Vino Con Vista Italy Travel Guides and Events

Vino Con Vista | Traveler

Saturday, October 30, 2010

Rome Romance

fotografia de la Fontana di Trevi por la nocheImage via WikipediaRome Romance: "
Rome – the undying city! Splendid, celebrated, serious, idealistic! Discuss a Rome vacation and love strikes you immediately. To be on an Italian vacation and not to take a vacation in Rome is in fact seeing Italy without its heart. It is not simple to describe Rome in words – it is simply overwhelming has architectural wonders are apparent in the haughty Vatican, the huge Coliseum, the iconic Roman Forum, majestic shrines, Renaissance palaces and ornamental and complicated churches, and its ancient bell towers. Not astonishingly, our Rome vacation packages ensure that you get to walk around all the wonderful pleasures this mysterious and treasured city provides – the Piazza Navona, Circus Maximus, the Pantheon, Trevi Fountain and the Spanish Steps. Consequently, for a Rome vacation, there are a large number of packages, each tailored for complete satisfaction and pleasure.

Perfect Packages

One package that is Rome Special package permits you to exist each second of la dolce vita in the undying city. Take pleasure in Xmas and the New Year Italian-style with the Rome Christmas Special or Rome New Year’s Special vacation tours. If you’re chasing cheap vacation, there are just the categories of Rome vacation packages you desire for. Go for the Rome break in your journey, Rome Escape, Express Rome, or Rome Getaway — basically great vacations and tough to resist costs!

Rome Combo Vacations

One can even unite a Rome vacation with other great Italian cities such as Milan, Venice and Florence. There is a selection of Italian vacation packages where you can mingle 2 or 3 great Roman towns together. You can go for Rome & Florence or Rome & Venice or Florence & Venice tour. You are improbable to find augmented value for money than these cheap vacation packages! Book one of our Ferienwohnungen Rom now and revel in the romantic of Rome.

To get pleasure from Venice in its right fortitude, take a Venetian Lagoon Cruise where you discover Venice and its adjoining islands in an exhilarating and reinvigorating six nights cruise that gives you lifelong memories.

Historical Capitals

If you eager to see two of the most talked-about capitals of Europe in one vacation package, we let you get a brilliant combo tour of the historic Capitals – Rome, London, and Paris jointly by Eurostar and rail. Explore Rome with our Apartments Rom.

The vacation packages have also been planned and tailored for the benefit of the travelers. Italy vacation packages help you discover the country at your own speed. 


Enhanced by Zemanta

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Church of Santa Maria Novella in Florence

The façade of Santa Maria Novella, completed b...Image via WikipediaIf you have been to Rome and Venice, but not Florence, you have not really seen Italy. Florence is a city of stunning beauty, its name translates as the "blossoming". It is believed to be one of the oldest centers and cities in Europe. Florence has many wonderful attractions and monuments. One of them is the Church of Santa Maria Novella.
Church of Santa Maria Novella
Many historians argue that the city of Florence (Italy) was founded in 59 BC by Julius Caesar. However, science provides no firm confirmation of this fact. It is known that the city of Florence gave birth to the Renaissance, so today the city features many ancient churches, cathedrals, palaces and museums designed in the style of the Renaissance epoch.
The Church of Santa Maria Novella was conceived and built by Dominican monks Sisto da Firenze and Ristoro da Campi. The construction started in 1246, at the site where once sat the 10th century Dominican Chapel of Santa Maria delle Vinet. In 1279 aisles were completed, and in the second half of the fourteenth century Jacopo Talenti was able to finish the construction of Towers and the Sacristy. As a result of alterations made by Leon Battista Alberti in the mid-fifteenth century, the beautiful facade of the church emerged. A talented architect, he completed a wonderful portal and the upper part of the church with a clear rhythm of squares, which are inlaid with marble.

The interior of the church through the pylons is divided into three naves, and the pylons are provided with ligament columns supporting the huge arches covered with lancet arches. The interior was renovated in the sixteenth century. This church houses a great number of art works dating back to fourteenth to sixteenth centuries by famous masters (Vasari, Brunelleschi, Rossellini, Ghirlandaio, Giuliano da Sangallo, Ghiberti, etc.)

Through a gate in the form of a lattice you can enter the monastery courtyard designed in the Romanesque style of the fourteenth century, then to the large monastery, surrounded by arched walls that are painted by Florentine artists.

The Chapter Hall of the Monastery in the Spanish chapel is a work of the genius Jacopo Talenti (mid-fourteenth century). This chapel was intended for church services in the presence of Eleanor of Toledo, the wife of Cosimo I, accompanied by her entourage. The chapel is decorated with frescoes of the fourteenth century by Andrea di Buonayuto.


Closed on Friday and Sunday

Open on other days from 09.00 to 17.00

Planning a trip to Florence? Don't miss the list of Florence hotels with descriptions, rates, photos and offerings from most popular hotel booking systems.



