The World Traveling Guide

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Beautiful Italy part(III)

Venice

Venice  is a city in northeastern Italy sited on a group of 118 small islands separated by canals and linked by bridges. It is located in the marshy Venetian Lagoon which stretches along the shoreline, between the mouths of the Po and the Piave Rivers. Venice is renowned for the beauty of its setting, its architecture and its artworks. The city in its entirety is listed as a World Heritage Site, along with its lagoon.

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Venice is the capital of the Veneto region. In 2009, there were 270,098 people residing in Venice’s comune (the population estimate of 272,000 inhabitants includes the population of the whole Comune of Venezia; around 60,000. in the historic city of Venice; 176,000 inTerraferma mostly in the large frazioni of Mestre and Marghera; 31,000 live on other islands in the lagoon). Together with Paduaand Treviso, the city is included in the Padua-Treviso-Venice Metropolitan Area (PATREVE), with a total population of 1,600,000. PATREVE is only a statistical metropolitan area without any degree of autonomy.

The name is derived from the ancient Veneti people who inhabited the region by the 10th century BC The city historically was the capital of the Republic of Venice. Venice has been known as the “La Dominante”, “Serenissima”, “Queen of the Adriatic”, “City of Water”, “City of Masks”, “City of Bridges”, “The Floating City”, and “City of Canals”. Luigi Barzini described it in The New York Times as “undoubtedly the most beautiful city built by man”. Venice has also been described by the Times Online as being one of Europe’s most romantic cities.

The Republic of Venice was a major maritime power during the Middle Ages and Renaissance, and a staging area for the Crusades and the Battle of Lepanto, as well as a very important center of commerce (especially silk, grain, and spice) and art in the 13th century up to the end of the 17th century. This made Venice a wealthy city throughout most of its history. It is also known for its several important artistic movements, especially the Renaissance period. Venice has played an important role in the history of symphonic and operatic music, and it is the birthplace of Antonio Vivaldi.

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Tourism

Venice is one of the most important tourist destinations in the world for its celebrated art and architecture. The city has an average of 50,000 tourists a day (2007 estimate) In 2006, it was the world’s 28th most internationally visited city, with 2.927 million international arrivals that year It is regarded as one of the world’s most beautiful cities.

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Tourism has been a major sector of Venetian industry since the 18th century, when it was a major center for theGrand Tour, with its beautiful cityscape, uniqueness, and rich musical and artistic cultural heritage. In the 19th century, it became a fashionable centre for the rich and famous, often staying or dining at luxury establishments such as the Danieli Hotel and the Caffè Florian. It continued being a fashionable city in vogue right into the early 20th century. In the 1980s, the Carnival of Venice was revived and the city has become a major centre of international conferences and festivals, such as the prestigious Venice Biennale and the Venice Film Festival, which attract visitors from all over the world for their theatrical, cultural, cinematic, artistic, and musical productions

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Today, there are numerous attractions in Venice, such as St Mark’s Basilica, the Grand Canal, and the Piazza San Marco. The Lido di Venezia is also a popular international luxury destination, attracting thousands of actors, critics, celebrities, and mainly people in the cinematic industry. The city also relies heavily on the cruise business.

However, Venice’s popularity as a major worldwide tourist destination has caused several problems, including the fact that the city can be very overcrowded at some points of the year. It is regarded by some as a tourist trap, and by others as a “living museum”. Unlike most other places in Western Europe, and the world, Venice has become widely known for its element ofelegant decay. The competition for foreigners to buy homes in Venice has made prices rise so high that numerous inhabitants are forced to move to more affordable areas of Veneto and Italy, the most notable being Mestre.

 Get around

Venice, the world’s only pedestrian city, is easily walkable, and the absence of cars makes this a particularly pleasant experience. However, walking and standing all day can also be exhausting, so it is best to pace yourself. The Rialtine islands – the ‘main’ part of Venice – are small enough to walk from one end to the other in about an hour, provided you don’t get lost (a common occurrence).

If you want to get around a bit more quickly, there are numerous vaporetti (water buses) andwater taxis. The vaporetti are generally the best way to get around, even if the service route map changes frequently. If you are going to be in Venice for a few days visiting, it is a lot cheaper to use vaporetti than private water taxis. If you want to have a romantic ride along the canals, take a gondola ride, although they tend to exist for more scenic purposes, rather than getting people from point A to point B.

