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Thursday, March 31, 2011

Sicily Weather is Perfect For Vacationing, Almost Any Time of the Year

Mount Etna (Sicily) viewed from the Greek amph...Image via Wikipedia
By James Iozia

If you are planning a Sicily vacation, you may be interested in the common Sicily weather. The island enjoys a Mediterranean climate characterized by warm to hot, dry summers and cool, wet winters, although there is snow on Mount Etna in the wintertime. It is much cooler in the wintertime in the northern mountains, but the mean temperature across the island ranges from 50 (F) in the winter to 84 in the summer.
The Mediterranean climate is similar to the climate that prevails in much of Southern California and parts of southwestern Australia. This type of climate allows the land to recover quickly from floods and fires.
The growing season is especially long and is one of the reasons that Sicily has been referred to as "God's kitchen". The abundance of foodstuff that grows on the island is incredible. No Sicily vacation would be complete without sampling the cuisine.

Sicily - Ten Great Foods

Panorama of RagusaImage via WikipediaBy Jann Huizenga

Visitors to Sicily, listen up: there are so many taste treats on the Island of the Sun that it's hard to choose, but make a special effort to sample these delights:
1. Pasta alla Norma
Sicilians grow up eating this scrumptious dish. Legend has it that a Sicilian chef was so taken with Bellini's opera "Norma," that he created the fried eggplant concoction in the Catania native's honor, tossing in tomatoes, salty ricotta, basil, and garlic. The indescribable flavor of Sicily's veggies makes it special indeed.

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Sicilian Food - A Guide to Food in Sicily

CaponataImage by joana hard via Flickr

By Orson Johnson

Sicily's varied climate produces crops that are intrinsically flavorful, particularly those grown in the rich soil fertilized by Mount Etna's eruptions. Due to the quality and natural flavor of Sicilian-grown vegetables, the local cuisine is usually simple so as not to overpower the taste buds with a combination of too many strong flavors.
Sicilian cooking generally centers around rich red tomatoes, lentils, meatballs, plenty of fish, olive oil, capers, tuna couscous dishes, and sweet pastries. Flavorful Sicilian cheeses are also used in many dishes. Ricotta is a local favorite for quite a few recipes. Marsala wine is also used in many dishes to enhance the flavor of the ingredients and a glass of Sicilian wine makes a terrific accompaniment to many Sicilian dishes.

Most Romantic Destinations of World

St Mark's BasilicaImage by cbpikul via Flickr

Author: jamescameron10000

Venice is one of the popular romantic destinations in the world. Honeymoon in Venice is a very special way to celebrate the occasion in a place that is romantic in its own way. The mesmerizing beauty of the city with its elegant architectural work attracts a number of couples from different places. The intricate network of the canals may be experienced with a ride of gondola. This would take you and your partner to a surreal world. A walk around the city with your partner is something you may also try out. The charming café, the charm and warmth of the place is what it takes to turn your honeymoon into a memorable experience.

Top Holiday Destinations For British Holiday Makers

Costa del SolImage by VivianaG via Flickr
Author: AmyNutt

So, where I ask myself is the best holiday destination from London and other parts of UK for us Brits?
The ideal flight time for me is 4-5 hours and looking on the world map, there are a host of warm, luxurious and relaxing destinations within that flying time. Shame, none of the travel companies like Best at Travel, Kuoni, Virgin Holidays, Letsgo2 or Holiday Hypermarket ever consider that. You end up searching these sites for hours with a highly confused state of mind. Having been through this, I decided to post a little research for those facing the same dilemma as me.
So, which are the best Holiday destinations for people flying from the UK?
This listing will help you find your next holiday.
First, where do us Brits go most on holiday? I went through some search records on Google and found the following:
Top Holiday Destinations (by number of travellers from UK every year)
1. Spain holidays Since Spain is the most popular holiday destination for us Brits with over a million searches a month, I've divided Spain into regions to fully calculate its popularity.

Monday, March 28, 2011

Ten beautiful places to buy or rent a house in Italy

The Brenta River in Bassano del Grappa, Veneto...Image via Wikipedia
Author: Massimo Viola

Anyone who publishes a list, for example a Top 10 list,, should answer a couple of good questions: why that number and why those items were chosen.In this case, answering the first question is easy. Obviously the choice of a number is always arbitrary and ten is a very small number for a task like this, but it is so well referenced from so remote time, that I can go straight to use it. On the contrary, the second question deserves some more explanation. All the places below have been chosen thinking about a foreigner who wants to find a home for leisure in Italy. I cared to avoid cities. I also avoided places so famous to be almost impossible, such as Cortina d'Ampezzo, Portofino, Chianti region, Amalfi, Capri and so on. Everyone already knows these places, so adding them to the list would be of no help to the reader. I have selected the ten places below having in mind these two simple objectives: they had to be affordable (no stellar prices) and, on the whole, representative of the most typical aspects of Italian territory. I hope to have accomplished this task at least in part. My true opinion is that every selection of this kind should be taken with a bit of scepticism. Far from being definitive, it is just intended to arouse interest and stimulate further exploration.

