Πέμπτη, 24 Νοεμβρίου 2011

THAILAND

AMAZING THAILAND

  

THE WORLD “THAI” MEANS “FREEDOM” IN THE THAI LANGUAGE. THE COUNTRY HAS BEEN INHABITED SINCE THE PALEOLITHIC PERIOD BUT ECONOMICALLY GREW BETWEEN 1985 AND 1995 DUE TO INDUSTRY AND TOURISM. IT FEATURES DESERTED GOLDEN BEACHES, RIVERS WITH LUSH VEGETATION, TROPICAL FORESTS, SPARKLING TEMPLES AND BUSTLING CITIES. THE AREAS OF BANGKOK, PATTAYA, RIVER KWAI, KO PHUKET AND KO SAMUI ARE ONE OF THE MOST FAVORITE WORLDWIDE TOURIST DESTINATIONS!


BANGKOK “THE CITY OF THE ANGELS”, IS THE LARGEST CITY AND THE CAPITAL OF THAILAND SINCE 1782. IT IS LOCATED ON THE DELTA OF THE CHAO PHRAYA RIVER WITH ITS THOUSANDS OF CANALS! YOU CAN AVOID THE CITY’S TRAFFIC IF YOU TRAVEL BY BOAT, WHICH IS MUCH MORE PLEASANT! BANGKOK IS A COSMOPOLITAN, CULTURAL, STEAMY METROPOLIS AND A SHOPPING HEAVEN FOR ALL THE TOURISTS! IT IS ALSO THE HOME FOR MORE THAN TEN MILLION SMILING PEOPLE! THE CAPITAL CITY HAS MANY TO OFFER. BIG TEMPLES, MANY MARKETS, LOTS OF RESTAURANTS AND A CHARMING RIVER SIDE NOT TO MENTION THE “WILD” NIGHTLIFE!


CHAO PHRAYA RIVER AND THE CANALS IS THE ORIGINAL SITE WHERE BANGKOK WAS FOUNDED BEFORE IT WAS MOVED ACROSS THE RIVER TO THE RATTANAKOSIN ISLAND. STILTED WOODEN HOMES, “FLOATING KITCHENS”, MOBILE SHOPS, COLONIAL MANSIONS AND BEAUTIFUL TEMPLES IS WHAT YOU WILL EXPERIENCE IN THE PICTURESQUE RIVERSIDE SCENERY. IT IS A MARVELOUS EXPERIENCE TO WITNESS A FEAST OR A FESTIVAL ON THE RIVER AND THE NARROW CANALS, WHICH WILL BE TRADITIONALLY DECORATED AND LIGHTED! LUXURY BOATS ARE CRUISING UP AND DOWN THE CHAO PHRAYA RIVER DAY AND NIGHT, OFFERING LUNCH OR DINNER AND A GREAT VIEW OF THE RIVER BANK’S SIGHTS.


THE TEMPLE OF DAWN (WAT ARUN) IS ALSO KNOWN AS WAT PHRA KAEW, IS LOCATED ON THE WEST BANK OF THE RIVER. IT WAS BUILT BETWEEN 1767-1782 AND IT TOOK ITS NAME BECAUSE THE KING TAKSIN ARRIVED HERE AT DAWN AFTER A WAR FIGHT. DURING THE RULING YEARS OF KING TAKSIN THE TEMPLE FLOURISHED BECAUSE IT WAS THE CHIEF TEMPLE. THE BEAUTY OF ITS ARCHITECTURE AND THE OUTSTANDING SPIRE OF OVER 70 METERS HIGH AND THE TINY PIECES OF COLORED GLASS AND CHINESE PORCELAIN WITH PRETTY PATTERNS, IS ONE OF THE MOST FAMOUS LANDMARKS OF THE COUNTRY. IT IS ABSOLUTELY STUNNING AT SUNSET AND WHEN LIT UP AT NIGHT! FROM ITS TALL SPIRE YOU CAN ENJOY A SPLENDID VIEW OF THE RIVER AND THE CITY.

THE GRAND PALACE WITH ITS SPLENDOR ARCHITECTURE AND ITS 61-ACRE COMPLEX IS CERTAINLY A MUST WHILE IN BANGKOK. IT WAS BUILT IN 1782, BY KING RAMA I AS THE ROYAL RESIDENCE AND THE SEAT OF GOVERNMENT. EVERY KING HAS ADDED TO THE GRAND PALACE, SO THE BUILDINGS ARE VARIED IN ARCHITECTURE, FROM THAI STYLE TO VICTORIAN. THERE IS A HIGH WHITE WALL AROUND THE COMPLEX IN WHICH WITHIN, IS THE OLD PALACE (OR THE GRAND PALACE) AND THE TEMPLE OF THE EMERALD BUDDHA. TODAY THE GRAND PALACE IS USED ONLY FOR ROYAL CEREMONIES AND THE

TEMPLE OF THE EMERALD BUDDHA (WAT PHRA KAEW) IS SAID TO BE THE MOST SACRED BUDDHIST TEMPLE OF THAILAND, ONE OF THE WONDERS OF THE WORLD! IT IS ADJOINED TO THE GRAND PALACE AND IT SERVES AS THE ROYAL TEMPLE WHERE THE KING PERFORMS RELIGIOUS DUTIES. THE STATUE OF THE EMERALD BUDDHA IS OF A DARK GREEN COLOR OF JADE STONE. NO ONE IS ALLOWED TO TOUCH THE STATUE BUT THE KING! SO THE KING CHANGES THE CLOAK AROUND THE STATUE THREE TIMES A YEAR IN A CELEBRATION FOR GOOD FORTUNE IN THE COUNTRY. WAT PHO IS LOCATED NEXT TO THE GRAND PALACE AND IT HOUSES THE GIANT RECLINING BUDDHA COVERED IN GOLD LEAF! IT IS KNOWN AS THE BIRTHPLACE OF THE TRADITIONAL THAI MASSAGE SCHOOL AND IT IS THE OLDEST TEMPLE IN BANGKOK.
OUTSIDE THE GRAND PALACE ARE SITUATED MANY OTHER TEMPLES:

WAT TRAIMIT HOUSES A 3-METER TALL GOLDEN BUDDHA, THE WORLD’S LARGEST SOLID GOLD BUDDHA STATUE! THE TEMPLE IS LOCATED IN CHINA TOWN.

THE WAT BENJABOPHIT IS FAMOUS FOR ITS ELEGANT WHITE MARBLE FAÇADE AND IS OFTEN REFERRED AS THE MARBLE TEMPLE. THE NAME MEANS “TEMPLE OF THE FIFTH KING” AND IT IS LOCATED IN THE DUSIT DISTRICT OF BANGKOK WHICH IS THE NEW ROYAL CITY, ESTABLISHED AT THE BEGINNING OF THE 20TH CENTURY BY KING RAMA V. DUSIT MEANS “HEAVENLY GARDENS”.

THE AYUTTHAYA TEMPLES DESPITE THE FACT THAT THEY ARE NOWADAYS RUINED, THEIR REMAINING RETAIN A FEELING FROM THE FRENCH, PORTUGUESE, SPANISH, DUTCH AND PERSIAN INFLUENCE DUE TO THE DIPLOMATIC TIES OF THESE COUNTRIES DURING THE 14TH AND 18TH CENTURIES.

THE NATIONAL MUSEUM IS THE
BEST PLACE
TO STUDY THAI CULTURE. IT IS WITHIN WALKING DISTANCE FROM THE GRAND PALACE IT IS ONE OF THE LARGEST AND MOST COMPREHENSIVE MUSEUMS IN SOUTHEAST ASIA.


THERE ARE COUNTLESS “FLOATING MARKETS” THROUGHOUT THE COUNTRY. THESE COLORFULLY LIVELY MARKETS ARE PACKED WITH CANOES THAT ARE FILLED WITH FRESH FRUITS AND VEGETABLES. THE LOCALS ARE DOING BUSINESS FROM THEIR COLORFUL, NARROW, LONG BOATS. IT IS AN EXPERIENCE NOT TO BE MISSED!!! THE MOST FAMOUS OF THE FLOATING MARKETS IS DAMNOEN SADUAK, ABOUT 100 KLM SOUTHWEST OF BANGKOK AND THONBURI LOCATED WEST OF THE RIVER. THONBURI IS ALSO THE OLDEST PART OF THE CITY. EARLY IN THE MORNING IS THE BEST TIME TO VISIT A FLOATING MARKET.


PAK KHLONG FLOWER MARKET IS THE BIGGEST FRESH FLOWER MARKET OF THE CITY AND IT IS FULL OF COLOR AND AROMA!  

