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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 😉

December 2018
Moira

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 Mogàn.



    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 più 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.

    STAY IN IBIZA: where is the best area?

    June 24, 2018 0 Comments

    where to stay in ibiza
    where to stay in Ibiza: best area



  • Ibiza city: beautiful city, harbour and discos.

  • Playa d'En Bossa: for the night life lovers and for who want to meet people coming from all over the world.

  • Sant Antoni de Portmany: for young people, nightlife, and entertainment. Full of english. The cheapest village in the touristic area.

  • Cala Tarida: a beautiful beach and a quiet area.

  • Santa Eularia des Riu: holiday villages and relax but also restaurants, shops and walks.

  • Es Canar: quiet area, relax and beautiful beaches.

  • Figueretes: Ideal for gays and nudist.



  • In this post, I reply to these question:

    Are you thinking to make a holiday in Ibiza in the Balearic islands? Are you looking for tips on where to stay in Ibiza? Do you look for a quiet or cheap area? How expensive is it in Ibiza? Are you wondering which one is the best for you between Ibiza City, Playa d'En Bossa or Sant Antoni de Portmany? 
    Due to my holidays in Ibiza, I will help you to clarify and choose the best area to stay in Ibiza, avoiding to turn your holiday into a nightmare.


    STAY IN IBIZA: where is the best area?

    How expensive is it in Ibiza? In July and August the prices are quite expensive.

    Where is the party scene in Ibiza? Ibiza town Marina, Sant Antoni de Portmany, Disco Pacha. 

    What is the best time to go to Ibiza? To find less people, you prefer June and September. The peak of the high season is at the end of July until mid-August.

    How to do Ibiza on a budget? Sant Antoni de Portmany, if you want to stay in a tourist area or far from the coast to save further.




    WHERE IS THE BEST AREA TO STAY IN IBIZA?


    Spanish islands are my favourite holiday destination. Today I talks about Ibiza, I have stayed several times in Eivissa, especially when I was young... I am not so elderly now but...
    At 20 years, like most guys, Spain and the Balearics in gereral are the main destinations for fun-filled holidays in a youth and dynamic environment.




    WHERE TO STAY IN  IBIZA: PLAYA D'EN BOSSA

    For the "movida" lovers, fun and entertainment  with people from all over the world.

    Playa d'en Bossa is one of the main tourist resorts of Ibiza. Here is the largest beach in Ibiza long about 3 km.
    There are lots of hotels, shops, clubs, restaurants that offer every service for tourists.
    The beach is full of kids of all nationalities: music and high possibility to socialise.



    beaches in ibiza
    Playa d'en bossa beach

    Ibiza in the summer: If you love to stay surrounded by many people, clubs, music, restaurants with outdoor tables, if you love the nightlife, if you want to stay in the center of social life  you must necessarily stay between Playa d'en Bossa and Ibiza city. July and August are monthsvery crowded of tourists.
    Nightlife, disco tour? This is the best area to stay in Ibiza.
    Here my tips: the structures below can be booked on Booking.com: the price is per room and not per person. Often you can pay upon arrival.
    If you are planning to go to Ibiza between july and august, book early. Trust me. Cancellation is free on Booking.
    NICE HOTEL PLAYA D'EN BOSSA



    BEST PLACES TO STAY : IBIZA TOWN Marina

     Ibiza for nightlife and discos

    Walking towards the center you will see the ancient city called Dalt Vila with its cathedral on the top.
    If you love panoramic views you will like it also for the medieval environment.
    Dalt Vila is in  enclosed by walls where there are numerous museums, the Cathedral as well as numerous restaurants and shops. In the summer evening it is almost impossible to walk among the tables of restaurants full of people tasting the famous Spanish Tapas.

