Melania Trump Club

Sunday, September 20, 2009

Rome, Without Borders Film Festival, 1 – 3 July 2009




The “Without Borders Film Festival”, which takes place in Rome from the 1st to the 3rd of July (book now hotels in Rome), is meant to show what human beings have in common, if they go beyond religious and cultural differences, and telling stories dealing with the encounter of different peoples, it is intended to show that it is possible to go beyond geographical and mental borders.

The festival, which will be held this year for the second time (the first edition achieved a great success, attracting many cinema lovers in Rome), takes inspiration from a documentary realised by Paul Smaczny, “Konwledge is the Beginning”: filming a tour of the West-Eastern Divan Orchestra, which is made of musicians coming from Syria, Egypt, Lebanon, Israel and Palestine, the documentary shows how inhabitants of countries that fight against each other can travel, work and live together, learning something from each other.

And the films that are selected every year to take part in the festival deal with similar themes, and telling stories they try to find a common humanity between people, which goes beyond any border. About 15 films of all genres (feature, short, animation films and documentaries) are projected during the festival, and projections are accompanied by meetings and discussions with directors, which give tourists in Rome the possibility to look into important issues and to exchange ideas with other people.

Among the themes discussed in this edition of the festival, the role of women in different societies (in the movie “Feminin – Masculin” by Sadaf Foroughi), censorship (“Head Wind” by Mohammad Rasoulof), the negative opinion that too often people have of Islam (“I Bring what I Love” by Elizabeth Chai Vasarhelyi), peace and non-violence as means to achieve important aims (Kashmir: Journey to Freedom” by Udi Aloni), questions about identity (“Off and Running” by Nicole Opper), and much more. Do not miss the short films realised by some Roman students dealing with the theme of “walls”, in the 20th anniversary of the fall of Berlin wall: this works, together with a photo essay realised by some New York’s students which will be presented during the festival, highlights the importance of learning to destroy borders from an early age.

During the festival you will also have the possibility to visit the exhibition “The Course of History”, with the photos took by Belgian photographer Bart Michiels, who visited the most famous European battlefields and took photos of those landscapes as they appear today, to show how the passing of time covers the traces of those fights, while men cannot find a “cure” for war.

Date: 1st – 3rd July 2009
Location: Casa del Cinema, Rome, Italy

Article Source: http://www.travelarticlelibrary.com


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Rimini, a city with famous births



The “Without Borders Film Festival”, which takes place in Rome from the 1st to the 3rd of July (book now hotels in Rome), is meant to show what human beings have in common, if they go beyond religious and cultural differences, and telling stories dealing with the encounter of different peoples, it is intended to show that it is possible to go beyond geographical and mental borders.

The festival, which will be held this year for the second time (the first edition achieved a great success, attracting many cinema lovers in Rome), takes inspiration from a documentary realised by Paul Smaczny, “Konwledge is the Beginning”: filming a tour of the West-Eastern Divan Orchestra, which is made of musicians coming from Syria, Egypt, Lebanon, Israel and Palestine, the documentary shows how inhabitants of countries that fight against each other can travel, work and live together, learning something from each other.

And the films that are selected every year to take part in the festival deal with similar themes, and telling stories they try to find a common humanity between people, which goes beyond any border. About 15 films of all genres (feature, short, animation films and documentaries) are projected during the festival, and projections are accompanied by meetings and discussions with directors, which give tourists in Rome the possibility to look into important issues and to exchange ideas with other people.

Among the themes discussed in this edition of the festival, the role of women in different societies (in the movie “Feminin – Masculin” by Sadaf Foroughi), censorship (“Head Wind” by Mohammad Rasoulof), the negative opinion that too often people have of Islam (“I Bring what I Love” by Elizabeth Chai Vasarhelyi), peace and non-violence as means to achieve important aims (Kashmir: Journey to Freedom” by Udi Aloni), questions about identity (“Off and Running” by Nicole Opper), and much more. Do not miss the short films realised by some Roman students dealing with the theme of “walls”, in the 20th anniversary of the fall of Berlin wall: this works, together with a photo essay realised by some New York’s students which will be presented during the festival, highlights the importance of learning to destroy borders from an early age.

During the festival you will also have the possibility to visit the exhibition “The Course of History”, with the photos took by Belgian photographer Bart Michiels, who visited the most famous European battlefields and took photos of those landscapes as they appear today, to show how the passing of time covers the traces of those fights, while men cannot find a “cure” for war.

Date: 1st – 3rd July 2009
Location: Casa del Cinema, Rome, Italy

Article Source: http://www.travelarticlelibrary.com

Asiago, a unique and unforgettable city


Who has never heard of Asiago? Few, if not very few. There are those who think it as a tourist destination in summer, that being near the Po Valley becomes a refuge from the heat and humidity for many of our major urban centers like Venice, Padua and Milan, and even Rome.

Others consider Asiago a great center for gliding, with the possibility to fly over the unforgettable Dolomites. Still others think about winter sports. And do not forget the Asiago cheese, known throughout the world. Or the “Rosso Asiago”, derived from our own quarries and cladding many buildings in Italy and abroad, such as in Kuwait. The Asiago plateau, composed by eight municipalities, is a beautiful terrace facing south on the Po Valley and tenderly protected to the north by the magnificent Dolomites. It is one of the most popular and sparkling tourist resorts in winter and summer and also offers a lively after ski. In Asiago and in the plateau, you can practice numerous sport activities. During winter: cross-country skiing, downhill skiing, snowboarding, mountaineering ski, telemark, ice skating, figure skating, speed skating, ice hockey, walking with snow shoes (called “ciaspole”). During summer: trekking and hiking, Nordic walking, mountain biking, horseback riding, golf, orienteering, grass skiing, ski roll, gliding and motor. All year round, in different sport structures: athletics, soccer, basketball, volleyball, swimming and tennis. As for the cheese, Asiago is an Italian cheese of Protected Designation Origin, produced in two different flavors, fresh and matured. The high level historical center features for the many and classy shops, for its pubs, discos and a town always in a festive mood. Holiday on the plateau evokes strong emotions in those who enjoy holiday in the mountains, for those who appreciate the mountains of Veneto, including beautiful landscapes and a great touristic offer. The Asiago plateau, also known as the Seven Municipalities Plateau, offers a chance to live a wonderful vacation in the mountains with the whole family, a romantic getaway in the picturesque peaks of Vicenza, a holiday of sport and physical activity, in winter as in summer, skiing on the beautiful ski slopes of the area or for hiking, walking, mountain biking etc.

To visit the Asiago plateau, you should begin a journey through the 8 charming towns.
The first town you encounter is Rotzo, the oldest of all the Asiago plateau’s municipalities and this is also the municipality most rich in history and ancient testimonies. A Rotzo you can visit, in addition to the numerous votive capitals, the Church of Santa Margherita, the oldest church of the plateau, and the Ossuary built after the war to preserve the remains of the fallen.

After Rotzo continuing along our route, we meet Roana, location that, like all of the Plateau of Asiago, was heavily involved the numerous fights of the first World War, as the Museum of War'15-'18. For those who love nature, not far from Roana, it is possible to visit the Lonaba artificial lake, a tourist destination of great charm.

The next step leads us to Asiago, the most famous and popular tourist region of the entire plateau. Holidays in Asiago hotels offer the opportunity to practice all summer and winter sports, skiing on the beautiful slopes of the ski area and enjoy walking and hiking in the beautiful landscapes. The main attractions of Asiago are the Military Shrine (an Ossuary giving a rest to the fallen in the First World War) and the astrophysicist Observatory of the University of Padua.

After Asiago, the path to the discovery of Seven Towns of the Plateau leads us to Gallio, where you can visit the lovely church and immerse yourself in the lush surrounding nature.
After Gallio you reach Foza, a tiny but charming town of the Province of Vicenza, where you can enjoy days of total relaxation and escape from the world.

The route continues towards Enego, a place where nature retains a special charm. In Enego you can visit the Church of Santa Giustina, and the remains of the tower of the ancient castle.

Article Source: http://www.travelarticlelibrary.com

Rome: Giotto and the 14th Century, 6 March – 29 June 2009



The exhibition “Giotto and the 14th century”, which will take place in the eternal city from March the 6th to June the 29th, is an unmissable event for all art lovers and scholars, who will not miss the chance to book a hostel in Rome and visit an exhibition that is meant to deal not only with Giotto’s works and the influence that the artist had on his contemporaries and on subsequent art, but also with Italian art between the end of the 12th and the first half of the 14th century. As the title of the exhibition suggests, indeed, the exhibition is not only dedicated to Giotto, but more in general to the time when he lived, and it includes not only works realised by this great artist (about 20), but also those of other artists: painters (Cimabue, who was Giotto’s master, Simone Martini, Pietro Lorenzetti), sculptors (Arnolfo di Cambio, Giovanni Pisano, Giovanni di Balduccio), and goldsmiths (Guccio di Mannaia and Andrea Puvvi Sardi), totalling 150 works.

