Vacation in Greece

When you look for the best summer holiday, you should consider the nature of your trip. Is it a family break? A romantic trip for two? Or otherwise a fun holiday with friends? Greek Islands are the perfect choice, no matter what your plans are – each island offering something special to meet your expectations.…

When you look for the best summer holiday, you should consider the nature of your trip. Is it a family break? A romantic trip for two? Or otherwise a fun holiday with friends? Greek Islands are the perfect choice, no matter what your plans are – each island offering something special to meet your expectations.

I strongly recommend Corfu, if you are planning a quiet holiday, with your family. Corfu is a green, beautiful island located in the Ionian Sea. There are many interesting historical places to visit during your holiday, for example Achilleion – a beautiful palace built by Empress Elizabeth of Austria '- also known as Sisi; old and new fortresses in Corfu Town, and so much more. Visiting such places, whilst on holiday could be interesting and educational for you and your family.

Corfu is famous for its beautiful, sandy beaches such as Avlaki (pictured), Paleokastritsa; Glyfada, Agios Gregorios and Kouloura. Families can enjoy plenty of water sports such as sailing, paragliding, water skiing, and fishing. All of the activities available are well prepared and provided at a very high standard.

There is a variety of hotels in Corfu to suit everyone's budget, hurry up for the cheaper offers though, as they sell quickly!

Lefkada, Skiathos and Ikaria offer similar standards and activities, as Corfu.

The ideal place for romantic trips, a honeymoon or a trip for two, is Crete. Located on Aegean Sea, Crete is the largest of the Greek Islands. Famous for its breath taking views, delicious food and incredible hospitality; Crete offers everything you need, to create a romantic time with your loved one. Crete offers a range of hotels from small, romantic, family run to larger, more luxurious ones – the choice is yours.

One of the most popular places in Crete to spend your holiday is at Chania Village, with its beautiful promenade, perfect for evening walks; picturesque harbor and romantic, candle lit cafés.

Crete is also rich in culture and history. Ruins of Minoan Palace Knossos (dated to 2000- 1400 BC); Palace of Phaistos or Agios Minas Cathedral in Heraklion are gems of the ancient architecture, definitely worth visiting, while you are on holiday in Crete.

However, if you are a nature lover, a good place for you to visit is Samaria Gorge (largest gorge in Europe) which offers unforgivable views. Botanical Park & ​​Gardens at the feet of White Mountains, hosting 150 species of fruit trees, herbs and wild flowers, is another perfect place to spend time and relax.

Zakhintos or Skopelos are romantic islands, with standards similar to those offered by Crete.

Planning a fun trip with friends? Choose Mykonos or Paros! These islands are located in the Mediterranean Sea and are famous for their night life, night clubs and discos. Streets start to fill with people about 11 pm and the party goes on until the morning. Crazy times are guaranteed at Mykonos and Paros!

Attention! Accommodation at these islands can be quite expensive, and it is difficult, if not impossible to find a cheaper option!

A Brief Guide to Holidaying in Magaluf

Magaluf in Mallorca is a destination whose reputation precedes it; it is well known for its vibrant nightlife and remains one of the best destinations for young holidaymakers, especially from the UK. Particularly appealing to this particular demographic, it is becoming increasingly popular with different type of holidaymakers, including solo travelers and families. One of…

Magaluf in Mallorca is a destination whose reputation precedes it; it is well known for its vibrant nightlife and remains one of the best destinations for young holidaymakers, especially from the UK. Particularly appealing to this particular demographic, it is becoming increasingly popular with different type of holidaymakers, including solo travelers and families.

One of the main attractions of Magaluf is that it offers a great cheap holiday abroad, with many low cost flights and accommodation options. Just because it is inexpensive to holiday here does not mean that it is of poor quality, and there is a range of resorts, from the most basic to the more upmarket and family-friendly.

The area is currently being developed in order to make it even more appealing to those with larger budgets, and is slowly shedding its reputations a place that people just go to party. Indeed, there are many activities that people can enjoy when visiting Magaluf, apart from the all-night bar crawls and clubbing.

One of these is water sports. Due to the generally young tourists that visit the area, there is an abundance of water sports for very reasonable prices, making it a place that those on a budget can go to experience a cheap holiday abroad with a range of sporting activities on offer. These include water skiing, wake boarding, and even a ride on a giant inflatable banana!

There are also many water parks for those who prefer the pool to the sea. One of these includes a surf simulation machine, which is ideal for those who want to practice their surfing skills. For children there is also a huge go kart track on the outskirts of Magaluf, which is conveniently located nearby a water park so that there are plenty of activities to enjoy.

