Amsterdam, Netherland

Amsterdam is the most populous municipality and the capital of the Kingdom of the Netherlands, although as the seat of Government, as well as most of the diplomatic institutions of the country are in the Hague. Amsterdam means the dam on the Amstel river that comes flowing into the IJ (a lake) and is integrated into a network of canals that dot the town two metres above the level of the sea, thanks to its canals, it is also called ‘the Venice of the North’. The lands around the city are flat and formed of large polders. We find the Amsterdamse Bos (an artificial forest) in the southwest. The city is connected to the North Sea by the long Canal of the North Sea that serves its port, the country’s second port after Rotterdam. There are important museums such as the Rijksmuseum, the Stedelijk Museum, the Van Gogh Museum and the Anne Frank House. The city is also known for its ‘red light main district’, De Wallen and his prostitutes, for its sex shops, for its many coffe shops, licensed to sell cannabis and for its breweries. Amsterdam is a multicultural city where half the population is of foreign origin. There is also the Bloenmenmarkt, the only floating flower market in the world. The shops are located on boats stowed on the canal. The city has also a large number of open-air markets. The majority of the historic buildings of downtown consists of buildings with gables, large merchants houses lining the canals are the best illustration of it. Free of charge, three ferries carry pedestrians and cyclists on the IJ, between the central station of Amsterdam and Amsterdam-Noord. Two other ferries (which you must pay)go on the IJ from East to West along the harbour. It is also possible to use water-taxis and river shuttles, rental of electric boats or even a cruise on the canals of the city.

Tips

We recommend you not to come to the city by car, for this purpose, there are lots of parkings where you can leave the car for a very reasonable price if you agree to take public transport to enter into the city. If you have the opportunity to bring your bike, you’ll be in the ideal city for it. Bring your own locks and remember where you leave it because it will be difficult to search for it among the thousands ones that you can find in the streets.
If you like shopping, you will find shops of any kind, but there are also several markets open daily or weekly.
Amsterdam is also known for its cloudy weather and rain, especially in the cold period so it is better to avoid the period that goes from October to March.
If you like Zoos, you will find the Amsterdam City Zoo; It has an aquarium (built in 1882), Zoological and geological Museum, a planetarium and a library.

 

 

Estence Palace’s gardens, Varese, 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.

Marina di Camerota, Italy

Marina di Camerota is an Italian seaside place, renowned both for the quality of the natural environment surrounded by the rich hills of maquis Mediterranean typical of Cilento than by the quality of its waters. It is the largest town of Camerota in the province of Salerno, Campania; also known as ‘The Pearl of Cilento’. The village and port of the commune is located south of the coast of Cilento, by Tyrrhenian Sea. It is also an interesting place beacause there are paleontologic caves, with human fossils discovered in the 1980s. One of its caves, in the Lentiscella area, is a museum where you can find a small schooner (Leone di Caprera)  that crossed the Atlantic ocean from Montevideo to Livorno in 1880-1881.
Tips
If you go with children, Calanca is the ideal beach for the family. It is 5 minutes ‘ walk from the historic centre.
If you like swimming, Mingardo will satisfy you. The beach  has almost 7km (length), it’s a little distant from the city centre, between Marina di Camerota and Palinuro.
You can also take a boat trip at Palinuro to discover the natural caves.