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Monday, January 31, 2011

Gubbio - City for Exploration

Gubbio, Palazzo dei ConsoliImage via Wikipedia
By Constance Grayson
Gubbio is one of the most beautiful cities in Umbria. It is also a perennial favorite with our guests. This city is located on the lower slope of Mount Ingino, a small mountain in the Apennine Mountain chain. Gubbio is about a thirty minute drive from our home base in Pietralunga, in the northeast corner of the region of Umbria. Very ancient, the city was inhabited prior to the Romans by the Umbrian peoples, the first tribe to inhabit the Italian peninsula. Even today, the majority of houses in the city center are 14th and 15th century and the streets wind this way and that-perfect for an adventure of exploring.
Gubbio was already occupied in the Bronze Age by the Umbrian tribe. In fact, a museum in Gubbio contains the Eugubine Tablets, the largest surviving text in the Umbrian language. Following the Umbrian occupation of Gubbio, however, the city encountered centuries of turbulent warfare with various of the other Umbrian cities. One such war led to a miraculous intervention of Gjubbio's bishop, later canonized as Saint Ubaldo and today the patron saint of Gubbio.

Pasta - In Any Shape Still the Same

Pasta all'uovo (egg pasta)Image via Wikipedia
By Constance Grayson

One can hardly think of Italy without thinking of pasta. The two just go hand-in-hand like peanut butter and jelly or Lucy and Ethel. For years, I had heard the legend that the recipe and technique for making pasta had come back to Italy with Marco Polo after he had traveled to China.
Later research seems to disprove that. Evidence of pasta in Italy has been found in the Etruscan and Roman times. Nonetheless, pasta is truly the quintessential Italian food dish.
Pasta is essentially made from the same recipe regardless of shape-just flour and water, sometimes a pinch of salt or egg-easily mixed together and rolled out. The different shapes do, however, have a function. The shape of the pasta will control how much sauce will be retained with each bite. This affects the ultimate taste to the eater.

Visiting London Landmarks - Tips for Getting the Most From a One Day Trip to London

The Clock Tower of the Palace of Westminster, ...Image via Wikipedia
By James Riches
If you are only in London for one day, you may be wondering how to make best use of the time. London, of course, is home to many famous landmarks that are recognised throughout the world, and seeing them often forms a big part of a visit to the capital. This guide suggests just one way to see as much as possible in twenty-four hours.
Breakfast in the Park
Arguably the most famous attraction London has to offer is Buckingham Palace, so a good place to start would be Green Park,an attractive area that truly lives up to its name. The park is home to a number of deckchairs dotted around, which can be hired for a moderate fee and offer a great place to enjoy a quick breakfast on the go.
Of course, the main event is found on the other side of the park. Such are the photo opportunities available outside the Palace you can easily spend a good half hour here. Look out for the famous guards, and get the best vantage point from the raised platform around the nearby Victoria monument. Once you've had your fill of photographs, turn around and head across the road to get to your next destination - St. James's Park.
This park is a beautiful walk, packed full of wildlife in the form of large numbers of ducks, geese and squirrels. Eagle-eyed walkers may notice the park's most crowd pleasing residents, the pelicans, somewhere in the middle of the great lake. At the other end of the park are the various attractions of Westminster, so when you see the bridge going over the lake, cross it and aim for the far right exit from the park.

Sunday, January 30, 2011

Visit Medieval Bruges - A Great Travel Destination

Basilica of the Holy Blood in Bruges, BelgiumImage via Wikipedia
By Jason Markum
There are basically two or three different types of vacations that you can go on these days, either by yourself or with your family. The first type of vacation is the sad and ordinary vacation that just about everybody else goes on to the major vacation spots around the world.
These places include Disney World, the Grand Canyon, Silver Dollar City, or either your regular major European spots or your regular tropical beach destinations.
The other type of vacation you can go on is something a little bit out of the ordinary and hopefully I can convince you to take a look at Bruges today, as one of those slightly less than ordinary holiday destinations.
First of all, what is it?
Bruges is known as the Venice of the North. It is located in Northern Europe in the country of Belgium which not a lot of people think about as a travel destination... but they should!
The town has many canals crisscrossing throughout. It has a historic center with cobbled streets and quaint gabled houses that are a real treat to explore.

10 Famous Streets in London

Savile Row, a shopping street in LondonImage via Wikipedia
By James Riches
Just as London is famed for its many landmarks and attractions, so too is it home to a number of streets whose names are known across the globe. Whether it's because of their renowned shopping opportunities, illustrious theatres or even their use as a setting in an historic work of fiction, there are certain streets that will always attract visitors who come to London.
1, The Mall
As you might expect, some of London's most famous streets are those that lead to their most well-known attractions. The Mall is the stretch of road that leads from Trafalgar Square all the way to the world famous Buckingham Palace. Originally built to commemorate Lord Nelson's victory at the Battle of Trafalgar in 1805, these days The Mall is most famous as the finishing line of the London Marathon, as well as the site of the annual Trooping the Colour ceremony.
2, Whitehall
Leading up to the Houses of Parliament in Westminster, Whitehall is truly an iconic stretch of road. Home to the thought-provoking Cenotaph monument, which forms the centrepiece of Britain's yearly Remembrance Day services each November, it also leads onto an even more prominent street.