Giotto, who was born in Vespignano, in the province of Florence, moved to many Italian cities throughout his life, leaving an indelible trace in every place that he visited. The exhibition can be seen as a sort of reconstruction of Giotto’s travels in Italy, which can make us discover how the artist spread his artistic language in various Italian regions (Tuscany, Umbria, Marche, Emilia Romagna, Veneto, Lombardy, Lazio, Campania), and how his works influenced the painting schools of the cities he visited. This is a large and exhaustive exhibition, which features works coming from all over Italy and from all over the world to make the tourists who plan to visit Rome discover the innovative features of Giotto’s style, from three-dimensional representation of space to the return to naturalism and human figure.

The displayed works will include Giotto’s “Madonna with Child on a Throne and Two Angels”, “God the Father Enthroned”, “Christ blessing St John the Evangelist and the Virgin”, Cimabue’s “Virgin and Child”, Puppio Capanna’s “Crucifixion”, Taddeo Gaddi’s “Greggio Crib”, and some recently restored works which will be displayed for the first time after the restoration, like Giotto’s “Badia Polyptich”. Besides the works that will be displayed at the Vittoriano, which have already convinced many art lovers to book cheap hotels in Rome, the exhibition will also include some “virtual” works which, due to their frailty or to their big size (Giotto was not only a great painter, but also a great architect, and an evidence of that is given by Santa Maria del Fiore bell tower, in Florence) have not been taken to Rome, but which are necessary to present Giotto’s work in an exhaustive way. These works make up the interesting and innovative educational section “L’altro Giotto” (the other Giotto), which is meant to introduce visitors into the exhibition and into Giotto’s world and art.

Tickets: 10 euro, reduced 7,50 euro
Date: 6th March – 29th June 2009
Location: Vittoriano Museum, Rome, Italy

Article Source: http://www.travelarticlelibrary.com

Travelling Tuscany,charming region in Italy


As one of the most popular holiday destinations in Europe, Tuscany attracts more and
more visitors each year. Like other popular tourist regions, Tuscany, too, offers a wide
range of attractions, many sights and different landscapes. This diversity makes Tuscany
a holiday area for every taste and an ideal destination for the most different kinds of
holidays to opt for such as individual holidays, group vacations, family trips and couple
vacations.

First of all, it is the mild climate throughout the year and the beautiful and picturesque
landscape of Tuscany which fascinates many travellers. The rich flora and fauna includes
pine trees, cork trees, lavender, thyme, rosemary, vineyards and olive groves. The color-
ful flower fields and the country roads lined with cypress trees are a delight for the eye
and give this region a nostalgic and romantic atmosphere and impart a very special Me-
diterranean charm no visitor can escape. Further tourist hot spots in Tuscany are the nu-
merous beautiful bathing beaches and the various day trip destinations. Due to its proxi-
mity to Liguria, vacationers can choose between many interesting and worthwhile places
of excursions.

But it is also the culinary delights of Tuscany, its eventful history and its rich culture
which constitute further attractions of this region in Italy. The many interesting cities
such as Florence, Pisa, Siena and San Gimignano and their sights and art treasures are
an obligatory destination not only for the culturally interested traveller but for everyone.
Especially those visitors who want to immerse themselves deeper into European art his-
tory and Italian Medieval, Renaissance and Baroque architecture should plan an excur-
sion to one of these cities.

A place which shouldn't be missed during a holiday in Tuscany is the city of Lucca. Lo-
cated in the valley of the Serchio River and northeast of Pisa, it is a good starting point
for visiting many beautiful destinations. Worthwhile sights of Lucca are the Duomo of
San Martino, the Piazza Napoleone, the Piazza San Michele, the Anfiteatro, the church
of San Michele in Foro and the Chiesa di San Frediano. Other local attractions include
the various museums of the city such as the Museo Nazionale Guinigi and the Museo e
Pinacoteca Nazionale.

Urbino, Italy: The Other Tuscany



If you love cobbled streets, terra-cotta roofs, provincial cuisine made with lamb, rabbit, swine, and cheese, you may just love Urbino. This hill town lies nestled in the calf of the boot that is Italy, in a region known as Le Marche (MAHR-kay). Divided into four provinces — Pesaro-Urbino to the north, Ancona, Macerata and Ascoli Piceno to the south — the Marche extends from the Adriatic coast in the east to the Sibillini Mountain chain of the Appenines in the west. From north to south, the region is characterized by gently rolling hills and fertile valleys that run east to west from the sea to the mountains.

Along these verdant valleys, four-lane highways connect the seaboard and the A14, the major north-south highway, to the interior, making it possible to swim in the sea in the morning and relax in the shade of an alpine forest in the afternoon. The 9,694 square kilometers of the Marche are populated with 2,120,000 people, mostly employed in the service and artisan industry.

The name Le Marche was bestowed sometime around the 10th century from a German word meaning a border town. And the authentic Italy here seems to linger on the periphery of foreign binoculars. The tourists who have traversed Tuscany have not yet “marched” en masse into these very Italian hamlets, whose origins reach back into millenia.

Although there have been artifacts found on Mount Conero dating 100,000 years ago, it wasn't until the ninth century BC that a permanent settling of the Marche took place. The "Picenus," a people of controversial origin, settled in the southern part of the region having followed a sacred bird, a woodpecker (in Latin "picus" thus the name "Picenus"). The 50 necropolis founded by the Picenus clearly indicate that these people were divided into tribes, each independently ruled and having its own language. The Picenus were unable to form a political administration and continued to live in separate city-states. Overpowered by the Galls and the Athenians in 395 BC, the only remaining memory of these people is in the city of Ascoli Picenus (renamed Ascoli Piceno after Italy's Unification).

And the residue of the region’s ancient peoples remains: in the atmosphere and in the cheeses of Le Marche’s best-known city, Urbino. In the 15th century, Duke Federico of Montefeltro, a swashbuckling mercenary, refurbished Urbino into an early model of the ideal Renaissance town. His palace was a study in early Renaissance palazzi. The Duke cultivated art, architecture, and philosophy so that today’s visitor will encounter a freeze-frame of Medieval intrigue and style.

At the Ducal Palace of Urbino, works by Raphael hang on the walls. One might still capture a whiff of history while sitting at the café tables of the Piazza della Repubblica. And if the scent is not the enchanting aura of the past, it is likely an Italian staple of sharp formaggio di fossa; a cheese that is entombed in limestone to age.

Once your appetite is piqued, there are plenty of restaurants to satisfy. After all, you’re in Italy. Make your cheese selection part of an antipasti of local salami, stewed beans and polenta. Move on to the pasta. A fresh pasta of egg, parmesan and breadcrumbs, known as passatelli, is a traditional Marchigiani dish. Chunky strips of pasta in a creamy spinach sauce is called strozzapreti. Predictably, no culinary tableau will be complete without a wash of the local wine.

In Urbino, you will find food, history, atmosphere, frescoes, and orange light off clay tile. Best of all, you will experience all this without the crowds of Tuscany.

Article Source: http://www.travelarticlelibrary.com

Short Walk In Florence, Piazza Santa Croce


Starting from the hotels in the centre of Florence, one of the itineraries not to miss is the one of Piazza Santa Croce, one of the most beautiful square of Florence. The square is in the historical center, not far from the Duomo (15 minutes walking), passing through Piazza della Signoria and Borgo dei Greci. Although a map of the city is available, for free, in all of the hotels halls of the centre of Florence. If your accommodation is not so close to the centre many services are available to reach the centre: taxi, driven car rentals, buses and train for who arrive from the suburbs.

Piazza Santa Croce is placed in front of the church of Santa Croce, in the centre of Florence, and take its name from it, that square was built in medieval times to host the great number of people that attended to the religius ceremonies. In Renaissance times the square was also used to the fun activities of Florence, as festivals, shows, rides and games like the Calcio storico (Historical Football). This game, more similar to the Rugby than to the modern football, was played the day of San Giovanni (24 of June) in 3 matches within 4 teams, one team for each of the historical quarter of Florence ("white" team for Santo Spirito, "blue" team for Santa Croce, "red" team for Santa Maria Novella and "greeen" team for San Giovanni).

