California Coast RV Road Trip

Most known for Hollywood celebrity sightings, California is also home to some of the most famous beaches and coastlines of the world. This is perfectly complemented by the seamless weather and temperature that lures in new residents and tourists every year. So if you are looking forward to enjoying the summer heat, regardless of the More »

Going to Orlando and its Parks

It’s time to make a journey and the destination this time is called Orlando, a space full of fun that attracts millions of people during the whole year due to it’s famous parks, places like Disney World, Universal Studio or the Cabo Discovery will keep you busy all day long. Start by looking for a More »

Helsinki City Guide

Helsinki, recently awarded as ‘City of Design’ by UNESCO, is the capital of Finland. Unlike the Nordic winter, the temperature of this city is quite livable, and life continues throughout the year. It has four seasons, and the temperatures vary from 32 degrees in the summer and about -20 degrees in the winter. With the More »

Tag Archives: Italy

Breathtaking Lakes You Can Visit by Rail

Lake Offensee, Lake District, Austria

Landlocked? No wheels to get you around? Got a hankering to experience some water activities this summer? Fear not, millions of Europeans are in the same boat (see what we did there?) Mercifully, much of Europe sports a stellar railway system, so even if you are not blessed with the luxury of lakeside living, there are plenty of gorgeous lakes that are merely a short train ride away.

So get your water wings and inner tubes at the ready, and check out these breathtaking lakes you can visit by rail.

Lake Garda

Lake-Garda-Italy

Italy’s largest lake (and some would argue its most beautiful) is served by no fewer than three train stations — Desenzano and Peschiera del Garda in the south, and Rovereto in the north. Each acts as a gateway to some pretty fabulous activities in the region. Take for example the Medieval Market in Tignale. Accessible by bus from the Rovereto train station, the yearly summer evening market features acrobats, fire-eaters, and period costumed townspeople offering everything from local handicrafts to jam and liqueurs.

 Windsurfing Lake Garda, Italy

If it’s the water you’ve come for, windsurfing is available year-round at Lake Garda. Gardasurf Water Sport School is located in Brenzone, which is linked by bus to the Peschiera del Garda rail station, offers windsurfing classes for both young and old, and if windsurfing doesn’t quite suit your fancy, the facility also offers dinghy, sailboat, and catamaran rentals.

Although most folks think of the ocean when they think of diving, Lake Garda offers some stellar fresh water diving opportunities for those up for the challenge. Many of the dive shops are situated in the southern lake resorts of Arco, Riva del Garde, and Malescine (served by the Rovereto rail station.) Ambiente Acqua in Arco offers PADI diving certification courses as well as day and night dives for those already certified.

Austrian Lake District

While technically it’s proper name is Salzkammergut, this area is more popularly referred to as simply the Austrian Lake District. And with a total of 76 lakes in the region, there are plenty of activities to keep you occupied, and of course plenty of rail options serving the Lake District.

 Lake Traunsee, Lake District, Austria

Holding the distinction as Austria’s deepest lake, Lake Traunsee can be accessed from the train stations at Gmunden in the north as well as Ebensee in the south. For history buffs, a paddleboat steamer from the 1870s still plies the waters offering tours of the lake for visitors. There are plenty of free beaches along the 12km shore as well for those looking to take a dip on a budget.

 Lake Offensee, Lake District, Austria

Although the water temperature can be a bit chilly chilly (it’s worth checking), sunny days are the perfect time to visit Lake Offensee for a refreshing dip. The scenery here is amongst the best in Austria, and since it attracts fewer visitors than some of the larger bodies of water in the Lake District (Lake Offensee takes only 90 minutes to walk around), there are days that seem like you have the whole place to yourself.

The Misers Guide to Milan, Italy

Visiting Milan on a budget sounds like a bit of stretch. After all, this is the land where Prada, Armani, Versace and other renowned highbrow brands call home. Such expensive inhabitants make it almost impossible for tourists to stick to their budgets. Almost. With a little digging though, and a lot of pre-planning, you can indeed see Milan on a budget.

