Some of Tuscany’s Popular Towns

Tuscany is one of Italy’s spectacular destinations. Among the many attractions that bring tourists to this region, are museums filled with art, churches rich with religious statues, great wine, a diverse selection of culinary experiences and an array of medieval towns and villages.

No part of Tuscany is like the others and visitors have to tour the entire region to truly appreciate its uniqueness. Ask someone who has been to Tuscany to make a list of their best experiences and they will be lost for choice – this is understandable given that the region is rich in superlatives. The following places are just a guide for those who want an idea of what Tuscany is like. They are in no way conclusive but they are definitely among the top rated in the region:


You cannot say you have visited Tuscany, without a visit to Florence. The heart of the region, Florence is an important destination for history lovers. It is a Renaissance city and its buildings feature architecture and art that resonates with ancient Roma. The Duomo is a major landmark in Florence – if you don’t have the time to see it close up and view its baptistery which baffles architects to this day, at least make sure to take a photo from afar.


One of the medieval towns in Tuscany, Siena is a hill town famous for its Piazza del Campo – a piazza in the shape of a fan with a famous bell tower (the Torre del Mangia). Have you ever been to a horse race? Well, forget that experience because the The Palio di Siena gives your idea of a horse race a whole new dimension. Held once a year, on two occasions in the summer, it is nothing like the Kentucky Derby. Riders are not only bareback but they are racing along the streets. Nothing can take one back to medieval times like this race does.

Along the streets of Siena, you will find plenty of shops and restaurants. Make sure to stop by if you are interested in treating yourself to a bite of Tuscan Cuisine. If you pick one of these rustic trattorias, choose a spot near a group of Italians – they will entertain you with their fare as you take sips of locally made wine.


The most that many people know about Pisa is its historic leaning tower. Thousands of visitors flock to the location of the leaning tower of Pisa each year. A climb to the top and an opportunity to take a touristy photo is all the satisfaction that a traveller needs to take back home.

Have you ever climbed down the leaning tower? Make sure you are not in a hurry to leave – your standing on the Piazza dei Miracoli. The cathedral and baptistery therein are great sights which bear evidence of the Italian Renaissance. The tower might be the most known attraction in Pisa but it is not the only one. To take a tour of the historic Piazza dei Cavalieri, visitors just need to stroll along Arno River. Make sure you try the chickpea flour bread, also known as Cecina, a local delicacy of the area. June in Pisa is a month of festivity as the city honours San Ranieri – its patron saint.


You can easily tell Lucca apart from the rest of the towns because of the wall that surrounds it; this wall came up during the renaissance. The wall itself is a point of interest because it has gardens and paths on top. Apart from offering visitors a great view of the city, this wall provides paths for walking and cycling. Inside the town of Lucca are towers which have been neatly preserved through the centuries; they are spots from which visitors can enjoy 360 views of the city.


Cortona first came into the limelight when writer, Francis Mayes, chose to set the scene of her book “Under the Tuscan Sun” in this Tuscan hilltop town. The town is famous for its Etruscan wall around its perimeter which is believed to have been built more than 3000 years ago. Much of Cortona remains untouched – a must for art aficionados. Historic buildings in Cortona include the Chiesa San Francesco and the Abbazia Farneta.

English-speaking visitors will find it easy to blend into the city as there is a large American community here, comprised mostly of expats.

Chianti Classico Wine Region

This region in Tuscany is sandwiched between Florence and Siena. Many people travel far for the opportunity to discover where their favorite wines come from: their final stop is the Chianti Classico Wine Region. The Chianti Wine Region is composed of many towns and villages – Greve in Chianti, to name one, is a haven for photographers. We can guarantee that even amateur photos taken in this area are bound to sell as masterpieces. There are many wineries in this area – make sure to stop by at Brolio Castle and Barone Ricasoli Winery for a wine tasting.

Any visit to Tuscany, is guaranteed to leave you with a smile on your face. Every location with a name in this region is a spectacle. Did you know that most villas in Italy were initially used for other purposes? It is actually an invaluable experience if you can book a Tuscany villa in Italy accommodation. One of the world’s leading providers of rental villa services is in Italy; Tuscany Now & More. Since they started their business in 1990, they have travelled throughout Italy looking for premises they can turn into holiday accommodation. Only a small percentage of all the properties they view make it to their portfolio – that is how much they value excellence. Those who book villa accommodations with Tuscany Now & More can request to have an itinerary of their visit drawn for them. How about Italian Cuisine cooking lessons or a Truffle hunt? They can organise this all!