Overlooking the square is the church of Santa Croce, that was built from the Franciscan Friars between the 13th and 14th century, with a facade built only in the 19th century in neogothical style, that have on its left the monumental statue of Dante Alighieri. Dated from the same period of the facade and of the Dante's statue of the square, on the opposite side of the church, there is a baroque fountain, originally realised by Pietro Maria Bardi and remaed in the 19th century by Roberto Manetti. Entering the church from the main door, walking along the main aisle, is noticeable immediately the austerity and the vastenss of the enviroments, and on the perimeter many chapels (some of them frescoed by Giotto, Maso di Banco etc..) destinated to the bury of the noble of Florence (Peruzzi, Bardi, Baroncelli, Pulci.Bardi) that paid, with their donations, the built of the church. Santa Croce is famous in the world also to be the burial of many very important people of the policy, of the history and of the litterture of Italy, here there are the burial of Ugo Foscolo, Michelangelo, Galileo Galilei, Gioacchino Rossini, Leon Battista Alberti, Vittorio Alfieri.

Next to the church there is one of the major convent of Florence, today home of one beautiful museum, where are exposed the ancient treasures of the church, like the crufix of Cimabue.

Over Piazza Santa Croce are overlooking many palaces too, some of them especially beautiful. For example Palazzo dell'Antella thet have a long facade decored, in the first years of the 17th century, with frescoes representing themes of wisdoms and divinity.

Article Source: http://www.travelarticlelibrary.com

Trip To Italy April 2007


It was our first trip to Italy.

W e expected to see a lot of ancient civilisation( ROME, POMPEII), the religious center of the World (VATICAN CITY), icons of Italy (NICOLOSSEUM, LEANING TOWER OF PISA, VENICE, TREVI FOUNTAIN), wonderful statues and frescos, paintings, architecture and the culture of a country known for its history and its famous people( MICHAELANGELO, LEONARDO DA VINCI, GALILEO, ST PETER, ST FRANCIS OF ASSISSI,MARCO POLO).

All these we visited and saw the beauty of Italy.

Some advice we wished to give new visitors:

Parking for coaches are always very far from the tourist spots so be prepared to walk a lot. Try and get comfortable sport shoes.

During summer it can be very hot so buy lots of water to drink during your trip.

Water can be bought at different prices in the country. Rome and Vatican city are the most expensive with 500cc of water costing 3.50 euros while at Florence we were able to get 12 litres of water for only 0.99 euros.

The sun can also be very glaring to the eyes. We advise bringing good UV block sunglasses or wear a hat or cap.

Most of the big shops uses the major credit cards such as VISA, MASTERCARD, DINERS CLUB, AMERICAN EXPRESS but for the small stall holders selling souveniers cash is still important.

Bring sufficient cash for incidental buying of souvenier, food, icecream, even the usage of toilets etc. Remember that there are many pickpockets in Italy so keep your valuables(cash, credit cards, and passports) in a body pouch. It is safer than to lose your valuables to the pickpockets.

All services and goods carry a value added tax of 20% which can be refunded at the customs in the airport provided the amout is large enough. Get a form filled up at the shop where you buy the goods.

The hotels in Italy are generally comfortable but do not come with amenities like kettle, teabags or coffee. So if you need to boil water, bring along a travel kettle. Remember to bring the the right plug for the electical socket.

There is no airconditioning in most hotels but there are heaters for winter. Services like porters are slow so expect to receive your luggage late. It is better if you can bring the luggage up to your rooms yourselves.

Most Italians speak very little English. So try to learn a few Italian phrases.

Internet services cost about 5 euros for half an hour.

We found that there are a lot of illegal immigrants such as Africans and Asians selling fake goods along the roadside.

Once on the way to our hotel there was a blockage ot the road by the police as a result of strike by some workers working in factories. As a result the coach had to U turn and go by an alternative route.

Not all the toilets are free. Some cost 0.5 to 1 euro per entry. Best places to use a toilet would be at MacDonalds or you may be able to use a toilet at a food shop provided you buy food from them. No purchase means no usage of their toilets.

Bring sufficient batteries for your camera or bring the charger for your camera. If you don't then all the pictures which you take for your vacation will be wasted. The cost of batteries are very high in Italy.

Photo taking are prohibited in many places in Italy especially where there are frescos as the flash damages the painting. Examples are Sistine Chapel, Pompeii, Assissi.

Churches or Basilica are places of worship so your dress code should be decent-no mini skirts and exposed shoulders. Silence is also important!

The largest lemon in the world can be found in Sorrento.

Finally enjoy your trip to Italy as we did with all these tips and precautions.

Article Source: http://www.travelarticlelibrary.com

Tuscany Car Rental Made Easy


Seasoned travellers and novices alike will find it is not difficult to rent a car in Tuscany. There may be a few minor obstacles to getting around, just as there would be in any other new location, but in general a Tuscany car rental is easy to acquire and simple to use.

Reserving Your Car

Most of the major car rental companies do business in Europe and have areas of their web sites for International rental. What may differ from booking a more local car rental is that you may not have as many choices in cars or be as familiar with the makes and models of your choices.

Cars in Europe tend to be smaller for the average renter. There are still luxury and larger rentals available, but they are not as common for navigating the narrow cities streets, many of which were built centuries ago.

To make a reservation you will need a valid diver’s license in the country in which you reside. Generally you do not need an International license unless you will be spending a long time in the area. You will also need a credit car to hold the reservation. Once the booking is complete, you will be given a reservation number that you can use to pick up your car rental at the airport or train station.

Driving Around Tuscany

Tuscany is a wonderful region to explore by car. It is dotted with major cities just short drives apart, with quaint villages filling in the gaps. There are breathtaking coastal drives and lazy, meandering cruises through the rolling hills of the countryside. With a car rental you can take it all in at your own pace.

You can drive through the wine region of Chianti and stop for a picnic and afternoon nap. You can park on the outskirts of the city and then walk through the streets to each tourist destination.

The driving in Tuscany is done as it is in the United States. Drivers stay to the right and the wheel is on the left – the opposite of Great Britain. The biggest difference an American driver may notice is the speeds. Many highways have very high speed limits equivalent to around 90 or 100 miles per hour or none at all! The best way to stay safe is to keep up with the flow of traffic. Slower drivers may actually be more of a hazard on this type of highway.

Many secondary roads in the country can be impassable during bad weather since the countryside is not as well travelled in some areas. You’ll want to plan according to the season.

Driving in Luxury

If you want the best of both worlds – the freedom of your own car and the carefree feeling of public transportation, then you may want to look into hiring a car with a driver included. Drivers are familiar with the roads, rules and system, so they can quickly get you where you want to go, while maintaining your schedule or lack thereof.

More of the benefits of driving mean you can pack more. You can also bring along picnics, shop to the capacity of the car’s trunk (and your budget for shipping items) that you may find along the country roads in Tuscany. Renting a car is the best way to be sure you get to do what you want, and on your own timetable.

Article Source: http://www.travelarticlelibrary.com

Treasures Of Florence And Italy



When you imagine Italy, it is really Florence Italy that you are seeing. That is because Florence is at the heart of Italy. It is a place filled with passions and indulgences that awaken all the senses. Visual masterpieces are there to behold and one almost begins to salivate at the thought of the Florentine cuisine. To make the most of your visit to Florence, you can learn a little here about where to stay, what to do, and what you can expect from the locals.

A Warm Welcome

The first thing you expect from your visit to Florence is a warm and hearty welcome. The local people are lovers of people and are not afraid to show it. It is not uncommon to be greeted at your villa by a someone’s “Nona” (grandmother) with a big hug and a hot plate of food – no matter what the time is when you arrive.

Next your accommodation at any price level will be clean and pristine. The linens and furnishing may not be the most luxurious in the lower costing rentals, but they will be freshly washed and painstakingly starched. It’s just the Italian way to keep their homes extremely clean and they offer no less to their guests.

Some Choices on Where to Stay

There are some popular favourites within the city limits of Florence. The Savoy hotel, Florence, Italy is one of those. Here you will find five star accommodations within walking distance of two of Florence’s most popular attractions – the Uffizi Gallery and the Ponte Vecchio.

Another Florence hotel popular among tourists is the Westin Excelsior. It is also located close to the most visited and historic attractions and offers rooms and services American’s are most comfortable with. In addition to these highest rated hotels, visitors will be comfortable at such centrally located lodgings as the Hotel Rivoli or Palazzo Galletti.

For extended stays in Florence you may want to look into apartment or villa rentals. Apartments can be found within the city limits, while most villas are about 20-30 km outside the city. For travel to wine country and then back to the city, Florence car rental offices can accommodate your needs.

