Search This Blog

BEAUTIFUL PLACES near MILAN

January 26, 2019
The most beautiful places to visit near Milan: Lombardia lakes, villas, castles... Italy day trip.
Milan points of interest. Places to visit around Milan. Towns near Milan worth visiting.

Whether you stay in Milan for a pleasure trip or on business, you might consider prolonging your stay so as to see some interesting places less than 100 km from the chief-town of Lombardy. 

After visiting the Castle of the Sforzas, the cathedral, the Victor Emmanuel II gallery, the monumental cemetery and the church of Saint Ambrogio and after having the inevitable aperitif (happy hour) in the "Navigli" area, you can organize pleasant outings to 6 places that are easily reachable by car or by bus/train.

places to visit around milan
Navigli Milano ideal for nightlife
Stay close to Navigli?



To Know: If You love Leonardo da Vinci, don't forget to go and see The Last Supper in the refectory of the Convent of Saint Maria delle Grazie in Milan.
Booking is obligatory for an attraction that is in such demand.

In this post:

  1. Visit Crespi D'Adda ,
  2. Visit Bergamo,
  3. Visit Como Lake villas ,
  4. Visit Castles near Milan
  5. Visit Isola Bella, Lake Maggiore,
  6. Visit Iseo Lake e Montisola.

DRIVING IN ITALY: things to know!

January 13, 2019 0 Comments

Driving in Italy: rules, requirements, license, road signs... Important things to know before take a motorway in Italy: driving in Italy for tourists.

This article is written by Laura: an Italian girl who works in a motorway service area (on the A4 Milan - Venice).

italian motorway
DRIVING IN ITALY

One of the questions that often tourists ask her when they stop in the rest area is:
How to pay for the motorway in Italy?
Other questions are:
  • How does Italian motorway work? (Italy tolls roads cost.)
  • Which is the Best Way to Pay Autostrada Tolls?
And other useful tips.

Below you can read her suggestions...

Driving in italy which side?

Always Right as in America and all over Europe except in England and its colonies where you drive to the left.

Italy autostrada speed limit

On the highways: 130 kilometers per hour, down to 110 in case of bad weather.
On the main extra-urban roads: 110 kilometers per hour, down to 90 in case of bad weather
On secondary and local roads: 90 kilometers per hour
In the city the limit is 50 kilometers per hour; 70 in some sections expressly indicated.

Driving in Italy license and requirements


EU Member States license


You can drive with your driver's license.


Patent of non-EU countries


Foreigners with an extra EU license may travel in Italy for up to 1 year, BUT need and official translation to show with the license.
Translation can be made:

  1. By a professional translator and asserted with an oath made in front of a judicial or notary chancellor.
  2. Consulate with the signature of Consular Officers legalized in the Prefecture.

How does Italian motorway work?

Driving in Italy road signs

Foreign people can have difficulties to understand how to use Italian highway.
The mechanism is quite simple but payment can be complicated, or rather, can be tricky to figure out which tollbooth to choose.
Italian highway
When you enter in every Italian highway you'll find some tollbooths.
Follow the other cars that lined up in a lane.
Choose one that you want except the tollbooth indicated "Telepass".
When you are in front of a lowered bar, look to your left, find a red button... push it and take the ticket.

IMPORTANT: Keep the ticket until the exit! If you loose it you must pay the full amount from the origin to end of the highway. Quite expensive.
Now enjoy your trip... but remember... speed limit is 130 km/h.



take the motorway ticket


Head to your destination by driving smoothly.
When you decide to quit, you just take the first exit on the right.
Every highways exit has at least one tool where you can pay. You pay directly on the highway before leaving it.


Driving in Italy rules

Best Way to Pay Autostrada Tolls?



The only way guaranteed to be trouble-free is to pay cash. This is my tip.

For full information I tell you that:
There are different tollbooths that provide different payment methods (credit card, cash,Viacard, Telepass...).
Choose the payment system that you prefer and take the right tollbooth.
Every of them has a different sighboard, visible in the distance, indicating the payment system.
Let's see...

italian road signs
Italy road signs



BEST CHOISES n.1 or 2:


1 — CASH + OPERATOR (white sighboard) when you see a picture representing a hand and some coins it means that in this line you can pay by cash and there is an operator inside the tool.
I recommend this alternative for those without experience. Give the ticket, taken at the beginning of the highway route, to the clerk. The amount (the total of what you have to pay) will be displayed next the clerk window. Give the money to the operator and when the bar is raised, you are free ;)

TIP: Have some coins ready too. They appreciate not getting a €20 for a €0.80 toll.

