2010

32 Inspirational Travel Secrets
From the Top Travel Bloggers on the Internet Today

www.tripbase.com

Front Cover

Main Index

Foreword
Congratulations on downloading your Best Kept Travel Secrets eBook. You're now part of a unique collaborative charity project, the first of its kind to take place on the Internet! The Best Kept Travel Secrets project was initiated with just one blog post back in November 2009. Since then, over 200 of the most talented travel bloggers and writers across the globe have contributed more than 500 inspirational travel secrets. These phenomenal travel gems have now been compiled into a series of travel eBooks. Awe-inspiring places, insider info and expert tips... you'll find 32 amazing travel secrets within this eBook. The best part about this is that you've helped contribute to a great cause.

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Best Kept Travel Secrets 2010 Tripbase.com

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com 3 . Publicize your support of this fantastic cause and become a Campaign Ambassador. 100% of these donations will be used to directly fund clean water solutions. For every person that downloads an eBook Tripbase will make a $1 donation to the fantastic cause. Just $20 can give one person clean drinking water for 20 years. Our campaign target: to build 4 freshwater wells. Got your own blog/site? Join our community of Travel Secrets Authors. clean drinking water for people in developing nations. That's one in eight of us. Photo by:albertopveiga Join the Campaign Use these travel secrets to make dirty water clean and forward a link to our eBook Homepage to help us reach our goals. Make your own personal donation. Our mission: to help bring clean and safe drinking water to people in developing nations.Front Cover Main Index These Secrets Make Dirty Water Clean Right now. almost one billion people in the world don't have access to clean drinking water. Photo by:khym54 Best Kept Travel Secrets 2010 Tripbase. providing clean water for an entire school for the next 20 years. Give one person clean water.

Front Cover Main Index Main Index Northern Italy 5 6 9 11 14 20 21 23 Tuscany Rome Venice Sicily General Southern Italy Contributing Authors Best Kept Travel Secrets 2010 Tripbase.com 4 .

But I think this little city in eastern Emilia-Romagna is one of Italy's gems. Ravenna is hardly unknown. spinach. Grab one filled with cheese. . Our ship docked at La Spezia. When the rain let up. We rewarded Karissa for good behavior with a spin on the town's unassuming carousel before loading up on more cappuccinos and taking another boat to La Spezia for lunch. But. a visit to Lerici is not about seeing sites. Italofile Best Kept Travel Secrets 2010 Tripbase. Colleen. The rain sprinkling from an overcast sky provided the perfect excuse to duck Photo by: Colleen into a café for cappuccinos. winding in and out of offbeat Italian clothiers and antique stores Photo by: Paraflyer Main Index Northern Italy Lerici. Travel Mamas Ravenna As a former capital of the Roman and Byzantine Empires. I rarely see it on must-visit lists for Italy.. really. or nutella (!) at a piadinerie and enjoy. from which most cruisers bus a couple of hours inland to Florence for its Renaissance Art or to Pisa for its Leaning Tower. We stopped in what may be the world's smallest park to let our toddler run free for a bit before resuming our uncharted discovery of the town.com 5 Want to contribute? Join the Charity Project . It's on the UNESCO World Heritage list for its incredible Byzantine-era mosaics. The boat ride to Lerici afforded gorgeous shoreline views of Cinque Terre and Portovenere in the distance. Ravenna has eight sites featuring spectacular mosaics. we wandered the quaint cobblestone hillside streets.. Since we had just tackled Rome in a day. We could have found our way to the castle. Karissa. It's also a great place to get piadina. True. Photo by: Gregorio Parvus Melanie. It is about walking to where the road leads you and taking a new path as it appears.When the rain let up we wandered the quaint cobblestone streets. and because my husband and I were traveling with our then two-year-old daughter. a special flatbread typical of Emilia-Romagna and very much like a Turkish gö zleme. there's so much to include that Ravenna is easy to bypass. such as those decorating the walls and apse of Saint Apollinare in Classe (above). We pulled into Lerici's darling little harbor with its battalion of toy boats bobbing in the water and a castle perched on a hill overlooking the town. Italy I discovered lovely little Lerici during a Disney Mediterranean Cruise in 2007. we avoided the long drive to these popular destinations and instead opted to take a short boat ride to lesser-known Lerici. Nevertheless. It is about enjoying the world as it unfolds before you. winding in and out of offbeat Italian clothiers and antique stores.yum! . I suppose.

