Mona Lisa assaulted with coffee mug

A Russian woman threw an empty terra cotta mug at the most famous painting on display at the Louvre. Despite the propelling of kitchenware, the Mona Lisa was not damaged, though the mug didn’t fare as well. It shattered – a side effect of moving at a rapid speed toward a hard object that isn’t going to move.

The unusual attack triggered the alarms on the painting immediately, and police quickly took the woman away. The few cracks in the glass covering the painting did not interrupt the viewing of the painting. The unruly visitor’s name was not revealed, in accordance with museum policy.

So, where does a person go after going after the Mona Lisa with a coffee mug? You guessed it: a psychiatric ward. Paris police wouldn’t say anything else about who she is or what her beef is with Mona.

Stay at Hotel Jules in Paris, grab free museum access

Even with cheap flights and hotel rates, Paris can be an expensive place. But, you have to go at least once … preferably as often as possible. So, I was pretty psyched to see the new deal from the Hotel Jules, a pretty stylish place in the 9th Arrondissement. Through the end of the year, the hotel is offering two nights, daily breakfast (continental or in-room) and a two-day pass for two people that gets you access to the city’s major museums.

At only €152 ($212) a night, this is an absolute bargain. For anything less in Paris, you run the risk of staying in a real dive (please learn from my painful experience, not to mention that to which I subjected my wife on our last trip to this city).

Storm the Bastille with Concorde Hotels

Need an excuse to head out to Europe this summer? Concorde Hotels & Resorts is ready to feed your jones for travel. The Concorde Summer package – just in time for Bastille Day – puts 22 hotels from around the world at your fingertips, from the Hotel Lutetia in Paris to the super-upscale Hotel de la Paix on the shores of Lake Geneva. You can join the party for as little as $115 a night ($165 in some cases), which, I assure you, is so insane that I half-expected to see Crazy Eddy’s name listed somewhere on the press release.

As has become common with deals from up-market hotels, the low room rate isn’t all you get. Concorde is throwing in some great extras, including a daily buffet breakfast, access to double rooms and a second room at an additional 50 percent discount. Also, Condorde’s throwing in a surprise gift for each stay.

But, you have to take advantage of it this summer. The deal stretches from July 10, 2009 to September 13, 2009.

Bouncing Brit babes help hotels launch free nights offer

InterContinental Hotels kicked off its biggest free nights promotion with a hell of a bounce. Around the world, the hotel chain invited people to bounce on oversized beds in an attempt to set a world record. In all, more than 20,000 bouncers bounced in Paris, New York, Shanghai and London for 16 hours.

The highlight for most was probably the presence of Olympic gymnasts at each of these locations, but it’s hard for anyone to compete with The Sun‘s famous “Page 3” models, who made an appearance at London’s Covent Garden for a bit of bouncing.

In New York, the crowed gathered in mid-town’s Bryant Park (which I walked by, but didn’t see any Page 3-caliber hotties).

Why all the fuss? InterContinental Hotels was just psyched to dish out 4,000 free room-nights at its hotels. Scoring with a Page 3 girl would have just been a bonus.

To see all the bed-jumping action in one place, click here.

Stinky London, Rude Paris, Romantic Venice

If you need a sense of authority to trust a publication, you can’t do better than one from Australia. So, when the Sydney Morning Herald says that Brussels is boring, you have to believe it. Likewise, Paris is overrated, and the food sucks in London (duh).

Well, if you think the folks down under have credibility problems, fear not. It was reporting on a TripAdvisor poll of nearly 2,400 travelers, so it’s really TripAdvisor users who had an epiphany on the quality of London‘s cuisine.

Bad news for London: it also has the worst-dressed locals and is the most expensive. Oh, and it’s the dirtiest.

Sorry, guys.

Meanwhile, we needed a poll to tell us that Paris was the least friendly (though I’ve never had a problem there) and the second most expensive. Yet, Paris is top for grub and fashion, and London leads in nightlife, public parks and free attractions.

Need a romantic getaway in Europe? Venice still wins.