Flights

Venice, Italy

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).

Ciao,
George

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: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Really Cheap Airfares

Is the cost of airfares to Europe, Asia, China, Hawaii, South America getting you down? Would you travel more if you could find cheaper fares? Watch this video on a site that can deliver really cheap airfares:

-George

Categories: Air Fares, Asia, BLOG, Carribbean, China, Europe, Flights, General Travel, Hawaii, South America, The holidays in Europe, Travel Guides, Traveling without a tour, USA, VLOG, YouTube | Tags: , , , , , | Leave a comment

Spain and Italy

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:

Ciao,

 

George

 

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: , , , , , | Leave a comment

How I Plan a Trip to Europe

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…

Ciao,

George

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 | Leave a comment

Italy Airfares

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:

  1. Use Hopper app to predict when airfares will rise and fall
  2. Use other travel apps like TripAdvisor, Orbitz and airline apps to compare prices
  3. If you are using miles to pay for your trip, get your ticket early (11 months prior to flight)
  4. 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: , , , , , , , | 6 Comments

Why I love Italy

This is a different VLOG for me. In this one I talk about the reasons I love Italy and give tips to both first time travelers to Italy well as experienced Italian travelers.

The video covers several sections:

  • Why I love Italy
  • Top Reasons I love Italy
  • Museums
  • What to do in Italy
  • Finding Places to Eat
  • The Metro (Subway)
  • Time to go
  • Hotels
  • Currency (Euros)
  • Airfares
  • Hopper App
  • Driving in Italy
  • Put Italy on your Bucket List

If Italy is not on your bucket list, it should be. Watch the video below and see why so many people love and go to Italy.

– George

Categories: Air Fares, Autostrada, Beach Resorts, Beaches, BLOG, Church, Cooking, Dolce, Dolce far niente, Driving in Italy, Duomo, Eating, Eating Italian, Espresso, Europe, Exchange Rates, Ferries, Flights, Food, Gelato, General Travel, Italian Facts, Italian language, Italy, Italy BLOGs, Metro Travel, Money, Museums, Parking Garage, Parking Meters, Passegiata, Pasta, Pastry, Pizza, Planning a vacation, Romance, Shopping, Small Towns, Towns, Trains, Travel Guides, Traveling without a tour, VLOG, Walking, Weather in Europe, Wine, YouTube | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

How is your attitude for traveling?

I have met some able-bodied souls that just don’t want to leave their area, their comfort zone. As they age it gets worse. Soon they don’t want to leave their homes. They could be enjoying life so much more. This was brought home to us on our return trip from Rome to Philadelphia on American Airlines.

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We noticed the two seats in front of us were open. These flights never have open seats. Soon, just before the doors closed, two Italian workers carried a man in his wheelchair up the stairs and into the plane. The man and his wife were our seat neighbors. He couldn’t even move himself into the seat from the wheelchair. The two men lifted him and arranged him in his seat.

As they prepared to close the plane door, Jo Anne jokingly said “Can I get off, I want to stay here in Italy.” The handicapped man said “Me too.” Later we found out they travel each year. Many of their trips were to Italy. The wife admitted that the trips were getting harder and harder but he loved them so much. Here was a man who had every reason to stay at home but decided to live life instead. Are you living your life?

Everyone has hardships, some harder than others but they don’t have to stop you from living. If seeing Italy is a dream of yours, DO IT!

– George

 

Categories: Europe, Flights, Italy, Traveling without a tour | Tags: , , , , , , | 4 Comments

How to enjoy Italy Fully

Italy is a place most people love. They may like the big cities, the smaller villages, the towns their ancestors came from, the museums, the food, the wine or the people. I love it all. Italy is a special place. This is why I BLOG about it.

Italian Wine Regions

For my wife, Jo Anne, and I; we don’t believe in tours. We enjoy getting out with the Italians and seeing and tasting the real Italy. We plan trips to big cities so that we see all the important things but the smaller villages are often a spontaneous choice. We may be driving on the autostrada and see an interesting town high on a cliff side. We get off, use our GPS to locate the town and go explore it. We usually stop at a bar first for a coffee and maybe a pastry. These small villages are not hard to navigate but many do have a lot of stairs. Remember where you parked your car or use one of the many apps to find it.