Enhanced by Zemanta

Monday, October 25, 2010

Florence: Little Details To Discover

Statue of Perseus, Piazza della Signoria, Flor...Image via WikipediaAuthor: Stefano Becheroni
Travelers visiting Florence for the first time are so overwhelmed by the beauties of this city that it is hard for them to deviate from the standard tourist routes. They must not miss the Duomo, S.Croce or Piazza Signoria, to name just a few. Therefore they may hardly find the time to discover all the little details and curiosities of a city so full of history and stories. This is why we have decided to reveal some of the best spots that curious tourists can enjoy without going too far from the main and most popular attractions of Florence.
Right next to the Loggia dei Lanzi, just off Palazzo Vecchio, there is a monument
known worldwide: Perseo. The marvelous bronze statue was made in 1545 by Benvenuto Cellini, an eccentric, talented Florentine goldsmith and sculptor who was best known for his fine sense of humor. Once in front of the statue, walk around it and look at the back of Perseo's head. Look closely in the backlight and you will see a gloomy, bearded face wearing a helmet; that's Benvenuto Cellini himself! A really weird place for a self-portrait!

Let's go closer to Palazzo Vecchio now. Walk to the right corner of the building, stop there and look closely: you will see a human profile engraved on the wall. A mysterious face that created one of the most popular Florentine legends. It is believed that this face was engraved by the 'father' of the David and of the Universal Judgment: Michelangelo Buonarroti. There are many versions of this anecdote. According to the most popular one, the artist was standing in Piazza Signoria one day when he suddenly saw an 'enemy', a man who owed him a lot of money and who had been condemned to death by hanging in the Loggia dei Lanzi. The unfortunate man was condemned to have his hands and head tied to a wood board and to hang- still alive- in front of an angry crowd for a certain amount of time before being executed.

Michelangelo, who apparently could not stand him, asked a guard how long the torture would last. The answer must have dissatisfied him, as he decided to engrave the face of the poor man on the wall ( leaning against the wall and engraving it without even looking at it) so that every Florentine would remember the hated man forever.

Another version of the same legend says that the man engraved on the wall was only someone who was boring Michelangelo with his never ending talks. Michelangelo, then, engraved his face on the wall (again, without even looking at what he was doing) while pretending to be listening to him. Whatever the correct version of this legend, Michelangelo could engrave a wall with no need to view his subject.

As we have seen, Florentines are formidable narrators of anecdotes that, being passed on over the centuries, contributed to the creation of a curious and fun collective memory. They often talk about the daily life of popular characters of that time, mostly artists and writers, people that are usually thought of as serious and constantly inspired. These tales make us think of them as humane and help us relate to them.

So now, after Benvenuto Cellini and Michelangelo, it is the turn of Dante Alighieri.

Between Piazza delle Pallottole and Via dello Studio, precisely at 54 Piazza del Duomo, you will find a half hidden marble plate, with a sentence engraved upon that reads 'Dante's stone'. According to the legend, there used to be a stone right in that spot where Dante used to sit to think, write and admire the early works of the Duomo. Once, a chatty merchant who was passing by asked Dante what his favorite food was. Dante was absorbed in his thoughts (which we imagine to be absolutely poetic, of course) and after a while, he replied: 'Boiled eggs', without adding any other words or looking at the man.

The merchant, who saw that Dante was too absorbed to chat with him, left him to his own reflections and walked away.

Some months later, he went back to Florence and was surprised to see Dante still sitting on the same stone. He got close to him and asked him 'What with?'. Dante, who was not a very talkative man but certainly a man with an astonishing memory, did not even turn around to look at him and harshly replied 'With salt'.
About the Author

We rent two apartments in the very center of Florence, (by two-minutes walk you are in the Duomo square) equipped with all the comforts : air conditionning, tv-sat and everything you need to cook your own meals. A nice cheap way to visit Florence! nFlorence Holiday Apartments

Enhanced by Zemanta

Sunday, October 24, 2010

Tour Italy and See The Five Treasures of Countryside by Rome

Hadrian's VillaImage by ken mccown via FlickrBy Priscila Siano
Rome, Italy is called to be a land of ancient structures, hot fashion, and authentic culture. But apart from its alluring beauty and a very meaningful history Rome also has its hidden treasures along the countryside. These are the unveiled beauty of the city that should actually be a part of any tour Italy experience. Explore the picturesque sceneries outside the gates of Rome by marveling around the countryside.
1. Castelli Romani. Spreading all over the Alban Hills which is an astonishing site capturing the bits and pieces of extinct volcanic activity, Catelli Romani is a package of charming towns and villages.
Tour Italy where the Pope spends his summers - Villa Pontifica, and to the smallest yet the most beautiful of all - Nemi. These towns are now filled with vineyards and wine cellars, olive groves, woods full of chestnut trees too. Paying a visit to Castelgandolfo, Frescati and Villa aldonbrandini, Ariccia and the alluring Palazzo Chigi is a must in a Tour Italy experience.
2. Tivoli. Runaway to Tivoli like the Emperors in primeval times. Huge palaces and villas served as summer getaway spots for Emperors who wanted run off from the heat and distress of Roman life. Although abandoned for ages, the area was revived and buildings were built by a group of wealthy Cardinals and Popes.

