Forget about Rome: it’s time to explore the slow and sensual Sicily. This is the message contained in an article by Forbes , written by the journalist Anthony Grant : it is a real eulogy to the new Italian airline, Air Italy , which will be able to get foreign passengers down no longer only in Rome Fiumicino , but also at the foot of little-visited Bel Paese’s jewelery. “It was too expensive for Americans to get to Sicily, but now, thanks to the disorganized Italian aviation system, all this is going to change,” reads the article.
“Exactly – continues Grant – Air Italy, a new airline, is the answer to all your prayers like ‘take me immediately to Sicily.’ Not Alitalia , the national airline that has declared bankruptcy several times over the change of clothes Lady Gaga The new company was born on the ashes of another one you may never have heard of: Meridiana, founded by Aga Khan IV and based in Sardinia, has earned the second place over time “.
After the purchase of 49% of the company by Qatar Airways, which took place last year, things have changed: first of all, underlines the journalist, “non-stop flights will be scheduled from North America, then also from New York and Miami, towards the coolest cities in Italy “. “But the best news is that two fantastic Italian places will soon be easier to reach: Palermo and Catania “. The service from the New York JKF airport to Palermo will start on the first of June, while the one that will reach Catania will start on the first of July.
And, according to the journalist, it is worth visiting both Palermo and Catania: Palermo because it ‘blooms like a rare and exotic orchid in the unique greenhouse of the Mediterranean’ and Catania for its vibrant markets and for the sight of Etna. Prices will range from 900 to 700 dollars, but for an American on holiday nothing more surprising than to get off the plane and find yourself immersed in the true sweet Italian life.
To get on the plane no longer require a passport or boarding pass: a smile and the time of a photo are enough. To make this possible it is the airline British Airways , which is experimenting with a biometric recognition system of the face at the gate of some airports.
Facial scanning technology is developed by the company Sita (International aeronautical telecommunications company), and consists of automated boarding gates with biometric technology. The integration of the US border and customs police systems with those of the airline makes it possible to check the identity of passengers more quickly.
The novelty is now being tested at Orlando International Airport on direct flights to London. Instead, in November it started to be tested in Los Angeles where, explains British Airways, “it allowed to board 400 passengers in 22 minutes, less than half the time normally required”.
“The boarding with a smile” from the Orlando airport is just one of the applications of biometric technology developed by Sita. Biometric self-service gates for border controls are already active in the Italian airports of Naples Capodichino, Rome Fiumicino and Ciampino and at the Marconi airport of Bologna “, commented the president Sita for Europe, Sergio Colella.
New York is one of those places you should be lucky enough to see more than once in a lifetime. Why do not count the days spent doing the turns in Time Square or Central Park. Every time you get home, you will have the feeling of missing something. Not to have seen everything there was to see. And the feeling in effect, it is not so far from reality, given the speed in which the city changes and also change our expectations.
So to start off on the right foot, better to rely on a credit card: there will always be occasions, events and visits to be scheduled at the last minute. Because when you go to New York nothing is taken for granted. And having the ability to manage everything in peace, without having to go around with a large number of cash, is not cheap. In the meantime, we’ve thought of ten destinations, things to do and see, if you’re lucky enough to go to New York in the next few months.
Top of the Rocks, the most beautiful sight
For the best view of New York and Central Park, leave the Empire State Building for a moment. Better to score another place, to be seen possibly at sunset. The highest point is 70 floors above Midtown, the Top Of The Rock terrace. The 30 Rock, as it is called by New Yorkers, was inaugurated as early as 1933, it was before the RCA – the Radio Corporation of America – and then General Electrics, today it is Comcast, one of the most important media industries in the world, owning the other from NBC and Universal Pictures. 30 Rock is not by chance also a television series dedicated to the television world. Returning to the rooftop terrace, it’s best to book the place first, especially if you plan to go to New York in the high season. Online tickets can be purchased by booking the time of the visit – which can also be changed later -: 34 dollars are charged for adults and 28 for children, while the youngest ones go free for up to six years . To know more: Top of the Rock
Not just Manhattan, discovering Long Island City
It is the largest district in New York, between Bronx and Brooklyn. Long Island City is the most well-known area, with warehouses converted to art galleries and subway trains traveling on the elevated tracks. It is said that here we can see the authentic New York, the multiethnic one, the one that populated Manhattan before the arrival of Starbucks and company. Long Island City is known in particular for its artistic soul. Here is the Ps1, one of the best museums in New York, affiliated to the Moma. To keep in mind the hours: closed on Tuesdays and Wednesdays, the other days open from 12 to 18. Better to buy tickets online: Moma
The seat is an elegant nineteenth-century school, you enter from Jackson Avenue, all the luggage, backpacks and bags are checked. To be marked also a visit to theGantry Plaza State Park : a beautiful 12-hectare park overlooking the East River, for a spectacular view of Manhattan.
