Milan City Break Guide

The northern city of Milan is Italy’s catwalk capital. This stylish, business-minded city also plays host to a number of cultural and artistic attractions. Home to Leonardo da Vinci’s Last Supper and the world’s most famous opera house, Milan offers a variety of attractions that make it a perfect place for holidays to Italy.

If you are visiting Milan for two or three days, it’s possible to fit in the biggest highlights while still taking in the culture, food and nightlife of the city. Milan enjoys warm summers, which make July and August perfect times to visit. The run up to Christmas is another popular time to get the most from Milan’s famous shopping experience.

The most obvious attraction is the Duomo di Milano (Milan Cathedral). However short your time in Milan, it is unlikely that you will want to miss a visit to the Duomo, which is the world’s largest Gothic cathedral.

Once you have taken in the extraordinary exterior of this building, you can step into the vast interior to view a huge number of artworks and monuments. The less fainthearted can then attempt to ascend to the top on foot to enjoy far-reaching views of the city. It’s also possible to reach the top in a lift.

Shopping is one of the favourite pastimes of the Milanese. There are many good areas to shop, including the Galleria Vittoro Emanuele II, a vast shopping arcade which dates from 1867. For those who want to window-shop in the more prestigious areas, take a walk down Via Montenapoleone, where you’ll find world-famous luxury brands such as Prada, Versace and Gucci.

The Castello Sforzesco is Milan’s castle and can be found conveniently in the centre of the city. It is home to a number of museums with a huge range of exhibits. The grounds and courtyards are also a good place to relax after a tiring shopping trip.

Milan is home to two major football teams, Inter Milan and AC Milan, who share a ground at San Siro (officially Giuseppe Meazza Stadium). It’s often possible to get tickets for matches and with two teams sharing a stadium, you’re bound to catch one at home.

Although it’s neither Florence nor Rome, Milan is home to some great works of art. The Pinacoteca di Brera is the most well-known gallery and displays pieces from many greats, including Bellini and Raphael.

The most famous piece of Milan’s art collection is Leonardo da Vinci’s Last Supper fresco. The Last Supper can be seen at the Santa Maria della Grazie convent, much of which was bombed in 1943. Luckily the fresco survived. This is obviously a major attraction in Milan so be aware that you need to book in advance.

If the Last Supper has made you peckish, then you’ll find you are in the right city to enjoy some excellent cuisine, from tasty snacks to extravagant meals. Famed Milanese dishes include illa risotto alla Milanese, a saffron infused risotto and cotoletta alla Milanese, pan-fried veal cutlets.

If you have been shopping or visiting some of the major attractions you’ll find many eateries in the Galleria Vittoro Emanuele II. But if you want to splash out, there are plenty of fine establishments across Milan and the city has no fewer than 20 Michelin-starred restaurants.

If your time in Milan is limited, you’ll want to get the very best from the city’s nightlife. La Scala is the Mecca of opera fans. Getting hold of tickets is not always easy, so if you are unsuccessful you could make do with a visit to the La Scala Museum.

Leonardo da Vinci spent much of his early career in Milan and he was not only an artist, but an inventor and scientific thinker as well. The National Museum of Science and Technology exhibits his contributions to the history of science and technology.

Milan is a great city to visit any time of year, but many people choose to go for St. Ambrose Day on December 7th when there is a street fair. Milan’s biggest celebration is in early June each year and is known as the Festa del Naviglio. The city comes alive with music, shows and carnivals.

From opera and art to fashion, Milan has much to offer. The main attractions and shopping areas are all located in the centre of the city, so they are relatively easy to fit into one weekend.

The unforgettable Gothic cathedral and Leonardo da Vinci’s masterpiece, the Last Supper, are just two of the main draws that will help make this a memorable weekend. Not forgetting, of course, a peek into the designer shops of the rich and famous.

Guest post by TravelSupermarket.