For those who are interested in having a more cultural experience, the town offers a number of dance lessons in local dance halls, which are perfect for adults looking for something that is exciting yet different from the typical tourist experience. Magaluf is also not far from Majorca, which offers a number of thrilling sightseeing attractions for visitors.

It would not be fair to talk about Magaluf without mentioning the huge range of bars, clubs and restaurants that make up a large part of the resort. As the hotspot is hugely popular with tourists of a number of different nationalities, it is fair to say that there is something for everyone in Magaluf.

The nightlife is arguably one of the best in Spain, and it is for this reason that the resort remains one of the most popular places for a cheap holiday abroad amongst young Brits, Scandinavians and Eastern Europeans. There are clubs and bars galore, many of them offering happy hour deals and staying open until the early hours.

For those who are not visiting Mallorca for the party atmosphere, there are plenty of traditional Spanish restaurants and cafés open during the day, as well as British, Chinese and Indian offerings for those who prefer dishes that they are familiar with.

Palma is not far away from the resort of Magaluf, making it the ideal place to go shopping and escape the bar scene for the day. Indeed, the surrounding areas offer a glimpse into more traditional Spanish life, whereas Magaluf itself offers an incredible night life experience for the holidaymakers after the sun goes down.

Magaluf remains a great place to go for young people who want to let their hair down on an inexpensive getaway in Spain, but the resort is slowly improving its reputation and is catering to many different types of holiday maker, including families.

There is also the fact that this location remains one of the most inexpensive around, so it is perfect for those on a budget. With that said, it is worth booking through an experienced travel agency so they can ensure that you get the best experience when you travel to the area – whether that means dancing the night away or relaxing with your loved ones.

4 Of the Best Party Holiday Destinations in Europe

Europe is one of the best places in the world for those who enjoy enjoying the nightlife of a foreign country – with a number of capital cities and beach resorts all within a few short flights from each other, clubbers are spoiled for choice when it comes to finding a new location to party…

Europe is one of the best places in the world for those who enjoy enjoying the nightlife of a foreign country – with a number of capital cities and beach resorts all within a few short flights from each other, clubbers are spoiled for choice when it comes to finding a new location to party in.

Traveling abroad to enjoy the nightlife has long been an occupation for young Brits, and for this reason there are many well-established clubbing destinations on the continent that are still going strong today. Here are four top party destinations in Europe including old favorites and exciting new hotspots.

One of the most famous party destinations in Europe is Ibiza, the Spanish island that attracts thousands upon thousands of holidaymakers each and every year. Many of them are there to party, and famous nightclubs such as Privilege and Amnesia are just one reason why party-goers travel here.

Many famous DJs perform regularly throughout the summer season on the island, and the stunning beaches and fascinating island culture are other bonuses that make a break to Ibiza well worth the investment. Accommodation-wise, there is a huge range of options, including luxury villa rental and in expensive hotel room accommodation.

For those interested in visiting Ibiza, it is well worth reading up on all that this nightlife hotspot has to offer before ordering any low cost package holidays there – it is an island where there is plenty to do and see, so it is worth planning your itinerary carefully to make sure that you do not miss out.

Amsterdam is another classic location for those looking to let their hair down in Europe, although it does not offer the sun, sea and sangria of Ibiza. The appeal of the Dutch city is far different, with its famously unique coffee shops and fantastic bars and nightclubs, and there are music and dance events running through the year.

Whereas this city lacks the warmer climate of the Spanish party resorts, it makes up for it abundantly with its unique culture. The city has plenty to see and do, including visiting fascinating museums and attractions, historical monuments and much more. For Brits, it is simply just a quick ferry ride across the sea too.

A little further afield but certainly still exciting enough is Mykonos in Greece. This is considered one of the truly wild holiday destinations, where alcohol flows all day long through the summer season. This island definitely has a more laid back party vibe, and is popular for its beach parties in place of upmarket venues and clubs.

For those who love the beach, Mykonos in Greece is the place to go. There is also the guarantee that the weather will be fantastic, and that there are plenty of beautiful old Greek towns and villages to explore during the day. On top of this, the country remains one of the best places for truly low cost cost packages for those on a budget.

Lastly, an up and coming destination for partygoers that is also easy on the wallet is Warsaw in Poland. Home of vodka and with a huge range of clubs that cater to all musical tastes, the city is growing quickly in popularity with party-goers for a blend of modernism and traditional Polish culture.

In addition to a growing number of great clubs, one of the best things about the Polish capital is that there are a number of great Polish pubs and bars offering local vodka and beer for very low prices. The city is also a cultural and historical gem for those who like to explore during the daytime.

