London Zoo is one of Britain’s top attractions and is the world’s oldest scientific zoo founded over 180 years ago.  It can be found in the heart of London, in Regent’s Park. it is run by the Zoological Society of London.  Although located in London its expertise and scientific influence is spread throughout the world.  Well worth visit on a short stay break away.

Regents Park

Quick browses of their blogs show some fascinating insights into their projects.  For instance, Bat:    Raising public awareness about the status of the Seychelles sheath-tailed bat, and reduce human interference at roost sites.  Fireworks for Elephants:  Project based in Thailand, where they have developed cameras traps to alert farmers and rangers when the Elephants leave forests at night time.

Although this zoo is located in the middle of the city it still has plenty of animals to see including lions, camels, giraffes, penguins, tigers, monkeys. In fact there are 750 different species of animals making it one of the largest collections of animals in the UK.

London Zoo1

The zoo is divided up into many different areas which are great fun to explore and help make it one of London’s most popular tourist attractions.

Gorilla Kingdom

Gorilla Kingdom enclosure is home to a colony of Western Lowland gorillas which live together with and black and white Columbus monkeys. Beautiful birds that share the Gorillas environment and there is also a monitor lizard and other animals from Africa.

Butterfly Paradise

As visitors walk through this area they are surrounded by beautiful free flying butterflies and moths from Africa, South-east Asia and Central and South America, seeking out plants on which to feed and rest. There is a holding room where visitors can see the pupae develop into butterflies and eventually emerge helping to learn more about their life cycles.

Lions and Tigers

London Zoo is home to a family of Asian lions and pair of tigers and visitors can get very close to the Zoo’s beautiful but endangered wild cats.


The Aquarium is also split into three areas and features many beautiful, exotic and weird fish and a stunning coral reef.

Penguin Beach

Opened in 2011 Penguin Beach is England’s biggest penguin pool. It has underwater windows to allow visitors watch the birds swimming.

There are several places where you can purchase food and drink and souvenirs can be purchased in the gift shop as you tour the London zoo.

How do I get there ?

Their address: ZSL London Zoo Regent’s Park London NW1 4RY Tel: 020 7722 3333 Fax: 020 7586 5743

By Underground (Tube)  Walking distance of Camden Town and Regent’s Park stations.

By waterbus The London Waterbus Company runs a scheduled service along the Regent’s Canal between Camden Lock or Little Venice and ZSL London Zoo.

By car, they have extensive parking facilities, plus we’re outside of the congestion charge.



If you like you can use Regents Park as a holiday or short stay location.  There is a choice of B&B, hotels and self-catering serviced apartments in the area.   Self-catering accommodation can be relatively cheap and you can bring the whole family.

Holiday Home Owners Twitting to promote rental business

Holiday Home Owners Twitting to promote  rental business

Many of us in some way or form are promoting holiday rentals online using social media like Facebook or Twitter as part of this process. But how useful are these online social platforms in getting businesses in front of clients.

A recent article by Adrian Weckler in the Irish Independent suggests that most tweets deliver zero traffic to websites. Can this be said of the self-catering market have we not the advantage of presenting inviting images of sun clad properties with people enjoying their holidays or vacation depending on the continent you live in.

Having said that if stats in Ireland are anything to go by we should all be conscious of the effort we put into twitter versus the return it gives in terms of web traffic. Wecklers article has stated that in Ireland Twitters share of referral traffic fell from last year from 14% to 5%. Facebook grew from 62% to 84%.




In the interest of balance lets take a closer look at Twitter. As someone posted its much more than just “what I had for breakfast”. It has become an essential part of most businesses marketing strategy. But we have to agree with Adrian Weckler the 140 character rule mean users don’t wait around to read the detail. They have neither time nor interest to click on your link.

Having said all of the above let’s take a closer look at Twitter as an essential component of a content marketing strategy.

Here are a few reasons why!

1. It gives you away to engage with the public and post direct to them.

2. It is possible to find relevant people on Twitter.

3. A third reason Twitter excels at building relationships is via content and links sharing.

4. It’s a great source of content. News breaks on Twitter. If you are looking to comment on the latest breakthroughs and share the newest ideas, they are probably hitting Twitter first.

5. You should curate a list of your best teachers on the web. If you follow this list, it should be a better source of content ideas than any RSS feed you could establish because you are not only seeing their ideas, but the important links and developments they are following.