I Love Touring Italy - Carnevale in Molise

altilia in moliseImage by renatela via Flickr

Molise is a small region located in central Italy on the Adriatic Sea. Carnevale in this region tends to have somber aspects, arguably more so than in much of the rest of Italy. We'll do things a little different here than in most of our other articles of this series. We will focus on the most significant, often the darkest aspect of Carnevale as held in several Molise villages and small towns.

Castelnuovo del Volturno is a village of some 250 inhabitants. Carnevale here centers around a man in a deer costume, dressed in rough skins whose face is covered in black and sports horns. Deer Man struggles against a masked man known as "Pulcinella" and escapes looking for food. He is caught by an angry hunter who beats him. In another version Deer Man wreaks havoc among the cattle until he is stopped by the saintly Friar Martin. He is then resurrected, an act that purifies him and the entire community whose sins he symbolizes. The villages of Carpinone, Forli del Sannio, and Roccasicura put celebrate Carnevale by putting on trail a carnival puppet known as "Fantoccio". He is found guilty and burnt at the stake. In the village of Sant'Agapito his smouldering corpse is tossed off a cliff.

Top 5 Luxury Spa Towns In Sicily

Fountain of Orion (1553) in Messina, Italy, by...Image via Wikipedia
Author: Antonio Cresce

Anyone who is interested in a luxury holiday to Italy will inevitably be drawn to the best spas and thermal baths the country has to offer. Since Roman times, spas have been one of the most popular forms of relaxation and socialising in Italy, and today its thermal baths and spas have become so popular that many holiday goers make them the centrepiece of their trip.

The best destinations for spa holidays in Italy are on the coast or the small islands that surround the mainland, and Sicily has some of the best thermal spa hotels in the region. Most of the top luxury hotels in Sicily have some kind of spa facility, and there are many that specialize in thermal treatments. Sicily and the Aeolian islands have numerous active and dormant volcanoes, and many spas take their spa water from natural hot springs. This volcanic spring water has a particularly high salt and mineral content, giving many health benefits to those who bathe in it.

101 Things to Do in Rome

St. Peter's Basilica, believed to be the buria...Image via Wikipedia
Author: jamiehanson

It is said that a lifetime is not long enough to see Rome – Roma, non basta una vita! Simply put there is too much to see. We have taken a few highlights of Rome and things that one has to experience in order to truly enjoy this remarkable city and experience it, if even for a few days or moments. It is also a great excuse to keep on returning to visit this eternal city, the centre of Civilisation – ‘Caput Mundi’ 1. Eat a take-away pizza in Piazza Navona on one of the marble benches whilst looking at the fountains. 2. Hire the mythical Vespa motor bike and take your loved one around Rome just like Gregory Pack did with Audrey Hepburn in the movie Roman Holiday 3. Go to the Fontana di Trevi at Sunrise and toss a coin in the fountain don’t forget to make a wish to return to Rome. 4. Walk up the steps to the Capitoline Hill, the spectacular Renaissance Piazza at sunset.

So Many Reasons Why to Retire in Italy

By Mitch Bowler
Famous for its romantic cities, such as Florence and Venice, no other country aside from Italy has the right to claim such beautiful and romantic cities. Get to enjoy "the sweet life" or la dolce vita as many would say here in the most seductive country in Europe. Enjoy the climate in an Italian villa and experience cultural immersion in this land. There are many sites to see in this enchanting country so make plans while you stay here to get enjoy as much of it as possible.
The Vatican City (a country within a city) is where the main Episcopal of the Roman Catholics' can be found in Italy. It is an ecclesiastical state of Rome, which is ruled by the Pope. This only shows that Italy, being a Catholic nation has high regards for their religion. If you are the type of person who strongly believes in God, then Italy is where you should be.
Italy, particularly in Milan, is home to different high-end fashion brands such as Prada, so if you love to shop, this country is a surefire shopping haven for you. Italian is the main language in this country, so for those retirees planning a lifelong stay here, it would be better if they start learning basic Italian. The food, especially its pasta and pizza are flawlessly mastered to give Italians' and foreigners alike a true taste of fine Italian cuisine. Italy is also called "The Wine Country"; an opportunity not to be missed especially if you consider yourself a wine connoisseur.
The country is one of the worlds richest in terms of economy therefore resulting to a very high standard of living. The country is well industrialized pertaining to its different infrastructure and on going developments made by the Italian government.
It is expected that an industrialized country like Italy to have a high-class healthcare system, indeed the worlds 2nd best healthcare system. In education, its literacy rate is high due to free compulsory education available from the government for students 6-14 years of age.
However, retiring in Italy is not as easy as with other countries and you will have to obtain an elective residency visa for you to stay and live in this country as a retiree. You have to show proof of income coming from your retirement funds and other sources, but not from your current employment. For those of you who decide to take the plunge and relocate here you will never regret the decision. Once you are officially settled here this paradise will definitely give you more than what you have expected.
Mitch Bowler is an avid traveler, having lived the majority of his adult life overseas exploring different cultures and learning about the best that each has to offer the expatriates who live there.
Visit for more information on living abroad.

