10 To-Know before you Travel to Italy

Italy is one of the most visited tourist destination in the world. It has one of the richest cultures which have been imitated globally. Most of what is sold as Italian culture is actually just a cheap knockoff.

Here are some useful trivia that will help you understand Italy better.

Italian countryside

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1. Modern Italy is younger than the United States

The Italy you know today was once a collection of city-states and autonomous regions. They came together as one country, Italy, in 1871.

Old streets

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2. Don’t say “ciao” to everyone

Ciao does not only mean “hello” and “goodbye”, it also means “I am your slave” in the ancient dialect. Use a more formal greeting when interacting with the older generation such as “salve” to say hello.

3. There are two independent city-states within Italy

These two cities are Vatican City which is wholly within the borders of Rome and San Marino which is on the border between Emilia region and LeMarche.

Vatican Square

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4. Hotels need a passport when you check in

Italian law requires that all accommodations register their guests with the police, so when the concierge asks you for your passport and requests to stay with it overnight don’t make a fuss.

5. The waiter is not ignoring you

Dining is a sacred social activity in Italy. The waiter will not bring your bill promptly you are done eating, he or she will wait until you ask for your bill thus giving you time to relax and socialize.

Open restaurant

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6. Don’t forget to validate your ticket

Most tickets are not, time or date specific when you buy them so, you have to have them validated first before boarding your train or bus. If you don’t do this its like you have not paid for your ride which can cause you a hefty fine.

7. ‘Italian food’ doesn’t exist

Italy is made up of 20 regions, each with its own unique food and traditions. When you travel to every region try as much as possible to identify your self with their unique palette.

8. Italian history is even older than ancient Rome

The Etruscans were a civilization that existed between 750-500 BCE in Italy. They were then assimilated by the ancient Romans. You can also find some well-preserved Greek ruins in Italy which are even much older than the ancient Romans.

Pizza

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Roman Colosseum

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9. The afternoon “ban” on cappuccino isn’t about the cappuccino

It isn’t like if you order a cappuccino after 11 am you won’t be given. It is because Italians believe that milk is bad for your digestion so they would never order a cappuccino or any other milk-based drink after having a meal.

 

10. Always book museum tickets in advance

You should book your ticket to any museum early so as to avoid the long lines at the ticket shop. You can also decide to book a guided tour of the museum as this bypasses the long ticket queues.

I hope this article was helpful to you in planning your next Italy adventure. Happy travels. 🙂

10 Best Sites for Archaeological Travel

The world is filled with amazing archeological sites which are rich in history and culture. The following are my 10 picks of the best sites to visit.

1. Machu Picchu

Machu Picchu Ruins

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This is a ruined city that lies on top of a mountain in the south of Peru. It is only accessible by train or a long four-day treck. It was rediscovered in 1911 by Hiram Bingham. It represents the culture and way of life of the lost civilization of the Inca people. It is also one of the seven wonders of the world.

2. Tikal

Tikal

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This is one of the largest and best-preserved ruins. It thrived during the classical period between 900AD and 200AD. It is located in Guatemala and represents the historical culture of the Mayan civilization.

3. The pyramids at Giza

Pyramids at Giza

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They were built over 3000 years ago by the ancient Egyptians. The three pyramids align perfectly with the stars and solstices and contain numerous chambers that have still not been opened. The largest of the three is called great pyramid and was built by the pharaoh Khufu.

4. Angkor Wat

Angkor Wat

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This ancient city is found in Cambodia. It was the center of the Khmer empire which once ruled over most of southeastern Asia. The best time to visit is during the early morning before tourist start to flock.

5. Petra

Petra

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This site is located in Arabah, Jordan. It is curved into a canyon and was re-discovered by the western world in 1812. It had settlers from as early as the 6th century BC.

6. The Colosseum and Forum

The Colosseum and Forum

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They are located in Rome and are right next to each other. They are the remnants of the Roman civilization that once controlled the modern world. The Colosseum has slowly crumbled with the passing of time but its beauty still remains.

7. The Parthenon

The Parthenon for Athena

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This is an ancient temple to the goddess Athena. It is located in the city of Athens in Greece. Over the passing time, much of it and its surrounding buildings were destroyed by war and thieves but its beauty still remains.

8. Easter Islands

Easter Islands

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These are located out in the Pacific and are a territory of Chile. They are home to the Moai statues which are all that’s left of a culture that once thrived here. They are gigantic and impressively curved head structures.

9. The Taj Mahal

The Taj Mahal

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It was built in the 1600s by the Emperor Shah Jahan for his dead beloved wife as a statement of his love for her. It is located in Agra, India. It is one of the 7 wonders of the world and receives up to 4 million visitors annually.

10. The Great Wall of China

The Great Wall of China

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It is a connection of numerous walls and fortifications. The original wall was built by Emperor Qin Shi Huang about 259-210 BC. The best-known and best-preserved part of the wall was built in the 14th to 17th century during the Ming dynasty.