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Thanks to the Vaporetto dell’Arte you can discover Venice and its magnificent treasures along the Grand Canal. It stops at the most charming attractions and museums in Venice and many services are available on board, such as a multilingual audio video system. You can bookVaporetto dell’Arte tickets online with different validity periods (from 12 hours up to 7 days) and they allow you to hop on and off according to your needs and interests over a period of time to visit museums, exhibitions and monuments listed in the information kit you receive on board.

ACTV [1] runs the vaporetti and other public transport services both in the lagoon and on terra firma. Travel cards are extremely useful since the basic fare for one vaporetto journey is typically €7.00. There are other versions available, including those offering discounts for youth under 29 year of age. Current rates can be found here: [2]. The vaporetti uses an honesty system, meaning you are expected to validate your ticket at the stop before boarding, but there’s nobody making sure you do so (except at the busy Piazzale Roma stop), and checks on the crowded vaporetti are extremely rare.

Since 2009 the Venice Connected [3] website of the Comune di Venezia makes possible to book online (at least 7 days in advance) most services controlled by the town administration (public transportation, access to the civic museums, access to public restrooms, car park tickets, entrance to the Casinò and access to the municipal WiFi network covering the entire historic centre); the online prices vary according to the projected number of visitors but are always cheaper than the current on-site prices (and cheaper than with a Venice Card).

You can also get a Venice Card, which has various options that you can choose when you buy it (public transportation, cultural attractions, toilet access, Alilaguna, etc.) There is a ‘Junior’ version of the Venice that is available at a slightly reduced rate for those between 5 and 29 years of age. Note, however, that a Venice Card is not recommended for those with less than 3 days in Venice, as most of the top attractions are not included in the Venice Card. If you’ll be staying in Venice for a week – get the Venice Card and enjoy travelling from island to island and exploring the various museums and churches it offers access to.

Maps are available at the vaporetto stops in the ticket booths. The map is quite reliable, and is free when getting a Venice Card (€2 otherwise), or view the map here [4]

Venice Cards can be reserved on-line for a considerable discount here: [5]. Keep in mind, though, that there are long lines when taking the Venice Card from the ticket booths. The Venezia St. Lucia ticket booth that offers Venice Cards is the one most on the right when you exit the train station.

Otherwise, take a walk! The city is not that big, and you can walk from one end to the other in a few hours (if you stick to the paths conveniently marked with arrows in the direction of major landmarks). But it would take months for a fit person to discover every path in the city. Along the way you will discover marvelous art, superb architecture and breathtaking urban landscaping. Exploring the city randomly by walking is well worth it but also be prepared to get lost easily! Signs all over the city indicate the direction to the main attractions, “Rialto” and “San Marco”, as well as the way back to the train station (“ferrovia”) and the bus terminal (“Piazzale Roma”). These signs make it easy to have the “get lost experience” even as a one-day tourist.

Be aware that addresses in Venice are of the form DISTRICT NUMBER (The Venetian word for district is “Sestriere”), not STREET NUMBER. To find a specific place using a map, make sure you know which district it is in. The numbers are assigned at the start of the district and increase as they move farther away from the Grand Canal.

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The Himalayas

 

The Himalayas, are a mountain range in Asia separating the plains of the Indian subcontinent from the Tibetan Plateau. The Himalayan range is home to the planet’s highest peaks, including the highest, Mount Everest. The Himalayas include over a hundred mountains exceeding 7,200 metres (23,600 ft) in elevation. By contrast, the highest peak outside Asia – Aconcagua, in the Andes – is 6,961 metres (22,838 ft) tall.[2] The Himalayas have profoundly shaped the cultures of South Asia. Many Himalayan peaks are sacred in both Buddhism and Hinduism.

