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About the county (4)

About the county

Standing Rocks
Source: Flickr

Italy, the birthplace of pasta and pizza provides a wide range of choices for artwork lovers to experience. A temperate climate exists here with very hot summers and not so cold winters. The weather is the best in spring and autumn with pleasant temperatures and scenic views. At that time of the year, the place isn’t crowded much and things can be enjoyed in leisure. Incase of emergency call 112. For fire call 115 and for ambulance call 118.


Italian is widely spoken and is the official language. English isn’t very familiar to the locals. Family ties are of utmost importance here and hence social courtesies mean a lot to the locals. There is a great impact of the Roman Catholic Church on the culture here. There is a high content of chlorine in tap waters, so bottled water is recommended for staying fit during the trip. Since Italian is spoken on a wide scale, it is highly recommended to learn few common Italian phrases which can be of great use. Social gatherings call for formal wear, but one can dress in casuals otherwise. At some religious places, sleeveless shirt and shorts are frowned upon. So they are better avoided. Purses and wallets should be well guarded and in case of any theft, police should be informed about the incident.

Site Seeing

The first thing to check out is the leaning tower of Pisa, where Olympics originated. At places like museums and art galleries, photography, especially flash photography is restricted. Check out the ticket counter for more information. Italy should be majorly discovered on foot for a thorough viewing of all the beautiful buildings and monuments. Coaches and trains are a good option to get to a tourist spot.


Shops here are open from 9am to 8pm, closed for lunch. Quality of goods is great although the prices are very less. Items like crystals, lacework, leather good, and jewelry can be bought at the stores. Remember to hold on to the receipt. Tipping of 10% is customary along with the service tax levied on the bill. Italy is famous for top designers of the world, so do buy clothes and accessories to update your wardrobe. Cruises have formal gatherings in the evening, so ensure to buy a cocktail dress or some formal wear, though casuals can be worn at other times.


The voltage used is 220 volts and 50 Hz frequency.

Getting there

Alitalia is the national airline of Italy. Many other flights connect to Italy from USA, Canada and Australia and there is big competition to attract passengers giving a wide range of offers to travelers. Rome airport is located 26 km away from the city and it takes 45 minutes to get there from the airport. Trains connect directly to Termini Station from where one can take taxi to get to their destination. Duty free shops, bank, car hire and restaurants are the other services provided at this airport. Milan has another famous airport here, which is at a distance of 45km away from the city.

Brindisi, Ancona, Naples and Venice are the major seaports of Italy. Italian State Railways connects many European cities. But, Eurostar provides the fastest train service.

If choosing to drive, don’t forget to carry international driving license and international insurance certificate. Roads connect Italy to France, Austria and Switzerland. Many coach services are provided from the neighboring countries.

Duty Free Items

1. 200 cigarettes or 50 cigars or 100 cigarillos or 250g of tobacco
2. 2liter of wine and 1liter of spirits (over 22 per cent) or 2liter of fortified or sparkling wine
3. 50g of perfume and 250ml of eau de toilette; 500g of coffee or 200g of coffee extract (if over 15 years of age)
4. 100g of tea or 40g of tea extract
5. Gifts not exceeding €89.96 (if entering from an EU country), €175 (if entering from a non-EU country).

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Tips In Traveling To Australia

Tips In Traveling To Australia

A lot of people around the world have been dreaming of exploring and discovering the wonderful sights and attractions of the land down under, the magnificent island of Australia.
A great number of individuals are in awe with the sun-kissed strips and terrain of this exquisite country which offers you a taste of the outback or a choice to go frolicking and enjoying a sun tan in its luxurious beaches. This is the country where you can get to enjoy the most out of your summer and take pleasure in the wintry seasons of ice and snow. Get caught up in the up-to-the-minute elements and facets in its modern cities and visit the popular Sydney Harbour where the world famous Sydney Opera House is located.

Before booking that trip to Australia and excitedly packing your clothes and essentials, you may want to know that December and January are fully packed tourist months this is because these months mean long vacations from school. Thus, if you are looking forward to visit Australia during these months, then make sure to book your hotel accommodations well ahead of time.

