tourism Tag

house of juliet, verona, where is juliet's house, veneto, love, juliet's balcony (2)
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The power of love

The House of Juliet, Verona, Italy Love has an undeniable power. There's a strength in the emotion that is indefinable and seems endless. It’s so strong that it can defeat logic, neutralise rational thought and influence decisions. In other words, it's exactly what salespeople are looking for. Enter stage left, the House of Juliet in Verona. The brainchild of an Italian marketer, it is a money-spinner that only love could make so successful. There's a simple formula to making a fortune in this instance. Find one of history's most enduring love stories. Romeo and Juliet - tick! Identify the city in which it is set. Verona, Italy - tick! Choose the most iconic location from this love story. Juliet's balcony - tick! Locate an old building that needs some patronage from tourists - tick! Build a balcony - tick! Call it Juliet's House - tick! Sit back and let the money roll in - disarm doors and cross-tick! Letters to Juliet There...

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15 June
visiting san marino, tourism, world's oldest country, oldest constitution, smallest countries, san marino (5)
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The world’s oldest sovereign state

Visiting San Marino From high up on the hill, looking out over the countryside and towards the ocean, you can see why the residents of San Marino have tried so hard over the centuries to keep their land - it’s a stunning view, witnessed from a beautiful city that has maintained its historic charm. It’s hard to imagine how they managed to keep their country intact, though, considering the wars and invasions that have bloodied the lands around them. San Marino is the oldest sovereign state in the world, having been founded in 301AD. But it’s also one of the smallest – about 60 square kilometres (or 24 square miles). It’s this size which has helped protect the country because it’s never been seen as a true threat or as a large enough area to bother conquering. Enclosed entirely within Italy, it’s also been protected geographically from many potential aggressors. The capital of...

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07 June
Euro 2012, Poland, wroclaw stadium, wroclaw, ready (5)
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Is Poland ready for the football?

Euro 2012 "You didn't hear this from me," someone whispers in my direction. "But I'm not sure Poland will be ready in time for the matches." I take it with a grain of Polish salt. You seem to hear these things before every big international sporting event - and Poland is about to put itself right in the spotlight when it shares the hosting duties with Ukraine for one of the world's largest sporting tournaments. In less than two months eight of the countries' cities will be the home of the 2012 UEFA European Football Championship (Euro 2012). Sixteen teams will compete in 31 matches. The whole event will run over 24 days and is expected to bring in tens of thousands of visitors. It's a huge undertaking for any country but particularly one that is still growing its economy and infrastructure after decades of communist rule. It knows, though, that national pride...

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29 April
pucon, chile, rafting, trekking, volcano, things to do (2)
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The beach in the mountains

Things to do in Pucon, Chile Many hours drive from the ocean there’s a beach. Hundreds of metres above sea level, people laze on the shore and splash around in the water. There’s no sand – just grey volcanic rocks for a shore. But there are beach umbrellas, sunchairs and more skin than should be socially acceptable. This is Pucon and there are lots of things to do. About 800 kilometres south of the capital Santiago, this is the premier location for domestic tourism in Chile. It’s not popular just for the beach, which is on the side of an enormous lake with surprisingly warm water. It’s also a base for a whole range of adventure sports. Trekking, rafting, canyoning, and so on. This is what the Chileans come for during the summer. It’s a laidback town… small and spread out from the lake in a grid. The shops along the main street...

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08 March
santiago fish market, mercado central, chile, best fish
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Something a bit fishy

Santiago Fish Markets, Chile You smell it before you see it. But I suppose that’s often the case with fish markets. There’s something about the smell of thousands of dead sea creatures that should be off-putting but actually just makes you crave a good meal. The fish market in Santiago had been described to me as a must-visit place. Normally a recommendation like that can go one of two ways – it’s either a highlight or a complete tourist trap. Strangely enough, this fell right in the middle. Mercado Central The locals call it Mercado Central and early in the mornings it is their domain. Chile is famous for its fish and this is where the top restaurateurs come before dawn to reel in their catch of the day. It’s much later, after the best specimens are gone and the new haul is placed onto the icy trays that the tourists start to wander...

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01 March
santiago, chile, free tour, city tour, south america
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Hitting the streets of Santiago

Santiago city tour, Chile A light spray of spittle erupts from Felipe's mouth. His eyes are animated, his hands moving wildly and his voice booming across the crowd. As he tells stories of Chile's fight for independence, his mood lifts with the jubilation of victory. When he discusses the difficulties of life under Pinochet, his tone softens in respect for those who went missing or were killed. And as he explains the recent student riots in the city, there's a muted anger in the way he talks. Felipe is an actor and today Santiago is his stage and we his audience. Every day Felipe guides a free tour of Santiago - sometimes two - in exchange for tips. It's a system that's been adopted in cities all across the world. The one in Sydney uses to stop at my old office and point in the windows at us. I'd been meaning to...

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27 February
travelling paraguay, tourism, paraguay buses, sites, sights, ascuncion, ciudad del este
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Travels through Paraguay

Tips for travel in Paraguay As the bus drives along the bumpy dirt road, I look desperately out the window. Through the haze of the red dust being thrown into the air, I look for a sign. Not a mystical symbol of guidance or anything that ethereal – I’m talking about an actual sign. You see, I’m travelling in the middle of Paraguay and have no idea where I am. I know I’m supposed to be getting off at a small village somewhere but, as far as I know, it could be any of the stops the bus is making. This seems to be a recurring theme of my travels in Paraguay. In some senses one of the hardest countries in South America to get around but, in some other senses, one of the easiest. Let me explain. The reason I was staring out the bus window for any hint of my location...

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10 February