One of the Italian big three, The Serene Republic of Venice is a mere skeleton of what it once was. Still, its sinking bones glimmer brightly for the tourist to this unique island treasure.
Over the years we've poked into the nooks and crannies to come up with our favorite places to visit, nibble, quibble, quaff wine, and learn about the rise of Venice to a world power--and now we'd like to share them with you. Like any work of this nature, the story never ends, but gets added to and revised, painted over and rearranged, but this is our start of a "Complete" guide to the things we treasure about La Serenissima: Venice Travel Guide.
Lots of people search this site looking for tips on travel safety. Well, here's one: how 'bout a slipping a SLAB magic RFID travel wallet into one of your more out-of-the-way pockets? The SLAB is a thin, three-plate metal wallet that's made of your choice of titanium or aluminum. You can stuff it anywhere, even in unlikely places. You can put your big bills in one space and the little ones in another, so when you buy an ice cream you're not flashing the big stuff you were going to use on that Bistecca Fiorentina.
You can't buy one quite yet. But you can invest in the concept. You see, this is a Kickstarter project that ends on March 5th. Check it out. Invest if you're so inclined. Seems they need quite a few more dollars to start making something artisanal to put in your pocket.
You know what I like? It's the metal and the little, precisely driven screws that hold the whole deal together. It's like a fine camera, workmanship you don't see much of anymore. In a wallet. Think about that.
I want one.
Photo of the SLAB Travel Wallet used by permission
Reader Kathy Love, who spends part of her time at her home in southwest France, has come through with a great recommendation on where to stay when visiting Bruges. It's been incorporated into our Recommended Bruges Lodging page.
Kathy has also recommended a newly discovered underground cavern called Grottes de Maxanges, which we will soon incorporate into our Dordogne Maps and Travel Planner page.
So you're thinking about heading off to Europe for the first time. You're young, or at least young at heart. School is over, and now is the time to get a real education.
I've been thinking of what interested me as a first time traveler to Europe. It was a long time ago and Europe was relatively cheap for Americans, but the thrill of the great art cities was a tremendous force, pulling me toward Paris, London and Rome. Today there are new cities many of us didn't--or couldn't-- consider, like Berlin, for example.
So I've put together an article of ideas on where to go and what to do for twenty-somethings: European Destinations for Young Travelers.
Bruges is one of the world's great small cities. Getting there is relatively easy, whether you're coming into Brussels on the Eurostar from London, or from other cities in Europe. If you need detailed transportation instructions for public transportation or for driving, we have them: Getting to Bruges or Ghent from Brussels.
The compelling travel destination of Porto, Portugal has been raking in the awards lately, so if you like to plan a vacation around the latest hot destination, don't forget Porto!
For budget travelers, Porto was recently named "the best hostel destination in the world" by voters in the 12th edition of the Annual Hostel Awards by Hostelworld. Remember you don't have to be a youth to stay in today's hostels.
On the heels of that honor, Portugal's second largest city was selected as the "Best European Destination" of the year by the European Consumers Choice. It's the second time in three years Porto has been thus honored.
Seems it's a good year for Porto.
Inspired by our Trekking Luxembourg article (I'm very proud to say), Glenn Rossi has stepped up to the plate to design a special walk, the Annual Luxembourg Walk for Human Rights. The walk will take place this summer (it starts the 20th of July 2014), and you can see the walk as it is being designed on the Annual Luxembourg Walk for Human Rights Facebook page, where you can also interact with Glenn and get more information.
If you're thinking of planning a walk on green and less traveled parts of Europe (and don't want to walk alone) why not check this one out?
Sometimes when you wander around ruins like Ostia Antica outside of Rome (and one of Rome's top day trips), you often wonder what the places would have looked like in antiquity, when folks where still maintaining the houses, shops and public buildings.
I've discovered a wonderful short video that uses overlays to tell the story of Ostia as well as the big port just down the Tiber from Ostia called Trajan's Port or Portus, the main port of Rome for 500 years.
Take a look: Ostia antica e porto di Traiano.
Have you ever wondered how the various methods of getting from one place to another in a public transportation rich Europe compare in time and price? How about a little hop (or meandering train ride--or white-knuckled car ride) over the alps from Bavarian favorite Munich to "La Serenissima", the serene Venice of your dreams? The contrast, the mountains, the green valleys, the canals--what a great trip between great cities to visit. Check out our guide to the most popular ways to get between Munich and Venice.
Oh, and don't worry about the picture. It a traffic jam in Naples. Kinda makes you want to take a train, does it not?
The release of the new movie, the Monuments Men, is a bit of a jumble, according to critics:
There are amazing and fascinating stories to be told about the real group of 345 men and women from 13 countries who made up the Monuments Men. Unfortunately, The Monuments Men movie does not tell any of those stories and instead serves up an incoherent mess that leaves the audience only a tad bit closer to understanding what the real heroic Monuments Men went through in attempting to save art from being destroyed during World War II, track down artwork that had been stolen by the Nazis, and return pieces of art to their rightful owners (or at least the countries where the items were stolen from).
If you were confused (or expect to be confused) by the story line, why not go to Austria and discover one of the world's most amazing treasure troves of looted Nazi art, the Altaussee Salt Mines, where over 6500 pieces of the world's best art was salted away?
Ready to see what adventure can come out of getting the real story of the work of the Monuments Men? See: Altaussee Salt Mines Guide | The Mountain of Treasures.