Every tourist who gets on the plane to visit London for the first time knows: there are some places that must necessarily appear in the list of things to do once you arrive in the English capital. Buckingham Palace , Hyde Park, Westminster, London Bridge and the most important museums in London are a practically obligatory stage for anyone wishing to understand what the city has to offer, what is the culture of Great Britain and what architectural style reigns over the banks of the Thames.
Yet the capital of the Channel can not be reduced only to this. For those who know how to look carefully, in fact, London can offer much more varied and unexpected travel routes, perfect for travelers who do not want to follow the current. To discover real jewels, sometimes you need to get away from the center, while others just point the view while walking through the city’s busiest streets. Here then are eight proposals to discover a less touristy but equally enchanting London.
1. Leighton House Museum
RICHARD BRYANT / ARCAIDIMAGES VIA GETTY IMAGES
If the period in which Queen Victoria reigned was, for Great Britain, one of the most serene and productive of all time, even from an artistic and architectural point of view, the nineteenth century gave priceless wonders to London and to all of England. One of the least known places, but one that can not fail to impress deeply, is the house-museum where the artist Lord Frederic Leighton lived , located in the prestigious district of Kensington. It is an imposing and majestic dwelling, in which the English noble housed the leading intellectual and cultural personalities of Victorian society, but which at times opened the doors even to ordinary people – when the aristocrat was not at home – to show the world all its magnificence.
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Today’s visitors particularly appreciate the golden Arabic Hall – inspired by the Arab-Norman palace of Zisa , in the province of Palermo -, which was decorated with 600 different Damascan majolica tiles and which is full of mosaics, gold and precious carpets, as well as hosting at its center a fountain. In other rooms tourists can also admire works by Tintoretto, finely worked columns and various statues. Finally, there is a room entirely dedicated to silk.
2. The Walthamstow district
Not only famous museums, surprising botanical gardens or places of worship that are a masterpiece of architecture: the beauty of London is the possibility of getting lost in entire neighborhoods and discovering the most artistic and sensitive soul of the metropolis. Among the boroughs that have changed their face in recent decades and have managed to show the best of them is Walthamstow, located in the north-east of the city and easily accessible with the Victoria Line of the Tube. Among shopping people and parents who bring children to school, you can come across impressive graffiti, made by different artists over the years in many of the walls available in the neighborhood. Every year in the first two weeks of June, then, Walthamstow hosts the E17 Art Trail(E17 is the postal code of the area), a real touring tour among the treasures of the neighborhood. Finally, for this occasion, several inhabitants choose to open their doors and host the works of art of local artists at home, allowing access to visitors too. A sort of Montmatre in British land.
3. Kew Royal Botanic Gardens
The Kew botanical gardens will change their minds to those who believe they can only identify London with hard work and pubs. The gardens founded by Princess Augsburg of Saxony-Gotha-Altenburg in the eighteenth century – now UNESCO heritage – are a real oasis for those who love nature. The visit time of the whole complex is quite long, better not to take too many commitments to get lost among the rare plants that it contains in itself.
Inside there are currently about forty buildings, including many greenhouses (7 in all) with plants from all over the world: Africa, the Indian Ocean, America and Asia. In addition to the beauty of the flora, in any case, visitors are also in front of a Japanese pagoda, a walk in the void at 18 meters (the so-called Treetop Walkway), the “Marianne North Gallery” gallery (with more than 800 paintings ) and finally an innumerable series of statues and fountains, which make Kew Gardens a sort of paradise on Earth.
To avoid being bothered, the basic rule is to buy a motorcycle with a Vietnamese plate. You can buy it in Vietnam, but you will also find in Laos or Cambodia no problem, because many “motorcyclists” end their trip and resell their motorcycle in these countries.
Some customs officers being corrupt, you will sometimes have to pay a bribe to spend with your bike. (See our tips to avoid problems with customs officers and the list of the most common border scams ).
It is theoretically possible to enter Thailand with a motorcycle from Laos or Cambodia, but it is very complicated. Indeed, your name must appear on the blue card, which involves lengthy steps in Vietnam to put the bike in your name.
In addition, the Thai authorities will ask you to fill out shipping information, a crew list, a passenger list and a temporary import and export form. In practice, it is very rare for travelers to continue their motorcycle journey from Laos or Cambodia to Thailand.