Apartments in Florence Italy are generally small, but efficient. You will find a small kitchen is the norm, but they provide enough space to cook simple meals. For a short term rental, they are more than adequate and provide a good home base for exploring the entire Tuscany region.

Downtown Florence Italy is one of the most historically significant cities in Italy. Here tourists come to take in the Uffizi Gallery, the Ponte Vecchio Bridge crossing the River Arno, and the St. Croce Chuch. In addition, there is the Duomo, the city’s Exhibition and Congress Centre. No visit to Florence Italy would be complete without feeding the pigeons at Boboli gardens or walking down the garden’s avenue lined with cypress trees dating back to the 1600s.

Florence is a city that needs more than a weekend to see it all. Plan on visiting during the most pleasant season between April and June and make sure you give yourself at least a week to enjoy the city and surrounding countryside.

Article Source: http://www.travelarticlelibrary.com

Travel in Italy: Great Free Travel Guide of Venice by Flashbooking budget reservation website

Flashbooking is becoming a recognized source of information and services for who loves creating a trip by him/herself and book bed nights securely online.

In fact, thanks to a secure server certified SSL provided by Thawte (the global certificate authority) Flashbooking is able to guarantee instantly confirmed and secure online bookings. Thawte is a system which encrypts all the processed data and guarantees that this will not be read, used or modified by other parties.

Venice is situated in the Veneta Lagoon, on an archipelago of 120 islands, separated by 160 canals,which in their turn are spanned by 400 bridges.The city, connected to the mainland by both a rail and road bridge, is divided into six districts (sestieri): San Marco,Dorsoduro, Cannaregio, Castello, Santa Croce and San Polo. These zones are divided up by a dense network of canals (rii) and an intricate system of narrow and windy streets (calli and Salizade) which open out onto the canals and campielli (small Venetian squares). The historic centre borders the Grand Canal, which is crossed by the Academy bridge, the Ponte di Rialto and the Ponte degli Scalzi.

A Skype account has been recently added in order to give more assistance to our travellers and backpackers needs. Flashbooking accommodation database is easily available online and comes completed with all relevant information about hostel location, description, contacts, prices, instant real availability, customer ratings, facilities and pictures. In particularFlashbooking provides a large selection of cheap or low cost accommodation offers in Florence where there are plenty of low cost solutions for backpackers in budget youth hostels, Bed and Breakfast, family run guesthouses, cheap hotel deals.

Recently, Flashbooking staff and management have decided to put at travellers' and partner hostels' free disposal some useful tools as some pocket travel guides, written for giving the essential information about the most visited cities in the world. Especially created for a quick visit, a week end, a city break, these free pocket guides are printable and downloadable online. The staff efforts concentrate on making them simple to read and with a nice format and full of essential hints on where to go, things to see, shopping and markets, quality places reasonably priced where to eat or hang out in the nights, budget hostels and cheap hotel deals to book, emergency numbers and more.

Venice is relatively small and the majority of the city is easily reached on foot. Using a street guide makes it impossible to get lost in the maze of streets. All the buildings are numbered, based upon the district to which they belong and not to the street. Each house is indicated initially with the name of the district followed by the number.There is a wide choice for those who wish to take a boat trip. tickets are available from all the boat stops and in some bars, shops, and tobacconists who show the ACTV sign.

See Flashbooking database of selected accommodations worldwide and help us enlarging the hostel offer by reporting the contacts of some accommodations, lodgings, BandB, youth hostels and budget small hotels where you personally stayed. In fact, Flashbooking policy tends to privilege small and family-run hotels in order to promote an alternative tourism respectful of cultures and different societies.

If you also have a personal website or a travel blog, or even manage a youth hostel or a hotel accommodation, and are interested in the travel city guides, you can collect all of them and put at your visitors' disposal.
Other city pocket guides of top European cities are: the London guide, the Rome guide, the Amsterdam guide, the Paris guide, the Prague guide, the Barcelona guide and more coming on soon!

So mates, we are looking forward to finding you THE budget accommodation that meets your needs and pocket for your next trip!

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Great free Travel Guide for Rome Italy


Flashboking.com is a young dynamic hostels-booker that provides students, independent travellers, backpackers, conscious tourists, families etc. with an online secure booking service.

A growing database of selected budget accommodations worldwide from cheap hotel deals, youth hostels, B&B, apartments, campsites and guesthouses is easily available online with all relevant information about location, description, contacts, prices, instant real availability, customer ratings, facilities and pictures.

In particular Flashbooking.com provides a large accommodation offer in Rome where there are plenty of budget solutions in youth hostels, local apartments and Bed and Breakfast.

Another useful tool Flashbooking.com staff has put at travellers’ disposal is the Rome Pocket City Guide: this free travel guide of Rome contains, just in a few pages, all the essential information and very good suggestions about the Italian Capital as shopping areas and markets, museums and art galleries, budget restaurants and cheap accommodations, classic itineraries you can’t miss, transports and a lot more.

The Rome Pocket Guide comes with colour pictures and it is free and downloadable for anyone who wish to book and go!
Moreover, for anyone that owns a personal website, the travel guides ( London, Amsterdam, Paris and more coming on soon!) come for free and can be used as an extra travel resource for theirs users.

We are looking forward to finding the best accommodation for you on your next trip!

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Rome Shore Excursion Civitavecchia to Rome




People today to have more chances at disposal and can quicly organize their cruise to Rome in order to see more. To make an example, when you are just arrived at the port of Civitavecchia, you can visit the samllest country in the world, the vatican city.

The City State of the Vatican is the smallest independent sovereign country in the world and for its immense treasures it's the richest. The holy see guests the biggest roman art collection in the world, with approximately 6000 roman statues preseved in the vatican museums. A huge part of the vatican is featured by the biggest church in the world, St. Peter's Basilica, an amazing creation of Renaissance and Baroque architecture. The Basilica raises up 140 meters (420 ft) with its dome designed by Michelangelo, who spent 30 years of his life working for the popes in Rome.

What you will be able to see when coming from the harbor of Civitavecchia will be really a short percentage of what really the vatican has under the floors of its precious galleries.

The Vatican City has its own constitution, postal system, seal, flag, and other symbols of property. The Vatican also has its own army, the Swiss Guard, numbering about 100 soldiers. The swiss guards today work as private guards of the popes and cardinals because there is a treaty of extradition between Italy and the holy see for crimes committed within the state, like the terrible attack against John Paull II in 1981. The Italian police is permanently taking care of the security on the other side of the Tiber river.Vatican Radio is the official radio station, and powerful transmitters beam “the pope’s voice” to a global audience. In 2001 Vatican City had an estimated population of 1,000 people. Citizenship is gained by permanent residence in the Vatican together with the performance of special duties in the service of the Holy See.

The pope has absolute executive, legislative, and judicial powers within the city. He appoints the members of the Vatican's government organs, which are separate from those of the Holy See, the name given to the government of the Roman Catholic Church.

In the Papal Palaces that house the Vatican Museums, the biggest in the world, there are paintings by Giotto, Beato Angelico, Raphael, Leonardo da Vinci, Caravaggio, and then the collection of classic Greek and Roman art that includes such artifacts of world-wide fame as the Apollo del Belvedere and Laocoonte, and the tapestries designed by Raphael, the maps drawn by a cartographer of the 16th century that are so precise, they could be used even today. We shall walk through the apartments of the Popes, and the great Stanze di Raffaello (rooms in the Papal apartments painted by Raffaello). The journey through time and art must culminate with one of the world's wonders - the Sistine Chapel - the "Holy of Holies" of the Popes, covered with frescoes painted by the greatest artists of the 15th century, and completed with frescoes by perhaps the greatest of all artists, Michelangelo.

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Florence: Great Free Pocket Travel Guide


Flashbooking is a growing youth hostels and hotels directory specializing in budget accommodation for independent travellers, students, backpackers, families and all the ones that travel on a pocket. Flashbooking is becoming a recognized source of information and services for who loves creating a trip by him/herself and book bed nights securely online.

In fact, thanks to a secure server certified SSL provided by Thawte (the global certificate authority) Flashbooking is able to guarantee instantly confirmed and secure online bookings. Thawte is a system which encrypts all the processed data and guarantees that this will not be read, used or modified by other parties.

Online bookings also mean that your holiday is just a click away, that you can get all the information needed to book online, that you can save time and money! The customer service is always available to suggest you the
perfect accommodation for your trip. A Skype account has been recently added in order to give more assistance to our travellers and backpackers needs. Flashbooking accommodation database is easily available online and comes completed with all relevant information about hostel location, description, contacts, prices, instant real availability, customer ratings, facilities and pictures. In particularFlashbooking provides a large selection of cheap or low cost accommodation offers in Florence where there are plenty of low cost solutions for backpackers in budget youth hostels, Bed and Breakfast, family run guesthouses, cheap hotel deals.

