Saturday, June 8, 2013

Alice's Adventure Continues!

Pisa- Go ahead, take the silly picture! You know you want to and besides, everyone else is. It's OK to be cliche every once in a while. Now get out of my way, we're in Wine Country!!! I know I'm excited to see it all for myself this month.

Venice- Everyone scrambles to pay a fortune for a brief ride in one of those gonadals, but I say forget 'em! I had the best of times simply strolling along the many streets and dipping into the shops. You have to try Carpaccio! I thought it was going to be gross, but I loved it. 

Rome- "When in Rome..." you've got two options: Cliche or Once-In-A-Lifetime! Since Sandman Tours doesn't extend into Italy you probably thought you were off the hook for a walking tour, right? Think again! Be prepared for a taste explosion on this unique style of tour: Eating Italy. Are you brave? Do you have a death wish? Rent a scooter and do as the Romans do... run red lights!

Florence- Great places to walk include along the Arno and across any of its bridges; through narrow, medieval back streets in the Santa Croce area; and in the Oltr'Arno - on the south side of the river, in many ways like Rome's Trastevere or Paris's Left Bank - but far, far smaller. There are also superb shopping streets, such as the Via Tornabuoni, the Via del Parione, and the Via Maggio.

Milan- what makes Milan interesting compared to other places is that the city is truly more about the lifestyle of enjoying worldly pleasures: a paradise for shopping, football, opera, and nightlife. Milan remains the marketplace for Italian fashion. Must See's:
         the Duomo, one of the biggest and grandest Gothic cathedrals in the world
         La Scala, one of the best established opera houses in the globe
         the Galleria Vittorio Emanuele, an ancient and glamorous arcaded shopping gallery
         the Brera art gallery, with some of the finest artistic works in Europe,
         the Pirelli tower, a majestic example of 1960s modernist Italian architecture
         the San Siro, a huge and famed stadium
         the Castello Sforzesco, a grand medieval castle
... Sorry, that was way more than 2 things!

Dubrovnik- Croatia is Top on my bucket list currently. I read an article in Food & Wine that Croatia was producing the best wine in the world in 2012. So 1st thing to do: DRINK WINE! Walk on the walls around the old town, great views. It is highly recommended to visit the walls during the early morning hours or the late afternoon hours during mid-summer months as it can become hot.

Athens- Mythology is a passion of mine and no one tells a story like the Greeks. If you're there during the summer attend an event at the Athens and Epidaurus Festival. It runs during the summer and offers a wide spectrum of events covering almost every taste. Try to attend a performance at the ancient theater of Epidaurus -a truly unforgettable experience. See the Parthenon before it crumbles.

Vienna- There are 21 marketswith stands and small characteristically Viennese hut-like shops that are open daily (except Sunday). Additionally many of these have true farmers' markets, often on Saturday mornings. There is a large variety of sellers and markets, from the upscale to the dirt cheap. You have to try some Schnitzel!

Munich- Guess what?! We've back in Sandeman land! Which means awesome walking tours for FREE. Get excited people. The tour begins on Marienplatz (Mary’s square) at 10:45am and 1pm every day in all weather. Have a beer! The Hofbräuhaus may be the most famous (and certainly the most touristy) beer hall, but there are countless more beautiful beer halls scattered throughout the city.
Berlin- This is a big city, so you might be VERY tired after the 3.5hour tour. Still, it's worth it: The start point for this tour is in East Berlin at 11:00 AM and 1:00 PM at the Brandenburg Gate, in front of Starbucks. (S/U-Bahn Brandenburger Tor). If that's too much, then grab one of those hop on and off buses. You can cover a lot of ground on those without exhausting yourself too much. You can't come to Germany without trying Döner, it is a flat bread, filled with Lamb or chicken meat and vegetables,you can get it at many Turkish stands.
Frankfurt- I'm completely biased since I lived here for 8 months. I love the city, it's a beautiful blend of modern and historical. The Rhomer is in the heart of the city and you should see it, but my must-sees will take you out to the far sides of the city. The Palmengarten is one of my favorite hideaways in the city. It's acres and acres of beautiful gardens. A relaxing way to pass the afternoon. Then grab a traditional bite: Currywurst at my favorite little dive- Culux. It's about a block and a half north on Oeder Weg from the Ubahn station Eschenheimer Tor.

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