From Ibiza to Warsaw, these are just four of the best places to party in Europe. There are low cost package holidays available to many of them, but if not, most tour operators can arrange an inexpensive getaway to each of these destinations. Whether you prefer beach parties or an underground Eastern European watering hole, there is something for everyone in Europe.

Orthodox Easter: Immerse Yourself in One of the Biggest Celebrations in Greek Culture

Greece is not just a country of golden sandy beaches and turquoise seas to be expected over a glass of ouzo on a Summer's evening. Greece is a country that is charming through the year because of the beauty of its landscape in all seasons, its fascinating culture and long held traditions. Easter is one…

Greece is not just a country of golden sandy beaches and turquoise seas to be expected over a glass of ouzo on a Summer's evening. Greece is a country that is charming through the year because of the beauty of its landscape in all seasons, its fascinating culture and long held traditions.

Easter is one of those Greek orthodox traditions that you will find compelling wherever you are a believer or not. There is no better way to observe it than on a Greek island or in a village where traditions and rituals are still respected and blessed with fervour and jubilation. Most Greeks, whether or not they practice their religion during the year, take part enthusiastically in the Easter celebrations.

Greek Orthodox Easter is not always celebrated on the same Sunday as in the other Christian churches. In 2016, it happens to fall on 1st May – as beautiful a day as one could hope for.

Since I met my Greek in-laws 20 years ago, I would not dream of celebrating the greatest Orthodox holiday away from my husband's motherland.

Many people leave the big cities to go “sto chorio”, which means to the village of their ancestors. In our case, the entire family goes to the island of Skiathos, in the Sporades. The Rammos family does not come from Skiathos, but it is the place where we decided to build our vacation homes and where we can fully experience the Easter traditions, under the direction of my mother-in-law, an expert in this field .. .

Holy Week or “Megali Evdomada” begins the Monday before Easter. It is the day of the general “spring cleaning” when every Greek housewife dusts and polishes the house, cleans out the courtyards and terraces and decorates her living room with embroidered and starched doilies.

The atmosphere in the shops is feverish too: the butchers take orders for the Paschal lamb, while skewers, metal tanks and charcoal bags invade the pavements and stores. Everyone waits impatently for the fever, particularly those who have been fasting during the 40 days of Lent.

But our family does not order lamb from the butcher. A few days before the big day, my mother-in-law, with supplications and threats, urges my husband to select a victim from the herd of the local shepherd Yorgos.

When my children were younger, Holy Thursday was THEIR big day. They were fully implicated in the baking of the Tsoureki, the Greek Easter cake and the dyeing of the eggs. They picked wild flowers in the garden, and then patently stuck them to a shell, with the help of their loving grandmother. The egg, wrapped in a nylon stocking was immersed in a boiling bath of red dye. After a few minutes, it came out in a bright red dress with the silhouette of the flower in white on the red background. Finally, anointed with olive oil to make it shine, it was carefully placed on a plate, in a white embroidered linen, freshly starched. It was strictly forbidden to touch it until the Day of Resurrection!

Another tradition of Holy Thursday that makes children's eyes shine is the “lambada”. No, nothing to do with the dance that has entertained so many people of my age! “Lambada” in Greek means “candle” and on Holy Thursday, godparents visit their godchildren to offer them the precious candle for the Saturday midnight mass. No need to say that these candles, always decorated and accompanied by a toy for a boy or a girl have a highly commercial purpose …

Another important event of Holy Thursday is the “Epitaphios”. After the Thursday evening mass, the women and girls of the parish build a sort of wooden four-poster bed, which is supposedly to symbolize Christ's tomb. They decorate it with fresh flowers and pray in front of it until dawn. Men are excluded from this ritual.

Good Friday is the most austere day of the Holy Week, as it is considered a day of mourning where Christians commemorate the passion and death of Christ. That day, fast is very strict and the meal consist only of lentils and vinegar. I admit, I cheat … secretly!

After the mass celebrated at 11 am, Christ's effigy is taken down from the cross by the priest and wrapped in a shroud. The priest wears it on his back and walks around the altar three times. The faithful kneel before the epitaph. And take some flowers or petals that will last through the year as a good luck charm.

When we are in Skiathos, we go after dark to the magnificent monastery of Evangelistria in the mountains, for the procession with candles, a kind of reconstruction of Jesus Christ's burial. The Epitaphios is transported out of the church, preceded by the cross on which Christ was crucified. The procession follows with the Faitful holding brown candles and chanting.

On Saturday night, all the faithful go together to Midnight Mass celebrated in a darkened church. Usually the church is overcrowded and the latecomers will have to remain outside.

