The Small but Attractive City of San Gimignano

The walled-city of architectural heritage, this is San Gimignano!

Traveling to San Gimignano lets you take a train to Poggibonsi then a bus ride from the train station to the city. You must worry when you’re already there, the city is small and you can tour it around on foot.

There are only nine noticeable attractions in the city and the most special is the Piazza del Duomo. This is the monumental small squares in Italy, where there are four medieval towers. These are Rognosa, Chigi, Grossa and the twin-Salvucci.

The Collegiata that is situated to nearest Duomo Cathedral is one of those beautiful attractions in the city. If you want to see the various civic paintings, you should get inside the Pinacoteca Civica in Palazzo Pubblico. 

Other attractions include the 200 feet Torre Grossa, the great frescoes at Sant’Agostino, the civic paintings at Pinacoteca Civica and the Old Stone Well at Piazza della Cisterna. 

Food & Restaurants

Various restaurants are scattered all over this small city. The Hotel Restaurant Panoramic is a dainty food dining focusing in perfumes and aromas. Da Pone offers you a medieval setting where traditional recipes are served genuinely. The Restaurant Da Grazano gives you an open-setting in beautiful terraces. Their specialty is focused on fish dishes. 

Da Nisio is a large roof-terrace restaurant that serves you Tuscan wine and food. This is located a kilometer outside the San Ginignano Center. Da Pode is a beautiful mansion inspired in an elegant and comfortable café. The Dorando offers just the pleasures of life. This cozy restaurant is fully furnished in accessible elegance giving you the feel of cleverness. The exemplary La Stella allows you to experience the rustic style of excellence. They serve Tuscan dishes such as mushrooms and truffles cooked in coals. 

The Peruca Restaurant is perfect for those tourists who seek for inspired old-wine-cellar-setting. The whole family experience fun and delight in Zaghe & Doicce. Z&D serve nice dishes during lunch and dinner. If you have some extra money, you should try their Pizza Messicana and Bruschetta al porcino.    

The City of Flowers

San Gimignano is known for its numerous and alluring flowers. If you are a romantic person, this is the city you to look at for. You can always search online and order plants in line of the occasion. Get the flower and deliver right in your doorstep whether wrapped in papers, bouquet or just be in the pot.

The Small & Beautiful City of Pienza in Val D' Orcia, Tuscany

When you say Pienza, it simply refers to a small city in Val d’Orcia in Tuscany, Italy. Actually, the Val d’Orcia is a cultivated hill consisting of beautiful towns and villages. The Pienza is probably the most popular due to its idealism-setting founded by Pope Pius II in 15th century. 

You can’t see a public transit in Pienza. You will more appreciate your tour if you walk. The town is very small and you can even tour it in thirty minutes without stopping and shopping. However, if you want to enjoy your visit, you should drop from one attraction before the other, never in other way round. Pienza is a town of elegance and grand, don’t waste your time by expecting much. 

Start your tour by exploring the Piazza Pio II. The special aspect about the site is the formation of various tall buildings. There’s a cathedral (Duomo) on the south side furnished with fine interiors, the Bishop’s Palace (Palazzo Vescovile) on the east, the Renaissance-inspired Palazzo Piccolomini on the west and the Palazzo Communale on the north. 

If you want to experience the naturalistic landscape, come inside the great home of Piccolomini family. Upon entering the Palazzo’s ground floor, various halls and rooms will meet your way such as the study, the library and the weapons room. The piano room houses antique musical instruments with historic paintings on the wall. 

After Palazzo Piccolomini, visit the Diocesan Museum the next day. The artful side of you will be realized once you get in touch with the array of notable collections in here. There were 12th-17th century paintings that tell the lives of those pious saints.

Touring with an empty stomach can be stressful, right? So, before visiting your next destination, may it be another art work or fun-filled park, eat and drink wine at Pienza’s best fine dinings at Latte di Luna, La Taverna di Re Artu and the elegant outdoor-and-indoor seating at Ristorante dal Faco.

Now, if you want to visit other remarkable attractions in Pienza or be informed with anything you want to understand, you can visit their Tourist Information, just situated in Piazza Pio II.

Delicious Wines & Impressive Art Works in Montepulciano, Tuscany

Erected on a high limestone ridge approximately 13 km. east of Pienza, 70 km. southeast of Siena, 124 km. southeast of Florence and 186 km. north of Rome is the Tuscany’s medieval city known as Montepulciano. This city on a hill is largely famous for its red wine and some food items such as cheese, lentils, honey, pasta and pork.

