Stockholm is a wonderful Scandinavian city in Sweden. It is located on the eastern side of Sweden on the Baltic Sea. It is a big seaport city. Getting to and from the Stockholm Airport is easy and can be inexpensive. The Arlanda Express Train leaves from under the arrivals terminal and costs about $32. We took an express bus from the airport to the Central Train Statin for a fraction of that cost.
We stayed at the Scandic Upplandsgatan Hotel a short walk from the train Station. We ate a meal at the Polpette Italian Restaurant on the pedestrian walkway (Drottninggatan) near the Central Train Station. Things to see in Stockholm are:
- Old Town and Palace on Gamla Stan Island
- Hop-On-Hop-Off Red Bus Tour
- Kungstradgarten Shopping street
- Stureplan Trendy bars and cafes
- Vasa Museum with Viking ships
Come walk around Stockholm with us in this YouTube video:
Categories: Airplanes, Bars, Cafè, Church, Eating, Europe, Food, General Travel, Hop on Hop off Bus, Scandinavia, snow, Stockholm, Sweden, Trains, Viking, Walking, YouTube
Tags: Arlanda Express Train, Gama Stan, Kungstradgarten, Old Town, Palace, Scandinavia, Shopping, Stockholm, Stureplan, Sweden, Trendy Cafes & Bars, Vasa Museum, Viking ships
Getting to Europe is easy but can be expensive for most of us. See my tips on cheaper airfares. Once there, you need to move around between countries, between cities in a country and around a city. There are many ways to do this including:
- Metro (Subway)
- Car Services for hire)
- Motorcycles or Vespas
- Tour Busses (Hop on Hop Off)
Watch the YouTube video below for ideas on using these modes of transportation:
Categories: Airplanes, Amalfi Coast, BLOG, Boats, cars, Driving in Italy, Europe, Ferries, Funicular, General Travel, Italy, Italy BLOGs, Madrid, Metro Travel, Phones, Seville, Smart Phones, Spain, Trains, trams, Travel Guides, Traveling without a tour, Valporetti, Vaporetto, Venice, VLOG, Walking, Water Taxi, YouTube
Tags: Airplanes, Boats, Car Services, cars, Cars for Hire, Europe, Ferries, Funicular, Hop on Hop off Bus, Italy, Metro, Motorcycles, Spain, Subway, Tour Busses, Trains, trams, Transportation, Walking
Venice is one of the most unusual and beautiful cities in the world. Imagine a city but on Trees. These trees support the city over the lagoon. Venice has many touristy sites in Piazza San Marco that should be seen at least once. After you have done the tourist thing, go to the back paths of Venice. Explore, get lost, find new areas and enjoy the real Venice. There are many bridges and many of them have steps but it is worth the effort. Discover hidden churches, bars, restaurants, islands and markets. This is where the Venetians live.
Many bars serve Cicchetti, which is a form of Spanish Tapas unique to Venice. Some bars will give you free small plates with the purchase of a drink. Others will charge a small fee. This is a way to try several Venetian dishes and discover new favorite ones. This way of eating is cheaper than in the restaurants especially around Piazza San Marco.
Come watch the YouTube video below and walk with Rory and I around the touristy and back areas of Venice. We also go to Murano to see glass blowing and the Lido to walk around and see the beach. We missed the Venice Film Fare by a week, which is held on the Lido Island.
You get to these Islands and the Train Station & Airport vis vaporetto (Water Taxis).
Categories: Airplanes, Beach, BLOG, Bread, Cafè, Carnival, Cicchetti, Eating, Eating Italian, Flights, Food, General Travel, Glass Blowing, Godola, Grand Canal, Italian, Italy, Italy BLOGs, Lido, Murano, Pasta, Pastry, Piazza San Marco, Planning a vacation, Romance, Saint Mark's Badoge Palace, sea, Smart Phones, tapas, Traveling without a tour, Trottoria, Valporetti, Vaporetto, Venice, VLOG, Walking, Water Taxi, Wine, YouTube
Tags: Beach, Cicchetti, Doge Palace, Food, Italian, Italian cuisine, Italian people, Lido, Murano, No Tour Touring, Piazza San Marco, Romance, Saint Mark's Basilica, Tourism, Trains, Travel, Travel and Tourism, Vaporetto, Venice, Water Taxi, Wine
This is a summary of out trip to Spain and Italy and gives details on how we planned the trip. Rory and I travelled to Madrid, Seville, Barcelona, Venice and Rome. How did we plan this trip? How many days do you need in each place? How do you get from one city to the next?
