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Travel Guide

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InterRail A unique opportunity for adventure



Miranda Richardson the actress, on relishing wildlife in South America, glamour in Venice and a muddy bar in Somerset.


Main article

What is Cheap at Italy? Rented apartment in Florence. Bounces back to Verona, Venice, Pisa, Roma and Pompei.

11 Culture

The “Bayerisch”way of Life Explore the culture and the places of one of the biggest state of Germany.

13 Opinion

Travel Memory It’s 5am and…

On the Road!


A unique opportunity for adventure

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InterRail is a ticket with which young people can benefit from, travelling through Europe in Coach Class - an opportunity to go on a unique adventure you’ll never forget!


What is Interrail? The Interrail ticket allows you to get everywhere within Europe, and even getting certain trips at very special prices, if it is your intention to travel also in other means of transportation besides the train. You can choose between 2 weeks-duration tickets and 1 month, within the 5 zones of Europe - or 8 zones with the “global ticket” -, and the prices vary accordingly - but have in mind it allows you also to get several discounts in facilities such as Youth Hostels, Museums, Cinemas, Special events and much much more!

InterRail’s 40th Anniversary It was just last year that the InterRail initiative celebrated 40 years, and already more than 8 millionpeople used it to travel all across Europe by train. The ticket, made available in 1972, was said to attract so many travelers to the idea of travelling around Europe for a rather small budget that the entities responsible for their commercialization registered 87.620 thousand tickets sold, different by 152 thousand comparing to 2011 sails. The biggest year for InterRail in Europe was 1991: 402.150 thousand tickets sold! The same data available also mention that Germans, Swedish and Swiss are the Europeans who best take advantage of this opportunity – always young people before they turn 26 years of age, although today it’s available for people of all ages for 30 countries all over Europe.

“I definitely want to do it again!” Vicky Robinson planned to go interrailing for 1 month and discover the magic of Europe. Starting with the Eurostar to Paris and hopping from one

Tower eifel Paris

train to another, she visited France, Belgium, the Netherlands, Germany, Switzerland, Italy and Greece. An adventure she will never forget! Vicky travelled with a 2nd class youth InterRail Global Pass, valid for 1 month, costing her €399. This pass can be used for train travel in 30 participating countries. “I met some great people and had some great experiences. I definitely want to do it again!”

Discovering Europe’s major cities Having spent most of her gap year travelling in Asia and Australia, Vicky decided it was time to discoverdestinations closer to home. “I wanted to visit Europe’s well-known major cities, such as Paris,Amsterdam, Milan and Rome and see some of the classic sights. “It soon became clear that interrailing was the ideal way to get around”, Vicky says. “With one pass I could jump straight onto most trains (some trains require a reservation or supplement) and, although I had a rough idea of where I wanted to get to, I had the freedom to be spontaneous. I was given some information on InterRail, including the InterRail trend guide which listed loads of festivals and events going on across Europe, so I tried to plan my route and timing around this, as well as stopping off at the cities I wanted to see”.




Miranda Richardson

Miranda Richardson, the actress, on relishing wildlife in South America, glamour in Venice and a muddy bar in Somerset. One of Britain’s busiest actresses. She has frequently appeared on stage, on television (memorably in Blackadder) and in more than 50 films – from Dance with a Stranger, The Crying Game and Damage to The Young Victoria. Twice nominated for an Oscar, she is the winner of two Golden Globe awards and a Bafta. She lives in London. How often do you travel? For years, I never knowingly went on a holiday. When I travelled, it was for work. Now I am a huge advocate, particularly to places which have amazing wildlife, such as Antarctica, India and Patagonia.


Your most recent trip? To the Galapagos and a bit of Ecuador – both of which were wonderful. We were particularly privileged as we went on a boat called the Eclipse, which could accommodate 48 but there were only 24 of us, in lovely cabins. The wildlife was incredible: marine iguanas, frigate birds, sea lions and phenomenal mocking birds. Nothing there is fearful, so it is like being in Eden. It makes you feel like a child again, it’s so overwhelmingly terrific.

Do you listen to music when you travel? I carry music in my head, so I don’t need more. It drives me nuts that, in hotels or on boats, people seem to think you need music 24 hours a day.

What sort of holiday makes you happiest? I’m not someone who can lie on a beach and do nothing. I am not sure what you are supposed to do, so I get bored. I prefer to have a purpose, such as going to Alaska to see orca whales.

Travelling moments you won’t forget? Getting close enough to elephants to look into their eyes. To look right into the eye of any animal is extraordinary – elephant, tortoise, sea lion, whatever.

