Jousting of the Saracens, is one of the most popular events is the Arezzo area. This is an annual jousting tournament where the men-folk of the local area, get kitted out in armour, mount up and joust in the hope of winning the coveted prize of the Golden Lance. In 2008, this festival will be taking place on Saturday June 1st and there is another later on in September.The whole town goes all out for this event with flag-bearers, trumpeters and people in medieval costume filling the streets. The origin of the festival are shrouded in mystery but it is known that there were tournaments held as far back as 1260! In more recent times, instead of jousting one another, the target has become to hit the shield held by a rotating puppet called the Saracen, so easy feat.To learn about other events in Italy you might enjoy reading one of our other car hire Italy blogs, dont forget that the best way to see Italy is by car rental. Italy is an excellent country to explore for it contains history, culture and some of the finest weather on the continent, so why not check out our car rental Italy options and give Nova a go. How to get there: Arezzo is located in nearly the exact middle of Italy. It is only 75kms southeast of Florence and about 200kms north of Rome. The city is located just off the A1 which runs between Florence and Rome, so if you are travelling between these two cities you could possible drop in and take a look around. If you arent around during the festival, then you could always make a visit to the local churches that feature frescoes of 12th-century crusaders.
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Finding Apartments in Rome
It can be difficult at best to set about finding apartments in Rome. When you don’t live in the city, finding apartments in Rome is difficult because you can’t be sure if you are staying in the safest part of the city, getting the best accommodations for you money, and finding apartments in Rome that are central to the things you want to visit.
If you are serious about finding apartments in Rome, it is best to work with a reputable rental agency. Unfortunately not all rental agencies are that reliable when it comes to offering help finding apartments in Rome. Some online companies fail to accurately describe the lodging they are offering and when you finally get to your destination, you are sorely disappointed with the results. Other agencies that claim the help you with finding apartments in Rome play around with the price and then tack on extra fees when you arrive at your destination. There are even agencies that specialize in finding apartments in Rome that are located in the areas that no one would really want to stay.
When you rent an apartment from Best of Rome.com LLC you can be sure that they are dedicated to finding apartments in Rome that are perfect for your needs. Their friendly staff works hard finding apartments in Rome that are only located in safe and secure locales. Their site shows extensive pictures of all the properties they list, so you are never surprised when you work with them finding apartments in Rome. With a wide selection of apartments available, they have lodgings that are sure to fit your space and location needs.
You don’t need to work alone on finding apartments in Rome. The courteous team at Best In Rome.com LLC is waiting to help you plan the perfect Roman Holiday.
Touring France and Italy can be wonderful thing to do but you should have some knowledge before you decide to do so try have a idea of the weather at the time you are planning to visit. To gather all this information you can use the internet and find out more about the sites one can visit and what is expected of you while in that place. By knowing where to visit and what to do, you are able to organize yourself and even avoid overspending or falling short of money.
For years now, France has been commonly referred to as the country of love, its capital city Paris being the most romantic city. While in France you get a chance to visit attractive sites such as cemeteries, monuments, beaches ,hotels either on foot, cycling or by hire car.
When one mentions Italy the first thing to hit your mind is the famous Rome city. While on holiday in Italy you can visit famous cities such as Rome with the Vatican, and it’s beautiful lakes. The Ligunia and Sicily regions are also a must see. You also have a chance to visit famous football clubs, visit Italys museums, stay in great hotels and get a chance to sun bathe and eat delicious food. Tourists are also allowed to have a chat with the pope on Wednesdays during his weekly briefing. Besides that if one is a singer or interested in musical arts, one can get a chance to improve their singing skills by attending music classes.
Car hire as the best way to get to sites when on tour
Car hire is believed to be the best transportation tool to used to visit different sites while on tour. This is simply because it is so easy and fast as compared to when using buses or cabs. By using a rental car there is no time limit on when and where to tour. Buses can be difficult as a bus cannot leave before it is full and you may imagine this takes time.
A car enables you to reach places on your list and spend more time without the worry of how to get back. It is also cheap because the different car hire companies involved rent out cars at low rates. The best thing with car hire is that they provide privacy and luxury for its user. The car hire agencies are easy to find online and with employees ready anytime to book reservations according to your transport needs.
What you should have in mind when renting a car
Compare the rates charged by different car hire firms and pick the best one that has low rates to enable you save some money. Be well aware of the the rules and regulations of an agency before you request its services. Some agencies might not be able to offer services in some locations and it is important for you to note of this since you might end up paying penalties.