Being the capital of fashion means that most of the quality things you can buy tend toward the pricey side. But this doesn’t mean you can’t find low prices for great quality goods. Because it’s the capital of fashion, it’s also the capital of the discount outlet store. There are plenty of these outlets in Milan and on the outskirts. The only thing required is a lot of patience and some spare cash, but the rewards can be well worth it — prices may be 10-20 times cheaper than in the shops. To maximize your savings, know what rates your bank or the outlet charges for purchases you put on credit. When it comes to your credit card, take a few minutes prior to your trip to find the best for you – compare bank accounts online before you leave. That way there won’t be any surprises when you return home.

One of the traditions that Milan’s locals really stick to is the time for the ’’aperitivo’’. In short, this term is all about drinking a cocktail, or something light just before dinner time, after work is finished. Those who serve this ’’aperitivo’’ also serve something to eat, which may vary from some snacks to a pizza or some spaghetti. It’s a great way to fill up if you’re intent on visiting Milan on a budget.

Milan Duomo

The Milan Duomo is Milan’s iconic cathedral, and the best part about it is the free entrance. However, visitors who desire to see the Treasury must pay a small fee of around $1.50 USD. The cathedral is also a great place to enter when the weather outside is either too hot or too wet. 

Even though Milan isn’t particularly known for its parks, it has its decent share of green spaces. Parco Sempione is one of the must-see parks among visitors who just want a spot to stop for a second, take a deep breath and enjoy the beauty of nature. The park has jogging and bike paths and of course best of all, it’s free.

Entrance to Acquario Civico

Another freebie you can visit, especially if you are travelling with kids, is the Acquario Civico, the local aquarium.

Palazzo Reale is the Royal Palace, which used to be the center of Milan’s government. It was almost torn down in order to build the Duomo nearby, so even though it doesn’t look as impressive as the cathedral, the Royal Palace is a good stop because it’s free, it has a tourist information office and it holds a richer historical ambiance than the Duomo. On the second floor, visitors will have the chance of seeing a former theatre.

 

Palazzo Reale

Visiting Milan or any part of Italy on a budget is quite a tricky task because there are so many attractions, especially when it comes to shopping, but saving money requires sacrifices, and Milan is one city that is certainly worth the effort.

Venice is sinking: See it while you can!

By Ahmed Ahmed

The Italian city of Venice has to be one of the world’s most famous treasures. It’s also one of the most endangered. Built on a foundation of boggy marshland, this beautiful city is slowly but surely descending into the lagoon it has occupied for centuries. It might be time to make your move. With Oh-Venice holiday apartments, you can enjoy your own piece of the Floating City before it melts away completely.

Ponte di Rialto

Venice has always been first and foremost a city of business. The Ponte di Rialto (Rialto Bridge) is more than just a great photo-opportunity, it is a glimpse into Venice’s rich mercantile past. Here, for almost 800 years, merchants and money-lenders traded in gold from across Italy and beyond. If you want to do some commerce yourself, head into the market to pick up some Venetian souvenirs.

Piazza San Marco

Piazza San Marco, Venice, Italy

The heart of Venice is the impressive Piazza San Marco (St. Mark’s Square), from a visitor’s point of view at least. The square is flanked by the Doge’s Palace, the historical seat of Venice’s powerful dukes, which is well worth a visit. You’ll also find St. Mark’s Basilica, Venice’s sumptuous religious centre, and the famous campanile, or bell tower. Climb to the top for a breath-taking view of Venice and its islands.

The Ghetto

The Ghetto, Venice, Italy

Venice invented the ghetto. While today, the word refers to any ethnic concentration or deprived area, the Venetian ghetto was where the city’s Jewish population lived. Featured in Shakespeare’s classic play the Merchant of Venice as the home of Shylock and his daughter Rebecca, this fascinating area is still home to five synagogues. But avoid visiting late on Friday or on Saturday; the Sabbath means that most shops and restaurants are closed.

The Canali

il canali, Venice, Italy (2)

Could anyone but the Italians have built one of the most attractive cities in the world in the midst of a waterlogged marsh? The beauty and the transience of Venice go hand in hand. Experts agree that it is subsiding; the wooden foundations and mud banks that lie underneath its stunning architecture are giving way. Instead of trying to fight this, the Venetians instead seem bent on enjoying their watery city while it lasts. And you should do the same. No visit to Venice is complete without taking a ride in a gondola, one of the hundreds of romantic rowboats that negotiate the city’s many canals.