Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Lakes Region Day Trips

The Travel Itinerary
You are most likely to fly into Milan Malpensa Airport. Malpensa is located northwest of Milan, and is actually closer to Lago Maggiore than central Milan. From Malpensa, you can take the shuttle to Milano Centrale train station (Malpensa Shuttle departs every twenty minutes from early morning to late at night) to start your journey or to find a hotel (there are many around the train station). If you're coming from the smaller Linate, which is east of Milan, you can take the shorter shuttle to Milano Centrale.

Milan Travel Resources:

Milan Malpensa Airport - Suggested Lodging
Milan Travel Information
Milan Lodging
Brescia - (1 day) Brescia is often overlooked, but it's worth a night. From its Roman ruins to the civic museum inside the Monastery of Santa Giulia with its three churches, you might be surprised at Brescia's charm.

Verona - (2 days) known for Shakespeare's setting for Romeo and Giulietta, Verona has been called the Florence of the North for its art. Get tickets for anything at the 2000 year old Arena (but get them in advance) and rub the right breast of bronze Juliet for luck before heading to Vicenza.

Vicenza - (1 Day) Famous architect Palladio is from here--you can see his work in town and out.

Padua - (2 Days) One of my favorite smaller towns on this route, Padua is one of the prettiest cities in Italy, with the oldest botanical gardens in Europe. I sometimes stay in Padua and take day trips by train to Venice.

Venice - Everyone knows Venice. You could spend a month here, but I'd recommend 5 days minimum. Better to rent an apartment and stay a week, with day trips to Treviso or Ferrara. If you're on a budget and like peace and quiet, while still living in a city with canals, you might try staying in Treviso and taking the short train ride into Venice.

Getting back to Milan
The EuroStar Italia makes the journey from Venice Mestre station to Milano Centrale in two hours and 45 minutes or so, which is probably faster than a flight from Venice to Milan, considering the time to get to the airport and the hassles with luggage. If you still have some time left before your flight, you can take the train to Como or Stresa on Lago Maggiore in about an hour. Malpensa can be reached from Stresa. Take the train from Stressa to the Gallarate station, then taxi or bus to the airport. Or, you can do the whole trip by "ALIBUS" which departs from Milan Malpensa Airport - Terminal 1 - bus stop number 12 every day.

Rail Resources for the Milan to Venice Itinerary
Trenitalia has information on all state run trains in Italy. You can do this itinerary by buying point to point rail tickets along the way. Italian trains are fairly cheap, although the Eurostar Italia is a premium train--if you want to go fast you will pay a supplement and the required seat reservations. For more on riding Italian trains, see How to Travel on Italian Trains

Related Articles
Suggested Europe Itinerary - Venice - Vienna - Prague - Nuremberg
Milano Centrale Picture - Milan

Monday, August 10, 2009

Monte Carlo

Tucked inside the Maritime Alps between the French and Italian Riviera on the Mediterranean Sea, Monaco has long been associated with glamour and exclusivity, and has price tags to match, but it also makes an ideal summer weekend escape. Prince Albert II has promised to make Monaco cleaner and greener, and the principality is on the way to improving its image. Earnings from its famous casino and other gambling outlets now account for only 4 per cent of Monaco's income and they have been overtaken by money generated by luxury hotels, conferences, multi-million-pound yachts in the harbour, and of course, the annual Grand Prix, when crowds descend to catch a glimpse of the race and drivers, and hotel rooms are booked months in advance.

Monte Carlo Live Web Cam

Monte Carlo city webcam MonacoThis Monaco webcam is overlooking Monte-Carlo in the Principality of Monaco. Nice webcam view looking over the Monte-Carlo harbour and Marina. Watch the luxury yauchts moor up for the Monaco F1 Grand Prix

Monte Carlo webcamThis Monte Carlo live cam is located at the Hotel de Paris in the small Principality of Monaco. Enjoy this webcam view overlooking Monte Carlo’s Casino Square in Monaco. Also check out the live weather conditions at Monaco by viewing this weather cam in the small Principality of Monaco.

