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While Rome, affectionately referred to as la Città Eterna (“the Eternal City”), is often visited due to its rich history, its stunning architecture or renowned cuisine, later this month from the 18th to the 27th of October, visitors can experience the Rome Film Festival. Although it is only in its second year, it has attracted a high number of private sponsors, and the City Council of Rome, in the name of the Mayor and film-buff Walter Veltroni, the Province of Rome and the Lazio Region all strongly support it both in terms of institutional communication and economic investment.

The actual title of the festival in Italian is Festa, which could be translated as feast, not festival, and is apt, since it is more a celebration of the joy of cinema than a regular film festival. Indeed, though the Rome Film Festival’s jury includes a renowned director as its president, last year Ettore Scola, the rest of the 50 jurors are not film professionals but are, in fact, regular moviegoers selected both in Italy and Europe.

Although it enjoys fierce rivalry with the Venice Film Festival, The Rome Film Festival has attracted its own audience and this year will host the world premiere of 11 new films. Among the most exciting is ‘Youth Without Youth’ – Francis Ford Coppola’s first feature film in a decade. The film is about a timid Romanian professor who becomes young again after being hit by lightning. The five-time Oscar-winning director wrote the film based on a novella by Romanian philosopher-author Mircea Eliade and has been described as his “third renaissance” after ‘Apocalypse Now’ and ‘The Godfather’.

Coppola’s film appears out of competition, along with a number of American films exploring the political climate post 9/11. These include Robert Redford’s ‘Lions for Lambs’ and Gavin Hood’s ‘Rendition’. ‘Lions for Lambs’ stars Tom Cruise and Meryl Streep and tells the story of two soldiers wounded behind enemy lines in Afghanistan and the repercussions back home. ‘Rendition’ is about an American woman trying to track down her Egyptian-born husband, who is held at a secret CIA detention centre. It also stars Meryl Streep, as well as Jake Gyllenhaal and Reese Witherspoon.

The 14 movies in competition for the top Marcus Aurelius award for Best Film include ‘El Pasado’ (The Past), with Mexican actor Gael Garcia Bernal, ‘Li Chun’ (translated as ‘And the Spring Comes’) from China’s Chang Wei Gu, ‘Barcelona (un mapa)’ (translated as ‘Barcelona, a Map’) by Spain’s Ventura Pons and Alain Corneau’s ‘La Deuxieme Souffle’ (translated as ‘Second Wind’), starring Monica Bellucci and Daniel Auteuil. Separate awards for Best Actress and Best Actor, as well as a special jury prize, will also be handed out.

In addition to the more mainstream fare, the festival also boasts dedicated sections for alternative productions and documentaries, children films, first films by new directors and the craft of acting.

Visitors wishing to experience the Rome Film Festival can take advantage of cheap flights to Rome’s two main international airports, Leonardo da Vinci International Airport, more commonly known as “Fiumicino airport”, and Ciampino International Airport. From either airport travellers can catch a train or bus or arrange private transfer to get to their final destination with ease. Hotels in Rome can be booked online in advance, which is recommended, especially due to the popularity of the festival. Last year’s inaugural edition attracted half-a-million visitors and this year is looking to top that.


Berlin, quite surprisingly, has more water surfaces and bridges (650 approx) than Venice, Amsterdam and Stockholm put together! This beautiful capital city and heartbeat of Germany, Berlin is a fascinating place year round with a vast array of attractions to entice all visitors to it again and again especially in the Winter months when its 7 Christmas Markets are out in full force. From traditional markets selling Christmas arts and crafts including hand-blown glass objects, jewellery to mulled wine and cinnamon buns, visiting these markets is a fantastic and fun lead up to Christmas for all the family.

Sightseeing is intense in Berlin…from the remnants of the former Wall to the Brandenburg Gate to Checkpoint Charlie, there is a lot to see in Berlin. A short city break is usually not enough to take in all the historical sights of this legendary city and a second visit is usually imminent on any first-time traveller’s agenda. The transport system in Berlin is, justifiably, known as one of the most efficient in Europe and connects Berlin with the rest of Germany and European countries.

