Posts Tagged "Italy"
What could be more cliché than a post about “Best Beaches” on a travel blog? The only thing that comes to mind is refusing to put a post about “Best Beaches” on a travel blog.
With the two thirds of the earth covered with water, beaches are like Bernie Botts Every Flavor Beans (if you don’t know what that is, just ask your kids). There are some great ones and there are some that are just plain horrible.
Trying to suggest the best beach holidays to someone you know nothing about is pretty much the same as answering “what’s the best food on this planet?” to an extra terrestrial. It all depends on what you like.
The key to breaking this down into proper perspective is to look at your two basic beach goers: Me and my wife. My wife is perfectly happy to sit on a towel from sun up to sun down with a book she has to squint at, drinking a sandtini (two parts mojito and one part sand kicked in the glass by annoying Frisbee players). I, on the other hand, last for about 15 minutes before I am so bored I want to scream.
Now here’s the thing….I have sailed around the world a few times and have seen so many beaches that I have a certain kind of kinship to them. The way the watery tongue of the tide gently melts away the grainy sand, like a child licking a Snow Cone. There is that symphony of sea birds that makes Mozart bow his head in shame. No food vendor lined street in the world can compare with the delicious smell of where ocean hugs shore.
So yes while sitting on the beach all day has no appeal to me, I love the beach more than anyplace. I love to explore. It is in my blood to seek what is hidden. I love the solitude of the beach.
Antigua- All of the beaches on the island of Antigua are amazing. There are 365 to choose from. Interesting note: On a visit to Antigua, Queen Elizabeth went swimming in the ocean for the first time of her life because she could not resist the beauty of it. Unless you are on a yearlong holiday, you are not going to be able to visit them all. There is a great trick for finding the perfect beach on Antigua.
Step 1.) Get in a taxi and tell the driver to take you someplace that is a few miles away from where you are currently. It doesn’t matter where. While driving glance at your watch (if you believe in such useless items) or just wait until about 5 minutes has passed where you have not seen any houses, resorts or people in general.
Step 2.) Tell the driver that you want to stop here. Get out of the taxi and start walking until you see a foot path. There will be no signs, only worn earth from where people have walked before you. The path will lead to a beach soon enough. Chances are that the beach will be empty, or at the very least very few people. While the wife delves into the tales of Jackie Collins, the husband instantly transforms into a 12 year old Jim Hawkins.
Monaco’s Larvotto- One of the best parts about the beach is the social ladder is hidden behind the country club shed. This is the place to elbow your way in with the rich and famous. Not the most private, not the most beautiful, but definitely the best beach to people watch. This is the perfect place to feel luxurious and escape from the office cubicle (again-if you believe in such foolish contraptions). A stop here will also be sure to allow me the next pick when discussing options with my wife.
Santa Margherita Ligure Genoa- As previously stated I get bored sitting on the beach all day. When I am bored I eat. I could try, but I doubt I would find a place that has such unbelievably good food is Genoa Italy. The city is busy and the beach consists of a fleet of oil tankers. However, a few miles east, and not far from Monaco, Santa Margherita Ligure is the best of both worlds. It is a nice family beach with a playground for kids and most importantly…..food galore. This is the place where you can dine on Frutti de Mare without a black tie. Bare feet a
nd a splash of SPF30 are welcome here. Whenever I visit this beach I tend to eat a lot first. Then spread out on a towel for a long nap. My belly is happy and my wife is happy. For once she does not have to sit by herself while I am off flipping over stones looking for cool crawly things.
Hermit Island Maine- In all fairness I grew up here. This is the place where friends will gather around a campfire at night, steam lobsters in a pit and sing along to the one guy in the group that knows which end of the guitar to strum. Here memories are created. With so many rocky ledges to explore, coves to discover and sea mammals to make friends with, you will never get bored. Seals honk at you from the ledges while whales come in close and blow their spouts in a wave. A full day on the beach will only prime you for a night on the beach as well. The world slips away and solitude takes its place. The worries of putting more coins in the parking meter or getting back to the hotel in time for the dinner show are never invading thoughts on Hermit Island. You are more likely to see a deer strolling along the shore than a policeman looking for people with open bottles of wine. The former is likely and the latter is nil.
There is no list of the best beaches in the world. There are only stories of experiences had while at the beach. Even the term “at the beach” is absurd. If two thirds of the planet is water and only one third land, then why don’t we say I am going to “the land” for vacation?
No matter your reasons, a trip to the place where the water shakes hands with the sand is sure to be a memorable time of your life. There are many budget trips abroad that will get you to the beaches you desire.
