When in Rome, Head to Rome’s 10 Most-Visited Attractions

Roman Forum, ItalyAh, the Eternal City. One of the most exciting and enticing cities in the world and – by all accounts – one of the most-visited as well, Rome is indeed a monument to the ancient history of Europe, hence, it’s nickname. It boasts some of the most recognizable structures in the world, from ancient buildings and ruins to magnificent churches and lovely fountains. It’s a visitor’s paradise, offering a city that’s rich in history yet has plenty of modern touches that make traveling easy, comfortable, and truly a pleasure.

It’s tough to determine exactly what one should see first while visiting Rome. Problem is that you could stay for weeks on end and still not take in everything the city has to offer. But there are a number of top attractions that should appear on every Rome itinerary, particularly for the city’s first-time visitors. Even if you tend to shy away from so-called “tourist traps”, you’ll be sorry if you don’t take the time to see the places on our compilation of Top 10 Rome Attractions, listed here in no particular order.   (more…)

Starwood Luxury Hotels are Tops for Beauty, Comfort, and Great Service

Salzburg AustriaIf you’ve traveled through Europe in the past, chances are you’ve had a lot of different kinds of hotel experiences. Lodging in Europe can be very different than in America, and you may have found that you were a little bit disappointed with some of your selections for accommodations. Perhaps the rooms were small and the service not up to par. Maybe you weren’t pleased with the location.

Those are some of the reasons why it’s a good idea to stick with some of the larger, more well-known hotel brands when traveling to The Old Country, and Starwood’s line of luxury hotels seem to always be a good bet. Consisting of more than 75 hotels in 30 countries – including 30 facilities spread throughout Europe – Starwood Luxury Hotels boast the quality that has become associated with its other brands, like Westin, W, and Le Meridien, though the name isn’t always as obvious.      (more…)

Travel to Athens Offers More than Just History

Acropolis, famous landmark in Athens,GreeceThe remarkable history of the city of Athens would – and has – consumed volumes and volumes of books that only the most die-hard history buff would be willing to negotiate. Indeed, the city’s long and fascinating past, which dates back as far as 4500 BC, is part of the fabric of the region and all of its wonderful structures and monuments are among the must-sees when visiting Greece’s capital city. Who wouldn’t want to see the Acropolis and Parthenon or tread where some of the world’s greatest philosophers sat and commiserated on the problems of the time?

But, as cities go, Athens really does have plenty more to offer, from lovely leisure spots and locations for recreational sports to great shopping areas, vibrant nightlife locations, and restaurants that’ll knock your proverbial socks off. (more…)

Experience Quintessential Germany on “Romantic Road” Vacation

Neuschwanstein Hohenschwangau and HotelIf you’ve ever visited Germany, you know it’s a special country with a culture all its own. Loaded with friendly people, it’s a place that’s withstood much and still lives to tell the story.

Indeed, the history of Germany is evident in its castles and fortresses, its museums and monuments, its picturesque cathedrals and tiny churches, and in its lovely little villages, and no place is the beauty and history of Germany more evident that along “The Romantic Road”, a stretch of highway between Würzburg and Füssen that was once a medieval trade route but is now a themed pathway that allows travelers to get a good look at what many visitors have described as “quintessential Germany.”      (more…)

Sample the Wines of France on an Exciting Tour of the Wine Regions

The Loire ValleyThroughout the centuries, there have always been collectors of great wines. During the last few decades, however, it seems as if even more individuals have jumped on the wine aficionado bandwagon, with collectors ranging from young professionals to those who’ve taken up collecting in their retirement.

If you love a good bottle of wine or champagne AND you love to travel, you might want to consider combining both of these penchants by arranging a vacation that lets you delve deeply into some of the great wines of the world and the regions that product them. France is one of the best places to enjoy that sort of trip.  (more…)

Despite Technology, the Luxury Travel Agent is NOT Indispensible

Ponte Sant'Angelo and Saint Peter's BasilicaIt’s true. There used to be a time when you could ride through town and spot a number of travel agencies, filled with agents who were ready to cater to your every vacation whim. These days, the so-called bricks-and-mortar travel establishments are gone, seriously impacted by travel clearinghouses and other internet sites that seemingly made it easy to do what they once did.