CHINATOWN (YAOWARAJ) IS ONE OF THE MOST DYNAMIC COMMERCIAL DISTRICT IN BANGKOK. THE 1.5 KM LONG STREET AND ITS MAZE OF SMALL STREETS ARE FILLED WITH SHOPS SELLING ALL SORT OF PRODUCTS, FROM GOLD JEWELRY  TO TRADITIONAL CHINESE EATERY, SEAFOOD AND MEDICINE!

IF YOU VISIT THE DUSIT ZOO YOU WILL ENJOY HIPPOPOTAMUS, CAMELS, RHINOCEROS, APES AND ROYAL WHITE ELEPHANTS.

THE ROSE GARDEN IS VERY CLOSE TO THE CITY AND IS A BIG GARDEN AREA WITH LAKES AND BRIDGES, A RESTAURANT, A SWIMMING POOL AND A THAI VILLAGE, WHERE PRESENTATIONS ARE GIVEN EVERY DAY OF TRADITIONAL THAI EVENTS, SUCH AS DANCES, MUSIC, MARTIAL ART AND WEDDING CEREMONIES.

RIVER KWAI IS ONE OF THAILAND’S FAVORITE DESTINATIONS. THE PROVINCE BOASTS BEAUTIFUL, NATURAL LANDSCAPE OF TROPICAL JUNGLES, RIVERS, STREAMS, WATERFALLS, VALLEYS AND CLIFFS,
A PLACE
THAT CALMS YOU WITH ITS BEAUTY! KANCHANABURI IS A LAND RICH IN HISTORY, AS HERE ARE LOCATED FAMOUS LANDMARKS AS THE BRIDGE OVER THE RIVER KWAI AND THE DEATH RAILWAY, BOTH PLAYED A SIGNIFICANT ROLE TO THE JAPANESE DURING THE WORLD WAR II. ALSO VISIT THE WAR MUSEUM AND THE TWO CEMETERIES.


PATTAYA IS LOCATED ON THE EAST COAST OF THE GULF OF THAILAND AND IT IS ASIA’S PREMIER BEACH DESTINATION. THE RELAXING TROPICAL AMBIENCE, THE PARKS, THE MUSEUMS, THE BOTANICAL GARDENS AND THE SPORTS THAT YOU CAN ENJOY, SUCH AS GOLF, FISHING, SCUBA-DIVING ETC, IS WHAT MAKES THE AREA FAMOUS AND FAVORITE. NATURE LOVERS WILL ALSO INTERESTED IN THE BIOLOGICAL RESEARCH CENTRE ON MARINE LIFE, A GARDEN WITH BUTTERFLIES AND OTHER TROPICAL INSECTS AND AN AQUARIUM WITH A BIG VARIETY OF FISH.

PHUKET IS THE COUNTRY’S LARGEST ISLAND IN THE ANDAMAN SEA. IT IS CONNECTED TO MAINLAND BY TWO BRIDGES BUT THE
BEST WAY
TO REACH THE ISLAND IS BY PLANE WHICH COVERS THE DISTANCE BETWEEN BANGKOK AND PHUKET IN A SHORT TIME AND MANY TIMES A DAY. KHAO RANG IS A HILL IN THE ISLAND THAT OFFERS A BEAUTIFUL VIEW OF THE CITY. PATONG IS THE ISLANDS BIGGEST BEACH, CURVED AND BEAUTIFUL BUT ALSO DANGEROUS DUE TO THE WINDS AND THE DEPTH OF THE WATERS. THE AREA OF PATONG IS FULL OF STREETS THAT ARE PACKED WITH SOUVENIR SHOPS, BARS, RESTAURANTS, TRAVEL AGENCIES, HOTELS AND MUCH MUCH MORE… THE VILLAGE OF PHUKET OFFERS NEARBY AREAS OF WATERFALLS AND FORESTS. THERE IS ALSO A TEMPLE, THE PHRA THONG TEMPLE, WITH A GOLDEN BUDDHA.


PHANG NGA BAY NATIONAL PARK OFFERS A SCENIC VIEW OF HUNDREDS OF LIMESTONE CLIFFS RISING OVER THE SEA WITH THICK VEGETATION ON THE TOP! ONE OF THEM IS KNOWN AS “THE JAMES BOND ISLAND” BECAUSE ONE OF THE FILMS OF THE FAMOUS JAMES BOND WAS FILMED HERE. THE WHOLE AREA IS REALLY IMPRESSIVE! IF YOU ARE A CAVES LOVER YOU CAN EXPLORE MANY OF THEM WITH A CANOE, DISCOVERING INTERIOR LAGOONS AND ENJOYING NATURE AT ITS BEST!





KRABI IS ANOTHER NATURAL BEAUTY ONLY A FEW HOURS FROM PHUKET. IT IS A PROVINCE WITH 160 KLM OF COASTLINE FILLED WITH COVES, WHITE BEACHES, CORAL REEFS, LIMESTONE FORMATIONS, AND MANGROVES, ALL WITHIN EASY REACH.

KO PHI PHI IS THE PARADISE ISLAND OF THAILAND, FEATURING CURVING BAYS, WHITE SAND BEACHES, GREEN SEAS, TROPICAL JUNGLE, SNIFF CLIFFS AND CAVES. ONE OF THESE CAVES, THE CAVE OF THE VIKINGS, HAS PREHISTORIC DRAWINGS OF SHIPS ON ITS WALLS. THERE’S A POINT IN THE ISLAND THAT NARROWS IN A FEW HUNDRED METERS WIDE, FORMING TWO OF THE MOST BEAUTIFUL BEACHES ON THE ISLAND, AO LO DALAM AND AO TON SAI!




KO SAMUI IS ANOTHER PARADISE ISLAND OF THAILAND! ANG THONG NATIONAL MARINE PARK IS AN ARCHIPELAGO OF ABOUT 40 SMALL ISLANDS WITH HIDDEN LAGOONS AND CAVES, WHITE-SAND BEACHES, LUSH VEGETATION AND LIMESTONE CLIFFS. THERE IS ALSO A NARROW CORAL REEF IN THE SOUTHWEST OF THE PARK. HIN LAT FALLS IS A BEAUTIFUL FALL COMING DOWN TO A POOL AND THERE’S ALSO A TEMPLE AT THE BASE OF THE FALLS. THE HARD THING TO DO IS TO FIND THEM!!!! YOU HAVE TO GET A BOAT FROM THE TOWN, WALK FOR ABOUT 4KM, HIKE FOR AN HOUR, CROSS STREAMS AND CLIMB OVER ROCKS…IF YOU ARE UP TO IT, THEN YOU’LL GET REGARDED BY THE LANDSCAPE AND THE WATERFALL. IN KO SAMUI ALSO IS LOCATED THE NA MUANG FALLS WHICH CAN BE REACHES ON FOOT AT LOW TIDE.

OF COURSE THAILAND IS A SHOPPING PARADISE. THEY EVEN HAVE NIGHT MARKETS THAT OPEN AT 22:00 O’CLOCK. YOU CAN SHOP TILL THE MORNING HOURS! CLOTHS, SHOES, SILK, COTTON, HANDMADE ITEMS, WOODEN ITEMS, SILVERWARE, JEWELRY, LEATHER, PORCELAIN, FRUITS, FISH ARE AMONGST THE THINGS YOU CAN BUY IN THAILAND. TAILORING IS VERY COMMON IN THAILAND AND VERY AFFORDABLE TOO!

THE BEST TIME TO VISIT THAILAND IS BETWEEN NOVEMBER AND FEBRUARY. IT IS THE TIME OF YEAR THAT RAINS THE LEAST AND IT IS NOT TOO HOT. IT IS ALSO THAILAND’S MAIN SEASON FOR FESTIVALS.

THAI FOOD IS WELL-KNOWN TO BE HOT AND SPICY, WITH RICE AS THE MAIN DISH. FISH IS ON THE EVERY-DAY DIETARY AS WELL. NICE, SPICY AND FRESH, SO ENJOY IT…AND DO NOT FORGET THE FRUITS…ALL KIND OF JUICY, TROPICAL, FRESH FRUITS!!!
DIFFERENT COUNTRIES-DIFFERENT CULTURES, SO BE CAREFUL ON LITTLE THINGS THAT ARE CONSIDERED RUDE IN THAILAND. DO NOT ENTER A THAI HOME OR TEMPLE WITH YOUR SHOES ON. YOU ARE PERMITTED TO SIT ON THE FLOOR IN A TEMPLE, ALWAYS FACING THE BUDDHA AND WITH YOUR FEET IN THE OPPOSITE DIRECTION (AS A GESTURE OF RESPECT). DO NOT TOUCH ANYONE ON THE HEAD NOT EVEN A BUDDHA’S STATUE. DO NOT POINT ON SOMEONE’S FEET. DO NOT CROSS YOUR LEGS IN FRONT OF ANYONE. ALWAYS SMILE AT PEOPLE, ESPECIALLY IF YOU WANT TO ASK THEM SOMETHING.