The ticket you would buy at the Colosseum ticket window is a combo ticket that also includes the Palatine Hill. is booking your visit to the Colosseum in advance. go there first and buy your ticket at that ticket window. Rome The Colosseum in Rome isn't just one of the capital city's biggest sights. since the Palatine Hill is a far less popular sight than the Colosseum. but the easiest (and cheapest) is to just buy your Colosseum ticket somewhere other than at the Colosseum.in the summer you're exposed to the hot Roman sun and you also spend longer as a prime target for the guys playing gladiator dress-up and pressuring you to pose with them (for a high fee). Avoiding those ticket lines at the Roman Colosseum is a piece of cake. Photo by: permanently scatterbrained Another option. . then you can employ this same tactic at any of those places. particularly nice if you're the plan-ahead type.com 6 Want to contribute? Join the Charity Project . winding their way from the ticket window around the outer walls. Long waits are common in the high season. So. There's a phone number for an office in Rome (the service is in English) which will let you reserve your tickets that way for a small fee. So it's not surprising that there are often lines out front. which is annoying for several reasons . The line will be short or non-existent.Avoiding ticket lines at the Roman Colosseum is a piece of cake Photo by: dungodung Main Index Rome Bypass the Lines at the Colosseum. Now there's even a relatively new way to book your Colosseum tickets online. and the ticket you'll get is good for 24 hours so you'll just need to visit the Colosseum within 24 hours of visiting Palatine Hill. Jessica. There are other attractions in Rome that are included on more expensive combo tickets so if you're interested in seeing those sights as well. it's one of the country's main attractions. There are several options. Why Go Italy Know a travel secret about Rome? Become an Author Best Kept Travel Secrets 2010 Tripbase.

no one tells you that you have to get your ticket stamped before boarding the train. I boarded the the train and met a lovely American couple on their honeymoon and told them about how I didn't know about this validation machine. I've heard that this happens all the time to travelers. yet no one passes along this tip. What she means is that I'm incredibly lucky. Somehow. when I travel alone. Ayngelina . Security came through to look at our passports and tickets and the Americans were slapped with a $75 fine. Rome -. Itherwise it's useless. While waiting for the train.Find the Yellow Validation Machine My mother says I could fall into a bucket of poo and come out smelling like roses. There was a look of shock on the woman's face and with flailing arm motions she summoned me to come with her. That was until we found the yellow validation machine that she was looking for and what I needed to find as well. Bacon is Magic Know a travel secret about Rome? Become an Author Best Kept Travel Secrets 2010 Tripbase. . I thought she was trying to scam me and I followed Photo by: Ayngelina her with hesitation. people want to take care of me. a middle-aged woman approached me frantically speaking Italian. no one tells you that you have to get your ticket stamped before boarding the train Photo by: dungodung Main Index Rome Termini Station. but she kept pointing to her ticket so I showed her mine. Apparently they didn't either. I had no idea what she said. I arrived solo in Rome and went to Termini station to buy a one-way second class to Florence for $30.For some reason. I wasn't sure what was happening.com 7 Want to contribute? Join the Charity Project . For some reason. That crazy Italian woman just saved me a hefty penalty.

