Posts Tagged With: Italy

A Visitor’s Guide to Lampedusa Island, Italy

Lampedusa Island is a unique and fascinating destination. Although the small island is technically part of Sicily and therefore Italy, it is actually closer to the African nation of Tunisia than it is to Sicily or the Italian mainland. This location actually provides visitors with a more exotic vacation. Experience the ease of European travel with the warm temperatures and ideal climate of North Africa. Despite the lack of crowded tourism attractions, Lampedusa Island is a stunning location that is perfect for travellers who want to get off the beaten path and enjoy empty beaches and incredible scenery.

Read on for a visitor’s guide to the dining, accommodations and attractions of Lampedusa Island.

Travel in and Around Lampedusa Island

Despite the fact that the island is a mere twelve kilometres by three kilometres in size, there is a surprisingly modern airport on Lampedusa Island. There are daily flights to the island from Sicily as well as relatively frequent flights from other major Italian cities. An alternative and truly unique way to arrive on the island is to take a ferry from Porto Empedocle, Sicily. It is even possible to take your car from Sicily on the ferry to Lampedusa. Once on the island, private transport is helpful but certainly not necessary. Mopeds are popular with tourists as an affordable way to get around quickly and efficiently. Buses around the island are affordable and charge just €.60 for each trip.

Image Source: Flickr Creative Commons

Top Area Attractions

The unique ecosystem of the island means that many visitors are excited to explore nature on Lampedusa Island. There is no better place to learn about the great outdoors and find hiking maps and local guides than at the Riserva Naturale Orientata. This office is staffed with knowledgeable locals interested in protecting the wildlife of the island as well as sharing the beauty with travellers. Many travelers come to Lampedusa to relax on the incredible beaches. None is so popular as Spiaggia dei conigli, or Rabbit’s Beach. Giant cliffs surround the bay and shelter the white sandy shore and bright blue waters from wind. Just next to Rabbit’s Beach is Rabbit’s Island. This is a nesting area for loggerhead sea turtles and a unique place to explore. One of the best options for sightseeing around the entire island is to take a four hour boat tour that circumvents all of Lampedusa. Expect to pay upwards of €40 per person for this kind of tour

Source: Flickr Creative Commons

Dining on the Island

The dining landscape is very different in the summer than it is from the winter. In the summer there are half a dozen Italian restaurants as well as a few smaller pizzerias and cafes. In the winter, however, with fewer tourists on the island many of the dining establishments close temporarily. Some of the year round dining options include L’Angolo del Mare, offering fresh seafood and delicious homemade pastas, and Salumeria Enoteca Portu ‘Ntoni, known around the island as the best place for locals to grab a freshly made lunch or panini.

Accommodation Options

Although Lampedusa Island is not large in size, the number of summer tourists means that there are ample accommodation options. Several boutique and chain hotels operate and often offer beachfront property. Those interested in more luxurious holiday ideas might want to explore the idea of Italian villas. The villas on Lampedusa Island are typically much more affordable than the same size and style of villa on Italy’s mainland. Keep in mind that winter rentals can be half the price of summer rentals.

Lampedusa Island is an incredible Italian destination that offers scenery, wildlife, beaches and a unique atmosphere found nowhere else on Earth.

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5 Reasons to Fall in Love with Venice

The beautiful Italian city of Venice is regarded by many to be the most romantic destination on Earth. Incredible architecture and history creates a world as if from a fairytale; whether you are riding on a gondola with a loved one or dining on gelato in one of the remarkable public squares in the heart of the city. Maybe it is the water surrounding the city, perhaps the fountains said to bring partners closer or perhaps simply because it is a popular destination for couples, but there is no denying that there is romance in the air of Venice.

Here are five of the many reasons you will fall in love with the city of Venice.

1. The Lagoon Locale

There is no denying that the cuisine, people, architecture and history contribute to making the city of Venice a romantic and wonderful destination. However, the lagoon location is what makes the destination truly remarkable. Getting around the city can be achieved by a number of unique transportation methods such as a private gondola, a bustling water taxi filled with locals or even vaporetti, large boats known as water buses in Venice. This makes something as ordinary as getting to work or finding your hotel an adventure that won’t soon be forgotten.

2. The Bridges

It might seem strange to list something as ordinary as bridges on this list, but that is simply because the bridges in Venice are far from ordinary. The Ponte di Rialto, or Rialto Bridge, was built over eight hundred years ago and remains an iconic symbol of the city to this day. The Zattere Bridge over the Giudecca Canal is another popular bridge that offers beautiful views over the city. It is on this bridge that some of the most incredible pictures are taken of Venice, not to mention the fact that a large number of marriage proposals take place on the bridge each year.

Source: Wikimedia

3. The Dining Experience

There can be nothing more romantic that dining on exquisite Italian cuisine on a restaurant terrace just feet from the Venetian canals. Lights from the restaurants and street lamps illuminate the seating area to create a truly intimate setting for your loved one. Sip on a glass of local red wine as you dine on some of the regional specialties in Venice. The city is known in particular for the dish of local cuttlefish in black ink served over a rich corn polenta.

4. Amazing Architecture

Many writers and artists who describe Venice mention the way the light is reflected in the city. The medieval architecture is a variety of colours in some places and when the light hits the structures in the morning it is an entirely different scene from the evening sunset. Some of the most amazing architecture to explore includes the Palazzo Ducale, the Torre dell’Orologio, the Basilica di San Marco and the San Giacomo di Rialto, a church built in the fifth century. Simply strolling around Venice on foot allows you to see all these incredible structures and more.

Source: Wikimedia

5. Affordable Accommodation Options

Perhaps the only downside to the beautiful city of Venice is that it can be expensive at times. Unfortunately, accommodation costs are often the largest part of a vacation budget. While the hotels may be expensive, Venice apartments can be a far more cost-effective alternative that saves travellers money. A self catering holiday means that you rent a home or an apartment in Venice and enjoy a fully equipped kitchen for your own use. Buy fresh local foods from the Rialto Market or the i Tre Mercanti and prepare classic Italian meals for a portion of the price of restaurant meals three times per day.

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