Discover small-town Tuscany or tap into Umbrian village life with this collection of villas where no car is needed. You can walk to the local trattoria, join locals for a caffè in the piazza, or spend the evening at a friendly village bar — without driving home afterwards.

Things to Consider Before Renting a Private Flight to France

As with most things, flying for the very first time via private jet can seem daunting. This is true even for people who have flown before.  Reason being, you just don’t know what to expect aboard a private jet. What can you carry or not carry onto a private jet? How do you deal with the long hours in transatlantic flights? How will you communicate with French speakers when totally unfamiliar with the language?

Well, this article answers all your queries on things to consider before booking a private flight to France. Whether you are a first-time flyer or someone who wants to up their travel game, the travel tips below should be invaluable.


  • Choice of Private Jet Hire Company


A flight to France from the US is a trans-Atlantic crossing that takes over 8 hours on commercial airliners. By opting for a chartered jet flight to France, you reduce the expected travel time to only 6 hours. That’s a 2-hour time difference which translates to lower jet lag upon arrival.

However, it is possible to decrease overall travel time even further by choosing a private hire company with the latest and newest jets such as the Cessna Citation X+. This jet is capable of attaining an air speed of 617 mph and can cover the 3, 638 mile distance from New York to Paris in 5 hours.

You can get information on private charter companies with the Cessna Citation X and other fast jets on With JetApp – fly with a private jet to France in time by up to 3 hours.


  • Luggage 


You have to be especially keen when choosing what to take on your chartered flight to France. Reason being, private jets have lower onboard cargo space due to their smaller size. It is, therefore, advisable to limit your packing to the essentials. 

If you are planning on visiting the pristine beaches of the French Riviera, then it should not be difficult to pack a few light clothing items. If you are heading to Europe for business, then two well-tailored suits should suffice.

It would be best if you can fit all your stuff into one carry-on bag. This way you don’t end up taking stuff you won’t even use. However, a long vacation stay might make it necessary to take more than one large bag of clothes.

In this scenario, it is advisable make your bags as conspicuous as possible through the use of stickers and colored bands. Doing so makes it easier to pick out your bag from others in the luggage claims.


  • TSA Restrictions 


While private jet hire companies use exclusive boarding facilities, these private passenger terminals do have to comply with several TSA regulations. These restrictions affect what you take with you on your chartered flight to France. Fortunately, 

First and foremost, you cannot bring any fluids exceeding 100ml or 3.4 oz onto the plane either in your carry-on bag or other checked bag. This restriction applies to carbonated beverages, alcoholic drinks, aerosol cans, face creams, body lotions and toothpaste. You can only pack these items if you have them in the appropriate volume. If not, then you will have to make a few purchases before your upcoming trip to France.

Second, some items are completely prohibited aboard flights except under specific conditions. These items include firearms, ammunition, compressed air guns, flare guns, gun powder, firearm replicas, 140 proof alcohol, axes, hatchets, cattle prods, box cutters, darts, pocket knives, aerosol insecticide, arrows, brass knuckles, billy clubs and other such items.  Fortunately, unless you are a gourmet chef and have to carry your knives, you won’t have trouble complying with TSA security restrictions.


  • Tourists Attractions in France


France has plenty to offer you irrespective of whether you are visiting this Mediterranean nation on business or pressure. This country is endowed with breath-taking landscapes from pristine sandy beaches and sun-drenched rolling hills with lush olive groves along the coast, to the vast snow-covered slopes of the French Alps.

If you plan on vacationing in the French Riviera, you get to enjoy perfect days on pristine beaches. Some of the most beautiful beaches that you should certainly visit include Antibes in the French Riviera, Cap Coz in Britany, Les Calanques de Cassis in Provence, Plage de la Cote des Basques and Deauville’s beach in Normandy.

You have the option of visiting several historic monuments and sites as a way of augmenting your trip. You can visit the romantic chateaux located in the Loire Valley, take epic photos of the Eiffel tower in Paris and explore magnificent medieval cathedrals in Paris, Laon, Picardy and Strasbourg.