Two of the must visit during your tour Italy in Tivoli would be the Villa Adriana and the Villa d'Este's fabled gardens. Tourists also get fascinated with the views and beautiful waterfalls in Tivoli. As part of its history, the ruins as the Temple of Vesta and the ruins of the Sanctuary of the Sibyl remains as the two most visited landmarks of the place.
3. Villa d'Este. Plan for a tour Italy to Villa d'Este on a cool summer day. Marvel the magnificent work of art in the gardens of Villa d'Este as the elements of nature unite as one to create a breathtaking view, this is best seen in the evening though. Situated in the heart of Tivoli, this Villa was built in the 16th Century by a Cardinal.
4. Ostia Antica. A fun filled tour with a bunch of historical learning will definitely be a good reason to drop by Ostia Antica in your tour Italy. You can take a train and travel about half hour to the eastern part of Rome, as you get the hype of seeing the "Pompeii of Rome". What is good in a trip to the place is getting a profound understanding about what was life like in ancient times, this is through the sites of excavation. The museum is also one of the hot spots in town, along with the theater built by Agrippa. The Mithraeum, also a worth visiting spot has been decorated with symbols from the Cult of Mithras regions in its balconies and walls - a sure must see in your tour Italy itinerary.
5. Villa Adriana. Walk around in one of the most desired Villas in Tivoli. This well-constructed Villa was made possible by one of the most accomplished Emperors - Hadrian. This structure was a magnificent work of art made by the local artisans manifesting the Emperor's world travel. Explore the conglomerate baths, theaters, libraries, temples, guest pavilions' and open-air gymnasiums and witness these masterpieces yourself. Tour Italy in Villa Adriana by visiting the most famous attraction - Canopus, an artificial pool which was made to imitate a canal in Nile.
Priscila Siano is the Business Manager of, a pioneer among the world's online providers of escorted, customized, small group tours to Italy. She also enjoys writing articles about Italy vacation. Feel free to republish this article provided you do not edit it in any way and include the author bio as well.

Article Source:

Enhanced by Zemanta

Saturday, October 23, 2010

Vivacious Vulcano

The Aeolian Islands: standing on Vulcano, Lipa...Image via WikipediaBy Ambra Lancaster
Offering 7 times the fun, the Aeolian Islands stand out as one of Sicily's more popular destinations, Vulcano being one of the more notable. Seven islands and seven thousand years of history make the area rich in tales as well as natural resources and treasures. Named for the mythological Greek "Keeper of the Winds" the Islands enjoy an excellent climate year round and due to their nature attract many geologists as well as tourists.
Stromboli (the last officially active volcano), Panarea, Vulcano, Salina, Lipari, Filicudi, and Alicudi arose from the sea in the Pleistocene era about 40 km from the Sicilian Coast and offer 7 times the fun for lovers of nature, beaches, seafood, relaxation, and spa style treatment alike.
Aside from the awe of the intimidating vulcano itself and the absolutely stunning views offered at its imposing summit, Vulcano itself does have other draws, mostly brought on by its volcanic activity. Black sand beaches are nothing short of magical, and the Fanghi is definitely a de-stresser. Known for its sulphurous water and just minutes from the incoming ports (not just to the island of Vulcano itself, but rather a port of entry for all 7 islands), this spot is not only convenient but beneficial and healthy, with pools of warm yellowish mud that can be delightful to bathe in. The Fanghi, are larges pools of warm, muddy, sulphurous water situated only a few minutes' walk from the docks where most boats arrive on the island or arrive at the islands themselves. Most boats dock in Vulcano first before making for one of the other 6 islands, the most popular of course being Stromboli, where views of the mountain itself and brilliantly luminescent sunsets characterize the scenery. Again beautiful black sand beaches do nothing but beckon to the weary wanderer with open arms.

After bathing or swimming in the pools, it's nice to cover oneself with the mud and let it dry, much like a therapeutic facial mask or body mask and rinse it off. Emerge feeling rejuvenated, invigorated, and ready to experience more of what the Aeolian Islands have to offer. The thermal springs near the mud baths themselves are especially inviting since they add a warm, bubbly quality to the sea, rather like a natural hot tub and are most thereapeutic for anyone with arthritis or muscular problems and discomforts. As long as the smell of sulphur doesn't overpower you, a 2 euro entry fee is a small price to pay for a most relaxing day. On Vulcano it's important to pay attention to your feet and beware the vents that often release hot vulcanic air that is much less than pleasant to anyone in open toed shoes or unfortunate enough to walk over one as it erupts.
For the full package, meaning what mud baths and hot springs can offer and then some, with a dash of service and pizzazz to boot, staying in the right place is the key to enjoying your stay. The Therasia resort is a fortress of five star finery served up with a Sicilian twist. Offering scuba diving, snorkelling, boat, jet ski, and excursion hires Therasia brings service and more right to your door. Volcano trekking expert guides are also happy and available to take you and your party on a tour unveiling all the beauty Vulcano Island has to offer.
Cozy spots to sample some sumptuous local cuisine would be none other than the hotel offerings; L'Arcipelago with its panoramic views and scrumptious seafood, and Il Cappero with its typical ceiling of straw and delightfully simple local grilled specialties in a casually cool atmosphere. The hotel also offers 2 bars with dizzying selections of delicious cocktails and appetizer hour specials. Il Gazebo and Il Faraglione are both ideal spots to simmer down before a hefty Sicilian meal and perfect watering holes for even the most discerning of tastes.
Wherever one stays or indulges in the local cuisine, finery, beach scene, or chillout zone, none of these seven islands are set up to be a disappointment. In fact the views will capture, the beauty enslave, and everything about these 7 islands from their culinary wonders to service to scenery to history to geological wonders (dangerous and therapeutic alike, from volcanoes to hot springs) are nothing short of a beckoning draw, and beckon you to experience these islands. Heed the call of Aelous, Greek mythology's "keeper of the winds" and find out why these islands beg you to be their own.
Keep the winds to yourself on the Aeolian Islands:

