Alcatraz Island, San Francisco, CA
Cable Car Corner, San Francisco, CA
Chinatown, San Francisco, CA
Coit Tower, San Francisco, CA
Lombard Street, San Francisco, CA
Lombard Street, San Francisco, CA
San Francisco, CA
Pier 39, San Francisco, CA
Pier 39, San Francisco, CA
Looking over Treasure Island
Treasure Island, San Francisco, CA
We all know America, or Americans....
After spending some time we hopped on to the bus again and went on to see the other majestic structures , The Roman forum and Palatine Hill looking down onto the Circus Maximus which was a track for Chariot races during medieval times , the Pantheon . Since we were sleep deprived we thought of closing the day early and on the way back something caught our eye that we hadn't seen earlier , showed the consciousness of Europeans about family planning .Read More
After spending some time we hopped on to the bus again and went on to see the other majestic structures , The Roman forum and Palatine Hill looking down onto the Circus Maximus which was a track for Chariot races during medieval times , the Pantheon . Since we were sleep deprived we thought of closing the day early and on the way back something caught our eye that we hadn't seen earlier , showed the consciousness of Europeans about family planning .
(continued) Check part 6 hereOn the 9th day of our trip, we moved from our Hotel Galileo in Padova towards Rome, the capital city of Italy, a distance of about 500 km. We had a city tour of the capital planned for that day.Rome is a Mecca for history buffs. It has a history spanning 2500 years. Among the most-visited cities in the world, Rome also surrounds the smallest country of the world, Vatican City from all sides. It has great monuments - the Colosseum, the Pantheon, Trevi Fountain etc. But more than that, what catches people's interests is the little details of this historical city - cobbled lanes and streets, vivid colours, hidden corners, and the aroma of freshly ground coffee coming from the many cafes that are dotting the roads. Apart from playing the host to some legendary events in the past, the city also serves you great food through its various piazzas, eateries and food joints.
15th JuneTime 2 PmTemp :- 14*CWhile in europe, flights costs very less and saves a lot the travel time also as compare to any other mode of transportation (If booked in advance).I did the same. Had an evening flight to Rome and reached around 11 30 pm to just to make it to the last bus to help me reach the hostel.Next 2 days were spent exploring each and every corner of Rome by foot. Rome has got some marvellous architecture dipped in gothic style.
Rome is a true mix of old and new. It’s a city that proudly flaunts its ancient history while it continues to evolve. It's a city that lives and breathes - it's dirty, crowded and noisy. It’s also beautiful, romantic and has a certain magical aura around it. It is proud of its grand monuments, that have stood strong against time and technology, but it is also reflective of the modernism and advancement happening around it. The cobbled lanes and hidden cafes, the gelato stands and coffee outlets - these details just add to the overall charisma of Rome.Cheapest Month To Fly: November 2017 from New DelhiMust See: The Colloseum, The Pantheon, Roman Forum, Trevi Fountain, Spanish Steps, Piazza Navona and The Vatican City.Must Eat: Other than pizza, pasta and gelato, do try Carciofo Ala Romana (stuffed artichokes), Torta Ricotta (ricotta cheese and sour berries cake), Maritozzo (sweet bread roll filled with whipped cream) and Coda Alla Vaccinara (tomato soup with stewed ox-tail).Must Do: Take a stroll along the oldest and longest road of Rome, via Appia Antica; Visit Quartiere Coppedè, a hidden fairy-tale neighbourhood; Visit Trajan’s Market and the ruins located on Via dei Fori Imperiali; Visit Mercato Monti, one of Rome's trendiest markets and visit the deconstructed church at Caracalla.Approximate Cost for a day: Attractions – Rs. 1000; Food – Rs. 1500; Inter-city travel via public transport – Rs. 500; Accommodation – Average cost for 1 night – Rs. 3000 on double occupancy.
As the saying goes “all roads lead to Rome”, so it’s no surprise that most travelers embark on a journey to the Eternal City at least once in their lives. Filled with history, ancient architecture, and some of the best food in the world, Rome is without a doubt one of the best cities in Europe.Back in February 2017 I had the chance to “do as the Romans do” and spend one week in the Capital. Here I’ve compiled a list of the top 10 things to do in Rome and I hope it will help you plan your own Roman Holiday.1. SANTA MARIA DELLA CONCEZIONE DEI
They say, Rome is never a bad idea, however we disagreed. We were welcomed in Rome with an almost cancelled flight and a mid-air robbery of 350 euros. That's how we will always remember Rome. But today when I look back, I can only laugh and miss the days spent wandering and roaming in Rome.From learning to read physical maps, to start making friends in the hostel and from walking endlessly for hours to treating yourself with world's best Gelato, Rome will always be loved and hated.
