Tuesday, 29 May 2007

Sardinia Sightseeing

The Beautiful Island of Sardinia
by Kirk Friis

The majestic island of Sardinia is located off the west coast of Italy just below the island of Corsica. The second largest island in the Mediterranean it runs approximately 250 kilometres from north to south and 110 kilometres from east to west. Italian is the main language of this vastly diverse island although various regions of the island have traditional languages of their own from Catalan in the region of Alghero through to Campidanese in the south.

The landscape of this stunning island is incredibly varied, from white sandy beaches on the coast to the mountainous terrain in the central parts of the island. From cities like Cagliari in the south to old coastal towns like Alghero in the north you will find a varied array of architecture and culture. In the region of Nuoro, at the heart of Sardinia, you will find villages and towns 800 metres above sea level that have been completely untouched by the course of time. In the northeast of the island lies the famous Costa Smerelda (the emerald coast) playground of the rich and famous. The island is also peppered with a vast array of archaeological remains including the Nuraghes, (a stone tepee like structure) which are among some of the oldest constructions known to man.

The cuisine of Sardinia is just as varied as it’s terrain with an as expected abundance of seafood dishes to be found in coastal regions including what is said to be some of the finest lobster in the world. All this having been said though the traditional delicacies of Sardinia are to be found in land where your taste buds will be tantalised with wood roast suckling pig, wild boar and traditional Sardinian sausage.

Famous the world over the beaches of Sardinia are truly something that must be seen to be believed. Crystal clear waters and white sand that runs for miles, Sardinia truly is a touch of paradise in the Mediterranean. Sardinia has always traditionally been a place of holiday for Italians and a very well kept secret due to its lack of connectivity to the rest of Europe. Ryanair has changed this. Now with flights daily from London (two flights a day in the summer months) to Alghero and connections to Barcelona and Frankfurt, Sardinia has opened its doors to the rest of Europe. With a very short winter and long summer the potential for tourism throughout the year is immense. There are though strict laws in place within Sardinia to preserve the landscape and not allow the island to be over developed. For instance construction of new property on the coast line has been restricted to not allow any building within three kilometres of the sea and there are also many other stringent regulations as to the height of constructions so as not to interfere with the ambient of the terrain. All of this means that what already exists in Sardinia can be used to its full potential without the tranquillity of the island being ruined.

Property in Sardinia is still fairly cheap compared to prices around Europe but they are on the rise. Coastal regions are among the more expensive regions to buy but have the added benefit of being a fairly certain rental investment. Inland there are many fantastic bargains to be found immersed in the tranquillity of the Sardinian countryside with the added knowledge that you are never that far away from the coast. Whether you are looking for a new home or merely the holiday of a life time, Sardinia has it all. Go scuba diving amongst the coral in Alghero, sailing in Porto Conte or even rock climbing in Barbagia here you will find a little piece of paradise for everyone.

Sardinia tourist information: http://www.sardinianconnections.com

Kirk Friis was born in London and moved to Sardinia in 2003 where he now lives with his wife and son.

Find out more about Sightseeing in Sardinia.

Thursday, 24 May 2007

Milan - Italy's Ultimate City of Style and Elegance

By Laurent Fabier

If the ideal destination for you is a place where history successfully meets the present and future, then Milan, Europe's creative capital is the place to go.
Situated on the flat plains of the Po Valley, it is the capital of Lombardy and thoroughly enjoys its hard earned role as Italy's richest and second largest city. Wealthy and cosmopolitan, the Milanesi enjoy a reputation as successful businesspeople. Since the 1970s, the city has remained the capital of Italy's automobile industry and its financial markets, but the limelight is dominated by the fashion houses, who, in turn, have drawn media and advertising agencies to the city. Most of the year Milan is as comfortable as a cardigan: not too hot, and not too cold, either, a perfect destination for any season. Just keep in mind one thing: the city is overbooked almost all the time, so make sure you choose the best way of finding accommodation: online hotel booking with at least one month in advance. Here are some suggestions in case you are seriously considering Milan as your next destination.