Article Source:

Enhanced by Zemanta

Autumn Brings a Host of Italy Travel Deals

Castel del Monte, Andria.Image via WikipediaBy Priscila Siano
Italy is beautiful any time of year, but for those who have some flexibility of travel time, Italy travel deals are superb in the pleasant autumn months. Gone are the families with children who head to Europe in the summer months when the kids are on school break. Gone are many of the college students who decided to spend the summer backpacking through this marvelous country. Therefore, that flexibility provides you with far fewer crowds, especially at the most popular tourist destinations in places like Rome, Venice, and Florence and, indeed, throughout the rest of the country as well.
If you're searching for Italy travel deals throughout September, October, November, and early December, you'll find that this "shoulder" season means lower prices on everything from hotel rooms to organized and custom tours. The discounted prices can lower your output substantially, leaving a little extra money to splurge on that great pair of shoes in that shop in Milan, that extra bottle of wine with dinner in Tuscany, and perhaps that unique work of art you've spied in a gallery in Florence.

In addition, autumn puts travelers in Italy during a time when festivals are abundant. Italy travel deals in the fall months might include a visit to Calabria, for example, where there are at least three notable festivals occurring during that season. September brought the "Pizza Chef Champion of Italy 2010" competition to this town located on Italy's "toe". It October there's a quirky gathering of accordion players that's part of the Festival of the Madonna of Constantinople. To cap off the season, an annual Mushroom Festival is held in the town of Mammola, celebrating the harvest of mushrooms from the thousands of acres where they grow around the town. All sorts of mushroom dishes are prepared in a variety of ways, and there's plenty of singing and dancing as well at this day-long celebration.

In general, autumn in Italy presents plenty of opportunities to get to know the local products. For example, the Euro Chocolate Festival in Perugia features well-known Baci Perugina candies and other chocolates from the area. You might even be there to celebrate Chocoday! What could be better! Of course, you may even stumble on a truffle festival or two as well as some excellent wine tasting events. If you're booking a custom Italy tour, visits to these events or any others can often be arranged as you organize your itinerary.

Italy travel deals are also abundant in the late winter and early spring when the weather may be a little iffy in parts of the country but just divine in other regions. Ask your travel consultant about the nicest places to visit in both fall and spring and where you're likely to find the best prices as well. The money you save on these Italy travel deals might even leave you with enough spare cash to return next year!

Priscila Siano is the Business Manager of, a pioneer among the world's online providers of escorted, customized, small group tours to Italy. She also enjoys writing articles about Italy travel. Feel free to republish this article provided you do not edit it in any way and include the author bio as well.

Article Source:

Enhanced by Zemanta

Friday, October 22, 2010

A Wine Lover's Weekly Guide To $10 Wines - A Portuguese Red

Mature Tempranillo grape cluster with characte...Image via WikipediaBy: Levi Reiss
The Douro Valley of northwest Portugal is quite famous for its Port wine. Today's wine is not a Port, but it is made from typical Port grapes such as Tinta Roriz, Tinta Barroca, Touriga Franca and Touriga Nacional. While this wine isn't organic, its producer has developed an Environment Management System, which it sees as a contribution towards sustainable development and the preservation of natural resources. By the way, Charamba is a Nineteenth Century Portuguese dance.

OUR WINE REVIEW POLICY All wines that we taste and review have been purchased at the full retail price.
Wine Reviewed Charamba Douro 2007 13.0% alcohol cost about $9.
Let's start by quoting the marketing materials. Tasting Note: Deep purple color with ruby highlights; aromas of plum, black currant, and spice; dry, medium to full-bodied, crisp acidity, with flavors of spice, earth, and red currant. Serving Suggestion: Serve with spareribs. And now for my review.
At the first sips the wine started thin but was quite long. It pleasantly tasted of oak. Its first pairing was with home made chicken "nuggets" with Mediterranean spices to which I added an orange slightly sweet, slightly spicy Thai dipping sauce. With the sauced chicken the wine was powerful with a pleasant taste of oak. It was round and lightly tannic. The wine balanced nicely with the accompanying potatoes roasted in chicken fat. There was also an overly spicy salsa with tomatoes, onions, green peppers, and cilantro that weakened the Douro somewhat.
The next meal involved a boxed eggplant parmigiana that I slathered in grated Parmesan cheese. The wine presented the right combination of acid and tannins. There were plums and caramel.
My final meal was composed of barbecued beef ribs in a sweet ketchup-based sauce. This wine was quite powerful and tasted oaky with some tobacco. The accompaniments were the same as in the initial pairing. When it met the potatoes the wine retained its power and washed the grease away. Once again the salsa weakened the wine, but only marginally.
I ended the bottle with two local cheeses. When paired with a relatively tasteless brick cheese, the wine provided some black cherries and cinnamon. It was pleasant but not powerful. When paired with a tastier Swiss cheese, the wine was somewhat acidic with black cherries but it was weakened.
Final verdict. Not bad for a bargain wine. I would buy it again. In fact, you may be lucky enough to find it for considerably less.