WHILE IN THAILAND DO NOT MISS THE OPPORTUNITY TO EXPERIENCE A WORLD FAMOUS THAI MASSAGE, RIDE THE TRADITIONAL STYLE TAXIS “TUK-TUK” (MAN DRIVEN KIND OF THREE-WHEELED CARRIAGES), ATTEND A MUAY THAI MATCH (KICKBOXING), WATCH A LADY-BOY SHOW (SPECTACULAR BEAUTIFUL FEMALE DANCERS THAT ARE ACTUALLY…MEN!) OR GO TO A “SEX SHOW” (POOR THAI YOUNG WOMEN DOING ALL KIND OF SICKENING SEX LINKING THINGS ON STAGE!) REALLY THIS SHOW IS FOR STRONG STOMACHS…IMAGINE THAT THE ONLY NORMAL ACT IN THIS KIND OF SHOWS IS A COUPLE MAKING LOVE IN FRONT OF EVERYONE…YOU HAVE TO ASK SOMEONE THAT KNOWS THE CITY TO GUIDE YOU TO THIS BARS BECAUSE IT IS “NOT LEGAL”! MANY THINGS IN THAILAND ARE “NOT LEGAL”! ESPECIALLY, BANGKOK’S NIGHTLIFE HAS A REPUTATION FOR BEING WILD…TAKE MY WORD ON IT…
YOU WILL NEED MANY TRIPS TO THAILAND TO FEEL THAT YOU HAVE TRULY GOT TO KNOW THIS AMAZING COUNTRY! AND CERTAINLY YOU WILL WANT TO RETURN AND EXPERIENCE MORE OF THE PEOPLE AND THEIR CULTURE. THEIR SMILING FACES WILL CALL YOU BACK TO THIS PARADISE OF THE ORIENT!

SO…ENJOY ALL THIS AMAZING COUNTRY HAS TO OFFER!...



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Κυριακή, 23 Οκτωβρίου 2011

VIENNA - SALZBURG

 
VIENNA

Η ΡΟΜΑΝΤΙΚΗ ΑΥΤΟΚΡΑΤΟΡΙΚΗ ΠΟΛΗ ΤΟΥ ΔΟΥΝΑΒΗ
ΤΗΣ  ΑΥΣΤΡΟ – ΟΥΓΓΡΙΚΗΣ  ΜΟΝΑΡΧΙΑΣ,
Η ΠΡΩΤΕΥΣΑ ΤΗΣ ΜΟΥΣΙΚΗΣ ΚΑΙ ΤΗΣ ΤΕΧΝΗΣ.

FOUNDED AROUND 500 BC, WAS ORIGINALLY A CELTIC SETTLEMENT. THEN IT BECAME A ROMAN CITY. IN 1440 IT BECAME THE RESIDENCE CITY OF THE HABSBURG DYNASTY. DURING THE NAPOLEONIC WAR IN 1804, VIENNA BECAME THE CAPITAL OF THE AUSTRIAN EMPIRE AND AFTER 1867 THE CAPITAL OF AUSTRO-HUNGARIAN EMPIRE. EVENTUALLY, IN 1918 AFTER THE FIRST WORLD WAR, THE CITY BECAME THE CAPITAL OF THE AUSTRIAN REPUBLIC. IT WAS ALWAYS A CITY OF MUSIC AND CULTURE AND FROM LATE 19TH CENTURY UNTIL 1938 IT WAS A WORLD CAPITAL OF MUSIC AND HOME TO COMPOSERS LIKE STRAUSS, MOZART AND BRAHMS.   

VIENNA IS A ROMANTIC CITY
ENJOY IT

STEPHANSDOM:  THE LANDMARK OF THE CITY, THIS GOTHIC CATHEDRAL OF ST. STEPHAN DATES BACK TO THE MIDDLE AGES.
THE 343 STEPS OF ITS BELL TOWER GIVES YOU A BREATH-TAKING VIEW OF THE CITY!


HOFBURG:   ΤΟ ΑΥΤΟΚΡΑΤΟΡΙΚΟ ΠΑΛΑΤΙ ΤΩΝ ΑΨΒΟΥΡΓΩΝ ΕΙΝΑΙ ΣΗΜΕΡΑ ΤΑ ΚΥΒΕΡΝΗΤΙΚΑ ΓΡΑΦΕΙΑ. IT IS ACTUALLY A BIG COMPLEX OF GREAT BUILDINGS THAT FORMS A BIG AND BEAUTIFUL PLATZ (ΠΛΑΤΕΙΑ). ONE OF ITS BUILDINGS HOUSES THE SPANISH RIDING SCHOOL WITH THE FAMOUS LIPIZZAN STALLIONS, WHICH SHOW THEIR SKILLS IN A UNIQUE SHOW. (RESERVE TICKETS IN ADVANCE).
A MUST IS A VISIT TO THE GALLERY WITH THE CROWN JEWELS.
RIGHT OPPOSITE THE HOFBURG IS THE MUSEUM OF THE HISTORY OF   FINE ART WITH GREAT EXHIBITS.


STAATSOPER: VIENNA STATE OPERA OFTEN HOLDS MEMORIAL TO MOZART, BEETHOVEN, SHUBERT, STRAUSS, SCHOENBERG, ETC. HERENYOU CAN ALSO ENJOY THE VIENNESE VAL’S!


RATHAUS: THE CITY HALL IS A VERY VERY BEAUTIFUL BUILDING!
IN CHRISTMAS TIME THEY HOLD THE “WEIHNMARKT” IN FRONT OF THE RATHAUS WHICH IS A FESTIVE CHRISTMAS MARKET WITH ALL KIND OF CHRISTMAS LITTLE THINGS TO BUY, LOCAL FOOD SPECIALTIES TO TRY FROM THE MANY FOOD-STANDS AND OF COURSE DRINK BEER OR THE FAMOUS “HOT RED WINE”! (YOU CAN KEEP THE MUG AS A SOUVENIR).


PARLIAMENT: GREAT BUILDING WITH MANY COLUMNS AND THE STATUE OF GODDESS ATHENA!


SECESSION: ART NOUVEAU ARCHITECTURE ΜΕ ΕΠΙΧΡΥΣΩΜΕΝΟ ΘΟΛΟ.

STADTPARK: ΤΟ ΜΕΓΑΛΟ ΠΑΡΚΟ ΤΗΣ ΠΟΛΗΣ ΜΕ ΤΟ ΕΠΙΧΡΥΣΟ ΜΝΗΜΕΙΟ ΤΟΥ JOHAN STRAUSS.

KARLSKIRCHE: THE BAROC CHURCH OF KARL ΜΕ ΤΟΝ ΕΠΙΒΛΗΤΙΚΟ ΤΡΟΥΛΟ.

SACHER HOTEL:  LOCATED JUST BEHIND THE STAATSOPER IS A REAL PALACE AND ONE OF THE MOST LUXURIOUS HOTEL OF VIENNA. ENJOY THE FAMOUS “SACHERTORTE“  CHOCOLATE CAKE IN ITS ELEGANT CAFÉ.
IT’S A MUST, DO NOT MISS IT!


THE RINGSTRASSE: IS THE FORMER CITY WALLS OF LATE 19TH CENTURY. A WALK ALONG THE RING BOULEVARD OFFERS THE BEST SIGHTSEEING OF THE CITY WITH ALL THE IMPOSING BUILDINGS, MANY OF WHICH HOUSES MUSEUMS AND GALLERIES WITH THE WORK OF FAMOUS ARTISTS.


BELVEDERE PALACE: IS THE BAROQUE SUMMER RESIDENCE OF PRINCE EUGENE OF SAVOY. IT ALSO HOUSES KLIMT’S FAMOUS “KISS”. FROM THE UPPER BUILDING, YOU HAVE A FABULOUS VIEW OF THE OLD CITY.

