10 Cool Facts about Travel to Tuscany, Italy

Magnificent View from the old city of San Gimignano Tuscany, Italy

Tuscany is the largest region in Italy and it covers nearly 9,000 square miles. The capital city of Florence and the surrounding countryside attracts 10 million visitors every year. If you are considering visiting Tuscany, here are a few interesting facts that you should know before your trip:

1. Tuscany Was Where the Italian Language Was Born

The official Italian language spoken today is based on the Tuscan dialect that dates back to the Renaissance period.

2. Pinocchio is From Tuscany

The original story about the little marionette who just wanted to be a “real boy” was written by Carlo Collodi, who was born in Florence in 1826. The story was later made into the famous Disney animated film in 1940. Did you know that Pinocchio means “Pine Eyes” in Italian?

3. Tuscany Has More UNESCO World Heritage Sites Than South Africa, Argentina or Australia.

Heritage sites are everywhere in Tuscany Italy

There is plenty of culture here, from the historic centre of Florence to the Piazza del Duomo in Pisa. Even the rolling landscapes of the Val d’Orcia are considered a UNESCO Heritage Site, as they inspired many of the Renaissance painters.

4. The Leaning Tower of Pisa is Not the Only Leaning Tower

The famous Leaning Tower of Pisa, Italy is still leaning..

The Leaning Tower of Pisa leans because it was built on unstable marshland and it weighs almost 15,000 tonnes. However, there are other towers than lean in the area, including the bell towers at the church of St. Nicola and the church of St. Michele deiScalzi.

5. There is No Drinking Age in Italy

Vineyard in the Tuscan Hills near Siena

There is no legal drinking age in Italy and a young person of any age can legally consume alcohol. However, a person must be at least 16 years old to be served alcohol in a bar or a restaurant.

6. Tuscany is Known as a “Nation Within a Nation”

Classic Tuscan House

This is because of its unique linguistic and cultural identity – which is distinct from other regions in the rest of Italy.

7. Tuscany is Home to Some of the Most Precious Artwork in the World

Tuscany has some of the greatest art work and historic buildings worldwide

Botticelli’s famous painting “The Birth of Venus” is housed in the Uffizi Gallery and Michelangelo’s David can be found in Florence. Also, you can find many amazing frescos, sculptures, paintings and much more in the churches and cathedrals around the region.

8. This Region Was The Birthplace of the Western Musical Tradition

In Florence in the mid-16th century, the Florentine Camerata (a group of poets, musicians and intellectuals) got together and started experimenting with putting ancient Greek myths to music on the stage. This was the origin of the very first operas, which lead to early classical forms such as the symphony.

9. Many British Tourists Come to the Chianti Wine Region that It Has the Nickname “Chiantishire”

Awesome wine in Tuscany: Dievole Chianti Classico in Siena, Italy

Chianti is a well-known wine internationally and the region in Tuscany where it is produced is very popular with British tourists.

10. Many Celebrities Choose to Holiday or Live in Tuscany

Some of the famous people who own property in Tuscany include musician Sting, fashion designer Giorgio Armani, opera star Andrea Bocelli, actor Richard Gere and actor Antonio Banderas. These are just a few interesting facts about this beautiful region of Italy, so that you can be well informed when you are visiting Tuscany.

5 Quick Tips to Save On Your Travel Budget

There is a saying, “the far you go with your dear ones, nearer you come to them”. Yes, whenever we plan a trip and escape from our busy schedule with our special ones, we get to know them and understand them better. However, many times it becomes tough for us to plan a trip as we are not left with much money at the end of the month. Even if we manage with finances, most of the amount is eaten up by the hotel budget in our travel plan.

Hotel fares appear as the biggest obstacle in our travel plan. To deal with this problem we offer you some tips which can help you to overcome this issue and have a great time when you are traveling.

1. Always be flexible

Never be rigid in your travel plans, flexibility in the plan will help you to get cheapest rate around. Try planning your holiday on weekdays rather that planning them on weekends. Hotel on weekdays have comparatively lower rates. Also don’t stick with a particular hotel instead and go for hotels which are less in demand.