So, you have decided to book a luxury vacation. It is time to call your travel agent. The first question most travel agents will ask you is “Are you interested in a cruise, a tour, or a travel package?” You know that cruises are not for you, but what about a tour? And what exactly is the difference between a tour and a travel package anyways? With different definitions and inclusions, it is important for any traveler to be informed enough to make the best decision for their unique needs.
When you are considering booking a tour for your luxury travel vacation, keep in mind that “tour” implies several things. First of all, a tour is usually guided, and consists of a group of other tourists. A vacation package is usually considered a combination of flights, transfers, hotels and car rentals. If you so desire, you may add on minor excursions that are usually with a group or guided.
A tour is usually a really good deal. You get to stay in the nicer hotels of the areas, and in most situations, it is usually more than one hotel. All your transportation is included, such as to and from the airport and transportation to all the local sites and tours. All the attraction tickets are calculated into the price, so you will not have to pay entry fees to art museums or shows. There are additional tours and excursions that can be purchased, but usually at a reasonable price. Most tour packages will also include some meals. With your luxury travel vacation package, all that is included is the cost, fees and taxes of your air, hotel and car rental. Sometimes there are special availability of free breakfasts of a city tour, but this is not the norm.
Destination Studies and Personal Preference
So when does it benefit you to book a tour verses a vacation package? That really depends on the destination and your personal preferences. If you are planning to vacation in a place like Rome or Paris, there is so much to see and do that travelers are better off being escorted to the sites and having most of the entry fees included in your price. But if you wish to visit these cities to simply bask in the incredible ambience, and you don’t have an interest in touring the “big attractions”, then a luxury travel vacation package is for you. You would not want a guided tour of Jamaica or Hawaii. Chances are you just want to bask in the sun and relax. Consider where you are going and what you want to do on your vacation. For more information on luxury travel vacations visit http://www.amtvacations.com.
Now that you know the facts, the time has come to make a decision. Looking at the definitions, a tour and a luxury travel vacation package each offer something different. They are each priced a bit differently, and have different inclusions. So it comes down to you and where you are going. Chances are your travel agent can steer towards the best choice for your travel needs, but now you know why and you can make the decision for yourself.
Alicante City is a treat for the senses it has so much going on that it would be impossible to see all of it. The city is a cosmopolitan, bustling place with every thing you would expect and more, giving you a great place to explore on holiday. However the surrounding area of Alicante is outstandingly beautiful with a few hidden gems thrown in as well, the best way to explore this area and have your own holiday adventure is to hire a car. To get you started here are a few ideas you may want to consider.
The Village of Guadalest in the province of Alicante is regarded as one of the best days out and most rewarding places you could visit. Surrounded on three sides by the Aitana, Serella and Xorta Mountains it’s a hidden oasis of outstanding natural beauty and heritage. The Village sits perched on the edge of a granite mountain with fantastic views down the river cut valley.
The drive to the village is part of the adventure, as the twisting road takes you around some tight hairpin bends over some narrow passes which give the best views of the surrounding mountains. Guadalest was built by the Moors and as soon as you reach the village it becomes obvious why they considered it such a valuable location. The castles and buildings look like they grasp the cliffs and the smallest breeze may cause them to fall. So steep are the cliffs and peaks on which they sit they are virtually unconquerable and they gave the Moors a fantastically hidden strategic strong hold.
Access to the old village is through a stone cut tunnel called the ‘Portal de San José the hole through the mountain was cut some 1,300 years ago and is still the only way in. once your eyes adjust you’ll feel as if you have been transported back through time to a long gone medieval era. Stone cut houses, churches and castle remains are all on offer to be explored and investigated.
If you can make sure you arrive early, you will avoid the crowds and catch the first castle tour at 10 am. It starts off with a walk through the dungeons, a great to keep the kids entertained, the tour explains the village’s history, takes in the look out points and winding paths and takes you to parts of the castle you might have otherwise missed.
A slightly more macabre museum is the Medieval Torture Exhibition, it’s not all gruesome methods of doing away with people it seems the Moors had ways of ridiculing their law breakers instead. For instance drunks who may have spoken badly about their king were made to stand in a barrel, where upon the locals filled it with all of their rubbish and bathroom waste!
For a refreshing stop on your way back escape the heat and take a dip at the bracing Les Fonts de l’Algar. (Algar Waterfalls), near to the village of Callosa d’en Sarria. The falls are a series of tumbling weirs and large water pools starting off quite shallow and slow running but they get deeper and faster as you work your way up the valley. Swimming is allowed all the way up but remember that the current in the narrower pools can be very strong, make sure you have a chuckle at the people struggling to swim against the flow before you jump in.