Such a small city but with its nature-friendly landmarks around, your vacation will still be a grand in here. Your first stop should be the Piazza Grande. The one amazing thing about this piazza is its ancient but incredible walls and buildings. Walking in this piazza feels as if you are in an old-age chessboard with artistic towers all around the corner. The clock tower in Palazzo Comunale is truly a center attraction and a joy to visit. For just a little fee, you can climb the top to see the bird’s-eye-view of the hill city. 

Wines & Architectures

Are you thirsty? Do you think it’s time to drink wine? No problem, Montepulciano offers you the best wines-tasting in the world. Just situated at the basement of Piazza Grande is the 13th-century, Contucci Palace. Here, you’ll immediately notice barrels and cellars full of high-quality wines and olive oils. The most popular being the Vino Nobile.  

After sipping wines, rest a while and pay a visit to museums, churches and restaurants the next day. The Civic Museum in Palazzo Neri-Orselli is probably the most famous in the city where there’s a massive display of Tuscan Paintings, Robbia Ceramics and Etruscan Artifacts. 

You’ll realize how grateful the nature is if you see the San Biago Church at the center of a gardenlike-setting surrounded with tall and verdant trees. Thanks to Antonio da Sangallo for making San Biago Church the home of relish harmony and real serenity.

Let’s Eat!

Two of the stand-out restaurants in Montepulciano are Ai Quattro Venti and Osteria dell’Aquacheta. The former is recommended for its pasta sprinkled with fresh porcini. The latter is known for nice fine dining specializing in pastas and salads for only Five Euros. Other fantastic restaurants in Montepulciano are: the outstanding services in Ristorante Le Logge del Vignola, the highly-impressive ambiance in Osteria del Leone and the fanciful and pleasant dining setting in La Grotta, located just across the San Biago Church.

First-rate Beaches at Versilia

When the Summer Heat is on, there are millions of beach destinations in the world to visit but please, never forget the Versilia in your list. This is a region in the province of Lucca, Tuscany. 

For you to know--- the Versilia has one of the nicest coastal stretches extending from Liguria to Pisa and the coolest part is; it offers clean sandy beaches, clean water, good production of marbles and cool villages. The largest beach town is being the Viareggio. 

The nicest aspect of visiting Viareggio is its variety of interesting sceneries and fun activities. Once there, you can enjoy swimming and snorkeling at their clear beaches, eat delicious seafood at their restaurants and have the great nightlife till you drop. 

Do you want to visit the marble producing resort? Your destination should be Marina di Carrara. Touring their marble quarries and museum is such a delightful experience and just bathe in their awesome sandy beaches later on.

Another a must-visit attraction is the Forte dei Marmi. This resort targets the affluent Italians who can afford the five-star hotels, designer clothes and expensive accommodations at their bathing establishments.  These are probably the reason why Forbes tagged Forte dei Marmi as one of the World’s Topless Beaches in the world. 

Apart from the mentioned above, you can even appreciate the artistic environment offered to you by Ronchi and the adventures in-stored for you by the five-kilometer-sand-stretch in Marina di Pietrasanta. 

Staying Where

If you have difficulties finding where exactly to stay, you can do a direct booking online and if you want, you can study the map prepared for you there. Perhaps, you can choose to stay at Lerici. This is an attractive village situated near the coastline or get around the little city of Sarzana. Here, you can hop around the restaurants around; one by one per day and if you want, write a blog post about your experience after.  

The Friendly Commons Cafe and Eatery, Foxborough, MA

Article by Eric H.
If you're looking for a restaurant that brings you back to a time when friendliness and good manners mattered, then the Commons Cafe and Eatery fits the bill without having to pay a big bill.

Located in quaint, downtown Foxborough, MA, with its classic New England look of tall white steeple churches, a scenic town common, public school, old homes, and little shops, the Commons Cafe and Eatery specializes in hearty, well-prepared breakfasts and lunches at budget-friendly prices. Small in size and big in heart, the cozy Commons Cafe and Eatery does have that yesteryear look with plain carpeting, booths, tables and a diner-like counter where the locals strike up good conversation over cups of coffee with the staff. The food ranks up there with the best of the "townie" restaurants, but what's most prominent about the Commons Cafe and Eatery is the good feeling you get while dining there. The wait staff goes well beyond the stock "Hello, how are you?" greeting by building friendships with the local crowd, creating new ones with the first-time customers, and maintaining their graciousness with all people throughout the whole meal. How many times can we remember, at other restaurants, initially being treated well and then being completely ignored -- sometimes waiting 15 minutes for the check? At the Commons Cafe and Eatery, it's almost liked you've arrived at a favorite relative's home. This is a place to, say, take the family after church on a Sunday morning or relatives from out-of-town, have a business lunch or for an out-of-town trucker looking for a down-to-earth dining spot along the way. It's the ultimate diner without technically being a diner.

