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Monthly Archives: May 2018

Bali Villa Destinations

Candidasa

Located in the south eastern portion of the island, Candidasa is the newest destination to offer villa accommodations. Most accommodations are actually located between Candidasa and nearby Padangbai. This area first popped up on to the luxury travellers radar when the Aman group opened Amankila. The Alila group is also there now and we’re starting to see a few private villas open as well. Note that dining choices in the area are limited and taxis are few and far between. Look for a villa with a chef and a driver.

Why stay in Candidasa?

This is a good jumping off point for exploring the quiet rice terraces of east Bali and the slopes of Gunung Agung. It is also a good place to catch your breath either before or after a trip to neighboring Lombok. You can catch ferries to Lombok from Padangbai, or hire a speed boat if you prefer. With recent road improvements, Candidasa is now only 45 minutes drive from Sanur.

Canggu

Canggu is the fastest growing villa accommodations area. There is a wide number of options in this area at a variety of price ranges. Many of these accommodations are new, so finding mature gardens may be a challenge. This is a largely flat area of gently rolling fields (ex-rice fields). Most villas are garden view. There are a number of villas on the coast in this area. The nearby Canggu Club is also a magnet for new villas and if you are travelling with children, look for villas with a guest club membership; this provides options to help your kids pass the time in a supervised environment (while giving parents a much needed break!). Canggu is just a few minutes drive from Seminyak. Note that the road is crowded with traffic and taxis are not as easy to find, so you will want to find a villa with a driver.

Why stay in Canggu?

Wide range of choices, access to the beach, nearby Seminyak and the Canggu Club.

Jimbaran

Jimbaran Bay provides one of the few pleasant swimming beaches on the island, and it also gives easy access to a number of dining options. Several five star resorts are located in this area, including the Four Seasons and the Inter-Continental. Most villa operations here are villa resorts, though the nearby Tiara area provides some private luxury rentals (though these are far from the beach). This area is very popular with Asian tourists.

Why stay in Jimbaran?

Good walking and swimming beach. Access to fine dining and the seafood restaurants on the beach. This location is also just a few minutes from the airport, so getting in and out is a breeze. Taxis are easy to find here.

Pemuteran

Pemuteran is a small town located at the far northwest tip of the island. It is primarily a destination for those who wish to go snorkeling or diving around Palau Menjangan, or who wish to trek into the Bali Barat National Park. Facilities here are limited, though there are one or two good villa resorts. Dining options and transportation are rare commodities, so plan accordingly.

Why stay in Pemuteran?

The big reason to be here (OK, perhaps the only reason!) is the access to the natural features. Snorkeling and diving at Palau Menjangan are superb — some of the best in Asia. Bali Barat is also an attraction for trekkers.

Sanur

Sanur is Bali’s most gentile destination. A mecca for tourists since the 1930s, Sanur has a more laid back and mature feel that the frenetic nightlife and party scene of Seminyak. The beach here has a boardwalk and the ocean is gentle enough to allow for safe swimming. There are several villas here, some of them quite large and elegant — and quite exclusive.

Why stay in Sanur?

This is a more quiet side of tourist Bali. You have access to everything you could want here but without the party scene.

Seseh

Seseh is a relative new-comer on the villa scene, at least in terms of name recognition. There have been villas there for some time, but most people have simply labelled the area “Canggu.” In fact, Seseh is further northwest of Canggu and on the coast. You might say it is the “next” up-and-coming villa destination, the natural progression of growth and development past Canggu. Seseh is quiet and must less hectic than Seminyak. It has more of a traditional Bali village feel than Canggu (which is largely rice fields). All in all, it makes for a more relaxed and intimate feeling. On the downside, it is a fair distance from all the conveniences: shopping, markets, restaurants, and taxis. Look for a villa here with full services and make sure you have a car and a driver included.

Why stay in Seseh?

As a destination, Seseh is great if you want some place quiet and relaxed with access to an undeveloped beach. Good for families, and for anyone who plans to spend time relaxing at the villa.