6. It can be burdensome coming up with interesting and relevant content to tweet about every day. You can lift that heavy load by re-tweeting the exceptional content of others.

7. It is relatively easy to build an internal network to help you achieve a level of social proof!

8. SEO benefits —Google seems to be acknowledging and rewarding the validation that comes through social sharing.




The point about Facebook driving more web traffic is well made and the statistics are there to prove it.

It might not be as effective as Facebook agreed. We are building our website profile and of course we are going to use twitter as a source of engaging with others. We can target self-catering property suppliers and users. Yes it needs improvement but the people at Twitter have a huge platform from which to build a strong social marketing source.

Midleton Co Cork Ireland as the perfect wedding location

Midleton Co Cork Ireland as the perfect wedding  location

Midleton in the heart of East Cork in the South of Ireland has become the wedding location of choice for many young couples. Midleton is a bustling market town where many businesses and services have chosen to set up including many wedding suppliers.

Ballycotton Lighthouse

Coupled with the fact that there are a number of excellent wedding venues like Midleton Park HotelFota Resort, Castlemarty Resort, Garryvoe Hotel, Ballymaloe House Hotel and Barnabrow House.

The area has an abundance of quality accommodation  and has other wedding service in great supply. such as Hotels, B & B and self-catering accommodation. Many  couples nowadays are living abroad but want to be married in their own home town or parish. In this post recession era many couples have families and friends live outside of Ireland and they will include the wedding celebrations with their annual holidays.  What better place than scenic East Cork  to take a holiday rental or short stay break.  East Cork and Midleton in particular can supply this accommodation particularly  self-catering where a wedding party can locate before and after the big day.

The Paddocks Holiday Village

The Paddocks
The Paddocks is a great self-catering location. The Paddocks is also ideal as a base for Wedding groups. While the grounds with beautiful gardens and working farm and equestrian centre are also great for wedding picture. Their houses can accommodate large family wedding groups. Many brides living abroad use the Paddocks as a place to prepare for their upcoming nuptials. Ballyvolane House located near Rathcormac, just 20 minutes away is one of many well-known local venues for Wedding Receptions.

Fota Island Resort Lodges


Located on the Cobh Road a few miles from Midleton you ll find Fota Island Resort. It is one of the leading 5 star wedding hotels in Ireland and an idyllic luxury location for a wedding venue in Cork. Its located in a tranquil woodland setting adjacent to a Fota Golf course which on a number of occasions hosted the Irish Open.

As wedding venues go its as picturesque as you will get anywhere in Cork. You enter the resort from the Cobh road through the old imposing limestone pillar entrance. Proceeding down the tree lined avenue. The avenue is splendidly sheltered with magnificent oaks and sycamores. On there website they describe it as “a glorious combination of elegance, amenities, natural beauty and serenity”.  Anyone familiar with the location would agree.

Fota Lodges

As well as hotel accommodation they also have self-catering accommodation in the Fota Lodges.
Wedding parties can choose from Courtyard and Courseside settings which are designed to encourage a relaxed and leisurely lifestyle during your self-catering break in Ireland. The holiday home lodges are available with 2, 3 and 4 bedrooms that sleep 4 to 7 persons and makes suitable cottages for couples. Additional items such as cots, high chairs are more are available upon request. The five star resort in Ireland does not provide stair gates in the lodges but visitors are welcome to bring their own if required.

There is a huge array of wedding services in the area: photographers, video productions, wedding dress suppliers, luxury car hire, wedding entertainment. Alot of these services can be found on


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Historical Polish City of Krakow

Historical Polish City of Krakow

Krakow located in the south of Poland, it is the second largest and the second most important city of Poland. Situated on the Vistula River Krakow has traditionally been one of the leading centres of Polish academic, cultural, and artistic life and is one of Poland’s most important economic hubs. Over a period of many years it established and reaffirmed its role as a major national academic and artistic centre. Universities and cultural venues emerged during the Second Polish Republic in 1918 and throughout the 20th century, Kraków. The city has a population of approximately 760,000 whereas about 8 million people live within a 100 kilometres (62 miles) radius of its main square.