Around midnight, the moment everyone is waiting for finally arrives: the priest appears, holding three burning candles and announcements: “Come immortal light and glorify Christ risen from the dead.” Everyone claims' CHRISTOS ANNESTI “- Christ has risen from the dead – and the faithful light their candle from the flame offered by the priest, the bells start ringing and the flame slowly goes from candle to candle, among kisses and hugs and” Christos Anesti “He said.

In this general jubilation, try not to avoid getting candle wax on your clothes and setting your neighbors on fire. Twenty years ago, at the end of my first Easter Mass in Skiathos, my future mother-in-law had set fire to the fur collar of my coat. But I can assure you it was quite unintentional …

Note for the record that it is not uncommon for the priest to scold anyone who dares to throw firecrackers during the ceremony.

After the mass, everyone goes back home, holding the candle in his hand, trying somehow to reserve the flame. This can give rise to a great deal of hilarity, especially if you are traveling by car.

You may not noticed that many homes in Greece have a black cross above their main door? According to tradition, the head of the family has to draw this cross with the flame of the Easter candle to bless his home.

After this ritual, the family sets the table impatently. Do not forget that the faithful have fasted all day long. The smell of the “maghiritsa”, the traditional Easter soup, made with the lamb offal, dill, fresh onions, lemon and egg tickle the nostrils and make the hungry guests' mouths water!

But first, you have to knock your red egg against your neighbor's. The owner of the strongest egg will be lucky for the coming year!

On Easter Sunday, the festivals and tradition of the lamb is highly anticipated. In Athens, because of the lack of gardens, the lamb is often baked in the oven but in the forests and in the islands, the day begins early. We prepare the animal, season it, fix it correctly on the spindle, light the charcoal and start turning slowly. More and more often, small electric motors rotate the spindle automatically, but nothing compare to the human lab: when one by one, all the guests sit by the fire and manually turn the spindle, a glass of wine in hand and from time to time , anoint the lamb with a mixture of oil, oregano and lemon.

This ritual, which takes several hours, sharpens the appetite. Of course, the tables are not empty: “Spanakopitta” and “tiropitta”, boiled eggs with oil and oregano, appetizers of all kinds are there to calm down the stomachs. All these dishes are served with traditional island music or rebetika. Most of the guests are not related to bust out some dance moves. It is a day of celebration where all problems and disputes are forgotten. We eat our fill of lamb, we dance, we burst into song, we invite friends to join us and even welcome passers by.

You can not be a true lover of Greece if you have never spent Easter with the Greeks in Greece. Moreover, a short stay on a Greek island at Easter can be the perfect opportunity to identify the perfect holiday villa to rent for your family the following summer.

Enjoy Trip To Goa With Great Travel Packages

Goa, traveler's paradise, is not a place that you visit once and cross it off from your traveling list forever. Rather, it is a place where visiting the second time has become a tradition. This Portuguese Shangri-La has so many fascinating attractions that even the seasoned travelers wish to travel to this beautiful destination over…

Goa, traveler's paradise, is not a place that you visit once and cross it off from your traveling list forever. Rather, it is a place where visiting the second time has become a tradition. This Portuguese Shangri-La has so many fascinating attractions that even the seasoned travelers wish to travel to this beautiful destination over and over again. So if you want to make the maximum of your holidays, make sure you are traveling with a great travel package that have you covered.

The Sun & The Beaches

The journey at this beautiful destination has to start with the beaches! While visiting some of the most wonderful beaches of Goa, you will forget the beaches of Bali, Thailand or Australia. The North & South Goa beaches present picturesque scenery that should not be missed. Adventure enthusiasts can indulge in a number of water sports on these beaches including jet skiing, parasailing, scuba diving and banana boat ride.

Spicy Sights

Apart from beaches, Goa is also popular for its spice plantation. The Sahakari Spice Plantation will remind you what attracted Europeans towards India. This is the largest spice farm in the region and here you can taste the pepper, bath through an elephant shower or bite a Peri-Peri. Who does not want to be pampered while on vacations?

Down the Memory Lane

The Panjim region houses a large number of historic attractions and this is the place where history comes alive. The old Goa has been known as the Rome of the East for more than 3 centuries as it is adorned with museums, churches, art galleries, government buildings, convents and bakeries. Moreover, Old Goa has been declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site!

The jungle Safari

The Wildlife of Goa is more adventurous and exciting than its nightlife. The famous Mollem National Park and the Mahavir Wildlife Sanctuary homes endangered species of animals and birds like barking deer, mouse deer, panther, fairy bluebird, paradise flycatcher and similar. You can visit this peaceful sanctuary from 8.30 AM to 5.30 PM every day.