Helpfully a winding path has been added along the route making the entire series of crystal blue pools accessible to everyone, at the top there are even showers and restaurants or places to have a barbeque.
The Cuevas del Canelobre are a series of caves located only 24 kilometers from Alicante, The inner most cave boasts the highest vault ceiling of any cave in Spain. More like a cathedral than a cave it’s a beautiful place to observe some of the best examples of stalactites and stalagmites in Europe. The sheer scale and vastness of these natural caves simply can’t be imagined so jump in your hire car and experience this wonder for yourself.
The enormous rock formations are stunning and the caves have unique acoustic properties which can’t be re-produced. On certain dates concerts and music festivals are held within the caves. Because they maintain a very low temperature it’s the perfect place to see a beautifully eerie performance in complete comfort.
After all of this history and culture one of the best ways to keep the children entertained is to take them to the relatively new Terra Mitica theme park. Built in 2000 the park promises to take you back in time as you adventure through any one of their 5 areas. Divided into Ancient Egypt, Rome, Iberia, Greece and the Islands each has its own theme and rides based around these ancient cultures of the area. Think Alton towers with a cultural twist but definitely with out the bad weather.
There are few buildings in the world today that have survived the ravages of time so well as the Pantheon in Rome. This is mainly due to superior engineering. The Pantheon has often been copied, sometimes equaled but never surpassed, it had more architectural innovations than most modern buildings. This makes the Pantheon really extraordinary since it was built around 125 AD under the aegis of the emperor Hadrian.
The plan is simple enough: a circular enclosure aside a rectangular entrance. The entrance sports a classic Greek portico of granite columns topped by a triangular pediment. There are three ranks of the 39 ft Corinthian supports, eight in front and two sets of four further in leading to the main rotunda. A rectangular section joins the portico to the rotunda.
Even though this design seems very simple there are a lot of signs of superior engineering. A few examples may be;
* The giant concrete dome topping the cylinder forming the major component was so well designed and built that no similar type would stand up under its own weight.
* The dome is 142 feet in diameter, while the oculus at the peak is over 25 feet of that total. It stands as a result of its unusual composition, outstanding engineering and brilliant construction.
* The oculus in the center – the opening through the top. It decreases the overall weight and serves as a ring that distributes stress around its circumference. Imagine, by analogy, how difficult it is to crush a bicycle wheel. It also serves to admit light to the interior. And rain, too it must be said, though the floor is an early example of slanting the floor toward drains.
* The dome’s tapering steps provide yet more evidence of the mastery of craft displayed by the dome’s designer. It’s 20 feet thick at the base, 7.5 at the oculus and composed of heavier material at the bottom, lighter as it rises. That doesn’t seem so remarkable until one considers that many architects a thousand years later ignored this simple idea.
This is just a few examples of great architecture and engineering, there are many more.
The Pantheon was built without modern machines or tools
It is remarkable that The Pantheon even today, nearly two thousand years after it was constructed, is as stable as when it was first built. It is almost beyond understanding that the Romans could build this structure without the benefit of modern machines or tools. Nor did the Pantheon engineers have the advantage of modern transportation methods. All the materials were floated down the Tiber and moved to the site by man and animal on carts of the period.
Almost no restoration
Though its enormous bronze doors have been restored many times, no major structural work has ever had to be undertaken. This is all the more remarkable given the marshy land on which the structure is built.
By contrast, observe there have been several decades-long projects to preserve the Leaning Tower of Pisa, owing in part to the soft ground in parts of the site. The Parthenon in Greece, though a great building, was a virtual ruin 2,000 years after its birth.
The Pantheon in Rome was first converted to a church during the 8th century and continues to serve that purpose today. In fact, the building has been in continuous use since first being built.
The Pantheon in Rome has been copied several times, two notable examples are;
* The British Museum Reading Room
* The Thomas Jefferson Rotunda at the University of Virginia in USA
When visiting Rome be sure to spend some time with this extraordinary building. Presumably you will not be in Rome to often and you can simply not loose this oppertunity to see some great architecture.
A question I hear quite a lot is whether a shared ride shuttle is better than a hire car. The answer of course is that this is the wrong question – both have their place, and their own advantages and disadvantages. Let’s take an example country: Italy. Airport transfers or hire cars are both freely available, but which is more suitable? Let’s look at some comparisons – for convenience, I’ll be assuming your flight touches down in Rome, though Italy actually has many airports to choose from.