Seminyak

Welcome to party central! Seminyak is the destination of choice if you want to be only a short wallk (or ride) from shopping, restaurant, markets and nightclubs. This district is urban and frenetic. This is the home of KuDeTa, La Lucchiola, the Oberoi and much, much, more. Finding an oasis of peace and quiet is a challenge but not impossible. Prices tend to reflect popularity as this is currently the destination of choice for Bali tourists looking for villa accommodations.

Why stay in Seminyak?

Convenience is Seminyak’s hallmark. Everything is here. If you are party people or you really want a hopping beach scene, this is the spot for you. If you are willing to settle for a villa hotel or villa resort, there are some very good options here.

Perfect Villa Holiday

Take some time to do some research about the area you want to stay in. Have a look at Trip Advisor and talk to people who have been on holiday to that area before.

Whilst some people think that the free ads is a good place to start looking, do so with caution – what protection can you / do you have if you book via one of these?

Ask to talk to previous renters of your holiday villa, a good landlord has nothing to worry about and will happily ask people to get in touch and validate their claims about the property.

Ask questions about the property, when advertsing some landlords find they do not have enough space to describe their villa. Ask about the property, get them talking and telling you about the villa, you will get a better idea of the property and its suitability for you and your family.

Google the villas name and location, see what comes up. You may find out things that can alter your decision to go to a certain destination. Then again you could confirm that it it’s the perfect place for your holiday.

However you decide to choose your holiday villa rental, make sure when you find your perfect villa you book it straight away. Often people leave their booking to the last minute and lose out on their perfect holiday.

Travel Hotspots of Northern Italy

Trieste

The beautiful Trieste deserves the first mention for its magnificent edifices and natural heritage. The city has a rich history of buildings, and lures visitors with its castles and opulence. Overlooking the sea, Miramare Castle is a pleasant sight on a peak of a ridge. The castle has conserved its old charm with furnishings. Piazza Unità D’Italia is locally famous as the Living Room of the city. Grotta Gigante is another natural attraction in the form of a cave that catches the fancy of visitors.

Verona

The city is supposed to have witnessed the love story of Romeo and Juliet but it is not the only thing that makes Verona a must visit for Northern vacationers. The city has survived various invasions and preserves its heritage. Vacations usually visit the city to see the balcony from where Juliet spoke to her beloved. Roman amphitheater named The Arena and art-filled churches are also much admired.

Parma

For cheese lovers, a Northern Italian vacation cannot be complete without visiting the Parma city. It is known for its prosciutto and cheese production facilities. Besides being known for its rich gourmet cuisine, the city also has ample countryside beauty and historical attractions. Romanesque cathedral, Sanctuary of Santa Maria della Steccata, and Palazzo della Pilotta are famous amongst vacationers. It was home to renowned artists such as Giovannino Guareschi, Attilio Bertolucci, and Benedetto Antelami.

Genoa

It is the sixth largest city in Italy, and falls nowhere short in terms of architectural beauty. Port of Genoa made the setting for international trade and brought prosperity to the land. Aquarium of Genoa is a must visit for travelers passing through the town. It is the largest aquarium in Italy and houses 800 different marine species. From the art point of view too, Genoa has rich heritage in the form of palaces and churches.

Some Special Events in Italy

Festa della Madonna Bruna in Matera, Italy

This is a unique festival held in southern Italy in July. The festival’s highlight comes when a Carro carrying the Madonna is destroyed. The Carro is made of papier mache and takes an entire year to create. Making the Carro is a skill passed down from one generation to the next.

L’Ardia di San Costantino

Held in Sardinia, L’Ardia di San Costantino is an Italian horse race. l Palio di Siena

Il Palio di Siena is a famous festival and horse race – probably the most famous in the country.

Umbria Jazz Festival in Perugia

This is a very popular international jazz festival that’s held in July in Perugia.