(f) Rome, our last destination was in our head infamous because of the scammers and pick pocketers warnings that one reads about. However, Rome, pleasantly surprised us by proving all this wrong. We were told 'bus no. 62 to Vatican is an abode of pick pocketers. Keep your bags in front of you'. It was exactly in the same bus that we met an immigrant from Senegal who got us an early entry into Vatican through his tourist guide brother and didn't ask for a dime. All he said was 'Be safe, Sister'.
The newest ship in the fleet, Celebrity Reflection is setting sail through Western Mediterranean in May. Embark in Rome and see the colours of Europe—the Colosseum in Rome, Gothic Quarter in Barcelona, the Rock of Gibraltar, and the party island of Ibiza. On board, you can catch concerts and attend theatre, enjoy French cuisine, or relax by the pools.Departure: Rome.Stopping at: La Spezia, Nice, Barcelona, Gibraltar, Malaga, Cartagena, and Ibiza.When: Eleven-day cruise starting May 8, 2017.Cost: US$949 upwards per person.COOL QUOTIENT
If Rome can be described as the city of ancient wonders then Florence is certainly the city of medieval marvels. Known as the cradle of Renaissance, Florence is also the birthplace of the most famous Italian poet - Dante Alighieri and the city where Leonardo da Vinci underwent his apprenticeship. But what amazed me is how underrated Florence is as a tourist destination. Whereas Rome is a pretty hyped up city, Florence is more of a hidden gem. It does not get the same glory as Rome but is certainly no less glorious. To use a cricket analogy, if Rome can be called Sachin Tendulkar then Florence is definitely Rahul Dravid.We chose to begin our sightseeing in Florence with Palazzo Vecchio as it was open till 7 pm which gave us sufficient time to explore it. This medieval palace cum fortress, originally built to host the members of city council and later used as a residence by dukes of Florence, currently serves as the town hall and contains mayor's office and other municipal offices.
My last destination within Italy was Venice, and I wanted do a brief pit stop somewhere before getting there. So bidding Florence goodbye, I headed for Bologna. Bologna is quite close to Florence and is well connected by train. It was Christmas eve and I didn't have elaborate plans, and Bologna seemed perfect.I lazily walked down the streets and walked into the cathedrals before reaching the foot of the Two Towers - Asinelli and Garisenda. It was quite surprising to learn that the Tower of Asinelli was the tallest leaning tower in Italy, much taller than the tower of Pisa (97 meters as compared to 56 meters).
The next morning, before leaving for Venice, I walked down to the University of Bologna - the oldest university of the world. Its alumni include Copernicus, Malfighi, Galvani, Marconi, Enzo Ferrari and had Dante Alighieri among others, as faculty.
3. A bread, bean and biscotti feast in FlorenceEvery turn in Florence will greet you with people feasting on bread and bean soup, and the mandatory Chianti wine.Eating Italy's food tour starts from Oltrarno, Italy's answer to Paris' Left Bank. Take delight in the region's Bohemian vibe, abuzz with students and artists in hipster cafes and an all-round vibrant culture. The tour is bound to give away a number of local food and restaurant secrets. Among the multitude of food and wine tastings, you'll also learn to make Italian cantucci (biscotti), sample locally made fennel salami or Finocchiona, Tuscan cheeses and crostinis, and stop at an authentic Italian trattoria (restaurant) for steaming hot soups. Don't leave before having Florence’s famous steak, Bistecca alla Fiorentina, and of course, end the tour with gelato.Read More
3. A bread, bean and biscotti feast in FlorenceEvery turn in Florence will greet you with people feasting on bread and bean soup, and the mandatory Chianti wine.Eating Italy's food tour starts from Oltrarno, Italy's answer to Paris' Left Bank. Take delight in the region's Bohemian vibe, abuzz with students and artists in hipster cafes and an all-round vibrant culture. The tour is bound to give away a number of local food and restaurant secrets. Among the multitude of food and wine tastings, you'll also learn to make Italian cantucci (biscotti), sample locally made fennel salami or Finocchiona, Tuscan cheeses and crostinis, and stop at an authentic Italian trattoria (restaurant) for steaming hot soups. Don't leave before having Florence’s famous steak, Bistecca alla Fiorentina, and of course, end the tour with gelato.