these questions and more are answered in the YouTube video below:
Categories: Air Fares, Airplanes, an Museum, Architecture, B&Bs, Barcelona, Bars, Beaches, BLOG, Bocca della Verità, Cafè, Eating, Europe, Flights, Food, Funicular, Gelato, General Travel, Hotels, Italian, Italy, Itinerary, Madrid, Metro Travel, Museums, Orvieto, Pasta, Pizza, Planning a vacation, Romance, Rome, Saint Peter's Basilica, Seville, Sistine Chapel, Spain, Spanish Steps, The holidays in Europe, Towns, Trains, Traveling without a tour, Trevi Fountain, Vatican, Vatican City, Vatican Museum, Villa Borghese, VLOG, Wine
Tags: Barcelona, Madrid, Rome, Seville, Spain, Venice
Planning a trip to Europe can be expensive and frustrating. In this video I give ideas for saving money, planning and creating a trip that will be fun and memorable. Don’t spend your time running around a city and traveling between cities. Enjoy life in Europe. Be a European while you are there. Make contact with locals, communicate, observe life around you. Enjoy the museums and sites but also savor the food and wine. Watch the Europeans around you. How do they live their lives?
The video below will help you plan a memorable and rewarding trip to Europe. Buon Viaggio…
Categories: Air Fares, Airplanes, Bars, BLOG, Cafè, cornetto, Eating, Espresso, Europe, Fish, Flights, Food, Gelato, General Travel, Hotels, Italian, Italy, Italy BLOGs, Itinerary, Metro Travel, Money, Mountain Towns, Museums, Panini, snow, The holidays in Europe, Tour Groups, Towns, Trains, Traveling without a tour, VLOG, Weather in Europe, Wine, YouTube
The two highest costs you will encounter are: 1) Airfare and 2) Hotel costs. These two items can be lowered with a little work on your part. Here is how:
Lowering the cost of hotels:
Let me know in the comments below if you have other tricks…
Categories: Air Fares, Airplanes, B&Bs, Bars, Euro, Europe, General Travel, Hotels, Italy, Italy BLOGs, Money, Pastry, Planning a vacation, Renting a place in Europe, resorts, Small Towns, Towns, Traveling without a tour, Villas, VLOG, YouTube
Tags: Airfares, Hotels, Italian people, No Tour Touring, Tourism, Travel, Travel and Tourism
The cost of flying to Italy or anywhere is often your largest expense. Airfares have been on the rise and baggage and seats are costing even more on top of airfares. There are some tricks to manage these costs and we talk about them in this video.
Lets list some ideas to help manage airfares:
- Use Hopper app to predict when airfares will rise and fall
- Use other travel apps like TripAdvisor, Orbitz and airline apps to compare prices
- If you are using miles to pay for your trip, get your ticket early (11 months prior to flight)
- If you are using travel cards like Capital One Venture our cash to pay for your airfare, use techniques above to predict when to buy.
Then sit back and enjoy your trip. Watch my VLOG on airfares:
– George Febish
Categories: Air Fares, Airplanes, Dollars, Europe, Flights, General Travel, Italian, Italy, Italy BLOGs, Traveling without a tour, VLOG, YouTube
Tags: Airfares, Italian, Italy, No Tour Touring, price of travel, Tourism, Travel, Travel and Tourism
We recently went to Italy to spend a relaxing time at our condo in southern Campania. Normally we take an extra week and travel to some other area of Italy but this time we just wanted to relax at the beach and enjoy Italy. This is a story about our local area, the people and the food. It is also a story about how Hurricane Irma caused us to have the longest trip home ever.
Watch the video VLOG below and follow us through this interesting trip to the mezzogiorno:
Categories: Airplanes, Autostrada, Beach Resorts, Beaches, Benvenuto al Sud, Blue Flag Beaches, Buffalo Mozzarella, Casal Velino, Casal Velino Marina, Dolce, Driving in Italy, Eating, Eating Italian, Espresso, Europe, Fish, Food, Gelato, General Travel, Italy, Italy BLOGs, Planning a vacation, resorts, Ristorante, Romance, sea, Southern Italy, Traveling without a tour, Tyrrhenian Sea, VLOG, Walking, WiFi, Wine, YouTube
Tags: Campania, Food, Gelato, Italian, Italian people, Italy, No Tour Touring, Romance, Travel, Travel and Tourism, Wine
All good things come to an end. It is your last day in Italy. Most large cities have several ways to get to the airport. Listed in order from least expensive to most:
- Hotel shuttle – Many hotels have a shuttle bus to the airport.