Find Flights to Las Vegas and Enjoy the Holidays in Style

If you’re tired of cooking, cleaning and baking so you can celebrate the holidays at home with your family, you may want to consider celebrating the holidays somewhere else. Taking a vacation is a great way to celebrate the holidays with family or friends, and you won’t have to worry about cooking meals or cleaning the house before your company arrives. Las Vegas is a fantastic holiday vacation destination because the weather is fantastic year-round and you’ll find activities and attractions the whole family will enjoy. Consider booking cheap flights to Las Vegas so you’ll have more money to spend on the fun stuff once you get there.

Activities

Even if you’re not into gambling, you’ll find plenty of entertainment options throughout the Las Vegas area to keep the entire family busy day and night. You’ll find an indoor amusement park at the Circus, Circus hotel and casino as well as several water parks throughout the area. For thrill-seekers, check out the roller coasters and other rides available at the Stratosphere and New York, New York.

If you’re more into outdoor activities, you can find plenty of ranches and other companies that offer horseback riding, four-wheeling and even wind sailing just outside of Las Vegas. Many of these companies include pick up and drop off at your hotel, or at a nearby hotel in the cost of the activity.

Entertainment

Las Vegas is home to a wide range of shows, including theatrical mega-shows like Phantom and spectacular concerts by music giants such as Celine Dion and Garth Brooks. If there’s a specific show you really want to see, you should book tickets in advance as many of the more popular shows sell out rather quickly. For families with children, make sure the shows are kid-friendly before booking so you don’t encounter any surprises come show time. Tickets to the shows are usually a bit pricey, so save on your travel costs by booking cheap flights to Las Vegas and put the money you save on airfare toward your show tickets.

Dining

Although the days of the $4.99 all-you-can-eat lobster and steak buffet are gone, Las Vegas has plenty of restaurants from which to choose, ranging from fast food and buffet style to gourmet and fine dining. You’ll find plenty of places to eat breakfast, lunch and dinner both in the hotels and casinos and along the Las Vegas Strip. Consider going out for an elegant brunch or nice dinner if you are visiting for a holiday. Many of the hotels offer special menus during the holidays, so you’ll be able to get some traditional holiday food while you’re in Vegas. Make reservations in advance, especially if you’ll be dining on a holiday.

Hotels

One of the best things about Las Vegas is the abundance of hotels within such a small area. What this means for visitors is incredible rates on hotel rooms and suites. There are rooms to fit every budget and you’ll be pleasantly surprised at the room rates. For visitors on a fixed vacation budget, this means additional spending money for your trip, or you can splurge and get an upgraded room or even a suite for the money you budgeted for your room. Typically, room rates are reasonable in Las Vegas even around most of the major holidays. The one time of year when room rates tend to go up is at New Year’s.

Las Vegas is a fantastic vacation destination winter, spring, summer or fall. Although the summer days can get a big hot, you’ll enjoy cool desert evening as you hit the town. It does get a bit chilly during the winter months, so you may want to pack some warm clothes if you’re traveling around the winter holidays.

The gorgeous attractions in Murcia

Murcia is one of the cities in the south-eastern part of Spain which includes Cartagena and Torrevieja. Murcia is the seventh largest city in Spain with around 600,000 inhabitants and it was founded in the 9th century by Abd ar-Rahman II. Murcia is great town, and it is located on quite a flat ground. It was a modern city but there are also some historical buildings around the city like Santa Domingo and Plaza de las Flores. The climate here is warm because it is located quite near to the sea, so you can expect the summer here to be hot with almost zero rainfall while the winters to be cold and raining quite heavily.

If you are thinking to come to Murcia, you can take a flight to the San Javier Murcia Airport which is located 45 kilometres from the city centre. Even though the airport here is not as grand as the other airports in Madrid and Barcelona, it can still handle international flights as well as domestic flights.

One of the attractions located in the Murcia region will be at the city of Cartagena. This city is a coastal city where you can find huge amount of tourists who are looking forward to go for a swim in the sea. One of the beaches in Cartagena will be the La Manga de Mar Menor beach, which is a lagoon that is facing the Mediterranean Sea. With a coastal line that spreads more than fifty kilometres, you will find a lot of places for you to plant your umbrella and enjoy the sea. This coastal area is also one of the special areas being protected for its Mediterranean importance by the United Nations.