Author Resource:-> Levi Reiss has authored or co-authored ten computer and Internet books, but definitely prefers drinking fine French, German, or other wine. He teaches classes in computers at an Ontario French-language community college. His global wine website features a weekly review of $10 wines and new sections writing about and tasting organic and kosher wines. Visit his Italian wine website .

Article From Article Storehouse

Search for vino con vista

Enhanced by Zemanta

An Instep Italy Vacation to Basilicata

The County and the City of MateraImage via WikipediaBy Priscila Siano
Located in the southern part of Italy, Basilicata (or Lucania) is known as the "instep" of Italy. Basilicata is divided into two provinces; Potenza and Matera, having Potenza as the region's capital. This territory is hilly and with scant amount of water. One of the most important indicators of the region's economy is agriculture despite the fact that it is scarcely watered. An Italy vacation to Basilicata takes the tourist to the famous resort of Maratea along the tiny coastline of Tyrrhenian.
Italy vacation packages to Basilicata include an interesting blend of a list of exciting sightseeing spots plus the religious chronicles of the populace. The region's archeological inheritance are famous tourist spots, attracting vacationers from all over the world. The Piana Metaponto, Chiesa della Trinita at Venosa, Abbey of San Michele at Montescaglioso and Murgia Materana are just few of the many archeological sites worth visiting. Tourists visiting Basilicata for some sort of religious intentions can wander around the 24 religious structures spread out all over the territory. Must-see sites are the monuments and spots in Sassi which are considered as UNESCO's World Heritage sites.

Numerous hotels offer interesting vacation packages Italy, including Basilicata. These hotels offer great Italy package deals and guided tours to the wonders of the region. Hotel Villa del Mare and Ostillo di Matera are just two of the famous accommodations. An array of food options is also available for all sorts of tourists. Regional food as Lucana salami makes anyone who tastes it savor the taste of the region. Table wines are also very popular in the region - Aglianico di Ferrandina, Asprino and Aglianico di Matera are three of the well-liked tasty wines produced in the region.

Some rel=nofollow []Italy vacation groups visit Basilicata specifically because of certain events. One of the most admired/attended events in the region is the Festa Della Madonna Bruna in Matera. Matera gained popularity because of the movie - Passion of the Christ. But more than that, tourist flock to the province because of this feast which is celebrated as a religious event held with profound ceremony and concludes with a stunning fireworks display.

Perhaps a day or two of vacation in Italy to the beautiful Basilicata won't be enough to catch up with all the good stuff this region can offer.

Priscila Siano is the Business Manager of [], a pioneer among the world's online providers of escorted, customized, small group tours to Italy. She also enjoys writing articles about tour Italy. Feel free to republish this article provided you do not edit it in any way and include the author bio as well.
Search for vino con vista
Article Source: [] An Instep Italy Vacation to Basilicata

Enhanced by Zemanta

Saturday, October 16, 2010

Be Safe From Pickpockets in Your Italy Vacation

Monument of Vittorio Emanuele II in Rome, comm...Image via WikipediaBy Priscila Siano
A perfect Italy vacation isn't just all about enjoying the thrills and taking pleasure with sight seeing. Safety should be one of the tourist's utmost priority. Rome is one of the top cities in the country where millions flock all year round for their vacation to Italy. In spite of the large volume of crowds in the big city, safety isn't really an issue. It is because crimes are seldom noted in Rome. News about young boys stealing a car may even be aired in national news because it doesn't usually happen. In general, Rome isn't just a romantic place but a safe spot for an Italy vacation package; you can roam around anytime and anywhere without worrying about your safety.
One concern though is pick pocketing. Just like any other hot tourist destinations, Rome is one "hot" spot for pick pocketing which is actually common in almost all major tourist vacation destinations. Pickpockets are roughly never locals or Italians but immigrants. Although, most of the immigrants are honest; there are still those who opt to the bad. An identified area where pick pocketing is rampant is "the wallet express" - bus 64. Most of public transport vehicle stations are on the top list of these "bad guys". Some travel operators orient their tourists on Italy vacation packages on how to stay safe in these places.

Considering the number of tourist who take Rome each year for their Italy vacation package, the ratio of pickpocket to the number of tourists is considerably almost the same as the other major tourist destinations in Europe. Most of the "bad guys" are highly trained in doing this harmful job.

Your vacation in Italy, particularly in Rome can be a safe one. Just remember that safety begins with yourself. And it is always best to be conscious of your belongings, stay calm and try not to travel alone.

Priscila Siano is the Business Manager of, a pioneer among the world's online providers of escorted, customized, small group tours to Italy. She also enjoys writing articles about tour Italy. Feel free to republish this article provided you do not edit it in any way and include the author bio as well.