Prepare for the Himalayas
If you are not planning to do any trekking, then you will not need any special equipment, or even warm clothing as you will be able to pick up good warm clothing on entry to the region. If you do need warm clothes, don’t miss the second-hand markets selling attire from wealthy nations.
If you are trekking, the equipment you will need depends on your destination, in most of Nepal you will need nothing more than a sleeping bag and a pair of boots; the Indian Himalaya offer a large number of routes that are possible to trek independently if you have a tent, stove, and all the equipment needed for unsupported trekking.
Flora and fauna
The diversity of wildlife in the himalayas is huge. In the lower ranges, tigers, leopards, and the one horned rhinocerous can be found while the higher altitudes support a smaller but more unique group of animals. These include the snow leopard, Markhor goat, argali, and red panda. Also the dog “tibetan mastiff” is popular for the Himalayas.
Must to see
Most sights relate to the mountains themselves, and to religious structures, Muslim, Hindu and Buddhist. Many of the most popular destinations are sights in themselves.
Must to do
Trekking is the most popular activity, with a wide selection of possibilities, from deserts to jungles. It’s also popular to study Yoga or Meditation. White Water Rafting is popular in many places.


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Beautiful Italy

Italy

Italy, is a unitary parliamentary republic in Southern Europe. To the north, Italy borders France, Switzerland, Austria, and Slovenia, and is approximately delimited by the Alpine watershed, enclosing the Po Valley and the Venetian Plain. To the south, it consists of the entirety of the Italian Peninsula and the two biggest Mediterranean islands of Sicily and Sardinia.

Italian territory also includes the islands of Pantelleria, 60 km (37 mi) east of the Tunisian coast and 100 km (62 mi) southwest of Sicily, and Lampedusa, at about 113 km (70 mi) from Tunisia and at 176 km (109 mi) from Sicily, in addition to many other smaller islands. The sovereign states of San Marino and the Vatican City are enclaves within Italy, while Campione d’Italia is an Italian exclave in Switzerland. Italy covers an area of 301,338 km2 (116,347 sq mi) and has a largely temperate climate. With 60 million inhabitants, it is the 5th most populous country in Europe. Italy is also the 4th-largest economy in the European Union, 3rd in the Eurozone and 9th in the world.

Why Travel to Italy in Winter?
For people who don’t mind the cold, winter can be a great time to travel in Italy. Most of Italy sees fewer tourists in winter, meaning less crowded museums and shorter or non-existent lines. During winter opera, symphony, and theater seasons are in full swing. For winter sports enthusiasts, Italy’s mountains offer lots of opportunities.
 

Cervinia

Total pistes 350km; Highest lift 3,899m
Snow sureness 5/5
The architecture in Cervinia is not the prettiest, but look up and you see the majestic southern face of the Matterhorn. Cervinia’s strength is its altitude – 2,050m in the village and 3,883m at the top lift. Consequently it has some of the most reliable snow cover in Europe, with long blue and red runs. It’s ideal for beginners, intermediates and families. Better skiers will gravitate to the Zermatt side of the joint 57-lift ski area.
Where to stay
Hotel des Guides is a pleasant three-star with a lively bar in the centre of town.


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Beautiful Italy (part II)

