Best European Christmas markets: Valkenburg, the Netherlands

Sunday, December 21, 2014

Valkenburg aan de Geul is a nice city close to Maastricht, in the southern province of Limburg, in the Netherlands.  It is a place where to spend a day close to other places such as Maastricht. 

Personally I've been several times to this town, but for the first time I could visit it during the Christmas period. I discovered also that it is rated as one of the CNN's Top 10 World Christmas destinations and honestly I agree with that. The Kerststad Valkenburg  was an incredible surprise. Follow me!

If you want to read this article in Italian, please click here!
Diaries of an explorer

The best small towns in Italy - part 1

Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Do you want to discover some hidden gems in Italy? Do you know that you can go off the beaten tracks and find great places to visit? If you are a traveller that wants something more than the classic route Venice - Florence - Rome, here you find the first part of the best small towns in Italy.
Source: wikipedia.org
 Normally in these small towns, part of the Borghi d'Italia list, you can breathe the real Taste of Italy, that is the atmosphere that maybe in the largest cities you are not able to perceive anymore: they are places where the clocks seem to be stopped and it's nice an escape there.

Of course, as usual, this is not a chart, but a list. You will find some places that are for sure great and I selected randomly these towns, since there are other best small towns in Italy that you could visit. These are only some of my favourites. Ready to go?

How to plan a trip to Europe and the DoE's birthday

Thursday, July 24, 2014

Time flies (when you have fun)!

Today it's the second birthday of Diaries of an explorer and it's a nice one. Many things happened and I want to share them with you.

Clearly this is a travel blog whose main purpose is to tell interesting travel stories and reveal mainly off the beaten path places around Europe and the world, value my region Veneto and my country Italy outside the main touristic routes, the Unesco sites, the medieval towns, the castles and fortifications, the art and culture and everything that fulfills me and my soul.

Besides this, here you can find some key facts:

1) Time to celebrate! 
Finally I did it! I created the e-book "How to plan a trip to Europe", an incredible collection of resources that will allow you to access to the best resources to travel in Europe, save money and time. In this book you will find:
  • How to travel in Europe by plane
  • How to book accomodation
  • How to travel in Europe by train
  • How to travel in Europe by bus
  • How to travel in Europe by car
You will find the best websites and resources available and updated so far. The e-book with be regularly updated as soon as I will find other top providers. Most of them have been tested personally by me.
Whatever is your budget, you can find all the necessary resources to plan your European trip.
Diaries of an explorer
In order to get it, you just need to subscribe to my newsletter. Take action now! :-)

Trip reports: Ita-Slovenian Road Trip

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

600 km, 5 cities, 3 Unesco sites and 1 natural park visited in just 3 days are the main figures of the Ita-Slovenian Road Trip. It has for sure one of the more eclectic road trips I've ever made: I combined cities with natural attractions and archaeological sites with fortresses. All the places are quite close so you can reach them in less than one hour of travel.
Diaries of an explorer

Things to do in Trieste in one day, Italy

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

As usual every travel or every trip has one or more travel highlights I want to share with you: they can be a particular topic or things I noticed around or even a èparticular destination. Today the main topic is providing you a mini-guide of the best things to do in Trieste in one day.
Source: www.istituti.religiosi.org

36 hours in Siem Reap, Cambodia

Friday, July 11, 2014

Today we're getting to Asia: that's why I'm publishing a great post written by Agness from Etramping.com: this can be an useful mini-guide if you decide to spend 36 hours in Siem Reap, Cambodia.

Nowadays, Siem Reap is one of the most visited places in South-East Asia for the sake of its amazing sights and history, fascinating night markets, local hospitality, delicious cuisine and affordable prices.
Source: http://etramping.com
Although most of travelers and backpackers head to Siem Reap mainly to see the UNESCO World Heritage Site of Angkor Wat, this place has much more to offer with its history dating all the way back to the year 802. Although I don’t believe you could see everything that Siem Reap has to offer in just 36 hours, here are some tips and sightseeing recommendations that can help you a lot and make your voyage much easier, cheaper and definitely more fun.


The citadel of Palmanova, Italy

Tuesday, July 8, 2014

After the exploration of the Skocjan caves in Slovenia, I came back to my Italy and the next stop would have been Palmanova, known because of its fortifications and its concentric citadel or fortress plan. Before visiting Palmanova, I decided to come back to Trieste, the city where I studied during the old good university times.

Exploring the Skocjan caves, Slovenia

Wednesday, July 2, 2014

After the 36 hours in Ljubljana, I decided to visit the Skocjan caves, not far from the Italian and Slovenian border. Are you afraid of the dark? You don't mind to go underground? If not, this is a place that I definitely recommend you to visit.
Source: http://whc.unesco.org/en/list/390
Are you ready to explore this great site? Here we go!

Do you need a customized trip itinerary for your holiday?

Friday, June 27, 2014

Well in order to offer better services to all of you that visit this blog, I know that sometimes planning a holiday can be quite stressful and time consuming.

One year ago I decided to launch the DoE's Itinerary Planner, that consists in providing:
  • Customized trip itineraries
  • Pre-written trip itineraries
  • If you need it, I can also provide some consultancy
 
For more than a year, I've been cooperating with Outtrippin, a fantastic and rocking Australian start-up that cooperates with local experts and travel bloggers that travelled or know in deep a particular location or country. Please click on the following image to discover the service.
Diaries of an explorer
Since 2013, I've been cooperating with Outtrippin in the design of some trip itineraries, like the Barcelona one. The innovative service proposed by Outtrippin is the following one:
  1. You select your destination or country;
  2. You select your preferences, number of days and daily budget ( also the accomodation budget);
  3. You can describe your travel personality
  4. You can select if getting 1 trip itinerary, up to 3 trip itineraries, or more than 3 trip itineraries (each choice has a price).
  5. You can select one and if you are not satisfied you can get your money back.
 