In terms of price, it’s no contest and the shared ride inevitably wins hands down. Rome airport shuttles are far cheaper than hiring a car, because you’re only paying for one or two journeys, and there’s no need to purchase petrol yourself. On the other hand, if you’re planning on doing a lot of driving, then the hire car works out quite cheaply – certainly more cost-effective than getting taxis, buses or trains everywhere! Overall though, if you’re looking to save money, then a hire care most certainly isn’t for you. Rome airport shuttles will take you to most of the major Italian destinations in the most cost-effective way possible.
Effort depends on the person to a degree. If you’re the kind of person who finds driving relaxing, then you may find an Italy airport transfer a little frustrating! On the other hand, I know plenty of people who will find the idiosyncrasies of driving in a foreign country anything but a relaxing process, and certainly not what they’d call a holiday! From the process of getting used to a temporary car’s feel, handling and foreign design to the confusion of dealing with another country’s Highway Code (and driving on the other side of the road!), and struggling to read the map, it certainly can be a lot to take in. With a Rome airport shuttle, you’re guaranteed a smooth ride from a professional who is used to the country, the vehicle and the map!
This one is actually quite close, and hard to call. On one hand, with an Italy airport transfer, you will need to hang around until the allotted departure time, and the set route means you may need to make a number of stops if you’re the last hotel on the list. On the other hand, getting your hire car from the airport – especially if you haven’t booked – isn’t always a quick process either, and there may be a lot of documents and waiting before you’re ready to drive off in your temporary set of wheels. There’s also the issue of directions here – while a shared ride’s driver will know the routes to the hotel like the back of their hands, the same cannot be said for tourists visiting a country for the first time! And trying to listen to directions in a foreign language isn’t something I’d wish on anyone!
All this is minor compared to the convenience of the whole thing – that’s what holiday transportation is all about when it comes down to it. If you’re planning to explore all over Italy – and especially the remote Italian countryside where public transport is hard to come by – then the chances are that you’ll need a hired car of some description. On the other hand if you’re planning a city break in Rome, airport shuttles provide the one bit of transport you need. Who really wants to be driving all the time when they’re just exploring one city?
When we build an Internet business, we naturally wish to become a large-scale, global company. But, do you feel more comfortable in an overcrowded mall as one of hundreds of faceless customers– or as a valued guest in a cozy shop? Do you like your specific needs to be as important to a salesperson as his own?
The less business you have, the better are your chances of success. Sound unrealistic? Well, here are the facts:
The smaller your region, the better your customer service.
You probably remember surfing the net, looking at hundreds of vacation rental sites. Was destination important to you or, did it make no difference? Personally, I can’t imagine that someone would search for just some kind of property somewhere in the world.
I see a difference between Sydney and Rome and prefer sites dedicated to specific destinations. Why? That’s easy. It’s because I like the individual attention I get. If I have questions all of my questions (even about the color of the walls in the bathroom) will be answered with care and in detail. Plus, I can get information about which banks have the best exchange rates, where the best eats are and, well, about anything and everything a traveler wants to know about really.
The network does not replace live interaction.
Even the most informative web pages can not replace live interaction, when you get specific replies to your specific questions. You should read the web page to find the info you need. We all value our time and prefer to talk to a live person and get an immediate reply. Multi-user portals are simply unable to achieve that close interaction between a web site owner and web site visitors, whereas small web sites can.
As a web-site owner, you will gain negotiating skills. These will show you are trustworthy, and help you to succeed in the rental business.
Tenant details are invaluable.
If you have been in the business of leasing or renting real property for several years, you’ll have quite a database of tenant and owner contacts. Storing every detail about them can help you regain them as clients. Before the high season begins, send them a newsletter about a new option, discount or benefit for your website visitors and include a brief reference to their family. For instance, tell them how cute those twins, John and Jack, were, who ‘decorated’ your wallpaper with their creative paintings last year, or, ask about their little dog Sparky, who misused your flowerbeds and lawn.
Your tenants will appreciate your attentions and will make early reservations. You could hardly expect that at large vacation rental portals.
If you charge property owners for listing their properties on your small vacation rental website, it’s easier for you to collect payments from them. Local transactions are easier, faster and more secure than payments from all over the World at international vacation rental web portals.
Document your financial relationships.