Italofile Know a travel secret about Rome? Become an Author Best Kept Travel Secrets 2010 Tripbase. then you can have a glance through their peephole. If you are lucky enough to charm the policemen who guard the headquarters of the Knights of Malta. and the fact that it's on Via Santa Melania. through which you can see a perfectly framed St. richly decorated rooms.com 8 Want to contribute? Join the Charity Project . Photo by: Patrick Medved Melanie. . And the views from up here are spectacular and unique. Though it's largely a residential area. Rome There are so many wonderful places to stay in Rome. there are hotels on the Aventine. but I really like Aventine Hill.This is one of the most peaceful corners of the city Photo by: dungodung Main Index Rome Aventino Hill. which rises just beyond the Circus Maximus. Peter's Basilica. This is one of the most peaceful corners of the city. mostly because it is slightly removed from the constant buzz of the city. I like Hotel Villa San Pio for its garden setting.

com 9 Want to contribute? Join the Charity Project . (Did you catch all those B. or sledding on an active volcano? Mt Etna remains not only Europe's tallest volcano but one of the world's most active. . Their Photo by: Karen presence is due to the salt industry which historically utilized them for pumping water and grinding the salt. It's just so unexpected (or it was to me) to discover windmills in Sicily.The Agrigento Valley of the Temples without the scorching sun. 2. Why not watch a Greek tragedy written in the year 416 B. biking. 3. take it easy riding the rails on the Ferrovia Circumetnea from Catania and around the volcano to Riposo. Three reasons to visit: 1. Photo by: Christine Christine.Along the road from Trapani to Marsala you will encounter dazzling mounds of white sea salt and large areas of shallow waters Photo by: zoutedrop Main Index Sicily Go to Sicily There is a reason they say you haven't seen Italy until you've been to Sicily. Photo by: Gillian Gillian. Trapani. any time of year. Mt Etna. Karen..C. Along the road from Trapani to Marsala you will encounter dazzling mounds of white sea salt and large areas of shallow waters where the sun and wind act to evaporate the water. After conquering the volcano. When was the last time you were on an active volcano? How about hiking. skiing.. snowbo arding. South of Rome Mid-winter in Sicily The wonders of Sicily in mid-winter include. Gillian's Lists Levanzo. Sicily A perfectly serene getaway from the world at large . . I would go back there in a heartbeat.s???!) Now that's living history. Spend the morning skiing on Mount Etna and have a sundowner cocktail overlooking the sea in Taormina. by Euripides in an original Greek theater carved from stone during the 5th century B. . Miss Expatria Best Kept Travel Secrets 2010 Tripbase.C. creating salt flats ranging in color from off-green to pink. already seems like the edge of the world.C. Go when the almond blossoms are in bloom.even though where you're coming from. Teatro Greco Siracusa. The Salt Road from Trapani to Marsala.

Live Know a travel secret about Sicily? Become an Author Best Kept Travel Secrets 2010 Tripbase. where you can take a cable car ride to the top of the mountain. with souvenir shops and a self-guided walking tour map. Write. See. It's got a bit of a touristy feel. Sicily I don't know of too many places where you can eat gelato next to medieval castles on a cliff overlooking the Mediterranean Sea. . Photo by: Megan Megan.com 10 Want to contribute? Join the Charity Project . but I thought it was worth the ride. Erice is a stone fortress high above the city of Trapani.I don't know of too many places where you can eat gelato next to medieval castles on a cliff overlooking the Mediterranean Sea Photo by: zoutedrop Main Index Sicily Erice.

The uniqueness of this town carved from rock in southern Basilicata has not been lost on the UNESCO people either as they have deemed the sassi worthy of Photo by: Karen World Heritage status. Matera's city of cave dwellings. there are the famous spots like Naples.com 11 Want to contribute? Join the Charity Project . restaurants. The trulli of Alberobello were made an UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1996. The Sassi of Matera. creamy local stone has been whipped and carved into a beautiful frothy sea of Baroque wonder. 3. Sorrento and the Amalfi Coast. The warm. the plural form of sasso. Three Towns to Visit in Southern Italy: 1. The sassi originate from a prehistoric (troglodyte) settlement and are thought to be some of the first human settlements in Italy. shops and restaurants are known as sassi. Pompeii. limestone and mortarless structures have been renovated into agriturismos. one of the best kept travel secrets in Italy is Southern Italy! Sure.One of the best kept travel secrets in Italy is Southern Italy! Photo by: rmlowe Main Index Southern Italy Go South Seriously. 2. . The weird and wonderful trulli are what visitors come to Alberobello for. South of Rome Know a travel secret about Southern Italy? Become an Author Best Kept Travel Secrets 2010 Tripbase. Lecce. Karen. Collectively. churches. but push yourself down the boot even further and you'll be richly rewarded. but it really is its own city. It is so delicious you'll want to take a slice home with you and slip it under your pillow. Lecce is like a fairytale land put in the hands of a master baker who creates nothing but the most romantic creations for brides on their wedding day. These odd. The town which once bore the stigma of poverty now hosts a number of hotels and private apartments with modern-day sometimes down-right luxurious amenities. conical. and shops to the delight of the modern traveler." is the boast most often attributed to Lecce. Alberobello. The "Florence of the South.