Article Source:
Search for vino con vista

Enhanced by Zemanta

Amsterdam, Netherlands - The Hermitage Amsterdam

De Hermitage Amsterdam. Eigen foto, 2 maart 20...Image via WikipediaBy Harry Preston
The city's long and abiding interest in Russian culture and art was hallmarked by the opening of The Hermitage Amsterdam in 2004. Some of the finest collections from St Petersburg's Hermitage Museum in Russia are on loan and exhibited here. Part of the 17th-century Amstelhof complex on the banks of the Amstel river, the Neerlandia building is fine example of classic monumental architecture.
The first and second floors each house three exhibition galleries. An educational studio or Children's Hermitage is planned for the attic space. The history of Russia and the Netherlands is inextricably tied. Catherine the Great. who reigned from 1762 to 1796, was an avid collector, purchasing some 4,000 paintings, thousands of drawings and engravings. She also commissioned pieces in silver and porcelain, furniture and decorative arts.
In 1697 the 25-year-old Russian Tsar, Peter the Great, was in Zaandam (north of Amsterdam) to study famed Dutch shipbuilding techniques. When he returned to St Petersburg he had the city laid out with beautiful canals similar to those that so impressed him in Amsterdam. On his study trip in 1697 he picked up more than just boat building tips; he also managed to take home "my little Dutchmen" as he referred to his collection of small canvases painted by the Dutch Masters. Relations were good between the House of Orange and Peter's family, the Romanovs. Anna Paulownia, the wife of Dutch King Willem 11, was the sister of Tsar Alexander I.
The Hermitage Amsterdam is a great site where you will learn a lot about the Russian culture and art.
For more information about Amsterdam, Netherlands visit
For more information about Madrid, Spain visit
Article Source:

Search for vino con vista

Enhanced by Zemanta

Friday, October 15, 2010

Skiathos Hotels and Resorts

Koukounaries Beach, Skiathos, Greece.Image via WikipediaSkiathos isn't as well know as Mykonos or Santorini, but with lovely beaches, hot nightlife, and cute coastal villages, it has a lot going for it. First developed in the 1970s, it's turned into a popular vacation spot for Europeans looking for some fun in the sun.
By M Ottersen
The main town on the island is also named Skiathos, and it has a pretty waterfront that's jammed packed with shops, cafes, and bars. From most of them, you can watch the boats bobbing in the brilliant blue sea.
You can reach Skiathos by plane from Athens, ferry, or hydrofoil from Piraeus. In summer, there's also service from Avios Konstandinos and Volos, but that's a very busy time of year.

From a 13th-century fortress to poet Alexandros Papadiamantis's home, there's more to see here than on many Greek Islands. Two historic monasteries and an old castle round out the sightseeing. And the natural beauty is breathtaking.

Most of the island is covered with pine and orange groves, and more than sixty white-sand beaches compete for travelers' attention. Banana, Koukounaries, and Vromolimnos are some of the most beautiful in Greece, and sunbed, umbrella, and water sports rentals are available at several.

The waters surrounding Skiathos are heaven for sailors, and the island's sea caves are worth taking a boat to see.

Most Skiathos hotels make the most of the stunning scenery with ocean-view terraces and restaurants.

The Atrium Hotel revolves around a swimming pool and terrace that look out over Agia Paraskevi Bay. The dramatic architecture utilizes natural materials such as wood and stone, and all 75 rooms have a terrace or balcony. You can rent equipment for enjoying the water, work out in the fitness center, or enjoy the beautiful restaurants and incredible views.

Aegean Suites, one of the Small Luxury Hotels, is next to Magali Ammos Beach, a short distance from Skiathos town. With private patios or teak decks, Jacuzzis with views of the sea, and mini bars, the suites here are some of the nicest on the island. The four buildings housing the rooms are surrounded by olive groves, and in addition to two restaurants, there's also a Champagne bar.

The Kassandra Bay is a five star hotel overlooking Vasilias Bay. There are three outdoor pools, a sandy beach on the property, and a good fitness center. Surrounded by olive groves and gardens, the property has earned several environmental awards, so it's a green choice too.

If you want to stay in town so you can walk to shops and restaurants, the Bourtzi Hotel is a good choice. Many of the 38 rooms have private terraces or balconies, and all have a personal safe, small refrigerator, and air conditioning. The outdoor swimming pool and bar are popular.

Find more Skiathos hotels. Or find Piraeus hotels.

Article Source:
Search for vino con vista

Enhanced by Zemanta

Barcelona, Spain - Catedral

By Harry Preston
One of Spain's finest cathedrals, this Gothic masterpiece towers over the heart of the Barri G6tic and remains a magnet for visitors, with its bell tower, high altar and arches. Officially named Catedral de la Santa Creu i Santa Eulalia, it's affectionately known as "La Seu" after the otece in which it sits, or simply "Catedral".
As a site of worship, the cathedral was predated by a basilica built during the Roman Empire, followed by a mosque and then a 11 th-century Romanesque cathedral. Construction on the present building began in 1298, during the reign of Jaume 11, when most of the existing structure was demolished. The main building was completed in 1460, with the Gothic facade added in the 19th century and the central spire in 1913. Highlights include the tomb of Santa Eulalia, Barcelona's martyred patron saint, which can be found in the crypt. The daughter of a wealthy Barcelona family, Eulalia was crucified by the Roman governor Decius for refusing to denounce her Christian beliefs. Her story, from torture and crucifixion to resurrection, is told in high relief sculptures visible from the front entrance to the cathedral.

