My first ski holiday was at the tender age of 9, and I was hooked from the off. Generally speaking, when I am on a ski holiday I am at my happiest. Undoubtedly, the actual skiing and snowboarding play a big part in plastering a smile across my face, but there is so much more to it than that. For me, skiing is about spending quality time eating, drinking and generally making merry with friends and family, exploring an awe-inspiring natural landscape that I wouldn’t otherwise get to see, and of course there is a bit of exhilarating sport thrown in for good measure!
Photo: Walter Bibikow/The Image Bank/Getty Images
From Europe’s biggest freestyle snowboarding open to an ice climbing festival and an international sled dog race, here are top five winter sports events in Switzerland this season.
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Are you planning to visit Florence in Italy, the cradle of the renaissance? Ponte Vecchio is one of the biggest Florentine attractions which you cannot miss. Find out more about its history before your travel.
Ponte Vecchio means in Italian “old bridge”. The bridge is the oldest and most famous of six Florence’s bridges over the Arno river. There are actually buildings on this medieval bridge which, since the 15th century, are occupied by jewelery shops. In the center of the bridge there are two panoramatic terraces facing both up and down the river. These offer a splendid view over the Arno. The bridge is mentioned in the famous aria “O mio Babbino Caro” from the Opera “Gianni Schiacchi“, by Giacomo Puccini. read full article
Naples is synonymous with presepe or Nativity scenes. From the big cathedrals to public squares right down to the small houses – there’s hardly any place where you wouldn’t find one! Setting up a nativity scene is a source of great pride for these Italians and is an art that is passed on from generation to generation. The nativity scene is said to have been first created by St Francis of Assisi in 1223 when he conducted a Christmas mass in the town of Greccio. It is usually set up around December 8th and continues right up to epiphany on January 6th.
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Whether you are just out of the closet or have been openly gay your entire life, one thing that gets tricky for everyone is how to plan a gay vacation that meets your needs. Although gay travel and straight travel are very similar, there are a few things that you need to think about before you look at booking your next trip. With a huge variety of gay vacations out there, it is important to find one that meets your needs.
Langkawi is a 99-island archipelago situated off the northwestern shores of Malaysia in the Andaman Sea. It is oftentimes referred to as “the Jewel of Kedah”, and is one of the most targeted tourist coastal destinations in this part of the world.
It is known for a nightlife that is almost a contradiction in terms in that it is lively and yet so relaxing because of the fact that so many of the popular nightlife venues are located in and around the numerous beach resorts that dot the entire coastline. read full article
A visit to the 8th arrondissement of Paris will unfold a world of tempting luxury that we dream of. The arrondissement, an administrative unit located on the River Seine’s right bank, comprises seven ward councils: Hoche Friedland, Parc Moceau, Mairie, Europe, Saint-Philippe du Roule, Elysees-Madeleine and Triangle d’or. These councils house an assortment of world-class churches, memorials, museums and other magnificent attractions, and posh hotels, markets, residential structures and restaurants. However, a Paris itinerary will not be complete without the following landmarks:
The Monceau, one of the most picturesque parks in Paris, is a treasure trove of beautiful trees, including Corsican pine, honey locust America, maple, Judas, silver lime, sycamore and tulip. read full article
If you’re looking to take your next trip up a notch while keeping costs down, winter 2010 is the perfect time to go. With the global economy going south the last few years, the hardest hit sector in the travel industry has been the luxury market. Rates for 4- and 5-star hotels reached historic lows in 2009, and it’s continuing throughout 2010 and even to 2011.
1. The art capital of Italy
Known as the cradle of the Renaissance era (la culla del Rinascimento), the historic center of Florence was declared as a World Heritage Site by the UNESCO in 1982. In fact, the centro storico is home to some of the most beautiful monuments, churches and museums of the world and attracts millons of tourists to the city each year. The historic city lies within medeival walls built around it in the 14th century after Florence began to grow due to its economic growth. Some of its most prominent sights include the Duomo, the Uffizi museum, the Galleria dell’Accademia where the statue of David is held and the Ponte Vecchio. read full article
The best way to see London is undoubtedly by foot (although the number 26 bus is pretty great too). There’s an awful lot of London to see, so if you’re after a walking tour for a few hours, here are some of the best:
Insider London Tours: The Insider London tours offer something a little bit different. Want a tour of weird London? Want to know where the coolest interiors are? Or the best architecture? Then make sure you go on one of their tours and do some walking and learning. read full article
When my husband and I set off on a birthday jaunt to the Amalfi Coast, I knew a big part of the holiday would be spent obsessing over his beloved birthday present, a new SLR camera. Although, I was pleased he had found a new interest besides his Xbox, I was concerned that my patience might be wearing a little thin by the end of the trip, if his camera received more of his attention than I did.
Even though we had been told that the Amalfi Coast was a beautiful part of Italy, when we arrived the spectacular scenery surpassed all our expectations. The dramatic coastline with its lush green mountains, splashes of vivid fuchsia bougainvillea and sparkling sapphire seas must be seen to be believed. read full article
I might be a grown-up (apparently) but that doesn’t mean I don’t like toys and playing and fun. London has some excellent toy shops, so once you’ve hit Hamley’s (you’ve all heard of that one, right? I don’t need to go into how awesome Hamley’s is. It’s big, there’s lots of toys and tourists. It’s expensive and fabulous fun. But, what about the more specific shops? Where are the independent toy shops that you can take your kids too?
If that old saying is true – “a picture is worth a thousand words,” then half a century of film archives must be priceless for telling the story and the beauty of Italy’s Campania region. Many of the old Hollywood classics portray southern Italy in a simpler time and the black and white images add to the romance of the love stories and the sinister nature of the tales involving crime and mystery.
The 1950s and 1960s yielded a treasure trove of films shot in Campania. Here is a handful to get you started on your journey through a different time: read full article
Classic Hollywood movies of the 1950s and 1960s shaped our early view of southern Italy both as a destination full of love and passion and as a sinister, dark hotbed of corruption. Yet, in the 1990s, filmmakers explored the more colorful side of Campania, often making its lush scenery as much a part of the plot as the characters themselves.
The Royal Botanical Garden of Madrid, a beautiful secluded place in the heart of the Spanish capital, is just across the Prado Museum. Nature lovers and gardening enthusiasts should not miss it, as the garden is home to flora from diverse climatic zones. The garden comprises greenhouses, pavilions, a bonsai section, kitchen garden, orchid section, rose garden and aromatic plant section.
Greenhouses present exotic plants from different parts of the earth. Catroviejo Bolibar Santiago, a computer-managed greenhouse, has three plant sections: tropical, subtropical and desert. Graells Stove or Las Palmas greenhouse features tropical species, mosses and ferns. There are dedicated pavilions: pavilions of bananas and buckeyes. read full article