With so many airlines operating routes to Berlin’s main international Tegel airport and a whole crop of low cost carriers now flying to Schonefeld Airport too, it’s never been easier to visit Berlin. Berlin specialists, www.myberlin.co.uk offer fantastic, low prices for a city break to Berlin. They combine cheap flight and discounted hotel packages at top quality hotels including the 5 star Westin Grand Hotel. Check out the offers now as these prices are unbelievably excellent value for money and are not going to be around forever!

As Berlin is just an hour’s flying time from the UK, it makes for the perfect city break, both midweek and weekend. Whether for shopping, sightseeing or for the Christmas Markets, Berlin also makes a great culinary break for food lovers. Try authentic sauerkraut, spicy sausages, schnitzels and pretzels washed down with one of the 800 varieties of beers found in the Bavarian region of Germany. I would recommend you visit Berlin at any time of the year but more so at Christmas when the city is lit up by thousands of twinkling lights and the air is crisp with a hint of snowfall beginning to cloak the city with its velvety texture – that’s the best time to go to Berlin!


Planning to spend holidays in a pleasant and cool destination is unquestionably a good idea. And there is no better place on earth then Europe. Europe has been a tourists spot for centuries, soothing mind and spirit of the travellers. You can consider numbers of reasons to fly to Europe, the majestic and iconic castles and buildings, farm yards, road side taverns, food, natural views, mountains clad with snow, pastures and pilgrimage shrines and such. The natural sceneries leave a deep impact in ones mind. The cliffs and peninsula of this continent are beyond words. The beautiful parks and top-ranking golf courses, outstanding and expeditious ancestral heritage fascinates the mind. If you are obsessed with ancient monuments and archives then Europe will not let you down

To make you crazy and continue your shopping spree there are shopping malls and stores with every sort of commodities. Some of the best vacation spots are Amsterdam, Frankfurt, London, Madrid, Milan, Munich, Paris, Rome Venice, Greece and Zurich.

For many decades, Europe is a hot destination for vacation Europe, for both tourist and its residents. It is a place where one can explore the cultural density and diversity. One could experience the Utopia’s nature in such an atmosphere and society. Recently, Europe is marked as the healthiest vacation spot by newspapers.

Before deciding to fly for Europe, you should acquire some knowledge concerning appropriate season and place to be there. Persons should take the help of guide books and comprehensively read the sources. It is more rewarding if you take the aid of online directory and browse them.

It has become easier to make frequent visits to Europe because of sophisticated technology. The adroitly engineered aircrafts and cruises are capable of executing this desire. For quick reservations, use the online reservation procedure as it saves time and convenient from anywhere.

You can make Europe Vacation memorable by enjoying with your dear ones to the fullest.


What are your plans for the weekend? Is a weekend break in Europe in your agenda? A break from the hectic lifestyle is wanted for everyone. No one likes to retreat to the confines of their home. In fact they want to explore the whole world outside their offices. That is true, we are dealing with more than enough of pressure in our offices. We shall just make the most out of our off days. Getting away from the country literally turns to getting away from everything that puts you under pressure. Now weekend breaks in Europe are quite common.

What makes weekend breaks in Europe so common? It is the advancement in technology and opening up of newer aerial routes between US and European destinations that help one plan a short outing to Europe. The charm of Venice, London, Paris, among many others are a passion for people like me for unknown reasons. Some people may also have nostalgic feelings to visit the motherland of their parents. The idea of flying out of the country also is an inspiration for many.

The nostalgic feeling we have towards Europe is true. Many among us have parents or parents’ parents in different parts of Europe. My wife and I visited Germany last year, primarily to visit her ailing mother. The trip turned out to be a great experience for both of us. She now wants weekend breaks in Europe every now and then, and me I am not satisfied with the short trips. Let me see how I can make the trips longer.

It is quite simple and easy to plan weekend breaks in Europe. You don’t even have to leave the seat you are sitting on now to book a European trip. Just open Google in this page or another page and key in “weekend breaks in Europe” and you will be presented with a large number of travel packages specially designed for weekend travelers who want to explore the locations of serenity in Europe.