The shaded 14th-century cloister also draws visitors, with its central pond and fountain, palm-lined courtyard and its famous white geese. The 13 geese, now reduced to half a dozen, are variously described as each representing a year in the life of Eulalia,or one for each of the tortures she suffered. In legend, they are said to descend from the geese of Rome's Capitoline Hill, who protected the city from attack by the Gauls.

The fountain of St George is worth a visit on Corpus Christi day, for the "L'ou com balla" or "dancing egg", where an egg is placed in the fountain jet. Tradition has it that good fortune will follow in the coming months if the egg does not break.

There are two dozen chapels in all, including the Capilla de Lepanto, which has a 15th-century wooden sculpture of Christ, and the Santa Llucia Chapel - all that remains of the previous Roman structure from which the cathedral was built. Dating from 1268, it can be reached from the cloister and honours St Llucia who also suffered at the hands of Decius, plucking out her own eyes to repel the governor's advances. Such was her purity, new eyes miraculously appeared. She is represented over the altar, offering Decius her eyes on a salver.

An elevator takes visitors to the roof for great views of the Gothic quarter (€2.50 per person), and on Sundays at noon you can see Catalans dance the traditional folkloric Sardana in front of the cathedral. Evening organ concerts are also held inside throughout the year. Visitors are welcome to attend Mass, held in Spanish and Catalan, hourly on Sundays and throughout the day during the week. During renovations visitors were invited to "adopt a stone".

For more information about Barcelona, Spain visit

For more information about Reykjavik, Iceland visit

Article Source:
Search for vino con vista

Enhanced by Zemanta

Thursday, October 14, 2010

The Little Known Gamay Wine

picture of a gamay grape varietyImage via WikipediaBy : Sarah Martin
Unless you are a connoisseur of French wines, you may not be familiar with Gamay wine. It is also known as Beaujolais wine because it is mainly grown in the Beaujolais region of Burgundy. Outside of France, it is produced in small quantities by wineries in California, Australia and New Zealand.
The wine tends to be light with a low alcohol level, but care has to be taken during the production to have it just right. There is only a small window of opportunity before the wine becomes too light, too acidic or too thin. This wine is usually aged less than one year and they should be consumed within two years after they are bottled.
One of the distinctive features of Gamay wine is its scent. Like other red wines, it does have the scent of ripe red berries. However, since it is aged in wood barrels, it takes on some of the scent characteristics of the wood, giving it a scent of vanilla, oak or smoke.

While these scents are similar to that of other wines, if you smell the wine just above the rim of the glass, you will get the smell of ripe yellow pears. The scent of banana is always present, but this is more like an artificial scent, such as you would find in banana flavored candy. One of the most unusual scents of this wine is that of Bubblegum.

One of the reasons why the Gamay grape is not widely grown is that it does need granitic soil in order to thrive, which it does have in the Beaujolais region. The grape, itself, is dark red with white juice and tastes very smooth and fruity.

The full name of the grape is Gamay Noir á Jus Blan, which sums up what the description of the grape—black grape with white juice. In areas where the soil and climate conditions are just right, this grape grows well and produces an abundant yield. It is a temperamental grape however, similar to Pinot Noir, that requires precise growing conditions.

The Gamay grape was first discovered in the mid 1300’s in the village of Gamay, from which it takes its name. The juice and wine was very beneficial in helping the people of the village recover from the effects of the Black Death.

It ripened two weeks earlier than other grape varieties and was not as hard to cultivate, which led to its popularity in this wine growing area of France. However, the Duke of Burgundy outlawed the cultivation of the grape in favor of planting grapes that produced more elegant wines.

Connoisseurs of wine will tell you that Gamay wine is a very pleasant drink when slightly chilled. There are several varieties of this wine that range from deep purple to light rose in color. It is also suitable to mix with other red wines such as Merlot and Carignane for a combination of flavors and scents.

This is the choice of many who order a glass of wine in a bistro, but it goes well with almost any meat dish. It also goes well with tuna. It is one of those wines that you don’t have to sip. It is easy to drink and since it is an inexpensive French wine, you can have a supply of it on ice to serve guests at your next barbecue or informal gathering.
Author Resource:- Sarah Martin is a freelance marketing writer based out of San Diego, California. She is a frequent wine taster and enjoys researching the history of wine making and famous vineyards. For a wide selection of varietals including Gamay and Carignane, please visit
Article From Article Storehouse

