Tuesday, 4 February 2014

Recommendations for travellers

Often people ask me about my travels and if I can recommend an hotel, a restaurant, a service provider.

Well I have a few here I would like to recommend.

Venice in the last few years has become very expensive and finding accommodations is tricky and difficult. You do not want to be on the Grand Canal, too noisy from dawn to dusk. You do not want to be near or at Piazza San Marco, expensive and crowded with tourists and dirty pigeons (flying rats), unless you go there before 9am or after 10pm when everyone is gone and only the Café's are still open. Listening to the last chimes of the great bells of the San Marco Basilica at midnight it thrilling, the piazza will be deserted at that point and you can really feel the grandeur and solemnity of La Serenissima at that moment.

Venice is also very small and it is easy to travel on foot or by vaporetto (floating bus). I just find that walking is easy and so very pleasant.

So I hear there is a great B&B on Rio Tera 1285 in Santa Croce with reasonable rates, not far from the Vaporetto stop of Riva di Biasio on the Grand Canal.  Look at the web site http://www.campiellozen.com

The other service I heard about recently and seems to be a wonderful idea is one promoted by a friend in Spain, Mitchell on his website.

In Madrid a group of ladies (businesswomen) offer the possibility of staying at their beautiful home for a one week intensive Spanish language immersion course which includes 3 course meals and visits all around Madrid, one of the more beautiful Capitals of the world. The price they are asking for one week is more than reasonable considering what is on offer.
See the web site: www.YourSpanishFriend.com

Plaza de Cibeles, Madrid 


  1. you two are some of the most experienced of travelers; it is enviable.

  2. I was reading with interest your info on Venice. I've spent lots of time in Italy but somehow never made it there and we've been talking about going. Was very happy to finish with your info on Madrid and "Your Spanish Friend." As you know, I highly recommend it!

  3. When we founded "Your Spanish Friend" we thought that when you travel you don't want to feel like a tourist, but as part of the city and surrounded by friends!! We offer private accommodations in our comfortable, spacious, clean, and well-appointed homes — some with gardens and pools. Spend a week (or more) speaking Spanish and experiencing the culture and customs of Spain — all in the company of your host who will quickly become Your Spanish Friend.

  4. Gema thank you our friend Mitchell recommended your place to us.

  5. Mitchell yes your description of the Spanish Friends was great. Exactly what many people would enjoy. I already speak Spanish though my Italian will blend into it, a faux pas not to do.

    1. I studied Spanish for nearly 7 years, but then spent time in Italy after that and fell in love with all things Italian. My Italian improved and my Spanish got worse. Since moving here I've had to relearn (and learn more) Spanish while burying any Italian I knew (since it only confused me). I wish I had learned a number of languages throughout my childhood. The idea of being completely fluent, like you, in more than one (or two) languages is wonderful.

    2. I learned languages because A) I have an affinity for it. B) because of my job abroad in various countries. If you wish to go to Venice one day let me know. I might be able to recommend some things to see and do.