While in France, you also get a chance to enjoy world-famous French wine, chocolate and food. You have the option of visiting restaurants run by renowned master chefs such as the Le Parc 45, the Chevre d’or and the Jan, all in the Riviera. A trip to the Bordeaux valley will satiate your appetite for exotic French wine while a visit to Bayonne will let you sample some of the tastiest chocolate on the planet.

Finally, adrenaline junkies get to ski on the vast slopes of the French Alps, enjoy bungee jumping from colossal chalk cliffs and experience the thrill of surfing the phenomenal waves on the Mediterranean. 


  • Communicating with the French


The final huddle in your plans to visit France is basic because it revolves communication. Fortunately, there are only two things you need to know for you to have an easy time while visiting this beautiful Mediterranean nation.

First, the French do get put off when you speak to them in English, be it in the city or in the county side. This reaction is not because these people don’t understand English but due to a cultural attachment to formality.

As a consequence, and the second thing, you need to make your intent to communicate in English using formal French. You do this using the phrase ‘Parlez-vous anglais?’ which means ‘Do you speak English?’. In the vast majority scenarios, the person you are speaking will reply in English.


While the above list is not exhaustive, it does provide you with the essentials of what you need to consider before booking a private flight to France. The cost of private jet charter service is yet another consideration worth mentioning.

How to Save the Most on Airplane Tickets

Who doesn’t want to travel? We all have places we want to visit and say we’ve been to, but travel has many gatekeepers. You need time off; you need to make sure your children can either stay at a sitter or can come with you, and then there’s the biggest gatekeeper of them all: money. 

The smartphone world has made some aspects of travel much more affordable. Ride sharing services have saved some of the headaches that come with cab fare. Airbnb offers places that are much cheaper to stay at than your average hotel. You can make your own food while you travel, such as sparkling water and donuts. However, when you have to fly, there isn’t any new services to make the cost easier. Not yet, anyway! 

However, it’s possible to get plane tickets for cheap. Here are a few ways how. 


  • Choose the Cheapest Days to Fly 


Some people cannot pick the day they fly, but if you can, make sure you choose the cheapest days. This can differ, but in general, Tuesday, Wednesday, or Saturday is your best bet, at least in the domestic US. Any weekday is better if you’re an international travel. 

The days to avoid? Friday and Sunday. These days do make sense, since many people fly for a weekend trip. 

Of course, there are some exceptions. In fact, some may tell you that this is a myth, and instead you should look at it. 


  • Avoiding Busy Seasons 


The busy seasons can depend on country to country, but for people in the US, the busiest seasons are during the peak of summer and the holiday season. Consider a springtime or autumn trip, and you may not have to pay too much. 


  • The Cheapest Tickets Doesn’t Make the Cheapest Flight


When searching for tickets, you may see tickets that are much cheaper than the rest. One such example is Spirit Airlines, whose prices are too good to be true. However, Spirit and similar airlines are known for their baggage fees, which do add up. If you’re traveling light, it may be worth it, but if you’re packing a lot or plan to take a sackful of souvenirs home with you, you may want to look for someplace else. 


  • Have a Flexible Schedule 


If you want to pick the cheapest tickets, you may have to pick an hour that is not comfortable for you. For example, a flight early in the morning. Few people like to get up extremely early or pull an all-nighter to fly, but a little sleep deprivation can save you some money. Make sure you have a neck pillow and some noise-canceling headphones so you can catch up on rest! 


  • Stay in the Loop for Deals 


With flight tickets, there’s always a deal or a price drop going on. Some sites can allow you to sign up for the latest deals. These include The Flight Deal and Hitlist. Google Flights can alert you to dates or routes that you specify. 

Also, there is no shame in trying Priceline or Expedia. You can find good deals there. 

The point is to look everywhere for your best deal. You may be surprised with what you have. 


  • Brand Loyalty 


Some people don’t care what company they choose for the flight. As long as the price is fair and it can take them from point A to point B, that’s all that matters, right? 

Well, don’t forget about rewards programs. Many companies will give you rewards the more flights you purchase, or if you sign up for their deals. This can lead to future flights that are free or low-cost. 


  • Look at More Than One Airport 


If you live in an area where there is more than one airport within driving distance, compare airports. You may find that even though one airport is an hour further than the other, they may have cheaper tickets that make the extra drive worth it. 