As mentioned, the food is very good -- you can't go wrong with the chocolate chip pancakes, omelets, muffins, club sandwiches, wraps, turkey dinner, baked haddock, Greek salad loaded with feta cheese or apple pie with maple syrup and vanilla ice cream, as examples. Admittedly, you could find this type of food at other places, but the nice people at the Commons bring this popular Foxborough restaurant to another level. We don't personally know the staff, but felt like we did -- and will, no doubt, get to know better at ensuing meals. It just goes to show that friendliness and good manners never go out of style. Isn't this small- town America goodwill to customers ultimately what brings them back?

The Commons Cafe and Eatery
20 Central St
Foxborough, MA 02035
Tel. 508-543-4432

St. Martin Cathedral at Lucca, Tuscany

Lucca is a historic city in Tuscany, Italy. This city is best known for its impressive architecture like old churches, art galleries and art museums. 

Speaking of old churches, you must not forget to visit the giant columnar-inspired arcades of the Italian Duomo or the Cathedral of St. Martin

Some reports clam there’s no lucid indications of this basilica but to some, they believed this Gothic-inspired architecture was built in 1063 lead by Pope Alexander II.  The eye-catching façade and three arches were added in 1204 where you can now see the historic painting of St. Martin with the Poor Man. If you go to the left portal, you surely appreciate the works of Nicolo Pisano.

The next attraction to be applauded next to the façade is the bell-tower, which was finished in 13th century. Inside this tower are the hanging arches and single to four-shaped windows and if you stand at the center of the area, you notice its asymmetrical shaped background.

What’s Inside?

Entering inside the Cathedral feels so brilliantly good for first-timers. You can immediately notice its octagonal-shaped temple in the farthest end where lays the relic of Volto Santo di Lucca.  Nicodemus sculptured the wooden corpus.  

Inside the Nave is the cedar-wood appearance of the crucifix, where the Christ wore long sleeveless clothing. The color of the clothing was reportedly changed from red to blue symbolizing martyrdom. 

Take a look at the statue for at least three minutes and you can somehow recognize as if the wooden statue is moving. This sense of imaginary movement is due to the elaborate positioning of the symmetrical lines of the cross. 

Other historic masterpieces in Lucca for you to explore are Tomb of Ilaria del Carretto by Jacopo della Quercia, Madonna and Child with Saint Peter, Saint Clement and Saint Sebastian by Ghirlandaio, Adoration of Magi by Zuccari and of cource, Tintoretto’s The Last Supper.

Greats, Delights, Nature-enchantment in Chianti Classico Wine Territory

If you are looking for farm house and villa resorts to stay during the vacation, the Chianti Classico Wine Territory is the place you are looking for. With its panoramic farmland setting, you can surely experience the life in search for peace and true happiness away from the noise and crowd of urban living.

Basically, the Chianti is a small province in Tuscany located exactly in Central Italy. The Chianti Classico is only a zone in Chianti Wine Area and it regularly offers you the best vacation stay at their beautiful farmhouses, holiday-rentals in the hills and tiled-flooring rooms and apartments. 

Talking about the wineries in Chianti Classico, there are various attractions you must visit to taste the wine delight. One of those wineries is the Podere San Cresci that is located in the Chianti Hills just above the Greve in Chianti. Independent winery Sergio Ballini owned this large and clean-surrounding winery.

Another a must-see winery is the Antico Borgo di Sugame, which is ran by Lorenzo and Catrina Miceli. Visiting this winery guarantees a special and caring atmosphere, especially in their 28-year-old vineyard, for your whole family and friends. Sugame offers you delicious wines to taste. They have Sangiovese Grape with small deeps of Cabarnet Sauvignon, the best vintage of Sugame Riserva, the high-quality taste of Sugame IGT Rose and the pure sangiovese and the everyday-drinking Bosco Grosso.

You surely want to go back in Podere Sagna once you went there for the first time. The place doesn’t produce wines but they can give you the best organic olive oil in town. Sunbathing in their water resort is surely a dive. 
Other attractions worth your visit in this town are: Poggio all’Olmo, Villa Saint’Andrea, Le Centnelle, Fattoria Tregole, Le Torre di Melazzano and Agriturismo Patrizia Falcani. 