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Friday, January 28, 2011

Weddings in Italy: Top 3 Romantic Venues

The 18th-century Trevi Fountain at night.Image via Wikipedia
By Laura Frappa

If you are looking for a romantic wedding in Italy you may consider one of these cities: Venice, Rome or Florence.
Your romantic wedding in Italy could be planned to perfection by capable and talented Wedding Planners. A magical day to remember forever, special moments set in great photo services. Different kind of ceremonies can be organized in Italy: civil, protestant, catholic, Jewish or non-denominational weddings, and every kind of service (beauty, flowers, photography, music, transportation, activities ect) to make it unforgettable.
Here you can find a short description of the three best romantic venues:

Retire to Italy

A 5x6 segment panoramic image taken by myself ...Image via Wikipedia
By Mitch Bowler
Ciao! That is the most common word that you will hear when you first set foot in Italy. As we, all know the capital of this country is Rome where you can find St. Peter's Basilica, located in the Vatican City. This is known as the biggest Catholic Church in the whole world.
The climate here will depend on your location. The northern part of the country has a semi tropical climate with humidity. In coastal regions they experience warm weather, arid summers and a mild winter.
If you want to retire in Italy, you must have an annual income of 8,000 Euros which is US$ 11,510, for each retiree. If you are a European Union citizen, you will not need a visa to live here. For EU citizens all you have to do is go to the police station and make yourself registered as an acknowledgment of your stay in the country and then apply a permit for residency. For those retirees who are not from the European Union you must apply for a residence visa, which means that you have plans to stay in the country for more than 3 months and you have to show a proof that you can sustain your financial needs without working since you are already considered a retiree.

Driving in Italy

Autostrada del Sole near the city of Reggio EmiliaImage via Wikipedia
By Edward Pullen

I spent a week in Tuscany with my wife touring from one hill town to the next, along with a day trip to Florence. One of the best parts of the trip was driving. The experience is primarily positive, although does take some getting used to before real comfort occurs.
The driving can be broken down into three types. First and definitely the most fun is driving on the hill country winding roads. These roads are similar to the switch-backs you find hiking in the mountains, where the hair pin turns come one after another, and you feel like you are scaling a cliff at times. The drivers are generally aggressive but talented, and if you stay alert this can be a lot of fun. No place for the faint-hearted, but speeds are moderate and the turns keep you alert.
The second type is on the Italian highways, called the Autostrada and the Superstrada. Here you get used to kilometers per hour after a while, and the speeds of 130-150 seem less heroic. The primary thing to know on these roads is that when you see a big black car, usually a Mercedes, approaching from behind they intend to pass and you are expected to get to the right and out of their way. Use the left lane strictly to pass, pass quickly and aggressively when passing slower cars or trucks, and you'll do fine. The drivers are aggressive but skilled, and it can be fun.
City driving is the third type of driving. This is just something to avoid when possible. Park outside the city and take a bus or train into Florence, Rome or other large cities if possible. In the cities the traffic is snarling, slow, confusing, and not worth even trying.
Some of the most interesting things are the signs. Watch for tiny arrows pointing at road hazards and for the signs for entering and leaving towns. Mostly relax, enjoy, and stay out of the cities.
Dr. Pullen

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Off the Beaten Track in Paris

Musee D'Orsay ClockImage by via Flickr
By Roberta Stuart
While staying in a Paris boutique hotel you should get into the spirit of 'vive le difference' and check out some of the attractions and locations around the city that are off the well-trodden tourist top ten list of places to see and things to do. Why not experience aspects of life as a down at heel 19th century artist or visit the place where revolution freed the people?
Paris is one of the world's most beautiful and romantic cities, but there is much more to it than the Eiffel Tower and the Louvre. Just by taking a few steps away from the well worn tourist trail you can discover some of the lesser known sites and things to do in the city of love. See the city in a totally different light by staying in a Paris boutique hotel and discovering some of its hidden gems - away from the tourist glare.

