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Durant and Cheryl Imboden
Editor and publisher of Europeforvisitors.com and EFVblog.com.
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ABOVE: La Bella Vita spends part of each voyage moored within a short walk of the Piazza San Marco in Venice. In 2015, European Waterways is offering two opera-themed cruise tours aboard La Bella Vita, a luxury hotel barge that cruises between Venice and the Po River Delta. Each cruise tour will include a pre-cruise "Night at the Opera" with premium seating in the Arena di Verona, a former Roman amphitheatre in Verona (an easy drive from Venice in the barge's comfortable minibus). The dates of the two opera-themed cruises are: July 11-18, featuring Puccini's Tosca. September 5-12, featuring Verdi's... Continue reading
Posted Jan 29, 2016 at Europe for Visitors Blog
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ABOVE: Adrienne is one of five hotel barges in the French Country Waterways fleet. First-rate food is a basic component of any luxury barge cruise, but French Country Waterways Ltd. has upped the culinary ante with a unique twist: Each of the company's itineraries in Burgundy, the Upper Loire, Champagne and Alsace-Lorraine includes dinner at a Michelin-starred restaurant on shore. If you're cruising on Adrienne or Espirit, you'll be taken to Maison Lameloise in Chagny for modern interpretations of Burgundian cuisine in a converted 15th Century coach house. Horizon II guests are treated to dinner at L'Auberge des Templiers, a... Continue reading
Posted Jan 29, 2016 at Europe for Visitors Blog
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ABOVE: A CGI rendering of Scenic Eclipse in Paradise Bay, Antarctica. Scenic, an Australian-based international cruise and tour company, has operated river cruises in Europe since 2008. Today, Scenic has 13 luxury "space ships" operating in Europe under the Scenic Cruises brand, and it launched a new four-star brand--Emerald Waterways--in 2014. Now, with the announcement of a Polar Class 6-rated "discovery yacht," Scenic is going after the small-ship oceangoing cruise market. When Scenic Eclipse enters service on August 31, 2018, it will offer luxury cruises in such disparate regions as the Mediterranean, the Arctic, and the Antarctic. The brand-new 16,500-GRT... Continue reading
Posted Jan 18, 2016 at Europe for Visitors Blog
Recently, we received an e-mail from Gregory Alan Forney, a.k.a. Before Day, in which he described his new music video titled Cogli l'attimo (an Italian phrase that means "Seize the moment"). We enjoyed the music video, which is catchy, upbeat, and filled with appealing Venice imagery. You can view it above on YouTube. After clicking the "Play" arrow, click the "full screen" symbol for maximum enjoyment. If you'd like to download the song as an MP3, MP320, or FLAC file, visit the Cogli l'attimo page at CDBaby.com, where you can also read what inspired Greg to write his song. (Cogli... Continue reading
Posted Nov 21, 2015 at Venice Travel Blog
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ABOVE: Meg stands (or, rather, lies) watch over her domain. Over the years, Cheryl (sometimes accompanied by Maggie) has bought t-shirts and other gifts at a souvenir cart in the Campo delle Beccarie, next to the Pescaria or Fish Market on the San Polo side of Venice's Rialto Bridge. Recently, Cheryl stopped by the cart to buy more t-shirts for our grandchildren, and she remembered that the lady who owned the kiosk had once mentioned having a dog. When Cheryl asked about the dog, the lady took her around the cart and pulled a drawer open. Inside the drawer was... Continue reading
Posted Aug 30, 2015 at Maggie in Venice
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ABOVE: Before cooling your heels in Venice's canals, put on latex socks. In the summer months, it isn't uncommon to see tourists dipping their toes or feet into Venice's canals, presumably in an effort to keep cool. Before emulating those clueless or intrepid visitors, consider this: An estimated 90 percent of Venice's human waste is flushed directly into the city's canals, and a public-health study detected Hepatitis A virus and enteroviruses in 78 percent of the canals that were tested over a two-year period from 2003 to 2005. Venice's canal-based sewer system is more than a thousand years old, and... Continue reading
Posted Aug 28, 2015 at Venice Travel Blog
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ABOVE: A bicyclist poses as a passerby takes his photo on a footbridge. Back in 2010, we wrote a Stupid Tourist Tricks post titled "Bicycling in Venice" that showed visitors taking two-wheelers into Venice's historic center. Bicycling in the city center was illegal then, and it still is--although you might never guess it from the number of clueless or rebellious tourists who can be seen with bikes near Venice's railroad station and Piazzale Roma. To be fair, the prohibition against bicycles may not be obvious to visitors who haven't done their research, and not all offenders are tourists. (A few... Continue reading
