Catania: History, Paradise and Sicily’s Pride

Italy is a place teeming with pasta, pizza and all of the wonderful things and the simple pleasures of life can give you. Art is regarded highly in this part of Europe and the culture and the food are reflective of these things.

This is why even in the small towns that are outside of the mainland of Italy, specifically Catania that is just off the special region of Sicily is a place that is bursting with colors, cultures and flavors that you couldn’t find anywhere else. In this region, art and life blends well together as spaghetti goes well with marinara sauce and a fresh sprig of basil.

Culture

Upon arriving at the Catania Fontanarossa Airport, you will see that local Sicilians and Catanians are very cultured. In the city proper, you will find a number of museums, historical landmarks and feats of architecture that are like nowhere else in the world. Places such as the Piazza Duomo, The Teatro Missimo Bellini, an homage to the wonderful composer, the Palazzo de Elefanti which also doubles as a town hall and a museum and the Palazzo Biscari. Which is a celebration of the Roccoco design when it comes to the homes of the 17th century. These are just some of the many buildings that you can find strewn around the wonderful city of Catania.

Cuisine

As far as cuisine goes for Catania, the choices are quite the same as with the rest of the Italian Peninsula, but it surely is a version that only Catanians would know. One of their regional dishes is a classic take on pasta. Known as Pasta alla Norma, it is a pasta dish that uses more vegetables and is more like a pasta salad than it is a starch loaded dish.

For those who have the sweet tooth, Catania has something to offer to you as well. With dishes such as the classic Granita, which is a lighter and healthier version of the Gelato, you can have you sweet treat without feeling heavy at all.

How to Get There

From almost any major European city, there is a non-stop flight to and from Catania Fontanarossa Airport. From there, you can take a cheap car hire Catania Airport service that can make you hotel transfers or give you a glimpse of the city through the car. This is a very convenient service that you can hire easily because if you’re traveling, the last thing that you would want to worry about is getting a cab from the airport to your hotel. Hiring such as service can save you a lot of time and money so that you can savor the experience and the joy of being in such a wonderful, historical and a gusto satisfying place such as Catania, right in the heart of Sicily. Rather than searching multiple car hire companies, check out cheap car hire rates, which will search the available car hire companies on one site and compare the the cheapest rates, whether it be in Catania or cheap car hire Alicante .

Exploring Spain

The country of Spain is a breathtakingly beautiful destination in the European continent. It lies on the shores of the Mediterranean Sea and is frequented by visitors from around the world. Spain has a warm sunny climate which makes it an ideal destination for a holiday, particularly for those living in cold northern countries. Spain is well known for its historical past, its cultural lineage, its architecture and its music and dance. There are several things with which travelers can occupy themselves when they visit the country of Spain.

Accommodation Facilities in Spain

It is very convenient to find good accommodation in the country of Spain. There are wonderful resorts, hotels and hostels in every city and town in Spain which cater to travelers from diverse economic backgrounds. While the hostels are a popular choice among the backpacker travelers, the middle range hotels are a favorite among those looking to enjoy a relaxing stay in the country. There are various amenities which the budget hotels in Spain provide along with low priced accommodation. These include a swimming pool, a fitness center, a business center, restaurants, in room appliances, attached private bathrooms in every room and free high speed internet services. There are also many guest apartments in the country of Spain which are famous for the personalized services which they offer. You should utilize the car hire services in Spain to get to a good hostel, hotel or guest apartment in the country.

Learning Options in Spain

When you visit the country of Spain, you will get the opportunity to learn the Spanish language within a very short period of time. There are lots of language schools in all the Spanish cities which provide special short term courses for travelers. These courses are aimed at teaching travelers the basics of the Spanish language. There are also facilities for travelers to learn Spanish dance and music in most of the cities in Spain. One of the Spanish dance forms which travelers really love to learn is the Salsa.

Thus, if it is your heart’s desire to travel to a unique location in order to have a splendid holiday experience, you should consider the idea of visiting the country of Spain in Europe.