A Carnevale Ogni Scherzo Vale

Italians have this carnival before the 40 days of deprivation experienced during the advent of Lent. This type of festival has become popular in cities around the world.

Valentine’s Day in Italy

Italy celebrates Valentine’s Day with shops selling china baskets or cups filled with candies tied with ribbons. Getting engaged on Valentine’s Day is a tradition in Italy.

Christmas In Italy (Buon Natale)

Christmas in Italy is marked with white, red and green colors, which are also the colors of the Italian flag. Italians enjoy Christmas traditions, recipes and rites each year.

Easter In Italy (Buona Pasqua) Italy holds many ceremonies during the holiday of Easter no matter when the date of the holiday. Most ceremonies are conducted by churches.

Thanksgiving in Italy

Italy celebrates Thanksgiving, but in a different way than America. The family meal usually consists of Italian recipes (instead of turkey) that have been passed down throughout generations. Families gather for a traditional meal during the holiday.

Celebrate at the Venice Carnival The Venice Carnival is a traditional festival where partygoers wear masks. It is romantic and considered one of the largest festivals in Europe.

Festa del Redentore

This is a Venetian festival held to celebrate the end of a plague that occurred during the 16th century. It’s usually held the second week in July with a fireworks display and a regatta. An architect named Antonio Palladio built the Church of the Redeemer as a remembrance of the occasion.

Scoppio del Carro

This is an event held on Easter Saturday in Florence where a chariot pulled by an ox goes through the streets on a journey to the Il Duomo. Fireworks are ignited from the vehicle.

Spoleto Festival

Known as the “Festival of Two Worlds,” this is one of the most popular musical events in Italy.

Other Traditional Events in Italy (City or region stated in parentheses)

*Almond Blossom Festival (Agrigento) — Festival of song, fireworks and costumes.

*Giostra del Saracino (Arezzo) — Also known as the Joust of the Saracen, this is a tilting contest that’s held the first Sunday in September. Knights in armor depict the 13th century customs.

*Calendimaggio (Assisi) — Also called Celebration of Holy Week, this is Italy’s Easter event to celebrate Spring as they did in Medieval times.

*Torneo Della Quintana (Ascoli-Piceno) — This is the Joust of the Quintana that’s held on the first Sunday of August. It’s a pageant in which contestants wear 15th century costumes.

*Palio San Secondo (Asti) — This is a 700-year-old ceremony in which participants wear costumes from the 13th century.

*Sagra di San Nicola (Bari) — This is a historic costume procession held on May 7th.

*Sagra di Sant’ Efisio (Cagliari) — A large colorful procession is held on May 1st through 4th where pilgrims dress in costumes from the 1600s with accompanying horses, carts and a statue of the saint on foot.

*Calcio Fiorentino (Florence) — This is a soccer match held in June that resembles those football games of the Medieval times.

*Infiorata (Genzano) — A beautiful flower festival, where a religious procession takes place on streets carpeted with flowers.

*Balestrieri (Gubbio) — Known as the Palio of the Archers, this is a Medieval crossbow contest held on the last Sunday in May. Participants wear Medieval arms and costumes.

*Feast of Santa Rosalia (Palermo) — Held in July, this event features fireworks, bands and a procession in honor of the patron saint of the city.

*Epiphany Fair at Piazza Navona (Roma) — A January fair with sweets, toys and presents that is held outdoors at the gorgeous Bernini fountains.

*Estate Romana (Roma) — Coordinated by the city of Rome, this event takes place from the end of June until August or during Roman Summer. There is a summer season of open air entertainment put on by the Rome Opera House. Highlights include music, ballet, opera, drama and more.

*Carnival in Venice (Venice) — Held in February and March, this celebration features masks and costumes, music, fireworks and mimes. Entertainment is provided in the streets.
Wherever you go in Italy, there’s bound to be a special event or festival nearby. Italy is full of fun celebrations all year. You can join in and become a part of these great traditions when you visit Italy.