Tag: "Italy"

Habitable homes in Biccari, Puglia for $10,000

I’m always half tempted when I see an article about homes in Italy for 1 euro. I look. But they are always wrecked and the idea of managing renovations in a country where I don’t live is not appealing. So when I saw this article on CNN I was about 3/4 tempted. I even talked to my wife, but she shot me down pretty quickly. Buying a house in Italy is still scary. If anyone reading this has done it recently, how did it go?

Reader needs advice on European cruise

Reader question: Looking at doing a European cruise next year with my wife, brother and sister in law – preferably the eastern Mediterranean to include Italy, Greece, Greek isles, Dubrovnik, and Turkey. None of us have been to Europe and this seems like a great way to see a ton of different places plus my brother and sister in law love their cruises. Has anyone traveled on one of these cruises? 7, 10, or 12 nights are being considered.

Answers from friends (please put your own tips in the comments below):

Answer 1: Just did West Mediterranean, 7 days on Norwegian Epic out of Rome. Highlights were Florence, Cannes (Monaco), Marseilles (Avignon, Ax en Provence) and Naples (Pompeii). I would strongly advise spending 3 days touring Rome before the cruise, that city was fantastic. We stayed at a nice hotel in Rome, the Artemide, which was well located.

Answer 2: In 2010 my fiance and I took a 12 night cruise. Celebrity cruise line, beautiful ship. I would definitely recommend the 12 night trip. It takes a little while to get out there and there is so much sight seeing that the time really flies. We flew into Venice). Then Florence, Rome, Dubrovnik (which was gorgeous), Greece (you can miss Athens but Santorini was the most beautiful place I’ve ever seen), Nice, France and Barcelona.

You really want as much time as you can get. I got engaged in Venice, and we stayed an extra night there. We were able to sit and drink wine in Saint Marks plaza while listening to a live band. We also stayed an extra two nights in Barcelona at the end of the trip. That city is a great time. The most beautiful girls I’ve ever seen and tons to do.

You’re going to really tired at night from all the walking and sight seeing. It was the best trip I’ve been on. Hope this helps a little.

Answer 3: We did a seven day cruise out of Venice to those destinations on Royal Caribbean. It was fun. The airport in Venice was a bit of a scene. It was my first time in Europe for an extended period of time and we loved it. We did the excursions and a local tour of Venice and a local city, Padua. Off the top of my head, we stopped at Dubrovnik, Crete, Corfu, Santorini and Ephesus in Turkey.

I would recommend it for those that want a little taste of the culture but don’t want to be stuck in one place too long.

Answer 4: Two years ago did a 12-day cruise on Celebrity to ports in Turkey and Greece. The cruise was preceded by a 4 day bus “cruise” into the countryside in Turkey, which was simply spectacular.

The mechanics: a flight to Istanbul and then changing planes for Ankara. Flew on Turkish Air, which was amazingly good. Flew economy, but the economy seating was configured with rows of 2 seats, 6 seats and 2 seats and my wife and I were able to get seats in one of the 2 seat portions of the row. Non-stop food and excellent entertainment on the plane. If you do fly into Turkey, you’ll need a visa, but you can buy it at the Istanbul airport for a fraction of the cost of buying it in the US.

Answer 5: 12-day Royal Caribbean. Started in Barcelona, Spain; Cannes (Monte Carlo), France; Livorno (Florence), Italy; Civitavecchia (Rome), some place in Greece (least favorite port); Dubrovnik Croatia (beautiful place); Venice, Italy; Italy; Naples (Salerno); Barcelona, Spain. It was the best vacation I have ever taken. The cruise was also great. I have been on more and less expensive cruises but this one was great from the moment that we stepped on the gang plank. These types of cruises do not really cater to the people that are simply looking to get smashed for the duration of the cruise. That being said there is plenty of night life and other things to do on the ship while out to sea you will not be bored. Enjoy and make sure you do not skip a day on shore.

Answer 6: Ship is important too. GF just came back from Norwegian Spirit from Barcelona to Venice. Great itinerary, terrible ship. I want to do this with the parents next year on a different ship but the main thing is the ports you want to see. Do a search. Later in the season, the prices may be lower and the weather may be better, but some attractions have earlier closing hours.

Answer 7: Expanding on answer #2, Kurt had this to say: I can’t say enough good about Santorini. It was a highlight of my many years of travel. The ONLY problem may be that your cruise ship won’t allow you more than a few hours there. There is an ongoing excavation of Akrotiri village which was buried by a volcanic eruption around 2000 B.C. I stayed 4 days in an apartment at the top of the caldera with a gorgeous view looking almost straight down 1000 feet into the Aegean Sea. The caldera was formed about 3600 years ago by the erupting volcano.