Estensi Gardens, Varese, Lombardy, Italy

The gardens of Estense Palace, more known as Estensi Gardens,  in Varese, are among the most beautiful in Northern Italy and constitute one of the main tourist attractions of the city. The gardens are located around the Estense Palace which was the summer residence of Francesco III d’Este, Duke of Modena and the Austrian Governor of Lombardy, Commander of the imperial troops in Italy. On the site where today stands the Estense Palace existed a villa, Thomas Orrigoni’ Villa; in 1765 the Duke Francesco bought it and had it restored to serve as a residence. The architect Giuseppe Antonio Bianchi made even the splendid garden. The gardens have a large tub that opens in the parterre in front of the Palace and several large flowerbeds, whose small shrubs and ornamental flowers are treated in detail. The presence of different reliefs, avenues, paths and lawns gives movement to the French-style garden. A symmetry axis, passing through the centre of the porch entrance, connects optically palace entrance-parterre-hill starting at a large outdoor area. Today this building has the Council’s offices of the city of Varese.

Tips

The garden is a landmark of the city and are open daily and the access is free.
Generally on Saturdays, the municipality celebrates weddings in the morning until noon so you can find more people than usual. If you go to take photos, it is better to choose a day other than Saturday or Sunday.
If you want to have the best view, climb all the stairs of the garden up top and you could also take photos of the building with the magnificent gardens and pre-Alpine mountains with the Lake of Varese. It’s really is beautiful landscape.

Nature Park ‘Bois de l’Île Bizard’, île Bizard, Ste-Geneviève, Montreal, Quebec

The Nature Park ‘Bois de l’Ile Bizard’ includes sugar maple trees, cedar groves and marshes. It has a magnificent view of the Lake of Two Mountains. This is a place where you can go walking and cycling but also in winter you can practice cross-country skiing (20km) or go snowshoeing (10km). There are several paths in this large star-shaped park; it even has a bridge that crosses the great swamp. You can see some animals like ducks, beavers, turtles, birds. In spring and fall, it’s a good place to watch migrating geese and other birds in the lake. In summer you can also enjoy swimming, canoeing, fishing or having a picnic (barbecue allowed).

Tips

If you want to walk around with your pet, in this park it’s possible.
In winter you have a snowshoe and ski rental on site.
The park is open all year long.

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Carlingford Lough, Ireland

Carlingford Lough is a glacial fjord or sea inlet that forms part of the border between Northern Ireland to the north and the Republic of Ireland to the south. County Down is on its northern shore backed by the Mourne Mountains and County Louth is on its southern shore. It is fed by the Newry River and the Newry Canal at its extreme interior angle. The area is half way between Dublin and Belfast and it’s a very popular tourist destination. Rambling, hillwalking and climbing are popular activities to do there. You can find hotels, B&Bs, self-catering holiday cottages, and campsites and of course local bars and small restaurants there where you can also have information about the festivals that take place and that are usually free. It is also an important bird area.

Tips

You can have very beautiful scenic drives there. You can also find forest parks and lots of trails and footpaths to walk.
Enjoy and take a cruise on one of several tour vessels that operate from Omeath, Warrenpoint and Carlingford (june, July, August).
Informal entertainment is widely available throughout the year in hotels and bars.

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