Cambodia border – Vietnam
You can cross by motorbike via one of these five border posts:
Bavet / Moc Bai
Kaam Samnor / Ving Xuong
Phnom Den / Tinh Good
Prek Chak / Xa Xia
The Thanh / O Yadao crossing
Laos border – Vietnam
You can cross a motorbike via one of these six border posts:
Sop Hun / Tay Trang
Na Maew / Nam Xoi
NamCan / Nam Khan
Nam Phao / Cau Treo
Dansavanh / Lao Bao
Bo Y / Ngoc Hoi
Laos border – Cambodia
There is only one border post to cross on motorbikes:
Veun Kham / Dom Kralor
Beware, although nothing legally prohibits passage with a motorcycle between Laos and Cambodia, corruption is a real problem at this border post. Some backpackers have been denied passage.
Depending on the country, you may need a visa to enter the territory.
Laos: You must obtain a visa on arrival valid for 30 days. It costs $ 30.
Cambodia: You need a visa that will be valid for 30 days. You can get your visa on arrival ($ 30) or ask for an e-visa ($ 37) before arriving at the border (which avoids having to pay a “supplement” to the customs officer)
Vietnam: You can stay 15 days in the country without a visa. If you plan to stay longer, you can apply for a 30-day e-visa (€ 25) before you arrive. You can also make a visa on arrival that can be valid for 30 or 90 days for one or more entries ($ 45 to $ 95). See our visa file for Vietnam .
You will find more information in our visa file around the world .
No, it is not mandatory. Many travelers drive a motorcycle for the first time in South East Asia. They are very easy to take in hand and the person to whom you buy it will teach you willingly to drive and shift gears. However, if it is the first time you drive a motorcycle, be very careful on the road, especially in big cities.
If possible, avoid driving in a location with heavy traffic or rush hour traffic. If you want to put all the chances on your side to avoid having an accident, you can pass your motorcycle license at home, before leaving.
Safety on the road
In shorts, flip-flops and without a helmet, the perfect example of what not to do
Do not hide it, driving a motorcycle in Southeast Asia is dangerous. The traffic can be dense, the code of the road is little respected, the roads are sometimes in very bad state and are slippery when they are wet or dusty.
In Laos and Cambodia, there are not many people and people drive quite quietly. In Vietnam, however, you will face a real swarm of scooters. They tumble from everywhere in the big cities.
The road along the coast of Vietnam is also very busy. Apart from the Hue – Danang section which offers beautiful scenery, it is better to take the road that passes inside the country. The traffic is much quieter there.
Here are some tips to minimize the risk of accidents:
Choose a good helmet and always drive with it, even if it’s hot.
Do not leave part of your body apparent. Wear a jacket, pants and closed shoes.
Do not put your bag too far in the back of your luggage rack, it will unbalance your bike. It must be between the saddle and the luggage rack.
Do not drive too fast and pay attention to the road constantly.
Never drive at night.
Take breaks regularly.
Do not drive when you are too tired and / or drunk.
Always drive as far to the right as you can from the road, as the vehicles in front of you have an unfortunate tendency to bite on your side of the road.
On descents, especially on wet, sandy or dusty roads, downshift to use your engine brake.
Do not brake too sharply, especially with your front brake.
Follow the rule of “the biggest vehicle wins”. Act as if cars and trucks always take precedence over you.
When a vehicle is doubling in front of you, it will sometimes be necessary to deport you on the roadside. Decelerate to avoid slipping.
You will often see motorcycles or scooters driving against the meaning. Be vigilant and obviously do not do like them.
The locals have the unspoken rule of dealing only with what is going on in front of them. Again, do not look like them and look around.
Do not hesitate to use your horn to warn of your approach, indicate that you double, etc. In South East Asia, the use of the horn is an integral part of the driving style and often replaces the use of mirrors.
Really slow down when approaching speed bumps (groups of five or ten transverse white lines). They can be very slippery.
Pay particular attention to debris on the road, potholes and stray animals.
Motorcycles are the most used means of transportation for people in Southeast Asia. Many travelers therefore choose to discover the region by bike.
Navigating the countryside, coast and mountains of Vietnam, Laos and Cambodia on your motorcycle is perhaps the best way to explore these countries.
In this folder, we explain in detail how to buy your bike yourself and move to Southeast Asia.
WHY TRAVEL ON A MOTORCYCLE?
Driving in the open air, in the winding mountain roads, in the midst of beautiful scenery or in the crazy traffic of the big Asian cities is a unique experience that provides a good dose of adrenaline.
Traveling on a motorbike allows you to explore more easily the most remote corners, where public transport does not go. Unlike the bus, you always have a 180 ° panoramic view and can stop when you want to enjoy the scenery or take pictures.
You are also closer to the locals. You ask for directions, talk during your stops and are invited to exchange with garage owners to maintain and repair your vehicle.
The motorcycle is an extremely flexible means of transport. You can easily change programs, make a detour, stay longer in a place you like or shorten your stay and quickly go to your next destination.
You are not constrained by public transport schedules and can visit countries at your own pace. It is also a relatively inexpensive means of transportation because a used motorcycle is not expensive and does not consume a lot of fuel.
