Tuesday, December 18, 2007

La Dolce Vita

I admit it, there's nothing in the world I enjoy more than traveling. When I'm not on the road, exploring some of the most beautiful places in the world, I love writing about and documenting my travels. I've been most fortunate to witness a great deal of our world and without question, my most favorite place to explore is Italy. Each and every region of this beautiful country is unique and distinctive. I have yet to visit the Northern Lakes region, which borders southern Switzerland, but plans are being formulated to rectify that very soon. I have, however, spent considerable time in the cradle of modern civilization known as Rome south to the city of Palermo, on the island of Sicily. When you think of Italy your first thoughts immediately travel back in time to Ancient Rome and all it has to offer. The magnificence of the Coliseum, the Forum, the Pantheon, Trevi Fountain, Spanish Steps, the Vatican...the list just goes on and on. In many ways, Rome is more than the capital of Italy, it is Italy, itself.

Then there is Venice. Ahhhh, Venice. When you think of Venice you instantly envision gondolas idyllically cruising the canals, but this is just a small part of all this unique city has to offer . There's St. Mark's Square (probably the most photographed plaza in all of Europe), St. Mark's Basilica, The Bridge of Sighs, and Doge's Plaza, just to whet your appetite for all that is Venetian. In addition, short side trips by water taxis or ferries are readily available to the charming little islands of Burano (famous for its intricate lace) and Murano (famous the world over for its hand made glass). If you're the romantic type and wish to exercise that aspect of your personality, by all means take a gondola ride...it's a very touristy thing to do, and is way over priced. You can, however, negotiate to your heart's content with the gondoliers and after all, as they say, when in Venice...

Travel to far away places that you've only seen in movies or television, heard about and read about is one of the great joys in life. It's not only bursting with excitement, but it's often educational and will leave you with memories that will last a lifetime. It can also be an expensive hobby, so what I find essential in these times, is lodging in the heart of the cities I visit, and within easy access of the major sites at the best possible value. Cheaper Than Hotels provides the most comprehensive listings of affordable and quality lodgings in countries all over the world. They also offer a number of luxury options, for when you wish to upgrade. They even offer last minute deals when opportunity beckons. Accommodations in Italy are available in every city imaginable, from one star to luxury five star, from Bed and Breakfast to guest houses to elaborate hotels. Some even include extras, such as breakfasts, free parking and accessibility to gym facilities. Options also exist for group rates, as with a conference, and arrangements for rentals cars are available as well. All this talk of travel has gotten me in the mood to plan my next trip with Cheaper Than Hotels.



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