Travelling safely on a budget, often means having your credit/debit card with you and some coins in your hand for daily needs. Flashbooking helps you saving money with a special promotion that allows travellers to earn money and credits of 1,5 euros by inviting other friends to subscribe and receive the monthly newsletter, rich of information about hostel and hotel deals. For each friend that sings up, our travellers get 1,50 euros: it is possible to earn up to 40 euros! These credits are immediately registered in the user's personal online account 'My Booking' and at the reach of 40 euros they are automatically deducted to pay your online hostel reservations!!!

See Flashbooking database of selected accommodations worldwide and help us enlarging the hostel offer by reporting the contacts of some accommodations, lodgings, BandB, youth hostels and budget small hotels where you personally stayed. In fact, Flashbooking policy tends to privilege small and family-run hotels in order to promote an alternative tourism respectful of cultures and different societies.

Recently, Flashbooking staff and management have decided to put at travellers' and partner hostels' free disposal some useful tools as some pocket travel guides, written for giving the essential information about the most visited cities in the world. Especially created for a quick visit, a week end, a city break, these free pocket guides are printable and downloadable online. The staff efforts concentrate on making them simple to read and with a nice format and full of essential hints on where to go, things to see, shopping and markets, quality places reasonably priced where to eat or hang out in the nights, budget hostels and cheap hotel deals to book, emergency numbers and more.

Freshly issued is the Free Pocket City Guide of Florence that contains, in just 9 printable pages, all the essential information and very good suggestions about this famous Italian and Tuscany Art Capital as its renown leather shops and flea markets, Uffizi Museums, Academies and Art Galleries, budget Florentine restaurants and cheap lodgings, classic itineraries in the Chianti Tuscany hills or in Siena, transports and a lot more. Free for anyone who wish to book and go and rich of colour pictures, the Florence Travel Pocket Guide is at your disposal inFlashbooking.

If you also have a personal website or a travel blog, or even manage a youth hostel or a hotel accommodation, and are interested in the travel city guides, you can collect all of them and put at your visitors' disposal.
Other city pocket guides of top European cities are: the London guide, the Rome guide, the Amsterdam guide, the Paris guide, the Prague guide, the Barcelona guide and more coming on soon!

Last but not least, the Flashbooking philosophy can be summarize in a few lines: 'Those who love travelling light, those with a sense for adventure, those who love flexibility in their trip, those who like meeting locals and
travelling slow and low... THOSE ARE OUR TRAVELLERS!'

So mates, we are looking forward to finding you THE budget accommodation that meets your needs and pocket for your next trip!

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Venice-Italy's Pride


The city of Venice is unique in the entire world. A port city, Venice is built directly on canals. Venice is truly a city of explorers and among its most popular citizens was Marco Polo. It is also an important location as far as the shipping fraternity is concerned. Tourists to this city are always in awe of its rich history and beauty.

The fantastic Northern Italian city of Venice presents a unique section of Italy, which has a distinct style in art, architecture, food, and people. Unlike other Italian cities, Venice has a unique Turkish flair with Byzantine designs in architecture and gold coatings on every available surface.

On your visit to Venice, do not miss the world famous St. Mark’s Basilica, better known as San Marco. This fantastic edifice was restored for the Jubilee year of 2000 and is now more breathtaking than ever! With all the gold, mosaics, and carvings freshly cleaned, San Marco is a sight worth seeing. The building is most famous for the four horses that stand guard over the basilica. Originally thought to originate from Constantinople, Napoleon Bonaparte looted the four equines, which were returned years later in 1815.

The piazza where the basilica is situated is known for its pigeon population and is just as famous as the building itself. However, if you are bird shy, you can watch from the arcades on either side of it. But, you must not miss out on the beautiful Doge's Palace and all the shops in the square.

Venice is a city of bridges that cross over the lagoons and canals, but the "ridge of Sighs" is the most famous one. It is located near the Piazza San Marco and can be seen from the Grand Canal. It gets its name from the prisoners who used to pass through the bridge to go to their cells in the 17th Century.

The Rialto Bridge along the Grand Canal is the next famous bridge in Venice. There are shops along both sides of this famous bridge, and you can purchase a bevy of Venetian goods from these. There is also a legend attached to this bridge for eternal lovers. It goes on like this. If you take a ride in one of the famous gondolas and kiss your lover while under this bridge, you two would remain in love forever.

Gondolas have been a major attraction of this famous city for a long long time. Take a ride on these long black boats. What is unique about this experience is that these stripe shirted gondoliers use only a pole for navigation and have the knowledge of the city's canal system on their fingertips. If you tip and tip well, they would most definitely oblige you with a song.

By far the most famous item made in Venice is the lovely Murano Glass. Made in a tiny island just minutes from the Piazza San Marco, Murano is home to some of the most famous glass companies in the world. Be sure to visit the factories and see how these masters of glass blow and shape molten glass into exquisite creations.

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Why Choose A Farm Holiday In Tuscany


If you are looking to travel to a unique and beautiful destination in Europe, the wonderful Tuscany, Italy, is an excellent choice of holiday destination. The rich culture, fascinating lifestyle, and breathtaking beauty of this destination means that a vacation here will truly be a vacation to remember. When it comes to finding accommodations in the area, you will enjoy a range of choices one of which is a farm holiday in Tuscany, where you can enjoy the delights of your own farm accommodation throughout your stay, enabling you to really get a feel for the lifestyle and culture in the area. You will find holiday villas in Tuscany are dotted all around the region, and with Tuscany vacation rentals you and your family can enjoy the luxury of your own accommodation with all the space and privacy you need. You can get a variety of different types of Tuscany villa, from a country style villa to a luxury villa in Tuscany. A farm accommodation is just one type of holiday home in Tuscany, and is a very popular choice amongst those that visit this area.

Enjoy the charm of a farm holiday in Tuscany

When you opt for farm accommodation on your visit to Tuscany you will enjoy the charm and beauty of these traditional buildings coupled with modern amenities and facilities to make your stay here just perfect. Whether you are visiting Tuscany on a family vacation or a romantic break for two, these farm accommodations will prove ideal, boasting real style and traditional Tuscan beauty. You will find farm accommodations in various areas of Tuscany, and you will find that you are never far from a host of attractions and sights as well as fabulous scenery and incredible surroundings. You will find that with a farm holiday in Tuscany you get to stay in a wonderful place with bags of character and charm, all of which will help to add to your vacation experience as well as the wonderful memories you take home of your stay in this region.

Explore the beautiful region from your luxury farm accommodation

Your farm accommodation will provide you with the perfect base from which to explore the splendour and beauty of Tuscany. You can enjoy relaxing in your own gardens, where you can take leisurely breakfasts or lunches. You will enjoy being within easy reach of attractions and facilities such as vineyards and wineries, pubs, restaurants, shops, churches, sights, monuments, and more. Yet, at the same time you will enjoy having the privacy and space you need with your own beautiful farm accommodation in a fabulous setting. There is no better way to enjoy all that Tuscany and its unique and breathtaking areas has to offer, and you can be certain that the whole family will be thrilled with the comfort and amenities as well as the traditional charm and character that comes with this type of accommodation when you opt for a farm holiday in Tuscany.

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Things To See In Florence Italy

Florence Italy is in the Tuscany region about midway between Milan to the north and Rome to the South. During the Renaissance, Florence was the center of art, politics and intellectual thought. The city is the biggest tourist attraction in the region with plenty to see and do. The city is small enough to walk to most places, but offers many attractions to keep you interested for weeks.

A large airport and train station in town make travelling within the region or out of the country easy. With public transportation and most attractions in easy walking distance, a Florence car rental may not be necessary.

Everyone in the region speaks Italian, but many people also speak some English. It’s a good idea to have some knowledge of Italian when visiting the area. If you don’t speak Italian, consider purchasing a phrase book with common phrases in Italian to help you communicate while staying in the area.

Early Autumn and Spring are the best times to visit Florence. This is still considered to be tourist season, but is not too overcrowded. Summer is the busiest season and you should expect crowds if you choose to travel at this time. The later Autumn tends to be chilly and can be rainy. It is still warm enough to visit and the crowds will have disappeared by this time.

Things to See in Florence Italy

o Casa di Dante is the home of the famous author of The Divine Comedy. The house is a tourist attraction and is located in the medieval section of the city.

o The Baptistry of John the Baptist is an ornate church that was built in the 11th century

o The Church of San Lorenzo is the oldest religious structure in Florence. It was built prior to the year 400.