- Train – You can usually find a train to the airport. In Rome for example you can take a Metro (subway) or taxi from your hotel to the train station. Then there is a special train to the airport. In Rome it takes you right into the parking structure where the rental cars are. It is a short walk to the terminals.
- Driver and Car service – Hire a driver to take you from your hotel to the airport. In Rome there are several of these services.
- Taxi – Take a taxi from your hotel to the airport.
We did not include a car since you really don’t want a car in most Italian large cities. The streets are crazy, you need a special permit to enter the old town areas and it is expensive to park.
At the airport you have time and look at all the stores. These are usually very expensive stores but fun to look at. Then you see Duty Free Shopping. I am amazed at how many people get duped into duty-free buying. Duty free doesn’t mean cheapest it just means no duty (tax). We find that wines and liquor at duty-free is 20-30% higher than our tax-free store, Total Wines, in Delaware. Duty on these products is nowhere near that high.
Buy your gifts in town at small inexpensive non tourist places and wait to buy your alcohol at home. The only exception is if you find something you can not get at home or if it is a local product and much cheaper than home. Never buy it at duty-free.
Remember if there is any possibility of a trip back to Europe, DO NOT EXCHANGE YOUR EUROS BACK TO DOLLARS! Save your money for the next trip.
Board your plane and relax. You are on your way home! Yes it is depressing to leave Italy but you will be back. Italy has a pull on us. It makes us want to return. It forces us to eat well and be romantic. It slows us down … If we allow it.
Tomorrow is the last in this series. We will talk about cultural shock of coming home!
George & Jo Anne
Categories: Airplanes, Duty-Free, Euro, Europe, Italy, Metro Travel, Parking Garage, Taxi, Trains
Tags: Duty-free, Italian people, Italy, No Tour Touring, Romance, Rome, Travel, Travel and Tourism
Your big day has finally come. You are going to Italy! Get to the airport early. We like to stop at Vino Volo after we get through security. We have a flight of wine (4 different glasses with about an ounce of wine each or one regular glass of wine). We also order some appetizers to go with the wine. For us this is the official start of our vacation.
We board the airplane early to ensure we get overhead space. The flight from Philadelphia to Rome is always full. We normally took US Airlines but they merged with American and they are one airline under the American name now. The planes are all newly painted with the new American logos. The plane is an airbus A330-300 – wide body. The non-stop flight is American 718 going to Rome and 719 returning. The 718 flight leaves Philadelphia at 6:25 pm and arrives in Rome the next day at 9:10 am. Coming home we leave Rome at 11:55 am and arrive in Philadelphia at 3:45 pm the same day.
The overnight flight going is mostly in darkness. After the meal service they turn off the cabin lights and you can sleep. If you don’t sleep onboard, you can watch movies or play games on your personal monitor in the back of the seat in front of you. You can also read. The flight goes fast if you can catch 2-3 hours sleep. Before landing you see the sun rise over Europe and a small breakfast service is given. The return flight has a lunch service and a snack before landing in Philly. It is in sun-light all the way so you can easily stay awake. We watch 3 movies to pass the time.
Arriving in Italy you are tired and your body is confused. After all it is 3:10 am back in Philly. We rent a car and drive to our first destination. We will stop on the Autostrada for a Panini (sandwich). This helps adjust your body to the new time zone. It is VERY important to not nap during the day! If you do you will wake-up in the middle of the night and be starving. Force yourself to stay awake and tour. Find something interesting to do. Have dinner and don’t go to bed before 8 pm. You will crash and sleep like a baby. When you wake up the next day you will be fully on Italy time.
Returning is easier since it is in daylight all the way. You arrive at 3:45 pm and by the time you get home it is after 5 pm (11 pm Italy time). Have some dinner to help adjust the time zone and go to bed around 8 pm. You will again wake-up on the correct time zone.
Arriving in Italy you have your adrenaline going, you are excited to start your vacation. Italy is a safe country. Violent crime is very low (even in the big cities). There are pickpockets so beware of who is around you. George puts his wallet and phone in front pockets. Jo Anne puts her purse straps over her head. Don’t stress about it! You are here to enjoy yourself and be romantic.
George & Jo Anne
Categories: Airplanes, Auto Grills, Autostrada, Europe, Flights, General Travel, Italy, Panini, Romance, Rome, Wine
Tags: Flights, Food, Italian, Italian people, Italy, No Tour Touring, Panini, Romance, Rome, Tourism, Travel, Travel and Tourism, Wine