2 — AUTOMATIC PAYMENT by Cash a picture with coins only (white sighboard): here you can pay by cash but the payment is automatic. There is not an operator.
Insert the ticket in the slot and your amount will be displayed. Than insert the money in the slot (one dedicated only for banknotes and one for coins only).
IMPORTANT: If you choose to pay by cash remember to bring with you enough coins and small banknotes (max 20 euros).

3 — TELEPASS (yellow sighboard): do not take it! It is a subscription using from Italian people that take the motorways almost every day in order to speed up the payment mechanism. Only those who have paid for this subscription and received a detector, to be placed on the windshield, can use this lane.

4 — CARTE (blue sighboard): here you can pay by credit cards. It accepts the principal cards (Visa, MasterCard, American Express, Diners).

FIRST step: Insert the ticket in the machine where it is indicated and your amount will be displayed.
SECOND step: insert the credit cards where it is indicated.

Simplifying: put the ticket, put the credit card, take the card, go. It doesn't ask for a PIN number.

In CREDIT CARD line you can also pay by Viacard.
What is a Viacard? It is a pre-payed card of 25 or 50 euros that you can buy in the rest areas along the motorway. You can use it in the same way of credit cards. The amount will be deducted.
PAY ATTENTION: do not go into a closed lane! The open tollbooths have a green traffic light while those closed have a red traffic light.

What to do in case of payment problem?


In case of problems, visibile in the toll, there is a red button for to call an operator.
If nobody reply to you... don't worry, some minutes later the tollbooth opens automatically and the machine will issue a ticket indicated the information about your car and the amount that you must pay.
IMPORTANT: You have 15 days for pay the amount. You can also pay the motorway ticket on-line, in the post offices, by bank transfer or in a "Punto Blu".

What a Punto Blu is? It is an office of assistance for problems concerning the motorways. You can find them along the highway, in the cities or sometimes in the rest area.
Find "Blue Point" near you on the map, and click it to see the detail information. Here the map: Italy blue points motorway.

REST AREAS IN HIGHWAY


About every 25-30 km along the principal highways and a little bit more along the others there is a rest area with toilettes, a bar, a market and sometimes also a restaurant.
The averange prices are quite expensive, but you can find almost everything you are looking for.

How much does the italian highway cost?


You can get detailed driving directions, fairly realistic times, and estimated costs (fuel and tolls) for travel throughout Europe from: www.viamichelin.com


Another website with useful information for traveling on Italian motorways is this:


Best Way to Pay Autostrada Tolls


  1. The easiest way for most first timers is to just pay with euros
  2. Best and most easiest is to use a manned booth - so look for the toll sign above the booth showing the outstretched hand holding money. 
  3. Be very very careful not to go in a Telepass lane.
I hope these tips could be useful for you. When you will take a break in a rest area, look for a blond girl called Laura...


She works there (on A4 motorway), in the store at the cashier's desk, and probably she will be explaining to a foreign traveler how to pay the motorway ticket πŸ˜‰

December 2018
Moira

BEST AREA TO STAY IN DUBAI

January 04, 2019 0 Comments
Best area to stay in Dubai:

  • Jumeirah Beach / Marina area - for sea stays
  • Burj Al Arab of Dubai and / or Jumeirah Beach Hotel - for luxury
  • Al Barsha - budget accommodation
  • Jebel Ali - near expo 2020
  • Dubai Creek - to visit the old area
Best area to stay in Dubai
Best area to stay in Dubai

Where to stay in Dubai? Where to sleep near the most beautiful beach in Dubai? Where to stay in Dubai if you want to visit Expo 2020? Where are the cheapest accommodations in Dubai? What are the most beautiful hotels?

Dubai is a fascinating destination to see: skyscrapers, incredible architectural structures from a thousand and one nights, beaches, artificial islands ... there is something for everyone whether you go to Dubai for work, to see the expo or  for a holiday.

BEST AREA TO STAY IN DUBAI


Dubai can be divided into different areas and the best place to stay can be found starting from your needs: if you prefer to stay close to the sea, to the city or to the expo, if you want a luxury or cheaper accommodation.

Let's see them together:


  • Jumeirah Beach / Marina area


WHERE TO STAY IN DUBAI NEAR THE BEACH



This area is suitable for those looking for the classic seaside holiday. Jumeirah beach is considered the most beautiful beach in Dubai.
Quite crowded during the high season (from November until Easter). This area is the best to stay near the souk madinat where there is a great variety of restaurants, bars and cafes.