The Market Of Ingo

In the market of Ingo, Shopahloics can literally shop till they drop! A German named Ingo started this lively market in a leased property. Also known as Saturday Night Bazaar, the eminent Ingo market in Arpora presents a wide array of imported T-shirts, Indian cuisine, potpourri of chunky Jewelery and much more. Non-shoppers should not get disheartened as there are a lot of things to indulge in. You can groove to the beats of the music playing around the day!

Tryst with History

Holidays are all about losing yourself in the beautiful surroundings. If you are an avid history lover, make sure you take out some time and visit the amazing Naval Aviation Museum. This place is adorned with Portuguese-colonial setup and speaks astonishing stories of two worlds.

Apart from the above listed places, Goa also boasts of a number of other amazing destinations. So take up the best travel package while planning a trip to Goa and make sure you visit maximum number of destinations that has increased the beauty of the region.

The Incredible Isle of Barra, Britain

As one of the most attractive islands in Great Britain, the Isle of Barra certainly lives up to the expectations. Aside from being blessed with spectacular beauty, this island on the Hebrides, possesses a certain tranquility, not to mention a rich culture and interesting history. Barra is actually the southernmost inhabited islands that belong to…

As one of the most attractive islands in Great Britain, the Isle of Barra certainly lives up to the expectations. Aside from being blessed with spectacular beauty, this island on the Hebrides, possesses a certain tranquility, not to mention a rich culture and interesting history. Barra is actually the southernmost inhabited islands that belong to the famous archipelago called the Outer Hebrides. There are only about 1,300 people living on the island, and most of which have Gaelic heritage.

With a length of merely 8 miles and a width of 4 miles, Barra is quite small. Neverheless it is decorated with gorgeous white sand beaches like Tangasdale; as well as not only one but seven lochs (lakes). These lochs are highly coveted spots for fishing for brown and sea trout. The crowning glory of Barra is its 19th century fishing port town named Castlebay. This is the main settlement on the isle, and thus, houses most of the modern infrastructure like supermarkets, banks, petrol station and school. You will also find a good selection of accommodation in Castlebay.

Castlebay's port is serviced by regular ferries that come from Oban. This is the most common way to access the island. But if you have the means, try your best to reach Barra by flying. This strong recommendation has something to do with the experience of landing on the island's very distinct airport. Flights Arriving on Barra land on the beach at Cockle Strand!

If you think this fact is already incredible, you will also be fascinated to know that flights can only land between tides, because at high tide, the runway is covered by the waves! Flights to and from Barra's North Bay and Glasgow from Monday to Saturday. The three airlines that run this service are FlyBE, British Airways and Loganair. Because the flight schedule is based on the shifting of tides, the timetable for landings and takeoff is quite unusual.

One of the fun things to do while in Barra is to take a boat trip from Castlebay to reach the Kisimil Castle. Often referred to as the 'Castle in the Sea', the medieval style Kisimul is nestled on a rocks islet in the bay. The castle used to be the seat of power for the Clan MacNeil, and is located in this location to provide wide and clear views of the sea, including any ships approaching the island. Heaval is another attraction worth exploring on Barra. It is the highest hill on the island, reflecting a height of 383 meters (1257 feet). Ascending to the top means being rewarded with fantastic views of Castlebay, the sea and surrounding islands.

While in Castlebay, you have the opportunity to enjoy a wide range of outdoor activities which include sea kayaking Tours. Clearwater Paddling is one of the outfitters that offer such an amazing experience. Their sea kayaking adventure intends to bring you to sheltered bays and marvelous islets just off Barra's coast. If you want to stay on land, you may play a round or two of golf at the Barra Gold Club, famous as the westernmost golf course in all of the UK.

To learn about the history and culture of the island, make your way to the Barra Heritage and Cultural Center (locally called Dualchas). This center houses two main galleries that host various displays, art exhibits as well as fascinating cultural events.

Andrasan Bay – Holiday at Mediterranean Paradise

Adrasan Bay extends along almost 3 km of southern Turkish coast. It is one of the most unique holiday destinations in Turkey. Imagine its outstanding Mediterranean scenery, deep blue crystal sea, long-sandy beaches and the magnificent Taurus Mountains – covered by green pine forest. It is a fascinating land to see, where you can experience…

Adrasan Bay extends along almost 3 km of southern Turkish coast. It is one of the most unique holiday destinations in Turkey. Imagine its outstanding Mediterranean scenery, deep blue crystal sea, long-sandy beaches and the magnificent Taurus Mountains – covered by green pine forest. It is a fascinating land to see, where you can experience pure nature with all your senses.