2. Hotel rewards programs

Signing up for this kind of programs give you access to promotions and discount codes. Along with this you also gain points for free stay. One more way is to sign up for hotel credit card offer, there are chains that offer you promotions for free stay at hotel and also bonus points are offered while signing up for a credit card.

3. Joining auto club

There are different kinds of clubs which offer discounts for travel; one among them is auto club. In various travel ingredients hotel stay is also one. A membership card of this club can give you discounts on your stay at hotel.

4. Obtain a hotel coupon

Hotel coupon codes are available online; there are websites which offer codes through different sources. Sometimes entertainment books also contain hotel coupons which will be a great deal for your travel plan.

5. Hotels listed on discount websites

Hit the internet and search for good hotel deals on discount websites. There are many websites where you may get discounts for hotel, e.g. TravelZoo, Priceline, Orbitz etc. However, before finalizing anything it is always better to go through the terms and conditions. It is very important to read the cancellation policy. Do compare the pricing between online booking and direct booking.

These were 5 tips which will help you to cut down the amount which will be spent on the hotel and thus you will save more for other entertainment factors while traveling. There are also other tricks to chop down your budget for hotel stay; for example you can plan your trip during off season and also on weekdays. The rates of hotels are quite low during off season.

In nutshell, with cheap hotel rate you will have a great time on your holidays as you will be left with good amount of money for other entertainment factors.

10 Great Tips for Traveling the World on the Cheap

It’s a great big world out there and there is a lot to explore – but what if you don’t have a lot of money to spend on your travels. Is it possible to see the world, while still sticking to a small budget? Of course it is! You simply need to know how to stretch your travel savings further, so that you can see more while spending less. Here are some tips to keep in mind:

1. Eat Locally Whenever You Can

In many countries you will find that the simple street food vendors and basic restaurants where the locals eat are much cheaper than the tourist restaurants. Also, the food will be delicious and authentic.

2. Stay in Hostels

If you want to be able to travel the world on the cheap, make sure that you take advantage of hostels. They are much cheaper than hotels, so you will really cut down your accommodation budget. Also, hostels are very social places with common lounge areas where you can meet other travellers and make friends.

3. Cook Your Own Food in the Hostel Kitchen

Staying in a hostel with a kitchen is a huge advantage, because you will be able to buy food cheaply at the local marketplace and cook it yourself in the communal hostel kitchen- reducing the amount of expensive restaurant meals.

4. Find Free Things to Do

Every destination has a lot of fun free things to do, from museums with free entry to hiking trails to free walking tours. Find all of the free activities that you can and enjoy them!

5. Be Flexible with Your Flights

Sometimes if you are prepared to fly from another terminal or airport entirely, you can save yourself a lot of money. When you are doing a search for cheap airfare, you can try searching from other nearby airports to find out what the cheapest rate is.

6. Consider A Working Holiday

One great way to keep your budget travels going for longer is to go on a working holiday. There are many working holiday visas for other countries that allow you to live and work for 1-2 years in your destination. You can experience the local life while earning cash to fund your adventures.

7. Or Consider Working for Accommodation

Another option is to volunteer your time in exchange for food and accommodation. For example, the WWOOFing program (Willing Workers on Organic Farms) offers home stays on farms all over the world, where you will work a few hours per day in exchange for your room and board.

8. Try Couchsurfing

This is a worldwide hospitality network where people all over the world offer their couches or spare bedrooms to travellers – for free! Create a profile on the site, make friends and see if anyone in your destination would be willing to host you.

9. Travel Slower

The faster you travel, the more flights and buses you will need to take – which really adds up. Instead, spend more time getting to know each destination and you will save money.

10. Avoid Buying a Lot of Souvenirs

They are expensive, not always authentic and they take up a lot of room in your luggage. Choose one or two very special items, but otherwise save your money.

Keep these tips in mind and even though you have a small budget, you will still be able to follow your dreams of seeing the world!