INNERE STADT: THE OLD CITY ΜΕ ΤΗ ΚΟΜΒΙΚΗ ΣΤΑΣΗ ΤΟY ΜΕΤΡΟ “KARLSPLATZ” AND THE PEDESTRIAN ZONE OF KARNTNER STRASSE AND GRABEN STRASSE WITH MANY SOUVENIR SHOPS, BISTROS AND CAFÉS.


HUNDERTWASSER HAUS: UNIQUE, ECCENTRIC ARCHITECTURE BUILDINGS FROM THE ARCHITECT FRIEDENSREICH HUNDERTWASSER ΟΠΟΥ ΚΑΙ ΠΗΡΕ ΚΑΙ ΤΟ ΟΝΟΜΑ ΤΟ ΠΕΡΙΕΡΓΟ ΑΥΤΟ ΣΥΜΠΛΕΓΜΑ ΚΤΙΡΙΩΝ. IT’S A MUST, DO NOT MISS IT AND DON’T FORGET YOUR CAMERA!!!
ΜΕ ΤΟ UNDERGROUND U4, ΣΤΑΣΗ : SCHWEDEN PLATZ ΚΑΙ ΣΥΝΕΧΕΙΑ ΜΕ ΤΟ TRAM N ΜΕΧΡΙ ΤΗ ΣΤΑΣΗ  LOWERGASSE.


SHONBRUNN PALACE: IS THE SUMMER RESIDENCE OF THE HABSBURG RULERS IN THE WEST OF THE CITY. YOU CAN ADMIRE THE ROOMS OF EMPRESS MARIA THERESIA, EMPEROR’S FRANZ JOSEF I (WHO RULED IN THE YEARS OF 1848-1916) AND HIS BEAUTIFULL WIFE ELISABETH, THE WELL KNOWN “SISSI” – AUSTRIA’S MOST BELOVED AND FAMOUS EMPRESS. DON’T MISS A VISIT TO THE PALACE’S WONDERFUL GARDENS WITH THE “GLORIETTE” – ΑΨΙΔΑ ΤΟΥ ΘΡΙΑΜΒΟΥΚΑΙ ΤΟ ΥΠΕΡΟΧΟ ΣΙΝΤΡΙΒΑΝΙ ΤΟΥ ΠΟΣΕΙΔΩΝΑ.ΕΠΙΣΗΣ ΕΔΩ ΒΡΙΣΚΕΤΑΙ ΚΑΙ Ο ΖΩΟΛΟΓΙΚΟΣ ΚΗΠΟΣ ΤΗΣ ΠΟΛΗΣ. (TIERGARDEN = ZOO).
ΜΕ ΤΟ UNDERGROUND U4, ΣΤΑΣΗ HIETZING/TIERGARTEN.

DANUBE TOWER: Ο ΠΥΡΓΟΣ ΤΟΥ ΔΟΥΝΑΒΗ. IS THE TALLEST BUILDING OF THE CITY AND WITH ITS REVOLVING RESTAURANTS OFFERS GREAT VIEWS OF THE CITY.
ΜΕ ΤΟ UNDERGROUND U1, ΣΤΑΣΗ KAISEMUHTEN/VIENNA CENTRE. ΛΙΓΟ ΠΕΡΠΑΤΗΜΑ ΜΕΣΑ ΑΠΟ ΤΟ ΚΕΝΤΡΟ ΑΥΤΟ ΚΑΙ ΦΤΑΝΟΥΜΕ ΣΤΟ ΠΑΡΚΟ-ΔΑΣΟΣ ΣΤΟ ΟΠΟΙΟ ΒΡΙΣΚΕΤΑΙ Ο ΠΥΡΓΟΣ.

DONAU INSEL: ΠΕΡΙΟΧΗ ΔΙΠΛΑ ΣΤΟ ΠΟΤΑΜΙ ΟΠΟΥ ΟΤΑΝ Ο ΚΑΙΡΟΣ ΕΙΝΑΙ ΖΕΣΤΟΣ ΛΕΙΤΟΥΡΓΟΥΝ ΠΟΛΛΑ ΕΣΤΙΑΤΟΡΙΑ ΣΕ RIVERBOATS. Η ΠΕΡΙΟΧΗ ΕΙΝΑΙ ΓΝΩΣΤΗ ΚΑΙ ΜΕ ΤΟ ΟΝΟΜΑ “COPA CARGANA”.
ΜΕ ΤΟ UNDERGROUND U1, ΣΤΑΣΗ DONAUINSEL.


ALTE DONAU: ΕΠΙΣΗΣ ΩΡΑΙΑ ΠΕΡΙΟΧΗ ΣΤΟΝ ΔΟΥΝΑΒΗ ΕΙΝΑΙ ΤΟ “OLD DANUBE” ΜΕ ΠΑΡΑΔΟΣΙΑΚΑ ΕΣΤΙΑΤΟΡΙΑ ΚΑΙ CAFÉ ΣΤΟ ΠΟΤΑΜΙ.
ΜΕ ΤΟ UNDERGROUND U1, ΣΤΑΣΗ ALTE DONAU.

ΤΟ DANUBE TOWER, ΤΟ DONAU INSEL ΚΑΙ ΤΟ ALTE DONAU ΕΙΝΑΙ ΣΤΗΝ ΙΔΙΑ ΠΕΡΙΟΧΗ ΚΑΙ ΜΠΟΡΕΙ ΕΥΚΟΛΑ ΝΑ ΣΥΝΔΥΑΣΤΕΙ ΕΠΙΣΚΕΨΗ ΚΑΙ ΣΤΑ ΤΡΙΑ ΜΕΡΗ.


IN THE OUTSKIRTS OF THE CITY

PRATER AMUSEMENT PARK: WITH THE GIANT FERRIS WHEEL AND MANY OTHER THEMES. IS FIVE MINUTES FROM THE CITY CENTRE BY UNDERGRAOUNDU1, ΣΤΑΣΗ PRATERNSTERN.

GRINZING: ΕΝΑ ΑΠΟ ΤΑ ΥΠΕΡΟΧΑ ΚΡΑΣΟΧΩΡΙΑ ΤΗΣ ΒΙΕΝΝΗΣ ΜΕ ΠΑΡΑΔΟΣΙΑΚΕΣ ΤΑΒΕΡΝΟΥΛΕΣ ΓΝΩΣΤΕΣ ΩΣ “HENRIGER” WINE TAVERNS ΠΟΥ ΠΡΟΣΦΕΡΟΥΝ ΩΡΑΙΟ ΑΥΣΤΡΙΑΚΟ ΦΑΓΗΤΟ, ΥΠΕΡΟΧΟ ΤΟΠΙΚΟ ΚΡΑΣΙ ΚΑΙ ΡΟΜΑΝΤΙΚΗ ΜΟΥΣΙΚΗ. BROST! CHEERS! ΠΟΛΥ ΠΟΛΥ ΠΟΛΥ ΠΟΛΥ ΟΜΟΡΦΟ ΚΑΙ ΓΡΑΦΙΚΟΤΑΤΟ ΧΩΡΙΟ!!!!!!!!!!!!
ME TO UNDERGROUND, ΣΤΑΣΗ HEILIGENSTAD ΚΑΙ ΣΥΝΕΧΙΖΟΥΜΕ ΜΕ ΤΟ TRAM 38A ΜΕΧΡΙ ΤΟ ΧΩΡΙΟ.
ΜΕΤΑ ΤΟ GRINZING ΜΠΟΡΕΙΤΕ ΝΑ ΣΥΝΕΧΙΣΕΤΕ (ΜΕ ΤΟ ΙΔΙΟ TRAM 38A)
ΑΝΑΜΕΣΑ ΑΠΟ ΜΙΑ ΠΟΛΥ ΟΜΟΡΦΗ ΔΙΑΔΡΟΜΗ ΣΤΟ ΒΟΥΝΟ, ΜΕΣΑ ΣΤΟ ΔΑΣΟΣ, ΚΑΙ ΝΑ ΦΤΑΣΕΤΕ ΣΤΟ SISSI CAPELLE ΠΟΥ ΕΙΝΑΙ ΕΝΑ ΜΙΚΡΟ ΕΚΚΛΗΣΑΚΙ ΤΟ ΟΠΟΙΟ ΕΠΙΣΚΕΠΤΟΤΑΝ ΣΥΧΝΑ Η EMPRESS SISSI. ΕΙΝΑΙ ΜΙΑ ΩΡΑΙΑ ΔΙΑΔΡΟΜΗ ΣΤΟ ΔΑΣΟΣ (ΤΟΝ ΧΕΙΜΩΝΑ ΕΙΝΑΙ ΟΛΟΑΣΠΡΗ ΑΠΟ ΤΟ ΧΙΟΝΙ!) ΚΑΙ ΟΤΑΝ Ο ΚΑΙΡΟΣ ΕΙΝΑΙ ΚΑΘΑΡΟΣ ΜΠΟΡΕΙΤΕ ΝΑ ΔΕΙΤΕ ΤΗΝ ΠΟΛΗ ΠΟΥ ΑΠΛΩΝΕΤΑΙ ΑΠΟ ΚΑΤΩ.


