10 Good Reasons to Visit Italy!

Visit Italy in 2016

There are many good reasons to visit Italy. Experience extraordinary architecture, remarkable works of art, fascinating history, as well as delicious cuisine and glorious natural beauty. Italy also has the greatest number of UNESCO World Heritage sites in the world, and is top of the list for world-class tourist attractions.

1.Rome

Monuments in Rome

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Rome is bursting with historical monuments, ruins and artifacts. These include the world famous Colosseum, Roman Forum and Trevi Fountain.
Explore the Vatican city and see the Sistine Chapel painted by Michelangelo and the incredible St. Peter’s Basilica.

 

2. Venice

Visit Italy Venice canal

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If you visit Italy and bypass Rome, then you must not miss Venice. World famous for its 117 small islands which are separated by sleepy canals and linked by exquisite bridges. Add to that the gondolas and beautiful architecture, including Saint Mark’s Basilica. You can create memories that will last forever.

 

 3. Florence

Bridge in Florence

ahundt / Pixabay

 

The Renaissance City of Florence is extraordinary in its beauty. View the magnificent Baptistery, Michelangelo’s David and visit Piazza della Signoria, with its stunning statues and palazzi. Stroll along the Ponte Vecchio, a Medieval stone bridge in Florence, best known for the many shops built along it.

 

4. Pisa

Pisa Square of Miracles

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Pisa is a city best known for its iconic Leaning Tower. The Leaning tower of Pisa is a freestanding bell tower which stands next to the cathedral of Pisa, and started tilting during its construction in the 12th-century.

 

5. Siena

Siena

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Discover Siena, a picturesque medieval town in the heart of Tuscany, famous for its medieval brick buildings. Admire the wonderful architecture on Piazza del Campo, including the the Gothic palace, Palazzo Pubblico,  and its tower, Torre del Mangia.

 

6. Bologna

Bologna

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Bologna is the capital of the Emilia-Romagna Region in Northern Italy, and is famous for its medieval towers. It is also known for its food and where tortellini, mortadella, tagliatelle and ragù originated from.

 

7. Cinque Terre

Cinque Terre

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The Cinque Terre is a district where five centuries-old seaside villages are set along the rugged Italian Riviera coastline. See the enchanting colourful houses and ancient vineyards clinging to the terraces, soak up the amazing views, and experience the sheer beauty of the place.

 

8. Italian Lakes

Italian Lake

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Witness breathtaking views and serene surroundings when you visit the Italian Lakes region. From Lake Lugano to Lake Garda and the Dolomite Mountains, bask in the peaceful beauty of it all. Take a trip to Bellagio in the Province of Como, commonly known as ‘the pearl of Lake Como’, and be enchanted by this heavenly place.

 

 9. Naples

Bay of Naples

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The cosmopolitan city of Naples is Italy’s third-largest city and boasts a vast assortment of  archaeological treasures. This wonderful place is bursting with many historic palaces, monuments and statues, and the view as the sun sets on the Bay of Naples is outstanding.

 

10. Pompeii

Ruins at Pompeii

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Visit the excavations at Pompeii and prepare to be astonished by this haunting experience. Buried for centuries beneath volcanic ash after Mount Vesuvius erupted in 79 AD, this  archaeological site lies preserved for all time. The ruins of Pompeii are simply extraordinary, providing a fascinating insight into ancient Roman life.

 

Vineyard

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Quite simply, immerse yourself in the Italian culture and let your heart be captured by this wonderful country.

You can plan to visit Italy with Global Coach Tours

Tipping guidelines in Britain!

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Tipping has become increasingly widespread in all areas of the service industry, particularly in restaurants, cafes, bars and taxis worldwide.

The UK is no different, but knowing when to tip and how much can be confusing.

See below for some tipping guidelines when visiting Britain:

 

Restaurants

In British restaurants where you place your order with a waiter or waitress at your table, it is common to tip around 10%.

This can be done by either leaving a cash tip after paying the bill or adding an amount to your total bill if paying by credit card.

In some restaurants, a service charge of 10% – 12.5% is added to the bill, and this should be noted clearly on the menu.

Do not leave a tip if you are not happy with the service.

Birte / Pixabay

 

Cafes and Coffee Shops

Similar to a restaurant, if you receive waitress service in a British cafe or coffee shop at your table, a tip of 10% would be appropriate.

In coffee shops, such as Starbucks or Costa, there may be a tip jar on the counter, but very few customers offer tips as you usually collect your own order.