Sunday, January 23, 2011

Venice, the Queen of the Adriatic Italy Vacations

St. Mark's Square, Venice, ItalyImage via WikipediaBy Priscila Siano
The city of Venice is often described as one of the most beautiful cities in the world, making it a favorite itinerary of a lot of Italy vacation packages. This Metropolis is situated along the Adriatic Sea and extends to the river banks of the Po and Piave. The city is the home of beautiful buildings, works of art, avant-garde fashion, flavorful wines and of course the gondolas and the canals. These and more makes Venice one of Europe's most romantic cities.
The city was a major maritime power during the Middle Ages and the Renaissance and the grandeur of these periods are evident with the wonderful and fascinating Venetian cityscape. Its wealth can be seen in its marble churches and great works of art, making any vacation to Italy a memorable one. Artistic movements as well symphonic and operatic music traces its magnificent journey to this beautiful city.
Feel the romance in the air as you ride one of the city's gondolas in its grand canal. Marvel at the architectural wonders as you pass by its beautiful palaces and buildings which have diverse style and designs. You will be fascinated with its distinct Venetian Gothic architecture which brings together Gothic art and the Byzantine and Arab influences of the 14th century. Add to these are Renaissance and Baroque structures and the bridges. With sights like these, vacation packages Italy is all worth it.

Dublin This Weekend - Reasons To Be There

Norman Tower, Dublin Castle, Gilbert de Lyvet,...Image via Wikipedia
By Adam G. Johnson
If you are wondering why you should opt for Dublin this weekend, here are reasons to do so. Firstly, these weekends give you a perfect opportunity to wrap up a fantastic time with all your friends and family members. Secondly, it always feels great to be amidst tourists who flock to this city from every possible lengths and breadth of the globe to see this amazing Irish city. Thirdly, the city is worldwide known for containing a subtle beauty and a certain type of charm in it that have always appealed to the enthusiastic minds for ages. Fourthly, this city is welcomed as the most financially improved cities. Lastly, the city is a part of many exciting and interesting myths and old legends thereby adding an element of history to it.

Sicily Holidays: Discovering Cefalu and Its Ancient Origins

CefalùImage via Wikipedia
By Marcos Santoro
Cefalù is a very popular destination for international tourists as well as the Sicilians themselves. Entered in the Madonie Park is characterized by its location at the foot of the "Rock", the promontory that city. Today this mountain is walking and you can get up to the walls of the fortress and enjoy a wonderful view. At the foot lies the village and the historic center, very distinctive and always full of people and tourists. The center of Cefalù is circumscribed by megalithic walls, in large part, it's the original one.

Holidays in Mayenne, Loire Valley, France

By Phil Hanlon
The rural department of Mayenne is located within the Loire Valley region in the west of France. With few large towns, most visitors will spend their time exploring the beautiful natural scenery and historic villages in the area. This is an ideal location for those who like their countryside unspoilt and without lots of crowds. That's not to say there isn't plenty for tourists to enjoy; prehistoric caves, Roman ruins and historic castles are all within easy reach.
Saint Suzanne
The medieval town of Saint Suzanne occupies a dominant position on a 70-metre cliff overlooking the Erve River. William the Conqueror once tried, and failed, to take the fortress with a siege after his more successful visit to England. You can still visit the remains of the original keep and some of the town walls are still standing too. Near to Saint Suzanne is the Erves Dolmen, a prehistoric burial chamber built using large stones which would then have been covered by earth. This example is now open to visitors and has been dated from 4,700 BC. You can only reach the dolmen on foot, though there is a small car park nearby and the site is well sign-posted from Saint Suzanne.

Go Cycling in Catalonia and Discover History, Culture and Beautiful Scenery

Shellfish paella.Image via Wikipedia
By Dipika Patel

If you enjoy active holidays that enable you to discover another side to a country then you should consider booking cycling holidays in Spain.
Visiting the southern European nation during such a break is an excellent opportunity to really get under the skin of one of its many diverse regions and Catalonia could prove to be the ideal destination, particularly if you are new to this kind of break.
Cycling in Catalonia ranges from straightforward trails suitable for beginners to more challenging routes but regardless of which part of the region you decide to explore, you are sure to discover plenty of picturesque villages and beautiful landscapes along the way.
The Catalan coast is a particularly popular option and you can look forward to following a route along quiet back roads and empty farm tracks to make your cycling experience all the more enjoyable.
As you journey through the area, you will come across numerous bays and coves, with inviting stretches of golden sand and the clear blue ocean beyond.
Of course, one of the best things about self-guided cycling holidays is that you can set your own pace and this means you will have time to stop off and enjoy the scenery if you want a break from your saddle.
You will also find that there is time to explore some of the ancient villages dotted along the coastline and further inland, each with their own unique stories to tell about the country's past.
One particularly fascinating village that you may want to visit as part of your cycling break is Peratallada.