Pisciotta D-Positano aea D-Positano fg San Marino bari_seaview Beaches near Rome 2 IMG_1839 IMG_3211

We also enjoy small European hotels but do pay for a private bath. These hotels are often run by a family that is friendly and helpful. We never stay at the large American resort hotels. They are expensive and the food is not real Italian. We try to eat where the Italians eat. We get local recommendations or find places on our walks. We never eat in touristy places. The food there is horrible. Most larger cities have discount tickets for the major museums and sites. If you are spending a few days, this can save you money but more importantly bypasses the long lines waiting to get in.

Lastly, explore your flight options to Italy carefully. Some flights with several stops appear to be very cheap. Each stop adds time to an already long trip and wears heavily on your body. Some of these flights go way out of your way adding double the flight time. One I saw was from Philadelphia to Rome. It went to Chicago and then to Moscow and finally back to Rome. Why?

American Airlines

George

 

Categories: Air Fares, Bars, City Passes, Coffee, Eating, Eating Italian, Europe, Flights, Food, General Travel, GPS, Italian, Italy, Mountain Towns, Planning a vacation, Regions of Italy, Romance, Small Towns, Stairs, Tour Groups, Travel Guides, Traveling without a tour | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

How to Plan a Trip to Italy – Part 11

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.

Vino Volo

Vino Volo

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.

American Airlines

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.

Italian Flag

George & Jo Anne

 

Categories: Airplanes, Auto Grills, Autostrada, Europe, Flights, General Travel, Italy, Panini, Romance, Rome, Wine | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Getting to the famous Amalfi Coast

Positano

Positano (Photo credit: jimmyharris)

The Amalfi Coast in Italy is a famous place to the well-travelled tourist. It is just south of Naples and Pompeii. It includes Sorrento, Positano, Amalfi and Salerno. Capri is an Island off the coast of Sorrento. There are also many smaller towns worth seeing like Ravello. How does one get to this area that is sandwiched between a very high mountain and the sea? There are no trains here (except the end towns of Sorrento and Salerno). There is one road, the Amalfi Coast Highway. It is not a highway but a two lane road that on some curves goes down to 1-1/2 lanes. Busses always have the right of way. If you can not get by a bus, you must back up to allow the bus passage.

Getting to the Amalfi Coast can be confusing and difficult. Here are several ways and comments on each:

  1. Plane – Fly into Naples and take one of the transportations below. You can also fly into Rome and take a train or private car to Naples.
  2. Car – Driving is easy but when you get to places like Positano a car is useless. It is expensive to just park it for a week or longer. It is great to visit some of the smaller towns along this coast.
  3. Taxi or Car Service – Taxis are very expensive but there are private reliable car services that will take you in a nice car to your destination. You have a private driver and get door to door service. These services also leave from Rome. They can be expensive but are very convenient.
  4. Shuttle Bus – There is a shuttle bus from Naples airport that can take you to cities along the Amalfi Coast. Shuttle service one way each to Positano is about 35 Euros from Positano Shuttle Service.
  5. Ferry ServiceThere are numerous slow & fast ferries (hydrofoils) from Naples port to Capri, Sorrento, Positano, and Amalfi. The ferry is the best option, in our opinion, to move from town to town along this coast.
  6. Trains – You can take a train from Rome to Naples, Sorrento or Salerno. There are NO trains that reach the Amalfi Coast directly. The mountains prevent easy access.
  7. Bus – There is a bus that runs from Sorrento to Salerno and back. It stops at each town along the way. In the summer this bus is crowded and can take a long time because of traffic. It is the cheapest way to move around this coast. There is another bus that runs from Amalfi up the mountain to Ravello and back. You can also take a taxi.

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                                         Capri                                                          Sorrento

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                          View of Positano                                                         Amalfi

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View from Ravello

If you are going to Positano there is a great hotel on the main road through Positano called Villa Delle Palme. All rooms have a sea view. Enjoy your trip however you get there. Once at a city on the Amalfi Coast, you can take bus or ferries between the various cities. They tend to get very crowded in the summer especially August. These cities are small and are perfect for walking. around. There can be a lot of hills or stairs (as in Positano). Wear comfortable walking shoes. If you get tired stop in a bar for a drink and refreshments. Move slowly, be romantic and enjoy this part of Italy. Be Italian!

George & Jo Anne

Categories: Amalfi, Amalfi Coast, Bars, Campania, Capri, Driving in Italy, Europe, Ferries, Flights, General Travel, Italy, Naples, Pompeii, Positano, Ravello, Romance, Rome, Salerno, Small Towns, Sorrento, Southern Italy, Trains, Traveling without a tour | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 6 Comments

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