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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.


Slovenia property investment is hot and it has recently been named one of the best 10 countries to invest in the world. This article will look at Slovenia property investment and the potential for capital growth which has been estimated at up to 280% over the next ten years.

When investing in overseas property a number of factors need to be considered which include:

The countries Political stability, economic growth and housing values at the present compared to possible future growth.

Slovenia property investing has become popular with savvy property investors all over the world, due to its potential to earn great capital growth and solid rental incomes from the buoyant buy-to-let market.

1. Economy

One of the newest members of the European Union (joining in 2004) with the top performing economy of any of the recent member states.

Government macro economic policies have seen Slovenia achieve and sustain great growth.

The Slovenian economy features:

Small external imbalances and public debt, while at the same time lowering inflation and keeping interest rates in line with the rest of the euro economy. EU entry has increased confidence which in turn has increased trade and increased growth, and overseas investment has increased steadily as a result and this has also seen property investment rise dramatically.

Per capita incomes have reached about 80 percent of EU-average for year end 2006.

With growth rates running at around 5% per annum Slovenia’s economic future looks solid. It is this economic expansion which is driving house prices up, as higher incomes and people looking for second overseas homes has increased the demand for quality housing stock.

2. Geography & Communications

Slovenia is only small, compact country and is around half the size of Switzerland or the size of Wales, yet it is beautiful with diverse scenic beauty.

Located to the east of the Trieste region of Italy, it also has borders with Croatia, Austria and Hungary making it a country at the crossroads between the established western economies and the new emerging nations of the east.

Slovenia makes a great base to explore a host of nearby countries and attractions – Venice, Prague and Budapest are all within a day trip.

Many investors who buy a Slovenia investment property are skiers. You can Ski in three countries in one day with one ski pass in these three countries Italy, Austria and of course Slovenia

Slovenia has good infrastructure and communications which is great news for the economy and tourism generally.

With budget airlines flying direct to Slovenia and offering frequent and cheap flights, more people are getting easy access to the delights of this country.

3. Beauty

Slovenia is a beautiful country. The country features all the following:

Stunning mountains, tranquil lakes, alpine forests, valleys, dotted with vineyards and finally, a beautiful stretch of Adriatic coastline. There are also bustling cities and towns such as the capital Ljubljana, the coastal town of Piran with their many attractions and plenty more. Ljubljana is popular with investors and has been compared to Prague and features beautiful baroque architecture, lovely church spires and a cosmopolitan atmosphere.

There is much to enjoy and that leads on to next point which is boosting Slovenia property investment.

4. Tourism

Tourism is rapidly becoming one of the most important industries in Slovenia, as it catches up with its neighbors who have promoted their tourist industries more aggressively until now.

5. Quality Housing

The capital has become popular with overseas property investors, who are taking advantage of growth rates of 30 – 40% per annum. The city reflects the economic growth of the country and new housing is lagging behind demand. This is due to strict local planning laws, which are restricting the flow of quality housing and demand is out stripping supply.

Primorska on the coast and the mountainous area of Gorenjska are the next most expensive places to buy in Slovenia but offer great returns.

6. A Boom in Its Infancy

Property booms tend to last for a long time and the boom in Slovenia investment property looks to be no different. With prices starting at around £40,000 and a wide choice of areas that remain relatively undeveloped there is a wide choice to suit all tastes and budgets.

7. Potential

With capital growth forecast to be up to 280% for the next decade, Slovenian investment property offers solid returns in a safe and stable environment.

You can of course also get rental incomes in the major towns such as Ljubljana and a host of other developing areas offering Slovenian property for sale which include:

The holiday resorts of Lake Bled and Lake Bohinj, Maribor, the beautiful coastal city of Piran and the ski resorts of the Kranska Gora region, as well as the Soca Valley – an area of outstanding natural beauty.

8. Ease of Purchase

The buying process in Slovenia is designed to protect both buyers and sellers and local finance is also available from banks and secured locally on the property. All details are held at a central Land registry, making ownership rights clearly visible to all – which is not the case in many countries!

9. Its Safe & Friendly

Slovenia has friendly, helpful, courteous people and an absence of serious crime making it a welcoming country which leaves an impression on all who visit the country.

Slovenia property Investment offers overseas buyers a lot and buying property in Slovenia has never been more popular and it’s easy to see why.

Discover Slovenia property investment and you maybe glad you did.


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.


Amsterdam the official capital of the Netherlands, stays on the banks of two bodies of water, the IJ bay and the Amstel river. Founded in the late 12th century as a little fishing village on the banks of the Amstel, it is at this time the most larger city in the country and its financial and cultural centre. Amsterdam is not a common city in that it has all the benefits of a substantial city culture, history, food, entertainment, good transport with just some of the disadvantages: it is physically tiny, Incredible, fairly silent, and mostly thanks to the canals, has in some measure little traffic.

