Rome, the Winter Olympics, Wine, Ferrari, beautiful beaches – Italy has it all. If you are considering traveling to Italy, here are some things you should know.

An Overview of Italy for Travelers

From a European perspective, there is little doubt that Italy is the foundation of modern society in the West. This is conclusion is primarily due to two facts, the reign of the Romans and the Roman Catholic Church.

In more modern times, Italy became a nation-state in 1861 when the city-states of the peninsula, along with Sardinia and Sicily, were united under King Victor Emmanuel II. An era of parliamentary government came to a close in the early 1920s when Benito Mussolini established a Fascist dictatorship. His disastrous alliance with Nazi Germany led to Italy’s defeat in World War II.

A democratic republic replaced the monarchy in 1946 and economic revival followed. Italy was a charter member of the European Economic Community. It has been at the forefront of European economic and political unification. Persistent problems include illegal immigration, organized crime, corruption, high unemployment, sluggish economic growth, and the low incomes and technical standards of southern Italy compared to the prosperous north.

If you are going to Italy, here are some basic things you need to know.

1. Northern Italy is wealthy while the south is not.

2. Italy is slightly larger than the state of Arizona.

3. Italy’s climate is predominantly Mediterranean with Alpine in far north and hot, dry areas in the south.

4. Vatican City in Rome is considered an independent country.

5. You cannot get into any area of the Vatican wearing shorts.

6. Rome had the first paved streets in the world in 170 B.C. Vehicles had to be banned because of traffic jams!

7. Roman gladiators were the first athletes to endorse products.

8. Considered one of the oddest Emperors, Caligula appointed his horse to a senate position among other more infamous actions.

9. Roman statutes were very utilitarian. The heads could be removed and replaced to reflect the changes in political climate.

10. When the Roman army lost a battle, they really took it hard. Commanders would kill every tenth soldier under their command. This act is the root of the word “decimate.”

11. Surprising to many is the fact there were significant time periods where ancient Rome had no Emperor. The senate would rule. In times of threat, the senate would elect a person as Emperor. He had absolute power, giving rise to the term dictator.

12. Vast percentages of Romans died from lead poisoning. They used is as a sweetener!

13. In the early 1900’s, Prince Piero Ginori Conti invented the geothermal pump. He is considered the father of modern geothermal power.

14. 20 Italians have won the Nobel Prize.

15. Michelangelo’s real name is Michelangelo Buonarroti.

16. The population of Italy as of 2005 was 58,103,033 people.

17. The flag of Italy was inspired by the French flag brought in 1797 by Napoleon.

18. Lehman Brothers owns seven percent of Ferrari.

19. Italy trails only Brazil in World Cup wins.

Italy is an amazing country with colorful, animated people. From ancient culture to a bustling modern country, a trip to Italy is hard to beat. Plan on visiting Italy in the future? Be sure to look for travel discounts to save money.

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7 Good Reasons For Travel Insurance

For thousands of years, risks have been shared during times of tragedy. The first formal insurance company, Lloyd’s of London, was formed in 1769 and their principal concept remains today – to gather the premiums of clients as a pool of resources to return to clients who experience unexpected but covered events. So, that is the secret really, plan for the unexpected and make sure you’re covered, especially when you’re travelling. Whether your trip is a quick one or a round the world cruise, there are many good reasons for travel insurance. Here are just 7:

Medical Emergencies: If you fall sick or are injured during your travel, your travel insurance will give you financial coverage.

Flight Cancellations: If your flight is cancelled or delayed then your travel insurance should help. Depending on the cover available, a room for the night and even alternative travel home can be included.

Pre-existing Medical Conditions: Even if you have a pre-existing medical condition and it flares up while you’re on vacation, as long as you’ve advised your travel insurance company prior, you should be covered.

Damage or Loss Of Personal property – What are you going to do when your luggage gets stolen? Yes, it happens, all the time. There are organised gangs that work in airports doing just that. Guess what? You need travel insurance.

