Back in the day, a summer trip backpacking or riding the rails across Europe was viewed as a right of passage for many people from North America. Of course that was before the European Union and the rise of the euro as a continental currency standard. For many years now Americans have been on the losing end of a relatively steep dollar/euro exchange rate. But while these financial constraints have prevented many from planning lengthy sojourns abroad, what many people don’t know is there are ways to beat the euro and enjoy an extended European holiday – at budget prices.
TRAVEL IN THE INTERIM SEASON
In the travel industry, seasons are defined as “peak” and “low.” Obviously the cost of travel is going to be more expensive in the peak season, and the harsh weather during the low season makes for, oftentimes, miserable travel. Another option is to plan your trip in the shoulder season between the peak and low. Prices are generally lower during this time period and the weather isn’t extreme.
It’s difficult to beat the euro but not impossible. As long as you’re smart with the money you do have then you can make it stretch. For example, by making lunch the largest meal of the day you can take advantage of the many “executive specials” found in cafes and restaurants throughout Europe during lunchtime. These deals provide a lot of culinary bang for your buck.
FIND CHEAP FLIGHTS
This may seem like a no-brainer, but what many Americans don’t know is that there are incredible deals to be had on inter-European flights. That’s because there are so many smaller specialty airlines in operation vying for the same business as all the others. Not only that, but it often takes no more than an hour or two to fly between European countries.
There are not too many cities in Italy you can do in a day but one of them is Venice and the other is Verona. Rome will take you a minimum of three days to see enough to make your trip worthwhile and you can do Florence in two if you don’t get hung up in too many lines, but Venice is certainly doable.
One reason Venice is so easy to do is you don’t have to worry about traffic. No cars are allowed in the city and unless you need to get to someplace across the water you really will find walking from place to place much easier and faster. Remember Venice is a city on the water and bridges cross every little canal. Water taxi’s and water busses are what the locals use to go farther distances but most still walk from place to place.
There are several main places you must visit in Venice and if you arrive in the evening in time for a nice dinner outside overlooking a canal you will be starting this trip off just right. Prepping for the next and only full day in Venice is fairly easy but a must as it is in any city.
If you decide to visit the Island of Murano this should be your first stop. Murano is the home of the biggest blown glass factory in Venice and the city is famous for its blown glass and the artisans who perform this tricky task. It is across the water and the only “trip” you will need to take during your Venice stay.
The trip is easily made by water bus and there are regularly scheduled buses taking you to the island. You can also arrange a tour ahead of time. It might be just as easy to jump on one when you get there. The tour is free and for good reason which we’ll discuss next.
The Amalfi Coast is a very popular place in Italy and is very much liked by tourists, every year many people come here with their families to enjoy their vacations. The beautiful coast helps in spending a relaxed time far away from their busy city lives; there are many different types of accommodations available on the coast. One can select as per the need, the rate varies and also provided the opportunity to choose according to budget also. Out of all the options, the villas are the best place to stay; they offer a relaxing holiday and helps in enjoying the trip to the fullest. Many Amalfi coast villas for rent are available in this place as they are so much in demand.
These villas are very big; a family can accommodate very easily as there are several rooms with spate kitchen and bathrooms. The common dinning and sitting area helps in making the bond stronger among the family members. Families can enjoy the breakfasts in the private gardens with fresh morning breeze and can have pool side dinners. All the meals are prepared by qualified chefs; different cuisines are served with popular wines. One can also order food items as per the need in advance, for children pizzas and pastas are served with different ice creams and desserts.
Beginning in 1939, with the Russian victory over Japan at Khalkin-Gol, and going through the dropping of the atomic bombs and occupation of Japan, “The Second World War” by Antony Beevor is an account of World War II like no other. Whether you are an amateur or professional historian, I guarantee you will learn something new by reading this book. Antony Beevor, being of British Nationality, writes without the American bias, and gives an unfiltered account of the war that engrossed the entire world. To what extent the entire world felt the repercussions of this war was unknown to me until I read this book. The war engulfed all of Europe, Asia, and the Middle East.
While the battles were long, ferocious, and deadly, Beevor sheds light on the atrocities the civilian non-combatants faced from occupying armies. The huge loss of life throughout the war was not comprised solely of soldiers. Civilians accounted for huge losses, more than any other war. Due to rampant nationalism and propaganda hatred for the enemy led soldiers to do horrible things. They knew what they were doing was wrong too, because we have letters written home, but did it anyway. The prejudices each side had towards each other, especially the Germans and Soviets, led to many terrible losses in battles and human life. The various leader’s egos also contributed to huge loss of life on all sides, both Allied and Axis.
One thing that is especially exciting about this book is the detail given to every battle. No detail is spared in describing each and every battle. From battle formations, to orders from the top, a clear picture is painted on exactly how the battles unfolded. Using journals, letters home, communiques, and official reports, Beevor dives headfirst into firsthand accounts in order to pull every detail possible a provide the clearest account to date.
I will warn you, reading the entire book is quite an undertaking. Weighing it at 783 pages “The Second World War” is not for the casual reader. You’re going to want to block off about a month to read the whole thing, but it’s worth it because the chapters are short enough not to bore you, and at times you might find it difficult to put it down. In order to make it through this meaty book you need to enjoy the topic and want to know everything about it. It’s so comprehensive you could probably use it as a textbook in a college classroom. So if you’re looking for your next World War II book, pick up “The Second World War” by Antony Beevor, because it might just be your last.
Rome car rental services are becoming very popular as they help in easy traveling from one place to other. People who are new to the place find the services great; they save time and offer the opportunity to enjoy a lay back travelling. The rates are very nominal; people hire them as per the budget and requirements.
Bar del Fico: The fig-tree-shaded tables makes the place very unique, one can come here by renting a car for having a great time with loved once.
Les Affiches: Great drinks with delicious food items can be enjoyed with the live music in this place, the red and black interiors make the place very stylish.
Teatro Argentina: A good theatre founded in 1732, one can come here to enjoy the different types of dance performances.
Gallery: A good bar showcasing the contemporary art stuffs, the place is very sophisticated and ensures great drinks. One can come here with family for tasting different popular wines with delicious snacks.
Max’s Bar: It is a very popular club; the place is welcoming and offers great entertainment. Best place to hang out with friends and spend a great time by sipping best drinks.
Bar San Calisto: The rate of beer is very cheap in this place which attracts everyone. Other than beer, its hot chocolate with cream in winter and with ice cream in summer is very famous. People those who like coffee, can sip a great cup of tasty coffee by coming to this place.