Monaco live webcamEnjoy viewing this live Monaco webcam overlooking part of Monte Carlo. Great web cam view in Monaco

Hercules Port marina webcamsEnjoy this live Monaco web cam overlooking the Hercules Port, the largest deep-water port on the French Riviera. Watch cruise ships and cruise liners arrive and depart this famous Monaco Port

Sunday, August 9, 2009

Wine and Food Lake Como Area

What about food?
In this part of Lombardy the cuisine is divided into three main sectors. The lake cuisine specializes in fish with some local favorites such as dried shad. The area around Tremezzo is known for vegetables such as asparagus. The mountain cuisine is based on polenta, a sort of corn bread often flavored with cheese or cheese, butter, and garlic.

Other mountain specialties include free-range chickens, kid, and game. The third category is valley cuisine based on cattle and cheese, especially Taleggio and various goat milk cheeses.Let's suggest a sample menu, one of many. Start with Fettuccine con Funghi (Fettuccine with Mushrooms.) Then try Agnoni all Comasca (Lake Como Fried Fish with Anchovy Filets). For dessert indulge yourself with Torte Paradiso con Mascarpone (Sponge Cake with Mascarpone Cheese.)

Be sure to increase your dining pleasure by including local wines with your meal.We conclude with a quick look at Lombardy wine. Lombardy ranks number 11 of the 20 Italian regions when it comes to acreage devoted to wine grapes and the total annual wine production. The region produces about 62% red and ros?nd 38% white wine, but there is little ros?

There are 15 DOC wines. DOC stands for Denominazione di Origine Controllata, which may be translated as Denomination of Controlled Origin, presumably a high-quality wine. The G in DOCG stands for Garantita, but there is in fact no guarantee that such wines are truly superior. Over 47% of Lombardy wine carries the DOC or DOCG designation. There are three DOCG wines: the sparkling Franciacorta said to compete with French Champagne and priced accordingly, the red Sforzato di Valtellina, and the red Valtellina Superiore.Interestingly enough no DOC wines originate in the vicinity of Lake Como, Lake Orta, or Lake Maggiore. However, Bergamo is home to two DOC wines, Valcalepio and Scanzo/Moscato di Scanzo.

The Valcalepio DOC is vinified in several styles. The dry red and the dry white come from international grape varieties such as Merlot and Chardonnay. The sweet white wine comes from a local grape and has recently been classified at the Scanzo/Moscato di Scanzo DOC.

Sunday, August 2, 2009

Lake Como Forum

Lake Como Destination Experts Great Information

RE: Lake Como A to Z Kat_Testarossa
82 forum posts .....Members who are knowledgeable about this destination and volunteer their time to answer travelers' questions

Eating in Lake Como

A Lake Como restaurant is more than just a place to eat your fact, it could become more like your sanctuary...a place where you let your thought float away...
...where you can enjoy stimulating and relaxing conversations with other people...
...and where happy and cheerful waitors cater to your every need.
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Wine Tasting In Lake Como

If you will be visiting Lake Como or the surrounding area and are considering a private wine tour, than this excursion may be just right for you. We have designed these private, luxury tours for the leisurely gourmet traveller who is looking for a solid mix of food, wine and culture. On this tour, you'll visit an ancient castle, taste wonderful wines, dine in an authentic Trattoria off the beaten path, and finish the day by visiting a delightful medieval town, shopping or sipping on a glass of wine in a charming piazza.
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Legendary Lake Como

The beauty and allure of Italy's Lake Como are legendary.

"Unequalled on earth for its loveliness," gushed Henri Stendahl. "I do not know of any land so conspicuously blessed by heaven," declared Franz Lizst. "I want nothing more than to live here and die here," exclaimed Gustave Flaubert. When you experience the magic of Lake Como you'll understand these lofty sentiments. For me, the lake represents the ultimate convergence of nature and art - pristine lake and mountain environment together with old world villas, classical gardens, and picture postcard villages.

Add to this pleasant summer weather, pedestrian-friendly villages with few cars, ferryboats as the main form of transport, ancient mountainside hiking trails with stunning views, and we have ingredients for the perfect holiday.

Most of the villas, gardens, and picturesque villages are in the central area of the lake, near Bellagio.
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