Rome

Vibrant street life, delicious food and more monuments than you can count – Rome is one of the best Europeans cities for a weekend getaway.

I visited Rome for the first time in 2011, and was blown away by all its historical landmarks. Being the whirlwind backpacking trip it was, I didn’t get a chance to immerse myself in the vibe of the city. Thank god for coin I tossed into Trevi fountain, I returned! Continue reading

Lake Como

When in Milan, take a day trip to Lake Como.

Lake Como Lake Como Bellagio Lake ComoThere are many reasons one should visit Milan (I’ve outlined some of them in my last post), but the accessibility to Lake Como should be pretty high up on the list. Lake Como is a beautiful deep-blue lake set at the foothills of the Alps in northern Italy. Its namesake region is known for stunning scenery and upscale holidaying. But most importantly, it’s where George Clooney lives (and now you know why it rings a bell). No, we didn’t run into him.  Continue reading

Milan

I don’t understand why Milan gets a bad reputation. I’ve heard it being called industrial, dirty and uninteresting. A friend also once referred to it as “the Manchester of Italy”. If that’s the case, I’m looking forward to going up to Manchester because I had a fantastic weekend in Milan this month.

People usually go to Italy for good weather, history, food, and architecture. Milan ticks all those boxes along with being modern, prosperous, and a gateway to exploring northern Italian lakes.

Galleria Vittorio Emanuele Milan Duomo Milan MilanWith less than 48 hours in Italy’s fashion capital – half of which was spent exploring the said northern lakes – we tried to pack as much as we could in a day, fuelled by coffee and Campari, of course.  Continue reading

11 countries in 2011

At some point during the year, probably when I realized that the travel gods were on my side, I decided that I was going to attempt to visit 11 countries in 2011.

And lo and behold, I did.

I started my travels this year with a much needed getaway to culturally rich and geographically diverse Nicaragua. That was followed by the legendary banana pancake trail and a Europe camping trip. It was very poetic that the 11th country I visited was in Latin America as well, the beautiful Panama.

If I were to talk about all of those individual trips, this would be an excruciatingly long blog post that no one will read (because, let’s admit it, we don’t like long blog posts). Instead, here is a little photo montage of my most amazing year for travel ever.

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Venezia

My favourite cities in the world are places with character; places that say something; places that tell a story in every street corner; places that have personality, punch and pizzaz.

Venice Venezia has it all.

Built on 117 small islands in the marshy Venetian Lagoon, Venezia has the world’s most artistic masterpieces per square kilometre. As if the glistening Gondolas in the Grand Canal and the marble churches weren’t enough, Venezia had to be laden with the best combination of high-end Italian fashion and Venetian craftsmanship. Whether you explore this city gliding through the waterways or getting lost in the callis (alleyways), you are bound to feel a romantic, yet pompous, vibe from this place. It’s like in the movies: the soft, melodious music is always playing in the back of your head as you make your way from Piazzale Roma to Piazzale San Marco. The interesting urban planning, with the city built around the canals and not streets, is bound to make you loose your way, but it’s a popularly accepted fact that getting lost is the best way to see Venezia. And even the hoards of lost tourists feel like admirers under a spell, and not a touristy crowd.

Venezia has inspired my poets and songwriters, and I don’t blame them one bit for hopelessly falling in love with this city. I am no poet or painter but I have learned to appreciate beauty through the lens of my camera. I am sharing some modest shots that don’t do justice to the vibe, glory and romanticism of Venezia.

"White swan of cities, slumbering in thy nest So wonderfully built among the reeds Of the lagoon, that fences thee and feeds, As sayeth thy old historian and thy guest!" - Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

"The sylphs and ondines And the sea-kings and queens Long ago, long ago, on the waves built a city, As lovely as seems To some bard in his dreams, The soul of his latest love-ditty." - Lord Lytton

"A realist, in Venice, would become a romantic by mere faithfulness to what he saw before him." - Arthur Symons

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