Posted Aug 18, 2015 at Venice Travel Blog
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ABOVE: La Bella Vita cruises in Italy's Po River Delta between Venice and Mantua. In 2015, European Waterways is offering two opera-themed cruises aboard La Bella Vita, a luxury hotel barge that cruises between Venice and Mantua. Each opera package will include a pre-cruise "Night at the Opera" with premium seating in the Arena di Verona, a former Roman amphitheatre in Verona (an easy drive from Padua, where you'll spend a night before boarding the hotel barge in Venice). The dates of the two opera-themed cruises are: July 11-18, featuring Puccini's Tosca. September 5-12, featuring Verdi's Nabucco. Other opera-related activities... Continue reading
Posted Mar 15, 2015 at Venice Travel Blog
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ABOVE: A sewage boat arrives to collect the contents of a septic tank or a "pozzo nero" (cesspool) in a Venice storefront. Sewage isn't the most appealing travel topic, but if you're at all interested in urban infrastructure, you might as well learn where things go when you do. Most of Venice's sewage goes directly into the city's canals. Flush a toilet, and someone crossing a bridge or cruising up a side canal by gondola may notice a small swoosh of water emerging from an opening in a brick wall. In theory, such waste is supposed to be purified by... Continue reading
Posted Feb 27, 2015 at Venice Travel Blog
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We tend to be underwhelmed by gift books and coffeetable books, especially when they're about Venice. We've seen too many heavy, expensive books that consisted mostly of standard tourist photos (gondolas, Carnival masks) and seemed destined to gather dust on bookshelves. This year, however, we received a review copy of a readable--and affordable--book that breaks the mold. It's titled Dream of Venice, with photographs by Charles Christopher and editing by JoAnn Locktov (who also has written two books about contemporary mosaics). We recommend Dream of Venice with enthusiasm, and if you're looking for the perfect gift book--for the holidays, for... Continue reading
Posted Dec 14, 2014 at Venice Travel Blog
Edmund Hunt: The B&B would be your most reliable source of information, but this Google Map might help: https://www.google.com/maps/place/B%26B+San+Luca/@45.43579,12.333998,20z/data=!4m2!3m1!1s0x0:0x78f9321bd58866e7
Toggle Commented Nov 25, 2014 on A warning about water taxis at Venice Travel Blog
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Acqua alta, or high water, occurs in Venice when a high tide coincides with a drop in barometric pressure, often in combination with a scirocco wind that pushes water toward the northern end of the Adriatic Sea. The sea's water level rises, and the excess water is forced into the Venetian Lagoon at high tide, flooding low-lying areas of Venice for several hours until the high tide recedes. The main acqua alta season is from October to April, and the flood tides are especially common in late fall. Today, the high water was fairly moderate--about 100 cm above the official... Continue reading
Posted Nov 12, 2014 at Venice Travel Blog
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ABOVE: In a few weeks, The Montague's deck will be transformed into a mountain ski lodge. Red Carnation Hotels has a knack for knocking the stuffiness out of the four- and five-star hotel experience, and this winter, it's doing so again with a reprise of The Montague Ski Lodge at The Montague on the Gardens in central London. From November 19, 2014 to January 30, 2015, the hotel's outdoor deck will be "magically transformed into a mountain ski lodge for the winter season, complete with falling snow, pine trees, snowmen, reindeer, piste maps, and twinkling lights." The Ski Lodge's bar... Continue reading
Posted Oct 16, 2014 at Europe for Visitors Blog
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ABOVE: The rotation180° Travel Away Backpack from MindShift Gear. Backpacks are handy, but you wouldn't want to use a backpack for your passport, wallet, camera, and smartphone--or would you? With the new rotation180° Travel Away Backpack from MindShift Gear, you can enjoy the storage space of a backpack and the security of a rotating hidden or front-mounted beltpack at the same time. According to MindShift, "In one swift motion, the wearer can rotate the concealed beltpack to the front for instantaneous and secure access to camera, passports, guidebooks, tablets, or other travel essentials." And when you (a.k.a. "the wearer") want... Continue reading
Posted Oct 16, 2014 at Europe for Visitors Blog
Lucas Leenders: I don't read Dutch, but I read German well enough to *think* I know what you're asking. If your ship is leaving from Marittima (the main cruise basin), you can take the airport bus to Piazzale Roma in central Venice and catch the People Mover automated tram to the cruise port. That's the cheapest way to do it. Alternatively, you could go by taxi directly to either the Marittima or San Basilio piers. (Each taxi will cost 40-45 euros.)