Italy and its incredible islands

CefalùImage via Wikipedia
Author: sailing12

Italy is an amazing place to be. The country is full of amazing islands and various other tourist spots that are breathtaking. If you are thinking of coming to Italy then you cannot ignore amazing Sicily. Sicily is definitely a place which is full of amazing sites, exotic landscapes, mesmeric mountains, seducing skylines , oceanic charms, bewitching beaches and lots more .

If you are looking for splendid fun, unforgettable holidays and incredibly beautiful place to spend your holidays or vacation then now other country would suffice your needs but Italy. Sicily is a wonderful island that is situated in the west of the southern end of the Italian peninsula. It also includes the Aeolian Islands, the Egadi Islands, the Lipari Islands, the Pelagie Islands, the Pantelleria Island, and Ustica Island

Exploring the Loire Valley

Château de ChambordImage by cucumber! via Flickr

By Marcus Smith

The Loire Valley is one of the most popular regions with visitors to France. Easily accessible from the UK and much of Europe, it also features great scenery, lots of historical towns and villages, and - the main attraction - an exceptional number of impressive castles.
Although castles had existed along the Loire River between Orleans and the western coast of France for some centuries beforehand, it was between about 1500 and 1700 that the rich and powerful from Paris took to building their castles along the river. Frequently older medieval castles were demolished to make space, or parts of the original structure were incorporated in the new chateaux.

5 Best Beaches in and Around Barcelona, Spain

The beach at Sitges, SpainImage via Wikipedia
By James Burrows

Since Spain is a paradise of beautiful beaches, tourists will find that their visit to Spain is incomplete if they do not see at least three of the five beaches listed here. With more than 5000 miles of coastline, there is no dearth of beaches in Spain, but the most popular are the Nova Icaria, Barceloneta, Mar Bella, Sitges beaches and Casteldefells. Most of the beaches of Spain are easily accessible and well-maintained with excellent facilities.

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Top 100 Places To Visit Before You Die List

Looking south from Top of the Rock, New York CityImage via Wikipedia
Author: 100 Places to visit

Everyone wants to travel the world but with so many places to visit where do you start? Throughout your life you will want a mixture of holiday destinations to fulfil your desires and needs at different times.
We have scoped the world from continent to continent to bring you a great variety of travel destinations and condensed it down to the top 100 places to visit before you die. Our quest for the complete visit before you die list has taken us from Africa travelling from the Rich Cultural city Marrakesh in Morocco to the exquisite natural beauty of Cape Town. Take a relaxing luxury break to Dubai in the United Arab Emirates in contrast to the remote location of Juneau in Alaska, North America. Witness the beautiful seas of Maldives Islands in contrast to the harsh Atacama Desert the driest place on earth and of course throughout your lifetime you should try and see all 7 modern wonders of the world.
Overall the list of top 100 places to visit before you die covers diverse range of places that everyone should visit and wonders of the world that should be seen.
(In no particular order)

Visiting Budapest In Hungary

Chain Bridge, Budapest, HungaryImage via Wikipedia
Author: Sammy Hely

I'm trying to remember what called us to Budapest, Hungary... other than the pure joy of travel and discovery of course. Was it the Danube River? The Chain Bridge that we had seen so many photos of? Was it the spas fed by hot springs.... or the wine?

Probably it was all of the above. That and the historical lore that back in time it had been two cities... Buda and Pest. I mean, London was always London. Paris was always Paris.... but Budapest... I guess it was the tale of two cities before Dickens put pen to paper!

You'll find that when you start trying to navigate the city, landmarks become important. Bridges are important landmarks.... the Margaret Bridge, the Chain Bridge and the Elizabeth Bridge. There is Castle Hill in Buda and the Parliament Building in Pest. Things kind of branch out from there.

