Hamburg, Germany

Hamburg is a large port city in northern Germany, connected to the North Sea by the river Elbe (located 110 km from its mouth). It is the second largest city in the country after Berlin and its port, very important, is equipped with more than 70 km of docks. The city is crossed by hundreds of canals and it has large parks. The old town (Alstadt) and the new town (Neustadt) are connected by the Jungfernstieg boulevard. The Alster River forms an artificial lake in the heart of the city with two basins; the Binnenalster with the Town Hall, the luxury hotels, the Jungfernstieg quays, the smartest shops and the banks; and the Aussenalster with its nautical bases and spaces to walk around. It is a very touristy city with a beautiful architecture, several theaters and museums and a district dedicated to the nightlife, Sankt Pauli. The Saint-Michel Baroque church (18th century) is well known thanks to its bell tower (the highest in Germany) with dials with a perimeter exceeding 24 meters; its 132-meter tower has a panoramic platform overlooking the harbor and the city.

Tips

It is a very easy city to travel by public transport; metro, bus, RER and there is a large network of bike paths and a bike rental system.

A great way to get to know the city is in a boat tour; public transport in the city includes shuttles on the river.

If you like walks, visit the Jenischpark with its 42 acres of forest and the Blankenese neighborhood known for its narrow alleys and stairs.

If you’re traveling with kids, go to the zoo or botanical garden.

Schoelcher Library, Fort-de-France, Martinique

The Schoelcher Library, located in Fort-de-France in Martinique, is a public library. It is located at the corner of Liberté St. and Victor Sévère St., facing the north corner of Savane Square. Victor Schoelcher, deputy of Guadeloupe and Martinique (1848-1850) had a collection of 10,000 books and 250 musical scores but since he had no descendants, he left his collection to the General Council of Martinique under condition of create a public library. The building was built by Pierre Henri Picq. The building was built in the garden of the Tuileries in Paris and was first presented to the Parisians (1886-1887), before being dismantled and shipped by boat to Fort-de-France to be rebuilt. Unfortunately, most of the original books disappeared with a large fire in 1890. The library finally opened in 1893. The building, built on a square plan, has a large dome that illuminates the reading room. There is a mix of art nouveau, western classical and Egyptian art and some Byzantine influences. Names of great French writers decorate friezes. There is a very colorful mosaic exterior pediment.

Tips

If you visit Fort-de-France, it’s worth some time to see the library and its building.

If you are lucky, you will find exhibits on site.

Giardini-Naxos, Messina, Sicily, Italy

Giardini-Naxos is an Italian municipality in the metropolitan city of Messina in Sicily, located about 40 kilometers from Messina, about 39 kilometers from Catania and 9 kilometers from Taormina. The city is located on the Ionian Sea. This place was long ago the first Greek establishment in Sicily and had the name of Naxos. The city is very visited for its beautiful sandy beaches and tourism is the main source of income. We find hotel facilities and even apartments for rent throughout the summer period. You have a nice stroll for long walks, souvenir shops, bars, pizzerias and restaurants to have a good time by the sea. The center of the city is the Abbate Cacciola Square. To see: the Nike (the work of Carmelo Mendola representing the city and the twinning with the city of Chalkida Eubea); the church of St- Mary Recommended; the statue of Teocles (the founder of Naxos); the archaeological park; the port of Naxos, the church of St-Pancrace among other attractions.

Tips

If you are in Taormina, there is the bus that takes you to the seafront of Giardini Naxos.

There is also a small harbor, which is used to bring tourists from cruise ships to the mainland.

As you can imagine, this is the place to eat fresh fish dishes.