Don’t worry if you are confused where to go first, you can choose to hire their licensed tour guide. The tour guide will introduce you to hundreds wineries on the area while riding on an air-conditioned minibus. 

Another option to consider blasting your vacation trip to Chianti Classico is the travel incentives. This special winter offer allows you to enjoy a full luxurious weekend at Villa Felceto, delicious meals at Dario Cecchi’s Restaurant and wine-tasting activities at Castello Vicchiomaggio. 

Planning a Hotel Vacation in New England

Article and photo (Concord's Colonial Inn, Concord, MA) by Eric H.

Over the past few months, we have worked hard to bring you an improved, easy-to-read and use New England Lodging Guide. With thousands of hotel listings, we're confident that you'll find the ideal place to stay in the six state region at the lowest available rate -- in Connecticut, Maine, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Rhode Island and Vermont. Very importantly, we are affiliated with IHS, a highly ethical company that provides us with the hotel listings and wonderful customer support, so we are grateful for this nexus as we, at, place values and ethics at the forefront of our "local" business vision and mission.

While we feel you'll find the hotel pages quite valuable to your New England trip planning, we also felt a strong desire to "give back" to our those in need. We will be donating 5 per cent of our hotel commission earnings to Brookview House, a homeless shelter for families located in Dorchester, MA. The Brookview House mission is to assist homeless families in the development of skills necessary to break the cycle of poverty.

If you're comfortable booking online, please consider's Hotel Guide. Not only will you find it easy to book online at the lowest available rate but you are also supporting a local, independently-run New England travel business that, in turn, will be supporting an organization helping homeless people through our hotel commission earnings. Whether single, a family, or non-profit, corporate or small business, we encourage you to use our lodging guide. We'd also appreciate you helping spread the word about our locally-created hotel guide. Thanks, and if you ever have any questions, please feel free to contact me.

Local New England Tea Company Introduces Organic Tea Line

Article by Eric H.

You might not be aware that one of America's great tea companies is located right here in New England.

Bigelow Tea, of Fairfield, CT, is perhaps best known for its Constant Comment tea, a delicious traditional black tea flavored with orange rinds and sweet spice. Some other well-known Bigelow teas include Cinnamon Stick, Lemon Lift and Raspberry Royale. We are delighted that Bigelow has taken its quality tea product line to the next level with some fantastic-tasting organic teas. Particularly tasty is the full-bodied green tea, as well as the white tea with a nice touch of raspberry and chrysanthemum. Other organic flavors we look forward to trying are the green tea with pomegranate and acai (two recently popular antioxidant-rich fruits), and Earl Grey tea.

It's nice to see the USDA Organic label from a major tea tea company, thus eliminating any concerns about potential toxic carriers like pesticides and artificial flavors and colors. We always appreciate local New England businesses turning out quality products; Bigelow certainly meets that personal criteria.

Read more about Bigelow's organic tea line...

In Focus: The Leaning Tower of Pisa

There are various marvelous attractions nearby but still and until now, the City of Pisa in Tuscany is widely known for its Guglielmo & Pisano Leaning Tower.

This freestanding tower tends to lean to the southwest (about 5.5 degrees) due to poor constructional foundation in 1173. If you are going to measure it all up, the Leaning Tower has a height of 183.27 ft on the lowest side while 186.02 ft on the highest side. The whole tower weighs at 16,000 short tons and if your planning to lose weight, climbing its 296 steps thrice a week is probably enough to get fit.

Brief History

The construction began in 1173 with pillars and arches as the ground floor. With plans and designs originally made by Guglielmo and Bonano Pisano. When Pisano died, Giovanni di Simone completed the construction of the tower in 1264. In 1360-1370, the Gothic-Romanesque architectural design was passed to Tommaso di Andrea Pisano, where seven bells are installed inside the tower. 

Further surface restoration from corrosion and blackening continued in 1990 until 200. Seventy metric tons were removed in May 2008 to ensure its deep-rooted foundation that can last for at least two decades. 

What It Feels 

Standing outside the tower while photographing a top-view shot feels like you are the courageous David in front of an immobile Goliath. Going inside the entrance door can really be hair-raising for those first timers but when you see the largest bell on the ground floor (L’assunta), its classic ingenuity is not a disappointment.
The narrow and almost shrunken staircase from the seventh to the next level seems spooky at first but as you reach the top, the view from the top is completely a breathtaking experience not to be ignored. Don’t worry, it’s allowed to bring cameras and video cams but refrain from leaning to the protecting balusters around.

