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Ponte Vecchio is probably the most worldwide celebrated bridge in Florence: the modern architectural structure we can see today consisting of three stone arches, and followed in 1565 to a old wooden bridge built in the ancient Roman times. The first wooden building dates back to 972 and was smashed by a flood in Florence in 1117. The most beautiful architectural part is surely an opening midway of the bridge that offers a stunning view of the river Arno and its shoreline (The...

A Masterstroke In Florence Suspended Over The Arno River

A Masterstroke In Florence Suspended Over The Arno RiverPonte Vecchio is probably the most worldwide celebrated bridge in Florence: the modern architectural structure we can see today consisting of three stone arches, and followed in 1565 to a old wooden bridge built in the ancient Roman times. The first wooden building dates back to 972 and was smashed by a flood in Florence in 1117. The most beautiful architectural part is surely an opening midway of the bridge that offers a stunning view of the river Arno and its shoreline (The shore its pretty visible, because theres not a lot of water in the river!).The BridgePonte Vecchio is Europe's oldest wholly-stone segmental arch bridge. There are three arches, the main arch of 30 meters, and the side ones of 27. The Medici family, in 1953, prohibited butchers from selling in Ponte Vecchio, thus enforcing the bridge dignity; the butchers were rapidly replaced by gold merchants.The Shops and the Vasarian CorridorToday, the bridge stages numerous jewellery shops trading antiquities and gold and silver selections. Above the shops runs the Vasary Corridor, a long passage built in 1565 for order of Cosimo I De' Medici Duke of Florence, which crosses the suspension bridge and link the Uffizi Gallery and Palazzo Pitti.Ponte Vecchio, during World War II, has been the only Florence Bridge not destroyed by the Nazis during the retreat in the August of 1944; but the Arno flood, the one of 1966, severely damaged the bridge and the jewellery shops.Ponte Vecchio is really the most evocative route you can take in Florence historical centre: probably one of the most romantic bridges in the entire world. The legend tells that if you lock a padlock and then you throw the key in the water, lovers can reach immortal love! I dont know if its true, but its really impressive

Cruise Etiquette

Cruise Etiquette

A cruise ship is just like a small town or village. And if everyone wants to get the maximum benefit from their cruise holiday, it's important to observe certain rules of social conduct. So here are seven rules of cruise etiquette that will help you and your fellow passengers to make the most of your vacation.1) Be Quiet: These days, some of the largest cruise ships are home to as many as three or four thousand people at the same time. And these people are all living in close proximity to you. So please, don't slam your cabin door. It's totally unnecessary and will disturb hundreds of passangers.2) Be Respectible: When you're on board a cruise ship, make sure that you're properly dressed at all times. This means dress smartly when in public areas of the ship and don't walk around wearing next to nothing.As a general rule, just imagine that you were back home. If you wouldn't dress in that manner to go to a restaurant or the casino or the swimming pool, then don't think that you can get away with it just because your on a cruise ship. Yes, I know it's your temporary home, but it's also the temporary home of two or three thousand others.Also bear in mind that there will be many different nationalities and cultures on board who may have dramatically different views on what is and what is not respectable. So make sure that you follow the on board dress code at all times.3) Be Sensible: You're on vacation and you want to have a great time, but don't go crazy with the amount of food or drink that you consume. Nobody likes a drunk and nobody wants to see someone vomiting because they've overeaten. And you'll miss much of the enjoyment of your cruise if you spend your time feeling ill or in the ship hospital with an drink related injury.4) Be Considerate: If you're not happy with a certain aspect of your cruise, take your complaint to the appropriate member of staff and leave it there. Don't spoil everyone else's vacation by going on and on about everything that irritates you.So, you're expectations haven't been met! That's no excuse to bore everyone else with endless stories of how your toilet won't flush and how your toast was cold three mornings ago and how the weather isn't as good as it should be. Register your complaint and let everyone else enjoy their holiday.5) Be Generous: Most of the staff of cruise ships are low paid. The general idea is that the tips they receive from passengers will top up their income. So make sure that you're generous with the tips that you give.On many cruises, gratuities are automatically added to your on board account. But that doesn't mean you can't tip the people who have looked after you during your vacation. So if you get good service from certain memebers of staff make sure you show your appreciation6) Be Discreet: So you've done well for yourself. You've got a diamond encrusted cufflinks and a wad of money to waste in the casino. Good for you, but the whole ship doesn't need to know about it.Not only does it make you seem like an obnoxious swine, but if people see that you've got valuable possessions, you'll attract the wrong type of attention. Oh yes, crime is just the same at sea as it is on land. Human nature doesn't change just because you step onto an ocean going hotel.7) Be Patient: If you want to enjoy life on board most cruise ships, it's important to be laid back and patient at all times.For example, at certain times of the day, getting access to the lifts can be a potential flashpoint. You'd be amazed at the number of nasty scenes that arise out of people waiting to use the lifts, especially when they're going to eat or see a show. So learn to enjoy waiting, or if you're able, why not work off some of the gourmet food and take the stairs.You're on vacation, so what's the great rush!