DO NOT MISS A VISIT TO GRINZING, IT’S NOT A MUST
IT’S A MUST-MUST!!



VIENNA WOODS: IN THIS HALF-DAY TOUR YOU WILL SEE THE MAYERLING HUNTING LODGE WHERE PRINCE RUDOLPH AND BARONESS VETSERA TRAGICALLY DIED IN 1889. NEXT, YOU VISIT ON A BOAT RIDE THE LARGEST SUBTERRANEAN LAKE IN EUROPE.
YOU CAN VISIT VIENNA WOODS ONLY WITH A TOUR OPERATOR.

SHOPPING: KARNTNER STASSE ΚΑΙ ΤΑ ΓΥΡΩ ΣΤΕΝΑ ΔΡΟΜΑΚΙΑ ΣΤΗ ΠΑΛΙΑ ΠΟΛΗ ΚΑΙ MARIAHILFERSTRASSE WHICH IS VIENNA’S LONGEST SHOPPING STREET ENDING AT STEPHANSDOM PLATZ.

FIAKERS: “TAXIS OF THE OLD DAYS”. HORSE-DRAWN CARRIAGES THAT GIVES YOU A ROMANTIC TOUR OF THE OLD CITY (AGREE THE PRICE BEFORE YOU SET OFF!)



HEURIGEN: ΟΙΝΟΜΑΓΕΙΡΕΙΑ ΜΕ ΡΟΥΣΤΙΚ ΠΡΟΣΩΠΟ ΚΑΙ ΜΕΛΩΔΙΕΣ ΑΠΟ ΑΚΟΡΝΤΕΟΝ. ΤΑ ΑΝΑΓΝΩΡΙΖΕΙΣ ΑΠΟ ΤΙΣ ΠΟΡΤΕΣ ΤΟΥΣ ΓΙΑΤΙ ΕΧΟΥΝ ΚΡΕΜΑΣΜΕΝΟ ΠΡΑΣΙΝΟ ΚΛΑΔΙ, ΓΝΩΣΤΟ ΣΤΗ ΒΙΕΝΝΗ ΜΕ ΤΟ ΟΝΟΜΑ “BUSCHN”.

BEISEL: VIENNESE BISTROS WHERE YOU CAN ENJOY VIENNESE COFFEE AND VIENNESE SPECIAL PASTRIES.

COFFEE TIPS:   MOKKA  = BLACK COFFEE
                              MELANGE = COFFEE WITH MILK               
                              FIAKER = MOCCA WITH RUM OR BRANDY SERVED IN
                              GLASS
                              EINSPANNER = MOCCA WITH WHIPPED CREAM SERVED
                              IN GLASS

PASTRY TIPS:  SACHERTORTE IS A FAMOUS CHOCKOLATE CAKE. THE BEST YOU CAN FIND IS IN SACHER HOTEL, WHICH IS THEIR SPECIALTY, AND THE CAKE TOOK ITS NAME FROM THIS HOTEL. (IS THE BEST, TAKE MY WORD ON IT!)
APFELSTRUDEL: APPLES, NUTS, CINNAMON AND SUGAR
PANCAKES WITH ALL KIND OF FILLINGS……..YAMMIE!!!!

VIENNESE DISHES: 
WIENER SCHNITZEL: VEAL AND POTATOES SALAD.
TAFEL SPITZ: BEEF AND FRIED POTATOES AND SAUCE.



SALZBURG

UNSPOILT COUNTRYSIDE WITH UNIQUE ATTRACTIONS!
THIS IS SALZBURG!


LOCATED ON THE BANKS OF SALZACH RIVER, SALZBURG IS A MEDIEVAL CITY BY THE ALPS. IT WAS ORIGINALLY OCCUPIED BY THE CELTS, LATER IT BECAME BAVARIAN AND IN THE LATE 14TH CENTURY, IT WAS THE BISHOPRIC OF THE ROMAN EMPIRE.

THE ALTSTADT, THE OLD TOWN, IS DOMINATED BY BAROQUE TOWERS AND CHURCHES. IT IS ONE OF THE BEST-PRESERVED CITY CENTERS AND IS A UNESCO WORLD HERITAGE SITE SINCE 1997.




THE FESTUNG HOHENSALZBURG IS THE CITY’S MASSIVE FORTRESS, BUILT IN 1077.


SALTZBURG IS THE BIRTH TOWN OF WOLFGANG AMADEUS MOZART AND YOU CAN SEE HIS POOR BIRTH HOUSE IN THE OLD CITY AND HIS LATER HOUSE IN THE OTHER SIDE OF THE RIVER. THIS AREA WAS CONSIDERED THE RICH SIDE OF SALZSBURG. HIS FAMILY MOVED THERE WHEN HE GAINED FAME AND MONEY, DUE TO HIS TALENTED SUCCESS!


MIRABELL PALACE IS A BEAUTIFUL PALACE, WHERE IN ITS BIG GARDENS, PART OF THE FAMOUS FILM SOUND OF MUSIC TOOK PLACE.





BON VOYAGE
HAVE A GREAT TIME IN THIS BEAUTIFUL MEDIEVAL CITY…

ALL THE PHOTOS TAKEN BY DESPINA ARE PROTECTED BY COPYRIGHT. PICTURES CAN ONLY BE USED WITH PRIOR CONSENT OF DESPINA AND THEY HAVE TO BE LINKED BACK TO THIS BLOG. IT IS FORBIDDEN TO USE THE PICTURES FOR COMMERCIAL REASONS.
PHOTOGRAPHY BY DESPINA.










Κυριακή, 16 Οκτωβρίου 2011

ITALY


ROMA

Η ΑΙΩΝΙΑ ΠΟΛΗ




ΤΙ ΝΑ ΠΡΩΤΟ-ΚΑΝΕΙ ΚΑΝΕΙΣ ΣΤΗΝ ΠΟΛΗ ΑΥΤΗ, Η ΟΠΟΙΑ ΣΦΥΖΕΙ ΑΠΟ ΖΩΗ ΟΛΕΣ ΤΙΣ ΩΡΕΣ ΤΗΣ ΗΜΕΡΑΣ, ΜΕ ΤΙΣ ΠΟΛΥΑΡΙΘΜΕΣ ΠΛΑΤΕΙΕΣ ΤΗΣ, ΤΑ ΠΟΛΥΣΥΧΝΑΣΤΑ CAFÉ ΤΗΣ, ΤΑ ΠΟΛΥΤΕΛΗ ΚΑΤΑΣΤΗΜΑΤΑ ΤΗΣ!

ΜΟΝΟ ΚΑΙ ΜΟΝΟ ΤΟ ΓΕΓΟΝΟΣ ΟΤΙ Η ΠΟΛΗ ΕΙΝΑΙ ΕΝΑ ΜΟΥΣΕΙΟ ΑΠΟ ΜΟΝΗ ΤΗΣ, ΕΙΝΑΙ ΑΡΚΕΤΟ ΓΙΑ ΝΑ ΓΕΜΙΣΕΙ ΚΑΠΟΙΟΣ ΤΙΣ ΩΡΕΣ ΤΟΥ ΠΕΡΠΑΤΩΝΤΑΣ ΤΑ ΠΑΜΠΟΛΛΑ ΑΞΙΟΘΕΑΤΑ, ΘΑΥΜΑΖΟΝΤΑΣ ΤΑ ΑΡΧΑΙΑ ΥΠΟΛΕΙΜΜΑΤΑ ΚΑΠΟΙΑΣ ΠΑΛΙΑΣ ΕΠΟΧΗΣ ΚΑΙ ΤΕΛΙΚΑ ΑΠΟΛΑΜΒΑΝΟΝΤΑΣ ΤΗΝ ΥΠΕΡΟΧΗ ΙΤΑΛΙΚΗ ΚΟΥΖΙΝΑ ΜΕ ΤΙΣ ΜΑΚΑΡΟΝΑΔΕΣ ΤΗΣ, ΤΙΣ ΠΙΤΣΕΣ ΤΗΣ ΚΑΙ ΤΑ PANINI ΤΗΣ. ΚΑΙ ΑΣ ΜΗΝ ΞΕΧΝΑΜΕ ΤΑ ΥΠΕΡΟΧΑ GELLATO!                                                                                           

THE CITY IS BUILT ON SEVEN HILLS ON THE TIBER RIVER. IT HAS A HISTORY OF OVER TWO AND A HALF THOUSAND YEARS AND IT HAS BEEN THE SEAT OF THE PAPACY SINCE THE 1ST CENTURY AD.