Dubai Jumeirah Beach
Dubai Jumeirah Beach


In this area there are many hotels, resorts and residential complexes, including the Burj Al Arab hotel (Arab Tower), the Wild Wadi Water Park, the Jumeirah Beach Hotel and the ancient Madinat Jumeirah. The area favored by tourists from all over the world where to sunbathe. The most expensive resorts are located in this area... 8000 euros per night.😱

Book in this accommodation  Dubai Backpackers (beachside)


Booking.com




Burj Al Arab of Dubai or Jumeirah Beach Hotel

Dubai luxury accommodation


πŸ‘‰ If you are looking for a luxurious beachfront hotel, a 5-star hotel with a private beach, consider staying at the Jumeirah Beach Hotel or the more Arabian style Jumeirah Al Qasr.

best area to stay in Dubai
bets area to stay in Dubai

On average, the price for both structures is around 5.00 euros per night, per couple. πŸ‘‰ The Burj Al Arab in Dubai is one of the most luxurious hotels in the world known as "sailing": like the others mentioned above, it is close to the beach, shops and is a good starting point to visit the various tourist routes nearby . A suite costs an average of 1000 euros per night per couple.

Jumeirah Beach Hotel dubai
Jumeirah Beach Hotel overlooking Burj Al Arab

If you are on a honeymoon, consider staying on the Palm Jumeirah Island which, as you can see in the image, is that imposing structure on the circumference of the circle. It is located on a man-made island in the shape of a palm tree in the middle of the sea. Suggestive location ⇩⇩⇩

artificial island Dubai
Palm Jumeirah, Dubai, United Arab Emirates


  • Al Barsha

Dubai cheap accommodation


πŸ‘ If you want to stay in this area but looking for accommodation with prices much more affordable, I recommend you stay at the Park Regis Boutique Hotel. The average is € 150 per night per couple (unless you are a Genius client on Booking.)

πŸ‘‰ The cheapest accommodation in Dubai is in the area call: Al Barsha, area also useful for business trips. Here is a list of the cheapest accommodation for Dubai.



  • Jebel Ali

Where to stay in Dubai for work


πŸ‘‰ If you are looking for a place with a great location that has a conference room and a meeting room, opt for the Atana Hotel.


WHERE TO STAY IN DUBAI NEAR EXPO 2020

EXPO 2020 Dubai - United Arab Emirates
Exhibition center under construction


Jebel Ali: located in the south-west area of ​​Dubai. It is an industrial and residential area in which there are large skyscrapers, towers, suitable for those who want to stay close to the expo area.
The Jebel Ali Marina and Jebel Ali Palm Islands (Dubai Waterfront) are located on the coast: it is a group of artificial islands under construction in Dubai.

The expo area is located on an area called: Dubai Investment Park I predict that they will build several facilities near the expo.
 πŸ‘‰ Staying in Dubai for the expo.
Calculate that you can book accommodation on booking for Dubai with 1 year and 3 months in advance so just unlock the dates for the period that welcomes the expo, you should book to get more competitive prices. Mark it in your diary.


Booking.com



  • Dubai Creek

WHERE TO STAY IN DUBAI the oldest part


The oldest part of "Dubai Creek": this is the oldest part of Dubai where you can see the enormous diversity with the modern city. The Creek (Khor Dubai), a natural canal, can be visited on wooden boats and have dinner on board. Find the souks, the small spice markets, the shops selling silk and gold...
It's the neighborhood that's farthest from the Expo 2020, about 50 kilometers away.
If you want to stay a few nights in this area, I suggest you this hotel with a nice view of the city and the canal.

The main Dubai highway is called Sheikh Zayed Road, you will have to go there to visit the modern city and see its many attractions.

Best period to go to Dubai


If you are considering organizing a vacation to Dubai, you can go during the Dubai expo that will take place from 20 October 2020 to 10 April 2021.

Tip: if you can, it is better to organize the trip in winter so as not to be invested by the very torrid temperatures of this area risking to be segregated always in air-conditioned buildings. In spring, and especially in summer, it is very hot, it often goes over 40 degrees.

The Dubai expo, now under construction, will be held in an exhibition area of ​​45,000 square meters (for which you wear comfortable shoes πŸ˜…) and will be easily reachable from any hotel thanks to the "Metro Expo" (line under construction) or taking an "Expo Riders" bus dedicated to the event.

The exhibition area will be built near the Al Maktoum airport. See the map in the dedicated chapter.