High in the Piedmont region of Northern Italy, nestled at the base of the silent Alps, a city alive with commerce and cosmopolitan lifestyle proudly calls itself the first capital of Italy. Torino (Turin) was home to the 2006 Winter Olympics and arguably the automobile Mecca of the world.
Torino is a city of contrasts. The surrounding rural areas are picturesque and quiet as one would expect the Italian Alps to be. Within the sprawling urban area the ambiance drastically changes as visitors find themselves in a bustling metropolis comparable to any of the great cities of the world.
Cosmopolitan Torino is widely known for restaurants like Ristorante Arcadia and Ristorante Del Cambio 1757, fine art galleries like Galleria Sabauda and Galleria D’Arte Martano Di Dematteis Liliana, cathedrals, palaces, opera houses, lush gardens and busy piazzas. The contrasts continue as the old mingles with the new. Torino is built of a plethora of architectural magnificence in the style of baroque, rococo, neo-classical, and art nouveau, and is a wonderful place for Cheap Holidays Abroad
Museo Dell Automobile ,Carlo Biscaretti Di Ruffia, Museo della Marionetta Fondazione, Torino Musei are but a few of the many museums throughout the city which hold national treasures one would expect to find in the major museums of the world.
Far from Rome, the feel of Torino is more towards the French than the Italian. Much of the city’s beauty is fashioned after the city of Versailles designed by the Sicilian architect Filippo Juvarra. Within the city limits great castles such as Camino Castle, Castello di Razzano, Castello di Santa Vittoria and palazzi like Royal Palace of Turin or Palazzo Reale speckle the region as to suggest Torino is a city built for many kings. Romance and royalty topped with mystery and intrigue is the very foundation of Torino. Here is the home of the famous Shroud of Turin and the Italian royal family, House of Savoy.
One feels the electricity in the air when walking the city streets. For here is where great industry has produced some of the best automobiles in Italy and much of the International Space Station. The contrasts of Torino can be seen at every turn. Students learn modern science in ancient universities, modern public transportation carry visitors and residents alike to the medieval gardens, tended much in the same manner they have for more than 500 years.
Torino exists in the midst of many centuries, abandoning none, instead embracing the best of eras past, present and welcoming the future.
If it were possible to have a love affair with a region, Tuscany would never have a lonely night. The inspiration for countless works of art that diverge from brightly layered colors upon canvas, literature to stir the very soul of passion itself and movies that bring stinging tears and raucous laughs of joy is the Tuscan region of Italy.
Sienna, located approximately an hour away from Florence, rests in the heart of Tuscany. The rolling hills, like emerald and ochre blankets laid lovingly over mother nature’s favorite children. Siena personifies the natural beauty that has become one of the most painted rural landscapes in Italy. The town itself captures the heart of the countryside in it’s historic and unspoiled splendor.
When you imagine gothic architectural mastery and a medieval city, you would imagine Siena. Constructed to be a fortified city behind substantial, heavy walls on a modest mountain, Siena is the epitome of heritage. Automobiles are prohibited from most of the city, so you’re able to meander down ancient brick alleyways beneath imposing wall-to-wall homes.
In Siena, you’ll discover a tranquil lifestyle. This rural setting is no stranger to art and culture with two world class music schools and art classes for every medium reside here. Within the city walls you will find the essence of what Italy must have been like in the centuries past.
Away from the stone walls where the moss appears to be as ancient as the megalithic ramparts themselves is Piazza del Campo in the middle of the hub where the masses congregate in traditional cafés. While you gazing upon the surroundings the Duomo Cathedral towers above the city. Unlike other small Italian cities, the cathedral does not contrast with the structures around it. All of Siena holds the gothic, middle age architectural fashion that challenges one to discover a better gothic illustration in all of Europe.
Daily explorations bring about unusual little merchants shops, unbelievably pleasant folks and an over-all sense serenity.
At first glance Siena may seem like a sleepy village forgotten by the outside world, until you experience an event that rivals any in Europe. The Il Palio bareback horse race round the Piazza del Campo is really a sight to behold. The enjoyment commences a long time before the race when numerous neighborhoods challenge one another. The challenge occurs by means of bands walking through “enemy” neighborhoods in the middle of the night, creating an unholy racket. Ultimately, every neighborhood delivers a horse and rider during the day of the race. Bareback, the riders battle for neighborhood pride amongst a completely shouting crowd of people. The Italian equivalent of Spain’s running of the bulls can be found in Siena.
This single affair describes the year round pride and sense of community that all visitors will experience firsthand in this beautifully ancient Tuscan city.