Rimini 

Rimini is a city of 146,606 inhabitants in the Emilia-Romagna region of Italy, and capital city of the Province of Rimini. It is located on the Adriatic Sea, on the coast between the rivers Marecchia and Ausa. It is one of the most famous seaside resorts in Europe, thanks to its 15 kilometres (9 miles) long sandy beach, over 1,000 hotels and thousands of bars, restaurants and discos. The first bathing establishment opened in 1843. An art city with ancient Roman and Renaissance monuments, Rimini is the hometown of the famous film director Federico Fellini as well.
At the beginning of the 16th century Rimini, now a secondary town of the Papal States, was ruled by an Apostolic Legate. Towards the end of the 16th century, the municipal square (now Piazza Cavour), which had been closed off on a site where the Poletti Theatre was subsequently built, was redesigned. The statue of Pope Paul V has stood in the centre of the square next to the fountain since 1614.
In the 16th century, the ‘grand square’ (now the Piazza Tre Martiri in honor of three civilians hanged by the retreating Nazis at the end of World War II), which was where markets and tournaments were held, underwent various changes. A small temple dedicated to Saint Anthony of Padua and a clock tower were built there, giving the square its present shape and size.
The city was transformed after the 1843 founding of the first bathing establishment and the Kursaal, a building constructed to host sumptuous social events, became the symbol of Rimini’s status as a tourist resort. In just a few years the seafront underwent considerable development work making Rimini ‘the city of small villas’. At the beginning of the twentieth century The Grand Hotel, the city’s first major accommodation facility, was built near the beach.
During the first World War Rimini and its surrounding infrastructure was one of the primary targets of the Austro-Hungarian Navy. After Italy’s declaration of war on 15 May 1915 the Austro-Hungarian fleet left its harbours the same day and started its assault on the Adriatic coast between Venice and Barletta.
During World War II the city was torn apart by heavy bombardments and by the passage of the front over the Gothic Line during the Battle of Rimini and was eventually captured by Greek and Canadian forces. Following its liberation on September 21, 1944, reconstruction work began, culminating in huge development of the tourist industry in the city.
Why to visit Rimini?
Rimini, often referred to as the capital of Italian seaside tourism and nightlife, is one of Italy’s most popular beach resorts and one of the largest in Europe. It has 15km of fine sandy beach with top-rate bathing facilities. The seaside promenade is lined with restaurants, hotels, and nightclubs. The city itself has an interesting historic center, Roman ruins, and museums. Film director Federico Fellini was from Rimini.
Rimini Lido, Beaches, and Baths:
Marina Centro and Lungomare Augustore are the center of beaches and nightlife. Beaches spread north and south with those farther from the center more family oriented. A seafront promenade runs along the coast. Many of the beaches are private and include cabanas, umbrellas, and beach chairs for a day use fee.
Rimini Terme is a thermal spa on the sea with treatment facilities, four heated salt water pools, and a wellness center. It’s set in a park with fitness trail, beach, and playground. Hotel National by the sea in Marino Centro has spa facilities and therapeutic treatments.
 Where to stay?
 
Most hotels are near the seaside promenade, Lungomare. See top rated Rimini Hotels along the Lungomare. You can also search all Rimini hotels on Venere, including adjacent coastal suburbs. We stayed at Hotel Corallo, a very nice spa hotel by the sea in Riccioine, to the south but connected by bus.
Rimini Top Sights and Attractions:
 
Besides beaches and nightlife, Rimini has a good historic center and is a city of art. Most of these sights are in the historic center. For a map showing the main sights see Rimini Map onMapping Europe.
·         Roman Rimini dates from 268 BC and there are several Roman remains. The main town gate, Arco d’Augusto, was erected in 27BC. There’s a 62 meter long Roman bridge, Ponte di Tiberio, that was built in 21AD and part of a 2nd century Roman amphitheater that once held over 10,000 spectators.
·         Piazza Cavour is the main square, dating from the Medieval period, where you’ll find government, socializing, and market day on Wednesday. In the center of the square are a statue of Pope Paul IV and the circular Pigna fountain built in 1543 incorporating some Roman remains. Around the square are several interesting buildings including the 13th century Palazzo dell’Arengo, the town hall, the old fish market, and neoclassical theater,Teatro Amintore Galli. Behind the theater is the 15th century fortress, Castel Sismondo, used for cultural events.
·         Piazza tre Martiri is the site of the old Roman Forum. In the square are the early 16th century Tempietto of Saint Anthony,  and the clock tower, built in 1547 but with a clock face from 1750. There’s also a 16th century column commemorating Julius Caesar.
·         The Malatesta Temple, Tempio Malatestiano, is Rimini’s best monument and an important example of Italian Renaissance. A marble casing envelopes the original medieval church. The many art treasures inside include a Giotto painting from 1312, frescoes by Piero della Francesca, and sculptures by Duccio. Pope Pius II called it a temple of devil worship and condemned it.
·         S. Agostino, a Romanesque-Gothic church, dates from 1247 and has important art works and frescoes inside. Its 55 meter tall bell tower is the tallest in towni.
·         The City Museum, Museo della Citta, is housed in a former convent and 40 rooms filled with more than 1500 art works. The archaeology section focuses on Roman finds and thePinacoteca has Italian art from the 11th through 20th centuries.
·         Cineteca, the film library, has a collection of movies related to Rimini and Fellini memorabilia. Italian movies are shown on Friday nights.
·         Viserba, 4km away, is an old fishing port and popular holiday resort. The popular park,Italia in Miniatura, Italy in Miniature, has 272 Italian architecture scale reproductions representing all of Italy’s regions. It’s open daily March 1- January 6, but rides only operate from March 15-November 2. From Rimini train station, take bus number 8.