Whether you want to visit world distinguished museums, wander along idyllic canals, bask in the glow of the Red Light District, amplify your education of beer or smoke a monster joint, Time Out Amsterdam will tell you the path. Staying at Amsterdam is a breeze and because of its flat terrain, most of the city dwellers manage bicycles to drive in town. Amsterdam also has great public transportation such as trams, a great subway system and the central train station. Housing, especially low savings account accommodation, could be difficult to come up with while in summer and out there Easter and Christmas. It pays to make plans ahead of time

Not much of the low budget hotels or hostels have a internet image, so you eventually will have to get through them promptly by phone or fax or browsing on the internet at http://yahoo.com. Amsterdam is one of the best tourist destinations in Europe. Everybody fall in complete love with the Wonderful canals, old cobblestone streets and Beautiful Dutch architecture. Amsterdam is talk about to as the Venice of the north and has a lot of romantic waterways where you and your beautiful partner can spend high quality time together. I dont care what budget you got, you could enjoy Amsterdam.

I recommend you visit Amsterdam and have a good time, plan ahead of time and book your flights with enough time so you can get the best prices in the market. If you buy your flight tickets months ahead you will get incredible offers and discounted prices.


“This is not Italy, USA!” : Traveling Points for Americans

While enduring every traveler’s nightmare, a layover at the under-construction Charles de Gaulle airport, Paris, France, we watched with exhausted dismay as the electronic departure sign intermittedly displayed and then removed our last-leg flight into Venice. After having flown for eight hours through the night, a sleepless one at that, our group was tired, cranky, and out of sorts…we wanted to get on the next plane only to get off of it ASAP. Still, there’s no excuse for bad behavior, especially when one’s feet are resting upon foreign soil. Watching for any sign that our flight via Air France was again on the board, we grew bored and started people watching. I don’t know which was worse, that feeling of being stuck in an airport or being stuck in the characterization as one of many rude, uncouth traveling Americans. Yet I could see why the French disliked those from the US, on that day, I witnessed several Americans demand in loud voices for their flight to be rescheduled…yesterday. It would have been comical, had it not been so crass…and unreasonable. I cringed and not for the last time during our nine day excursion at some Americans’ ridiculous and impolite behavior toward our very gracious and accommodating Italian hosts.

Fast forward another eight hours, our entire tour group of thirty-eight men and women are happily ensconced at the Hotel Saturnia where every guest is treated with the utmost courtesy and respect, so it was a simple matter to respond in kind. Still there were moments during the upcoming days when we witnessed more uncivil and even bizarre behavior from fellow US citizens. At times, we wanted to run interference and offer apologies. Finally, we realized that some Americans were simply unaware of how their attitudes and actions were affecting native Venetians. Time for an education.

According to Hotel Saturnia’s chief concierge, Andrea Scarpa, Americans, despite their foibles and lack of travel savvy are still considered “fantastic” in comparison to guests from across the globe. Scarpa says that what Italians most appreciate about Americans visiting their country is their expression and appreciation upon receiving a good meal (as in spaghetti) or after a good rest (as in a hot shower). Americans almost always make their requests for the best restaurants, shopping, etc…kindly, warmly, and they tip better than most Europeans as well. Kudos to Americans for expressing


Birmingham is located in the west midlands and it’s britain’s second most densely populated city, after London.

Birmingham initially gained attention during the industrial revolution. for this reason, the city boasts a massive network of canals, which boasts plenty more miles of canal than venice. The city also boasts severalnotable associations, which include HP Sauce, Tony Hancock, Cadbury’s, Black Sabbath, the Spitfire and the Mini car.

Birmingham is a modern, exciting & cosmopolitan city. With vibrant night life, snazzy hotels, exciting shopping opportunities & unusual tourist attractions, it is a exciting location to visit for a short break or holiday.

Birmingham also has some fantastic architecture to see, which include the Bullring shopping centre. The Bullring was constructed at a cost of £500 million by Benoy & is a beautiful, modern building.

One of the best things about Birmingham has to be its great museums, galleries and attractions that are lively & interesting for the entire family. one of the most interestingis Dudley Zoo, which is in the grounds of dudley castle & has some great animals that are set over 40 acres of beautiful greenery.

Some of our other favourites include the Sarehole Mill, Bantock House & Soho House.

If you are a fan of shopping, you definitely won’t be disappointed by birmingham city centre. From designer stores to small, independent boutiques, the city truly has something for everyone to enjoy.

There are many independent stores in the city’s Custard Factory, which was built on the site of the old Bird’s custard factory. in addition to this, you’ll find high-street stores in the city’s Pallasades shopping centre that is placed just above new street railway station. alternatively, you could drop by the city’s brand-new Bullring mall, which boasts more than 150 different stores for you to look at & enjoy.

