The Old Town of Dubrovnik

Dubrovnik is a city in Eastern Europe whose popularity has been increasing greatly in the past few years. As of July 1, 2013 Croatia is now a member of the EU perhaps making it now even more popular destination for travelers. The city is most popular for an area known as the Old Town, which is fortified by defensive stonewalls which are known as some of the largest and most complete in Europe. IMG_1084

Entering an old city is to me always fascinating. I can’t help to picture how it would have looked like in the old days. The wall was enormous, high and mighty. The city was clean, welcoming, delightful and full of bright stone built houses nicely renovated, there were nice shops everywhere and what stroke me was, that it opposite the old city area of Mostar, Dubrovnik was an ordinary city with butcher, bakery and so on, not just tourist traps like bars, restaurants and souvenir shops. 1VAL_2483 2VAL_2484 7VAL_2498

I walked around in the old town before I decided to mount the city wall which was supposed to be an intriguing walk. The view was stunning and the height of the highest point I found breathtaking, everywhere that I walked I was surrounded by beauty because the city was wonderful with its white clean house walls and orange roofs, but also the sea to one side and the mountain to the other made it all fantastically picturesque.

IMG_1093 IMG_1154 IMG_1163 IMG_1169 IMG_1179 IMG_1181 IMG_1180

Walking Around the Historic Center of Naples, Italy

Centro Historico: A labyrinth of history built in several layers of one period over the other and Naples prime tourist attraction. With excellent pizzerias, barouque churches, underground greco-roman ruins, famous streets like Spaccanapoli with shops selling traditional Neapolitan nativity figures, mozzarella, costumes and souvenirs and a vibrant night-life and atmosphere makes this free-of-charge living museum a must see among the must sees of Naples. (wikitravel)


2VAL_1333Wonderful narrow streets with lots of souvenir and other shops, small cafes and trattorias, small piazzas and architectural wonders all around, that’s Spaccanapoli. The cleanliness is not an attribute one can give to Naples in general, but if you have already been around the city, it’s tolerable.

IMG_2206Galleria Umberto A shopping passage from the 19th Century. Dating from around 1890 and designed by engineer Paolo Boubee, the Gallleria Umberto was originally the meeting point of the Neapolitan aristocracy. The structure is French inspired with beautifully decorated facades and is a triumph of iron and glass nearly 60 meters high from the dome seemingly supported by copper angles to the delicate colored marbled inlayed floor.

IMG_2213 IMG_2228 IMG_2269Pizza comes from Naples. Look for pizza margherita, the original one, with nothing more than fresh tomatoes, basil, fresh mozzarella and a little olive oil. Eating a pizza in Florence or in Rome is not the same as eating it in Naples! Here the dough is thicker (than in Rome, for example) and is a little chewy.


Trip to The Beautiful City of Venice

Venice is a beautiful city by anyone’s standards, with palazzos and churches resembling illustrations cut from a book of fairy tales, the city is such an enigma wrapped in a mystery that to have someone who knows the way around can open it up like no guidebook or, heaven help me, map. I have never in my life seen so many people gazing in complete incomprehension at maps, even turning them upside down doesn’t help. Venice resists easy navigation it’s part of its beauty and charm. To get immersed in the city, one has to get lost  in its labyrinthine streets.


View of the Grand Canal from the Rialto Bridge

This Valentine’s Day we traveled 3 hours from Roma to Venice via train. I have been to Venice before and it has never failed to amaze me in so many ways. The food, the architecture, the tiny alleyways and the arts.

We stayed at a hostel in Campo Santa Margherita, a block where most locals live and fairly nearby everywhere, the Venice Backpackers House, a very basic hostel and you can get a private room for 20EUR per person. It was chilly when we arrived. The rooms doesn’t have heaters but there are lots of thick blankets provided. Since we arrived early, we decided to explore around the nearby areas.

Just when you get out from the block where the hostel is, it’s time to get lost.


Carnivale masks, robot looking doorbells, and woodcarved goods are typical sights when you roam around the tiny streets.


Many famous people in history were born in Venice including the playwright and famous lover Giacomo Casanova, the explorer Marco Polo, and composer Antonio Vivaldi.


Venice can be compared to a one big adventure. Once you are caught in the winding and seemingly endless streets and bridges of confusion, you would have no other choice but to keep on walking— which is actually a good thing! There’s no better way to explore Venice than getting lost and be surprised in what it has to offer at your every turn.


Breaking away from the sea of tourists flocking at the city center in Piazza San Marco and heading for the narrowest alleyways is the greatest way to discover Venice! Don’t forget to bring a good map though.



Bicycles and scooters are not allowed in Venice, however anyone who owns a bike can leave it nearby the train station.


Campo Santa Margherita



Venice sits on an archipelago, which is basically a group of small islands. The city has 118 islands altogether.


The city was not actually built on the islets. Instead, its structures are supported by a series of wooden platforms. These platforms are secured by additional structures placed in the sea. Why did the Venetians do this? The lands themselves were not strong enough to support a regular building.






400 foot bridges and 170 boat canals connect the city to make it easily accessible to the local populace.




Gran Canale


Rialto Bridge


View of the Gran Canale from Rialto Bridge


The Rialto Bridge: One of the city bridges that have been around since ancient times.


The Pescaria (Fish section) and Erbaria (Vegetable and Fruit section) make up the whole of Rialto Market. This is the place to go if you want to see the local lifestyle or buy a newly-caught fish from the Adriatic Sea, garden-fresh vegetables, and colorful flowers in Venice. It is best to walk around Rialto Market early in the morning, when the crowds are thin.