Things to do in Venice: Island Hopping / Anneklien’sSoloTravels&Adventure

Venice, the main island can be so crowded with tourist. Every corner there’s a crowd of tourist. Visiting Venice during the Canival time is more crowded with locals and tourist alike from different parts of the world. Venice is so picturesque and I can’t get enough with this place.  Wandering around every alleyways and crossing every bridges, at the same time snapping with my camera.  Taking in the views as well as enjoying the Carnevale di Venezia was so wonderful.

If you hate the crowds and you have extra day to spare, whilst in Venice. Why not explore the neighbouring islands if you want to discover other parts of Venice? Not saying the expensive gondola ride! There are other places which are not as crowded as San Marco. Try to head off to the beautiful villages in radius of 10-40 minutes watertaxi ride away. 
I discovered that Venice charges 80% more to tourists than locals.  A good example was the water taxi fare one way locals only pay €1.20 while tourists are  being charged €7.00. But that didn’t stop me to explore the place. I got Imob its a Venetian local card to use in every transportation, so I was charged like a local. Hurray lets explore the place in Venetian style! After exploring San Marco, Rialto Bridge and The old beautiful palazzos.  I think its about time for island hopping. Come and tag along with me through my captured moments in Venice and the Islands.

image

image

MURANO

I don’t think this place needs much introduction. Murano Glass, does it rings a bell? Yes that’s right it’s where the infamous Murano glass originated. I have seen lots of Murano glasses in U.K shops. Stroll around the village and watched the locals make glass artwork  infront of my eyes is spectacular. Every shops displays a colourful pendant, bracelets and home decorations. A good excuse to do some retail therapy either for yourself or for gifts to take back home.
The Church of Santa Maria and Donato stand out in the background. A wonderful day spent with less tourist crowds. Its only 10 minutes watertaxi ride from Fondamente Nove.

image

image

image

image

image

BURANO

Another picture perfect village. The charming and most colourful village I’ve ever explored. Wandering around this pretty place. Its like a painting comes to life in front of your very eyes, with the different colour  pallete- from red-green-yellow the whole colour wheel scheme has painted the whole village. The other thing about this island, its where the original tradition of merletto (lace). This place attract tourist for its buranese lace. Watched a couple of delightful old lace-making ladies with their intricately lace designs. As you walked around the shops,  lots of delicate and beautiful laces on display. A good quality and authentically buranese, a cool souvenir or gift to take home for your love one’s. It’s only 30 minutes watertaxi ride from Fondamente Nove.

image

image

image

image

image

There are other islands nearby to explore, but time constraints I wasn’t able to go. But its a good excuse for another visit. Venice till next time. Arrivederci! Surely I will see you again.

Advertisements

Rome And It’s Beautiful Churches/ Anneklien’sSoloTravels&Adventure

Rome is regarded the eternal  city. The Vatican City is where  the papal residence. Catholic is the predominant religion  in the country. No wonder why in every  steps and corner theres  a Cathedral,  church and chapels. I was raised and grew up  in a catholic country. Every time  I  to go to a new places, I  always  make  sure I  go and do visita Iglesia.  Rome is not short  of places  to go for church visit. Lets go and visit the Ancient Papal Basilicas.

St. Peters  Basilica

First stop is in The St. Peters Basilica
, the famous  and most photograph church in Rome. The ancient basilica completes the beautiful façade of classic example of a Renaissance building. The work of art display inside like Bernini’s baldachin and Michelangelo’s Pietà.
The  only draw back is the long queue getting in. You need  to get there early and the entrance  is free, not unless you want to visit  the Sistine  Chapel to admire the  painted ceilings by Michael Angelo and climb up the Cupola/ Dome for the panoramic view.

image

image


Sant Giovani Church

It may not  be  as famous  as the  first church, but its full of history. It is the cathedral church of the Diocese of Rome and the official ecclesiastical seat of the Pope.
The stunning Baroque architectural style is another magnificent  church
for photography. Admire  the stunning altar, it’s  intricate  design  is so beautiful.