The dining in Florence is amazing, with a wide variety of restaurants throughout the city. You will get the chance to sample Florence Italy recipes, which use the freshest ingredients. If you rent villas or apartments in Florence, you may want to try out a few of these in your own kitchen with fresh ingredients purchased at the local market.

Museums in Florence Italy

Florence is home to several well known museums:

o The Florence Archaeological Museum is a palace with Egyptian and Etruscan art collections.

o Pitti Palace and Boboli Gardens: the palace consists of several museums with paintings by several celebrated Florentine artists. The Boboli Gardens are manicured Renaissance gardens that you can walk and enjoy.

o Uffizi Gallery was built in 1560 and contains numerous art works. The museum offers a beautiful view of the city in addition to spectacular works of art.

Places to Stay in Florence Italy

Visitors have several Florence accommodation options. There are a wide variety of hotels in Florence Italy, both in the center of town and on the outskirts. Prices vary according to the clientele and location. For longer stays apartments in Florence are a good choice. Most have small kitchens for a more home like atmosphere. If you prefer a more remote, country setting, a farmhouse holiday in Florence is a good choice. All of these can be booked on the internet or through a travel rental agency.

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Holiday Villas In Tuscany


Holiday villas in Tuscany are becoming increasingly popular for vacations in Italy and around Europe. Villas allow you to enjoy the quiet of the countryside and offer a relaxed alternative to busier cities and tourist areas. You can find rentals and book them online or through a travel agent.

Benefits of Holiday Villas in Tuscany

There are several benefits to renting a holiday home in Tuscany when you travel. Staying longer in a Tuscany villa allows you to experience more that the area has to offer. It gives you the opportunity to experience more of authentic life than a hotel can offer. You can visit the shops and buy groceries, while interacting with the people living in the area.

Staying in a holiday home in Tuscany is a more relaxing experience than the busy city for many people. Staying in a hotel is nice, but you need to go out for every meal. In a rented home, you can prepare your meals and relax on the porch or by the pool and really feel refreshed at the end of your vacation. This gives you the opportunity to try out some of the local recipes on your own.

A variety of large and small luxury villas in Tuscany are available for rent. A farm holiday is another way to enjoy the pleasures of the country. The larger the home, the more expensive the rent. The largest villas can cost $5000 per week or more. If you will be travelling with other couples or families, consider renting a large home together to share the cost.

The kitchen will be stocked with supplies for cooking and eating. Most will have dishes, flatware, cooking utensils, pots and pans. All you will need is the food you will prepare. Linens for the beds and towels are included as well. All you will need to bring from home is your clothing. A dictionary of Italian phrases is another good thing to pack, if you don’t speak the language at all.

Renting Holiday Villas in Tuscany

Tuscany vacation rentals can be found through travel agents, vacation rental agencies, and travel magazines or on the Internet. The internet is the easiest and most accessible place to find resources. Large websites have descriptions with pictures of the interior and exterior of rentals. Most agencies have websites with pictures.

You can read reviews online and find advice from people who have taken a trip to the region in the past. This will give you a better idea of the accommodations than you would get by just reading the descriptions. Reviews written by fellow travellers are particularly valuable if this will be your first trip to the region.

Many sites allow you to book your rental online. Keep in mind that many areas fill up quickly, particularly in the busy season. You should plan on booking your trip at least six months in advance. A year ahead is even better in the busy times. You will be required to make a deposit when you book your rental. Fifty percent down is common. You will either pay the balance when you arrive, or up to a month before your travel date, depending on the agency.

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Lure Of Lucca, Italy


Tuscany is home to the town of Lucca, an exquisite example of Romanesque architecture displayed in all of its glory throughout the town. The cathedrals of San Michele and San Martino are two of the best examples of the Romanesque architecture to be seen in Lucca, or all of Northern Italy for that.

Lucca sits near the Serchio River, about 30 kilometers from Pisa and 80 kilometers from Florence. The town itself rests on a plateau under the watchful gaze of the Apuane Alps. The medieval walls, thick and strong, built in the sixteenth century still surround the town and the walkways present on the top of the walls offer an enjoyable opportunity for biking or walking to nearby sights.

The town is full of charming shops and antique markets that offer a variety of unique and interesting items. In fact, the town is sufficiently insulated from the hectic pace of city life, that it provides a restful and peaceful vacation spot.

The superb aromas wafting from the restaurants in Lucca tempt tourists and residents alike. Superb dining is at the end of their search for the perfect cuisine or culinary delight to feed their hunger. One of the best restaurants in Lucca is Ristorante Buca di Sant'Antonio. Make sure to try the faro soup. This is known to be one of the oldest dishes in Italy.

Large villas, nestled in the surrounding hillsides in all of their finery, and impressive gardens beckon too many tourists who visit the area. Some of Italy’s finest beaches are less than a half an hour distance away. Nearby is the town of Barga. It is north of Lucca and is a wonderful medieval walled city that is not on the tourist path. Pietrasanta is another small town nearby that is known as the place which Michelangelo came for stone. Today, it remains a place where many artists reside and a continue to craft items from the stone.

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Introduction To Tuscany Italy


Tuscany, Italy is the place that movies are filmed and fantasies run wild. Perhaps it is the cities of Florence, Pisa, or Livorno that invoke feelings of culture, art, or arouse the senses to the smells and taste of the Chianti region. The fact is that Tuscany is home to some of the most famous tourist destinations in Italy. It is here that budding artists come to learn from the masters. It is here that the world of fashion takes it cues. And it is in Tuscany that romantics rekindle the flame and celebrate their love.

The Cities of Tuscany

Florence is perhaps one of the most famous cities in the area known as Tuscany. The Uffizi museum after all is home to such masterpieces as “The Birth of Venus.” Originally built to house the Tuscan administrative offices, the top floor now houses masterpieces by Botticelli, Michelangelo, and Caravaggio. Each visitor to Florence must also stop in and gaze at Michelangelo’s “David,” on display at the oldest art academy, the Galleria dell’Accademia. The Ponte Vecchio is a landmark that literally translated means “old bridge.” It was built in the 1300s and has withstood floods and wars in order to continue to hawk some of the world’s most wonderful 18 and 24k gold products and leather goods.

Chianti is known for its wines which are famous around the world. Tourists to Tuscany can enjoy the world’s finest wines while enjoying the picturesque countryside.

Siena, also located in the Chianti region houses a gothic cathedral and paintings by medieval masters, Duccio and Simone Martini. The Renaissance and Etruscan history are evident in each landmark of the region.

Piza is best known for the Leaning Tower whose construction began in the 12th century, but starting sinking into the ground after only 3 stories were completed. It stood this way for 90 years and was finally completed by the son of Andreo Pisano, Tommano Simone and Giovanni de Simone almost 200 years after it was started.

Hillsides and Waysides

Part of the beauty and mystique of Tuscany is its countryside. The rolling hills that slope down to the coast are dotted with vineyards and villas. There are working farms and vacation villas suitable for the most adventurous tourists or those who demand first class accommodations. Tuscany car rentals allow tourists to explore each tiny village at their own pace and on their own schedule.

The Heart of Commerce

Emerging as a real business centre, Tuscany is home to thriving businesses in the furniture, leather, fashion, and manufacturing industries. These businesses keep the region in the 21st century while the people and culture keep one foot in the past.

If romance, tradition and culture are your idea of an ideal vacation, then Tuscany is for you. On the other hand if shopping and the face pace of a thriving city are your style then you will also find it in the Tuscany region of Italy.

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Florence Museums At A Glance


Florence museums are known around the world to house some of the world’s greatest masterpieces by the masters of each era of the art world. Trends in painting and sculpture have set the pace for others and made times in history immortal. The art work of Florence tells the tales of the Birth of Christ, His crucifixion and resurrection. It tells of fashion trends and how the world viewed beauty. Each element of the world’s history has been captured in the art found in the museums and galleries of Florence.

The Uffizi Gallery

Perhaps one of the most well known galleries in Florence the Uffizi is home to the Botticelli’s Birth of Venus. The list of artists reads like a who’s who of the greatest and includes Da Vinci, Rembrandt, and Rubens.

The Accademia

At the Accademia you will find the world famous David by Michelangelo. It also home to a large collection of Renaissance paintings, but is better know for the sculptures of Michelangelo including the Palerstria Pieta.

The Baptistery

The Baptistery is so old its date is not really known, but it is understood to be one of the oldest monuments in Florence. The exterior façade houses three arches that are adorned with sculptures and marble decorations. The doors are pieces of art in and of themselves. They are gilded in bronze and date back to the 14th and 15th century. Panels from the original dome have been removed and restored and are now housed at the Museum of the Opera del Duomo.