and you'll be immersed in history and culture. in fact. it's surrounded by pristine countryside. . only one piece of a prehistoric village and was very likely a built-up area with the burial complex attached. he will not steer you wrong. stone castles dating back thousands of years. Photo by: David and Jennifer . This is a great example of how architecture of the Baroque keeps your eye in motion. Photo by: Angela Angela. in the heart of Sardinia.. Stock up on lemon-shaped soaps and bring the scents of Capri home with tiny travel candles at Carthusia.. Ettore gives you Photo by: rmlowe Main Index Southern Italy Nuraghe Losa. and the movement of the design. From restaurants to boat tours to the best way to get back to Rome.. We especially love the Palazzo della Spagnuolo. Gillian.. 19.the sun is shining. The nuraghe is.com 12 Want to contribute? Join the Charity Project . Ettore gives you.workers and shop-keepers and restaurants are relaxed and energized.. While making the difficult decision about which pair of sandals to buy. Approach Guides Best Kept Travel Secrets 2010 Tripbase.Book the cheerful Hotel Tosca and take every recommendation the owner. Three reasons to go to Nuraghe Losa: You can trace the cradle of Western civilization. David and Jennifer. Sanfelice's Baroque Staircase.the entire island is buzzing with construction. fortresses against foreign attacks or ancient tombs. Via dei Virgini. Naples Eighteenth century Neapolitan Rococo architecture is best illustrated in the work of Ferdinando Sanfelice (1675-1748). giving the structure a lightness that would otherwise not exist... Notice how in this picture Sanfelice skillfully draws your gaze upward. Sanfelice's stairway in this building is distinctive for its height. Sardinia Sardinia is dotted with nuraghes. was built roughly during the Bronze Age and archaeologists are still bringing up the remains of the whole area. Book the cheerful Hotel Tosca and take every recommendation the owner. Gillian's Lists Photo by: Gillian . A visit to Nuraghe Losa is a proper walk through the twilight of European civilisation. who is known for his striking staircases.snack on torte caprese. Nuraghe Losa. the large size of its perforations. They were once used as habitations. Travel Calling Who Needs Paris? Capri in April! The season is just about to start..

the monastery and any of the dozens of churches and chiesettas. Photo by: Christine Christine. My Bella Vita La Casa Sul Mare. rocky beaches. Miss Expatria Best Kept Travel Secrets 2010 Tripbase. a Norman castle.In addition to its established place in Calabria's religious past. who flock to Paola to visit Saint Francis' birthplace. rocky beaches. There is not one thing about it that is not perfect. fountains and a clock tower Photo by: rmlowe Main Index Southern Italy Paola. Procida This hotel is my "happy place" that my mind often travels back to whenever I find myself in a post office line. but this little village really does have it all. fountains and a clock tower. a Norman castle.com 13 Want to contribute? Join the Charity Project . For years. Paola has clean. cold wind or some other untenable moment of daily drudgery. San Francesco di Paola (Saint Francis of Paola) who founded the Minimi Order in the Roman Catholic Church in the 1400s. the village has been a main stop for religious trekkers. Cherrye. Photo by: WindoWeb . Calabria Paola is home to Calabria's patron saint. Paola has clean. . In addition to its established place in Calabria's religious past.