Different packages are always available. Check out the websites of different travel agencies that offer weekend Europe packages. Soon you will be flying to Europe more frequently to spend your weekends.


Birmingham used to be the city of the car, to the extent that pedestrians in the city centre came a poor second. This is no longer true, Birmingham has inner and outer ring roads that keep traffic out of the way, an orbital motorway system so that passing traffic doesn’t even have to be near the city and a fully pedestrianised shopping zone. A combination of elevated highways and underground tunnels speedily carries traffic that does have to pass through the city centre away from the shopping and business areas. With its central location in the heart of England Birmingham is well served by road, rail, air and canal.

The city of Birmingham is ringed by a network of motorways, from which the city centre can be accessed. These are the M42 to the east and south, the M5 – to the west and the M6 to the north. The junction of the M5 and M6 heading north had for many years been a cause of major delays as the motorways were carrying twice the volume of traffic they were designed for. The M6 Toll Road was opened in 2003 to relieve this congestion; it is the only toll motorway in The UK and runs for 43km (27 miles) from the M42 at Coleshill to the M6 at Cheslyn Hay. The main route connecting Birmingham and London is by using the M6 which joins the M1 near Rugby.

Heading north the M6 continues on to Carlisle. The Gravelly Hill interchange is a route by which traffic on the M6 accesses the city. The interchange is known affectionately as Spaghetti Junction, due to the tangle of elevated roads and underpasses that make up the junction. Motorists new to Birmingham can be confused by the A38(M) at Gravelly Hill. It has seven lanes and operates a ‘tidal’ system in the middle-lane. If you have to travel through the city from north to south, using the Queensway tunnel system makes it an easy journey. A series of three inter-connected tunnels means you can avoid a whole lot of traffic trouble.

The main railway station for Birmingham is New Street, in the heart of the city. With a footfall of 35 million passengers a year it is the busiest railway station outside of London. Many train operators use the station, but Central and Virgin Trains are the two main users. Virgin operate the lucrative express London-Birmingham mainline route, the fastest journey time for this is 1 hour 21 minutes. Virgin also operates the main south-west to the north routes, many of which pass through and stop at Birmingham New Street. As well as operating local commuter trains Central run many other services such as those between Liverpool & Norwich and Nottingham & Cardiff. There are two other stations in the city centre; Moor Street (at the east of the city centre) and Snow Hill (at the north of the city centre) which are connected by a railway tunnel. The main train operators from these stations are Central and Chiltern Railways.

Central Trains again run local commuter services, as far as Worcester, Stratford-Upon-Avon and Wolverhampton. Chilton Railways operate a service that runs to London Marylebone; this is a service that stops frequently with a fastest journey time of 2 hours 7 minutes. Most journeys begin at Snow Hill with the option of joining the train at Moor Street.

The main coach station in Birmingham is Digbeth, to the south of the city centre. The main coach operator from Digbeth is National Coaches who offer services to all other major towns and cities. whose main operator is National Coaches. The fastest journey time to London Victoria Coach station is 2 hours 50 minutes, but can cost less than 10 GBP one way. Megabus, which operates from the city centre, offers a similar service.

Birmingham Airport is to the east of the city and is the fifth largest airport in the UK. 50 airlines operate out of it to over 100 destinations daily. The airport does handle inter-continental flights, however most flights are to and from European destinations. The airport also used by freight carriers and charter flight operators.

Birmingham has an excellent public transport system operated by Network West Midlands, which integrates public transport across the region. The city has a modern fleet of buses operated by Travel West Midlands that are able to utilise ‘bus only’ lanes on the main arterial routes, an excellent local commuter railway network that befits the second city and is only surpassed by London’s. Centro is the current operator of this franchise. The rail network is fully integrated with the bus services and many of the railway stations have free park-and-ride facilities. Midland Metro is a light rail/tram system that operates from Birmingham Snow Hill and Wolverhampton city centre, via Wednesbury.