With quaint pubs, exclusive wine bars & fabulous nightclubs, brum has everything you require for a fabulous evening out. lovers of electro music will be pleased to find many enormous electro clubs, whereas fanaticals of rock & indie bands will be happy to explore that the city has many live music venues that hold regular concerts, as well as night clubs that play the best bits rock tunes.

If you require somewhere to stay after your fun night out, you will be spoilt for choice in Birmingham. indeed, the city boasts branches of muchmajor hotel chains such as crowne plaza & the malmaison.

As its situated in the centre of england, getting to birmingham is simple. birmingham new street offers regular rail connections to and from various locations throughout england. in addition to this, it is also easily accessed by road.

If you would like to fly to Birmingham, you may fly into Birmingham International Airport. The airport is just 5.5. miles from birmingham city centre.


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.


European travel brings you to the most steeped-in-history cities of the world.

My top ten cities you should visit are London, England; Paris, France; Barcelona, Spain; Marseille, France; Florence and Rome, Italy; Istanbul and Kusadasi, Turkey; Athens, Greece; and Venice, Italy. Fly to London and then take the Eurostar Train through Paris and coach to Barcelona, or fly from London to Barcelona.

Book a Cruise from Barcelona and you will enjoy all of these cities in just 12 days.

My wife and I were spell bound by the immense beauty and history of these cities and you will be, too!

But I digress. As we lead up to this great adventure and to experience first hand, the wonder of these cities, we’d like you to follow us through the 25 days we spent in Europe and the Mediterranean last year (September, 2006).

We found that by booking the air flight separate from the tours, you can save considerably. Being Canadian, we flew from Calgary, non stop, to London overnight which provides a good night’s sleep and you arrive refreshed to take on the sites of London.

The flight was uneventful, plenty to eat and although sleep wasn’t always easy, we managed to get some rest. We landed at Heathrow International Airport and took the Trafalgar Tour Airport Shuttle Service to our hotel in Fulham. After a quick check in and lunch, we took the subway to Buckingham Palace, St Paul’s Cathedral, and then back to our hotel for dinner and bed.

Hint: It’s wise to pre-purchase a London Pass before you leave home, and you can save on entrance fees to many London attractions.

The next day, we started our Taste of Britain Tour, with a continental breakfast followed by a City Tour of London including all the famous spots of down town London.

We purchased tickets for the show “Les Miserables” from one of the down town vendors at much reduced rates and then caught the subway to Westminster where we took a Catamaran Cruise down the Thames as far as the Tower Bridge and back. Beautiful.

We then visited the London Acquarium which was only average in standard, before walking to the Imperial War Museum for some intriguing information about the Holocaust and scenes from both major wars.

As we’d seen much of the London sites before, we were happy to have a quick bite to eat, then off we went to the Queens Theatre to see “Les Miserables” which was just marvelous.

The following morning, the Taste of Britain tour of England, Scotland and


It is often referred to as the Venice of the North or the Paris of the East. The city centre is set on the south bank of the Neva river.

Modern St Petersburg has no shortage of restaurants, and plenty of variety. Aside from traditional Russian restaurants, Chinese and Japanese cuisine is popular, with sushi a recent craze.

St Petersburg has a vibrant, varied nightlife ranging from opera and ballet to nightclubs, rock concerts, jazz clubs, and acid house raves. How ever, the scene is constantly changing with new venues opening and old ones closing. Most of the decent night life is in the city centre.

The local currency is the ruble. The market near the Spilled Blood Cathedral offers every thing from matrioshka dolls to hand-painted lacquer boxes in a wide range of quality and prices.

The main square of St Petersburg is one of the world’s most magnificent plazas. Palace Square contains the picturesque Baroque buildings of the Winter Palace and Hermitage Museum on one side and the Classical yellow and white former General Staff buildings of the Russian army on the other. The main point of the square is the Alexander Column, a tall monolith of red granite topped by a cross and the statue of an angel, dedicated to the Russian military victory in the Napoleonic wars. Palace Square has been the site of numerous political protests, most notably the demonstrations of Bloody Sunday in 1905 that started the first Russian Revolution. Today the square, with the views of the Admiralty’s golden spire and the dome of St Isaac’s Cathedral from across the vast stone paving, is filled with markets, outdoor cafes and the sound of horse-drawn carriages.

The Bronze Horseman, on Senatskaia Ploschad Square, facing the Neva River and surrounded by the Admiralty, St Isaac’s Cathedral. The monument was built by order of the Empress Catherine the Great as a tribute to her famous predecessor on the Russian throne, Peter the Great. According to a 19th century legend, enemy forces will never take St. Petersburg while the Bronze Horseman stands in the middle of the city. During the Second World War the statue was not taken down, but was protected with sand bags and a wooden shelter.

You can fly direct to St Petersburg from the UK by booking online at www.fly.co.uk.