Salt Mines Krakow

To its south lies the Tatra Mountains 62 miles away. This mountain range constitutes the natural border with Slovakia and the Czech Republic; another 143 miles to the west there is the border with Ukraine.

Once of the most famous natives of Krakow has to be the late Pope John Paul. In an effort that spanned two decades, Karol Wojtyła, cardinal archbishop of Krakow, successfully lobbied for permission to build the first churches in the new industrial suburbs. In 1978, Wojtyła was elevated to the papacy as John Paul II, the first non-Italian pope in 455 years. In the same year, UNESCO placed Krakow Old Town on the first-ever list of World Heritage Sites. Since the early 2000s many Krakow natives have come to work and live in North and Western Europe. A lot have made their permanent homes here. But they remain rightly proud of their birth place Krakow.

But to most of us Poland or Krakow in particular is not just a “friend’s” home country anymore. It is a wonderful place to visit to where marvelous hotel accommodation and exquisite self-catering accommodation can be located. If you’re a return emigrant or a first time visitor Krakow will have short stay accommodation to suit your budget.

Historically Charmed: Krakow has no doubt has had a historically charmed life. On researching the city’s past you discover that despite over the centuries having been overrun by various hordes and armies its cultural and architectural charm has remind. Its history dates back to a 4th century settlement Krakow has been fortuitously to avoid destruction. It has grown into one of the most prominent cities in Central Europe. In WW2 fortune shone down on it again as it was one of the only Polish cities not to be reduced to rubble. The period of the Soviet Union failed to leave their mark on this enchanted city centre. Because of all of this good fortune Krakow today is a magnificent piece of Eastern Europe heritage. Proof of this occurred in 1978 when UNESCO listed it on the World Heritage List, along with the nearby Wieliczka Salt Mine and only ten other places in the world.

A city of majestic architectural monuments, cobbled thoroughfares, cultural treasures, timeless courtyards, priceless artworks and legendary beer cellars and gardens, Krakow’s historic centre is the pride of Poland.



Places to see in Krakow while there on a holiday or short stay:

A. St Mary’s church on the Main Square has many things to recommend it: its painstakingly restored interior is almost overwhelming in its opulence. But surely the highlight must be the 13 meter (42 foot) high 15th century altarpiece by Veit Stoss the largest Gothic sculpture in the world.


B. John Paul 11 Route: Visitors to Krakow can undertake a “John Paul II” excursion, whereby one visits various significant sites in his life.

C. Jewish Quarter: Originally Krakow’s Jewish Quarter, Kazimierz was for centuries where Catholics and Jews existed peacefully side-by-side, having a noticeably different architectural character than the main city.

D. Aushwitz is a infamous part of the history of this area to Poland. Located just over 50 kilometres west of Krakow lies the small town of Oswiecim, a place that would easily have remained in relative obscurity were it not for the Nazis’ decision to construct the Auschwitz-Birkenau concentration (and later death) camp there. Since the war ended, the site has been preserved as a museum and memorial, and receives over a million visitors a year. It is a sad and emotionally trying place to visit but plays a huge part of WW2 history.

Krakow has a huge array of excellent hotel accommodation. Plus on GoHolidayLets website a wide selection of self-catering accommodation can be found to suit small and large groups of visitors.

How to get there?? Easyjet and Ryanair fly from most European countries.

Madrid for the Short Stay of a lifetime

Madrid for the Short Stay of a lifetime

Madrid, the capital of Spain, is a cosmopolitan city that combines the most modern infrastructures and the status as an economic, financial, administrative and service centre, with a large cultural and artistic heritage, a legacy of centuries of exciting history.

Strategically located in the geographic centre of the Iberian Peninsula at an altitude of 646 m above sea level, Madrid has one of the most important historic centres of all the great European cities. This heritage merges seamlessly with the city’s modern and convenient infrastructures, a wide-range offer of accommodation and services, and all the latest state-of-the-art technologies in audiovisual and communications media.


Madrid  has been populated since the Lower Palaeolithic era, although it was not until 1561 that King Philip II made Madrid the capital city of his vast empire. The historic centre, also known as the “Madrid of Los Austrias” (in reference to the Hapsburg monarchs), and the spectacular Plaza Mayor square –inaugurated in 1620 and one of the most popular and typical sites in Spain– are a living example of the nascent splendour of the city in the 16th and 17th centuries.