Devon's Marvellous Museums

Torquay Museum. A very interesting venue espec...Image via Wikipedia
Author: Cheori Caspove

Devon has a variety of tourist spots to choose from and would surely delight guests who want to truly experience this famous historic county. Families on vacation can definitely find that Devon has numerous places and activities that all the members of the family would enjoy. Devon's world famous beaches, gardens, castles and museums are some of the attractions that never fail to impress visitors. Families travelling with little children can explore the different art galleries and museums and make their family vacation a truly memorable and educational trip. Since they are conveniently located, families staying at Torquay cottages would find it easy to visit the different galleries and museums.

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Italian Sights: Siena

Piazza del CampoImage by Eco . via Flickr
Author: Tatyana Kogut.

Siena reminds of a garden. Its a wonderful city standing on three scenic hills, with unforgettable views over the city suburbs opened up from their tops. You will like its narrow roadways, parks and ancient architecture. Thanks to this little city Italy got highly reputed for its wonderful medieval architecture. The centre of Siena is like a scenery erected specially for some historic movie. Unlike the other Italian cities, Siena has little Renaissance buildings. Most of its constructions follow strict gothic rules - this adds a dark charm to Siena’s image.

A Summer Festival in Rome

A 5x6 segment panoramic image taken by myself ...Image via Wikipedia
Author: Andrew Regan

Each year, thousands of tourists flock to Rome in order to experience this large Italian city and all it has to offer.

With a romantic atmosphere, ancient history and plenty of attractions, many consider Rome to be a premiere world destination for a vacation away.

If you’re interested in history, Rome makes an ideal destination, as there are plenty of museums and art galleries, which showcase the great history and artistic talent that has come from the Italian capital.

5 Exhibitions to Attend in Barcelona, Spain for the Year Ahead

Casa Milà at dusk in Barcelona, Spain. The bui...Image via Wikipedia
By James Burrows

Barcelona is a hub of tourist activity the whole year round. This traffic does not only consist of tourists visiting for recreational reasons, there are also a large number of business visitors who arrive in the city on a regular basis. This regular flow of business people, the established infrastructure in the city and the glorious setting make Barcelona an ideal destination to host Exhibitions. Throughout the year, there are a range of exhibitions held in Barcelona covering a variety of fields of interest. Below is a brief guide to some of these exhibitions:

Visit Sardinia

Nuraghe "Is Paras"Image by cristianocani via Flickr
By Marcus Smith

The island of Sardinia is a very popular travel destination with both Italians from the mainland and with visitors from across Europe.
It is situated east of Italy, in the Mediterranean Sea, just a few kilometres south of the French island of Corsica. The climate is quite hot in the summer, mild but rarely cold in the winter, making it a popular destination all year round.
Sardinia is a destination with two facets: the popular, well known, side to the island focusing on beaches, harbours and Italian sophistication; and the less known interior of the island where quiet hill villages that have been little affected by tourism carry on life much as they have for several centuries.

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

5 Exhibitions to Attend in Rome, Italy for 2011

The Palazzo Farnese, Rome 1534 -1545 Designed ...Image via Wikipedia

By James Burrows

Each year a number of different exhibitions are held in Rome. These exhibitions vary in size and nature. Rome is an obvious choice for event organisers as it has an established infrastructure to accommodate the large numbers of people who are attracted to the exhibitions. Whether you visit Rome especially for one of these events or just happen to be in town when an exhibition is on, you will be sure to enjoy the pleasant yet professional feel which Italians exhibitions are renowned for. Below are just some of the exhibitions which take place in Rome:

The Ambiance of Venice, Italy

Rialto Bridge, Venice, ItalyImage via Wikipedia
Author: Larry Aiello

Ahhh, Venice..sounds of Andrea Boccelli resonating from open balcony windows. Two young lovers comfortably embraced while savoring a nice gondola ride through a quaint canal. Couples strolling down the narrow cobblestone streets mano-a-mano. Romance is in the air. And there's no better place for romance than a trip to Venice.

Venice's main waterway is the Canale Grande (Grand Canal) which snakes its way through the city for approximately 2 miles. Other canals will feed into and out of this one. The Grand Canal is the "Main Street" of Venice.

Thursday, March 10, 2011

The Gardens of Rome

Cappella di Villa Doria PamphiliImage via WikipediaBy Roberta Stuart

When you imagine Rome, what iconic images spring to mind? Is it the towering Colosseum? The Pantheon? Vatican City? While you'd be correct in imagining all of these things as symbolic of Rome, many people don't notice a hidden aspect to Rome all around them. While the historical sites and buildings are impressive, and indeed might be all you can see from a window in your hotel, Rome centre is filled with parks and gardens every bit as impressive as its architecture. With a large number of landscaped gardens sculpted by the 19th century Italian aristocracy, the city actually has one of the largest areas of green space amongst European capitals. Here are a few of the biggest, best, and brightest gardens in Rome.

