Two Special Holiday Destinations
Posted on Apr 5 2011 at 10:39:58 AM in Travel
Venice, Italy, known as Venezia in Italia, is in the region of Veneto on the Adriatic Sea. "La Serenissima," the Peaceful Lady, was home and harbor to international commerce, and did not need to fortify itself much against attacks. Its architecture features airy terraces, balconies, and huge windows, letting in the most possible light and ventilation, and stands in sharp contract to cities such as Florence (Firenze), in Tuscany, whose palaces had to be sturdy, impenetrable fortresses.
The actual first settlements in Venice were out in the Lagoon, on islands such as Burano and Torcello. The "mainland" was marshy, its brackish waters unhealthy (and building there was an engineering challenge). When plague set in, however, long ago, the inhabitants abandoned the islands of the Lagoon, and did settle inland, with difficulty, but tenacity.
The Guidecca is a large island near central Venice. Mostly residential but a quick bus-boat ("vaporetto") ride to and from the center of Venice, it's considered by some to be a more "authentic" Venetian place to stay. It certain commands gorgeous views! Hotels in Venice come in all shapes and sizes. If you want something different in a Venice hotel, consider the Hilton Molino Stucky Venice Hotel, at around 249 euros per night for a twin deluxe room. Its pool, spa and personal care are world-renowned. I like it better here on the Guidecca -- it's less noisy, less full of tourists.
Across the big pond is another special destination perfect for those who would like to spend some time in a tropical paradise. Puerto Rico is one of my favorite places. Old San Juan, the Spanish-built part of the capital city, is a delightful and lovely place. The old battlements and the Atlantic Ocean lapping at the shore, the casinos and the nightclubs all make for a romantic and laid-back experience. Hotels in Puerto Rico can be relatively expensive, and there are few budget accommodations, but all in all, it’s worth the money. El Yunque rain forest is an absolute must-see, and is only about an hour drive from San Juan.