The Bay of Adrasan consist of the main town and smaller neighboring villages. All very quiet and far away from all the noise, pollution and every day stress. The name of 'Adrasan' comes from Greek. It is also known as Cavuskoy in Turkish – where “Cavus” means sergeant and “koy” means bay. Thus, many people use the term “Cavus” or “Cavus Bay”, when talking about Adrasan. The area of ​​Cavus is situated in Antalya Province – the District of Kumluca, southern part of the Turkish coast. It doesn`t have an impressive historical background, but surely – offers a big variety of outdoor activates, water sports, deep-sea fishing, boat tours, and the priceless gift of peace, relax and relief.

It`s a perfect place to absorb the nourishing energy of the sun, reduce emotional stress and enjoy refreshing air – combined with the wonderful smell of citrus blossoms trees. Adrasan is also the ideal location for trekking-lovers: National Park and Olympos, Lycian Way or Moses Mountain Track (Müsa Dag in Turkish) allowed to view the beauty of the sea, just from the highest peaks in the region. It is also known as an affordable summer destination, if you appreciate the beautiful nature of Mediterranean and simply don`t look for crowded-luxury hotels. Adrasan suits all different social groups: from young people, through seniors and single couples, up to families with children. Famous for its cozy guesthouses, family hotels and private rooms – it warmly invites every tourist and vacationer, especially those looking for a relaxing trip on a budget. Another important point is that Turkish people are very friendly and helpful – so the same with locals: they are always polite and hospitable. You can really expect to get a 'warm-friendly welcome' whenever you go.

As you can see there are many different reasons to visit Adrasan. Now, just start planning your next holiday and don`t quit to choose the Turkish Turquoise coast. Feel welcome at any time of the year – hot summer, sunny spring and autumn, as well as the exceptionally mild winter.

Enjoy your time and feel free to come back again.

The Poet and the Dictator That Shaped the Destiny of Italy on Lago Di Garda, Italy

A Surprise Discovery in Gardone Rivera We selected the town of Gardone Rivera, on the shores of Lake Garda, because of its abundance to the Sirmione Peninsula and the archaeological site of well preserved “Roman Ruins”. We usually plan some “open time” in our travel itineraries to allow us some flexibility during a visit to…

A Surprise Discovery in Gardone Rivera

We selected the town of Gardone Rivera, on the shores of Lake Garda, because of its abundance to the Sirmione Peninsula and the archaeological site of well preserved “Roman Ruins”.

We usually plan some “open time” in our travel itineraries to allow us some flexibility during a visit to a new area to explore an interesting town, or museum, or just take a spontaneous side trip.

The “Vittoriale degli Italiani” (The Shrine of Italian Victories) museum worked out perfectly and it was only five minutes from our hotel.

We actually discovered a fascinating introduction to one of Italy's most famous as well as interesting personalities … Gabriele D'Annunzio.

The final residence of Gabriele D'Annunzio is now a museum dedicated to his life and accomplishments. A review of this incredible man's life makes an excellent read and provides an entertaining glimpse into the political side of Italy's history leading up to World War II.

In the era before World War I was one of Italy's most influential politicians, and charismatic leader adored by his followers.

He served valiantly in the Navy, Air Force and Army as a true war hero known for his boldness and out right courage. His many medals and awards are on display in the museum.

D'Annunzio was also considered to be a national treasure.

A “Renaissance Man” … he did it all as an artist, poet, journalist, playwright and one of Italy's most popular as well as controversial writers of the 20th Century.

Another part of his lore was derived from his legendary affairs (he boasted to have seduced over 1,000 women) which was also attributed to an outlandish lifestyle, his purported suave Italian demeanor, and presumably his many erotic publications that may have peaked their interests .. . at 5 '4 “in height and not surprisingly attractive, it had to be something!

The Era of the Fascist Regime

During World War I D'Annunzio became a powerful figure and began asserting his very strong ultra-nationalist doctrine.

But at the same time Benito Mussolini was developing his movement with a more extreme right leaning tilt. After the dust settled, Mussolini had more power, influence and aggression than D'Annunzio and created a more dominant form of Fascism.

D'Annunzio supported Mussolini and his rise to power but did not participate in the Fascist political party remaining neutral. One consistent thing; he did not like Germans and the Nazi movement and continuously counseled Mussolini to avoid an alliance with Hitler … to no avail.

Eliminating the Competition

On the evening before a fateful assembly to determine the “meeting for national pacification”, the Poet was thrown out a window of his Lake Garda Villa onto the courtyard and his active career came to a bone crushing cancellation.

Two months later, Mussolini did his march on Rome and took control of the country.

Mussolini and his followers adopted a great deal of D'Annunzio's ideas, his approach to government, his skills with motivation and influencing masses of people, the elite nationalistic ceremonies, etc … right down to the Roman Salute.

Maintain and Control

The Dictator kept D'Annunzio on the side lines and out of his way.

