivers, waterfalls and green forests.

Long-distance loving

At CNN Travel, we’ve long held the belief that distance ain’t nothing but a journey you’ve yet to make. And in our Chance Encounters series, we regularly share stories about love triumphing against the odds, like the American who fell for her Dutch tour guide in 1971 and are still together more than 50 later.

If your special someone is far from you this Valentine’s season, you can show them how close they are to your heart by choosing something from this roundup of gift ideas perfect for long-distance couples. It was put together by our partners at CNN Underscored, a product reviews and recommendations guide owned by CNN.

In case you missed it

There’s a bear in Colorado that can’t stop taking selfies.

Work it, champ.

Gigantic tunnels and bridges link Europe and Asia.

Here’s what it takes to connect continents.

A complete Roman city has been uncovered in Luxor, Egypt.

The settlement dates back to the 2nd and 3rd centuries CE.

Lunar New Year celebrations draw to a close on February 5 with the Lantern Festival.

But if you want the party to continue, Hong Kong is set to give away 500,000 free airline tickets to lure tourists.

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