Top Greece Beaches Travel Guide: An Ancient Historical Country

Lalaria Beach.Image via WikipediaBy Jimmy Adams Jon

Greece, the country with great ancient history, is the perfect tourist place to visit and enjoy your vacations with your family or spouse. Coming to the most ravishing feature of Greece is its beautiful cool beaches. The country has the most number of beaches among all. Greece Beaches are very tidy and hygienic too. Lively at all times of the year people can come and enjoy anytime on any beach. Catering to all the requirements Greece Beaches have all the facilities like resting beds, restaurants with delicious food items, shops providing swimming suits and towels at optimum rates, wines and beverages shops etc.

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Top 10 Restaurants In St. Tropez

Paul Signac Port de Saint-TropezImage via Wikipedia

St. Tropez is one of Europe's most glamorous resorts. On the famous French Riviera, St. Tropez is neighbour to the cities of Marseille and Toulon.

St. Tropez is famous for its fine dining, offering delicious local and international cuisine. St Tropez also offers its guests simple and rustic cuisine. Take a look at our guide to the best restaurants in St Tropez.

I Love Touring Italy - Venice Carnevale Season

carnevale in veniceImage by Glenna Barlow via Flickr

The Venice Carnevale is among the most famous Carnivals into the world. It takes a back seat to Rio and perhaps New Orleans. But does it meet all the hype? Should you feel that you have missed out if you have to spend Carnevale in an alternate Italian location, a Carnival elsewhere in the world, or perhaps even at home? Only you and and perhaps your partner can decide. Hopefully our article will help you make this momentous decision.

The Venice Carnevale is relatively short, lasting only about two weeks. That can be a good thing, even more so when you consider the costs involved. The city of Venice has a population of about 270 thousand of which less than a quarter actually live in the historic town. Compare these figures to the estimated 50 thousand visitors per day, and we are talking about the annual average, not Carnevale time. On the upside, Venice is the largest car-free city in Europe, but there are two pricey parking lots.

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Top Literary Walks in London

The Da Vinci CodeImage by warrantedarrest via FlickrBy Stephen Sonnheim

London has long been a source of inspiration for writers. From Shakespeare to Dickens and from Helen Fielding to Dan Brown the British capital has played out some of the most dramatic literary scenes to have ever appeared in print.
Whilst the landscape of London has changed over the years the sources of inspiration and the stories behind them are very much alive. Here we have listed a selection of literary tours that book worms can take in London which will help bring alive the classics they know and love.

Top 5 Ancient Ruins in Rome

The Pantheon, a landmark of the Campus Martius...Image via WikipediaBy Roberta Stuart
Only a short distance from many a hotel, Rome centre sights include some of the world's most impressive ancient ruins. With so much to choose from, it's hard to know where to begin. Why not start with the following five.
Colosseum. The Colosseum is perhaps Rome's most iconic ruin, standing tall in the heart of the modern city. While not entirely intact, plenty remains to give visitors a sense of how impressive it would have been in ancient times, when 55,000 Romans filled its benches to watch gladiatorial contests, dramas based on Classical mythology, re-enactments of ancient land battles, performances of mock sea battles, and much more. It was built between 70 and 80 AD under Emperor Titus, with further modifications under Emperor Domitian.

Saturday, March 5, 2011

Casa Di Guilletta

Juliet's purported balcony, in Verona. Beneath...Image via Wikipedia
By Pollux Parker

When in Verona, Italy it is impossible not to think about Romeo and Juliet, one of the most, if not the most, popular lovers in history. Just off Piazza delle Erbe, one can find Casa di Guilletta or Juliet's House. It is believed that this is the house where Juliet Capulet lived. The house has been a popular tourist destination attracting mostly those who still believe in romance.
Built in the 13th century, the house has belonged to the dell Capello family for many years. Maybe because of the resemblance of their name with that of Shakespeare's famous character that fueled the belief that this was where Juliet resided. In the 1930s, renovation was done on the house which added the windows, medieval doors and balcony. The balcony, being a late addition, has been subject of much debate.
Standing in the courtyard is a bronze statue of Juliet; it is probably one of the highlights of one's visit. It is a popular tradition for visitors to rub the right breast because it is believed to bring good fortune. That is why the right bosom of the statue is more polished than the rest of her body.

