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Top 5 Must Visit Places in Venice

Venice, A city with no roads but canals is worth exploring. Though small, the city has much to offer than what you expect. A trip to Venice is time well spent.

1) Peggy Guggenheim Collection

Is the most visited museum in Italy. Founded in 1951, the modern art museum is a continuation of Peggy Guggenheim’s work. The American heiress was said to have lived there for almost three decades. Up until then, her work was privately exhibited in the museum. The same was passed on to Solomon Guggenheim who displayed these collection to the public. This artworks include: sculptures and modern artwork that embraces surrealism, cubism and abstract expressionism. Located between Santa Maria Della Salute and the Gallerie dell’ Accademia, the site is a tourist attraction for both local and international audience.

A lot has changed since Peggy’s death. All rooms on the main floor were converted into galleries in 1985 by his brother Solomon. The basement rooms were transformed into support sections for the museum. You can visit Peggy Guggenheim collection on weekdays from 7.00AM-8.00AM. On weekends the center is open from 10AM-7.45PM. The location is perfect for relaxing. You can sit outside on the water and soak up for a while, watching people and the traffic. Peggy’s family history is interesting, especially how her parents died on the Titanic. Most important is that she was buried in the garden with most her dogs.

2) Grand Canal

This is a major waterway passage in Venice, Italy. You can find your way through the Grand canal by boarding a water bus, private water taxi or a gondola. A gondola is an ancient rowing boat perfect for navigating the Grand canal. The fact that Venice has preserved her waterways for a long time tells you how the local citizens love nature. They are warm and welcoming to visitors regardless of your origin. You can enjoy viewing the luxurious buildings created by prominent artists in the 18th and 19th century.

The Grand canal has been divided into four parts. This includes the; Rialto bridge, Scalzi bridge, the Wooden bridge and Accademia bridge. Water buses are often used to transport goods on the Grand Canal. Gondolas are also used to ferry people and at times provide emergency medical services. Book your tickets online to enjoy a quiet and peaceful trip on Canalazzo.

3) Rialto Bridge

This is one of the bridges constructed under the Grand Canal name. Rialto Bridge divides San Marco and San Polo. This bridge was constructed by one celebrated artist, Antonio da Ponte following an architectural design competition in Venice. It is termed as the oldest bridge in the city having been built in the 16th century. The first bridge built in Venice collapsed occasionally. This also prompted Ponte to build Rialto. It has a single stone arch that supports a rectangular deck. You can view some of the city’s buildings well from a gondola on the Rialto Bridge.

Family members who are backpacking at Venice can enjoy a canal cruise through Rialto bridge. In fact, you can order dinner and cocktail services during the trip. The small city is ideal for honeymoon purposes. Most of the folks here mind their own business on a day to day basis. Most of the raw materials were sourced from Florence and Germany that maintain good diplomatic relationships with Italy. Visitors can also use Rialto bridge to cross from San Marco to San Polo. The bridge offers you a good spot to take photos as well.

4) Saint Mark’s Basilica

A trip to Venice cannot be completed without visiting the Saint Mark’s Basilica. The church is located in Piazza San Marco near Doge’s Palace. Saint Mark’s Basilica has been nicknamed as the Chiesa d’Oro meaning the Church of gold due to its luxurious designs of gold and mosaics. It is thought that the church was a symbol of power and wealth. Mark’s Basilica has an attractive exterior that has been divided into three levels; the lower, upper and domes. The balcony has a symbol of replica horses.

Initially, these horses were taken to France during the Napoleon Bonaparte’s rule. They were later on returned in 1815 and kept in St. Mark’s Basilica museum. The horses that are seen on the balcony are replicas made from bronze. The interior part of the church is appealing and worth visiting. The floor is made of marble with animal and geometric designs. Most of the walls are covered in marble layouts. The upper part of the interior is covered in gold patterns and mosaics hence the name ‘Church of Gold’. Saint Mark is a good place to meditate and seek spiritual fulfillment. It is also a great place to learn of Saint Mark’s story.

