Friday, December 23, 2011

T & R : Rome (10th day out of 2 weeks in Italy)

Travel & Review : Rome (10th to 12th days out of 2 weeks in Italy)
Rome, one of the world’s ancient cities is filled with historical monuments wherever you go. Even within its city centre, mere walking can lead you to many places that simply just invokes the spirit of romanticism. I love Rome. So should you. I promise.

If you been following my blog article then you know that I was from Siena. From here, all you need is a 4 hour bus ride to reach Rome City Centre (all the trains and buses end here). Again, from Siena, you may choose to take the train(which is few miles away from city centre) or you can take the bus. (I recommend this as its within Siena City Centre)

I like to introduce Rome by asking you to choose a good place of accommodation because at the end of the day of miles of walking, you want to go back to a place which at the very least provide you with good clean rooms. In this aspect Hotel IQ Roma did not disappoint.

Friday, December 16, 2011

T & R : Siena (Day 9 out of 14 days in Italy)

Travel & Review : Siena (Day 9 out of 14 days in Italy)
From Florence, the trip to Siena is best taken via a bus. I am not anti-train or anything to that similitude but the fact is Siena is like an enclave in which the entire town is practically castled with walls and the train station is outside and a few miles away from it. By taking the bus, it will take you into the town itself which is what you are interested in (or at least I was).
A city that still honour traditions such as the Palio races that take place twice a year which challenges the best contrada (Districts within Siena which still exists today).
Siena does not allow any form of private vehicles within its walls so its all walk and walk and walk.
Streets of Siena (above)

Friday, December 2, 2011

T & R : San Gimignano ( 5th to 9th out of 14 days in Italy )

From Florence, book a half day tour out of Florence to San Gimignano. (Village of Towers)
Apparently back in the past , size do matters (Does it still now?) …. as such the bigger your stature in the city of San Gimignano, the taller their towers. Thus everybody try to outdo everyone by making towers as high as possible.

Thursday, December 1, 2011

T & R : Florence Day 3 ( 5th to 9th out of 14 days in Italy )

T & R : Florence Day 3 ( 5th to 9th out of 14 days in Italy )
Do visit the Uffizi (Recommended : Book a tourguide via which include the entrance fee) to learn more about the Arts …… superb collection.
Below is a view from the back of the Uffizi overlooking the Ponte Vecchio.
Do try the Hop On Hop Off Bus tours which will take you to the outskirt of Florence and get to see the other views of Florence.

Sunday, November 20, 2011

T & R : Florence Day 2 ( 5th to 9th out of 14 days in Italy )

T & R : Florence Day 2 ( 5th to 9th out of 14 days in Italy )
If you have read my earlier post, you will know that the reason I go to Florence is basically to hunt my favourite monuments that appear in the game Assassins Creed. That being said, accommodation wise, Florence can be quite expensive but then again most Western European cities basically are expensive. For a room shown above at Hotel Gioia, it will set you slightly below 100Euro.
Along the same street is the Hotel Casci begging around the same amount per night. The last time I was here, there was a Gypsy begging right in front of the hotel. She is harmless…if you wish to donate then do so otherwise just leave her alone. Both can be found along VIA Camillo Cavour not far from the Duomo. But if I have to pick one, I picked the latter as the host Paolo and the breakfast’s staff simply treat you like family. I love it!
On Day 2 in Florence, I decided to do some outlet shopping. I am not a shopping person per se but I have people back home who wants some branded stuff at fraction of the cost. You can either take the public bus to the outlet shopping (cheaper but you must ensure you know the timing for the last bus form the outlet or you may be stuck in the suburbs) or book a tour via Viator (more expensive but everything done orderly for you with specific timings.)
The journey will take you almost 1 and half hour to reach as the outlets are rather away from the city centre.
If you booked via Viator, another reason why it is more expensive is the fact that you will be taken to 2 outlets instead of 1. The first outlet is the solely PRADA outlet and the other will be the outlet shown in the pictures above. The 2nd outlet has like more than 20 shops (including PRADA, Burberry etc). Why is there a need to visit the solely PRADA outlet? Well its because there are more PRADA products being sold there.

Sunday, October 23, 2011

Assassins Creed 2 locations in Italy.

Update as of June 2014.
I visited Italy again and would like to share the following : For those new visitors to the land of renaissance, all you need to do is really memorize your route (eg. In Florence, the direction of one monument to the next) within the game and trust me when I told you that the game developers are very accurate in the location of the iconic monuments. You should not get lost (Venice especially) if you really know the game well.


Assassins Creed 2 locations in Italy.
The truth is, the whole reason for me to visit Italy in the first place is the fact that I play Assassins Creed 2 and I just want to see the monuments used in the game (a 14th Century depiction) and how the buildings differ in the current timeline.
In short, I have to say the game developers actually put in much effort in creating an almost similar interpretations of how Italy supposed to look then.
Without further ado, here the Ezio in-game locations (14th Century) and me in the current actual Italian’s cities. And yes some of my friends have said that I brought obsession to a whole new level. Enjoy!
Venice Doge Palace:
Venice San Marco:
Venice San Zacharia :
Venice Campanile:
Venice Basilica :
Venice Ponte Rialto:
Florence Duomo:
Florence Palazzo Medici:
Florence: Palazzo Vecchio
Florence Loggia Dei Lanzi :
Florence Ponte Vecchio :
Florence View from Ponte Vecchio 14th Century vs Now :
Florence View from on top of Ponte Vecchio 14th Century vs Now :
Florence Santa Croce :
Florence Ezio in fictional house of Auditore and me in current location Palazzo Strozzi :
Florence Mercato :
Florence San Lorenzo
San Gimignano Santa Maria Asunta :
San Gimignano Towers :
San Gimignano Central Well :
Let’s just say that I cannot wait to play Assassins Creed 3 which will take place in Constantinople aka Istanbul. Have not visited Turkey before as such perhaps this will be a good reason to visit the city.