Gallery of Modern Art

Florence is so well known for its Renaissance era works that many people overlook the fact that the Gallery of Modern Art houses 18th, 19th and 20th century works that are modern by comparison in a city so old. The museum is located on the second floor of the Pitti Place. Here you find familiar works by Cezanne, Gauguin, and Grassi and others who adopted the style and techniques of French artists. Equestrians will particularly enjoy the works of sculptor Marino Marini.

The Horne Museum

Named after the English art collector Herbert P. Horne, this museum blends art with a history of life during the Italian Renaissance. The furnishings and accessories along with the architecture itself are a reflection of this rich era. Artwork ranges from the 14th to 17th centuries and includes pieces from Cafaggiolo, Urbino, and Orvieto.

The Silver Museum

This museum houses an interesting collection of objects from the various dynasties ranging from the Medici through the Lorraine. There is great diversity in the pieces of jewellery, gems, semi-precious tones and various art objects. These are all from eras in time when a rich life and extravagance were the norm. One of the most valuable pieces housed here is a collection of vases by Lorenzo the Magnificent.

This small sprinkling of museums only touches the surface of possible historical sites in Florence. Florence is home to more than 50 museums, galleries, or architectural wonders that make this city a place one could visit for weeks and still not take it all in.

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Florence Accommodation To Remember


Florence is the biggest tourist attraction in the Tuscany region. There are hundreds of hotels in the area, making finding the right Florence hotel fairly easy. The choices range from inexpensive hotels to more extravagant and expensive inns. Much of the city and some of the hotels have a medieval feel that is like stepping back in time. This city was the center of culture in the Renaissance and still retains much of this character.

Florence Hotel and Other Accommodations

Hotels are good for short stays or if you plan to eat out for every meal. If you plan to stay for longer periods, you may want to consider other options. This is also true if you plan to stay in for some meals. Apartments in Florence can be rented for vacations. These have at least a small kitchen, allowing you to stay in for some meals. In addition, an apartment will give you a bit more privacy than most hotels.

If you are travelling with a larger group or family, a country farmhouse holiday may be a good choice. These have larger kitchens for cooking meals and come equipped with everything you need, but food and clothing. This will allow you to cook larger meals and try out authentic Florence Italy recipes. Most are located in more remote areas, so you will need a vehicle for sightseeing. Florence car rental agencies can help with renting a vehicle for your stay.

Although there are many choices in Florence accommodations, hotels tend to fill up quickly, especially in the tourist season. Be sure to book early to get the best possible rates and the hotel you want. The same is true for apartment rentals and villas. July and August are the busiest months. The prices will be highest at this time. Spring, just before the busy season is a good time to visit, if you want to avoid the larger crowds.

Finding and Booking a Florence Hotel

The internet is a great place to start your search for hotels in Florence. You will find pictures of the exterior of the hotel as well as the rooms. Many sites offer reviews of the hotels. Read both professional reviews and those written by guests at each hotel you are considering. This can give you the benefit of the opinion of past guests. Once you have made a decision, you can book your room on the internet.

The internet can also be used for other accommodations in Florence. Larger vacation rental agencies and many smaller agencies have websites with photographs and descriptions of the apartments or villas. You can even book your rental vehicle on the internet in most cases. You may not need a car, if you will be staying only in the city. If you plan to visit the surrounding country areas, you can arrange for your car to be ready when you arrive.



Wouldn’t it be great to show up at your hotel absolutely sure that you’ve book the type of place you really wanted. We’ve all been there. We have looked up hotels online and hope to book one based on pictures and descriptions that will make a nice stopping place at the end of a busy day touring. Then, after a long day of travel we show up just to find that the place is much older and run down than the pictures implied. And what happened to the year-round indoor pool? Under construction? It can be extremely frustrating to plan a vacation and have the most basic of arrangements turn out wrong. Where you stay can greatly impact the quality of the entire trip. After all, at the end of the day, everyone wants to retire to a clean and comfortable place that will serve as their home away from home.

Types of Florence Accommodations

In Florence and the surrounding Tuscany region you will find four main types of accommodations. There is the Florence farmhouse, which are actually located in the countryside outside of Florence in areas such as Siena and Chianti.

The farmhouse has the charm of old days and the luxury of a quaint bed and breakfast atmosphere. Often the morning meal and some dinners are included in the reservations. Farmhouses are family-friendly and the surrounding grounds have plenty of room for the kids to run around. Some will even accommodate small dogs.

Many farmhouse reservations will include tours of the countryside. These may include wine tasting and visits to the sea.

A villa can be found both inside the city limits and in the countryside. Usually villas are old castles or mansions that have been turned into homes away from home for extended visits. These can be quite luxurious and run the gamut of pricing. A villa, depending on where it is located, usually has a swimming pool. There is space and luxury enough to entertain business associates or newly made friends on your vacation. Some are suited to children, but it may be a good idea to check if young children would be welcome. It can be more stressful than relaxing if you are constantly worrying about what a young child might get into in a luxury villa.

An apartment may be the best type of accommodation for extended visits to the Tuscany region. Trips that are weeks or months long can be tiring if you are living out of a suitcase and eating every meal out. With an apartment in the city you will be close to work and play, can accommodate a family spending a long vacation, and be close to all the action. You will have the facilities to cook meals, picking up the freshest produce at the central market, and often there will be places to do laundry close by if not in the apartment building.

Hotels are best for those who like to be pampered on their trip to Italy. You can sample some of the best Florence, Italy recipes through room service or a leisurely stroll to a downtown restaurant along the river Arno. Many hotels are kid-friendly especially if only for a few nights.

Remember, your accommodations can be viewed as either a quick place to stop for the night or a part of the whole Florence experience. You decide what will give you the vacation of your dreams.

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Villas In Tuscany


Travelling through Tuscany can be a very stressful experience, in spite of what all romantic books and guides tell you, if you do not know where to find that great spot or restaurant or museum you are looking for.

The first thing to do when planning a trip to Tuscany is to plan what are the things youwould like to do when you are there. Are you looking for relax and just a hint of culture among strolls? Or would you like a full immersion in Tuscany's cultural heritage? Or would you like something in the middle?

It is important to know this because from here you will be able to choose the type of accommodation you want to be in. There are some villas which give you the true Tuscan country experience with 360 degrees breathtaking views, gardens that allow you to spend a whole week with bare feet, far from any other man-made landmark. Then there are villas at one mile from the nearest town, where you can still enjoy lots of privacy, but at the same time allow you to enjoy quick trips to nearby intersting spots.

What is the size of your group? Is it a large size group? Couple? Villas for large groups are common in Tuscany, but you have to get the budget right! At times very large villas can be too expensive, so the best thing is to rent a farmhouse composed of separate apartments in Tuscany. Lots of privacy for a small price!!!

After you have picked your lodging in Tuscany, plan a route towards the nearby cities. The good thing about Tuscany is that it has plenty of small towns within one hour from almost any location, so you will be able to enjoy different kinds of food and wines in just one week's time.

Do not worry about the activities to do in Tuscany. Almost all owners can speak decent English and they are the best source of information on how to spend your holiday in Tuscany and have fun. They will tell you what to do, whether you want to hide, hike, horseback ride, go hot air balloning, taste wine, participate to cultural tours, cooking courses, concerts, or anything you like!

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Landing at Rome Airports


The technology revolution allows people today to have more resources at disposal and to plan their trip to Rome and to Italy optimizing the time in order to see more. To make an example, when you are just landed at Ciampino Rome airport, during your transfer to the hotel you can see the archaeological area of the Appian way and the acqueduct built by the emperor Claudius in 54 AD.

Opened in 312 b. C. by the censor Appius Claudius, during the Sannite wars, in order to join Rome with the southern provinces of the peninsula, with Africa and the East. It became in short time the elected road, sacred to the cult of the dead, crossed during the Latin holidays by the crowd going to the temple of Jupiter on the summit of mount Cavo or to the temple of Diana, by the shores of the Nemi lake.

The Appian way ran here straight -after this the name of " recto " - at first followed the line of an existing road to the Alban hills and reached the Agro Pontino. After the Appio Forum it touched the city of Terracina and it continued for Fondi until Capua. Some year later it was extended via Benevento and Venosa, native land of Orazio, and a century later to Taranto and Brindisi.