Friday, January 21, 2011

The Best Roof Top Bars

Sign for the Piazza Navona, Rome ItalyImage via Wikipedia
Author: mp3cityguides

Any good city break involves an evening spent in a bar overlooking the city you've been walking around during the day. When I'm writing my mp3 tours and my audio walking tours for I'm also careful to include at least one rooftop bar.
So, here are my top ten rooftop bars:
1. The Rainbow Room, New York. This beautiful art deco bar at the top of the Rockefeller centre is a must for anyone looking the best bars in New York. I once saw Elizabeth Taylor here – she looked less than impressed to see me.
Rockefeller Plaza,
2. Coq D'Argent, London. Near the Bank of England and the Royal Exchange this rooftop has elegant lawns and box hedges. The City isn't great at night but this is one of the best places to have a drink and look at the new skyscrapers being built. For more information see our Guide to the City of London

10 Must-See Attractions While Traveling To Rome

A 5x5 segment panorama taken by myself with a ...Image via Wikipedia
Author: Jenny

Rome is the capital of Italy and the country's largest and most populated municipality, with over 2.7 million residents in 1,285.3 km2. This city is the most attraction to the visitors for its glorious history. So you must see the following 10 places while visiting in Rome.
Roman Forum was a public plaza or town square. This is the heart of ancient Rome. It represents several ruined temples, arches and basilicas. It was the place of Roman Empire where he arranged ceremonial, business, social and other important activities.

Trevi Fountain is a fountain in the Trevi rione in Rome. It is 25.9 meters (85 feet) high and 19.8 meters (65 feet) wide. So it is the largest Baroque fountain in the city. It was built in 1762. A traditional legend holds that if visitors throw a coin into the fountain, they are ensured a return to Rome. Toss a coin into it and make a wish.

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Food And Wine In The Tuscany Districts

Oak barrels full of Chianti Classico wine in a...Image via Wikipedia
Author: Andrea Cardelli

There are some little facts that tourists and holiday makers to Tuscany need to know about the reputed food and wine that have made the Italian city a must-visit destination. It is well known among visitors and tourists to Italy that Tuscany has some of the Continent's finest cuisines and wines which are mostly used to entertain first-time visitors. Wine adds a special touch to any occasion that is worth celebrating. This explains why people from all over the world choose to travel all the way to Italy and specifically Tuscany, to celebrate special moments. As for Tuscany, it is not in any way different from other favorite tourist destinations in terms of relaxation spots but what makes it stand out is the unique taste of its dishes; making it an attraction to all comers.

Tuscany wine has an unrivalled reputation among all others in the region with a distinct flavor that makes it a favorite to many wine lovers all over Europe and globally too. Since wine is known to add color to all events being celebrated, it is only wise for one to make Tuscany a preferred holiday destination. There are multiple wine zones in Tuscany. Some of the most important of these wine zones include Chianti Classico, Bolgheri and Montalcino.

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

How Ancient Rome Lures Tourists to Rome

Pantheon dome(Oculus)Image via Wikipedia
Author: Eric Simon

The strong beating heart of the Roman Empire may be long gone, but the beautiful city of Rome remains, preserved, as a testament to the beauty, ingenuity, and opulence of the ancient world. Rome truly lives up to its name of The Eternal City with visitor's continually drawn to its ancient wonders, returning time and time again from all over the world. Its dedication to the preservation of its ancient heritage is the most rewarded investment the cities inhabitants have every made. With over four million people visiting the Colosseum every year, there can be no disputing the ancient city of Rome continual attraction to travelers, hundreds of years after its Empire's demise.

The best preserved ancient wonder is the marvel of The Pantheon. While the original of Agrippa's Temple to all the Gods of 27BCE is no longer with us, Hadrian's faithful reconstruction of 125AD is still standing, as graceful and magnificent as ever. Not only is the Pantheon a testament to the beautiful classical architecture of the ancient world, it is also one of the ancient wonders of engineering. The great concrete dome of the Pantheon has been standing for over two thousand years, and in all that time it has held the title of the world's largest unsupported concrete dome in the world.

Saturday, January 15, 2011

Spain - Ideas On Where To Go

The Costa Daurada at Salou.Image via Wikipedia
By Mark Thomas Walters

For warm weather, culture and a lively varied holiday, you can't beat Spain. Popular for many years as a tourist destination, Spain sometimes gets bad press for its more over populated resorts, however there are lots of great resorts you can visit in Spain where you can have a lively fun holiday, whether you are traveling as a family, a couple or with friends.
For an inexpensive, fun family holiday look no further than Salou on the Costa Dorada.