Well, I hope I helped you choose the best area to stay in Dubai. I am sure you will be fascinated by this city of many facets and opportunities.
If you want to share this article with your travel companions, find the social buttons at the end of the post. Thank you!
updated january 2019
Moira R.

LEAST WINDY CANARY ISLAND

August 18, 2018 0 Comments
If you're wondering if Tenerife is windy, if Lanzarote or Fuerteventura are windier then Gran Canaria... this article is for you!

    least windy  resort in the canary island
    least windy canary island

    - Which is the least windy area in Tenerife?


    - Which is the least windy between Lanzarote and Fuerteventua?

    • Lanzarote and Fuerteventura are the windiest islands in the Canary Islands.


    - Which is the least windy area in Gran Canaria?

    • The least windy area of ​​Gran Canaria is located in the South-West. Municipality of MogΓ n.



    Booking.com


    Canaries: the less windy island



    My readers often ask me about which is the least windy island in the Canary Islands. I understand them... Maybe they travel with children or they, like me, are bothered by the wind.
     All the Canary Islands are windy but there are areas/countries more sheltered by wind and with beaches suitable in every season especially in the winter months like December, January and February.
    This is what we're going to find out in this article.


    LEAST WINDY RESORT on the CANARY ISLAND in december


    I'm not a lover of places too windy: the wind annoys me a lot. For this reason, during my trips to Canary Islands, I always stay in resort sheltered from the strong wind. A sea breeze is pleasant, and inevitable if you're on an island but I avoid the places where the wind raises the sand and gets into my eyes.
    Let's start from the begin ...

    Winter sun holidays in the canary islands


    If your holiday in the Canaries is in the winter, and you are looking for the best place to sunbathe and swim in the sea, I suggest you to stay here:
    Tenerife is windy especially on the west coast (Garachico, Puerto de la Cruz ...).
    Las Vistas beach is also ideal for people travelling with children. The wind is minimal, except in bad weather days.

    Is Gran Canaria windy?

    In my humble opinion, the ideal island to take a winter break is Gran Canaria.
    The windiest area of ​​Gran Canaria is located in the North-east (airport area). Just below there is Pozo izquierdo well-known resort for surf lovers.
    The least windy area of ​​Gran Canaria is enclosed in the municipality of Mogan which includes several villages and the best known are:
    • Arguineguin, 
    • Puerto Rico, 
    • Tauro, 
    • Puerto de Mogan... 
    The beaches are in a basin, protected from strong winds, the sea is without waves.

    LEAST WINDY RESORT Gran Canaria
    Playa Amadores


    Usually the temperatures are about 25 degrees but sometimes it happens (mostly at the end of summer) that they increase due to the Calima (hot wind mixed to sand coming from Africa). 
    The sky, usually blue, becomes grey due to the sand carried and this create an annoying heat. Fortunately they are sporadic episodes and they pass quickly.

    Although the water is not as mild as the Mediterranean Sea, it is pleasant to swim with these temperatures. Especially if you live in the Nordic countries, the sea water will not seem cold at all.

    maspalomas is windy?
    Playa del Ingles - Maspalomas beach


    Maspalomas and Playa del Ingles have milder temperatures and they are not always windy, depending by the period, sometimes is almost impossible to stay on the beach because it is huge and not sheltered from the wind.
    In these days is possible to take shelter behind the dunes or, if you prefer, take the bus or car and reach the least windy beaches at only 10-15 km from Maspalomas.

    - Is Lanzarote windy?

    Yes, Lanzarote is windy.


    Booking.com


    With Fuerteventura is one of the windiest Canary Islands. I made several trips to Lanzarote, the last in February 2017, and I was able to enjoy 4 sunny days and 3 rainy days, the last one dedicated to the visit of Arrecife (the capital of the island), where the wind was so strong that it created waves so big that the coastal path to the Reducto beach has been closed.


    Canarie isola meno ventosa
    Arrecife during the storm
    If you are looking for a sheltered and sunny beach in Lanzarote, you can stay in the South, in the area of ​​Playa Blanca.

    least windy resort in Lanzarote
    Playa Blanca

    - Is Fuerteventura windy?


    Yes, Fuerteventura is windy. The windiest period is summer.


    Booking.com


    Fuerteventura is the island of surfing! So it must be windy otherwise it would not attract many fans. It is not an island that I recommend to people travelling with kids, but if you love the natural environments, the huge beaches without borders, you should go in Fuerteventura. The wind is a blessing in Fuerteventura because the sun is very strong.

    spiaggia piΓƒ¹ grande fuerte
    Morro Jable Beach
     If you are looking for the least windy resort in Fuerteventura, you can stay in the South, the area of Morro Jable that usually, in case of strong wind, the staff make barriers to protect the sun umbrellas by the wind and sand storms.
    More info: Best month to stay in Fuerteventura.
    If you find this information useful to organise a holiday in the Canaries, share the article with your friends using one of the social buttons that you see at the end of the post.