A simple guide to packing

In light of our December post about ‘Travel Planning Tips’, here is a specific guide to packing for that holiday when you are not sure where to start. Firstly, really think about how long you are going for as you want to make sure that you pack the right amount of clothes. This can be one of the hardest things about packing, simply deciding how much you will need and it is very important to think about this as you do not want to bring too much, but you also want to make sure that you have enough. Travelling light is usually the best idea, that way you can avoid the stress of dragging heavy suitcases around and handling them on public transport. So firstly, pack the essentials only, and then see if you really need to bring anything else.

Something that can really help you to be organised while packing is to make a list of everything you need to pack, and everything you have already packed. So tick off everything you put in your suitcase and stay organised.

If you are packing your clothes in a backpack, it can be really useful to roll them up instead of folding them. You will find that you have more room in your bag at the end, and also your clothes will not get as creased as they would if they were folded. One thing that can take up a lot of space is shoes, so pay special attention to these and decide what you will really need and what you can leave out. Pack light, make lists, and before you know it you will be ready to embark on your adventure.

Travel Guide to Jersey

As the largest of the Channel Islands, Jersey is the perfect place for a relaxing holiday in the sun, without straying too far from the UK or French mainland. Known for its beautiful rolling hills and secluded coves, the scenery is perfect for anyone who enjoys strolling in the country. Flights to Jersey are frequent from UK and Irish airports, or you could choose to visit the island by boat.

It’s interesting to note that despite being a UK dependency Jersey is closer to Normandy in France. The people of Jersey have their own national identity, in the same way as the Scots and Welsh do. If you’re visiting Jersey be sure to brush up on your French: although English is the official language, French is often used during business transactions.

Jersey is the sort of place to visit if you like to relax. The island has a rich history, and due to its strategic position between France and England it has been occupied by a number of civilizations. In fact, it holds the dubious honour of being the only part of the UK to be occupied by Nazi Germany during World War II.

The Jersey War Tunnels museum is set in a converted underground German hospital. The exhibitions give an idea of how difficult it was for locals living through the five year occupation, without any defence from the UK government. If you’re visiting Jersey on May 9, you may be lucky enough to see the re-enactment of the liberation of the island on Liberation Day. Liberation Day is marked by a number of events and galas, so be sure to work out what you want to see before you arrive.

Foodies, rejoice! The people of Jersey are passionate about cooking, and no matter where you choose to dine you’re likely to be presented with a delightful platter of well-prepared local produce. Jersey is world famous for its potatoes (Jersey Royals) and dairy cattle. Of course, seafood from the island is also fabulous: and all of these local delicacies can be sampled during the Jersey Food Festival. The festival takes place across the whole island and usually involves diverse activities from farm tours to brewery visits.

With mild weather year round, Jersey is a great choice for a beach holiday. The shimmering coves were once home to pirates and smugglers, but are now perfect for picking up a tan. Anyone looking for something quirky to do should make a point to visit The Shell Garden: the largest shell garden in the world, with millions of shells on display.

Best Beach Vacation Destinations for Couples

Couples looking for romantic getaway beach vacations have lots of destinations to choose from, both within the US and farther afield. Whether they are seeking a secluded spot to spend quality time together in peace and quiet or would prefer a range of activities on hand and crowds of fellow tourists to mix with, a buzzing nightlife or a serene Robinson Crusoe paradise, here are just a few suggestions.

Cancun, Mexico
The Mexican Yucatan Peninsula has many stunning white sandy beaches and is lapped by crystal clear waters, making it an ideal destination for couples to do some serious sunbathing, snorkeling, scuba diving and romantic strolling. In Yucatan there is plenty to do all year round, with the hugely popular and state-of-the-art Xel-Ha Waterpark, interactive aquarium and fabulous ancient Mayan ruins to explore. Try some pampered health treatments in the Le Blanc Spa Resort or stay at the Club Med Cancun Yucatan for a buzzing nightlife and range of on-site activities.

Phuket, Thailand
Phuket Island in Thailand is one of the world’s top beach destinations, sporting many small, sandy and secluded beaches with their own small bays. It is the combination of privacy and access to shopping and entertainment that have proved so popular with visiting couples, and there are many activities to enjoy, such as scuba diving, boating and beachside massages.