image

image

image

image

San Paolo

It is where the tomb of Paul’s found just below a marble tombstone in the Basilica’s crypt, below the altar.
There are numerous relics found inside, the most notable of which are a set of chains that is said to be the prison chains of St Paul. There’s also an exposed excavation of an apse of the first Constantinian Basilica.

image

image

image

image

image

I love exploring the Churches around Rome. Along the iconic bridges to historic buildings. Rome is such a beauty and capturing every corner is so wonderful.

Lazio Italy: It’s Hidden Gem near Rome/ Anneklien’sSoloTravels&Adventure

image

Rome is so beautiful, from the structural buildings, to the fountains and piazza. As well as the spectacular cathedrals, churches to chapels. It’s my third time visit in Rome so I had already the chance to wander around this beautiful city and it’s tourist spots. Rome, it can get crowded with tourists. If you’re like me looking for unbeaten places to explore, why not go outside the city? If you have enough time to spare whilst in Rome. There are awesome places around Lazio Region, in radius of 20-40 kilometers just outside Rome. A day trip is suggested to explore these beautiful towns.

Castle Gandolfo

A day trip to this stunning place is a must. It’s a town on top of a hill, with a gorgeous view overlooking a lake called Lago Albano. It’s only 40 minutes train journey from Rome Termini, purchase 30 kilometres train ticket in any Tabacchini and you’re ready to go.

The Apostolic Palace of Castel Gandolfo is a 17th-century papal palace in the city. This place is where the Pope spent most of his summer time, it has the papal garden. Which was recently opened to the public last March 1st 2014. Aside from the beautiful garden, it also offers a breathtaking panoramic view of lake Albano. Wander around its alleyways. Watch the stunning sunset view, while having a relaxing time by the viewing platform. Why not have a glass of wine or a meal by the nearby restaurant.

image

image

image

image

Frascati

This historic hill town is easily reach from Termini. Its only 40 minutes train journey. We have been told by a local that this place is the land of the Royals. Evidence of the palace sat on top of the hill, overlooking the whole town. There’s this big garden to explore, adorned with sculptures and stunning fountains. If you’re a sunset fanatic like me there’s a viewing deck by the park or by the road side. Take time to take in the stunning panoramic view of the neighbouring area- it’s so beautifully lite up from afar. And last but not least the famous Frascati Wine. While wandering around the shops, why not try free tasting sample of the local Frascati Wine.

image

image

image

image

image

Tivoli

This place is full of history. Roam around this unspoilt village and go and see the different villas. This village is a quick train ride from Rome. A day trip is highly recommended. Go and explore the beautiful area. A visit to villa d’Este is not to miss out. It offers a great history inside the villa. The grandeur of every room, its interior designs, the paintings on the ceilings is so amazing. Villa d’Este is the most remarkable illustration of Renaissance architecture. The fountains is a unique display of Italians 16th century garden. It offers a vast garden to explore its 500 magnificent fountains.

image

image

image

image

image

Lazio Region offers variety of beautiful places. From hilltop towns to seaside town, there’s so much places to explore but not enough time. Oh Italy im coming back for more!

Magical Venetian Escapades/ Anneklien’sSoloTravels&Adventure

image

image

Venice is regarded as the most popular romantic getaway for lovers. Im here in the hope to find the City of Romance beauty, hidding in the alleyways and its canal districts. As a solo traveller will I appreciate this romantic place? It’s my second time around here in Venice, the first time was with my friend Lourdes with a group tour. As usual we did the touristy activities, walking around tourist spots and ofcourse the gondola ride.