Search for vino con vista

Enhanced by Zemanta

Venice, Italy - Gesuiti

Chiesa Gesuiti Venezia altareImage via WikipediaBy Harry Preston This is a church built to impress. The Jesuits had a difficult relationship with the citizens of Venice who feared the order's close links with the Papacy. For decades after its formation, the Society of Jesus was not allowed to build a Venetian base. In 1714 Doge Giovanni Corner 11 relented and permission was given for a church in Cannaregio on the site of a 12th-century monastery that had belonged to the Order of the Crociferi. The church of Santa Maria Assunta, known as the Gesuiti, was designed in the baroque style by Domenico Rossi and is even more opulent within than it is on the outside. The interior consists of contrasting green and white marble carved into drapery-like swags and folds. Unfortunately the weight of all this stone has led to a certain amount of subsidence.
Palma di Giovane has a number of paintings in the sacristy of the Gesuiti but the church's real star is Titian, whose Martyrdom of St Lawrence features above the first altar on the left of the nave. Titian, who worked in Venice from 1513 till his death in 1576, used to live nearby on Calle Larga dei Botteri. Opposlte Gesuiti stands the Oratorio dei Crociferi, which is all that remains of the Crociferi monstery built as a hospital for returning crusaders. It is decorated with paintings by Palma di Giovane depicting scenes from the History of the Order of the Crociferi.
Gesuiti is full of history and is definitely a moving experience for any traveller who wishes to immerse themselves in European history.
For more information about Venice, Italy visit
For more information about Dubai visit
Article Source:

Enhanced by Zemanta

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Mourvedre—The Slow Ripening Grape

Picture of Grenache noir grapes from a vineyar...Image via WikipediaBy : Sarah Martin
Originating in Spain, Mourvedre wine comes from a grape that requires a hot climate. It ripens late in the season, which is why it is perfect for areas that are prone to frost late in the spring. It has a very thick skin, which makes it resistant to rot and disease.
The lateness of the ripening process, however, can leave it susceptible to cold temperatures of an early winter. It also does well in windy areas where other varieties of grapes cannot thrive. The grapes grow in tight bunches on the vine, which means that they need good ventilation during the growing period.
Other than that, this variety of grape does not need a lot of care while it is on the vine. The vines are vertical making it easy to head prune them to give the ripening grapes the benefit of more exposure to the sun.

Mourvedre grapes are very challenging grapes to grow because of the variation in the yield they produce. One year may give a very good yield and the next year the crop of grapes may not be as good.

Most grapes that are grown commercially usually produce their first yield in the first three to five years, but this grape could take as long as ten years before any grapes grow on the vine. They do need to have lots of water, but at the same time a very humid climate could be harmful to them.

Mourvedre is most often used as a blend with other wines because on its own it doesn’t have very much taste. The unblended wines have deep color and have high tannic levels. They have medium alcohol content and when young, have an earthy and spicy aroma.

The wine is aged in heavy oak barrels which add a taste or sweet wood and the aroma of tar and toast. The wines produced from the Mourvedre grapes are known as Mataro wines in California and Australia.

One of the wines with which it is quite often blended is Grenache because it tends to soften this wine and add to its body.

Wines made from the Mourvedre grape have a deep color and earthy aromas, such as leather, truffles and wild game. Sometimes these flavors are so strong that one may think the wine is actually sour.

The wine is well suited to aging and in a well made wine these strong aromas will soften with age. When Grenache is added, the fruity aromas tend to lessen the earthy scents.

The Mourvedre wines are also known by other names in different parts of the world, similar to how Shiraz often is referred to in various different names and pronunciations.

In Portugal and North America, this wine is called Mataro, while in Spain it goes under the name of Monastrell. This is very helpful when you order wines online.

There are numerous sites where you can buy a bottle or case – whatever your needs are at the time. According to wine connoisseurs, one of the best such wines on the market is that of Juan Gil, which is made from 100% Mourvedre grapes.

When unopened, this wine will age in the bottle and last for three to five years. It is well matched with meat and vegetable dishes, because the wine accentuates the earthy flavors.
Author Resource:- Sarah Martin is a freelance marketing writer based out of San Diego, California. She specializes in international travel, cuisine, and fine wines, such as Shiraz and Mourvedre. For a wide selection of quality varietals, please visit
Article From Article Storehouse

Enhanced by Zemanta

London, England - Tate Britain

Tate Britain gallery which houses works by Don...Image via WikipediaBy Harry Preston
No gallery can rival Tate Britain for its collection of British art from 1500 to the present day - the closest, the Yale Center for British Art, can claim similar expansiveness but has less depth.
Although intended as a national gallery of British art from its inception, when it opened in 1897 it was named after Henry Tate, the sugar millionaire. He paid for the building and kick-started the project with his collection of Victorian pictures.
In the 100-plus years since, the gallery has become a multifaceted exploration of Britain itself. From Tudor England through to Gainsborough and Reynolds in the 18th century, from the 19th-century Pre-Raphaelites and beyond to Spencer, Hockney and the iconoclastic Bacon in the 20th, its portraits are an intimate social history of the country. It has outstanding examples of the Romantic artists Blake (1757-1827), Constable (1776-1837) and Turner (1775-1851), the latter housed in the spare, almost hallowed spaces of the Clore Gallery, designed by Sir James Stirling. The gallery is internationally known for its sponsorship of contemporary art.
Since 1984 it has awarded the Turner Prize annually to a British artist under the age of 50. Controversial almost from the beginning, the prize has become particularly associated with conceptual art. The permanent collection, which is arranged chronologically, is complemented by temporary exhibitions that focus on a theme or individual artist. If you want to visit Tate Modern on the same day, a high-speed boat decorated with Damien Hirst spots will zip you upriver. The Tate Britain is a must see when in London.
For more information about London, England visit
For more information about Switzerland visit
Article Source:

Search for vino con vista

Enhanced by Zemanta