Art and culture play a key role in Madrid’s cultural life. The capital has over 60 museums which cover every field of human knowledge. Highlights include the Prado Museum, one of the world’s most important art galleries.

Madrid’s extensive and beautifully maintained parks and gardens –like the Retiro park, formerly the recreational estate to the Spanish monarchs, the Casa de Campo and the Juan Carlos I park– offer inhabitants and visitors the chance to enjoy the sunshine, stroll, row on its lakes or feed the squirrels, in one of the greenest capitals in Europe. The importance of its international airport, which every week receives over 1,000 flights from all over the world, its two Conference Centres, the modern trade fair ground in the Campo de las Naciones, and over 80,000 places in other meeting centres make Madrid one of Europe’s most attractive business hubs.


But if there’s one thing that sets Madrid apart, it must be its deep and infectious passion for life that finds its outlet in the friendly and open character of its inhabitants. Concerts, exhibitions, ballets, a select theatrical offering, the latest film releases, the opportunity to enjoy a wide range of the best Spanish and international cooking, all these are just a few of the leisure options on offer in Madrid. There is also a tempting array of shops and businesses featuring both traditional establishments and leading stores offering top brands and international labels.  Visitor have an immense choice of accommodation with superb lower budget hostels, excellent short stay hotels and self-catering accommodation to suits all parties.  They have private homes to rent and serviced apartments for short stay.

Madrid’s lively nightlife is another key attraction of Spain’s capital, due to its variety and the exciting atmosphere to be found in its bars, pubs, clubs and  halls. Other daytime entertainment options include traditional outdoor dances, popular festivities and the San Isidro bullfighting festival, regarded as being the most important in the world.  All in all a great location for a holiday or a short stay.




You just arrived or you’re about to go to the Emirates? It has always been your dream to go exploring the United Arab Emirates? Let us look at some of the information that may make your stay worthwhile.

Today we would like to talk mostly about Dubai a city visited by thousands of people reach year.

Dubai is the HQ of the ever expanding Emirates Airline. Emirates must be one of the fasts growing BRANDS in the world and it is synonymous with luxury and attentive customer care.

More than likely you will have travelled by Emirates to get to Dubai. If not Emirates it will have been its main rival Etihad.

You have arrived in luxury now prepare to stay in the same conditions. Dubai has a wide choice of accommodation. An abundance of 5 star + accommodation for the supper rich but excellent self-catering accommodation to suit all budgets. The rental accommodation in Dubai and like many major cities in different parts of the world Dubai self-catering accommodation is of a very high standard.



Let us be clear, despite all the environmental concerns you may have, having a car remains (unfortunately) the most convenient way to travel in the UAE.

Indeed, as the country has been built after 1970, everything has been designed for cars. Cities (especially Dubai) are tailored to be driven, making it sometimes difficult if you have to walk. With the extreme temperatures walking is not the best option. Most of our self-catering accommodation is within easy reach of city center Dubai

The nearby desert has made the use of four-wheel drive very common, even in town.
In addition, the Emiratis loving big cars, the 4WD and sports cars are very common cars in the UAE … which is not without dangers.


Those who do not have a car don’t need to worry, the UAE are literally invaded by taxis. Plus they are of a high quality and very well maintained.

Traffic in Dubai, although not as bad as that in Abu Dhabi, but is a challenge at times. .
At rush hours the main arterial road into and out of Dubai is often congested due to large mass movements of traffic.. There is an significant amount of commuting between Sharjah and Dubai creating heavy morning and evening traffic loads. Our advice would be to plan your trips carefully.

More recently, the trend has seen people commuting between Abu Dhabi and Dubai due to better job opportunities arising in Abu Dhabi nowadays.. This has created similar traffic trends on the southern end of Dubai.

For more information on public and private transport in the UAE, read Public and Private Transport in the UAE.

On the other hand parking is, for the most part, free in Dubai and since the crisis and the significant decrease in inhabitants, one can quite easily find available parking areas.


They wear the Emirati traditional clothing which consists of a Dishdash or Gandoura for men and of an Abaya for the women.

For the Expats, they can dress as they wish with, however, certain limits.

For men, just about anything goes; one can walk around in shorts and flip-flops just about anywhere. Do not however walk around with your top off even on your way to the beach. Only get undressed once on the beach you do not want embarrassment.