5) Teatro La Fenice

This is the largest opera house in Venice. Teatro La Fenice or The Phoenix, is a renowned house of open film in the 19th century. Major works of prominent composers such as Danizetti, Bellini, Verdi and Rossini were performed here. The house has had a bad reputation of arson cases over the years. However, the same has been put to rest when the most recent theater was constructed in 2004. Book tickets before you go. The opera house is gorgeous and the prices for the tickets is fairly reasonable. You can always grab a snack before visiting Teatro La Fenice to last you the entire play.

Madrid: Things to do, Hotels, Food and Culture, art, Transport and Safety

The capital city of Spain, Madrid is renowned for its exclusive museums, food, arts, parks and stylish boulevards. Discover Madrid, the city of beautiful gardens, parks and sky.

⦁ Treasure hunting in El Pastro

Madrid is quite busy on weekends, Sundays particularly. Ribera de Curtidores is the place to be. This open air market is flooded with tourists and local citizens during the weekend. You can find absolutely everything from jewellery to vintage clothes depending on the item you are looking for. Being the oldest market in town, the place is filled to brim. It is advisable to get there in the morning to avoid congestion and noise from traders who are trying to woo their customers. The antique shops are located down the street. You can find everything in antique just name it.

⦁ Visiting the Gran Via

The Gran Via is a street located in central Madrid. The street is very active during day and night times hence the name ‘the street that never sleeps’. In Europe, Gran Via is respected for its large movie theaters’, shopping centers and restaurants. The one kilometer street has many tourist attractions situated nearby. An example is the Grassy Jewelry shop founded in 1952. Started by Alexandre Grassy, this beautiful shop deals in diverse jewellery items such as brand new Swiss watches. Grab a drink at the famous Museo Chicote bar. The name sounds like a museum but this is not the case. The Gran Via ends when you come into contact with the Miguel de Cervantes monument.

⦁ Drinking beer

Just like Germany, beer drinking is a growing trend in the Madrid. Naturbier is the best place in Madrid that offers locally brewed beer. This bar has been divided into three parts; a room with music, the terrace where you can enjoy beer while staring at people and the dungeon where each table has a tap of its own. You can drink beer the German style at Natubier. The place is open from Monday to Thursday from 10.00 AM to midnight. Other places that offer excellent beers include; El Pedal and Fabrica Maravillas. It is hard to get through the streets of Calle Verde and Argumosa during the weekends.

⦁ Enjoy taking photos with ‘El Oso y el Madrono’

For every photo lover, a photo with the ‘El Oso y el Madrono’ statue is a must do thing. ‘El Oso y el Madrono is the statue of the bear and the strawberry tree. Located between Calle de Alcala and St. Jeronimo, the symbol is a representation of the coat of arms of Madrid. Also, the bear is supporting a tree and reaching for a fruit as well. There are many visitors longing to take a picture with this adorable statue, you should be patient until it’s your turn to interact with ‘El Oso y el Madrono’. A smartphone comes in handy.

⦁ Visit the city’s parks

Madrid has a beautiful and large city park; The Casa de Campo. Families and friends gather in Casa de Campo during weekends and holidays. The park has a zoo, the Madrid zoo where visitors can tour and view different animals. Watching the dolphins in the Zoo aquarium is a classical example of how the zoo protects wildlife. The park hosts sports activities and school competitions. ‘El Retiro’ is another small city park to visit while in Madrid. Madrid’s city parks are cool and exciting to walk in.

Top 3 Hotels in Madrid

⦁ Relais & Chateaux Hotel Orfila

This is a five star hotel known for its excellent and superb services. Some of the best services the hotel has includes; free parking, free internet and dining. Relais & Chateaux Hotel Orfila maintains its evergreen appearance throughout the year thanks to the Mandarin trees that thrive until late autumn. The rooms are spacious, beautifully furnished and overlook the garden. The staff is incredible; very warm and welcoming to visitors.

Hotel Ritz

Found in the heart of Madrid is a luxurious hotel, Hotel Ritz. It offers a central meeting point for meetings, families and high-end business people. The hotel offers flexible rates when it comes to booking suites. The suites have handmade carpets, furnished furniture and embroidered linens that make you feel at home. Hotel Ritz also accepts younger fans such as kids. The hotel has the Ritz fitness center where you can exercise and keep fit.