In cafes, where you collect your food, place it on a tray and pay at the end counter, there is no need for a tip.

 

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Bars and Pubs

You do not usually tip barmaids or bartenders in British pubs and bars.

However,  you can offer to buy them a drink if you have had great service or are on friendly terms.

Generally though, tips are not expected.

 

 

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Taxis

It is not a requirement to tip in taxis, but most people round up the fare to the nearest £1 as a polite gesture.

If a minicab driver helps with your luggage on a longer journey or from an airport, you may want to tip a little more.

If taking a black cab or licensed minicab in London, a 10% tip is the average amount, although not a requirement.

 

Takeaway Food

When picking up food from a British takeaway restaurant, tipping is not required.

If your food is delivered to your hotel or apartment, although not required, tipping the delivery driver with the change or £1 would be a polite gesture.

 

Hans / Pixabay

 

Hotels

In Britain, if a porter takes your bags to your room, a £2 cash tip is reasonable.

Tipping for food and drinks being brought to your room is at your discretion.

Again, leaving a tip for your chambermaid is at your discretion, but not a requirement.

Coach Tours and Guides

Tips are not included in the price of most tours.

However, it is customary to show gratitude to your tour director and driver for a satisfactory service.

CIE Tours recommend below the minimum amount Per person per day:

Driver/Guide (1 person crew) £5
Tour Director (part of 2 person crew) £3
Driver (part of 2 person crew) £3
Guide for walking or city tour £1
Driver for chauffeur vehicle £12

 

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Tips for Travelling to Britain and Ireland!

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Travelling to Britain and Ireland has become an attractive option for many people since Brexit.

The low British Pound and Euro has made the exchange rates very favourable indeed for those travelling from abroad.

Some may not be quite sure what to expect so see some handy tips below for when visiting Britain and Ireland:

 

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Coach Tours

CIECoach750

Depending on what coach tour company you travel with, on average, most British and Irish tours have around 40 passengers but can hold a maximum of 50 passengers.

Most tours travel during the daytime only. Departures can be early and are often very early on the first day if leaving from London.

 There is rarely any travel longer than 3 hours without a stop for sightseeing or a break. Tours are all planned and well paced to maximize sightseeing.

Most coaches have restrooms and make frequent rest/bathroom stops, usually at 2-hour intervals or less, for the comfort of all passengers.

The majority of coaches are not accessible for the physically disabled so travellers should be able to get on and off the coach unaided. However, most tour operators allow you may bring a light-weight foldable wheelchair if needed.

Again, depending on the Tour Company, children over a certain age are permitted to travel on coach tours and usually get a discount on non budget holidays.

Hotels on Tour

Olichel / Pixabay

British and Irish hotels usually come in 3 classes – first class (3 star), superior first class (4 star) or deluxe (5 star).

First class tours use these 3 options while budget tours often use hotels away from the centre of towns.

Bedding options are usually a choice of single, twin, double or triple rooms.

You will usually pay a single room supplement for a single room or you can opt for a twin share with another guest of the same gender to save money.

For a twin room you get 2 separate single beds. For a double you get a double bed which is king size or bigger.

If there are three people sharing a room then a triple room will usually have a double and one twin bed.

Most rooms should have TVs and hairdryers plus a shaver outlet in the bathroom.

Check-in times vary between 12:00 noon and 3:00 pm depending on the individual hotel.

 

 Documents Needed

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To enter Britain, a passport valid for the duration of your stay is required, except for EU Nationals holding a valid national ID card.

Visas for the United Kingdom are required by many outside of Europe.

Exceptions include Australian, New Zealand, Malaysian, Singapore, Canadian and US citizens.

 If you are not a citizen of the UK or Ireland, then you will require a passport and possibly a separate visa to visit Ireland.

 

 Currency & Credit cards

Different currency is used in Britain and Ireland.

The Republic of Ireland uses the euro, while in Britain and Northern Ireland the pound sterling is used.

In Ireland there are seven euro notes in denominations of €5 to €500 and eight euro coins used.

In Britain and Northern Ireland pound sterling comes in denominations of £5, £10, £20 and £50 and eight coins including £1 and £2.

High denomination bills are not readily accepted for exchange, even in banks, so it is better to carry smaller denominations.

Major credit cards such as Visa and MasterCard are widely accepted in Britain and Ireland.

American Express and Diners Club cards are less commonly accepted.

It’s always a good idea to use credit cards to avoid carrying large sums of cash.

Advise your bank that you are traveling overseas to ensure that they don’t block your credit cards as this can sometimes happen.