It is a fact that Birmingham has more canals than Venice. Whilst still used to transport some freight around the country, they are now more likely to be used by leisure craft. Once the transport highway of the nation, Birmingham is at the confluence of 4 major canals; the Dudley & Stourbridge, the Grand Union, the Stratford and the Worcester & Birmingham canal.


Anyone visiting Istanbul on a holiday is sure to love the city’s most staggering landmark: the Haghia Sophia. As Istanbul’s most remarkable building, the Haghia Sophia stands out amongst the city’s sea of stunning architecture, acting as a solid testament to Turkey’s long and ancient history. What’s more, the Haghia Sophia has changed its faith twice over the years; but, whatever your religion, the stunning beauty of the Haghia Sophia is sure to appeal to your aesthetic senses.

The most famous church in the Christian kingdom during the medieval ages, the Haghia Sophia was designed by two mathematicians from Athens during the reign of the Byzantine Emperor Justinian, who aimed to create a structure that supported the world’s largest dome. Constructed in 535 AD, the Haghia Sophia – whose name means Divine Wisdom – remained the largest dome in the world until St Peter’s was erected in Rome. At the time of its construction, the dome of Haghia Sophia was so unusual for the architectural climate of the time that some faithful Christians refused to enter it for fear that the ceiling would fall on their heads!

During the Fourth Crusade and the sacking of Constantinople by the Venetians in 1204 AD, the Haghia Sophia saw many of its ancient treasures being stolen and taken off back to Venice. As the most sacred space in the city, the Haghia Sophia saw its holiest of relics stolen – including a trace of Christ’s blood, a piece of the Holy Cross and relics of St. John and St James – which were then taken to churches all around Western Europe and lost from the sight of Constantinople. However, the Venetians did not manage to steal Haghia Sophia’s precious stone porphyry columns which, during the time of construction, were floated along the Nile to Constantinople, from what is now Sudan.

The fall of Constantinople in the fifteenth century saw the advent of the Ottoman Empire, and in 1453 the Haghia Sophia was turned into a mosque. This development saw the building’s many mosaics being either destroyed or covered with plaster, due to the ban on representational images in Islam. However, in the 1930s, a large number of mosaics were restored by a team from the American Byzantine Institute so people who visit the Haghia Sophia today can enjoy these important artistic monuments to the Byzantine Empire.

Today, the Haghia Sofia has been transformed into the Ayasofya Museum; so people who visit Istanbul will be able to enjoy its ancient treasures and diverse history. And as many airlines offer frequent flights to Istanbul from London, you’ll find it easy to get to this timeless monument of Turkey’s turbulent history.


Historically the number one spot for holidays, a Spanish island has surprised many by opening a new route to holiday competitor island Malta – which is riding the crest of a tourism wave after some years in the doldrums.

Vueling, a Spanish low cost airline, will start flying to Malta from March 31 three times a week, to and from the Spanish capital Madrid.

The airline was set up just four years ago and already has 24 aircraft in her fleet, and before the announcement of the new Malta service already served some 57 destinations, and passenger traffic grew an impressive 75 per cent year on year to November 2007, when it carried nearly half a million passeners in that month alone.

Current destinations include internal Spanish flights to Alicante, serving the Costa Blanca region, and Malaga for the Costa del Sol – both ideal to escape from the city for a golfing or sailing break, or just to spend some time on the beach. With low prices a weekend break is affordable and easy, as well as a longer week or two holiday now the airline is offering cheap holidays.

Less surprising in the routes the airline flies to are Nice in the South of France, Milan in Italy, which allows easy access to the Swiss Alps – and Venice, ideal for a romantic holiday or couple of days away.

Choosing Malta as a destination for Spanish tourists is a clear example of how Malta is successfully diversifying from her main holiday trade from the UK, which has formed the vast majority of her tourists in recent decades. Allowing low cost airlines to fly to the island’s Luqa Airport has boosted the Malta holidays and hotel trade tremendously in the last two years.

New official figures show that this year’s all important summer season has been the best in six years for Malta, reversing the decline in fortunes for the Mediterranean island.