Searching for a place to sleep is easy in Cartagena as there are a lot of three star hotels opening its doors to the tourists. One of the highly rated hotels in Cartagena will be the Carlos III Sercotel at Carlos III Street of Cartagena. It is a really simple yet beautiful hotel that is rated three stars and it is also located really near to the beaches. If you are looking for a hotel located near to the beaches, Carlos III Sercotel in Cartagena, Murcia will be the best place for you.

UK flights to the USA via Dublin from £179 each way including taxes and charges

UK flights to the USA via Dublin from £179 each way including taxes and charges

Book your flight to the USA via Dublin from £179 each way including taxes and charges.

Fly from the UK to the USA via Dublin with Aer Lingus. See our amazing cheap flights available from a selection of UK airports to New York, Boston, Chicago and Orlando.

Travel: until 31 March ’12

UK flights to the USA via Dublin from £179 each way including taxes and charges

Spain’s Top Food Festivals

The Spanish love a good celebration, whether it’s to commemorate ancient battles, patron Saints, or the local harvest. This, combined with rich culinary traditions throughout the country, leads to some amazing food festivals throughout the year.

Valls Calçotada Festival
Calçots are tender green onion shoots that live somewhere in the neighbourhood between a spring onion and a leek. In the Catalan town of Valls, they are harvested in the summer in preparation for the grand Calçotada Festival. Steel barbecues are scattered throughout the streets to char the calçots, which are then served in terracotta roofing tiles and accompanied with a dipping sauce crafted from chilli peppers, almonds, garlic, and tomato.

Rioja Grape Harvest Festival in Logroño
If you enjoy a bit of tipple with your food, the Rioja Grape Harvest Festival in Logroño can be a prime destination for those who have found cheap flights to Spain. You can gain insight into the wine making process while enjoying the sight of locals in folk costumes stomping on the grapes with their bare feet in time to local music. Fireworks dance above while stands provide pintxos of stuffed peppers and mushrooms to accompany the wine tasting.

Artichoke Festival in Benicarlo
Benicarlo is a small community in the Castellon province renowned for its beaches. At the end of January, however, Spaniards flock here to celebrate the artichoke harvest. The artichoke is the only vegetable in the province to have earned a Denomination of Origin seal, usually used to identify wine or cheese. The festival features a large batch of artichokes cooked in hot coals, along with art exhibitions and dancing.

La Tomatina Festival
The famous La Tomatina is an event that turns the streets of Buñol into flowing rivers of tomato juice for one day. To get to this small town, you can look for flights to Murcia, Alicante, or Valencia which put you a short train or bus ride away from the festivities. The event kicks off with local youths attempting to knock a ham off the top of a greased pole, while the crowd cheers, sings, and gets hosed down with water. After this, a massive tomato food fight breaks out, creating mayhem for exactly one hour.

O Grove Seafood Festival
Every October in the sleepy coastal town of O Grove in Galicia an estimated 200,000 people gather for the seafood festival. There are numerous booths selling fresh steamed clams, turbot, and saffron-perfumed seafood stews, as well as cooking contests. This is accompanied by traditional bagpipe music and folk dancing.

Top 5 Vacation Destinations for Young Adults

Young vacationers are rarely looking for a place to put their feet up with a good book or potter around an archaeological ruin, although they are usually more than happy to fit these into a slightly more hectic schedule that includes plenty of entertainment and adventure.

Kauai

Kauai in Hawaii is one of the world’s most action-packed adventure islands, along with spectacular Rarotonga and Bora Bora. As well as spectacular waterfalls and jagged cliffs overlooking a dazzling seascape, there are lots of water sports and hiking trails to test your prowess on, plus a great nightlife and guaranteed fantastic weather. The beaches are great too, and the scuba diving and surfing opportunities are second to none. The best time to visit is September to November, when the weather is good and the accommodation prices are down. Hire a jeep to get around and explore the island at your own pace, and consider taking out car insurance for young drivers before setting out.