I hope this article was helpful and inspiring. Happy travels. 🙂

 

 

Adrenaline, Adventure & Health Travel

Sportsmen and women generally have no limitations when it comes to seeking out new adventures. From the race car driver to the adrenaline junkie, all can find unique destinations that have a mix of both outdoor fun and travel.

1. The Water Sports Junkie

Kayaking

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Watersports an impressive blend of both fun and adventure. All you need is a bathing suit and some sunscreen and you are good to go to the beach.

Best Scuba Diving Destination

Hawaii is the best water-sports destination on the planet. It hosts the worlds most experienced scuba-divers complete with beautiful scenery and warm waters for both beginner and expert level scuba divers.

Best Kayaking Destination

For an exotic and unique excursion, visit Kadavu Island in Fiji. 97 percent of Fiji’s 709,000 square kilometers is water, meaning there’s more than enough room for everyone to paddle and have some fun.

Best Surfing Destination

If surfing is your thing, you should visit ‘surfer’s paradise’ in Gold Coast Australia. 70 km of beach sand awaits you as well as the Superbank. It is known to be the world’s finest break.

Best Swimming Destination

Phi Phi islands in Thailand provides the prime location for casual water sports. The highlights include clear blue skies and clearer ocean waters. The beautiful beaches create an atmosphere of utmost serenity.

2. The Outdoorsy Person

Mountain climbing

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Extreme sports fanatics can get the chance to thrive in the following destinations. All you need is a pair of boots, a coat, and a big brave heart.

Best Rock Climbing Destination

Rock climbing the Sandstone desert in Utah will be sure to get your heart racing. Not only is it fun, but the scenery is breathtaking.

Best Hiking Destination

The Inca Trail in Peru is the epitome of hikes. It boasts an impressive 26 miles of ruins surrounded by gorgeous mountains. Machu Picchu is a must-see destination.

Best Biking Destination

The Italian Dolomites is the best biking site out there. The curved streets are every biker’s fairytale. It offers 2000+ meter peaks as well as espresso.

Best Skiing Destination

When it comes to cold-weather sports, you can’t go wrong with Switzerland.  It is also home to the most distinctive mountain on the planet, Matterhorn.

 3. The Not so Adventurous Adventurer

Yoga session

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If you want to keep fit without all the fuss of skiing or biking outdoors then these are the places you should visit. If you seek adventure without risking your life, pack some workout outfits right now and get ready to go.

Best Yoga Destination

The Caribbean side of Costa Rica offers the best place for yoga sessions. Where the water is always warm and the vegetation is evergreen. The Hot yoga studios there are as common as the juice shops.

Best Long Distance Running Destination

The Patagonia International Marathon in Chile is every marathoner’s dream. Torres del Pain National Park is home to massive glaciers, lagoons, and granite-mountains up to 2,500 high.

Ultimately, when it comes to traveling do what is within your budget and is something that you truly enjoy. Don’t be afraid to try something new for a change. Stepping out of your comfort zone will challenge you to improve your mental health.  The physical activity will only last for a few moments but the memories you make will forever be a part of you.

Happy travels. 🙂

Honeymoon resorts in the USA that you should know about

A honeymoon is something that you are only going to once, if you are lucky. However, you want to make sure that your honeymoon is something special so that you and your partner don’t forget the honeymoon ever. The problem is that when you are living in America, you might not know where you can book your honeymoon at to have the best holiday ever. These are some of the honeymoon resorts in the USA that you should know about, and information on how to find the best honeymoon resorts in America, before you are making your bookings.

Know what your partner will love

You need to make sure that you know what your partner will love. This isn’t just your holiday, but your spouse’s holiday as well. This should be something that you both will enjoy and love.

The one thing that you can do to make sure that you are both going to have a great holiday, is to make sure that you are making the bookings together. There is nothing wrong by planning your honeymoon together and making sure that you are both going to have a great time.

Consider your budget

The wedding itself can be really costly. And, you might not really have a large budget for your honeymoon, left. You should make sure about what you can afford before you are making any bookings.

Many honeymoon resorts and suites are really expensive and this can cause some frustration when you have spent all the money on the accommodation, and there isn’t any money left for doing some romantic things with your new spouse. Planning carefully is the key when you have a limited budget for your honeymoon.

Some resorts and destinations perfect for a honeymoon

It will be a lot better and easier to make a honeymoon booking if you are familiar with the different types of destinations that you can go to for your honeymoon. The more information you have about different honeymoon destinations, the better and easier the final decision will be. These are some of the most popular destinations that you can book for your honeymoon:

  •       Key West, FL
  •       Portland, ME
  •       Point Reyes Station, CA
  •       Ritz-Carlton, Bachelor Gulch

This is just four of the popular honeymoon destinations that you can book. There are many other destinations that you can also choose.

Your honeymoon. This is something that needs to be special. For you and your spouse. However, this can be hard to choose a destination if you don’t know what type of destinations are great for a honeymoon. And, if you don’t know how to choose a destination for your honeymoon. However, with these tips and a couple of places that you can choose for your honeymoon, you will not make a mistake and you will have both a wonderful time that you will remember for the rest of your lives.