11.7.16

Florence: The City Of Art, Food And Romance

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Florence is the capital of Italy's Tuscany region. And it is the birthplace of the Renassance. It is a city for art, food, and love. If you appreciate all three, then this is the destination for you. 

When planning your trip, carry out some advanced research and prepare. Include a range of activities, from sightseeing to walking and eating. Leave some free time to explore and while away the hours. 

Art

You can't visit Florence without experiencing the world-renowned art. One of the most notable galleries is the Uffizi. This houses Botticelli's Primavera, Birth of Venus and many other works of art. It also exhibits work by Rembrandt, Leonardo da Vinci, and Michelangelo. This is one of the most popular galleries in Italy and so expect queues. Weekends are particularly busy. It is advisable to buy your ticket ahead of time to skip the queues. You can then spend your time enjoying the treasures. 

The Cathedral is another must-see attraction. The Duomo is Florence's most iconic building. Work began on the cathedral in the 13th century by Arnolfo di Cambio. The dome was completed in the 15th century and was designed by Filippo Brunelleschi. It was two centuries in the making.

Many of the cathedral's treasures have been removed and are now housed in the Grande Museo del Duomo. But there is still plenty to see, with its stunning frescoes, carvings, and architecture. 

Photo courtesy of: Image Source

Food 

One of the best ways to explore the delicious food and wine is to book a Florence wine tour. Chianti is Florence's signature wine. A local guide will show you around the renowned wineries, where you will learn about how wine is made. You will also have the opportunity to sample some wines, which are accompanied by local gourmet food. 

Tuscan food is simple and relies heavily on local produce. Flavoursome cheeses and grilled meats feature widely. Beans are also a Tuscan staple. You can also expect beautiful floury bread, virgin olive oil, and steaks. 

Love

Florence is one of the most romantic cities in the world. If you're looking for a destination for a romantic getaway, you won't be disappointed. There are many walks to take around the city, where you can enjoy stunning views. Walk to the Piazza de Michelangelo. Walk up the steps and admire the views of the city. It is particularly beautiful in the evening. Combine with wine and dancing. 

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Another romantic walk is along the Arno River. This winds its way through the heart of Florence. Sit on one of the many bridges and watch the sun go down. Purchase a lock and key and then fasten your lock to the Ponte Vecchio. Then throw your key into the Arno River. Legend has it that couples who go through this ritual will be locked together forever. 

If you're in love and enjoy exceptional food and art, Florence is the city for you. Tread the narrow streets, walk along the river, and sample the internationally acclaimed food. This is a city you will return to year after year. 



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1.7.16

7 Ways To Help The Environment On Holiday

Photo courtesy of: Pixabay

When going on holiday this year, think about ways you can help the environment. It doesn't take a lot of effort. Just a little preparation and eco-friendly choices. 

1. Consider Staying Close To Home

All transport requires energy and fuel and contributes to climate change. Consider staying closer to home and take the bus or train rather than flying. Avoid short haul flights wherever possible. 

2. Choose Your Destination

When selecting a destination, factor the environment into the decision-making process. Look for providers who offer eco-friendly holidays. Many companies take steps to reduce their carbon emissions and create initiatives to help the environment. 

3. Choose A Holiday Where You Can Help The Environment 

Rather than lying on a beach for a fortnight, look for a holiday where you can make positive change. There are lots of social and environmental initiatives to choose from. For example, whale watching in the Azores. These types of holidays allow you to take an active role in researching and protecting wildlife. 

Photo courtesy of: Pixabay

4. Find Earth-Friendly Accomodation 

When researching your accomodation, ask the following questions: 

  • Do you have a waste recycling policy for staff, visitors and guests?
  • What is your energy efficient rating? Different rating systems will depend on the country 
  • Do you use sustainable energy? Eg. solar power or wind power?
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5. Be A Responsible Tourist

Whether travelling alone or with friends, be responsible. When you're away on holiday, treat the environment as you would your own home. Don't drop litter or do anything that impacts the local environment. If you're spending the day at the beach, take your rubbish away with you. Most hotels have a policy where you can leave towels on the floor to be replaced. Don't request new towels each day if it isn't necessary. This will reduce the energy used for washing and the use of detergent. 

Conserve energy as much as possible. When you're on holiday, it's temping to keep the lights swtiched on and to run the shower for longer. If everyone used only what was necessary, think about how much energy would be saved. So, turn the lights off when they're not in use. Keep showering times to a minumum. If it's not needed, turn off the air conditioning. 

6. Transport 

There are lots of ways to get around on holiday. Make the most of the weather and walk as much as you can. Or, consider hiring a bike. These are healthier choices, as well as being kinder to the environment. Rather than hiring a car for the duration of the trip, consider taking a taxi or taking public transport. 

7. Buy Responsibly 

While you're away, think twice when making a purchase. Is it possible to cut down on the amount of bags and packaging you use? Never buy any souvinirs or knick-knacks made from animal products. Not only could they be illegal, but you will be supporting cruel trades. Many people go on holiday and enjoy different environments and different weather systems. They marvel at wildlife and plant life, and rightly so. Remember to do your bit to maintain this and protect the environment for future generations. 




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