Loss of Cash or Traveller’s Cheques – You’re in a foreign country far from home. You either lose, or have stolen, your entire holiday fund. You’re going to need help and quick. Again, travel insurance is a must.

Emergency Evacuations – What with global warming and economic pressure more and more holiday destinations are being built in potentially dangerous territory. Who would have wanted to be in Thailand on that Boxing Day? Travel insurance will help if you have to get out quick.

Car Crash – It can be very difficult driving on the wrong side of the road in a strange country. Accidents happen.

Okay, there you have it. 7 good and solid reasons why you need travel insurance the next trip you make. The other alternative of course is to not take out travel insurance, or to stay at home. Now, there’s an idea. But seriously, as always when taking out insurance, especially travel insurance, read the fine print. Importantly, find out before you go what is excluded, not just included. So, always read the fine print. For example, accidental coverage is not provided in case of drunken driving, driving under the influence of narcotic substances etc. Exclusions are also provided for accidents during risky sports like bungee jumping, car racing, scuba diving, white water rafting, flying (except as passenger in regular airliners), gliding, skiing, bike racing, diving, mountaineering, windsurfing etc. The list goes on (insert for your favorite potentially dangerous sport here). That means in case of accidents in these situations the insurance company is not liable to pay any amount to the insured.

Cruise Travel

Going on vacation with your loved ones can be an exciting and a fun experience for everyone. There are many possibilities when it comes to spending your vacation at sea. There is a cruise holiday that will suit everyone.You might ask yourself, “Where do I start?” Well, the first step is to figure out where you want to go. This might be the hardest step in planning your vacation but once you get past it, everything is a breeze.

There are cruises that go all over the world. Your choices could take you to Alaska or Venice and everywhere in between. Some factors that might help you in your decision-making are the possible ports you may want to visit, or cities of departure you prefer. You may want to depart from a city close to your home or a city you have always wanted to visit. This will limit your choices of ships embarking from those homeports.

Once you have figured out where you want to go, your next step is to decide what cruise company and ship you prefer. Today’s cruise ships are some of the most innovative and advanced ships ever built. They offer many features that fit everyone’s tastes. Some of the features include rock-climbing walls, self-leveling pool tables, ice-skating rinks and many shops and restaurants. These are just some of the many examples of what to expect from a cruise ship. There are many more amenities, as well as exciting activities that will make you forget to leave the ship even when you are at a port.

When choosing a cruise company, there are certain factors you will need to deal with before booking a reservation. First, read consumer reports regarding a ship’s services. Then you confirm that they will actually stop at places they say they will. Remember that a happy occasion can easily become a very frustrating one quickly. The only way to prevent this is to be prepared and to do your research. Also before you book your cruise check into travel clubs to help you save tremendous amount of money.

What are the benefits of travel club memberships?

Traveling is one of the important aspects in planning the vacations. The membership clubs have their own privileges and it has emerged out to fulfill the varying needs of all kind of travelers. You surely might have come across certain ads or promotional emails about such clubs? These clubs offer services through their membership plan. Buy the travel program that entitles the travelers of certain benefits. A consumer is buying the program that entitles that entitles to certain benefits inaccessible to the public.

Every travel club has a certain membership format which is based on time and cost. The travel clubs are researching into the consumer habits before making a definite membership plan to offer. Is your travel business interested in offering the same to the consumers? The travel clubs have evolved a reputation in the travel industry and the consumer gets naturally drawn to them. Most of the luxury travelers just can’t do without one and it let the consumers know of the travel club membership.

Offering luxury to the travelers is more crucial these days and the leisure travelers are seeking new experiences with evolved kind of luxury. The traveler clubs are targeting travelers to assemble unique experiences for them.

Travel clubs work an extra mile to gain an unforgettable experience. Meet the demands of the vacation and make it a more memorable one. Here are the advantages of vacation travel club membership –

Get personalized services

Think from the perspective of the club members. Instead of buying a standard travel package, they have taken a travel club membership. They expect to get a tailor-made experience by planning the vacation as per needs. The membership helps the travel planning as per the needs.