For women, refrain from wearing clothes which are too revealing. People have been refused entrance to malls and restaurants in Abu Dhabi and Dubai, although this is very rare. What will bother you the most is the looks you might receive from the men.. They will make no attempt at disguising their starring habits should a young lady come into their site. Its up to yourself most women nowadays can handle this form of attention. In any case, expatriate women are in no way, shape or form obliged to wear the Abaya or the veil if they do not wish to. On the other hand, revealing clothing worn in the evening or at night at the restaurants and night clubs is very common and very widely accepted especially in Dubai.

Let us go back to the beginning. In 2003, buildings are arising from everywhere in Dubai. The greatest projects (Palm Jumeirah, Dubai World, Dubai Land) are launched one after the other (some of these projects will be slowly finished because of the economic crisis which hit Dubai hard in 2009).


Emaar, one of the largest real estate companies in Dubai, announced in 2003 that it intended to break the record for the tallest tower in the world. At that time, the tower was to be called Burj Dubai, and was supposed to be a monument in celebration of Dubai. The height of the tower, originally planned to be 560 meters, had increased continuously to ensure the record was held for as long as possible.

From that moment onwards, as with many projects in the UAE, everything went very quickly. In late 2004, the construction site began. The first floor came out of the ground in late 2005, and the tower grew at a staggering speed.
On 4th January 2010, the tower was inaugurated and partially opened to the public, breaking numerous world records.

Its well reported that the emirate of Abu Dhabi had no interest in seeing the collapse of its neighbour, so they decided to fund up to $ 10 billion worth of ongoing projects in Dubai. In return for this generous assistance, the Burj Dubai had its name changed to Burj Khalifa just before its inauguration, after Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed al Nahyan, the Emir of Abu Dhabi.


The Emirate of Abu Dhabi is the largest of the 7 Emirates of the country : it’s surface area makes up 80% of the country’s surface area. Abu Dhabi also has the largest population of the 7 Emirates.

With regards to natural resources, Abu Dhabi is the only Emirate to still own abundant quantities of petrol and gas. The Emirate of Abu Dhabi alone holds 10% of worldwide petrol resources known to man, and 5% of worldwide gaz resources known to man.

Once you leave the major cities in the UAE, you immediately find yourself in the desert. But the desert is mostly flat, the sand is a bit grey and not so soft, which greatly reduces the interest of such areas.

The ideal way to really enjoy the desert and have some nice panoramas is to seek the dunes areas. Fortunately, such places are quite common in the UAE.


Leaving Dubai in direction of Al Ain, you will quickly find some dunes, spotable from the road. Many people stop here to rent a quad or a buggy (prices are quite affordable), or simply climb the dunes with their 4WD .
Coming out of Abu Dhabi in the direction of Al Ain, there are also some sand dunes that worth the trip.


But the most beautiful and largest dunes in the country are in the South, near Saudi Arabia, around Liwa Oasis. Ocher sand turns red when the sun goes down, and it forms enormous dunes, the largest of which exceed 300 meters.

By following tracks, or small concrete roads, you quickly end up in isolated places, cut off from the world, where the scenery is splendid.

Spend the night in the desert is truly an unforgettable experience. Admiring the stars, listening to the impressive silence, or walking on the dunes under the moonlight will give you only one thought; come back there as soon as possible.

Despite the downturn in its economy like the rest of the world Dubai is steadily making a recovery. Because of the success of previously mentioned Emirates Airline it has become a gateway to the world.

Dubai has a whole lot places to explore, and it is one place one will visit again and again.


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Catch a bus on a Self-catering holiday in Lagos Portugal

Catch a bus on a Self-catering holiday in Lagos Portugal

We have in the past written many blogs about the Algarve and the beautiful resorts and areas you can visit and book accommodation. Albeit that we are a self-catering holiday accommodation website we are proud of the fact our main aim on these blogs is to be informative and interesting.

Your holiday is important to us. So we therefore trying and supply you with help full information to ensure you enjoy your stay.

With that theme in mind I would like to give you a brief outline of the buses available within the town of Lagos on the Portuguese Western Algarve. There are many help website that can supply the appropriate information. The local bus company have recently Onda have recently translated their website into an English translation

The company is the Camara de Lagos ( municipality of Lagos). Futurlagos was established by the local Camara (Corporation) to manage four different functions.