Children less than eight years old are not allowed inside the tower and those who suffer from any forms of vertigo are discouraged.    
As of the writing of this content, visiting the Leaning Tower depends on the availability of the tour guides and the weather during the visit. An advance booking is necessary at their ticket office or before your visit; you can stay at their nearest hotels nearby. 

Other Attractions in Pisa

Apart from the Leaning Tower, try to tour the City of Pisa with stops at the Romanesque dome known as the Battistero, the art collection of frescoes at Campo Santo Monumentable, the preserves masterpieces at Museo del Opera del Duomo and the incredible murals in Museo delle Sinopie. The ever-first University Botanical Garden of Europe is also a must-visit. 

What to See in Cortona, Tuscany?

Cortona is a small town situated in the province of Arezzo, Tuscany. Touring around this town can be more enjoyable if you choose to walk but if you are visiting churches and castles in hills, it is advisable to tour by car especially if you are traveling with little kids.

A pious person can surely enjoy his stay at Cortona due to the various churches surrounding the town. The most beautiful and most popular being the Santa Maria delle Grazie as this is included in the UNESCO World Heritage. Going inside this church, you’ll surely be amazed by its Gothic-inspired Nave. 

What more if you have seen the da Vinci’s famous work of art, The Last Supper. The church is also known for its brilliant semicircular angles known as the apse. The gothic-romanic apse was believed to be made by Donato Bramante.

Other churches you must explore in Cortona are II Duomo that offer free admission, Church of San Niccolo, of Santa Margherita, of San Domenico and of San Benedetto. 

After visiting churches, you need to proceed to museums. The city of Cortona houses two great museums, the Diocesan Museum (in Piazza del Duomo) and the Museum of Etruscan Academy. The former is tagged as the most important in Tuscany and the place you should be when you want to dig the masterpieces during the 14th and 15th century. The latter is of architectural significance due to its historic beginnings in 13th century. Just located on Piazza Signorelli, the Entrusan Academy is a seasonal museum worth your visit in April-October and November-March. 

Shopping is also fun in Cortona. If you know what you are looking for, you can find several large chain stores with rare and affordable goods. Here, gold and jewelry are sold in fair price. As you continue to tour the town, various clothing shops will meet your way. After shopping, you need to taste the city’s best sweet delights in Pasticceria Banchelli or drink a sip in Wine Bar La Casa Gialla. 

Another best thing in Cortona is its hotels and apartment. They are all over the small town and there’s no way why you can’t choose the one that fits your budget and lifestyle. The Hotel Italia and Alberto Ristorante Portole are only two of the fourteen of the most affordable rent-a-house and apartments in the city. There are twelve mid-range hotels and only one in the splurge department. The Casa Portagioia offers excellent services and accommodations at 170 Euros in peak seasons. 

Sydney, Brisbane & Melbourne: The Must-Visited Cities in Australia

The country is the home of the international actors such as Hugh Jackman, Russel Crowe and the late Health Ledger. It’s also tagged as the multicultural country in the south where Sydney is the most largest and populous. No need for you to doubt, Australia is one of the leading destinations when you’re looking for fun and pure escapade. 

The goal of the article is to tell you the nicest spots you must visit in the three largest cities in Australia and that include Sydney, Brisbane and Melbourne.

In Sydney, series of attractions can be seen. These attractions range from theme parks, sports and recreation, museums, food and wine industries, art etc. A must-visit attraction is the Centennial Parkland. This is a 360-hectare open space situated just minutes away from city’s popular beaches in the east. The whole park is divided into three: The first being the 189-hectare Centennial Park, which is the home of blooming flora and fauna and other tree plantings. The second park is the 26-hectare Queens. It is regularly used for informal recreation and sports like soccer and cricket. The third is the 115-hectare Moore Park houses range of leisure activities and playing fields. Tennis, golf, netball, football, it’s all here!

In Brisbane, one of the most famous attractions is the free admission in South Bank Parklands. Once you’re here, you’ll surely enjoy the various scenes of the formal gardens, explore the insides of historical Nepalese Temple, swim and chill at their lagoon, be wowed with their the tropical vegetation and get roll on the Kangaroo Point Cliffs. You can also experience the Best Land Attractions by visiting the River Tour that allows you to cruise the Brisbane’s historical sites using a riverboat at only $55. The Frasier Island Tour is also a popular getaway among the Aussies and the tourists. For $ 150, you can tour the breathtaking beaches and exotic freshwater lakes and beaches.  