The motorcycle trip is not only a part of pleasure. You have to deal with sometimes chaotic traffic, pollution, accident risks and bad weather.
You must also pay attention to where you leave your vehicle when you are not on it so you do not fly it.
It is a fairly lonely means of transport, because even if you travel to several you can not discuss when you drive.
Traveling on a motorcycle can also be tiring. You must be constantly attentive and can not rest like in a bus or plane.
You will also face additional costs to go to the islands, because you then need to transport or store your bike.
Even if you are an open-minded person, it is possible that the confrontation with poverty and a culture very different from yours will destabilize you. Cultural shock usually occurs a few weeks after arrival in a country. At first, you are fascinated by this new culture, but after a while, some things that seemed normal to you become unacceptable to you. You feel betrayed and it generates frustration and anxiety in you. No worries, it’s a normal process. To minimize it, find out about the countries you visit, prepare yourself mentally and plan to stay in touch with your loved ones.
I will be homesick
It is possible that you have a little blues after a few weeks or months of travel. Your loved ones will miss you and you will have a little negative vision of your trip. Certain circumstances, such as an event in your family (birth, marriage, death …) or the fact that you are very attached to your loved ones, can amplify homesickness. Traveling too fast can also be a cause, as you will lose some of your bearings. In this case, ask yourself a moment in a place where you feel good. Homesickness often goes away as quickly as it came.
To travel is to flee the real life
For some, there may be a part of flight in wanting to travel. It is sometimes an argument of your family that is afraid to see you go so far and so long. The click that pushes you to go around the world can come from a breakup, the death of a loved one, a dismissal … The trip is not the miracle solution to solve all your problems, but it can be a great source of personal enrichment. It is often also a nice parenthesis which allows to relativize your problems.
I will feel lonely
One of the biggest obstacles to traveling for single people is the fear of leaving alone. Many think of finding a traveling companion before departure, but ultimately very few do. In fact, many tourdumondists, women or men, go solo. Paradoxically, traveling alone favors meetings. You have to go to others. It may seem odd to you if you have not traveled a lot yet, but when you go solo, you finally spend quite a bit of time alone. And, if you are a natural introvert, this is a great way to overcome your shyness.
Are we going to support each other?
For couples, it’s more the opposite question: “Will we get to live together h24 without farting the lead?” There, we can not guarantee you a success rate of 100%. We have heard about couples who broke during a world tour. But it’s finally quite rare and often there was already some tension before departure. In most cases, the couple comes out reinforced. Sharing so many extraordinary experiences is a unique binder.
Find your balance of couples on a trip
I am afraid for the education of children
Leaving with children means no school, often during a school year. However, families of Turdumondists do not give up the education of their children. Parents usually give a few hours of lessons a day during the trip. Sometimes the teacher is even seduced by the project and agrees to do a little remote monitoring.
How many people dream one day to go around the world, but never act? Indeed, it is very easy to find excuses to postpone this project, sometimes indefinitely. Here are the excuses that come up most often.
It’s too expensive
On average, a round the world costs € 15,000, but this is only an average. Tourdumondists arrive to travel a year with a budget of less than 7 000 €, limiting the number of plane tickets and choosing countries in which life is not expensive. In some parts of the world it is possible to travel with less than 10 € per day.
Even without a great salary, it is quite possible to put money aside by limiting as much as possible all your superfluous expenses: living in a roommate or at your parents’ home, traveling by bike or public transport, limiting your going out to bars and restaurants, quitting … everything is a matter of priority.
It’s too dangerous
When you look at the news on TV, you sometimes have the impression of living in a world so hostile that you do not have to leave home. The website of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs is also quite alarmist. Of course, some areas or countries are to be avoided. But they are finally quite few.
It is in fact mainly a fear of the unknown. The barrier of the tongue scares. But in reality, in most countries of the world, you can travel by simply applying the basic safety rules. Of the thousands of Turdumondists who leave each year, very few are victims of problems that actually endanger their physical integrity.
The country security card of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs
It’s bad for my career
Going around the world is not seen by employers as a sign of a lack of motivation. On the contrary, it is often a positive point on a resume. Someone who has made a long trip usually has initiative, has good resistance to stress and has a good ability to adapt. It’s appreciated by the employers. Most Tourdumondists find work quite quickly on their return.
You can also take a sabbatical leave or put yourself on standby and thus have the assurance of finding your job when you return. A world tour can also be an opportunity to mature a new professional project, such as starting a business or starting a business.
I do not know where to start organizing myself
For some, planning a world tour seems insurmountable. Indeed, it takes a little organization, but nothing really bad. Our site is here to help you. We did a detailed schedule of tasks to be done each month before departure. Our thematic files should normally answer almost every question you ask yourself. And if that’s not enough, you can ask your questions to other tourdumondists in our community on Facebook .