(b) When one talks of language barrier, Italy is the first point of reference and in Italy also, the Tuscany Region ranks number 1. Having said that, our maximum encounters with 'Humans of Europe' happened in Tuscany. One such was at a Farmer's market. My mother who is a local food enthusiast, on her own visited the Farmer's Market in Florence and returned with a bag full of local herbs, cheese and fruits. When we asked her how did you communicate with the Farmers (they only speak Italian and Spanish), she matter of fact replied 'With actions'. Also has learnt the recipe of local ravioli just through ACTIONS. The Italian farmers and my mother synced in so well that we had a dinner invite from a local farmer family and mother made made 'Dal Makhani' for them. The food at the dinner was what #foodgasm hashtag is for. The farmer's son who knew English, translated our conversation for them and their conversation for us. At the end, I felt as if I was sitting amongst my big, fat family from Punjab, giggling and laughing away to glory.
The homesickness eventually vanished as I travelled to the other cities. Florence was my next stop, which is a lovely town just four hours away from Rome by train. The hostel here was more like an inn that I booked through AirBNB. I made friends with guys from London and South Africa and am still in touch with them. It is amazing for slightly shy people like me that while travelling alone you are open to striking conversations and getting to know people, but when you have company, you are so comfortable with your companion that you don’t really want to make the extra effort of talking to strangers. Meeting new people transforms your worldview and makes you a totally different person. You no more want to dwell over the petty issues of life, which restricts you from doing so many wonderful things. Moving on, Florence was exceptionally beautiful and well-designed. I did not really spend any time standing in mind numbing queues to see any of the architectural marvels, but spent the days exploring the different parts of the city, climbing hills, and going to nearby villages. Florence falls in the Tuscan region, which is famous for its wineries. I would recommend to pre-book a tour to one of the wineries for a more authentic experience.
Day 09-10: Check out of Hotel Deko Rome. Take train from Rome to Florence. Check in Hotel Lungarno in FlorenceThe best way to see Rome and Florence is on foot. Walk through the myriad lanes and by-lanes, relive the medieval times and and savour the city. Visit colosseum, pantheon, Trevi, hand of truth, Duomo, academia to see David whatever you like; have delicious cheesecake at Babingtons (the best till date); get a caricature/portrait done; do some shopping - leather bags/gloves/belts/masks/perfumes etc.Reserve a day for Vatican, I liked St. Peter's Basilica in Vatican more than Sistine chapel. Make sure to book tickets in advance for Vatican, Colosseum, academia in Florence, Uffizi. Read up a bit on Christianity if u want to enjoy more. Listen to the music artists while watching sunset at one of the bridges in Florence; have Gelato at Vivoli. Cafe dell'oro serves great pasta.
Like you can't miss this amazing view of Florence, you also can't miss visiting Galleria degli Uffizi. It not only gives you a lesson on the evolution of art in Europe but also houses some of the greatest paintings of the world.
Florence is the birth place of Renaissance, so there is art in every corner, literally. Apart from the Renaissance period art and architecture, Florence is replete with street art.I made my way to Piazza della Signoria. The following photographs provide a glimpse of the magnificent sculptures of Renaissance era which are at display at the Piazza and along the way.
It was time to move on to the next stop on my trip map, Florence. Getting to Florence from Rome is simple, there are trains almost every hour from the Termini station. I took a slow train (3 hours journey time) as it was cheaper and would also allow me to enjoy the Tuscan landscape, not zip past at a breakneck speed.
Florence 3 days
Hostel: Ostello del Bigallo
Hostels don't get more scenic than Ostello del Bigallo. It is built on a monastery dating back to the 13th century. A beautiful garden upfront and panoramic view of Florence from the terrace adds to its charm. The only catch is that the hostel is an hour's ride from the city and involves a 2 km hike.
Hotel: Ginori al Duomo
The staff is extremely friendly and its location, a short walk from the train station, is ideal. However, there is no getting around the three story climb as the hotel doesn't have a lift.
Florence/ Firenze The next day, we head out to Florence or Firenze. I’m pretty proud of this segment of our trip since I knew exactly what I wanted to see and when. So, for the Tuscany region our base was Florence. We left Venice fairly early in the morning and were in Florence by 12 noon- checked into our lovely airbnb apartment by 1 pm. We had the whole day to our selves for exploring the city since the next we decided to go in for a day trip to Cinque Terre. We wanted to visit the Uffizi Gallery, but decided to skip the same and instead soak in the city by simply walking around and of course eating yummy food! We did visit the grand Duomo, checked out Piazza Michelango and sat down at the Loggia dei Lanzi and watched the beautiful Piazza della Signoria. Another smart move was to take a pass for a hop-on-hop-off bus. Initially, I thought that it looked a little foolish but trust me; you can do a lot with that bus pass. There are a couple of routes that the bus service has where it takes you through all the must see spots. If you want to get off, great. If you don’t, you can simply keep sitting. We also enjoyed a lovely pizza meal at Piazza Republica– one of the prettiest squares in the city, defined by its opulence.