Florence It's free to enter this silent.works by artists who were Andrea del Sarto's contemporaries. Quaint ports with restaurants serving the freshest seafood Photo by: Dianne . Complete your visit with this San Salvi itinerary and accompanying map.. Art Trav Best Kept Travel Secrets 2010 Tripbase. Others include Pianosa.com 14 Want to contribute? Join the Charity Project . which has recently been restored. all of which are protected as part of the Tuscan Archipelago National Park. Giglio (my favorite). Stop for an early evening glass of wine in the Piazza Matteotti in the town of Capoliveri.spend the last quiet weekend before the start of the season in the enchanting Capo Sant'Andrea. Alexandra. Dramatic scenery on uncrowded waters (occasional whale sightings too) 2. Gorgona and Giannutri. The largest island in the group is Elba.For years we have chartered boats to sail amid these rocky islands between the Ligurian and Tyrrhenian seas. Gillian's Lists Convent of San Salvi and Last Supper. west of Tuscany Photo by: francesco sgroi Main Index Tuscany Tuscan Archipelago For years we have chartered boats to sail amid these rocky islands between the Ligurian and Tyrrhenian seas. Photo by: Gillian Gillian. Three reasons to go: 1. La Bella Lingua The Deserted Island of Elba Elba at the very end of April.but still important .. Drive the empty. just beyond the hustle and bustle of the ring roads. deserted museum in a residential area of Florence. Have a hearty bowl of cacciucco (fish stew) on the harbor side of Porto Azzuro." This fresco is in the refectory of the ex-convent. Inside you'll have the opportunity to sit still and quietly contemplate a major masterpiece of Mannerist painting: Andrea del Sarto's "Last Supper. Dianne. Fabulous swimming in crystal-clear water in isolated coves 3. The adjacent museum displays lesser . windy roads where you go from dense wild forest to mediterranean scrub to wide sandy beaches in an hour.. Capraia (the most rugged) . Photo by: Alexandra . Montecristo (mystical). west of Tuscany. .

My grandfather-in-law gave me an old book that he bought in weekly issues: I tabernacoli di Firenze (part of the Strade di Firenze series). This is a reminder of the everyday function of religious art in Italy. She is believed to protect its residents. but as she worked miracles. One of the most impressive tabernacles of Florence is the huge polychrome maiolica fountain (named "le Fonticine") on Via Nazionale by the Della Robbia family (1522). you mill around.com 15 Want to contribute? Join the Charity Project . Had they been preserved inside museums they might look quite different now. Most street corners host smaller and less artistically significant icons. The condition of these works is a natural part of the process. like most people you go in. Is the light going to chip away at the polish of the marble? So. The tradition began in the 13th century though most of the ones you will see come from the 15th or 16th centuries. but only because they are often a bit stylistically retrograde due to their iconic function. a row of putti spit out water. Some look to be a little earlier. Then you take a photo of one of the replicas around Florence. and if you're interested in tabernacles. Art Trav Photo by: Alexandra Best Kept Travel Secrets 2010 Tripbase. Below the colourful Madonna and saints. Florence's great devotion to the Virgin Mary makes it particularly rich in this medium. .It's not a painting. you take pictures that come out too dark. Almost every block has one (there are about 1200 on 3000 streets surveyed in Florence). While tabernacles are found in the whole country. it's a frakking piece of rock. There is a popular Italian tradition of placing Madonnas on street corners or on the sides of buildings. you look at it. Alexandra. maybe you buy some of the gag underwear that has David's unit printed on it. It looks a whole lot better in person than in the photo as it has recently been cleaned. ravaged by elements and time. this is the most comprehensive guide ever. Freedonia Post Tabernacles in Florence This is not just one place. . it's a frakking piece of rock Photo by: francesco sgroi Main Index Tuscany You Can't Take Flash Photos of Michaelangelo's David Really? It's not a painting. The Madonna inside Orsanmichele was initially an outdoor tabernacle resident. I see this book occasionally in bookstores in the later bound version that was issued in the 1980s. but rather something to look out for. Photo by: Joel Joel. she got an upgrade.