Barbados, Caribbean
Most earthly paradises are unfortunately fictional ones, but Barbados is one of the exceptions; even its name seems redolent of magic, romance, and palm trees and clear blue waters cut like benevolent scythes by sandy white beaches. Any Adam and Eve seeking a return to the Garden of Eden may look no further than sunny Barbados. There are plenty of great hotels and other types of accommodation to choose from. Try the exclusive and sumptuous Beach View Hotel, or the Sugar Cane Club Hotel & Spa for a taste of real Caribbean hospitality. There are also B&Bs like Bayfield House and Shades Holiday Apartments for those looking for a base and freedom to come and go at leisure.

Tenerife, Canary Islands
Tenerife belongs to the Spanish Canary Islands and has a number of excellent manmade beaches of golden sands or fine black shingle. There is a constant gentle wind here and year-round sunshine, and windsurfing fans will find it perfect for practicing their sport. Scuba diving, snorkeling, swimming and lazing about on the beach with a cocktail are just some of the other ‘activities’ on offer here. The coastline is stunning and dotted with all inclusive resorts, hotels and self-catering apartments. The Hotel Alhambra and Apartments Casablanca are amongst the top-rated hotels, and the B&Bs include the excellent Reveron Plaza and the Isla Baja Suites.

Kauai, Hawaii
This is a getaway that specializes in offering romantic couples a range of activities and opportunities for secluded, intimate relaxation, ideal for a honeymoon as well as a regular vacation destination for couples. It offers private beach villas with their own sandy beaches, Na Pali Coast State Park hiking adventures, and a magnificent and varied landscape of rainforests and mountains to explore and marvel at. Some of the best hotels here include the Koa Kia Hotel & Resort and the Grand Hyatt Kauai Resort and Spa, and there are also self-catering apartments and B&B accommodations to choose from.

Something for everyone in Tenerife

Tenerife is the quintessential European summer holiday destination. It boasts all year round sunshine, has an abundance of luscious green landscapes and all important sandy beaches. The interior of the island is dominated by rocky, volcanic terrain providing a startling geographical contrast to the outskirts of the island which are home to the numerous beach resorts that bring happy holiday makers back year after year!

Whatever you are looking for, Tenerife is sure to have something that appeals to you. Popular with those looking for world class night life as well as those looking for a quiet week away, there are options to suit all.

If you’re looking for a lively resort, head for hard-partying Playa de Las Americas. Here you will find cheaply priced bars and clubs offering cocktails that are perfect for cheap holiday thrills. Similarly, Los Cristianos is another nearby resort that offers a party atmosphere with plenty of clubbing options. In general, if you’re after a Tenerife destination that comes complete with a lively, party atmosphere then head south for the best of Tenerife’s mega-resorts where holidays are geared towards fun for families and large groups. If you are travelling within a large party, then group travel insurance can be purchased through the majority of online brokers.

You’ll also find that these resorts offer an array of options for you to enjoy during the day. Playa de las Americas is home to exciting go-kart tracks and the awesome new Thai themed water park, Siam Park, where there are plenty of slides and rides to keep you occupied for a day! There is also a nearby Aqualand providing entertaining dolphin shows as well as the obligatory water slides – perfect for keeping the kids entertained.

Tenerife’s reputation as a specialist in providing budget resort holidays should not be the only factor in booking a holiday here; for Tenerife is also the home of some beautiful natural landscapes perfect for lazily wiling away your days. Head to the North of the island for seclusion and peace where you could stay in traditional towns such as Garachio. Here you will find a lovely cobbled town bordered by the sea and a series of volcanic rock pools that are a haven for exploration.

You could also venture into the hills of Masca, a small town that lies in the mountains of Tenerife. Accessed only by a perilous looking road or via footpath, this stunning village really does encompass the traditional aspect of island living and is a ‘must-visit’ on your holiday. Be sure to dedicate a whole day just to soak up the awe-inspiring view of the whole island that Masca treats you to. Whichever resort you choose to visit, ensure that you have the right travel insurance policy to suit your needs.