The Bahamas: A Pirate Fans Perfect Travel Destination

The Bahamas: A Pirate Fans Perfect Travel Destination

The Bahamas is a magical string of 700 islands in the middle of the Caribbean that has been a popular tourist destination for decades, says AMT American Express Travel. The Bahamas is a world-renowned travel destination with a rich history. In 1492, Christopher Columbus made his first landfall on the island of San Salvador in the eastern Bahamas. Columbus commented on the shallow water of the sea surrounding the islands, calling the water "baja mar". It is from these words that the name Bahama came. Since the Bahamas islands are located close to Florida they caught the attention of explorers, settlers, invaders and traders.Pirate History in the BahamasOne of the most interesting things about the Bahamas is its history with pirates. Black Beard, Calico Jack and Captain Henry Morgan himself were known visitors to the Bahamian islands. 1680 to 1730 was the golden age for Bahamian pirates. These islands made an ideal home base for pirates because of the numerous islands and islets. These were great places to hide their renegade ships and stolen treasure. The islands were also close to well-traveled trading routes, creating the perfect opportunity to plunder merchant ships.The battles fought between pirates, merchants and other authorities often caused may casualties, especially ships. These ships often sank off the coast of the Bahamas, laden with gold, silver, and other antiquities. Spanish galleons were easy prey for pirates. These ships carried stolen riches from the native peoples of South and Central America. Pirates would hide this treasure in the numerous limestone caves dotting the Bahamas or bury it somewhere on the miles of beaches.Rumors of treasure still hidden in the Bahamas exist today. Pirate William Catt is supposed to have buried loot on his namesake, Cat Island. Sir Henry Morgan, who preferred the island of Andros, is said to have buried treasure throughout the many islands. Where rumors may be false, the Bahamas certainly offers a mystique that encourages its visitors to indulge in opportunities for adventure and seclusion. American Express Vacations is beginning to offer special tours for travelers interested in highlighting famous pirate sites all over the islands of the Bahamas.Modern Day Fun, Rest and RelaxationThe Bahamas of today is still full of adventure and excitement. The islands of the Bahamas are some of the most popular locations for travelers in the world. A big draw to most Caribbean tourists, the Bahamas cater to travelers on a moderate to high-end budget. "American Express Travel" offers a number of moderate and high-end accommodations that give the best value for your money. There are no accommodations such as hostels because the focus of the island is a luxury experience. But travel to the Bahamas is on most world travelers to see list.

Discovering Spain With A Detailed Map

Discovering Spain With A Detailed Map

A detailed map of Spain is important when planning a vacation, especially if you plan to explore or take a tour of the country. A good map provides an idea of the layout of the country and its various regions and larger cities which can help you decide where you want to spend your vacation, whether by the beach, in the countryside or in a fast-paced, larger city atmosphere. A map is also useful if you are taking a tour of Spain, though a detailed map may be provided if you are touring with a group. Popular tours include climbing, hiking or walking tours, bicycle tours or wine and food tours. When touring, be sure to stay with your group, but a map will be especially helpful if you do get lost. If you are permitted time away from the group, always have a clear understanding of where and at what time you are supposed to reunite with the group. If you are not touring with a group but rather traveling on your own, a detailed map is a wise purchase. If you are driving from one destination to another, a map outlining both the larger highways and smaller roads will help prevent you from getting lost as you travel from one place to another. The southern part of Spain is known as the Costa del Sol wherein you will find cities such as Seville, Malaga and Granada. The Costa del Sol is a becoming a popular vacation destination among tourists. The beaches along the coastline are a major attraction for this region, but it is also becoming a popular year round destination for golfers. Along the eastern coast of Spain is the beautiful Mediterranean Sea. This region is known as the Costa Blanca and is home to some very popular vacation destinations such as Alicante, Torrevieja and Barcelona. These larger cities in this region are very popular vacation destinations, offering beaches, sightseeing, nightlife and so much more. Central Spain consists of the countrys capital city, Madrid, as well as beautiful mountain chains. This central city is where you will find many small towns with historical sights and attractions to help learn about the Spanish culture and history. Fortunately, the nearby mountain chains of the Sierra de Guadarrama, Sierra de Gredos and Montes de Toledo add a beautiful touch to this central region and help balance the city life atmosphere of Madrid. Finally, you will find coastal resorts and small fishing villages in the northern part of Spain. The villages and resorts offer a taste of authentic Spanish life where you can experience the Spanish culture more than you may in a larger city with tourism as its focus. Some areas such as La Rioja, for example, are known for wine production where you can get a taste of the famous Rioja wine.