image

image

image

But this time im armed with a travellers perspective mingling with locals, discovering the most authentic place to eat and trace the unbeaten alleyways and canals of Venice. Let’s wait and see. Oh I forgot to mention, my first agenda was to capture the famously worldwide known Carnevale di Venezia. For the most eagerly awaited celebration each year, the most colourful and extravagant festival. For it’s exhilarating, enthralling day and evening affairs. I wanted to experience! Every year the city explodes with fun and laughter. The huge festive crowds from other parts of the world gathered altogether around the Piazza San Marco and other squares scattered in the city. There are shows, period and flamboyant costume parades, concerts masquerade balls and famous parties organized during the festival on a splendid palaces along the Grand Canal but it comes with a price tag. It is internationally renowned event, celebrated by tourist and local Venetian alike.

image

We made our way through the labyrinth of alleyways towards the famous landmarks of San Marco, Rialto Bridge, Grand Canal. I didn’t expect that it would be crowded like this. Most of the tourist and locals are wearing mask to celebrate the festivity. The flamboyant and very colourful costumes of men and women alike are overwhelming. I was amazed and over the moon that im at the right place at right time. Capturing this event is a dream come true. Walking around and admiring the place and clicking away my camera. Life is so sweet – Dolce Vita!

image

image

image

image

image

image

image

Walking around this picturesque place is wonderful. Its Renaissance facade displays the distinctive elegance of the old Venetian palazzos.

image

image

image

image

The fascinating palace views are stunning, particularly by night. A night photography stroll is worthwhile, capturing the place by night is magnificently beautiful.

image

image

image

image

image

image

After a whole day spent roaming around Venice mainland. The following day I decided to go island hopping. A day out spent in Murano was a great experience. Roaming around the small village where the famous Murano Glass was originated. The chance to watch how they make artistic designs from scratched was spectacular. I can spend a whole day watching them, moulding amazing glass masterpiece.

image

image

image

image

image

Another great experience was when we went to Burano. Where the infamous Burano laces are made. Watching the old woman in a shop, doing an intricate lace design was so cool. Wandering around the most colourful village I’ve ever seen. It’s so pretty and picturesque. I cant resist capturing every corner of the place. I’ve only seen it on postcard before, standing and capturing this picture perfect place is every photographers dream. Im living the dream!

image

image

image

image

image

To answer the question being a solo traveller, you can still enjoy this place. Once again I’ve fallen inlove to this place the second time around. Venice is not only for romantic getaway. It’s also for solo travellers who enjoys food, architectural design, photography and history. Have you been to Venice? Have you seen the Venice Carnival?

ROME – Revisiting the Land of Romans/Anneklien’sSoloTravels&Adventure

image

It was one sunny Sunday morning, eventhough its sunny the temperature is 2 degrees.  Getting up early and feeling cold is not quite my ordinary routine. Although I’m not a morning person I’m excited because I’m headed to Birmingham Airport, to catch my flight going to Rome. This is my third time visit in Rome Italy. The first time was with an organised tour group with my friend, Lourdes. We didn’t have much time there we just went to the Vatican City, entered the Sistine Chapel, roamed around to see the Trevi Fountain and throwing away coins to make our wishes. The second time was visiting my cousin Darrell John who’s currently live and work there. I had a fantastic time and the opportunity to roam around and taking in the views, the architectural building structures are so wonderful.
This time I’m incorporating a family visit and then going to Venice to attend the Carnevale di Venezia. It’s been awhile I had this fascination about the masquerade festival and the timing is pretty good. I had a week off from work, so took the chance and eagerly booked my flight. I was so excited and also applied for a press pass for the event. It is my second time visit in Venice. The first time we were a typical tourist going to the touristy places to see St. Marks square, Rialto Bridge and ofcourse we did the gondola ride.  This time I’m so ecstatic just thinking about the freedom to roam around San Marco capturing the most popular event of Venice, it is truly a photographers dream come true. I will be writing a separate blog for Venice Festival.