Mussolini was known to have said … “With a rotten tooth, you either pull it out, or fill it with gold! With D'Annunzio I have chosen the later treatment.”

So he vastly enhanced D'Annunzio's villa into a monumental residence, in essence literally paying him to remain out of politics … the window drop would have done it for me!

On March 1, 1938 D'Annunzio died at the age of 75 of a cerebral hemorrhage. His funeral was a large Fascist state affair and Mussolini walked with his coffin.

Mussolini was quoted to say … “You may be sure Italy will arrive at the summit you dreamed of.”

In Summary

The visit to Lago di Garda and the town of Gardone Rivera provided us with memories of beautiful scenery, excellent cuisine, and exposure to the absolutely wonderful, warm and friendly people.

A definite highlight was the surprise history lesson. By leaving some “open spots” in your daily itinerary, it is amazing what rewards come your way.

Please follow us in the next article … Exploring the Roman Ruins of Lago di Garda.

After all, what is the hurry … be inspired.

© 2016 Inspired Travel Itineraries with Bob and Janice Kollar

5 Killer Ideas For Last Minute Texas Vacations

Looking to plan a trip in Texas for next week or month and do not know where to start? Texas is home to farmlands galore, bustling cities, national parks and charming small towns, making plenty of options to explore for that perfect getaway. Here are 5 killer ideas for last minute Texas vacations. 1. Take…

Looking to plan a trip in Texas for next week or month and do not know where to start? Texas is home to farmlands galore, bustling cities, national parks and charming small towns, making plenty of options to explore for that perfect getaway. Here are 5 killer ideas for last minute Texas vacations.

1. Take a trip back in time in San Antonio

San Antonio lies in south-central Texas as one of the major cities and home of famous historical landmarks. The San Antonio River Walk is a sometimes bustling, sometimes quaint place to stroll for shopping, dining and bar hopping or just taking in the scenic view of the San Antonio River banks.

For history buff and sightseers, check out the San Antonio Missions of the 17th, 18th and 19th centuries. Here you'll find the UNESCO World Heritage Site and National Historical Park where four of the five Spanish frontier missions in San Antonio have been preserved. For a little bit of history mixed with photo-worthy Spanish Colonial architecture, you can not go wrong at this site. Important to note: the Alamo is at a location more downtown San Antonio from this site, but still worth a visit if you have time.

Since San Antonio is a major city, finding a last-minute place to stay will be easiest looking up your favorite online hotel finders or chains that you trust.

2. Go on a hiking expedition in Palo Duro Canyon

Visit the country's second largest canyon in this state park for breathtaking views, adventurous hiking expeditions and an optional cabin retreat stay, all collectively doable for a summer weekend getaway.

For a few hours hike of 5.75 miles round-trip, follow the signature landmark Lighthouse Trail where you'll find the rock formation you've probably seen in most photos of Palo Duro Canyon. For a challenge, visit the Civilian Conservation Corps Trail where you'll find the only trail descending to the canyon floor from the park rim.

Try your luck at reserving one of the several cabins available, like the lighthouse cabin for an on-site experience waking up amidst the striking views of the park. On-site camping is also sometimes available in a number of spots or look to the numerous budget hotels close to the park if you're rolling in super last minute.

3. Experience local life in Brenham, Washington County

Brenham is home to the Texas favorite Blue Bell ice cream, historical homes, and immersive farm life retreat stays. Although it may not be on the global map for Texas vacations, this charming scenic area of ​​Washington County will give you a taste of true Texas life as it is now and as it once was.

Stop in to the beloved Blue Bell Creamery for a scoop (or two) of your favorite classic flavor and hug an Alpaca at Peeka Ranch Alpacas. Immerse yourself in historical farm life in the house of the last Texan president at the Barrington Living History Farm, followed by a relaxing wine-tour among one of Washington County's wineries and vineyards.

There are plenty of charming places to stay from farm retreats to bed and breakfasts in historical houses among lush Texan greenery. Call around and look for last-minute rates, as Texas locales are known to be friendly and accommodating.

4. Swim, eat and relax in artsy Austin

Austin is one of the top music destinations in the country, known for its famous world-class music festivals Austin City Limits and South by Southwest. Many know Austin serves as one of the ultimate year-round destinations in Texas, but there's plenty to do in city limits and outside festival limits when exploring last minute Texas vacations.

Swimming holes like Barton Springs and Hamilton Pool are worth checking out for a day trip awing at nature while swimming during hot summer months. Admire the peacocks at Mayfield Park followed by the show of 1.5 million bats that emerge from the Congress Bridge at dusk. Take your pick of the plethora of Tex-Mex favorites and see what's playing at the Alamo Drafthouse, dubbed the best movie theater in the world by Quentin Tarantino.