– The Management of on street parking, supervision of Parking wardens, surface parking meters, underground carpark.
– Management of the Wave network of buses for the Lagos Urban Area.
– Regeneration of the Urban area of Lagos.
– Supervision of the urbanization plan for the Meia Praia area.
– Basically your bus fare is used for running the WAVE system and profits are assigned to the City Regeneration Project.

The Onda WAVE urban bus transportation system has nine route.

A. The Red( Route) starts at 7.40am and runs approximately ever 30 minutes. The last bus finishes around 19.20. Check their website for exact time table. It is now posted in English as well as Portuguese. This WAVE runs from the Old Railway station behind the Marina and completes a circuit of the city before it runs to original starting point. Stopping at various city locations along the way. To get to know the beautiful city of Lagos In the Western Algarve it is worth while taking a trip on this urban bus. In about 25 minutes you will get a quick tour of the old parts of the city.

Route: CP (Home), Bus Station, Doors Portugal / CTT (west), Home J. Filipe Fialho (south)

City Park (east), Environment kiosk (North),Portugal Port / Market, Sports Complex (east)

Municipal Stadium, Hotel Marina (North), CP (End)


B. The Blue Wave is the second city service. For visitors staying in rented holiday accommodation in the area of the beautiful local beaches this a services worth noting.

It runs from Meia Praia in the west and runs again to the same Stop. Which is located at the roundabout near Meia Praia railway stop.

Its stop at Dona Ana Beach and also further on the Porto do Mos Beach. Its also stops at Torratinha an area where a few self-catering complexes are located.

The first service in the morning leaves Meia Praia at 7.10am and the last service terminates at the Old Railway Station behind the Marina at 23.56.

This is an ideal service at night if you want to visit some of the restaurants near Dona Ana or Porto do Mos beaches. Or indeed visit the beaches themselves during the day.

Route: Strong Meia Praia. Neighborhood May 1 (North). CP. Esc. EB 2/3 of Naus.

Doors Portugal – Market (direction Port de Mos). Dona Ana beach. Torraltinha (North).

Porto de Mos beach. Torraltinha (south). Dona Ana beach. Home J. Filipe Fialho (North).

Doors Portugal – CTT (east). CP. Esc. EB 2/3 of Naus. Strong Meia Praia

C. This service is the Rose Wave and its from the village of Odiáxere daily. The first bus leaves at 7am in the morning and the last bus of the terminates at Doors Portugal CTT (West) at 23.28.

This services is mostly used by the local population to get from Odiaxere to various parts of Lagos. It also acts as a school bus for old children going to Lagos schools.

Showing Route 3

Route :Odiáxere – Esc Cycle 1 (north). Tower (west) Chinicato – Municipal Urb. Chinicato – EN125, Esc. EB 2/3 of Naus, Sports complex (west), Doors Portugal – CTT (west). Praça Infante D. Henrique (east), Esc. EB 2/3 of Naus, Carport – EN125 (east), Chinicato – Municipal Urb. Tower (east), Odiáxere – Esc Cycle 1 (south).

Historic Sites of Rome

Historic Sites of Rome


Rome is one of the ancient cities in Italy that dates back to the 5th century. It rapidly grew to be become famous for its historic sites and culture.  Italian is the official and most widely spoken language in Rome, though English has been adopted quickly to cater for the large number of tourists. Rome is a welcoming city with accommodation to suit all budgets.  From 5 star hotel to basic overnight hostels Rome has it all.  An ideal accommodation solution is a Rome self-catering apartment.  Rome residents are very friendly and helpful to visitors; knowing the basics such as “Si” meaning yes, “grazie” meaning thank you, “prego” meaning you’re welcome, “per favore” meaning please and “mi scusi” meaning excuse me will make your visit much more easier and interesting as you blend with the locals.

There is so much to experience in Rome; the culture, the cuisine, wine, the people, sites and scenes. With its rich past and captivating culture, there is so much to see and do in Rome. Some of the marvelous places to visit while in Rome include the Trevi fountain, the colosseum, St. Peter’s square, the Borghese gallery, Ostia Antica and catacombs venue.  Rental accommodation can be found near all these locations.

