Archivi categoria: English

Wine-travels. 3 places to go.

I’ll be short, you’ll get the information you need by reading this 49-seconds-article.
And there comes a day, when you discover that there is a place in Germany where you can sleep in a barrel of wine.

vinoSo, I decided one of my next steps is the Bed & Breakfast Schlafen im Weinfass, in the Sasbachwalden vineyard, in the Black Forest.
You can spend the night there, in the elegant barrels, wake up in the vineyard and taste their wine.
I really think this is a MUST DO BEFORE DYING!
Small, small, problem: the website is ONLY in German. Write them and suggest ME for the translation of their website in English and Italian. This is clearly the only solution.
Here is the website: www.schlafen-im-weinfass.de

 

Closer to me, here in Italy, there are several Italian wine tours available, like the one of Aosta Valley, offering you guided wine tasting tours after the usual mountain Winter activities.
www.italianwineholidays.com

Deep in the South of Italy, you should definitely rely on the Southern Vision Travel tours, that offer 7 days food and wine tasting, guided by chefs and sommelier. Despite today’s weather even here in the deep South, our Winter is milder than elsewhere in Europe, that’s why there are no Winter Activities… but drinking.
www.southernvisionstravel.com

Annunci

7 reasons to choose New York in October

Somebody says ‘wake me up when September ends’. Here we go! Wake up, it’s hight time to choose a place and leave again, after the ‘end-of-Summer -melancholy’ .

Here are 7 reasons to choose the big apple:
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1 – it’s cheaper than in any other moment of the year. I’m talking about the very first week of October. After that, all the Halloween and Xmas celebrations will make it all harder. So, take advantage!

2 – it’s beautiful. More than in Spring and Summer. Well, that’s for sure my very personal opinion, but all people particularly fond of Autumn colors would agree.

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Read NYC – HURRICANE – a short love&travel novel

3 – it’s warm. It will not last long! Ice may come quite soon with a snow storm. In NYC Winter comes in one night.

4 – Victoria’s Secrets Sales . Nothing to add!

5 – the ‘Smoke’ in Harlem has just reopened the concerts season.

6 – pumpkin sweets and Halloween decorations on the Doorsteps. You’ll see amazing examples of pagan art, before the pagan-religious period of Xmas lights decorations.

7 – As Audrey said, it’s always the right moment to go to New York.

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3 ways to choose the right place to eat in Italy

Read it in Italian
One of the most interesting aspects of the trip is the edible part. The food of this or that restaurant is one of the aspects that more sediments in the memory of those traveling in Italy, whether Italian or foreign tourists.
But it is not always easy to decide, especially when the local restaurant suggested by the hostel manager or receptionist is full or too far away.
So here are three ways to understand where is the case to try and where not, based on my experience.

1- the name
Really want to taste the ancient and authentic local flavors? Well, avoid places that are called inn / tavern / hovel of the ancient local flavors.
In fact this names were given quite recently by local managers in response to the needs of customers to taste something very typical in tourist cities where fast foods, restaurants and supermarkets have made the flavours quite plane.
Try those places named like they used to be in the  roaring seventies, like Ristorante Europa (very popular name at that time), or the names based on the places, like Trattoria del Duomo, close to the  cathedral. These were in fact some methods for facilitating the return of the customers,  when there were no google maps and navigators or internet. The insignia as the names will be outdated but often these are places that have been working for decades and therefore often attended by locals. And this is this a quality indicator.

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cover london
Read it for free. Can a coincidence persuade you that you are in love?

2- less is more
If a restaurant or tavern clearly indicates that some dishes on the menu are served only on certain days of the week, probably the food served is always fresh. The thing is especially true for the fish. For the vegetables instead, learning about seasonal products will be of some help in choosing the best dishes and to discover whether the prices are fair. It takes but a smart phone connected to the internet to know what period each vegetable belongs to: technology and happy decrease, association to eat better, even outside.

3- house wine
I learned one thing: when you ask ‘what wine do you have?’ And the first and only answer is ‘house wine’ count to three, then get up and run away.
If they won’t tell us immediately what kind of wine it is, it could be supermarket boxed wine as a red pencil dissolved in vinegar.
They’lI settle it on the table regardless of the Italian code of the drunk-traveler, which provides the opportunity to taste the wine before accepting it. As befits kings and queens.

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Postscript. Throughout South and especially in Puglia and Sicily is better not say ‘I am a vegetarian’ because you will cause unnecessarily panick to the waiter, almost always unaware of the fact that 70% of the dishes on the menu is actually veg. Better to find a plate and ask for the exact recipe for curiosity and ensure that no fried meat, human fingers, traces of sausage are in the gravy.

4 ways Barcellona can change your life

Leggi in italiano

I won’t make a list of the reasons why Barcelona has, in several ways, changed my life. Because it would be too long (I can invent a billion of them in 10 min, you know). And because frankly you don’t give a damn. But I’ll just sum up 4 reasons why this city has changed some of my habits and can change yours (and you know, life is made up by millions of small domino-like habits: when you change one of them, all the rest must adapt and change in some way).