it's simple. The person behind this window sells last-minute reserved tickets to the Uffizi (and other Florence attractions. not far from the Duomo. but this is an excellent option for people who can't book in advance and still want to avoid the lines. and you'll have more choices for visit times. It's not the biggest museum in the world and it's in an historic building. On the Via dei Calzaiuoli. at the earliest. As with the advance-booking online. the following day). The result. at least according to one report I've heard. including the Accademia Gallery with Michelangelo's David) even if the official museum websites say those days are sold out. . They're selling reservations that have been canceled at the last minute. the last-minute ticket window only accepts cash. there's a small fee for this last-minute ticket service. You can do this easily online for a small fee. And. Why Go Italy Know a travel secret about Tuscany? Become an Author Best Kept Travel Secrets 2010 Tripbase. there's an almost-unmarked ticket window next to the Orsanmichele church. Photo by: Koramchad My first suggestion to avoid the lines is to book your tickets before your trip. How do they do it? And is it a scam? It's not a scam -. But if you're allergic to planning that far ahead. but the Uffizi is easily the most popular.and as for how they're able to do this. There are plenty of art-tastic sights in Florence. This means that you won't have the pick of the litter when it comes to ticket times.This is an excellent option for people who can't book in advance and still want to avoid the lines Photo by: francesco sgroi Main Index Tuscany Score a Last-Minute Ticket to the Uffizi or Accademia. Florence Some of the worst lines I've ever seen (or heard reports of) are outside the Uffizi Gallery in Florence -and the lines are bad year-round. so officials are careful about keeping it from getting too crowded inside. Complicating matters even further is the fact that the number of people who can be inside the museum at any given time is limited. and I have yet to talk to someone who was able to buy tickets for the same day (most are for. there is another option. I'd suggest you make a beeline for this window soon after you get to Florence so you'll have more options for visits during your time in the city. however. is that there are routinely extremely long lines outside the door.com 16 Want to contribute? Join the Charity Project . Jessica.

antique shops. these are all Photo by: Alexandra hallmarks of the International Gothic style in art. They all have important Quattrocento altar pieces. Photo by: Dianne Dianne.The curly-cue robes. devoted. La Bella Lingua Best Kept Travel Secrets 2010 Tripbase. Across the Arno from il centro in a neighborhood of artisans' studios. attentive staff 3. Firenze) Three reasons to stay: 1. Florence The church of Santa Trinità is somewhat unknown to tourists.." However.. these are all hallmarks of the International Gothic style in art Photo by: francesco sgroi Main Index Tuscany Bartolini-Salimbeni Family Chapel.. It was painted by Ghirlandaio in the late 15th century and it's in great condition..the kind that takes your breath away. Take a look around the rest of the chapels. and galleries . .. Florence I stayed here so often that I came to think of it as "il mio palazzo. the gold. but then take the time to also see the Bartolini-Salimbeni chapel. a year before) that Masaccio was busy painting the Brancacci chapel across town in an entirely new style: Renaissance.com 17 Want to contribute? Join the Charity Project . the gold. (Borgo San Frediano 5. Rooftop terrace with 360 degree views of Florence 2. Alexandra. So go see that. the people that are bigger than the buildings that contain them. This chapel is a holdout for this style at the very same moment (OK. this gem of a restored 16th-century family home (with just twelve exquisite suites) and its amiable staff are so welcoming that every guest probably feels the same. Art Trav Palazzo Magnani Feroni. Wonderful. the patterning. and I highly recommend that you go there.. the people that are bigger than the buildings that contain them. The curly-cue robes. Why? This chapel was frescoed by Lorenzo Monaco around 1423 (stories of the Life of the Virgin) and on the altar is an absolutely beautiful Annunciation -. at which nobody bothers to look. Inside there is a semi-famous chapel that belonged to the Tornabuoni family. the patterning.