I was flying with Monarch Airline the check-in was so stressful, my luggage was 2 kilograms over. So I went away to sort out my bag then when I got back to the other counter I was offered for a free checked-in luggage- Wow, that was a bonus! Soon enough I was going through the passport control. My amazing journey started with a glass of Kirk Royal champagne cocktail. Enjoyingly sipping the bubbly while waiting for boarding.

image

After an hour I was headed towards my boarding gate. The 2 hour flight swiftly passedby, we smoothly landed in Fiumicino Airport. I collected my luggage, then purchased my train ticket for Leonardo Express-a fast train to Termini ( Rome Terminal). It was a quick 30 minutes train journey.  My cousin Darrell John met me up at the Termini.

image

Its feels so good to be back again in Rome. I was eager to explore the following day, with no concrete itinerary. It was a wonderful day exploring the place on foot and used the Metro train.  My first stopped was in Piazza del Popolo, the famous plaza with twin church and beautiful oblique in the middle adorned with sculptured tiger fountains.

image

image

image

image

image

I then headed off towards the Spanish Steps. Admiring the intricate designed of a boat shaped fountain in the piazza. After fighting my way around with the gazillion tourist to capture beautiful photos. I continued my stroll along the cobbled alleyways and did my usual church visits along the way. And then stumbled upon the famous landmarks The Vatican City, Colosseum, Constantine Arch, St. Angelo Castle.

image

image

image

image

image

image

image

image

image

image

image

On the following day the weather was lovely and sunny. Its a good time to go outside and enjoy the beautiful Rome. The thought of yesterday about mass tourism around the city, made me cringe. So when my cousin suggested a day out, I immediately grabbed the opportunity. My cousin Darrell John and I headed to Castel Gandolfo. A beautiful countryside setting atop of a hill. Offering a splendid view of the landscape and with a magnificent scenic view of a lake, the Lago Albano.
It is regarded as the Pope’s Summer residence, only 40 minutes away from Rome. It’s  a small and charming cobbled village, a quick getaway place when you want to explore the unbeaten path. The place is so peaceful and only a few tourist wandering around. It was utterly a good day out!

image

image

image

image

image

image

image

image

After our exploration we decided to hopped on the train and headed to Frascati.  Another village on top of a hill. We arrived in Frascati about 5pm. We’ve been told that this is residential place of the Royalty, an evidence of the grandeur of a palace, sat on the highest point of the hill overlooking the city. The view was breathtakingly magnificent! It was a right time to watch the sun setting in the background, it’s perfect!
While strolling around the shop don’t forget to try the Frascati Wine. There are shops offers free wine tasting too!

image

image

image

image

image

Four days in Rome wasn’t enough to explore the place. I will come back again but for now im headed to Venice to capture the flamboyant festival. Come and tag along with me on my next journey.

Rome Italy: The City of Fountains and Piazza

Let me take you to the wonderful fountains and piazza around Rome, through my photographic stroll.

Rome wasnt built in just one day! I can honestly say I agree with that. The Roman empire and its city was planned so perfectly. Up to this moment the city is hidding a hundred years of history. The archaeological artefacts says it all. One thing that I’am fascinated every time I visit Rome. The beautiful and grandeur of fountains in every piazza. In every hundred steps there’s fountain. The water coming from the fountain is drinkable. There’s no reason to be dehydrated when exploring the area!

image

image

image

image

image

image

Continue your stroll in shadows of the ancient, winding cobbled streets. As it welcomes you suddenly to its breathtakingly magnificence of every Piazza. The architectural masterpieces in perfect harmony with the old buildings in the heart of the Eternal City.

image

image

image

Italy has the most diverse architectural buildings designs from Romanesque, Byzantine style, Rocco Baroque style, Renaissance and Neoclassical styles. I considered its the most picture perfect destination of photographer enthusiasts like me. I wouldn’t ever get tired wandering around and capturing every corner of this place.

Have you ever been to Rome or any part of Italy? Did you like it? Leave your comments and experience below.