TAKE A WALK TO THIS ANCIENT CITY THAT IS ACTUALLY AN OPEN MUSEUM!

PIAZZA VENEZA: THIS SQUARE CAN BE THE START POINT TO A VERY INTERESTING WALK ALL THE WAY TO THE COLOSSEO. IN VIA DEI FORI IMPERIALI YOU WILL FIND THE STATUES OF EMPEROR CAESAR AUGUSTO AND EMPEROR TRAIANO. IN ONE SIDE OF THE STREET ARE THE COLONA DI TRAIANO, THE FORO DI TRAIANO, THE FORO DI AUGUSTO AND THE FORO ROMANO. IN THE OTHER SIDE ARE THE CAPITOGLIO AND THE VIA SACRA. VIA SACRA MEANS “THE SACRED STREET” AND INCLUDES THE FORO ROMANO PALATINO, ARCO DI SETTIMO, ARCO DI TITO AND MANY MORE ANCIENT BUILDINGS. IS QUITE A ‘FEELING’ BEING ABLE TO WALK IN THIS ANCIENT PLACE! VIA SACRA ENDS IN ARCO DI COSTANTINO WHERE YOU CAN EXIT TO THE PIAZZA DI COLOSSEO. THE COLOSSEUM IS THE LARGEST MONUMENT OF ROMAN ANTIQUITY. EXPLORE THE FORMER “HOME OF GLADIATORS” WHERE MANY FIGHTS AND SACRIFICES TOOK PLACE.
YOU CAN CONTINUE TO THE NINFEO DI NERONE, PASS THE CHURCH OF SAN GREGORIO MAGNO AND REACH TERME DI CARACALLA, WHICH IS THE OLD BATHS OF THE CITY.




PIAZZA PIETRO AND THE VATICAN: YOU CAN START YOUR DAY IN PIAZZA DEL POPOLO. IT’S A VERY BIG SQUARE WHERE THE ITALIANS USE TO SPEND A LOT OF TIME WITH THEIR FAMILY AND FRIENDS. YOU START WALKING BY THE RIVER SIDE, PASS THE PIAZZA AUGUSTO IMPERIALI AND CROSS THE TEVERE RIVER THROUGH PONTE CAVOUR TO THE PIAZZA CAVOUR. THEN YOU CONTINUE WALKING BY THE RIVER SIDE AND PASS BY THE BEAUTIFUL CASTEL SAN ANGELO. THIS MAGNIFICENT FORTRESS CONTAINS THE HADRIAN’S MAUSOLEUM. THE BRIDGE OF ANGELS, WHICH LEADS TO CASTEL SAN ANGELO, IS A VERY BEAUTIFUL BRIDGE WITH MANY ANGEL-STATUS ON BOTH SIDES.


THROUGH VIA DE  LA CONCILIAZIONE YOU REACH PIAZZA PIETRO WITH THE BIG COLUMN IN THE CENTRE AND THE HUGE CATHEDRAL IN THE END. IF YOU CAN MAKE IT TO THE TOP OF THE BASILICA, YOU WILL BE REWARDED BY THE STUNNING VIEW OF THE CITY! THE BASILICA ALSO HOUSES THE SISTINE CHAPEL AND MANY MUSEUMS WORTH VISITING. SISTINE CHAPEL IS FAMOUS FOR ITS ARCHITECTURE AND ITS FRESCOES THAT HAS BEEN CREATED BY THE GREATEST RENAISSANCE ARTIST INCLUDING MICHELANGELO. NEXT TO SAINT PETER’S CATHEDRAL IS THE VATICAN WHERE YOU CANNOT ENTER BUT IF LUCKY YOU MAY SEE THE POP!
A DAY IN THE SHOPS OF ROME IS A MUST! VIA DEL CORSO HAVE ALL THE DESIGNER BOUTIQUES AS WELL AS VIA CONDOTI AND VIA VITTORIO VENETO; GUCCI, DOLCE AND GABBANA, VALENTINO, ARMANI, FERRE, VERSACE AND MANY MORE. THE ITALIANS REALLY HAVE A GOOD SENSE OF WHAT FASHION IS!                                   

AFTER SHOPPING VISIT PIAZZA DI SPAGNA FOR A REFRESHING DRINK IN THE NUMEROUS CAFÉS AND CLIMB UP THE STEPS TO PIAZZA TRINITA DEI MONTI WITH THE BEAUTIFUL CHURCH AND THE BEAUTIFUL VIEW OF THE CITY UNDERNEATH THE SQUARE.


FONTANA DI TREVI: IS THE HOTSPOT OF ROME. THE MAGNIFICENT FOUNTAIN WITH BIG SCULPTURES IS THE MOST VISITED SQUARE! IS WHERE YOU CAN TOSS A COIN AND MAKE A WISH. THEY SAY IT COMES TRUE! THEY ALSO SAY THAT DOING THAT ENSURES YOU A RETURN VISIT TO ROME! 

                   

AFTER FONTANA DI TREVI YOU CAN WALK TO THE PIAZZA QUIRINALE AND PAS THE QUIRINALE PARK TO PALAZZIO BARBERINI AND TO THE QUATRO FONTANI, WHICH IS, AS THE NAME SAYS, A SMALL SQUARE WITH A SMALL FOUNTAIN IN EACH SIDE, FOUR FOUNTAINS. 
EXPLORE THE BEAUTIFUL SQUARES OF ROME:  
PIAZZA COLONNA: TOOK ITS NAME FROM THE HUGE, BEAUTIFUL, ROUND COLUMN IN ITS CENTRE.                                                                                       

PIAZZA DI PANTHEON: PANTHEON IS THE MOST INTACT BUILDING OF ANCIENT ROMA AND INSIDE IS THE TOMB OF RAPHAEL. PANTHEON NOW IS A CHURCH.                                

PIAZZA NAVONA: IS WHERE YOU CAN ADMIRE THE MAJESTIC BAROQUE SCULPTURES.
                                                       
PIAZZA ARGENTINA: IS A TINY SQUARE WITH ANCIENT RUINS. SMALL SHOPS, BARS, CAFÉS AND RESTAURANTS ARE PACKED IN THE NARROW STREETS THAT SURROUND ALL OF THE ABOVE SQUARES.
VISITING ROMA IS LIKE VISITING A HUGE MUSEUM!
ENJOY YOUR STAY TO THE ETERNAL CITY!!!

MILAN


IN THE 3RD CENTURY WAS THE CAPITAL OF THE WESTERN ROMAN EMPIRE          
AND NOW IS THE CENTRE OF FASHION AND ELEGANCE

SCROLL THOUGH THE BEAUTIFUL STREETS OF MILAN AND LET THE ELEGANCE OF THE CITY FILL YOUR EXISTENCE!


MONTE NAPOLEONE: “MONTENAPO” THE MILANESE CALL IT, VIA MONTE NAPOLEONE, WITH THE NARROW STREETS, CLAIMS TO BE MILAN’S MOST ELEGANT STREET AND ONE OF THE MOST SOPHISTICATED IN ALL EUROPE. YOU WILL FIND ALL THE BIG NAMES OF HIGH FASHION HERE SUCH AS ARMANI, DOLCE & GABBANA, FERRE, VALENTINO, VERSACE, AND MANY MORE…

PIAZZA DUOMO: THE CATHEDRAL SQUARE IS THE CENTRE OF MILAN WITH THE SPECTACULAR CATHEDRAL. THOUSANDS OF PEOPLE GATHER TO THE SQUARE EVERY DAY AS IS THE MAIN MEETING POINT OF THE CITY.

RIGHT NEXT TO THE CATHEDRAL IS THE GALLERIA VITTORIO EMANUELE OF THE 19TH CENTURY. IT WAS DEDICATED TO THE FIRST KING OF ITALY AND THERE’S A MONUMENT PORTRAYING HIM ON HORSEBACK.

OPPOSITE THE CATHEDRAL IS THE PALAZZO REALE OF THE 18TH CENTURY.

TEATRO ALLA SCALA: THE OPERA HOUSE IS A BUILDING OF 1776 AND IS THE OLDEST OPERA IN THE OLD CONTINENT!