But if you’re a savvy traveler, you understand that organizing a vacation – especially a lengthy one or one to an out-of-the-way location – requires more than just the click of a few buttons. While it would seem that the travel world is easier now, travelers in-the-know understand that though you might be avoiding agency fees and other costs when you book online, there’s nothing more costly than a disastrous, poorly-planned trip – both financially and emotionally.  (more…)

Let Belfast Introduce You to the Charm of a Northern Ireland Vacation

Belfast CastleThree or four decades ago, it was the rare traveler that listed Belfast on their docket of must-visit destinations…and rightfully so. This Northern Ireland city was long synonymous with just one thing – violence. Home to the IRA and the site of frequent bombings and other skirmishes, Belfast was best to be avoided. Furthermore, most people viewed at as merely an industrial city, scarred by factories and urban blight, not fit for visitors who were seeking an enjoyable holiday.

Yet behind all the violence and smoke stacks, the capital city – the largest in Northern Ireland – had a lot going for it, from magnificent Edwardian architecture to lovely parks and gardens to picturesque lakes and majestic hills. Unfortunately, few had the opportunity to see the city’s good side during that era of turbulence.

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Top 5 Must-Dos on Your Tuscan Vacation

Tuscan ViewDecades ago, Italy wasn’t one of the most popular European vacation destinations, often overlooked in favor of such perennial favorites as England and France. When travelers did visit this beautiful country, they often chose to limit their itinerary to Italy’s most well-known tourist cities – Rome and Venice.

However, in the last decade or so, Italy’s Tuscan region has become one of the most popular tourist destinations in Europe, with interest fueled by such romantic flicks as “Under the Tuscan Sun”, a campy but irresistible movie that did an excellent job of showcasing this stunning portion of the country. Americans especially, have latched on to what seems to be a global lovefest for Tuscany, and it’s not hard at all to understand the attraction.   (more…)

Avalon Waterways Offers Top-Notch Inclusive River Cruises

Tourboat on Rhine RiverIf your cruising adventures have been limited to large ships out on the vast ocean, many cruise aficionados will tell you that you’ve truly missed the best that cruising has to offer. River cruising – that is, small ship cruising on the exciting rivers of the world – is a much more intimate experience, conducted by cruise lines that know lots about personal service. One of those small ship cruise companies is the wonderful Avalon Waterways, a line that’s been around long enough to know the ins-and-outs of the perfect river cruise.

Part of the Globus family of travel brands, Avalon Waterways offers river cruises that give discerning travelers the opportunity to get up-close-and-personal with the cities, towns, and villages that they encounter along the way. That’s the beauty of a river cruise vs. an ocean cruise. And Avalon seems to know how to do it all quite well, offering “themed” cruises for those interested in art, cooking, wine, specific types of music, history, politics, and more, as well as the Avalon Choice® program, which allows potential passengers to have a strong hand in the design of their cruise vacation.

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Luxury Travel Extraordinaire in Europe’s Four Seasons Hotels

Prague

Choosing the right accommodations for a long-anticipated trip – no matter where you’re headed – is ultra important. It goes without saying that you’ll want a hotel that is safe and comfortable, boasts an ideal location, and offers the amenities you seek while vacationing. Add to that a friendly staff that can nearly predict your needs and you’ve got the perfect lodging choice.

Since 1960, the Four Seasons hotel group has helped define the meaning of luxury. Though they haven’t been around quite as long as several other luxury hotel chains, Four Seasons offers plenty of old-fashioned service, combined with lovely state-of-the-art facilities that are situated in the best possible locations in more than 90 cities worldwide.

 

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