⦁ Gran Melia Fenix

The hotel offers you the best coffee and snack bar services in Madrid. You can always unwind and drink at Gran Melia Fenix Lounge and enjoy some soul music as well. The hotel is better equipped with internet connection available to public areas close by. Dining at Gran Melia Fenix is an awesome and thrilling experience. Have fun to the fullest but remember smoking at the hotel is prohibited.

Best foods in Madrid

Picho de Tortilla is a must try food in Madrid.

This is a special Spanish cuisine prepared from piles of eggs and potato. It is often taken with bread. Also, try Oreja a la Plancha and Callos a la Madrilena. They are awesome.

Ways to Find Your Way in Florence Quickly

The small city based in Tuscany has a beautiful scenery that attracts million of visitors annually. There are many ways to find your way to Florence. You can use a bus, flights, Taxis, foot and even rent a car to get through Florence. Florence is a small city hence walking by foot would be the best way to explore this site. It is important to make your trip as comfortable as possible. Therefore, we get you through some of the best ways to navigate Florence easily.

1.By Foot

Florence is a small city. The best way to tour this city is by foot. Before you jump on a flight to Italy, make sure you pack decent shoes to last you an entire trip. Most of the tourist attractions are closely located. Train stations are usually packed during this period. Being a small city, Florence is flooded with visitors all through. As a result, this leads to congestion which in turn increases crime in the town. Always opt for underground walkways that are safe and less congested. The maximum time you will take to tour the city by foot is an hour. During this time, you will enjoy sightseeing major tourist attractions like: Santa Croce, Oltranro, San Miniato and Duomo. The shops are also closely packed hence you can grab a Pizza or a snack during the trip.

2. Sightseeing by Bus

Florence relies widely on public transportation. Sightseeing by bus is not a new thing in the municipality. City buses are available in white and purple colors with the newest being blue. It is prudent to buy tickets beforehand to avoid missing out on this luxurious tour. You can find these tickets on any shop with a ‘ATAF’ sticker and Santa Maria Novella train station. They are quite cheap with a single ticket going for 2 Pounds. These buses have three entry points: the front, back and middle doors. The front and back doors are used for boarding the bus while the middle one is for lighting purposes. The ticket is valid for 90 minutes. You may switch buses if you feel the need to using the same ticket.

3.Moving by Taxi
Getting around in Florence by taxi is very easy. Taxis cannot be flagged down the street in Tuscany, Italy. Therefore, you can find a taxi in special taxi parking stands or at the airport where you can order one by phone. These taxis operate on a 24/7 basis on weekdays, weekends and public holidays. The price of a taxi varies depending on your destination. The prices are relatively cheap with the cheapest one being 4pounds only. Be specific to the destination you would like your driver to take. Also, a small tip will be appreciated.

4.Renting a car

This might not be the best option. You require a special Limited Traffic Access Zone(ZTL) to drive a car in Florence. In this case, you may lack one hence it is advisable to find your way through the city with the most convenient methods such as buses and walking by foot.

5.Using a bike

If you are touring Florence alone, biking in Florence is for you. Seeing Florence on a bike is quite an adventure. Check the map you intend to use before getting on a bike. There are no bike paths in Florence therefore you may need to exercise care when moving around to avoid minor accidents. You can also rent a bike at Pizza Cestello, Pizza Veneto, Rifredi and the Central railway station just to name a few.

Things to do in Florence

1. Take a picnic at Giardino delle Rose.

Located between Michelangelo and San Niccolo, Giardino delle Rose offers an attractive and breathtaking environment for visitors after a long day of travelling. This garden has plenty of roses and drawings which will help you unwind. The best time to visit is in early Summer and late Spring. The weather is perfect.

2.Visit the Holy Gates cemetery.

The Holy Gates cemetery is the largest graveyard in Florence. It occupies about the whole of San Miniato al Monte. With popular names buried here, this site is worth seeing.

3. Visit Villa Bardini

If you are a fan of heights, this is the place to be. This is the ideal place to relax after a day walking in Florence. Villa Bardini is surrounded by gardens and forests that offer peace and quiet. You can view the tower of Pizza Vecchio from the Belvedere Terrace.

Florence is a small city that has much to offer. You cannot confirm this unless you book a trip to Florence. Will you?