Read the short love&travel novel NYC - HURRICANE
Read the short love&travel novel NYC – HURRICANE

1 – If TAPAS are not THE answer, they are at least one answer.
To what? To the sudden travel mode appetite of ‘I don’t know what, I’d have it ALL’. Tapas are a range of small portions of a lot of foods. Perfect for curios more than hungry people. Now they are my daily eating habit. .
Some of the places where you can find this life-answer:
Bodega Manolo cozy, dusty and familiar, Cal Pep and Bar Celta Pulperia, for fresh fish lovers, and Cerveseria Catalana, loved by locals, in Mallorca 236, Barcellona.

2  – You’re not the only one who works, so keep calm and do your duty.
When I’ve been to Barca for the 2 first times, I used to live in Milan. Now, what is typical of the Italian richest city is the local attitude to run, run, run fast… doesn’t matter if you’re late for work, just shopping, contemplating the universe or women’s toes out of the sandals in the underground.
Instead, what I’ve noticed in the richest city of Spain is that people can work hard (very hard) without showing their nevrosis off to be socially accepted. They can take a rest every now and then and even enjoy the night and social life. So, keep calm and do your duty.

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3 – My boots are made for walking

Barcellona is too beautiful to be walked with plain shoes.
So, walking around with a 5 cm very nice pair of boots, I realized there’s no uncomfortable shoes when you really feel like walking.
Even if you don’t get to my same glorious conclusion, you can spend some time in the Shoes Museum in Plaça de Sant Felip Neri 5 (3 euros to entry).

4 – Finally…
One of the most beautiful cities in the world is made up by a rare and appreciated kind of art and architecture based on colours and irregularity of shapes, folly and unbalaces.

bateloWhy can’t your personal, irregular and patchy unbalance be considered as beautiful and perfect in its own way? 

Why Prague is like the sugar cube in a black coffee

Leggi in italiano
Prague is silent and sweet, dissolving and giving a better taste to a coffee, black like its mysterious night.

It melts away soon in the tales of travellers, that will keep on talking about other big capitals while Prague will emerge in their memories while talking about another (higher) level of beauty and other trivialities… like these:
sabrina a praga 1

More than Paris and Dublin…
No need to tell you those truths that the most of you already know, like ‘after you see Prague you’ll realize Paris is not the most romantic city in the world, nor in Europe’.
No need to tell you that, in Prague, beer costs less than water and is eventually drunk more than it.
Now, let’s focus on some other things that made me change the perception of travel destinations after I visited the capital of Czech Republic.

Like London…
First of all, it’s addictive: I have been there 3 times. Just one time less than London! So, this dreamy east Europe capital is competing with London among the cities where I ‘casually’ have to go every now and then. Another thing it has in common with London, getting even over it, is the local relation with Theaters. Maybe you didn’t know that in this city with about 1,2 millions inhabitants, there is an amount of 3.4 millions seats in theaters. Almost always busy and booked.

More than Scotland…
The area of the Castle of Prague, over 7 hectars wide, is the widest in the world. Moreover, the Czech Republic is one of the countries with the highest density of castles in the world.

Just like Prague…
There’s plenty of things to see, live and breathe here in Prague. What you won’t find in many guides is the Marionnettes shops and galleries. Someone might be scared by them. They’re colorful and smiling but mysterious as well. They represent mainly the characters of the local folklore, their wizards, fairies and legends.

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Some of these shops:
Obchod loutkami (The Puppet Shop), 
on the top of Nerudova Street in Lesser Town. Two other locations are at Jilská 7 and Jilská 22 in the Old Town, not far from the Old Town Square. Then see also Truhlář Marionety, Galerie Marionette and Marionette Shop on Golden Lane.

If you are not amazed/scared enough, you can visit the Toy Museum

This collection of toys in the Prague Castle is the second largest in the world and goes from the ancient Greece to the present days with toys from all over the world. The toy museum is spread over two floors and includes a large exhibition of Barbie dressed up by famous stylists.

One last thing that will change forever your perception of Czech Republic: we owe them the invention of the soft contact lenses and of the microwave oven.
And… of the sugar cube, in 1843.

Flights for a September week end (Autumn is amazing there, but it lasts very little. In October you’ll find the snow):
From Milan, RTwith Ryan, abt 80 euros
120 euros from Roma Ciampino (abt 100 with easyjet)
100 euros, always Ryan, from Bari and 150 from Palermo.
A bit too much (abt 200 euros) from Pisa.

5 ways travelling can make you rich

Let’s be clear, I’m not talking about richness of the soul, peace of mind and heart and those stuffs that are enought for people like me (and most of you). I’m talking about money. Yes, you can make them travelling, in some ways.

And I won’t even write, in this article, about the work experiences that will allow you to earn as much as you need to keep a decent life while travelling; I’ll tell you about some experiences of people who made a quite good amount of money with particular (and legal) jobs that can just be done travelling.