    Thank you and have a nice trip!
    Aggiornato Ottobre 2017
    Moira R.

    TENERIFE: BEST AREA TO STAY FOR NIGHTLIFE

    July 07, 2018 0 Comments

    BEST AREA TO STAY IN TENERIFE

    So, if you want to have fun or you're single and you want to meet boys and girls from all over Europe, the only area to stay is Playa de las Americas. If you are a homosexual, the best area is Playa del Ingles, in Gran Canaria.


    Beware! Follow my advice if you do not want to booking a hotel full of families with children, or retired people.
    1. Hotel Sol Tenerife: best for nightlife, close to restaurants, shops, pubs and night clubs.
    2. Apartamentos Playa Azul, 300 meters from the most popular beach: playa de Troya
    3. Palm beach Tenerife: if you want an ocean view room.
    4. Catalonia Oro Negro: Late check out? No problem, in this hotel you have the opportunity, on the day of check out, to leave your luggage and use a courtesy bathroom where you can take a shower before leaving.
    5. Hotel Noelia Tenerife Sur: only for adults, for those who do not want children in the hotel.


    Canary Islands are not like the Balearics

    The Balearics are 2 hours away from the Canary Islands. It will take more time to reach the Canaries from any continental country in Europe. If you hate to stay on the plane over 4 hours think about it.
    Formentera, another Balearic island, needs more time to be reached because it has not an airport, so you need to fly to Ibiza and than take a ferry.
    So if you've already experienced a holiday in Ibiza, and you want to replicate, I'm sorry to say that it's not the same thing to go to the Canaries.
    However... if you want to visit Tenerife, looking for best area for nightlife, where there are pubs, clubs and you can meet other young couples or singles, follow my advice to stay in the most lively area in ​​Tenerife.



    Best tourist place to stay in Tenerife 



    The best place in ​​Tenerife for entertainment is, doubtless, located in the south of the island.
    You also considers that the South of Tenerife is very frequented by retired people looking for a sunny and mild weather, especially in winter.
    The area of ​​Playa de las Americas with its beautiful beaches, with a favourable climate compared to the countries of the North, the numerous shops, shows and entertainment, makes it coveted by almost all tourists, not only young people looking for fun.
    There are lots of accommodations in Playa Las Americas, and if you're in charge of choosing the apartment to spend the holidays with your friends, it's better that you choose the right area and the right hotel (otherwise they will get angry with you).
    So... Follow my advice and you will make a great impression.
    Below you will find a list of the structures in  the center of Tenerife nighlife.


    Girls holiday to Tenerife

    This is an email that I have received from some girls for an advice. I hope you can also clarify your doubts:
    We are 3 young girls who want to spend a holiday in Tenerife in Playa de las Americas. Can you recommend a hotel with entertainments and pool?
    Hello girls! If you are planning to stay in Playa de las Americas, you will not need a hotel with entertainments. Simply go out from the hotel and you will find pubs, music, shops, restaurants, karaoke... all the entertainments you want.
    All hotels have a swimming pool and sometimes even private apartment residences have one in the complex.

    Book one of these 4 hotel listed here ⇩⇩⇩. You will be fine.
    Sol Tenerife:  in the downtown.


    nightlife tenerife
    Sol Tenerife pool
    This hotel wins the position both for the proximity to sea and nightlife street.
    It is big so you will also find families with children (that who have not read my post dedicated to "Tenerife with the children") in which I recommend less chaotic place.
    Sol Tenerife is the top for those who want to stay at the centre of Tenerife's nightlife.


    Apartamentos Playa Azul:  near the beach
    Hotel 300 meters from the beach: with parking and wifi included.
    Wide range of options with breakfast, half or full board.
    There are also rooms equipped for guests with disabilities.


    Palm beach Tenerife: ocean view
    Situated in the same area of ​​the Tenerife Sol but more "chic".

    Hotel Noelia Tenerife Sur: adults only
    This is the option that I recommend for tourists who do not like to see children running around the pool or crying in the restaurant, in fact it is only accessible to adults: + 18.

    If you go on holiday with your friends share the article with them by clicking one of the social buttons you see below... thanks.
    Updated Luglio 2018
    Moira R.
    Yandex.Metrica