In Melbourne, your itinerary should include the Melbourne Zoo. This is the Parkville with a natural-setting feel. What’s more exciting than seeing those native species of animals like koala, panda etc. You can also attend their weekend event (Jazz at the Zoo) where there is fun-filled music and picnic all night long. Southern’s largest museum is doubtlessly of the best. You can walk through the seven main galleries and exhibits.

Of course, the Melbourne’s Pride is their Rod Laver Arena. This 14,820 seating-capacity Melbourne Park Complex is not only the venue of Australian Open (the first grand slam event of the year) but also hosts of special events like motorbike super-crosses, music concerts and the world wrestling. In fact, the Rod Laver hosted the World Championship Wrestling in 2000. The arena receives over one million visitors each year. 

Serbia: Belgrade’s Pride

The city is not a big name compared to London or Paris but thanks to Ana Ivanovic and Novak Djokovic, this White City (as what its name literally means) has been a household name in the tennis circuit. This is Belgrade, the city capital of Serbia. Years after its violent history, its rich culture and diversified architecture become a leading hub in Southeastern Europe.

Belgrade is now known as the rising and energetic city ready to splash out its tourism potential. The mode of living has improved massively. Their flag carrier airline, Jat Airway, now operates in nearly forty destinations worldwide. 

As you visit Belgrade, the number one tourist attraction not-to-ignore is the Kalemegdan Belgrade Fortress Complex. The Fortress is located on the rocky ridge of Sava and Danube Rivers. You can either travel to the Upper Town or Lower Town but don’t ever forget to visit the cakewalk of the complex, the KALEMEGDAN PARK. 

The Insides of Kalemegdan Park

Once you’re in Upper Town, you’ll see the top section of the awe-struck and breathtaking views of Kalemegdan Park. This portion is known as the Gornji Grad. Here, you can have the chance to tour its Observatory and Planetarium, cakewalks in the spaces of The Victor, explores the mysteries in the Roman Well and of course, plays tennis and basketball like a pro in their court stadiums.

The Donji Grad has a slope going down the riversides and the organizers of the Park decidedly created a Greek Museum in it. The eastern section of the park, known as the Mali Kalemegdan, borders the urban part of the city. Here, you’ll see special spots such as the Belgrade Zoo in the northern area and the art pavilion (Cvijeta Zuzoric).

The Great Kalemegdan or Veliki Kalemegdan is the southern part of the park and there are various aspects of gems to explore in this area. If you are want to understand the seeds of yesterday, you must go to Military Museum. If you are into hunting, visit the Museum of Forestry. If you want to see Serbian courageous past, take a glimpse of their Monument of Gratitude to France. 

Other incredible must-see views in Kalemegdan Park are the Despot’s Gate, Zindan Gate, the St. Petka Chapel, the Ruzica Church, the Institute for the Cultural Movements, the Gun, the Orthodox Cathedral and try appreciating the basic elements such as the falling leaves, the trees and the bridges.    

Going to Belgrade to See Kalemegdan?

Booking a travel package to Belgrade is easier said than done. So, better book it online and months before your departure to avoid expensive rates. If you want, you can stay at hotels and inns near the Kalemegdan Park for easier travel.

The Magic in Florence

Churches & Museums

Florence is the artistic and architectural region of Tuscany, Italy. Traveling here allows you to experience the Birthplace of Renaissance. All over the city are the historical museums and galleries. Looking at these amazing masterpieces like The Duomo and the old bridge of Ponte Vecchio can surely mark bliss in your heart. 

Also in Florence are the majestic Cathedrals. If you are a pious person, you surely enjoy hopping to these churches: The Brunelleschi’s Cathedral & Dome, The San Miniato Al Monte, The San Lorenzo, The Santa Trinita and The Santo Spirito. These are only the best five of the many. 

After praying, do you think it’s a good time to explore the work of arts? Of course, yes. Florence houses the two of the most crowd-pleasing art galleries in the world. These are the Uffizi and the Pitti Palace. From there, you can also get in touch with the two of the sculptural collections: the Duomo Museum and the Bargello. Of course you must not fail to forget the Michelangelo’s David, the tomb of Pope Julius 11 (also by Michelangelo) and the Academia. 

Are you in for the adventure of a lifetime? How about climbing the Giotto’s Bell Tower? Being at the top of this 1359 tall attention-seeking building is like reaching for the gems in Heaven. But beware, the smallest bell you can find inside this superstructure weighs 1,000 lbs. Other must-see adventurous attractions are the Piazzale Michelangelo and the church at San Miniato.