Let’s start with:

Teaching (languages, yoga, private dance classes).
Well, these are not jobs that generally make you rich. But I mention them because there are countries such as China, Russia, Arab Emirates, where a lot of new rich families are able and willing to pay high qualified professional from all over the world to give private lessons to some family member. Travel Blogs are the best ways to have informations and contacts (nomadic matt is not bad…). If you are a good teacher of your language, you should subscribe to the international database such as findmyfavouriteteacher.com and many others.

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Cruise Ship Crew.
No job on a ship is easy, but if you’re good and patient (very good, and very patient) you can make a quite fast career, being paid more than the average amount of your peers, gaining a very solid work experience and gaining contacts with people from around the world. For those who can speak more than one language everything is a bit easier. I must say that most of the times, the conditions for people not coming from the U.S or Europe and with a lower level of education are bad and the possibility to earn a decent income is very low.

Selling luxury products
If you are a jewels maker or an haute couture designer and tailor, don’t waste your time and money staying home. At least, not only. You can create your blog, learn how to use the Social Networks and learn about SEO articles in order to be know all around the world (if you don’t want to learn it all by yourself, hire an expert… like me, for example!) and go to your clients to design with/for them your next luxury product.

Be creative and… TRUST IN WHAT YOU DO!.
I’ve found, searching on the internet, a lot of websites and blogs of people who, as far as they say, earn a quite good amount of money putting their business on line and travelling. Like in the case of wanderingtrader.com, they are not the maximum experts in something, but they are optimists. Sometimes they make their lives look more shining than it actually is… but nobody will trust (or pay a lot of money) to someone who shows to be sad, afraid, demotivated.
When they start, they trust in what they are doing even in the worse moments. And if you don’t trust on what you do, why should the others?

PS: I’ve used a lot of expressions such as ‘decent amount of money’, ‘quite a lot of money’ etc. The point is my level of ‘richness’ may be different than yours! Sorry, Bear with me.

8 uncomfortable truths that will take you to Basilicata

Talking about Basilicata, a region in the South of Italy, is like writing about Neverland. You’ve heard about it but can’t remember when and by whom.  What people know about Basilicata is that
-locals  are kind (well, if you’re on holiday and spend money, all people will be good to you),
– nature is beautiful, and
– food&wine are very good.
 So… what’s be the difference between Basilicata and Tuscany?
I’ll tell you, there are a lot of differences. First of all, nobody knows anything abut this region. When you say it’s damn full of petrol, more than any other region of Europe, no one will trust you.
When you’ll say it’s the only region in deep South of Italy where no  criminal association was born (like Mafia, ‘ndrangheta, Sacra Corona Unita, Anonima Sequestri), someone would say ‘oh… it’s true… I’ve never thought about it’ (the same thing you will think after reading this article).
As the actor Rocco Papaleo said in his movie Basilicata Coast to Coast, you must trust in Basilicata, even if you don’t see it. Like for God and Santa Klaus.

Now, my lonely travellers, I’ll tell you some good reasons to trust in Basilicata. At least for a trip.

Isabella-Morra-300x150Culture & literature: 
Among the nativesof this region there is Isabella di Morra (Favale, 1520? – Favale, 1546), said to be the very first female poet of Italy and one of the first in Europe. Her production was very wide and was interrupted by the armed hands of her brothers, who killed her because of her intellectual friendship with a Spanish Baron (someone will try to persuade you they had an affair, but that’s quite improbable due to her segregated life).

Castles & Ghosts:
The one where Isabella Morra lived, not so far from Matera, is one of the most popular. She’s said to be still there, reading and writing. But this region is definitely full of manors, most of them populated (local say) by spirits and ghosts. The Castle of Melfi is the best known, but one of the most fascinating is the one in Avigliano-Lagopesole,  Castel Lagopesole where the spirit of the great Frederick II still lingers.
The Castle of Brienza is very interesting in August, when locals celebrate with shows of fires, lights, and theatre.

Sports:
More than just trekking and mountain walking! Basilicata is the region in Italy with more facilities for adventure sports, such as  climbing, rafting, canyoning, paragliding, orienteering, hiking, flight of the angel and flight of the eagle.
Then there are also quieter things to do such as horse riding, cycling, skiing, archery, bird watching, sailing.

Small but amazing, the local coasts
Almost unperceivable when looking at the map, the 2 coasts of Basilicata are both amazing. The Ionian Coast to the east, white sanded,  perfect for families and the Tyrrhenian Coast to the west, with cliffs leading to a network of beautiful sandy coves, more suitable for the adventurers. 

Music & parks
In August you’ll find plenty of music festivals in the green heels. As in the case of the Pollino Music Festival, in Italy’s largest National Park. Jazz, rock, reggae, electro, ethnic music by Italian and international high profile artists/bands with more than 100,000 people expected.

If you need some more reasons to go, I’ll give them to you: it’s cheap, very cheap.

More infos here