Toggle Commented Oct 15, 2014 on A warning about water taxis at Venice Travel Blog
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ABOVE: A man and a woman model Goldon plastic boots in Venice's Piazza San Marco during acqua alta. From roughly October through April (and, increasingly, at other times of the year), low-lying neighborhoods in Venice's historic center may be flooded for several hours at a time by storm tides called "acqua alta" or "high water." Although municipal workers set out passerelle or raised wooden walkways in critical locations during acqua alta, there are times when the only way to get around is to go wading. Venetians wear rubber boots (which are available in local hardware stores and other shops), but... Continue reading
Posted Sep 20, 2014 at Venice Travel Blog
Sorry. I need to read more carefully! Unfortunately, Trasbagagli has a monopoly on luggage storage at the airport. It also runs a luggage-storage office at the Piazzale Roma in Venice (the arrival point for airport buses and land taxis), but you might run into the same problem there. Still, it won't hurt to ask. Trasbagli charges a different rate at the Piazzale Roma than at the airport (7 euro instead of 6), so who knows--maybe it has a different policy on luggage dimensions, too. You can call the Piazzale Roma office direct at +39-041-5231107. - di
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ABOVE: The cover of The Gondola Maker, a new novel by Laura Morelli. We recently received an announcement from Laura Fabiani of Italy Book Tours that we wanted to share with you. It's about The Gondola Maker, a novel by Laura Morelli, who has put her background as an art historian to work in creating "a tale of artisanal tradition and family bonds set in one of the world's most magnificent settings, Renaissance Venice." Here's a description of the book: "When Luca Vianello, the heir to a renowned gondola-making enterprise, experiences an unexpected tragedy in the boatyard, he believes that... Continue reading
Posted Sep 9, 2014 at Venice Travel Blog
I think you're out of luck at the airport, but you might be able to find a kennel on the mainland that could help you. (We haven't used any kennels in Venice, so we can't make any recommendations, unfortunately.) Alternatively, you could bring your dog to the city with you. Venice is a dog-friendly city, and you should be able to take your dog most places other than for museums and supermarkets.
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ABOVE: A surfer catches a wave at MUC. For the fourth summer in a row, Munich International Airport (MUC) will wow spectators and thrill participants at its "Surf & Style" event from July 30 through August 24. Pumps will create a standing wave 10 meters (33 feet) wide and 1.5 meters (5 feet) high in an outdoor basin at Munich Airport Center, a short walk from the passenger terminals. The surfing attraction will be open daily from 3 p.m. to 8:15 p.m., and admission is free. Up to 10 people at a time will be allowed into the basin, with... Continue reading
Posted Jul 25, 2014 at Europe for Visitors Blog
The last time we checked, the tram was due to enter service in December. (ACTV has been doing test runs, however, so you might see it operating before then if you're in the Piazzale Roma.)
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ABOVE: Look for the tiny yellow Venice Luggage Deposit logo at the entrance on Calle Larga Malvasia, which is only a few minutes on foot from the Piazza San Marco or the Rialto Bridge. (The building number is Castello 5496.) Venice has a good supply of left-luggage offices, with locations at Marco Polo airport, at the Santa Lucia and Mestre train stations, in the Piazzale Roma (the city's bus and taxi gateway), and the cruise port. Until recently, however, finding a place to dump your bags in the heart of the historic center wasn't easy, unless you were checking in... Continue reading
Posted Jul 11, 2014 at Venice Travel Blog
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ABOVE: Tourists and locals mingle amid the flowers on Tulip Island, Amsterdam. Tiny Tim would have loved Amsterdam's newest tourist attraction: "Tulip Island," on the tiny islet of Muziekkoepel opposite the Blue Teahouse in the city's Vondelpark. As you follow the late singer's exhortation to tiptoe through the tulips, you can pick your own bouquet while learning about the cultivation and history of Holland's most famous flower. As a bonus, you'll meet other harvesters, and you'll have the opportunity to sell or trade your pickings in front of the traditional auction clock. The Tulip Experience Foundation, which runs the island,... Continue reading
Posted Jul 10, 2014 at Europe for Visitors Blog
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ABOVE: From Venezia Mestre railroad station, it's only a 10- to 15-minute trip into Venice's historic center.er. We'd never advocate spending only one day in Venice (we'd suggest a week to a month), but we'll concede that one day is better than none. If you're pressed for time, this e-mail that we received from Harri Vainio of Finland may be helpful: "Because of your site we were able to squeeze in a day in Venice in our week-long visit to Garda. I know lots of folks say that Venice cannot be visited by car in a day, but with some... Continue reading
Posted Jun 29, 2014 at Venice Travel Blog
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ABOVE: A Delta Air Lines 767flies over the Venetian Lagoon on its approach to Venice Marco Polo Airport. Not long ago, a reader e-mailed us with the question, "How can I get from Marco Polo Airport to the Venice train station?" The answer was more complicated than you might guess, because there's no road access to Venice's Santa Lucia Railroad Station. Instead, the easiest way to reach the station is to take a bus or taxi from the airport to Piazzale Roma (at the edge of Venice's historic center) and walk across a bridge to the station. Total travel time,... Continue reading
Posted Jun 1, 2014 at Venice Travel Blog