January is also a hectic month for Australia because it hosts the “Festival of Sydney.” This means a celebration where there is a great display of street theatre, huge and enormous exhibits of fireworks and a lot of open air concerts. Other celebrations and festivities include the Comedy Festival held in Melbourne during the month of April and in September, writers are given honor and recognition with their own “Writer’s Festival.” It may interest you to know that there is also one very unique Australian festival that would be very exciting for all beer lovers and that is the “Darwin Beer Can Regatta” which is held in the month of August. The festival entails not the drinking-beer-until-you-drop theme as a lot of people may think but it involves boat races where the water crafts are ingeniously made out of beer cans. And gay people are not to be set aside when you are in Australia because they have their very own “Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras too. This event is usually celebrated in the months of February or March. Melbourne also takes on a Midsummer’s Festival in the months of January or February.

The point in fact, there is no bad time to visit Australia as the weather is usually good. The sun is usually scorching hot and sizzling during December to February which is perfect for summer vacations and escapades. The beaches and oceans of Australia are more than welcoming for you to take a dip in its waves and enjoy breaking surf or two. During the months of June until August, you get to take pleasure in playing with the snow and skiing to your heart’s content in the regions of Victoria and New South Wales.

If money and expenses are the issue, you may be glad to know that in Australia the accommodation and food are very affordable and could be very well within your financial budgets. There are budget meals to choose from in a lot of establishments and one way to save is to cook your own food which is typically allowed in most camps or hostels.

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Is Football Coming Home

Is Football Coming Home

The English football team have managed to reach the quarter finals of the Fifa World Cup, will this finally be the year that football comes back home for the first time since 1966?
Despite not playing their best football, England are still in the tournament and must have a great chance of lifting the trophy.

Some might say that I am biased as I am from England myself and am an avid England supporter, however I really feel that 2006 could be the year for our boys out there in Germany. This may of course be all blown away on Saturday when the team face Portugal and big Phil Scolari. Scolari has been the manager of the last two teams who have knocked England out of the last two major tournaments and therefore will pose a big threat to my team. He was the manager of the Brazil team that beat England in the 2002 World Cup and he was and still is the manager of the Portugal team that beat England in the 2004 European Championship. I am hoping that it will be third time lucky for the English this year.

To say that England are yet to peak is a bit of an understatement as they have in truth been well below par. This could however be quite a good thing, how many times have Germany scraped through to the final stages of the tournament without thrilling the crowds?

With Wayne Rooney becoming stronger and fitter this has to be the best opportunity that England has had for quite some time. There are many leaders and potential captains in the English team. Players like John Terry, Frank Lampard, Steven Gerrard would all make worthy captains when David Beckham decides to give up this role. As well as potential captains, these players are also what I call winners and when push comes to shove hopefully will deliver the goods.

Argentina, Brazil and Germany could prove to be the biggest dangers to England. After a slow start Ronaldo seems to have found his scoring boots again and the Brazil team has some great players all over the park. I have to say that I am getting quite bored of them winning however, surely its the turn of England this time around.

Germany have played some great football on their home turf and seem to building up a head of steam. They could prove quite difficult to stop and always seem to do well in the World Cup.

Many people would argue that Argentina have probably played the best football so far and that they are worthy favourites. I would have to agree with this and just hope that they have peaked too soon.

It certainly would be a great summer in England if our team can bring football home to where it belongs this year. Good luck England.

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Antigua and Barbuda Recipes

Antigua and Barbuda Recipes

Source: Flickr

Antigua and Barbuda, an island nation located in the Leeward Islands between the Caribbean Sea and the North Atlantic Ocean, is famous as a popular tourist destination. Its complex coastline of harbors, coral reefs, and volcanoes makes it a very appealing place to spend a luxury Caribbean getaway. However, what many people know yet seem to always overlook is the wonderful cuisine that is replete with the rich flavors of the Caribbean and unique Antigua and Barbuda recipes.

Antigua and Barbuda has many restaurants and small cafes that offer fine dining and native island delicacies. Antigua and Barbuda recipes offer you an interesting mix of European, American, Indian, and Islands cuisine.