Walking Trip Destinations In Wales

View from the Pembrokeshire Coast Path on Marl...Image via Wikipedia
By Michelle L Custodio

Tourists have different preferences when it comes to what they want to do during their holidays. Not a few have a difficulty choosing because of the wide choices. If you are like them and you are going on your Wales holidays soon, it would be worth noting that a simple activity like walking could make your holidays in Pembrokeshire enjoyable.
Due to the great view one can have of the countryside or the sea in Wales, it is not surprising that walking is one of the most popular activities for tourists on Wales holidays. There are different popular sites in the country to enjoy an afternoon or early morning walk. The coastlines of any village or town in the county of Pembrokeshire would be a great place for those walks but there are special locations that every tourist should look into during their holidays in Pembrokeshire.
The Pembrokeshire Coast Path for example would afford any tourist a great view of beaches, headlands, and bays. The path itself is 186 miles long with 93 signposts along the way. During your walks here, it would be a great idea to bring your camera along with you as there are plenty of interesting things to shoot. Make sure that you are up the task of trekking the whole path as you might end up spending a lot of your holidays in Pembrokeshire and Wales holidays in general just resting because you got too tired from the walk.

Sightseeing Tour in the Romantic Barcelona

The Sagrada Familia viewed from Casa Milà, Bar...Image via Wikipedia
By Nathan Oram

Founded in the 230 BC by the Carthaginians, Barcelona is an exotic historical Spanish city situated on the northwest coast of the Mediterranean. The city has ruler like the Romans, Visigoths, Muslims and even the Catalans before it was integrated into modern Spain. Barcelona sightseeing has lots to offer its tourist which includes the Gothic Quarter, art museums and unique Gaudi architecture. Other part of the city is also worth visiting.
When you are here, the option of sightseeing depends on what you actually desire. One of the most popular spot is the shrine of Montserrat about 40km north of Barcelona. Since 12th century pilgrims have been visiting the place to see the miraculous Black Madonna statue, La Moreneta. Legend goes that the statue was carved by St. Luke himself. Other popular sightseeing includes a visit to the Salvador Dali museum and the famous Spanish wineries. Again, it sightseeing also features the famous culture and architecture of the city. Nights out shows how brightly are the streets lit and the native flamenco dancing.

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Honeymoon In Austria

Vorderkapell42 cImage via Wikipedia
Author: Abel Smith

For numerous people an exciting holiday in the Austrian Tyrol symbolizes the finest of the Alps: spectacular landscape with uneven snow-covered mountains, flower filled fields, and pleasing villages where geraniums spill out vibrantly from the balcony of rural wood villas.

The deep rooted network of Tyrolean mountain huts allows you to stay on the hills without ever thinking to return to self-styled civilization. This is probably the chief reasons why walking vacations in Austria are so well-liked and admired. The local residents preserve numerous of the old traditions - the high meadows are farmed till day, well known Austrian cheeses are made in the mountains, and conventional Austrian outfit is frequently worn. Though, in the winter season the same mountains are snow-covered making cross country skiing in Austria an exceptional place to spend a week in winter.

Ponte Sisto - Rome

Ponte Sisto today – Rome, ItalyImage via Wikipedia
Author: daniele76

When You book a nice apartment in Rome Apartment in Rome, with us You'll realize how beautiful and magic this city is.
Ponte Sisto, also known as pons Agrippae (bridge Agrippa), pons Aurelius (Aurelius bridge), pons Antonini (bridge Antonino) pons Valentinians (bridge Valentinian) Gianicolense bridge, is a bridge that connects Piazza S. Vincent Pallotti Trilussa Square in Rome, in the districts Trastevere and Regola. The bridge was built to allow the crossing of the Tiber by Pope Sixtus IV between 1473 and 1479, the site of an ancient Roman bridge. It connects the two banks of the river between Via del Pettinari Trilussa and square.

The Awesome Malaga Picasso Museum

The statue "Head of female" by Pablo...Image via Wikipedia
Author: Ash Ford

Even after 30 years, the late Picasso still lives; at least through his marvelous masterpieces. Right here in Malaga, Spain, Picasso stands grand in his hometown and birthplace. In his honor, the town has erected a special museum to house some of his best masterpieces in the Museo Picasso, which was previously a palace in the ancient quarter, restored for this particular purpose. It is barely 5 minutes away from the great artist's birthplace.

A tribute

The Malaga Museum that is built in honor of Pablo Picasso, the great and talented artist, has drawn this town into the public eye. The works of the 12th century artist are now available in the artist's hometown as was his desire. There are only 3 museums in the world which have been dedicated to Picasso's art pieces, and Malaga's Picasso Museum is one such museum.

Picasso has become an icon to many great and budding artists even in the 20th century where his style and techniques motivate others in today's modern art forms.

Getting a Feel of Pamplona's San Fermin festival

The bull run in PamplonaImage via WikipediaAuthor: Ash Ford

San Fermin is Spain's original and most popular fiesta with the locals and tourists. It is celebrated for as long as a week with plenty of noise and merry-making. There are plenty of activities that comprise the San Fermin festival with the famous local bull runs and all night merrymaking.