RIGHT IN FRONT OF THE SCALA IS THE PALAZZO MARINO, HOUSING THE CITY’S COUNCIL. ON ONE SIDE OF THE PIAZZA DELLA SCALA YOU WILL FIND GALLERIA VITTORIO EMANUELE AND ON THE OTHER SIDE THE BEAUTIFUL BUILDING OF BANCA COMMERCIALE.

SANT AMBROGIO: IS A VERY NICE AREA OF MILAN, ONCE THE TOWN’S PORT. IT IS DEDICATED TO MILAN’S PATRON SAINT AMBROSE. HERE YOU WILL FIND THE “NAVIGLI” WHICH IS THE PICTURESQUELY CANAL AREA WITH SMART SHOPS AND RESTAURANTS ALONGSIDE.

SAN LORENZO: IS NA EXCEPTIONAL CHURCH IN THE AREA OF SANT AMBROGIO WITH ORIGINAL ROMAN COLUMNS STILL STANDING IN FRONT OF IT.

BRERA: IS A TRENDY DISTRICT OF OLD MILAN WITH NARROW ALLEYS AND MANY TYPICAL ITALIAN RESTAURANTS...IS THE “BOHEMIA” AREA OF MILAN AND IT ATTRACTS MANY PAINTERS AND WRITERS.

THE PINACOTECA NAZIONALE DI BRERA (THE NATIONAL ART GALLERY) IS IN THE AREA, HOUSING ONE OF THE WORLD’S MAJOR ART COLLECTIONS.

PIAZZA CASTELLO: HERE YOU WILL FIND THE IMPRESSIVE CASTELLO SFORZESCO (SFORZA CASTLE), BUILD BY THE IMPORTANT FAMILIES OF VISCONTIS AND SFORZAS BETWEEN MIDDLE AGES AND THE RENAISSANCE ERA. THE CASTLE HOUSES THE PINACOTECA (ART GALLERY) AND THE MUSEO D’ARTE ANTICA (ANTIQUES ART MUSEUM) WITH SCULPTURES FROM THE MIDDLE AGES TO THE RENAISSANCE. ONE OF THE MUSEUM’S MOST IMPORTANT EXHIBIT IS THE RONDANINI PIETA, THE LAST MASTERPIECE OF MICHELANGELO.



 BEHIND PIAZZA CASTELLO IS PIAZZA SEMPIONE WITH THE PARCO SEMPIONE, A PLACE OF JOY FOR ALL THE CHILDREN.

CORSO MAGENTA: IS A 19TH CENTURY DISTRICT. HERE YOU WILL FIND THE MUSEO ARCHEOLOGICO (ARCHAEOLOGICAL MUSEUM) AND THE IMPOSING PALAZZO LITTA. ALSO IN THE AREA IS THE RENAISSANCE CHURCH OF SANTA MARIA DELLE GRAZIE. IN THE CHURCH’S CONVENT, BETWEEN 1495 AND 1497, LEONARDO DA VINCI PAINTED THE LAST SUPPER, THE LARGEST AND MOST IMPORTANT, AS WELL AS FAMOUS WORK OF HIM, WHICH YOU CAN SEE IN THE PREMISES OF THE CHURCH.



ENJOY MILAN AND…SHOP UNTIL YOU DROP!


FIRENZE


THE CAPITAL OF TUSCANI

WHEREVER YOUR STEPS BRING YOU WHILE YOU ARE IN FLORENCE YOU’LL LIKE IT!BEAUTIFUL PIAZZAS, MAGNIFICENT BUILDINGS, MANY MUSEUMS FULL OF GREAT ART AND OF COURSE DELICIOUS ITALIAN RESTAURANTS

ALL WAITS FOR YOU WHEN YOU ARE VISITING THIS ROMANTIC CITY.    

THE CITY LIES ON THE RIVER ARNO AND IS KNOWN FOR ITS HISTORY AND ITS IMPORTANCE IN THE MIDDLE AGES. IT IS CONSIDERED THE BIRTHPLACE OF THE ITALIAN RENAISSANCE AND IT IS WORLDWIDE KNOWN FOR ITS ART AND ARCHITECTURE.

SIMPLY BEAUTIFUL!!

PONTE VECCHIO: AN AMAZING OLD BRIDGE IN  ARNO RIVER,  FULL OF JEWELERS SHOPS! IT’S A REAL BEAUTY AND A REAL PARADISE FOR GOLD LOVERS!!!!

CLOSE BY PONTE VECCHIO IS GALLERIA DEGLI UFFIZI WITH ITS BEAUTIFUL ARCHES. IS WHERE YOU CAN SPEND LOTS AND LOTS OF HOURS ENJOYING THE ART OF MANY WELL KNOWN ARTISTS. THE BUILDING OF THE GALLERIA IS ACTUALLY THE  PALAZZO VECCHIO, WHICH IS THE MOST IMPORTANT CIVIL BUILDING IN FLORENCE. ITS CONSTRUCTION BEGUN IN 1299 AND WAS TRANSFORMED IN THE PERIOD OF 1550-60.
RIGHT BEHIND PALAZZO VECCHIO IS THE PIAZZA DELLA SIGNORIA, WHICH IS CONSIDERED FLORENCE’S MOST IMPORTANT SQUARE.

A NICE WALK THROUGH THE NARROW STREETS OF FLORENCE BRINGS YOU TO PIAZZA SANTA CROCE WITH THE MAGNIFICENT BASILICA DI SANTA CROCE. THE CHURCH IS A FLORENTINE GOTHIC ONE WITH FRESCOES AND SCULPTURES. VERY BEAUTIFUL!

PIAZZA SANTA MARIA NOVELLA: IS A GOTHIC CHURCH WITH A RENAISSANCE FAÇADE ADDED IN THE 15TH CENTURY.

PALAZZO MEDICI RICCARDI AND BASILICA DI SAN LORENZO CAN BE FOUND IN PIAZZA SAN LORENZO. THE BASILICA WAS DESIGNED BY MICHELANGELO AND BRUNELLESCHI IN THE RENAISSANCE STYLE.

THE BIGGEST AND THE MOST POPULAR SQUARE IN THE CITY IS PIAZZA DEL DUOMO WITH THE GLORIOUS CATTEDRALE DI SANTA MARIA DEL FIORE BETTER KNOWN AS THE DUOMO. IS OF TYPICAL ITALIAN GOTHIC ARCHITECTURE OF THE YEARS 1245-1367. INSIDE ARE SEVERAL IMPORTANT WORKS OF ART BY DONATELLO, BRUNELLESCHI, MICHELANGELO AND OTHERS. THE BRONZE DOOR OF THE BAPTISTERY IS A WORK OF ART BY MICHELANGELO. WHEN HE FINISHED THE WORK, HE SAID: ‘THEY LOOK SO GOOD THAT THEY COULD BE THE GATES OF PARADISE” THE CUPOLA STANDS IN 41.5 METERS, STARTED BY BRUNELLESHI IN 1420 AND COMPLETED IN 1436. IS THE MOST CHARACTERISTIC FEATURE OF FLORENTINE SKYLINE! THE HUGE DOME AND THE CATHEDRAL BELL-TOWER IS KNOWN AS THE  CAMPANILE DI GIOTTO AND IS THE MOST STRIKING FEATURE OF THE CITY!

IN FRONT OF THE GLORIOUS DUOMO IS PIAZZA SAN GIOVANNI WITH CAFES AND RESTAURANTS TO HAVE A LITTLE REST FROM THE CITY’S MANY SIGHTSEEING’S AND DO NOT FORGET THE GREAT ITALIAN ELEGANT SHOPS……

A VISIT IN FLORENCE IS NOT COMPLETE IF YOU DON’T GO TO PIAZZA DE MICHELANGELO. IT IS IN THE OTHER SIDE OF ARNO RIVER IN A SMALL HILLSIDE. THERE’S A BIG STATUE OF MICHELANGELO IN THE SQUARES’ CENTRE. THE VIEW OF THE CITY BELOW IS….UNIQUE!!!!!!!!  THE WAY DOWN TO THE CITY CENTRE IS VERY PLEASURABLE THROUGH THE SMALL ALLEYS AND STREETS. YOU WILL PASS BY THE FORTE DI BELVEDERE AND THE PALAZZO PITTI, A PALACE OF ‘400. NOW IT HOUSES THE PALATINA GALLERY, THE SILVER MUSEUM, THE MODERN ART GALLERY AND THE CUSTOMES GALLERY. THE PALACE IS ALSO FAMOUS FOR ITS BOBOLI GARDENS.