Operators of large vacation rental websites have owners from different countries with different local laws, so it is hard to control all the agreements and negotiations between property owners and tenants, but a small vacation rental website dedicated to one specific country or region shows more professionalism and generates more trust if it offers rental agreements prepared on behalf of property owners and guests.
If you operate a website dedicated to one region, you can compose legal documents valid for your region and appropriate for your owners and guests. Such rental agreements should describe the most likely disputes that can arise between owner and guest: furniture and fixture damage, insurance, guest and owner responsibilities, abandonment, payment schedule, etc. People feel more comfortable when their financial arrangements are backed up by legal documentation.
The smaller your region, the more income opportunities you have.
Would you like having more happy clients, who naturally turn to positive testimonials and word-of-mouth advertising? The owners of small rental websites can cooperate with local service providers and get good commission from this cooperation. For instance, they can agree on discounts with souvenir shops and hand out discount coupons to their guests. Discount coupons issued specially for a specific villa or house work best. The same can be done with restaurants, car hire and yacht rental services, etc. This will no doubt contribute to generating interest and building trust on your vacation rental website.
VIP attitude is more important than VIP house.
Even if the house for rent is not the essence of luxury, you may win your client’s favor with your professional demeanor and attentive attitude. I have seen dozens of examples in which good attitude has compensated for the shortcomings of a property. Remember: you lease impressions, not properties.
Last but not least, the guiding principle for the owner of a vacation rental website is to really want to make people happy. Your main and sincere wish should be to make a guest’s stay as good as possible. Making a profit depends on this. You need to listen hard to what your guests are saying. Remember that when a guest rents house for his vacation, he wants a break from work and day-to-day worries. He does not want his vacation to be clouded by trivial inconveniences. Love your owners! Love your guests! Love properties!
Perhaps you’re one of the few who basically don’t like to be around people for too long, not to mention have them as your traveling companions. What else can you possibly do? For those who are taking Rome excursions entirely on their own, there are certain do’s and don’ts that you may want to follow:
1. Avoid driving as much as possible. Though Rome can be one of the most beautiful places you can ever been, it doesn’t mean they have the best traffic system. First of all, there are many erratic drivers. What’s more, you have to deal with a number of other elements including moped, trams, and pedestrians. Thus, during Rome excursions better leave your car in your hotel and simply walk. You can get a better feel of what it’s like to be walking along Roman path.
2. Know the taxi services. If you can’t basically handle Rome excursions by foot, or you simply don’t like taking the tour bus, at least rent a taxi. The driver knows the city too well, so he’s an expert in going around traffic jams. Take note, though, that you should only pick white and yellow taxis, for they’re the official ones. The meter also starts to run not on the moment of picking up but after you both placed down the receiver. There’s no need to give them any tip, unless you’re generous enough to do so.
3. Go for hotels with terminal transportation. Sometimes Rome excursions can start at some point, and your hotel may be located not quite near it. You can save a lot if you can reserve room accommodations in hotels with free terminal transportation.
4. Get rid of tourist traps. It’s not unlikely that the Romans are not only popular for their arts but also for their food as well. Ever tasted their pasta? Definitely, you’ll know what ambrosia is. However, there are also several pretentious cafes around. When you’re in Rome excursions, make sure you don’t bump into them. Usually, these are restaurants with huge American signs plastered all over their shops. Their cuisines are not original Italian, and their prices are high.
5. Plan your budget. No matter what tour you’re in, you’re still advised to create your own budget. Not all entrance fees are covered by tour prices. So before you can get any more surprised to learn that there’s no way of getting in than paying, then better bring a few bucks with you. If you’ve done any research, ensure that you’ve brought more than what’s stated in their website. Prices can rise so fast.
6. Be comfortable. Skip anything fashionable and go for something comfy. Remember, you’re going to do a lot of walking, and high heels can’t certainly give you your much-needed leg support. Rather, put on some rubber shoes or sandals and your well-loved jeans and shirts. It does pay, though, to make a research as to what clothes are fitting in a particular area. For example, majority of Rome excursions can include the Vatican. They’re very strict when it comes to dress code. It would usually mean no sexy dresses, shorts, and tank tops for the women, and no offensive shirts and tattered jeans for men.
In the end, the success of your Rome excursions will largely depend on your taste. If you’re a great lover of history, arts, and culture, then the best way to enjoy the Eternal City and get into its insights would be hiring a local Official Tour Guide which will lead you through its hidden magical treasures.
If not, then you can comfort yourself with numerous cafes and shopping districts found all over the area.