These are just a few tips. Finding cheap tickets can be stressful and something that’s a job for therapy, but by being mindful of some travel trips, you can get the best flight for the price you want. 

Marie Miguel Biography

Marie Miguel has been a writing and research expert for nearly a decade, covering a variety of health- related topics. Currently, she is contributing to the expansion and growth of a free online mental health resource with With an interest and dedication to addressing stigmas associated with mental health, she continues to specifically target subjects related to anxiety and depression.

The Beauty Of Saudi Arabia And the Gems It Has To Offer

If you are hoping to see as much of the world as possible, then you are going to want to include as many interesting destinations on your list as possible. There is a lot to consider here, but one that is becoming an increasingly popular tourist spot is Saudi Arabia. 

Whether or not you have considered travelling to Saudi Arabia before, the fact is that it is a diversely beautiful, fascinating country with an interesting culture and history, and plenty going for it generally. Let’s take a look at some of the main things that you should aim to see if you are keen on visiting this incredible part of the world.

The King Abdullah Petroleum Studies and Research Center Mosque

Although the name might not make it sound picturesque, this is actually one of the most fascinating religious sites anywhere in the world, let alone merely in Saudi Arabia. The KAPSARC Mosque is not your traditional kind of mosque, and that’s what makes it so interesting to look at and visit. 

It is an incredibly modern and interesting place of worship, with a striking skyscraper-like building which would not be out of place in the skylines of New York or London. And yet it is still a deeply religious place, speaking to the religious nature of the people. It’s definitely worth a visit if you find yourself in the city of Riyadh.

The Saudi Cup

If you are hoping to take in a sporting event while in Saudi Arabia, then there is really nowhere better to look than the Saudi Cup, which is one of the world’s top horse racing events anywhere. It has been going for a while, but its main selling point this year is that it is now officially the race with the richest horse race prize fund ever – at an incredible $20 million. For that reason, it is likely to draw both a lot of attention from around the world, and also some very interesting people, and you might find yourself rubbing shoulders with some well-known celebrities too. Hurry to get your ticket, however – they are going fast, and before you know it, it might well be sold out.

Historic Badr

This is a town in Al Madinah, located around 130km from the city of Medina. The main reason to visit this town is for an historical journey: it was the site of the famous Battle of Badr that occurred in 624CE, a battle that took place between the Polytheists and the Muslims. Although it is an ancient battleground, it is also incredibly beautiful, and if you want to get a taste of what the countryside of Saudi Arabia can really be like in its full glory, then this is somewhere that you will want to consider.

National Museum Of Saudi Arabia

Perhaps you are someone who likes to experience a lot of the culture of a place when you go travelling. If so, one of the best ways to do that is to go and visit the National Museum of Saudi Arabia, located in the famous city of Riyadh. 

There, you will find a range of fascinating artefacts to look at, and you can learn a great deal about the culture and history of the place in that one building alone. What’s more, you will find that the building itself and the surrounding area are absolutely stunning too, so all in all it makes for a fantastic day out.


They say that the city of Jeddah is caught between two worlds. On the one hand, it is the historic gate to Mecca that millions of pilgrims have been to for religious purposes. On the other, it is also a very busy commercial centre these days. 

The way in which these two aspects of the place jostle together is pretty interesting, and it makes for an especially intriguing place to look around. You will probably find that you have never been anywhere quite like it, and it is one of the few places in Saudi Arabia that you can easily and safely walk around all day. 

It has a wide array of beautiful buildings and other sights that you will be happy to cross off your list, and all in all it really is one of the major hidden gems of this amazing country.

If you manage to see and do even a couple of these things, you are going to find that you have seen plenty of this amazing country. It really is a unique place to be.


Italy currently has the largest coronavirus outbreak in Europe. The FCO (Foreign and Commonwealth Office) recommends against all but essential travel to towns in Lombardy and Veneto already isolated by Italian authorities. Because of the high risk of infection, the FCO also recommends avoiding travel to all Category 1 countries/areas including Wuhan City and Hubei Province in China, Iran, Daegu and Cheongdo in South Korea, and Hong Kong. What rights do passengers who have already purchased tickets to a coronavirus risk country have if they cancel their flight?