    Eivissa
    Ibiza town


    To stay in Ibiza city: good solution to walk to Playa d'en Bossa and the city center.
    The Ibiza clubs and its nightlife has no comparison across Europe. In the summer the best international DJs work in these crowded and expensive nightclubs.
    The most famous discos of Ibiza are El Divino, Pacha and Amnesia. These places host tourists from all over Europe.
    The nightclubs do not open before midnight but the "real night" starts around 2:00 am
    BOOKING HOTEL IBIZA TOWN 


    WHERE TO STAY IN IBIZA: FIGUERETES

    Ibiza for the gay and nudist world

    Figueretes is a small, well-known village by gays in which there are clubs and exclusive hotels for the homosexual world. Do not miss the beautiful promenade that runs along this tourist destination.
    Figueretes has a small but nice beach and nearby there are: Es Cavallet and Ses Salines, beaches frequented by nudists.
    NICE HOTEL PLAYA D'EN BOSSA



    WHERE TO STAY IN IBIZA: SANT ANTONI DE PORTMANY

     Ibiza for young people, nightlife, and fun

    It was my first trip in Ibiza, with a group of friends.
    We came to San Antonio in a barracks full of youth (drunk at night) overlooking the street.... I slept 10 hours in 7 nights. 😩

    movida ibiza
    Sunset in san antonio


    San Antonio is one of the cheaper areas for accommodation and obviously there is a reason...
    I came back home devastated. It was the week between July and August:  heat weather, young people (mostly English) screaming and drunk, the sea of ​​San Antonio turned into a pisser. People sleeping on the sand in a comatose state surrounded by empty beer bottles.
    Surely there are more peaceful structures but not in the downtown.
    San Antonio has its own beauty but in the peak of the summer season (July, August), at least if you are not looking for pure nightlife, it is better to stay away from it and look for more inviting waters and beaches.
    You can come here to see the Puesta del Sol (sunset) in fact this event attracts an infinity of tourists who crowd the bars overlooking the sea watching the sun that plunges into the ocean.
    One of the most famous place is the Café del Mar but there are several bars next to each other to sit down and enjoy the show.
    CHEAP HOTEL SAN ANTONI


    WHERE TO STAY IN IBIZA: CALA TARIDA

    A beautiful beach, in a quiet area

    I stayed in Cala Tarida some year ago, at the end of May.
    This small resort has a white sand beach with a basin suitable for children, as well as for adults. On the beach you can rent boats and take a drink in one of the several bars.
    You can get to the beach walking down a stair with lots of steps, so it is NOT suitable for people with mobility difficulties.
    BEST HOTEL CALA TARIDA

    ibiza where to go
    Cala Tarida beach
    This is a good solution for those looking for a quiet place. In the evening there are not many entertainments but it is close to the main tourist towns like Sant Antoni de Portmany easily reached by bus.


    WHERE TO STAY IN IBIZA: ES CANAR

    For people looking for a quiet area with beautiful beaches

    Es Canar is a quiet place but not far from bars, restaurants, pubs and shops.
    Es Canar is famous for the hippy market on Wednesday from 9.00am to 7.00pm in Punta Arabi.
    In this street market you can find clothes, objects and leather leather, jewelry, paintings and a self-service restaurant.

    ibiza where to go
    Es Canar Beach


    In Es Canar there is a beautiful sandy beach appreciated by families and not far away there is the quiet and small Cala Nova.

    HOTEL ES CANAR close to beach


    IBIZA WHERE TO GO: SANTA EULARIA DES RIU

    If you like holiday villages, peaceful but also restaurants, shops, walks.

    Santa Eularia is another popular destination in Ibiza and for many people the best place to stay.
    Santa Eularia is the third largest town in Ibizia after the capital city and San Antonio.


    Surrounded by the long beach and promenade, there are numerous shops, restaurants, hotels and bars.
    The main street of the village, lined by numerous trees, is ideal for evening walks.

    HOTEL EULARIA BEST VIEW


    ibiza relax


    PERSONAL TIPS:
    I have visitad Ibiza many times and I prefer to stay between Ibiza Town and playa d'en Bossa because I love walking through the shops.
    Then, I usually rent a car in the airport that allows me to move and change beach every day (I recommend you to do it).


    To Know:
    The north is the wildest part of Ibiza, far from tourism (compared to the south) very green. Choose it only if you plan to travel by car or you are looking for a relax holiday.
    I conclude the article dedicated to "where to stay in Ibiza" and  I hope to help you in your choice.
    Please, do not forget to share the article with your friends or family, by clicking one of the social buttons you see below. Thank you.
    Yandex.Metrica