. beef and equine breeds. . I Florence Spazzavento Hill. so I can lift my head once in while and spit into the north wind's cold blast. The Parco della Cascine di Tavola prevailed over Tuscany as a production center of cheese. and super fresh provisions on your way to your beach home. Cascine Park. a park-farm created by Lorenzo the Magnificent in 1477. ideal currents for windsurfing.The mountain is bare and stony. wine. Recently. Luca. known in the Roman world as Cosa.. is a peak in the valley of Bisenzio. Italofile Photo by: Alberto Bizzini . production of silk worms and keeper of exotic animals. North of Prato. Photo by: Luca . I Florence Best Kept Travel Secrets 2010 Tripbase. peacocks. Here you will find the tomb of the great Prato author Curzio Malaparte. exposed to the cold north wind. Prato The Parco delle Cascine di Tavola. on top of Spazzavento. a sentence he wrote is inscribed on the tomb and reads. and views of some of the islands of the Tuscan Archipelago.The Promontorio dell'Argentario is a popular summer home spot for Romans and Tuscans Photo by: francesco sgroi Main Index Tuscany Argentario Promontory. If you've followed this blog. lions and giraffes. I'm also quite fond of La Parrina. the local authority has expressed their desire to renovate all the buildings owned by municipalities. in the town board in Prato (near the town Medici at Poggio a Caiano) is one of the most ambitious projects of the Renaissance period. an agriturismo where you can overnight or simply stop by to pick up the farm's own olive oil.com 18 Want to contribute? Join the Charity Project . Tuscany This is a place you probably won't get a chance to visit unless you have a friend with a house here. such as blacks deer. ". Built in 1961. idyllic resorts at Porto Santo Stefano and Porto Ercole. you'll know that I'm a sucker for ruins and the Argentario promontory has Roman ruins at Ansedonia. Photo by: Luca Luca.and I want to have my tomb up there. Melanie. Prato The Spazzavento hill. It has stretches of empty sand beaches. The Promontorio dell'Argentario is a popular summer home spot for Romans and Tuscans.

stay at the Hotel Leon Bianco. Abandoned around the late fifth century BC for reasons still unknown. when the tour buses leave.com 19 Want to contribute? Join the Charity Project . Dating from the late seventh century BC. sneak up on the open rooftop terrace. If you are lucky enough to spend the night . Photo by: gaspa Robin. Etruscan Site. located on the main square. and soak all alone in the jacuzzi while you stargaze. as witnessed by the importance of the finds that have emerged so far from early excavations. Prato In 1997 in a hamlet of Prato. When all is quiet. San Gimignano San Gimignano is one of the most touristy hill-top towns in Tuscany.When the tour buses leave. the real magic happens and that is when you see the real charm. the remains of an ancient Etruscan city were found. Hotel Leon Bianco. where breakfast is served in the morning. it is recognized as one of the major Etruscan cities of the Archaic period. the Etruscan town of Gonfienti is in the center of the important communication route between the central and Etruria Valley. Covering about 16 acres. the city was bound by the river Bisenzio Prato. the real magic happens and that is when you see the real charm Photo by: francesco sgroi Main Index Tuscany Gonfienti. That Tuscan night sky is breathtaking! . the river and the mountains of Calvana and the edge of the lake-river Florence-Prato-Pistoia basin (Fiorentina). My Melange Best Kept Travel Secrets 2010 Tripbase. I Florence Photo by: Luca . But. Luca.

something that needs to be done in advance. It's that easy. Using an online system. It is. St. so you don't have to be there at the right nanosecond in order to get in. you can reserve an entry time to visit the Basilica di San Marco Photo by: MorBCN Main Index Venice Reserve a Time (for Free) to Visit St. You'll get a confirmation number that you just need to present to the people standing guard at the entrance. so keeping the reservation free means it's no less accessible for budget travelers.thereby bypassing the line completely -but also that this service wouldn't cost you a thing. Within Venice. If you're a serious non-planner. Photo by: Asmund Heimar There's no entry fee for the Basilica anyway. You can book a visit up to two days beforehand. you can always pop into an internet cafe a few days before you'll be in Venice to see what options are left for reserved visits to the Basilica. although you'll pay to visit things like the treasury or the roof (both of those are only accessible once you're past the first entry point). It's important to note that this service is not available year-round . The situation is made worse by the fact that the famous church is right next to where most cruise ship day-trippers arrive on the islands. . Why Go Italy Know a travel secret about Venice? Become an Author Best Kept Travel Secrets 2010 Tripbase. You get about a 15-minute window in which to enter the church. however. So if I told you that not only could you book a time to get in -. Jessica.but it is available during the busiest times of the year." long lines to get into this ethereally beautiful cathedral are fairly standard in the high season. starting around the beginning of April. would that make you happy? I thought so. Venice Venice is one of my favorite places on earth. Unfortunately. you can reserve an entry time to visit the Basilica di San Marco. And the best part of all this is that it's completely free of charge.com 20 Want to contribute? Join the Charity Project . and just like that you're in the cathedral and not waiting in line.Using an online system. Mark's Basilica. in a city with very few "sights. Mark's Basilica is one of my favorite places in the city.