Your most challenging holiday? A charity dog-sled trip in Arctic Norway. It felt very, very elemental and also romantic, in a perverse way. With the dogs howling, it was like a mad point-to-point, but conducted over the most beautiful, pure white snow. Our reward was seeing this twisting green streak lighting up the sky: the Northern Lights. Truly astonishing.

Favourite restaurants? Remi, a Venetian restaurant in New York. One night I went in and said, “I don’t want much, but I want something delicious”, and they gave me soft polenta with an egg and white truffle. Heaven.


coliseum Rome

Roma Colosseum Obelisk Salustiano St. Peter’s Basilica Tem of Saturn Temple of Apollo Sosiano Castel Sant’Angelo Arch Constantine Temple of Hadrian Basilica of Constantine Imp al Palaces of the Palatine Baths of Caracalla Gelato Venez Mark’s Basilica Rialto Bridge Canals of Venice Ducal Palac Palazzo Contarini del Bovolo Palazzo Grassi Palace C’ado Bridge of Sighs Campo San Polo Rialto Market Teatro La F ice Academy Gallery Florence Florence Cathedral Old Pala Uffizi Pitti Palazzo Strozzi Palazzo Vecchio Bridge Basilica Santa Maria Novella in Florence Historic Centre Piazza de Signoria National Museum of San Marcos Piazza della Rep blica Galería de la Academia de Florence Duomo Santa Ma del Fiore Pisa What Historic Centre Pisa Tower of Pisa Square isofCheap Miracles Duomo Building Clock Source Putti Praetorian Pa

IN Italy?

Rented apartment in Florence. Bounces back to Verona, Venice, Pisa, Roma and Pompei.

Main article

Roman amphitheaters Verona

Verona Romantic and yet available, Verona walks outdoors. Second largest city in Veneto, and home to the second largest Roman ruins in Italy, Verona was made for walking.


Verona is one of Italy’s most popular travel cities. Located between Milan and Venice, Verona is known as the city of Romeo and Juliet and for its Roman Arena but there are many attractions to see in Verona. You’ll find some of them on this Verona Map and in our Verona Photo Album. To find a place to stay in Verona, check these Verona top rated hotels. I’ve listed these Verona attractions in the order I recommend for a visit, but you can also do it in reverse starting in Piazza Bra. To save money on tickets to attractions and museums, buy a Verona Card. Piazza delle Erbe is a good place to start a visit to Verona. Originally the Roman Forum, the rectangular piazza is in the heart of Verona’s historic center and is surrounded by beautiful medieval buildings and towers. In the center is a 14th century fountain with a Roman statue.

What is Cheap at Italy?

Roman amphitheaters Verona

Although once filled with market stalls, today the stalls mostly sell souvenirs. Several cafes where you can have a coffee in the morning or a glass of wine to end the day are along one side of the piazza. From Piazza delle Erbe walk through Arco della Costa, an arch with a whale rib hanging from it, into Piazza dei Signori, a small square surrounded by monumental buildings. In the center is a statue of Dante and perched atop buildings around the square are more famous signori. This square was once the seat of the city’s public institutions and you’ll see the Palazzo del Capitanio with its tower, the 15th century Loggia del Consiglio that was the town hall, and the 14th century Palazzo della Prefettura, formerly the Palazzo del Governo that was a residence of the Scaligeri family. Lamberti Tower, Torre dei Lamberti, is a good

Roman amphitheaters Verona

place to get an overview of Verona. Climb the stairs to the top (or pay an extra euro to take the elevator most of the way) and you’ll have fantastic views of the city and beyond. The medieval bell tower was started in the 12th century and was raised a few times after that until it reached its final height of 84 meters. It’s just off Piazza delle Erbe (you can see it towering above the square), near the Palazzo della Ragione. See Pictures of Verona from Lamberti Tower on Europe Travel. Verona’s most popular site is the balcony said to be Juliet’s in Romeo and Juliet. The house said to be Juliet’s house is in a courtyard off Via Capello. You can see the balcony and the bronze statue of Juliet for free (you can also rub Juliet’s breast for good luck). The 13th century house is a good example of Gothic architecture and inside is a museum with period furniture.



Located in the heart of Italy, this wonderful city is famous for the landscape, gondolas and carnival mask’s Gondola Venice

What is Cheap at Italy?