Fashion, Beaches and Getting Around

Florence is also known as the hub of fashion. Everywhere you look; there are branded shops and outlets ranging from Gucci, Prada, Armani, Ferragamo etc. The only perceived problem you can have is money, right? But if you are consistently shopping around, you eventually search for good and quality deals. If you are having your first vacation in Florence, you should try the perks in San Lorenzo Market.

Wanting to get wet is no-problem in Florence. Clear-sand beaches and all sorts of coastlines are just around the corner. Having a family escapade is perfect at Marina di Carrara. Seeing the marbles down the quarries is really a must-try at Marina di Massa. Forte dei Marmi was once included in the filming of Oscar’s Best Picture, The English Patient. Elegancy and nightlife are not a disappointment at Viareggio. Enjoying the rocky type of coast is truly an experience of a lifetime in Marina di Cecina. Other great water attractions in Florence are San Vincenzo, Barrati, Piombino, Elba, Il Golfo di Follonica, Punta Ala, Castigliona Della Pescaia and Marina di Grosseto.

Getting around Tuscany can be done through walking, biking, riding a taxi or a bus. There are various travel tours in the city, assisting you with your itinerary. The Driving Guide Tours and Context Florence are only two of the many. If you are comfortable with pedaling, you can rent a bike upon your arrival in the city. Various hotels, on a budget, on a mid-range and on-a-splurge, are also scattered everywhere. 

You see, visiting Tuscany is having your memorable getaway. All the fantastic and the dazzling are here. All you need to do is research it online and do the advance booking to enjoy your stay.

Great of Wall of China

Brief History

The Great Wall of China was originally built to protect the boarders that separate Chinese Empire and Xiongnu in 5th-16th century BC. During the construction, an estimate of three million Chinese workers died and the Wall had to be revived several times just to preserve its historical origins. That time, the only construction materials used were only stones and wood.

The Great Wall of Today

Today, the Great Wall of China is not only one of the great wonders in the world but also the one noticeable work of art visible to human eye from the outer space. The entire wall stretches four thousand miles from east to west. The peak wall, which is known as the Ming Wall, is surely a top-of-the-world breathtaking view everyone must explore.

Due to erosions and sandstorms, the height of the Wall is reduced to less than a couple of meters. Many construction workers believe that if most sections of the Wall are made up of mud, the Wall is susceptible to the hazards of soil erosion.

What to See in Great Wall 

Traveling to Beijing is incomplete without visiting the Great Wall. The Great Wall is the heart of Beijing and there are three remarkable here. These are North Pass or better known as the “Badaling.” The Badaling is mainly used for the protection. It is 7.8 meters high and 5 meters wide.

The second area is the “West Pass” or the fort situated near the western edges of the Wall. The last area is the “Pass of Shanhaiguan” or the fort near the eastern edges of the Wall. 

On the south east side is the “Mutianyu.” This is the Wall that connects the Juyongguan Pass in the west and the Gubeikou in the east. Walking through this 1.3 miles path can really be good for your heart and legs.

Another must-see attraction in the Great Wall is the “Liao Tian Ling.” This is the wall in the west part and is completely short compared to others, only two or three stories high. The stone used in constructing Liao Tian Ling is filled with high-quality metal resulting to its silvery appearance all the time.

The most stand-out area in Great Wall is the “Ming.” It is situated at the peak portion of the Wall and it runs eleven kilometers long, five to eight meters in height, six meters from the bottom and five meters across the top.   

Being there!

These days, visiting the Great Wall is as easy as eating pie. All you need to do is go online, book for some Beijing Travel Packages and without knowing it, you’re all packed for the adventure of a lifetime. Near the Great Wall are the Local Inns waiting for your arrival. 

There are also 4-5 days tours to choose from. Usually, a Beijing Travel Service will already include your personal tour guide, your driver and a series of convenient amenities like shooting and spa.

Palawan: The Philippine Pride

Palawan is a long and thin island in the Philippine Archipelago, stretching 650 kilometers from northeast to southwest. The whole island is blessed with hectares of lands and tropical forests. The Puerto Princesa, its capital city, is known as the nature’s lovers paradise due to its various beaches and wildlife reserves. 