. It's true. the repository of the old culinary ways and methods. South of Rome How I Always Find Cool Events in Italy Unfortunately the following websites are only in italian. Renting an apartment for a week or even a few nights means you get to live like a local.You cannot know a place unless you slow down Main Index General Get to Know a Place I have a good Sicilian friend who shakes his head at the tourists. Karen. the organization aims to spread the culture of traditional food. Folclore and Eventi e Sagre in Italia. This year we've decided to carnevale in Trentino. Some agriturismi welcome guests to participate in harvesting olives or grapes depending on the time of year. Stay at an Agriturismo. at least for a short while. Agriturismi (plural of agriturismo). A good site to start your search from is Photo by: Karen HomeAway. Three ways to slow down: 1. .. but google translate does enough of a decent job to get the main facts..com 21 Want to contribute? Join the Charity Project . 3. "You've been everywhere but you've seen nothing!" he scolds. and partnered by and with the Italian government and the University of Bologna. Sponsored. They achieve this end by inviting guests into homes of Italian families "to taste foods cooked by the lady of the house. You cannot know a place unless you slow down. Photo by: Rowena Rowena. Book a meal with Home Food. or farm stays have become quite popular in Italy. If nothing else. or take part in cooking classes. From rustic to luxurious. Rubber Slippers in Italy Best Kept Travel Secrets 2010 Tripbase.com. there is accommodation to suit just about everyone. 2.I hope we don't get snowed out! . try to schedule a dinner through Home Food. Rent an Apartment. Many offer meals featuring ingredients from their own gardens with a focus on regional cuisine. supported.

com 22 Want to contribute? Join the Charity Project . . The savings are tremendous and there is a lot you can do in these countries in three days. For several days leading up to these holidays. admission is free for everyone. Photo by: Bo&Ko Lisa. Travel Dreams and Moonbeams Know a travel secret? Become an Author Best Kept Travel Secrets 2010 Tripbase.Plan your visit to Italy before a religious holiday such as Christmas or Easter and you will save hundreds of dollars Main Index General Time Your Visit with Public Holidays Plan your visit to Italy/Greece before a religious holiday such as Christmas or Easter and you will save hundreds of dollars on admission fees to the archaeological sites and national museums.

David and Jennifer Ayngelina Gillian Melanie Christine Robin Megan Angela Colleen Approach Guides Bacon is Magic Gillian's Lists Italofile Miss Expatria My Melange See. It would not have been possible without the amazing community spirit and unrivalled travel knowledge of the talented writers and bloggers listed below. Take a virtual world tour around their inspiring travel blogs. What are your Best Kept Travel Secrets? Join our team of travel writers and become a Travel Secrets Author.com 23 .Front Cover Main Index Contributing Authors This Travel Secrets eBook is the result of a unique collaborative project. Live Travel Calling Travel Mamas Alexandra Joel Luca Dianne Cherrye Rowena Karen Lisa Jessica Art Trav Freedonia Post I Florence La Bella Lingua My Bella Vita Rubber Slippers in Italy South of Rome Travel Dreams and Moonbeams Why Go Italy Best Kept Travel Secrets 2010 Tripbase. the first of its kind to take place on the Internet. Write.