Due to the high risk of coronavirus infection, airlines such as British Airways and Air China have cancelled flights from the UK to China and Hong Kong until April 17th and offer a free change of flight date service or ticket reimbursement.

All other countries with outbreaks, including Italy, have nearly all flights running to schedule. British Airways, however, has cut some services to Milan until the 11th of March. No airline has suspended any of their Italian routes and all airports remain operative. Should a passenger with a flight to Italy wish not to travel, they can cancel or rebook the flight if the airline permits. However, the chances of a refund if cancelled are low, and additional costs may apply for a change of travel dates. If travelling with a low cost airline or if a reduced or special offer flight was purchased, the cost of changing dates may not be cost effective. But you should keep in mind your passenger rights. “Cancelling a travel contract with an airline may appear difficult, but passengers may try to claim exceptional circumstances, that is the real risk of contracting a coronavirus. This is the same as what airlines do when cancelling flights to infected regions”, says Aleksandra Detyniecka, lawyer at GIVT who specialise passenger compensation claims for delayed and cancelled flights or denied boarding due to overbooking.

Each airline has their own policies for a refund so you should read their rules and regulations as stated in their General Conditions of Carriage. You should also try and contact the airline directly.

Spread of coronavirus – important links:

Map of affected areas

Foreign Office travel advice

Foreign Office travel advice Italy

Coronavirus public information

Shared via GIVT

Essential Tips for the Newbie Caravanner

So you have decided on your first caravan holiday? We can’t tell you enough, the amount of excitement lying ahead of you. Before the actual trip begins, another exciting part is the planning for the trip. The apprehension and preparation is a good boost to look forward to actual caravan holiday. 

A holiday with a towing caravan includes many factors like packing essentials, road safety, destination choice, and parking points, etc. However, don’t let it dampen your spirits. We have some essential tips for the newbie caravanner to have a great first caravan holiday.

  1. Make a list, and check it twice. You can never go wrong with a checklist. From kitchen to bathroom, bedroom, outdoors and everything else in between, there are some packing essentials which will let you off on a good start. Check our recommendations here and you will rarely miss a thing on the road.
  2. Check van health. Your caravan and vehicle readiness for the road is an essential part of caravanner preparedness. Lights, tyres and other tool kits like spare fuses, a set of battery leads, extension towing mirrors, and a strong tow-rope along with crisis dealing equipment should hold you in good stead.
  3. Get towing ready. Most new caravanners take time to adjust to twoing. Make sure you have all the basic manoeuvres under control. Parking, reversing, over-taking, etc. take some getting used to. Don’t panic if your caravan is swaying, lower the acceleration and loosen the steering a bit. Be aware of side-winds from larger vehicles and keep an eye on fuel consumption. Fellow caravanners will be happy to help with useful tips. 
  4. Practise a set-up routine. After a long time on the road towing for the first time, the last thing you want is a setting-up hassle. Remember, you are on a caravan holiday and stress should not be a part of it. Draw out a set-up routine starting with unhitching your caravan and parking your vehicle away. Steady your caravan and set up gas and water systems. Connect the power and check all appliances. You are now set to enjoy as a caravanner.
  5. Start early, start small. Take it easy on your maiden caravan trip. Remember, you are getting used to everything from driving a tow car, to setting-up and packing for a caravan holiday. Get an early start to avoid morning rush hour traffic, same goes for evening. 

Choose a less ambitious, nearby route. If you are within an hour’s drive from home, the return trip will be easier and shorter too. Familiarise yourself with the caravan’s system before venturing out.

There are numerous other things that are equally important, but as a newbie caravanner these essential basics should boost your confidence. For everything else, you can always rely on expert advice from the community and reliable caravan establishments like Camp Smart. Just remember to secure all drawers in the caravan before you accelerate!

Congratulations new caravanner, the great Australian outdoors is waiting to be explored. 


Planning A UK Break This Summer? Have A Read of This!

Have you decided that this summer you’re going to spend some time exploring the UK? The great thing about the UK is the fact that there’s so much on offer to see and do, and so many amazing places to head to for a fun summer break. 

Whether you’ve got a couple of weeks free or even just a weekend, there are plenty of places and trip types on offer, it’s just a case of finding the right one for you and your family. 

If you’re thinking about exploring more of the UK this summer but aren’t sure where to head to and what to do while you’re there, have a read of the tips and ideas below!

