Parking in Venice

Suppose you are travelling through Northern Italy by a rental car and decide to visit Venice. Earlier or later you will face the problem of how to get the city and where to find parking.

As it is well known, there are no roads and cars in Venice. However, Venice has a land connection with the external world. Riding over the Liberty Bridge you will get to the part of Venice where car is still a means of transport. This refers to Rome Square (Piazzale Roma) and Tronchetto Square or to be more precise Tronchetto Island (Piazzale Tronchetto). By the way, it was just the bridge where I was imposed a penalty for driving 79 km/h instead of 70 km/h. So be careful.

In these squares all Venice parking garages are located. The parking price is about 25 euro per 24 hours. The parking garage in Rome Plaza is more popular among tourists and it’s rather hard to find a parking space, especially on weekends. From these squares you can get to Venice by Vaporetto.

Another variant worth considering is ours. We took a rental car in Milan and planned the trip in such a way that Venice was the last but one destination. We were using the car in Northern Italy for five days and in Venice we just returned it to Avis Car Rental that is in Rome Square. It gave us a possibility to walk around Venice without thinking about the car at all.

The third variant is to leave the car in Mestre, the suburb of Venice. The parking price is much lower here and it may be even 10 euro. But you will have to take a bus to get to Rome Square.

Enlarged map view


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Northern Italy Tour

So, you’ve decided to go trip. But now the important and serious question arises: where to go? There are a lot of places to visit such as Greece, Turkey, Far East, America, spectacularly beautiful European cities… This is only a small part of the offers list you can get from any travel agent. It’s clear that prices in the price list play a key role in making decision. Frankly speaking, travelling to Northern Italy is quite an expensive affair.

Apart from your financial position that allows you to take a trip to this beautiful part of the world there are another few reasons to do this:

1. A wonderful opportunity to combine a few trips into one over a short period of time.
Northern Italy is both quiet and pastoral looking Alpine lakes and a bustling and exciting city of Milan;
– Northern Italy is the Alps with their breathtaking views, nature and waterfalls;
– Northern Italy is romance and history of Verona;
– Northern Italy is aristocracy and unique beauty of Lake Maggiore and the Borromean Islands.

And this is only item 1!

2. Northern Italy is a great opportunity to plunge into the world of wonder and harmony for a week. It’s an opportunity to relax, get energy and positive emotions till the next vacation.

3. Northern Italy is a possibility to feel the exciting and rich history of Italy and Europe

4. Northern Italy is a possibility to feel beautiful nature that can hardly be seen anywhere else.

5. In Northern Italy there is a city of Venice which is considered to be a real pearl of Europe and the whole world and one of the most exciting and mysterious cities!

And all these things you can get within a relatively small land area!

As for us we managed to take this wonderful trip in eight days and with no hurry at all!


GPS using

As I have written above it is very important to use GPS when travelling. But how can you check if the maps are installed correctly and if they are working? How to avoid problems during your travel?

I personally always use my simple novogo z800 and never have problems with it. On GPS developer’s website I found a few small tips which helped me a lot.

1. Check the availability of the country you need in the list.
Checking procedure is the following: in address search find the country you need. You will manage to find it if it’s included in the list.

2. Check if there is a route simulation option.

Choose the country you are going to visit, e.g. Great Britain. Choose the city below and press “the city centre”.

Choose additional options and press “point of departure” and then prove the choice. Then go back to the main menu by pressing the “menu” button.

The next step is to choose another city in the country you need by pressing the “city centre” and then press “point of destination”. Then go back to the main menu and the “route settings” and choose simulation option.

The system with route and voice options will keep you on the right track through your whole trip.

3. Check if the option “tourist attractions” is set up.

Go back to the main menu, choose the option of showing the attractions around the sign and check if the system shows the attractions in the chosen category. It’s important to take into account that the first time you launch your GPS abroad at least 15 minutes are required for a GPS receiver to acquire satellite signals. So, don’t start getting nervous for no reason.

You do not have to switch off your GPS, just put it in stand-by mode, which will help you to save much time.


10 basic principles of choosing a hotel abroad

In our time of the well-developed Internet it’s a sin to ignore the possibilities it offers as regard to a hotel choice.

I’m sure most of you will spend few hours at your hotel in Barcelona or Milan. All your time will be devoted to sightseeing. Still nobody wants to return to a dirty third-rate hotel after a day full of pleasant and exciting emotions.

Nowadays articles like “10 rules about…” are very popular. Following this tradition I decided to write 10 small and simple principles that will help you make a correct choice when looking for a hotel.

