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Say yes to bubbles
Think prosecco is nothing more than a poor cousin of Champagne? A visit to Italy’s Veneto region will change your mind – and perhaps your next drink order.
Most travellers know it’s a faux pas to order a cappuccino in Italy after 11 a.m. But the proper etiquette is less clear when you walk into a coffee bar in Treviso, a pretty medieval town in the heart of prosecco country, late in the morning and find a room full of locals drinking not only foam-topped coffees but also glasses of pale, sparkling wine.
This shouldn’t entirely be a surprise. With hundreds of prosecco wineries – the best of which line a 42-kilometer stretch of meandering road known as the Strada del Prosecco – Italy’s Veneto region, where Treviso is located, is the sort of place where, when you sit down in a restaurant and your server asks “still or with bubbles?” he’s talking about the wine, not water. The correct answer is bubbles. Always bubbles.
Fall is a fabulous time to tour the Veneto and we've got great ideas to make tht happen for you.
Where Parisians vacation...
Colmar is just a three-hour train ride from Paris. And if its romantic good looks are not enough to charm you, consider this: It’s the heart of Alsatian wine country – and flatbread with cheese, cream and lardons is a local specialty. Colmar is in the Haut-Rhin section of the Alsatian Wine Route, just south of Strasbourg. Dating from the ninth century, the old town center has survived wars, invasion and revolution and still retains its early architecture – Gothic, Renaissance, baroque and neoclassical buildings that line the streets in the city’s heart. Expect to be charmed by the paintbox beauty of Colmar’s well-preserved buildings and the visual pleasure of its canals bordered by outdoor cafés. That neighbourhood isn’t called Le Petite Venice for nothing. But on a sunny day, the pink and blue and amber half-timbered buildings, carefully restored, are more than eye candy.
Happy New Year Everyone. 2016 is still the year to travel and going in the direction of Europe remains being a fabulous travel bargain. We will be delving into detail on many of our favorite destinations for the coming year via our email newsletters, blogs, twitter feeds and Google+ in the coming weeks and months - but this year I am really liking Portugal, Sicily, Malta and northern Spain. Come on board via our website. www.globius.com.
Fear only plays into the hands of the terrorists.
As my focus in my travel business is to assist in the planning and execution of custom itineraries to Italy, Spain and France (among other countries), I am finding that the best journeys are planned earlier and earlier every year. The Autumn is definitely planning season now for journeys to Europe in Spring and Summer. With increased travelers out there, the better choices in accommodation and transport are nearly always acquired early, rather than at the last minute.
I would love to get started on your next trip for 2016. Give me a call.
The best way to appreciate Nantes, France is from the top of an elephant. Not any old jumbo, mind you: atop a 40ft-tall mechanical mammoth, with sweeping views across the city. Propelled by a recycled combine-harvester engine, our Nellie lumbers along at 45 feet a minute, trumpeting loudly and spraying water at the delighted children jogging alongside.
The machine is a cousin of the giant elephant and spider that trundled through London and Liverpool a few years ago. All came from the same workshop on the Île de Nantes, the three-mile-long island in the Loire River delta, whose transformation from docklands to urban playground is part of the Nantes renaissance.
What unusual manner do you like to explore visiting cities in or on? I'd like to know!
Fall is a great time to travel to Europe as costs are lower, temperatures are cooler, and lines to see the local attractions are always shorter. It is also the time of year when many European cities hold food and wine festivals. They range in variety from general culinary delights, to specific ingredients, such as Chocolate, Truffles or Wine. Contact me to consider building an itinerary around one of these delightful festivals. One of my favorites is the famous Truffle Festival, Alba, Italy/ October- November - White truffle season begins at the beginning of October and with a visit here you can learn all you want to about the mysterious truffle, as well as sample some of the finest available. See some of the world’s most famous chefs salivating at the invitation-only truffle auction, where some of these fungi will sell for up to $3000 per kilo!
Science now says it’s OK to spend all your money on travel. Here at Globius Travel we’ve been telling our friends and clients this for years, but now finally there’s some science to back us up. Recent psychological research from Cornell University in New York has confirmed that the key to happiness is through experiences rather than things. The two decade study says that one of the key underlying differences between our value of experiences and objects is adaptation. It finds that we buy things to make us happy, and we succeed, but only for a while. New things are exciting to us at first, but then we adapt to them. On the flip side, happiness that stems from things we’ve experienced actually goes up as time passes because those experiences become a part of us and shape our identity. What do you think? Stuff or Experiences? We can help with the “experiences” part.
For those who consider themselves foodies, the process of truly getting to know a place often begins at its markets. Markets are renowned for offering a unique insight into local culture and, most importantly, local food that differs from what you find in a restaurant or guide book. Amsterdam markets are no different, and the city is home to a handful of bustling ones all eager to please your senses and fill you in on day-to-day Amsterdam life. Our short-list of favorite markets in Amsterdam is Ten Katemerkt, just a short walk from the Jordaan district; De Hallen, right next door; the Albert Cuypmarkt in De Pijp; and the Dappermarkt in Amsterdam Oost. All take on an extra special magic at Christmas time.
Next time you visit Amsterdam, let us know which is your favorite market.
Put the bloody device away! With their limitless on-demand information, handheld devices have made travel infinitely easier than a decade ago. But when visiting a foreign country, sometimes you’ve got to look around with your eyes. Batteries die. Operating systems crash. Wi-Fi can be scarce and data roaming fees can still be prohibitively expensive, but you know, those other human beings around you might be fun to interact with.
Walking with your head down, eyes glued to your device, will cause you to miss all manner of interesting sights and experiences, not to mention put you at risk of walking into people, water fountains or dog poo.
Not only is it OK to disregard the digital map/GPS and get lost, it’s encouraged. Sometimes this is when the best experiences happen. Soak in your surroundings. Make yourself available for serendipitous encounters and conversations with actual humans – locals or other tourists, it doesn’t matter.
We’re going digital and there’s no stopping that. Some of us will just be doing it in moderation.
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