Head to Cornwall 

Cornwall is one of the UK’s top holiday destinations, and it’s easy to see why. Picture this: beautiful beaches, huge waves perfect for surfing, lots of cute, quirky towns, and some fantastic restaurants to die for – many of which are child-friendly, not to mention several renowned art galleries and other fabulous attractions. Plus, there are some incredible accommodation options on offer, from hotels to caravan parks. To find the best caravan holidays in Cornwall or to source the perfect hotel, go online and take the time to do some research – there are some amazing places on offer. 

If you’re heading to Cornwall, some locations you don’t want to miss are: 

  • Lizard Point – home of an amazing lighthouse and lots of seals
  • Mousehole – the birthplace of the Mousehole Cat
  • Tintagel – the village with the healing waterfall
  • Padstow – renowned for its incredible fish and chips

Go to Devon 

Devon might be Cornwall’s rival county but it is also the home of the famous cream tea, in addition to an array of spectacular stretches of pristine coastline, some of the UK’s most breathtaking coastal pathways, and a number of impressive sights and attractions, from model villages and steam trains to theme parks and cathedrals. Devon is also home to some amazing accommodation options, from yurts set in the tranquil countryside to fancy hotels in the city. 

If you’re planning on visiting Devon, some locations you don’t want to miss include: the seaside towns of Dartmouth and Salcombe, Exeter cathedral and the city itself, the Seaton Trams, Overbecks Garden, and Killerton House. 

Visit Dorset 

Devon’s neighbour, Dorset, is another coastal county that’s a popular travel destination with visitors. What sets Dorset aside from other travel destinations is the fact that it is renowned as being the UK’s Jurassic county, with a number of beaches including Kimmeridge, where visitors can search for real fossils hidden in the rocks. 

If you’re thinking about visiting Dorset, some locations you don’t want to miss include: Swanage Bay, Corfe Castle (and the village), the Swanage Steam Railway, the lost village of Tyneham, Durdle Door, and Lulworth Castle. 

When it comes to travel, the UK has a wide number of fantastic destinations on offer and so many things to see and do.

5 Tips for Choosing a Family Travel Destination

Planning the perfect family vacation can be a stressful time, especially if you have family members of varying ages who all might want or expect different things. You shouldn’t have to overly compromise to find your ideal family destination, however, and there are plenty of opportunities and fantastic destinations out there to find something perfect for everyone. 

Think About Those Destinations Which Have a Lot Going On 

You don’t want to risk anyone getting bored, and this is more of a risk with younger children. You should consider those family-friendly destinations which have enough to offer for everyone, such as activity-based trips, city breaks to Europe, or the larger theme parks in America. You should research potential activities in advance, and there are great deals online if you’re looking for Disney World tickets.

Consider the Travel Time

The distance you have to travel shouldn’t affect your destination of choice, but it should be considered if family travel becomes an issue. Perhaps very long flights aren’t ideal for your family if you have young children or a baby, and especially if you all have to deal with jet lag. You also have to take into consideration the expense of longer flights. 

Decide What Kind of Environment You Would Like 

Would your family fare better with a beach vacation, or are you the outdoors type of family who is up for spending time outdoors in more rural or country setting? Are you looking to relax in a quieter setting, or are you after an activity-filled vacation with plenty of buzz?

Understand what your family wants and needs so that you can narrow down the locations available to you. 

Think About Your Accommodation 

The perfect family trip isn’t just about the destination. Your accommodation will have a huge impact on your holiday, as a lack of comfort, space, or a good night’s sleep will negatively affect your trip. 

Family-friendly accommodation like renting an apartment or villa may be more preferable to smaller accommodation options like hotel rooms, because then you have a chance to spread out and still have family time together, such as mealtimes, in a home away from home. 

If you are not staying in one place, you could think about renting a motorhome so that your family can still enjoy home-comforts while on the road. Accommodation on wheels will also give you a chance to visit more places at your own pace. 

Take Time to Research the Cuisine 

Of course, most countries in the world will see that you have a great selection of all different varieties of food, but it’s worth researching because certain places may have more of one type of food than another – and it may be something which doesn’t sit well with younger children or picky eaters. Therefore, think about cuisine before you head somewhere and make sure you have a varied menu selection wherever you choose to go, and one which all the family can agree upon.