Below are some world-famous Antigua and Barbuda recipes that you can try:

Black Angelhair Fritters

Like crab? Then you should try this Antigua and Barbuda recipe that adds a slight twist to boring ol’ fritters. To make Black Angelhair Fritters, you need: 2 oz. blue crab meat, 2 oz. minced conch, 2 oz. minced vegetables, 1 oz. cooked black angelhair pasta, 1 egg, hint of baking powder, plus seasoning.

First, mix the crab and minced conch together before adding the vegetables, eggs, and baking powder. Season to taste and afterwards, add the black angelhair very carefully.

Heat the deep fryer. When temperature reaches 250, add the angelhair pasta mix and fry to satisfaction. Mild curry present a nice sauce and compliment with a garnish of fried parsley and diced tomatoes.

Black Bean Cakes

For appetizers, you might try this Antigua and Barbuda recipe topped with spicy Salsa Roja and a dollop of Cilantro Yogurt. For the Black Bean Cake, you need: 2 cups cooked black beans, ½ cup finely chopped onion, 1 ½ teaspoons ground cumin, 1 tablespoon finely chopped jalapeno chile, cornstarch, and 2 tablespoons olive oil (for frying).

Use a food processor to prepare black beans, onion, cumin, and jalapeno, pulsing them until smooth. Then add 1 tablespoon of water to help blend. Use salt and pepper to taste. Next, shape the bean paste into small cakes using 2 tablespoons of bean mixture for each. Then, line baking sheet with plastic wrap and dust with cornstarch to prevent the mixture from sticking.

Now, heat small amount of oil in large skillet (nonstick) before adding black bean cakes. Cook the cakes to a crispy brown (about 3 minutes per side), then transfer to platter and keep warm. Serve with Cilantro Yogurt and Salsa Roja.

Papaya Pie

For dessert, try this Antigua and Barbuda recipe with ingredients: 1 medium pre-baked pie shell (sweet), 3 medium ripe papayas, 2 teaspoons lime juice, ½ teaspoon lime zest, pinch of cinnamon, 1 dash of orange extract, 4 tablespoons of flour, 4 tablespoons of sugar, and 4 egg whites.

Mash the papayas before adding lime juice, zest, cinnamon, and orange extract. Next, fold the mixture in flour and sugar. Then, beat the egg whites until stiff before folding it into the mixture. Bake for 25 minutes or until the top turns brown. Serve chilled.

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The Bahamas, So Near Yet So Far

The Bahamas, So Near Yet So Far

Berrouaghia - Ain El Melh البرواقية - عين الملح
Source: Flickr

Made up of about 700 islands and located just a short flight or cruise from the mainland United States, the Bahama Islands are a wonderful tropical retreat.
It is perhaps the most popular destination for cruisers, especially first time cruisers. Like its Western “cruise cousin”, the 3-day jaunts to Ensenada and points in Nortwest Mexico, a Bahamas cruise is a great choice of busy people who need a few nights away from it all.

Nassau, the capital city on the island of New Providence, is an easy to explore city with losts of history, shopping and food. A day’s excursion brings with it ample charm by exploring it’s grand architecture and getting to know its charming residents.

The architecture is mostly 18th and 19th century colonial which remind one of the city’s origins as a modern city. Be sure to see Parliament Square when you tour the city to get a real feel for the history of the islands.

Like tropical beaches? Make sure to leave time for relaxing on the Bahamas‘ warm Caribbean beach and waters. Here you’ll find sailing, snorkling and diving opportunities. Or, just kick back and enjoy the wonderful tropical sun.

And, when you’re ready to kick up your heels and party, the nightlife in Nassau is alive with great dining and casinos and nightlclubs.

Freeport, the Bahamas’ second city on Grand Bahama is a must visit. Like its name implies, Freeport offers duty free shopping in its huge internationa bazaar. Bring your credit card!

But Freeport is not just for shoppers. It’s night life is known the world over. It offers world renowned entertainment and cuisine.

The Bahamas are just a short hop away. But, even though close, offers American travelers a whole different world. Visit this tropical paradise. You won’t come away dissapointed.