Las Vegas Travel Deals You Can't Miss

Las Vegas is a popular holiday destination and it is usually busy all year round. Though there is no off season here but maximum people plan their visit during New Year, school vacation, and other holidays. During Valentine’s Day, Las Vegas is full of couples. The climate here is pleasant with dry and sunny day. Swimmers and sunbathers can plan their trip to the place from May to September and spring is the best time to just stroll around and explore the city or head towards the dessert to spend a wonderful evening.

If you are on a budget and looking for some great Las Vegas travel deals here are some tips to help you plan a cheap holiday in the Nevada Desert"

1. If you're planning to visit Vegas for the first time, try to book room in any of the casino hotels. However, if you're not very fussy about the room then you can look for other cheaper options. Usually the rates of the hotel are high during the weekends whereas the prices drop in the midweek. You can avail the benefit and plan your holiday in such a way that you reach Las Vegas during the weekdays.

2. You can surf through various websites, compare their offers and then select the best Las Vegas travel deals. You can also visit hotels personal website and check if it’s cheaper to book with them directly. You can also signup for newsletters and travel updates. You might receive some great deals through email. Many hotels use social media to offer deals to travelers. Make sure to visit their social media pages.

3. You can also try the official Las Vegas tourism website for great deals. The tourism website has a section for special offers with all latest offers for travelers. You can sort the result as per your choice and budget.

4. Some websites provide package deals. These deals might cover hotel charges, travel charges or everything starting from food, hotel room, travel, to sightseeing. You can avail any of them that suit your holiday plan and budget.

5. Plan your holiday ahead of time and also try to be flexible in order to save money. Normally Las Vegas is crowded during holiday. While searching for deals make sure to check all the offers a few days before and after the day you would like to start your holiday.

The Top Attractions of Manhattan

When you are taking a trip to New York City, without any doubt you will like to see the Empire State Building, Rockefeller Center or the United Nations. These are only few names that are present in the Manhattan area of the New York City. The list is endless.

I started my Manhattan journey with a visit to the Empire State Building. The 1,454 foot tall building has an observatory deck from where you can have a spell bound view of the New York skyline. There is a glass enclosed observatory at the 86th floor and an open air one at the 102nd floor. I reached the 102nd floor observatory at dusk and witness how the daylight give way to the thousands of glowing neon that bear the emblem of never sleeping city. It was an amazing view that I hardly can phrase. The 103rd level was once used as the docking station for the airships.

Another area that I have planned to visit during night is the Times Square. This glitzy area is always crowded with people. Shopping malls, some of the best stores and the theaters all flocked in and around the Times Square.

My next stop was Metropolitan Museum of Art. It is one of the rare spots in the city where you can spend an entire day and can see only a fraction of it. In this iconic museum you will find 17 curatorial collections that span over different eras and cultural standpoints. Museum of Modern Art is also a place where you can get lost in their permanent exhibits for the entire day. The Museum houses the priceless pieces of the renowned artists. Equally alluring are the attached cinema, sculpture garden and the high-end restaurant.

The 25 acre green space of the Battery Park was also there in my Manhattan Travel. Basically, I was there in the park to catch a ferry to the famous Liberty Island. The name of the park originates from the battery cannons that it once had. The beautiful view of the waterfront from the park surprises the visitors.

The 843 acre plot of the Central Park was another draw of the Manhattan. The picturesque vistas lined with skyscrapers can be visited any time of the year. It has something interesting in-stored for you in every season.

Whatever be your interest there is no one, who has left the American Museum of Natural history without being awestruck. The museum collections help you to develop an understanding of human origin or origin of different species.

The Manhattan area is full of remarkable buildings, renowned libraries, world famous streets and museums. The attractions seem to be never ending. However, it is hard to get a midtown Manhattan Hotel. Lucky few have the opportunity to stay in the place. Most of the tourists stay at a close proximity from Manhattan and commute to the area. If you have plans to stay in the area it is best to reserve your accommodation much prior to the travel date.