Handling the flights and lodging

It is the most important aspect of planning a vacation. The travel club platform provides features like members-only hotel rates, seat alerts, complimentary insurance, baggage rebate, best price promise, and more. They also provide an extensive range of vacation rental listings.

Providing more than basic solutions

The travel club platforms provide basic features relating to flights and hotel concessions. Most of the travel clubs provide features like fast documentation. Medical services, travel marketplace, and so on.

The membership focuses on activities and local connections

Explore the destination like a local and the clubs provide different benefits to travelers, to help them connect with the locals. They also provide a wide range of activities that the travelers can buy.

The club memberships partner with the best in the industry to provide the best details on travels. The loyalty programs provide the best rewards and it makes easy for members to save on travel. The club offers a unique combination of specialized services including the most sophisticated travel technology, travel fulfillment services, and user-friendly tools. The travel club creates, operates and helps market travel clubs benefit program for brands and organizations around the world.

Popular Cruise Ship Travel Options

Popular Cruise Ship Travel Options

When it comes to planning a vacation aboard a cruise ship, many individuals focus their planning solely on their cruise. For many individuals, this can be a costly mistake. While the cruise itself is important, so is how you plan on making it to your vacation.

Unfortunately, a large number of individuals are unaware that they must make travel arrangements to their cruise ship’s departure location. When many individuals become aware of this fact, it is often too late for them to change their mind. You are encouraged not to be one of those individuals. When booking a cruise, it is important to keep a cruise ship’s departure location in mind. Doing so may prevent unnecessary travel expenses.

Selecting a cruise ship, with a close departure location, is advisable. Unfortunately, for many this is impossible. A limited number of coastal locations serve as cruise ship departure ports. If you are unable to find a cruise ship departure location that is within a short distance to your home, you need to consider the cost of travel while booking your reservations. This cost is important because it may cause your vacation costs to exceed what you had previously expected.

In the event that you must make travel plans to reach your cruise ship departure location, you should consider all options. These options may include driving your own vehicle, renting a car, flying on an airplane, riding the bus, or taking the train. All of the fore said travel methods are doable, but the option you select will likely depend on convenience and the cost of travel.

There are a number of advantages and disadvantage to driving yourself to your cruise ship departure location. The greatest advantage of doing so is that your travel will be easy. Simply by hopping into your vehicle and hitting the road, you could be on your way. When driving your own vehicle, planning is often easier. The only downside to driving your own vehicle is the cost of gasoline. If you are required to drive a long distance, the cost could substantially add up.

If you are worried about the excessive miles on your own vehicle, you could rent one. Vehicle rentals are a popular way to reach your designation without an excessive amount of planning. Unfortunately, the cost of gasoline will also have an impact on driving. In addition to the cost of gasoline, the length of your cruise may also have an effect on the total cost of renting a vehicle. Vehicle rentals are charged by the day; therefore, if your car rental is left in a parking lot you may be wasting money.

Flying is a popular travel method; however, it can be a costly one. Individuals trying to reach their cruise ship departure location are often encouraged not to arrive at their destination by airplane, unless absolutely necessary. This is due to the cost of flying. If your cruise ship departure port is only a few hours a way, air travel may not be the best option. However, there are some cases where air travel may be the only option. If you are without your own vehicle, flying may be necessary to reach your cruise ship’s departure location.

Traveling to your cruise ship’s departure location by bus or train are other acceptable travel options. Each is likely to take some time, but they are both inexpensive ways to travel. Many individuals can easily afford a bus ticket or a train ticket. Aside from excessive stops, it is possible that you may not have access to either. Bus stations and train stations are only available in limited locations. You may find it difficult or impossible to find a station that offers service to the location of your choice.

Each of the above mentioned travel methods all have their advantages and disadvantages. To find the perfect method of travel to reach your cruise ship’s departure location, you should weigh the advantages and disadvantages of each method. Once you have decided which method best fits your needs, you can rest assure knowing that you will make it on time for your cruise ship’s departure.

To book your next cruise at up to 70% off visit https://www.hotelsetc.com