Historic Sites
The Trevi fountain is one of the sites in Roman culture known as Fontana di Trevi. It is located in Trevi district standing 26.3 meters high and 49.15 meters wide. Coins are purportedly meant to be thrown using the right hand over the left shoulder into the fountain, a ritual done by thousands of tourists for reasons such as a guarantee return to Rome, to find love while others say it leads to marriage! Many movies have been shot at this locale and romance lovers find it to be a perfect place to be. The Municipality of Rome decided to collect the coins from the Trevi Fountain on a daily basis to prevent theft and created a fund to finance a special supermarket that serves the poor in Rome with the help from the Italian Red Cross.
The Colosseum is an iconic symbol in the of the city of Rome built of concrete and stone, it is the largest amphitheatre ever built and is considered one of the greatest works of architecture and engineering. It is situated east of Rome with a capacity of up to 80000 people back in the medieval era for entertainment then later reused housing, workshops, a fortress, a quarry, and a Christian shrine. Despite looking rugged and old, the pope leads a torch lit procession each Good Friday to symbolize the way of the cross, a practice of the catholic faithful. Today it’s a major tourist attraction with thousands of tourists each year paying to view the interior arena. Though entrance for citizens of the European Union is partially subsidized, entrance is free for EU citizens under eighteen or over sixty-five years of age.

Vatican City is the smallest state in Europe and in the world.  It is a roughly 0.17 sq mi lying near the west bank of the Tiber River and to the west of the Castel Sant’Angelo. The Vatican area comprises the following St. Peter’s Square, enclosed by Giovanni Lorenzo Bernini’s quadruple colonnade; St. Peter’s Basilica, the largest Christian church in the world, to which the square serves as an entrance; Belvedere Park; the pontifical palaces and the Vatican Gardens. Outside Vatican City, a number of churches and palaces such as Lateran Basilica and Palace in the Piazza San Giovanni, the Palace of San Callisto at the foot of the Janiculum hill, and the basilicas of Santa Maria Maggiore
St. Peter’s Square or Piazza San Pietro is a large plaza located directly in front of St. Peter’s Basilica in the Vatican City. At the centre of the square is an Egyptian obelisk, erected at the current site in 1586. Gian Lorenzo Bernini designed the square including the massive Tuscan colonnades, four columns deep, which embrace visitors in “the maternal arms of Mother Church.”  The Vatican has it own religious tourism where Roman Catholics arrived from all over the world to attend and view ceremonies.   Self-catering and hotel accommodation can be found within the general area.


The delights of an Italian Holiday

The delights of an Italian Holiday

Italian food is one of the most popular and widely adopted cuisines the world over. The joy and I mean the joy of a carefree self-catering holiday is that you can sample the food delights at your leisure.  Italians believe in simplicity and respect for good produce, so some of the most beloved dishes of Italians comprise just a few simple ingredients, carefully selected and served at their prime. Spaghetti bolognese is now so popular that it could almost be classed as our adopted national dish, although an authentic.

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Italian version would, in fact, be fettuccine al ragù. Italians were among the first to show us how to appreciate good coffee, use olive oil for cooking rather than as a medicine, embrace garlic, and understand the joys of fresh pasta and antipasto. For Italians, cooking and sharing food is no less than a way of life, whether it is at home with friends, in a humble trattoria or a fine-dining restaurant. Wherever it’s eaten, it’s always based around fresh, seasonal produce, which is the main reason that it is hard to talk about “Italian food” as a single entity.

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In fact, Italian food varies widely by region – and even village to village – and according to the time of year. Italians can be fiercely parochial when it comes to food and invariably think of their version of a dish as the best. Many ingredients are used across the country with some more so in certain regions than others. Broadly speaking, northern Italian food centres around butter, meat, potatoes, pork, Parmigiano and other types of cheeses, while southern cooking is more focused on olive oil, tomatoes, eggplant, capers and fresh fish. Some key Ligurian ingredients include fish and seafood, basil (as featured in the popular pesto alla Genovese), prosciutto, sausage, salami, and truffles.  You can find holiday rental accommodation in most of these locations and to be honest they are every bit as exquisite as the food.

But above all, Italians believe in simplicity and respect for good produce, so some of the most beloved dishes of Italians comprise just a few simple ingredients, carefully selected and served at their prime. Cheese and wine are a major part of the cuisine, as is coffee, particularly espresso.