See if you can find one of the eclectic and artistic style homestays Austin is known for on a trusted site you frequent.

5. Find a place in your heart for Hidden Hill Country

Deep in the heart of Texas and just west from Austin lies hidden hill country where you'll find two-lane roads and small towns of rivers and lakes, scenic highways, cypress trees and really good pie.

Sleep in an herb farm where you'll eat dishes created using the produce and herbs on property for the true farm-to-table experience. Enjoy the windy scenic roads of Highway 16 for road trip lovers and try some homemade apple pie at the Love Creek Apple Store in Medina. Kayak down the Medina River to avoid the crowds at Guadalupe River and discover in the natural magic of the bald cypress trees.

For staying, see if there's room at the luxurious adult getaway Travaasa Resort and Spa for all-inclusive and a la carte packages for the ultimate pampering escape.

5 Things To Do In Texas That Won’t Break Your Travel Budget

As the second largest state in the US, finding things to do in Texas may seem daunting, but budget traveling may be easier than you think. While the Lone Star State is grand it's not just for its sheer volume – the heart of Texas may just lie in the culture, natural land, rich history…

As the second largest state in the US, finding things to do in Texas may seem daunting, but budget traveling may be easier than you think. While the Lone Star State is grand it's not just for its sheer volume – the heart of Texas may just lie in the culture, natural land, rich history and purely orgasmic food. Here are 5 things to do in Texas that will not break your travel budget.

1. Explore Texas camping and outdoor adventures – Home to breathtaking state parks, world-class camping and the Rio Grande, Texas is the place to experience the ultimate American budget vacation.

Palo Duran Canyon State Park in the Texas Panhandle, dubbed “The Grand Canyon of Texas”, is home to stunning rock formations, caves and rock towers knows as hoodoos where you can even watch an outdoor musical in the summer months. For adventure-seekers, Colorado Bend State Park just west of Austin is home to intense mountain bike treks, rappelling cave tours and a 65-foot waterfall.

For the best primitive camping in Texas, check out Big Bend National Park running 114 miles down the Rio Grande where you can check out interesting animals and even ancient dinosaur fossils while backpacking. Kayaking down the Rio Grande is believed by locals to sport some of the best views in all of Texas.

2. Check out local Swimming Holes – Things to do in Texas on a budget is sometimes about embracing the natural world embedded in American culture, and visiting these natural swimming pools are no exception. These next-to-nothing admission holes are a local favorite for Texas' hot (and we mean hot!) Summer months.

Starting off the list is the $ 3 admission Barton Springs in Austin, known for its spring-fed “healing” waters. The Krause family has owned Krause Springs in Spicewood for 50 years and sports three swimming holes open year-round.

The Hamilton Pool in Dripping Springs is a must-see destination for nature enthusiasts due to its out-of-this-world look of nature's making. Created by a dome collapse of an underground river thousands of years ago, Hamilton Creek now cascades 50-feet into a cavernous pool creating a truly unique swimming experience.

3. Visit historical sites – Texas is home to some of the most important aspects of American history. Many things to do in Texas revolve around its rich history reserved for locals and travelers alike to explore the past. Museums in Texas are great places to explore on a budget, and some are even free!

The Alamo is known as one of the most famous historical spots in Texas and a World Heritage Site. What started as a Roman Catholic mission turned into the site in 1836 of the Battle of the Alamo. Here you can explore Spanish Colonial architecture and the Long Barrack museum of this free admission site.

4. Geocaching – Geocaching is all the rage around adventure-enthusiasts, and luckily Texas has jumped on board so you can explore the unbeaten path of what the huge state has to offer. This free scavenger hunt adventure uses GPS to find caches, or hidden containers where you will link up with the global community of challengers.

Washington County is the “Birthplace of Texas GeoTour!” where you'll find this real-life treasure hunt. It's a great bonding experience for family and teams, and a great way to quite explore some of Texas' hidden areas with the perk of zero cost to play!

5. Eat Tex-Mex food – Your stomach may be the key to your heart, but it's also the key to experiencing what Texas culture is all about. Bordering Mexico, Texas is known for its Texan – Mexican fusion cuisine of smoky and spicy flavors and belt-busting piles of goodness such as hearty enchiladas, spice-rubbed meats cooked to perfection, and exotic salsas you just can not resist indulging in.

Whether it's a true hole-in-the-wall or a famous favorite, Tex-Mex will be sure to satisfy the taste buds on a budget. Look online for the fan favorite in the Texas town you're in, and do not be afraid of big chains where you'll often find mariachi bands and pitchers of margaritas on the cheap.