A local tradition

This famous festival, also called ‘Sanfermines' by the locals, sees the town totally vibrant in its merrymaking in Pamplona from July 6 to July 14 every year. It is celebrated in honor of Pamplona's saint, San Fermin. This festival is not only famous in Spain; it is world renowned as foreign tourists drop into the town by the thousands each year. The most exciting activity in this festival which has brought acclaimed fame to this place is the ‘Encierro,' otherwise known as the ‘Running of the Bulls.' This tradition is a dangerous activity for thousands of locals who would run with the bulls released on the streets. Each bull weighs about 6.5 tons and runs about 800 meters down the street in quite a frenzied manner.

San Fermin was first celebrated in September but now is celebrated in July from 1591 due to weather conditions.

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Cheapest Madrid Weekend: Plan For Full Fun and Frolic

Madrid (Spain): Plaza de Oriente. At the right...Image via Wikipedia
By Mathew Gaurce

To plan The Budget Madrid weekend, you have come to the right place. Madrid can be a bit costly as it is a hot tourist spot. It is the Mecca of Spain's football fans. It is also one of the best tourist destinations. The weather is excellent throughout the year. All these aspects make it one costly city for the tourists. However, your money can work for you well if you know where to look for.
Before you jumpstart, make a list of things where you can cut down your expenses. That should include flight tickets, transport, accommodation, sightseeing tours and quality nightlife at cheap rates.
Go in for the no frills airlines to cut down on the travel cost. Some of the good flights from the UK are Ibera, KLM Royal Dutch Airlines, Easyjet and British Airways. These offer direct flights. There are flights that go via other Spanish cities before arriving here. It might be time consuming. Search for options of cities from which you get a direct cheap flight, rather than only searching for an option from your city.

Two Cultures - One Experience

A vanilla ice cream coneImage via Wikipedia
By Constance Grayson
I sit in the piazza after my lunch, dopo il pranzo, and ask myself one question. Is there any food on earth as sensual as a cone of gelato? I have just sat on the low brick wall in the piazza, feeling the daily warmer sun of this spring on my back, and savored a cone of half coffee, half chocolate chip gellato. An old man in a cooper colored suede jacket and faded blue trousers makes his bent-over way beside me. He must have heard my moan of sheer pleasure as I ran my tongue around my ice cream cone for he caught my eye and smiled-that ageless smile that acknowledged between his time and mine, his culture and mine, that sometimes the purely physical is simply exquisite.

Art Retreats in Italy

Assisi from ValleyImage via Wikipedia
By Constance Grayson

The setting was tranquil for a marvelously rewarding art retreat in Italy. The light in the Umbria region of Italy has excited artists for centuries. The distant snow-capped mountains were gorgeous. Most important of all, the energy being created within the studio was radioactive. Artists from different geographic homes, worked in different media, reacted differently to the serenity of the setting-the energy created was palpable. Brenda from Arkansas was working mainly in acrylic and collage. Phyllis from Tennessee was working with monoprints. I from Kentucky was experimenting with various mediums and scribbling furiously in a journal in a stream-of-consciousness attempt to create a written record of what she was seeing and feeling.

Monday, January 10, 2011

Top 4 Vacation Destinations

Morocco is a marvellous country. A hot air bal...Image via Wikipedia
We all have a top 4 list. Places that we are dying to go but haven't been able to make it to yet. Maybe it's the distance, maybe it's the time, maybe it's the money. Listed here are four popular places that are currently hot on the travel circuit.

1. Morocco:

Although it's just a hop, skip and a jump away from Spain, culturally it couldn't be more different from Europe. With the bright colours of Africa and the religious traditions of Islam, Morocco invites you into a world of pungent smells, delicious culinary flavours, and beautiful, bright-eyed people. There is everything to do from camel riding in the sand dunes of the Sahara, to climbing up the High Atlas mountains, to roaming through the winding city streets of Marrakech.

2. Egypt:

Many people go to Egypt to visit the pyramids and they are right to do so, but there is so much more archaeology to be seen. From ancient burial chambers, to temples, to medieval fortresses, Egypt has got it all. Sail down the Nile, dive into the crystal waters of the Red Sea, or relax in one of the many luxurious hotel and spas in Cairo or Alexandria. Tourists tend to love the coffee shop and sheesha culture that flood the city streets.

3. Berlin, Germany:

Berlin has become something rather special over the past couple of decades. After losing both World Wars, and then being torn apart during the Cold War and the destruction of the famous Wall, the city has pulled itself together and has become an epicentre of culture, art, and nightlife. The city is now booming with creative types who are converting the city into an art, fashion, design, and music hub. The city is largely inexpensive, tolerant, and open to all different walks of life. No wonder so many people are raving about it.

