Wednesday, 25 May 2011

Grand Canal Sights - Venice

Are you going to Venice? If so, you don't want to miss the Grand Canal Sights! Venice's Grand Canal is the main waterway through the city. It provides amazing scenery, relaxing gondola rides and much more to both visitors and

locals. As Venice's 'Main Street' the Grand Canal is something that must be seen. The Rialto Bridge and other amazing sights mean that no visit to Venice is complete without this.

A ride along the Grand Canal can easily be the highlight of a trip to Venice, and there are several ways to go about it. Grand Canal Sights along the leisurely trip include the Basilica di San Marco, the Campanile, the Doge's Palace and manu more.

Gondola rides are one of the most popular things to do on a trip to Venice, despite their expense. One way to make it more affordable is to go in a group of up to six people and split the price. You may have to do a bit og haggling to arrange a price, so if you don't want to do this try to arrange it through your hotel instead.

There are other types of vehicles that cross or navigate the Grand Canal as well. The water taxis, known as vaporetto, are small boats that travel along all of the city's canals. They are a little bit like bus routes in

cities as they are numbered and have distinct pick up and drop off points. If you get a free map when you reach Venice you'll quickly locate a route you'd like to travel.

Passenger boats, called traghetti usually go only from one side to the other, but they can still be good fun short rides. As there are not that many bridges that cross the Grand Canal along its 3km length, the traghetti can move you from one side to the other and save you long walk to one of the bridges. Since the canal ranges from 30-70m wide, your trip length can vary.

Another fun option is to take one of the water taxis to one of the nearby islands. Visitors can see famed glass works, churches and more on Murano and Burano, Lido and Torcello.

If you travel along the waterways in the evening you'll have a chance to take a look in some of the palaces that have large, well-lit arches. Many of them will be close enough to allow you to get an excellent view of the highly decorated interiors. If you are not sure which of them to visit during the day, a canal trip at night can help you to decide.

You don't have to see the Grand Canal sights by water. An alternative option to travelling via the canal option is to take a short walk and see Venice's Natural History Museum - the Fondaco dei Turchi. This museum was built in the 13th century and it provides one of the most amzing views from a gondola. Some parts of the Natural History Museum are still under construction, but there is still much to see. You'll find a section with dinosaurs, a small aquarium and the Correr Museum.

Sunday, 22 May 2011

The Top 10 Sightseeing Spots in Italy

Here are 10 of the Top Sightseeing Spots in Italy.
by Jonathan Williams

Italy is one of the most popular places to visit in the world. It's a favorite of millions of tourists worldwide. And who can blame them? Nobody can resist the charms of Italy's culture and architecture. This boot-shaped country was, after all, the home of the Legendary Romans and the Heroes of the Renaissance. Indeed, if you're going to go to Italy, be prepared to have your breathe taken away by the sheer beauty of the place.

1. The Coliseum
No other civilization in the world could top the Romans in terms of strength and power, and indeed, the Romans practically conquered the world. And for their entertainment, the Romans had the world. They had the Coliseum where the prizes of their conquests, lions and other exotic animals were made to battle with the gladiators. Indeed, if you stand within the walls of this gigantic complex, you can almost feel the spirit of celebration that once rang through the place.

2. Piazza Campidoglio
The Piazza Campidoglio, or the Capitoline Hill, was the seat of power of the Ancient Romans. And up until today, it still stands as Italy's center of politics. It holds the famous statue of Castor and Pollux and various structures designed by the great Michaelangelo himself like the double staircase and other buildings.

3. The Roman Forums
Also, there's nothing more exhilarating than to visit the place where democracy was born. The Roman Forums, where the Roman senate once held their heated debates discussing everything from large-scale wars to petty squabbles, are also popular tourist attractions. Here, you can find the Forum of Caesar and the Forum of Trajan, and there's also the Palatine Hill and all the other temples dedicated to the various gods and goddesses of the ancient Romans.

4. The Pantheon
The Pantheon is one of the best places that you can visit in Rome. It's teeming with beautiful architecture, beautiful sculptures, and beautiful statues. This magnificent building is also the home of the grave of the famous painter, Raphael.

5. The Trevi Fountain
This world renowned fountain is famous for its sheer beauty and size, and it features several sculptures, including one of Neptune coming out from underwater, riding on a sea shell that's drawn by two horses with wings. It's featured in Dan Brown's famous novel, the Da Vinci Code. Also, toss a coin into it while facing away from it and it is said that you will be guaranteed a return to the great city.

6. The Grand Canal in Venice
There's nothing more Romantic than going on a boat ride through the famous canals of the floating city of Venice. These quixotic canals are featured in various movies and are a favorite of newlyweds all over the world. It's also a great way to take in all the sights of the beautiful city.

7. The Sistine Chapel
The Vatican, though it's considered as an independent country in itself, is still found in the heart of Italy. And, there, you'll find the great Sistine Chapel where extraordinary pieces of art can be found. There, you'll see the works of Michelangelo and Botticelli.

8. St. Peter's Basilica
Also, if you're a fan of great architecture, you will have to see the famous St. Peter's Basilica. It's the largest Catholic Church in the whole world, and it's simply teeming with beautiful paintings, frescoes, and statues. You can also see this Basilica's famous dome which is literally filled with works of art.

9. St. Peter's Square
And of course, if you're going to St. Peter's Basilica, you might as well walk a few steps to get to St. Peter's Square. This beautiful plaza is designed by the famous artist Bernini. It is also featured in Dan Brown's novels.

10. The Vatican Gardens
The Vatican Gardens as beautiful as they are large. This grand paradise is filled with beautiful sculptures, fountains, and flowers. It's a great place for sightseeing and picture-taking.

Jonathan Williams is the travel writer for Destination Guide TV - the place to share travel videos [].

Hope you enjoyed these top sightseeing spots in Italy!