In the first years of II the century A.D. the emperor Trajan added his name to the road.
The beginning of the road, outside the Porta San Sebastiano, a gate in the city walls, is lined with interesting dilapidated buildings, including the church of Domine Quo Vadis, where St. Peter is supposed to have had a vision of Christ. Jesus's footprints were preserved for posterity in a slab of white marble (in the centre of the church floor). There are also three sets of catacombs close to this stretch of road - check opening times and days first as their long lunchtime closures can interfere with your day's planning.

With the New Appian Traian Way it was possible to go from Rome to Brindisi in 13/14 days with a total distance of 540 kilometres. The road was approximately 4.15 meters wide, enough to permit the transit of two chariots at the same time. Two sidewalks in earth delimited by stone flanked the track. Every 10/13 km in the most busy sections were aligned along the road the so-called "stations" for the change of the horses and " taberne ", which offered refreshments and lodging for travellers.

The construction was extremely difficult , was realized solving natural difficulties with an amazingly modern plan of conception which made of it a solid, rational road with easy access. Bridges across the rivers were built, valleys filled, heights flattened, channels dug, banks raised in order to contain waters of the rivers, it was covered with blocks of hard basalt that still today emerge from the road. After the fall of the empire and barbarian invasions the road fell into decay and was abandoned. The monuments were sacked and lost their works of art anddecorations; Grass grew wildly upon the road which slowly disappeared from sight. Columns, marbles, statues, friezes, relieves started to embellish the new buildings of the City, the new Christian basilicas and noble castles. Towards the half of the ' 700 historians started to dig discovering important works and collecting fragments.

The first Christian cemeteries rose along the Appian Way at the end of the I century: along this road the most important necropolis were discovered, the Catacombs of S. Callisto, going back to the II sec., and those of S. Sebastian, in which were housed for a while the bodies of the two Apostles of the Roman Church: Peter and Paul. The history has confirmed that the Apostle entered in the city walking along the Appian Way.
Few people know that if you arrive at the Rome airport Ciampino during the summer, you can reach from there in few minutes the summer residence of Castelgandolfo, where the pope spends his vacation time.

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Quick Travel Guide To Rome


Rome is an enchanting place that has been attracting tourists for its rich cultural heritage and brilliant historic monuments. In the ratings of Condé Nast Traveler’s 2004 Reader’s Choice Awards, Rome grabbed the coveted second spot on the list of top ten European cities.

Some quick helpful facts about traveling to the city. You need to have a valid passport to enter Italy though you do not need a visa if the duration of the stay is less than 90 days. However, there is an exception to this rule for some specific countries. Since the summers are hot and dry, you should visit Rome between October and March. Book yourself at a hotel that is close to the historic district. The ideal place would be Hotel de Russie, situated between the Piazza del Popolo and the Spanish Steps that are worth seeing.

Plan your itinerary well in advance, especially the places you definitely want to visit. The ideal mode of discovering Rome’s heritage is on foot, as it gives you the flexibility of covering the locations at your own speed. The other option to save cost is to use the Tram Bus system that links the entire city and also the nearby areas. And if you are looking at convenience, you can always opt for a private tour. Make sure you have taken a pair of comfortable shoes. Carry minimum weight while going around the city. The city has many eating joints around the tourist attractions so you can appease your hunger pangs any time you want.

The city is full of tourist attractions and it is a real tough task to decide which of them are a must see. Your local sightseeing plan for a given day could look like this. Start with the Coliseum that is a popular tourist attraction. Since the visiting hours change through the year, make sure that you confirm the timings beforehand. To make this awesome experience more realistic, they have an hourly conducted tour by guides in the guise of gladiators. The next important stop, the Roman Forum or Foro Romano, is just across the street. The Roman Forum, the heart of the Roman Empire, is standing tall even after 2000 years! You would be fascinated by the involutions of the Roman architecture. There is no entry fee here and you can also avail the facility of guided tours.

The next stop, The Pantheon or ‘The Temple to all Gods’, was built around 125 AD and is one of the best-preserved buildings in Rome. Built by Emperor Hadrian, many famous personalities like Vittorio Emmanuel II and Umberto I (the kings of Italy) and the one and only Raphael are buried here. There is a nine meter opening in the concrete dome which the only source of light in this monument. It takes you back in time to the glorious days of the Roman Empire and you cannot stop imagining being a part of the Romans, as it existed then. You would get goose bumps dreaming of the kind of clothes they would have worn, their language, gestures etc. You can have this extraordinary experience through the year except Christmas when the Pantheon is closed.

By the end of the day, there is just one more place to see that cannot be missed. You can easily spend three hours visiting The Vatican and its collection of artifacts that chronicle the Catholic Church’s history. If you have time, you should let Michelangelo’s Pieta, which is housed in St Peter’s Basilica, amaze you. The Vatican museum has even more splendid antiques, including the Egyptian mummies. You should not miss Sistine Chapel that has The Bible painted on the ceiling by the legendary Michelangelo himself.

Well, whatever you chose to do, get to befriend your hotel concierge first since he can be the best source of updated information.

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Beautiful Tuscany


So much has been written on Tuscany, and so much will be, but it seems like it's never enough to cover all the what can be said about this wonderful region in Italy and the hospitable people that inhabit it.

Tuscany holds within its museums, galleries, open spaces and private collections, 35% of the world's historic and artistic heritage, which accounts for millions and millions of operas to see visit study and leave first hand, such as the Town of San Giminiano, recently declared by UNESCO as world heritage site.

The richness that characterizes this Italian land, however, is not limited to artistic beauty and historical events. Tuscany is a land conformed in so many various ways, where agriculture still dominates the landscapes and colors the land with different hues throughout the year depending on the season and on the colture. The Sienese Crete are renown worldwide for having appeared on so many a calendar on Tuscany and Italy. Characterized by the rolling hills and the occasional groups of cypresses, this part of Tuscany is home to many beautiful farmhouses and villas resting on the top of hills dotting the landscape. A wonderful example are these Villas for large groups of people in Tuscany

The Chianti region, famous for its wine, wonderful countryside and unique cities such as Siena and Florence, still offers a plethora of events and places where life can be enjoyed the Tuscan way. Thanks to the warmth that the people of this land offers to visitors and foreigners, life in Tuscany and the Chianti region has become famous abroad. The landscape of Chianti is rich with wonderful castles and Tuscany Villas.

The Florence area region is very much explored and offers towns and castles and Tuscany best outlets of rare beauty. On the other side, facing the Mediterranean sea, the Maremma region is home to a wild and gree countryside that rolls towards the sea. Cities such as Talamone, Punta Ala, and Porto Ercole are just an example of the Medieval origins of this castle-towns. Concludidng, Tuscany has a special corner for anyone with the desire to discover this land rich with music festivals, traditions, history, art, and love for life enjoyment.

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Ancient Roman Tourists



Route 66 A.D.: On the Trail of Ancient Roman Tourists by Australian author Tony Perrottet chronicles how ancient Rome invented the world’s first tourist industry by sending their citizens on the original “Grand Tour” of famous sites in the ancient world.

Along this route, Romans visited places like Troy, the Athenian Acropolis, the ruins of the fallen Colossus at Rhodes, and the Pyramids of Egypt—to name just a few hot spots.

In this book, Perrottet used ancient texts and maps to follow in the footsteps of ancient Romans eager to see the world they conquered. He shares many of the anecdotes from these texts that describe “bad food, inadequate accommodations, and pushy tour guides” that demonstrate how little travel has changed between the present day and the time of Roman emperors.

Much of the book compares and contrasts past and present sites. Humorously, the author describes the Pompeii McDonalds where he began his tour to Rome, Naples, Sparta, Athens, the Aegean Islands and Cairo. A modern-day tour of the Roman Empire, the book weaves past and present together seamlessly making us wish we were there despite the crummy mattresses and ridiculous souvenirs.

Perrottet offers accounts of the Delphi where ancient travelers flocked to “the world’s ultimate oracle” and describes island-hopping in the Aegean as a “mini-odyssey.” While he and his travel companion faced certain hardships on their journey, he explained the real dangers that would have plagued ancient Roman travelers that included regional disease, bandits, rough seas and pirates. He discusses how Julius Caesar himself was kidnapped by pirates on his way to Rhodes for ransom.

Of particular delight are the author’s descriptions of Ephesus of Asia Minor. His text reconstructs the glittering streets, the gates and library of this spectacular place that “competes with Pompeii as the ultimate Roman archaeological site.” He also described the “erotic ballerinas” that predated the exotic belly dancers of the region.

In any case, this book recreates the well-worn path of ancient Romans as well as how they lived on the road. They explored and they succumbed to many vices of particular areas, but as one Roman gravestone suggests, “baths, wine, sex may ruin our bodies, but they make life worth living.”

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