The Catacombs of Paris

Catacombs of ParisImage via Wikipedia

By Pollux Parker

Not all of the attractions in Paris are found above ground, underneath the city streets is one composed of labyrinth-like tunnels and crypts called The Catacombs of Paris. Around 6 million people are buried in the catacombs and it occupies a portion of what used to be Paris' stone mines.

Tapas Bar-Hop to These Five Places in Madrid

View of the Paseo de la Castellana (avenue) fr...Image via Wikipedia
By Roo Sadegi
1. Lateral
Visitors will be shoulder to shoulder in this overcrowded spot that has earned a reputation as one of Madrid's best tapas bars. The kitchen pays special attention to detail and the recipes are inventive, ushering in a wave of change, and a whole new world of experimentation in tapas. There are only four desserts: chocolate cake, lemon tart, "angel" tart (a kind of angel food-like cake), and napoleon, all made from secret family recipes. There is a second location at Velasquez, 57 (off the Velasquez subway stop), as well.

Friday, March 4, 2011

Sicily and its folkloristic events: St Joseph's day in Scicli, Ragusa

Carpaccio, The Flight into EgyptImage by *clairity* via Flickr
Author: Francesca Tessarollo

Like all the other Italian regions, Sicily has much to offer to its visitors, and not only in terms of art, food and nature. Sicily is well-known for its wonderful sea, for its baroque monuments, but there is also one more feature that will make you fall in love with this region: its folklore and the traditional events that take place through the year in all of its cities.

One of the next traditional events to be held in Sicily will be "La cavalcata di San Giuseppe" (St Joseph's ride), which takes place every year in March in Scicli, a village in the province of Ragusa. Ragusa is a wonderful Sicilian province, a popular travel destination above all in summer, when you can enjoy the sea and the sun in well-known seaside resorts like Marina di Ragusa. However, visiting this city and the villages nearby is definitely very interesting also in all the other seasons, thanks to the historical and cultural heritage that these places preserve, and thanks to the folkloristic events that take place from spring to winter.

I Love Touring Italy - Carnevale Season In Tuscany

The Piazza della Signoria is one of many Flore...Image via Wikipedia
It may surprise you to learn that the Florence Carnevale is by no means the most important one in Tuscany. But it is a good place to start. Sunday is really the best day to enjoy the activities. You'll find floats departing from Piazza Dante and multigenerational parades in the major squares and along the Lungarno Vespucci. One of the biggest events is the "Florence Carnival in the world" parade from Piazza Ognissanti to Piazza della Signoria that features floats coming from three dozen countries in five continents.

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

How To Wow The Love Of Your Life

Mount Etna seen from the town of Taormina.Image via Wikipedia
Author: Margaret Cowan

Janett of New York City wanted to give the love of her life, Ron the surprise of his life to celebrate his 60th birthday that October

She asked him, "Would it be OK if I gave you a trip for your birthday?" Of course, it was!

"Would it be OK if I didn't tell you where you were going, if I just gave you the list of things to pack?" Sure, he was happy to play along!

In 2000 she'd had a fabulous time on a cooking and wine tour in Italy's Barolo wine country. The same tour company was offering a cooking, wine and walking tour in Sicily. Ron, a food importer, former Italian restaurant owner and avid cook, would love a Sicily cooking tour.

I Love Touring Italy - Springtime In Sicily

ModicaImage via Wikipedia

Author: Levi Reiss

The island of Sicily lies to the southwest of southern Italy in the Mediterranean Sea. You may be surprised by the weather here, especially in early March. Don't expect to sip a coffee in a terrace by the seaside in the early spring. But by late March the wildflowers will be in bloom. By mid-May a beach outing is a real possibility. And it's strawberry season before the month is out.
The city of Modica, population about 55 thousand, on the southern coast has been named a UNESCO Heritage site along with its surroundings. Modica claims to have Italy's best chocolate since it was introduced by the Spanish conquistadors in the 1500s. On March 19 a bonfire burns all night long in front of the church of its patron saint, Saint George. On the 23rd of the month the city of Vittoria, population 60 thousand, situated near the southwestern coast presents the Feast of the Foundation, an exhibition of local wines. Two days later the city of Patti, population about 30 thousand, hosts the Annunziata's feast with a parade of little children dressed like angels and covered in gold. The last Friday of March the town of San Marco d'Alunzio, population 2 thousand, about 75 miles (120 kilometers) east of Palermo in northern Sicily celebrates the Festa della Crocifisso. A solemn procession of thirty three hooded worshippers called Babaluti carry a Crucifix.