4. Istanbul, Turkey:

Not unlike Berlin, Istanbul has become an increasingly hot city on the cultural map. From high end fashion, to killer design, cool restaurants, chic bars, and happening nightclubs, Istanbul is quickly becoming one of the world's hippest cities. The city is filled with Ottoman mosques, important historic buildings, exciting art galleries, and fabulous street markets. There's no shortage of brilliant things to do and see in Istanbul.

All of these places seem absolutely fabulous, I can hardly contain myself writing this piece. And while I'm sure they are all worth the price of a trip, the truth is vacationing costs money. For those of us who can't afford to get away right now, a balloon trip through the English countryside might be the perfect alternative, and a nice thing to share with someone we love.

British School Of Ballooning provides Hot Air Balloon Flights throughout the south of England. Hot Air Ballooning is the perfect way to enjoy the scenery in the Home Counties. Find out more about Balloon Flights here



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Prague: The Weekend Destination for the Entire Family

A view of the interior of St. Vitus Cathedral ...Image via Wikipedia
By Nathan Oram
Prague is a breathtaking city in Bohemia and tourists are gradually becoming more conscious about it. For those, who prefer the sun and the earthiness of nature to the flashy crowd of huge metropolitans, Prague this is the place to head for. A weekend in Prague can rejuvenate both the mind and the soul, so and do make plans to visit this amazing city the next time you are planning a weekend with your family. It is the capital city of the Czech Republic so it has all the amenities and advantages of a big city, but the beauty is untainted by commercialization. It has everything to offer for people of every age and your family will simply love a weekend in this fascinating city.
The Vltava River flows by this city and the adjacent hills provide a charming backdrop. The highest of these, the Petrin gives you a breathtaking view of the entire city and you are sure to be mesmerized. The climate of Prague is warm and comfortable and continental climate makes your visit pleasant at any time of the year.
When you think about going for sightseeing in this historic city, there is possibility that you will be left highly confused regarding where to start. The city has some of the most amazing collections of art workartwork and some breathtaking architecture. and s Some of the sites have been listed under the UNESCO World Heritage Sites and that list too is steadily increasing. You just have to visit the Prague Castle along with St. Vitus Cathedral and then there is the huge Astronomical Clock. The Old Town Square and the Lennon Wall are also places of must visit on your Prague weekend. The Josefov and the Mala Strana are regularly visited by locals and tourists alikeLocals and tourists alike regularly visit the Josefov and the Mala Strana, and the Museum of Decorative Arts is filled with historic artifacts and great works of art, seeing all of which them is a very enriching experience. The National Library and the National Gallery are also important for these same reasons.
The city ies also hosts innumerable music and dance festivals, and so try to plan your weekend in Prague when you can at least catch some of the celebrations like the Karlovy Vary International Film Festival or the Summer Shakespeare Festival, the Prague Folklore Days or the World Roma Festival. These are the cultural high points of the city along with many others and the food and people will make your stay extra pleasant.
The city is also relatively cheaper than most other European cities, which is why you can enjoy yourself contentedly even on a modest budget. The beauty of the place beckons the tourists back to it and then it is guaranteed that even you would want to return to this city once again, this time for an entire vacation.
For more information on Prague weekend, check out the info available online; these will help you learn to find the weekend in Prague!

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Gite Accommodation In France - What to Expect

Le village de Petit Andely (Les Andelys), vu d...Image via Wikipedia
By Andy Boisard
Normandy, with its abundance of history, castles and beautiful coastline is a favored destination for tourists visiting France. Most visitors choose cottages as accommodation for their visit. The French refer to this sort of accommodation as gites; which translated means shelter. Gites offer self catering rental accommodation normally for weekly rental.
Gites have all the facilities you would expect for a self catering holiday and normally provide a fridge, cooker, microwave, cutlery and crockery. In some rental properties, a dishwasher and washing machine may be provided. French gites owners do not always provide sheets and towels so it is worth checking this before booking. French tourists are used to this but English and American tourists may be shocked to discover this on arrival at the accommodation.
There are a lot of French gite owners who speak English, as well as may that are owned and run by English owners. For those who do not speak French, this will come as a relief when booking your holiday.
The high season in France is normally between June and September; during this period, gites are normally weekly rental only. The start of the rental period will vary but the majority will be Saturday to Saturday. Depending on the size and location of the property, a two bedroom gite would cost between 400-600 euros per week. For beach locations, this price can be considerable more.
There is an abundance of gites for rent in Normandy so do your research before booking. As mentioned, do ensure that the towels and sheets are provided; unless of course you prefer to take your own!
Ivy House offers superb Normandy holiday cottages; just 500 meters from the world famous D-Day Utah Beach. A perfect location for a D-day beaches holiday.

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