The good news for Malta is that despite the increase in the number of tourists arriving on the island via low cost flights, the occupancy levels of hotels has increased from basic to 5 star, showing that Malta can appeal to all.

Further good news for Malta came from the figures for hotels and holidays with the news that while the number of arrivals from her traditional UK market rose by eleven per cent, the number of people from Germany visiting Malta increased by a third this year, adding strength to the holidays industry that has been reliant on tourism from one country in the past, and even Spanish tourists now visiting the island.


Gone are the days of Fort Lauderdale, Florida being synonymous with only Spring Break. These days Fort Lauderdale means a lot more, it’s grown up and become more upscale. You can however still have a good time and party here. The ‘strip’ is still a popular night spot and of course, the beach and all the many waterways in and around the city are still a major draw. Now, in addition to all of that, Fort Lauderdale has several theaters many shops and you can find a restaurant to satisfy any appetite, they also host a huge art show and Music festival each year, normally in March .

Las Olas Boulevard is considered to be the, shopping and cultural center of the city, it runs along the riverfront area on the banks of the New River which is where, hundreds of years ago settlers and Native Americans alike would bring their wares to be bought, sold and traded, it was the birthplace of the city. It only seems appropriate that to this day today you can still go and enjoy the many shops and restaurants this place is has always been a community hub.

Fort Lauderdale’s extensive Art and Entertainment district that runs east-west along Las Olas Blvd, from the beach to the heart of the city. This is where you’ll find the Broward Center for the Performing Arts. Here you can see a play, enjoy both modern and classical dance or hear a lecture. In March the city also hosts the annual Langerado music festival, where everything from Rap to Regea is welcomed and for dinning, dancing and shopping be sure to check out the trendy Riverfront.

The best word to describe the climate of Fort Lauderdale is tropical, it has hot humid summers and dry, warm winters. It is know as the “Venice of America” because of it’s extensive, intricate canal system. So to say that Fort Lauderdale is great if you love the water is an understatement. While you’re at the beach you can lay out or play volleyball, all the normal things you’d expect to do at the beach. However you can also go sailing or wind surf or wind kite off the beach. Do you own a yacht? You’ll fit right in as many people here do, this is a perfect place to go yachting on the Intracoastal or go sightseeing up and down the canals looking at all the magnificent homes and architecture in the area. If you have a smaller boat or even a kayak you can enjoy the waters here just as much. The fishing, as it is on most of the coast, is great here too, the canals and other waterways are great to go skiing through or pull a tube behind your boat.

Fort Lauderdale is a favorite spot of tourists and Floridians alike, it’s the 7th largest city in Florida. If you’re planning to fly in Fort Lauderdale/Hollywood International Airport (FLL) is located here. And when you’re ready to leave Florida you can catch a flight to over 55 U.S. cities as well as Canada, the Bahamas with flights to Latin and South America. The airport is only two miles from Port Everglades which is great if you’re planning to be on one of the over 3,000 cruises that leave from the port annually.

Fort Lauderdale has it all, food, fun, sun, the arts, shopping, yachting as well as a rich culture and history. Whether you’re in the mood to relax or party, be wild and crazy or take in a little bit of art Fort Lauderdale has just what you’re in the mood for.


In 1907 Paul Cornu built the first helicopter. He was a French engineer who manufactured bicycles. In the 15th century, some four hundred years before Paul Cornu built the helicopter, Leonardo Da Vinci sketched one.

Leonardo also invented many devices which enabled the salvation of Venice in 1499. Leonardo was described as a man whose “talents transcended nature”.

Imagination, often times, transcends nature, or what we immediately know.

I am mesmerized by Leonardo Da Vinci. He makes me proud to be a member of the human race. He makes my own imagination go bonkers as I try to imagine him, sitting there, sketching a helicopter. He must have been thinking, “Flight would give us a great advantage over the enemy”. I can imagine that he probably thought in terms of organizing the battlefield a time or two. The actual attack, or defense. Probably envisioned spears or arrows or perhaps bullets shooting from the helicopter.