Do It Right The First Time

As an RV owner for over twenty years now, I have seen a lot of mistakes made in purchasing Rvs by myself and others. The mistakes always result in the loss of finances. As with any product, smart shopping is always worth the effort that it takes to correctly choose what is best for you. So what is smart shopping?I remember the first RV that I purchased. I had been using a pop up camper and was now ready to move up to a real RV. Naturally I was going to find the best deal out there. I checked RV sales in South Carolina, Arkansas RV sales, Atlanta RV sales, and an RV for sale in Knoxville, Tennessee. I was searching all over the country for the best price that I could find. I finally purchased a unit from Trailmanor RV sales in Ohio. I felt that they had given me the best price and I was very happy.About a year later I became somewhat dissatisfied with the RV that I had gotten such a good price on. Nothing was wrong with the unit itself, it was very dependable and well made. The problem was, it was not exactly what I wanted. I began to see a need for a larger unit with some features that my present unit did not have.I then decided that I would trade up for a larger unit, better equipped with features best suited for the wife and I. There again I checked on RV sales Raleigh, RV sales Saginaw Michigan, well you get the picture. To my surprise, on a trade in, my RV was not worth much. I would be taking a beating on a vehicle that I had gotten such a good price on.Have you ever tried to sell a used RV by yourself? Listing it in the local newspaper, or in the trader magazines, is about the only way to go here. Although you do have the option of parking the unit in your front yard with a for sale sign on it, if you so choose to. Then you have to experience the humiliation of potential buyers criticizing everything about it just so they can negotiate a price in their favor. Believe me, it is no fun.I then decided that the best way to get a good deal on an RV is to purchase a unit that you will be happy with for years to come. Buying an RV at any price and then trading up and up, will only cost you dollars and frustration.I kept the unit that I had for another year all the while that I was shopping for a new vehicle. I decided that this would be the last RV that I was going to buy for a while. After many convention center trade shows, and inspecting fellow campers units, I finally decided on an RV that I was going to purchase. It was more money than I wanted to spend, but I felt that it would be less expensive that trading up over and over again.I took the advise that my father had often given me, Do It Right The First Time. Smart shopping is not all about getting the best price, it is getting what you will be satisfied with.

Check Out Calpe And Alicante While In Spain

Check out Calpe if you want to visit a beautiful resort on Costa Blanca. Calpe is located in the northern area of Costa Blanca just north of Altea and below Denia. If you want a hot spot of beauty and relaxation on the Mediterranean Sea then this is an ideal vacation spot. Calpe was begun as a fishing village and fishing is still a major part of life in Calpe. This means that you can enjoy fresh fish and seafood when you are in Calpe. Calpe is as beautiful as it is delicious. You can choose to fly into the Alicante airport or the Valencia airport. The Alicante airport is about 60 kilometers from Calpe and the Valencia airport is about 105 kilometers from Calpe. Choose the best airport for you depending on flight options from your hometown. Calpe means a rock that is steep and treacherous and Calpe deserves this name. You can view this rock formation that gave Calpe its name, which is called the Penon de Ifach. This is also where the smallest national park in Spain is located to protect all of the native plants and animals that live near this formation. Many rock climbers love to climb the rock for the awesome view of the coast that you get from the top. If you are adventurous than you should go for it. During the summer months you can enjoy shopping at the arts and crafts fair that goes on everyday of the week except for Monday. Here you can buy gifts and souvenirs for your friends and family from local artists and vendors. This is located in the lovely Old Town of Calpe. You can witness the legacy of the Romans in Calpe including the ruins of a villa that existed during Roman times. You can also see the old walls of the town, which are near the old city area and the Moorish quarter. These were erected to help the town ward off invaders including pirates. If you want to check out some attraction parks, a hot nightlife, and more sight seeing opportunities than you can visit the nearby city of Benidorm. Benidorm is close by and you can rent a car to drive to Benidorm while you are exploring Costa Blanca. Choosing a hotel in Calpe for your vacation stay is easy. There are a wide variety of hotels located both near the beach and in the center of town depending on your interests. You can select from a wide number of luxury hotels, but makes sure to plan ahead because these hotels get booked up fast during the peak season. If you want a cheaper place to stay than you can also find hostels in Calpe. There are also cheaper hotels located farther out of the city center and a large distance from the beach. If you rent a car this may be less of a hassle for you.

Summary

Ponte Vecchio is probably the most worldwide celebrated bridge in Florence: the modern architectural structure we can see today consisting of three stone arches, and followed in 1565 to a old wooden bridge built in the ancient Roman times. The first wooden building dates back to 972 and was smashed by a flood in Florence in 1117. The most beautiful architectural part is surely an opening midway of the bridge that offers a stunning view of the river Arno and its shoreline (The...