There are various attractions in Palawan and the truth is; one day is not enough to explore all these greatness. Let’s name the three of the great unseen but famous attractions. The first is the Calauit Game Preserve & Wildlife Sanctuary in Calauit Island, Busuanga is one of those extraordinary game reserves of exotic and endemic animals from Africa. If this place is still not enough for you, you should be heading in National Road, Barangay Irawan to see the Palawan Wildlife Rescue and Conservation Center. This center is the home of the endangered species of crocodiles and also houses a mini-zoo for other endemic animals in Palawan. Also in Busuanga is the diving hub of Coron Bay. Here, the best activities are not limited to snorkeling but alo open to safari exploration and collecting rough limestone along the cliff.

Three of the unforgettable natural wonders in the world are found in Palawan. These are El Nido Natural Reserve, Tabon Caves and Tubbataha Reefs. The 96,000-hectare of El Nido offers only the best verdant landmasses and azure seascapes. Myriad marine life is found in El Nido, from sea cows, manta rays to the tropical fishes, it’s all here!

The El Nido Resorts are also known for its hidden lagoons, palm forests, orchids, and offshore cruise points. The accommodation inside these resorts is cozy. They provide range of recreational facilities and aqua sports equipment necessarily for your get-go.

The Tabon Caves is truly an archeological treasure as this is the home of series of twenty-thousand-year-old fossils, artifacts preserves and other livelihood implements. The caves are located in Lipuua Point, Quezon, Palawan, just 155 kilometers south of Puerto Princesa. 

The 33,000 hectares of Tubbataha Reefs, which is located 98 miles southeast of Puerto Princesa, are the Philippine Largest Marine Reserve where you can immediately find manta rays, reef sharks, a plethora of tropical fish, and giant sea turtles around the corner. If you are a marine biologist, you’ll surely enjoy your stay at Tubbataha.  

The great national park is in Palawan. The Subterranean River National Park boasts its exquisite stalactites, glass-ice texture of seawater pools, different species of animals and opaque verdant forest. 

Boracay: The Philippine Summer Escapade

Most Filipinos can think of only one place when the summer sun is on. The place is one of those tropical island situated just 200 miles south of Manila going two kilometers northwest of Panay in Western Visayas. The place is also under the administrative supervision of Philippine Tourism Authority. Who doesn’t know the place? Who doesn’t want Boracay?

These days, traveling to Boracay includes series of perks and gems. First off is the means of transportations. Rides are found everywhere. You can ride motor-tricycles, mountain bikes, quadbikes and motorbikes. Bancas and trampolined-boats are to be rented when you want to tour the island by water.

Boracay is a perfect summer destination due to its cool weather brought by Amihan and Habagat. These two are seasonal patterns and Amihan means the cool wind coming from the northeast while Habagat means wind from the southwest. 

The Amihan weather strikes every September, October or sometimes, it’s May or June. When Amihan begins, daytime temperatures start in 25-32 degrees Celsius stretching to 28-38. On the onset of Habagat, the island experiences tropical storms and temperatures fall to twenty degrees Celsius.

Apart from the tropical weather, Boracay is also the centerpoint of luxurious hotel, amenities, and fun-filled activities. The moment you step on the white sand, there are three stations you can choose from. The location of Station 1 is the right place for you when you seek for peace and tranquility. The Station 3 is the area for cheap lodgings while the Station 2 is for those who want to stay near the island’s bars.

Resorts, Food & Events…

There are over 3500 resorts scattered all over the place and the decision where to stay depends upon the tourist. Room prices vary from time to time and for this, it is advisable to take advantage of the off-peak rates. The rooms are usually expensive during the summer season but it’s still best to ask for any discount packages.   

The Casa Camilla Boracay is one of those affordable hotels in the island of white. The hotel is located at the boat station three. Another is M.R. Holidays Hotel. This is a two-storey building with thirteen rooms and also near the beach.

The Fat Jimmy Resort in station two is also a good choice. Here, the prices agree to your budget and the place offers the basic amenities you need daily. Other rooms to consider are: JMBS Cottages, Freckless Resort and Bamboo Lounge.

A trip to Boaracay is not a delight without splurging the food. Exquisite buffets and restaurants are all over and you must try the Aria’s Italian Food, the True Food’s Indian Cuisine and the Sea Wind’s Buffet. After eating, getting massage is ideally for grabs. Various and skilled masseuses are all over the place and having them in your side is a relaxation delight never to forget.
Special events are held in Boracay annually. The Asian Windsurfing Tour, Boracay International Funboard Cup and Dragon Boat are just three of the many activities. In fact, the Olympic Council of Asia declared that Boracay will host the 2014 Asian Beach Games.