Milan discount accommodation - cheap offers for quality services For discount travelers, the city is loaded with lodging offers. If you are looking for cheap hotel rates, you can choose the best of accommodation in the very heart of the city. One of the most irresistible offers is Edolo Hotel, situated within 300 meters from Milano Central Station, and the Air Terminal to Malpensa and Linate airports and at only 10 minutes by underground from the "Fiera Internazionale". This beautiful hotel offers a high standard of comfort and service. A courteous and efficient staff and a familiar management ensure to the guests a pleasant stay. Edolo Hotel is in the immediate vicinity of the famous Arciboldi Theatre. It is surrounded by a plethora of traditional pizzerias, pubs and clubs, public gardens and private parking; it's also easily reached by tram, bus and underground. Rooms are furnished with exquisite taste, are silent and with the most up-to-date facilities. Another offer, ideal for a family vacation package or from cheap corporate travels is Hotel Mac Mahon. This city hotel features a terrace and comprises a total of 24 rooms, also accessible for people with disabilities. There is also a breakfast room, a bar open around the clock and other conveniences on offer. This accommodation is the ideal place for both tourists and business travelers who wish to feel at home in a relaxing atmosphere. Located in the north of Milan, Centro Alberghiero Ornato, in the Riguarda district, near the motorway, is another widely convenient and functional tourist centre. It has 146 rooms with private bathroom, telephone and TV and there is also a conference room with a capacity for 50 people and both car park and coach park. . Also within the heart of the city, you may choose the comfortable Hotel Demidoff, very centrally located, situated only few meters away from central railway station and from piazza Lima undeground station.The Duomo is within walking distance from this hotel.

Italy’s ultimate corporate city unveils its offers For luxury corporate travelers, there are also plenty of opportunities that will give you an opportunity of knowing Milan hospitality. An useful solution is the elegant Montebianco Hotel, which is one of the best places in town for corporate meetings. All the comforts and amenities are at your disposals as well as front desk useful information for both the luxury traveler looking for information on art galleries, museums and clubs and for the corporate tourist seeking info in train or plane schedules. Large and well furnished meeting rooms are available, while for lunch and dinner or for a fast snack, you will find restaurants, pizzerias and pubs close to the hotel. A large guarded car park and laundry service are available. Centrally located in the hearth of Milan, the Hotel Mythos is very close to the Central Station, the Air Terminal and the city tube and is also a favorite location for corporate travels. The Hotel has a meeting center consisting of 10 up to 70 places congress rooms, ideal for meetings, incentives exhibitions, shows, cultural events. The Doria Grand Hotel is another luxury place which offers its guests the calm of an intimate and refined atmosphere.

While in Milan, choose living in style While in Milan and if willing to live in style, do not miss the Grand Hotel Duomo Built in 1860, this hotel is the only Italian building made with the same marble used to build the Cathedral (the famous Carrara marble) At the beginning, it was a private Palace, that became a hotel in 1950. The Grand Hotel Duomo is a place that conquests the heart, not only for its unique position, but also for the beauty of the decoration, for the works of art. Dominating the Piazza della Repubblica, the hotel Principe di Savoia is a five-star hotel that has been the natural home for international travellers and cosmopolitan society since the 1920's. Its imposing neoclassical facade hides one of the world's most luxuriously appointed hotels. With its superb location, superlative facilities and outstanding standards of service, the Hotel Principe di Savoia offers a winning combination of old-fashioned opulence combined with the latest innovations in technology and design. Easily accessed from all parts of the city and close to Milan's many attractions and elegant shopping districts, the Hotel Principe di Savoia is within 50 minutes of Milan's main airport, Malpensa.

Now that you have found suitable accommodation, keep in mind that this city is all about worldly pleasures, from shopping, which is of quasi-religious significance to clubbing and fashionable sightseeing. Apart from a few gems, the city is not renowned for its looks; it's lifestyle that counts.

Laurent Fabier is well known as a partner editor for online hotel reservation services like PlaniGo, economic and marketing sites. His experience ranges from important contributions in written media to news and online travel magazines