Mask store venice

Old bridge venice

Venice is one of Italy’s top travel cities and a beautiful, romantic destination with many attractions. Its small, traffic-free streets along the winding canals make for great walking. You’ll find many magnificent churches and palaces, lively squares, and interesting shops. Venice actually consists of 117 bodies of land connected by more than 400 bridges over its 150 canals. The Grand Canal is like main street, cutting through the center of the city. Venice is in on northeast coast of Italy. It is protected from the Adriatic Sea by a strip of land called the Lido. The region around Venice is called the Veneto. (see Veneto Map) Since it’s near the sea, Venice has moderate weather although there can be rain nearly yearround. Summers are humid and winters can be foggy and wet. To avoid the large crowds, spring and fall are the best seasons to visit. Venice experiences flooding or aqua alta about 60 days a year, October through early January (more). For more weather details, average daily temperatures and rainfall month by month, see: Venice Italy Weather. The best way to arrive in Venice is by train at the Santa Lucia Train Station on the northwestern edge of the city. The bus terminal and parking garages are nearby but across the Grand Canal in Piazzale Roma. Venice has a small airport, the Marco Polo airport. The main public transport in Venice are the vaporetti, boats that ply the principal waterways. The #1 goes along the Grand Canal from the train station and makes many stops, so its a good way to cruise the main canal and get a good overview of the city. There are also more expensive water taxis and gondolas. See vaporetto information and fares for more about Venice’s public transportation on the water.


Basilica of Saint Mary of the Flower Florence

Florence The heaven to artists, Florence is one of the best place for this kind of tourist. Many museums and italians churchs make this city totaly Amazing.

What is Cheap at Italy?

Old Palace Florence

Florence’s museums, palaces, and churches house some of the greatest artistic treasures in the world. The most popular and important sites in Florence include the Cathedral, the Baptistery, the Uffizi, the Bargello, and the Accademia. The churches of Santa Maria Novella and Santa Croce are veritable art galleries, and the library of San Lorenzo is a magnificent exhibition of Michelangelo’s architectural genius. Wander some of the oldest streets in the city until you reach the Arno River, cross the Ponte Vecchio, and experience the “newest” area of Florence, the Oltrarno. Be sure to set aside time to see the vast and varied art collection housed in the Pitti Palace. When you grow weary of museums and monuments, head outdoors. Spend a day at the Boboli Gardens or climb the hill to the church of San Miniato al Monte to experience an enchanting view of Florence.

In Florence, for the last couple of years the city has organized musical concerts in several of the main piazzas in town, each with a different style of music. The one most of the younger crowd is looking forward to is the concert by the Italian group Subsonica which will start soon after midnight in Piazza Stazione. Here music starts around 9.30pm, first with the Passogigante and then with the Blue Popsicle groups. There are still a few more days where visitors to the Palatine Gallery, Modern Art and Silver Museum at the Palazzo Pitti and at the Medici Villa della Petraia will have the opportunity to study a famous work of art “up close” with an expert.


Rome In this city the past and present never cease to amaze

coliseum Rome

What is Cheap at Italy?

Classical statue Rome

The Trevi Fountain Rome

Italy’s capital is one of the great cities of Europe. It’s a large, busy metropolis that lives in the here and now, yet there’s no other place on earth where you’ll encounter such powerful evocations of a long and spectacular past, from the Colosseum to St. Peter’s. Indeed, more than Florence, more than Venice, Rome is Italy’s treasure storehouse. Here, the ancient Romans originated what we now call Western Civilization; centuries later Michelangelo painted the Sistine Ceiling, Bernini sculpted baroque nymphs and naiads that still dance in marble fountains, and Fellini filmed La Dolce Vita. Today, ancient Rome rubs shoulders with the medieval, the modern runs into the Renaissance, and the result is the world’s finest open-air museum. Are there ways to beat the big ticket lines at the Colosseum? Yes and no. First off, if you go to the Roman Forum, a couple of hundred yards down Via dei Fori Imperiali on your left, or to the Palatine, down Via di San Gregorio, the €12 ticket you purchase there includes admission to the Colosseum and, even better, lets you jump to the head of the looooooong line. Another way is to buy the Romapass (www.romapass. it) ticket—the Colosseo is covered and you get booted to the front of the line. Or you can book a ticket in advance through (small surcharge)—the main ticket reservation service for many Italian cultural sights. Finally, you can book another tour online with a company (do your research to make sure it’s reputable) that lets you “skip the line.” No matter what, however, avoid the tours that are being sold on-the-spot right around the Colosseum, including on the piazza and just outside of the metro. It’s all part of a fairly disreputable system that goes on both there and at the Vatican.



neuschwastein castle Rome

The “Bayerisch” way of Life

Explore the culture and the places of one of the biggest states of Germany


Rathaus Munich

Bavaria is Germany’s largest state and is located in the southern region of the country

Bavaria is Germany’s largest state and is located in the southern region of the country. There are resorts, hotels and private rentals located throughout the state. The first step is to decide which areas you most want to visit and plan an itinerary. Then you can begin to decide on accommodations. A variety of options are available from hotels more affordable to more expensive resorts. Hotels and other information can be found and booked online.