1. Hotel rating is still very important nowadays.

Regardless of all other rules take into account how many stars a hotel has. That indicates the status of a hotel.

2. Take into account the meal system.

Not all hotels include breakfast. Despite the fact that any typical European hotel offers quite poor breakfast it is still a certain start to your day and saves dozens of euro. As for other meals you will certainly want to have lunch in a good restaurant in the city centre. So, there’s no need to overpay for B&B.

3. Check if a hotel offers in-room amenities.

You will be surprised but in Europe there are still a lot of hotels offering shared amenities.

4. Check what facilities the room offers.

You should check if the room offers such facilities as air-conditioner, fridge, shower or bath.

5. Check what additional facilities the hotel offers.

Check if there is a swimming-pool, gym etc. and if these facilities are fee paying.

6. Location

A hotel’s location plays a key role. Try to get the following information: what district the hotel is located in; the availability of any public transport stops near the hotel (in case you have no car); the availability of parking (if you have a car); good transport connection with all the sights you are going to visit.

7. Check-in and check-out time

Learn more exactly about the possibility to leave your luggage in the hotel after checking-out. It may turn out one of the most important things. You spend plenty of money on your trip abroad and I’m sure you do not want to waste your precious time in the hotel’s lobby.

8. Travel agents

With all due respect to travel agents, it is highly recommended making use of these services only if they offer prices lower than through the Internet. The Internet has grown much these days. And we in our turn have grown too and have enough experience to find the best hotel for our needs and to avoid paying the additional service fee to travel agents.

A number of big and serious web resources with solid technical support have appeared on the Internet lately. These websites are focused on taking care of each customer and they all host dozens of thousands of hotels into their databases. Besides, very often travel agents use their services.

I personally prefer to use the following resource for search, comparing prices and reading travellers’ reviews: http://www.hotelscombined.com/ It’s the biggest website with the best price comparison service. The great advantage of the resource is that it offers the widest choice of hotels and allows you to find information from all most popular travel websites all in one set of search results. Besides the web resource often offers considerable discounts. As for us we were given a 25% discount.

9. Customer reviews are the best indicator

Take into account that with Photoshop you can turn any shabby place into a palace as well as any copywriter can give a beautiful description. But as for customer reviews they are always true on every serious web resource.

If you liked the photos of the hotel, if you examined the first seven items of my article start reading the customer reviews. Pay attention to the things you are most interested in such as location, the room facilities, restrictions, pros and cons.

10. The right choice

From the list of hotels choose a few according to your budget. Then exclude those ones which you do not like and examine the rest ones according to items 1-7.

Mark 2-3 hotels and make the right choice between them. It will be a nice hotel at the best price and located in a nice convenient district and with impressive customer reviews.

Be sure the hotel will not disappoint you.


Hotels in Milan

Milan as the capital of shopping and of business and industrial life offers the widest choice of hotels. Of course, you can find there both luxury rooms in the very centre of the city and B&B.

We stayed in Cristallo Hotel. It’s a rather big 9 storeyed hotel right near the railway station. In contrast to Rome the station area in Milan turned out to be rather nice and clean. It was only once when we met a street person inside the station where we entered to buy something. He looked like a snob in his suit and red tie. It’s only Milan where you can meet such kind of street people.

Among the advantages of the hotel is close proximity to metro and to the railway station. It took us only 7 minutes to walk from the station to the hotel.

The hotel itself is rather clean and nice and worth its 3-star rating and prices which are quite obtainable as compared to those in Milan and the whole of Italy.

Among the disadvantages are too small room and rather poor breakfast typical for Italian hotels. I think its average score of 7.4 on booking.com is very spot-on! If you go to Milan for a few days and you are not going to spend much time in your room I recommend this hotel.

I will be very glad if you examine the hotel prices through this link:

http://www.booking.com/hotel/it/cristallo-milano.html

And if you want to examine other hotels in Milan I recommend this link:

http://www.booking.com/city/it/milan.html

 


White Peacock

While walking around Isola Bella we, like all other tourists, were attracted by white peacocks strolling around the island.

Most of the peacocks are females. But there are a couple of male peacocks with magnificent tail feathers. When passing by one of them we noticed an English photographer who was trying to make the peacock open its tail.

As our walk came to the end and we were going to leave the island the photographer’s efforts succeeded and we saw the white peacock open its tail. We did our best to take as many photos as possible with the peacock both alone and with us. In about a minute and a half the peacock closed its tail.

These photos seem to be very popular in RuNet. It’s really exciting to see a beautiful white peacock.

View all the white peacock photos here:

 


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