ENJOY EVERY MINUTE OF IT!

I AM SURE THAT YOU WILL WANT TO VISIT AGAIN!


SIENA AND SAN GIMIGNANO

SAN GIMIGNANO IS A SMALL WALLED MEDIEVAL TOWN IN THE PROVINCE OF SIENNA IN THE CHIANTI COUNTRYSIDE OF TUSCANY. IN THE MIDDLE AGES AND RENAISSANCE ERA IT WAS THE STOPPING POINT FOR CATHOLICS ON THEIR WAY TO ROME AND THE VATICAN.  IT IS FAMOUS FOR ITS MEDIEVAL ARCHITECTURE AND FOR ITS TOWERS, WHICH ARE VISIBLE FROM QUITE A DISTANCE AWAY!

SIENA: THE PIAZZA DEL CAMPO WITH THE UNIQUE SHAPE, THE CATHEDRAL, THE PALAZZO COMUNALE, THE LIBERIA PICCOLOMINI AND THE MUSEO DEL DUOMO.


SAN GIMIGNANO: IT IS SITUATED ON A ROCK AND IT OFFERS A SPLENDID VIEW OF THE VALLEY BELOW. IT IS FAMOUS OF ITS MEDIEVAL TOWERS, STREETS AND BUILDINGS.



IT IS AN EASILY VISITED DAY TOUR FROM FLORENCE

AND A VERY SPECIAL TOUR AS WELL

VERY WORTH THE VISIT


VENEZIA


VENICE WAS THE CAPITAL OF AN INDEPENDENT STATE THAT WAS A MAJOR MARITIME POWER DURING THE MIDDLE AGES AND RENAISSANCE AS WELL AS A VERY IMPORTANT CENTER OF COMMERCE. SILK, GRAIN, SPICE AND ART IN THE 13TH CENTURY UP TO THE END OF THE 17TH CENTURY MADE VENICE A WEALTHY CITY THROUGHOUT MOST OF ITS HISTORY.

THE CITY STRETCHES ACROSS 117 SMALL ISLANDS IN THE VENETIAN LAGOON ALONG THE ADRIATIC SEA AND IT LIVES UP TO ITS REPUTATION OF THE MOST ROMANTIC CITY IN ALL OF EUROPE. BLESSED WITH CANALS, STUNNING ARCHITECTURE, VICTORIAN SOPHISTICATION AND A RICH HISTORY, GLOWS OF LOVE AND ROMANCE.



IT IS A DEFINITE MUST SEE.



  

THE FIRST YOU SHOULD DO WHEN IN VENICE IS ENJOY A GONDOLA RIDE.

ALTHOUGH THE WATER BUSES ARE THE CHEAPEST WAY TO TRAVERSE THE CANALS, THEY CERTAINLY DON’T HAVE THE GRACE OF THE GONDOLA!



ST. MARKS SQUARE IS THE MAIN ATTRACTION OF VENICE.  MANY GLORIOUS BUILDINGS ARE ON THE HUGE SQUARE SUCH AS THE TORRE DELL’ OROLOGIO (BELL TOWER), A BUILDING OF 1499. THE ARCHWAY BENEATH THE CLOCK LEADS TO A SHOP PASSAGE AND TO RIALTO BRIDGE.

MUSEO CORRER OR THE MUSEUM OF THE CITY AND CIVILIZATION OF VENICE STANDS IN THE OTHER SIDE OF THE SQUARE’S ARCHWAY.  BONAPARTE HAS COMMANDED TO BUILD THIS BUILDING IN THE 1800’S TO HOUSE A STATE BALLROOM.

THE BASILICA DI SAN MARCO IS A JEWEL IN THE SQUARE.  IT IS OF BYZANTINE STYLE WITH FIVE DOMES. THE INTERIOR HAS GOLD MOSAICS, GREAT TO LOOK AT!

THE CAMPANILE IS UNATTACHED FROM THE BASILICA (AS THE ARCHITECTURAL CUSTOM OF THAT PERIOD) AND IT OFFERS UNFORGETTABLE VIEWS OF THE CITY AND THE LAGOON.

DOGE’S PALACE IS A VENETIAN GOTHIC AND NEO-CLASSICAL BUILDING.

EXPLORE THE GOLDEN STAIRCASE, THE SALONS, THE 16TH CENTURY PRISON AND THE FAMED BRIDGE OF SIGHS.

RIALTO BRIDGE IS A WHITE STONE BRIDGE OF THE 1591 ON THE GRAND CANAL. IT HAS MANY SHOPS ON BOTH SIDES AND IT IS A BIG ATTRACTION OF VENICE.  IF YOU ASK ME THERE ARE MUCH MORE BEAUTIFUL AND ROMANTIC BRIDGES ALL OVER THE CITY, BUT A VISIT TO RIALTO IS A MUST.



SANTA MARIA DELLA SALUTE IS A MASSIVE EIGHT-SIDED CHURCH IN THE GRAND CANAL. IT WAS COMPLETED IN 1681 AS A “THANK YOU” GIFT TO GOD FOR ALLOWING PLAGUE TO KILL ONLY A THIRD OF THE CITY’S RESIDENTS!...

TO EXPERIENCE THE “REAL VENICE” AND SEE HOW VENICE’S CITIZENS LIVE, HEAD INTO THE SIDE STREETS. YOU WILL FIND MANY BEAUTIFUL LITTLE STREETS, CANALS, BRIDGES AND SQUERO (GONDOLA WORKSHOPS).



VENICE HAS SIX MORE ISLANDS OTHER THAN THE MAIN ISLAND.

SAN MICHELE IS THE CITY’S CEMETERY.

MURANO IS FAMOUS OF GLASS MAKING. YOU CAN ENJOY A DEMONSTRATION OF THIS ART IN ONE OF THE MANY FACTORIES AND BUY THE BEAUTIFUL MURANO ITEMS IN ONE OF THE MYRIADS OF THE SHOPS.

BURANO IS FAMOUS OF LACE MAKING.

MAZZORBO IS CONNECTED WITH A WOODEN BRIDGE TO BURANO.

TORCELLO IS JUST A FEW MINUTES RIDE FROM BURANO BY A BOAT LINE. THERE’S A THOUSAND YEAR OLD BYZANTINE CATHEDRAL NOT TO BE MISSED. FROM IT’S BELL TOWER YOU CAN ENJOY GREAT VIEWS OF THE ISLAND.

LIDO IS A RESIDENTIAL DISTRICT WITH SHOPS. ON THE OPPOSITE SIDE OF THE BOAT LANDING AREA IS A BEACH RIGHT IN THE ADRIATIC SEA.

TRY THE WINES AND “PROSECCO”, WHICH IS A SPARKLING WINE. THE  LOCUMI A LA FACHI AND THE TRIDESSI DI CAZZO, WHICH IS MADE OF CHOCOLATE, ARE SOME OF VENICE’S SWEETS. OF COURSE THE FAMOUS ITALIAN GELLATTI (ICE CREAM) IS ALWAYS THERE FOR YOU AND … DO NOT FORGET THAT SPAGHETTI AND PIZZAS ARE ITALIAN SPECIALS…

IF YOU VISIT VENICE DURING THE VENETIAN CARNAVALE YOU WILL EXPERIENCE A UNIQUE EVENT. IT IS NOTHING OF WHAT WE KNOW AS A CARNIVAL FIESTA OF PARADE AND DANCE. THE LOCALS, AS WELL AS THE TOURISTS DRESS UP IN GLORIOUS COSTUMES-INSPIRED MOSTLY OF THE VICTORIAN YEARS-AND THEY SCROLL UP AND DOWN THE ST.MARKS SQUARE- AS WELL AS THE LITTLE STREETS AND ALLEYS OF THE CITY-POSING FOR PHOTOGRAPHS! IN FACT, YOU CAN SEE “A SEA OF PEOPLE“ FILLING THE VENETIAN SQUARES DURING CARNIVAL. IT IS A UNIQUE EXPERIENCE!



HAVE A GREAT TIME IN THIS ROMANTIC AND BEAUTIFUL CITY
ΠΑΙΔΙΑ, ΔΥΣΤΥΧΩΣ, ΜΙΑ ΔΙΑΙΤΑ ΕΙΝΑΙ ΑΠΑΡΑΙΤΗΤΗ ΜΕΤΑ ΑΠΟ ΕΝΑ ΤΑΞΙΔΙ ΣΤΗΝ ΠΑΝΕΜΟΡΦΗ ΙΤΑΛΙΑ!....




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