Hotels and restaurants

nussknacker Weihnachtmarkt


Bavaria is home to big cities like Munich and many smaller towns also resort. There is a range of accommodation and vacation opportunities throughout the state. Smaller towns such as Prien, are smaller than Munich, but still offer plenty to do. Hotels, shops and restaurants are

The “Bayerisch� way of Life

all in walking distance from the train station. The same is true for Munich. In many resorts, bus services are offered to and from the resort around play. If you plan on staying at the resort and use the bus service, you may not need to rent a vehicle during your stay. If you want to branch out and explore more of the surrounding areas of the region, or if you just want the freedom to go on your schedule, you may want to rent a car. There are thousands of restaurants throughout Bavaria for dinner. Schweinsbraten is a common food in most places. This is a roast pork with dumplings and gravy. Fresh fish, such as trout and salmon are common foods in the area and is served in most restaurants. Bavaria is home to many breweries that serve traditional German cuisine with a variety of local beers.

Castle in Bavaria Bavaria is home to some castles you can explore. These were built by King Ludwig II. The castle is ornate and resembles Versailles in Paris. The castle and gardens are open for tourism. The areas around the Castle Herrenchiemsee have many activities such as swimming, fishing, hiking, biking, canoeing and windsurfing.Herrenchiemsee Castle intended to be a replica of Versailles. It has manicured gardens, elaborate decorations and a hall of mirrors. The original plan was seventy rooms but was never finished. There are twenty rooms at the end of the castle. Ludwig was declared mentally unfit to rule and was removed from the throne before his plans could be realized.Bavarian Forest Zoo has more than 300 native animals in a natural environment. You will see elk, bison, waterfowl, raptors, owls, wild cats, deer, otters, badgers, cranes and fish at the zoo. A main focus is to protect endangered species, research and preserve the natural habitat of the animals.

Rathaus Augsburg

rose garden bamberg



Travel Memory: It’s 5am and… by Andrea Proença*

It’s been an intense summer. And despite living just a few blocks from Lake Ontario, I have barely had the time to visit it. This evening I went. I went to regroup. And I found myself tracing my morning routine at the Anand Prakash Yoga Ashram in Rishikesh, India where I stayed almost 8 months ago. At times of stress we are told to take ourselves mentally to a favorite spot. A beach is

“I go in the building. I see no one. I walk down the long hall listening to the sound of my feet on the stone floor. “ often suggested. Go some place soothing. This evening, I went to the ashram. Escape and relax with a travel memory. It’s 5:10 a.m. and I am awake before my alarm. I lie quietly for a few minutes then reach over for my phone and turn it off completely. Total silence is observed until 8:30 at the ashram – even the vibration of a phone would be an intrusion. It’s cold. I had no idea that India was so cold in January. I lift off the covers which I had doubled for warmth, take off my sweater coat which I slept in and strip down for a very fast shower. Dressing quickly, I leave my room closing the door after me, locking it with the padlock provided. Entrance to the Ashram Down one flight of stairs I pass through the lobby where the young man charged with watching over the inn is sleeping on the couch. Out the gate I look up the street – three, maybe four wild

dogs. I cross the street and lift the iron latch to another gate, this one protecting the side entrance of the ashram. I go in the building. I see no one. I walk down the long hall listening to the sound of my feet on the stone floor. At the stairs I turn left and go up two flights. I’m early. Class doesn’t start until 6 a.m. but I like to be there at least 15 minutes ahead to find a comfortable spot, settle in and meditate. I leave my sandals outside the door, step into a sunroom and select a mat, then go into the beautiful yoga studio. It’s a large room with wooden floors and windows on four sides looking out over Rishikesh on some sides and with views of the Himalayan foothills on others. Everyone leaves their Shoes outside of yoga studio. With my mat under my arm, I select two flat pillows from the pile, a bolster and a strap. Looking around I see a few people already there, meditating. I find a spot towards the back of the room, lay out my mat, pile one pillow on top of the other and sit cross-legged, hands resting on my knees, index fingers to thumbs. I look into my third eye and meditate. At least I try. It doesn’t come naturally as my mind flits very easily. But I do try and it feels good. As time passes I hear movement around me. Others arriving. There will be at least 40 people in the class by the time it starts. And then the voice of Yogi Vishvketu . First the breathing. Then waking the spine. Then stretches that strengthen. One and three quarter hours of blissful yoga. Thank you, thank you! Thank you for a travel memory so vivid I can go back there in my mind. * Andrea Proença is a writer, poet and multimedia designer.

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