Puerto Rico

For the young adventurer with time to spare, such as before college or after the finals, Puerto Rico offers a wealth of exciting opportunities for letting your hair down and testing your limits; it is also the fun-capital of the continent. If you are a keen surfer the waves can reach a satisfying 20 feet here, and there are also magnificent rainforests and spectacular cave systems to explore. It is less than three hours by plane from Miami and when shopping in San Juan you can purchase with US currency. April to June is the best time to visit for good weather and off-season prices. Hire a car and explore the surrounding area too.

Montreal

Montreal has a great European city feel about it and is packed with museums, galleries, shops and boutiques, and the nightlife is buzzing. With street performers and musicians of all kinds, this is no place to get bored between the office blocks. As well as the city center attractions there are numerous trails and parks around the outskirts. There is an efficient public transport system but a car is always a good idea for seeing everything fast. It is best to visit in the summer months because winter can be uncomfortably icy.

San Diego

As well as great beaches offering a wide range of water sports, San Diego has great museums, cafes, clubs and a world famous zoo. Youngsters here with their friends and those just trying to escape their parents on their annual vacation like to hang out together around the old and atmospheric Gaslamp Quarter of the city. There is plenty of shopping in downtown La Jolla and the best time to visit is late spring and early fall, when the weather is more tolerable. Hire a car to get the most out of your stay here.

Dublin

Dublin is an especially cool destination for young adults, with unsurpassed Bohemian literary connections to the likes of James Joyce and Samuel Becket. There are many wonderful little pubs, bars and street cafes, and a great atmosphere to lap up all year round. Summer is probably the best season to visit because it does tend to rain a lot in Ireland. Get around by hire car or use the excellent trains and buses.

Corfu – The Classic Greek Island Destination

Corfu is the second largest of Greece’s Ionian islands and is home to blazing hot sunshine, fantastic scenery and classic Greek heritage. Corfu offers great value for those looking for a deal at the lower end of the budget, scale with a wealth of accommodation options that are both affordable and of good standard. In contrast, the island is also a great retreat for those looking for luxurious all-inclusive deals where indulgence and serenity are top of the agenda. To accompany your holiday there are a number of Greece travel insurance specialists in existence, however shop around online to find the best option for you.

Corfu is known as the Emerald Isle for good reason. The island’s landscape is made up of a combination of craggy, olive-tree-covered hills, golden shingle and sand beaches and lagoon blue waters. With scenery like this, it’s little wonder tourists flock back to the island year after year. There is a mix of holiday spots on the island ranging from lively to low-key. The liveliest resorts on the island are the party capital of Kavos and the classic tourist town of Sidari. Both of these are great if you’re looking for an action-packed Corfu holida great for families and large alike. You will find that both of these areas have a fantastic range of amenities to keep you occupied day and night along with the usual parade of restaurants and packed bars to keep you well fed and watered at reasonable prices.

If, on the other hand, you’d like to sample the ultimate in luxury Corfu holidays, head for somewhere like Kassiopi. This once sleepy Greek fishing village is now a great part of the island for those looking for sensational Greek scenery and beaches that are perfect for soaking up the Greek sunshine. The town doesn’t attract the masses of its livelier counterparts and for this reason is excellent for couples and those looking for a quieter retreat. Accommodation options here are primarily luxury apartments, the finest of which are located up in the hills of Kassiopi overlooking the wonderful, old harbour. From the harbour you can also venture out into the Ionian seas on a boat trip to sample other paradise-like beaches around the island.

For a Corfu holiday that focuses on Greek culture and history, you should consider venturing to the town of Kerkyra, or Corfu town as it is known to tourists. This old Venetian town has some very obvious, traditional Greek stylings, from the windy cobbled streets, to the old fortress that was once used to protect the city from invading tribes. The town is also Corfu’s shopping Mecca with small, independent shops selling a host of traditional Greek island wares and copious amounts of the finest olive oil the island has to offer!