I think how odd it is that as a child, no one noticed the talent and imagination of Vincent Van Gogh. That it was actually his brother, Theo, who noticed it and encouraged Vincent as a teenager. Van Gogh, himself called his childhood, “gloomy and cold and sterile….”.

My own imagination gets me into trouble. I forget I’m driving. Hours can pass me and I know it not.

Of course, I’m not inventing future war machines. I’m just not that into war. No. I’m usually envisioning something I’d want to paint. Or write. I envision myself as becoming a master on the violin.

While my imagination can make me something of a delinquent, it also is a wonderful gift. One that frees me from this hard reality. My mind romances the universe. I can conquer my fears and enemies within my mind. In that, I truly can relate to Da Vinci.

Fight or flight? Or both!

I really hate war. I’d rather envision images of Le Pantheon upon my drab livingroom floor. I did. And I did. Took me a week. There upon my floor is a cherub riding a sea serpent. Done in an antique olive with black contrast.

You know, if imagination originates within the organic brain and not the ethereal mind, then perhaps imagination itself is something of a genetic echo. Maybe the world really is going in circles and cycles and what if long before Da Vinci was born, there really were helicopters. What if great imagination is the product of a strand of DNA and within that strand is coded the lives of those who lived before. Only stronger than normal. Concentrated.

I fell in love with John Steinbeck when I was 26 and first read The Grapes of Wrath. I thought he was brilliant. I fell in love with each carved word he wrote. Steinbeck was a great observer and a magnet for detail. He had such a way with words. If ever there was a Romantic Journalist, he was.

There was something almost Knightish about him.

Oh, it’s probably just my imagination.


Welcome to the land of the mighty Roman Empire! The Romans may have left the world stage a long time back, but the charm of Italy remains the same. Tourists from all over the world arrive in Italy to experience the rich history and culture preserved in the streets and historical monuments of Italy. Tourists looking for information on Italy tours can find it in this reliable World Travel Guide. This site provides updated information on flights to Italy, Cheap vacation packages, and hotels in Italy.

Italy is a beautiful country bordering France, Switzerland, Austria and Slovakia, in Southern Europe. The Mediterranean Sea flanks the boot shaped country in the south. The country is famous all over the world as the origin of western culture and is also the home of the Catholic Church. The Renaissance started here in the middle ages and changed the history of the world. Italy is also famous for its fashion houses like Gucci, its cuisine, and stylish sports cars. This World Travel Guide provides information about Italy tours covering major cities of Italy, like Rome, Bologna, Naples, Pisa, Turin, Milan and Venice.

This World Travel Guide is regularly updated to provide tourists with all the latest information about the flights to Italy from all the major cities of the world.
There are many Italy hotels and this World Travel Guide has the current information on all of them regardless of their classification. Detailed information about hotels in Rome, Naples, Bologna, Milan, and other important cities is also available here. If you are looking for accommodation, dining or business, or recreational facilities offered in the hotels in Rome or other cities of Italy, you can safely rely on this World Travel Guide for all such queries. For tourists on a budget, information on cheap vacation packages in Italy can be found in this site.

Italy Tours are incomplete without Italian cuisine. So when you are traveling in Italy, you cannot resist the tastes of the local dishes served in the hotels and restaurants of the country. Information about all the major restaurants in the Italian cities is stored and updated in this World Travel Guide.

There are a lot of sightseeing options in Italy. To help you plan better, this World Travel Guide keeps you updated on all the places of interest in the various cities of Italy. UNESCO has certified many of Italy’s historical buildings and monuments as world Heritage Sites. These include the historical centers of Florence, Rome, and Naples, Piazza del Duomo in Pisa, Early Christian Monuments of Ravenna, and the Residences of the Royal House of Savoy in and around Turin. Residences of the Royal House of Savoy in and around Turin. In this World travel guide, you can get detailed information on how to reach the various tourist spots, where to get local transport, costs and the accommodation facilities in their vicinity.

For tourists traveling in Italy, there are many recreational activities to choose from. The major cities have facilities for activities like Bowling, Pool, outdoor games, bike tours, adventure treks, water sports, and nightclubs. This World Travel Guide is dependable for all types of information on Italy Tours.