Before leaving Treviso, I certainly fulfilled my promise to myself of going back to the places that I had visited on my first stroll through the city. Treviso fulfilled all my expectation of what Italian nightlife should be like. Crossing bridges across flowing waters and watching twilight change into evening in the city was a magnificent experience. In the evening we saw some tango dancers on the roads and despite being close to midnight the piazza was teeming with people having fun. Read More
Before leaving Treviso, I certainly fulfilled my promise to myself of going back to the places that I had visited on my first stroll through the city. Treviso fulfilled all my expectation of what Italian nightlife should be like. Crossing bridges across flowing waters and watching twilight change into evening in the city was a magnificent experience. In the evening we saw some tango dancers on the roads and despite being close to midnight the piazza was teeming with people having fun.
Day 13: Check out of Hotel Castello Vicchiomaggio in Chianti. Take bus/car from Chianti to Florence. Take train from Florence to Verona. Check in Hotel Giulietta e Romeo in Verona. Opera at Arena - Romeo and Juliet was magnificent; get seats closest to the stageRead More
Day 13: Check out of Hotel Castello Vicchiomaggio in Chianti. Take bus/car from Chianti to Florence. Take train from Florence to Verona. Check in Hotel Giulietta e Romeo in Verona. Opera at Arena - Romeo and Juliet was magnificent; get seats closest to the stage
18:00 h. Zurich – Arrival at the shores of Lake Zurich and free time to explore the monumental city centre. Visitors have a choice of Indian, Chinese, Italian and other restaurants in which to dine. Return to hotel about 22 hrs.Total distance: 180kmAlpine scenery in its purest essence.Note : please bring warm clothes and comfortable shoes to climb to the ski resort.09:00 h. Zurich – Departure.10:30 h. Eingelberg – Arrival. The trip includes a ride on the Trubsee cable car to the ski resort. We will continue ascending with the cable car to the top of Mount Titlis.15:00 h. We carry on to Lucerne.15:45 h. Lucerne – Arrival in time to explore one of the most interesting Swiss cities and see the KapellBrück, a covered bridge over the river Reuss, the Town Hall and Square with its Clock Tower and its pedestrian streets and elegant shops. Different options for lunch.18:30 h. Return to Zurich.
We all know a little bit of Verona , thanks to Shakespeare and his epic works specially Romeo and Juliet. I was shocked to know that this city in Veneto has a huge post office which receives letters addressed to Romeo or Juliet from all over the world and it even sends back replies. I saw lovers who go to the Juliet's balcony to make their love eternal. It was nice to know also that this city is a world heritage site. Verona is the place one would like to roam around for the whole day, so while walking here is what is not to be missed:-
- Arena di Verona:- this amphitheatre is one of the best preserved structures of its kind.
- visit Casa de Julieta:- this is said to be the house of Juliet, i was amazed to see so many peolpe coming from around the world to see the house if a person who never existed.
- sceneries of Lake Garda:- this largest lake in Italia is a hot holiday destination.
Verona is often buried in its Romeo & Juliet lore, however the city has much more than a classic romance to offer. Truly shaped under Roman rule, at times it can seem like a younger sister to Rome, especially with the Colosseum-esque Arena in the center of the city. Verona is a beautiful Italian city full of history and amazingly preserved. Explore the city on foot during the day, eat dinner and grab drinks in Piazza dei Signori, and view an open-air opera in the Arena di Verona at night.
This is the city of love; as Shakespeare wrote and the Veronese would like to make you believe; it’s good for sales you see. No point visiting the arena here, it is old but renovation and work makes it appear no older than your local stadium; go instead for an Opera there if you happen to coincide and that should be fun. The Piazzas are pretty (Bra, Erbe) and Juliet’s Balcony is a tick-in-a-box (tickle the boob, if you must). That done, leave! When it comes to important tourist sites Verona is like Pisa – they both have much to offer but you will only want to see the obvious landmarks and that shouldn’t take you more than half a day to get through. In both cities, the shopping is useless, unless you get off on cheap trinkets for the extended family.