Most of all, what you can get is:
  • Unique travel advices and recommendations by real local experts and not the standard recommendations like Lonely Planet or Rough Guides.
  • A trip itinerary that fits your travel personality like your favourite dress does: if you love budget travels you won't be addressed to luxury activities or restaurants.
  • A day by day trip plan.
  • No matter what is your destination, holiday type ( nature, luxury, trekking, off the beaten tracks), you can get whatever you want.
Diaries of an explorer

Ready to get one fantastic and personalized trip itinerary? Click here to get one ( or more than one) and you will get a trip itinerary without efforts! What are you waiting for?

DISCLAIMER: This post contains an affiliate link. So if you buy one of more trip itineraries you will help me gaining a commission, covering the websites costs and providing you useful information about destinations, travel tips and so on. There's no additional cost to you: you get a great trip itinerary and I get a commission. We both gain!

Hotel reports: Ljubljana

Wednesday, June 25, 2014

In Ljubljana, due to an European exam, I decided to book an hostel each night. These are the hotel reports for Ljubljana (or hostel reports).

The first one was the Hostel Print, located in Rozna Dolina c. IV 32-34, not in the historical centre of Ljubljana. If you want to stay in a calm area, this hostel is right for you. I booked an entire room for myself and could stay quite good. The only thing I had to do was the regulation of the air conditioning since at the beginning it was closed so it was a real sauna. After that I could sleep comfortably. The room was quite large but also strange.

The second one was the Hostel Tresor, located in the city centre of Ljubljana. I loved and recommend this hostel since it was an old bank turned into the hostel. In fact, you can still see office tools, currencies, caveaux and so on. Here you can see some pics of it.
Diaries of an explorer

36 hours in Ljubljana, Slovenia

Sunday, June 22, 2014

Do you want to know what to do in 36 hours in the Slovenian capital? Do you want to see a nice and attractive city? here it is: Ljubljana!
Diaries of an explorer
Ready to explore it? Here we go.

The mercury mines and the Idrija lace, Slovenia

Monday, June 2, 2014

Do you want to visit mercury mines and discover the Idrija lace creations? Do you know where the thermomether mercury balls come from? You can see them in Idrija, a small town in Slovenia, part of the Unesco sites, not far from the Italian border.

Diaries of an explorer

Aquileia: an old Roman capital, Italy

Tuesday, May 27, 2014

Do you want to see what remains of an old Roman capital? After the Maastricht series, let's go back to the Ita-Slovenian road trip. The first stop was Aquileia, that was a powerful capital of the 10th Roman region called "Venetia et Histria". If you love the archaeological sites, this is definitely a place you should visit.

Diaries of an explorer

Travel highlights: Maastricht in one day

Tuesday, May 6, 2014

If you liked the post about the Carnival of Maastricht and if you are now quite curious about this city, well this post meets your needs. I could write several posts about this wonderful city (and I will do it in the future), but today I'm walking in the shoes of those people that want to visit it in one day.

Diaries of an explorer

Travel highlights: the Alps seen from the aeroplane

Saturday, April 26, 2014

Well sometimes you spend a little ( or significant) part of your journey on a plane, depending on your destination. I've travelled so many times from Brussels Charleroi to Venice Treviso and I did it also this time to come back to my hometown. I've already published a post like this in the past when I travelled from Venice to Washington. They are part of our journey and sometimes the first and the last moment of our trips.

Along this sky-route, most of times I saw the clouds or it was night or dark so you could see nothing. This time it was sunny or there were some clouds around and the landscape was absolutely stunning. It was impossible to resist from taking some pics.

First of all seeing the top of the Alps that emerge from the clouds was incredibly stunning and this was just the appetizer.
Diaries of an explorer

Travel highlights: Liege Guillemins railway station, Belgium

Saturday, April 19, 2014

If you travel by plane and land in Brussels Charleroi and then take the train to Maastricht, you need to take the train from Charleroi to Liege Guillemins and then from Liege Guillemins to Maastricht. Once you step off the train, the first sensation is: "wow", if you are able to say something. What you will see is the wonderful architecture designed by the catalan Santiago Calatrava.
Diaries of an explorer

The Carnival of Maastricht, Netherlands

Sunday, April 6, 2014

From one Carnival of Venice to the Carnival in Maastricht, this year I decided to join a couple of big parties. For me this was a return as I had lived in Maastricht for 3 years in the past and I was so excited to come back to this wonderful city, the city with a Mediterranean spirit, as I love to call it!
Diaries of an explorer


It is for sure one of most powerful feasts you can have in Europe and since I have experienced many of them around Europe: I can undoubtely say this! :-)
Ready to party????

Volo della Colombina or Angel's Flight - Carnival of Venice opening

Monday, March 10, 2014

As promised, Diaries of an explorer took you to the official Carnival of Venice opening: the so-called Volo della Colombina, or Volo dell'Angelo, or Angel's Flight.

Piazza San Marco was really crowded: 100,000 of people were attending this event. This time, I won't spend too many words on it, but I'll let the images and the music talk. Enjoy! :-)



This is Veneto: my land! :-)

Wilderness safari in Africa? Get a discount with Big Cats Exploration and Safaris

Friday, February 21, 2014

If you are looking or planning a wilderness safari in Africa, maybe you are looking for a valid  travel guide that could make this experience unforgettable.

Since when I was 17 years old, I had a 6-days wildlife safari in Kenya, I know it's a great experience, but it would be even better if you combine it with something else, like a missionary tour, volunteering or whatever your want, like a cultural trip, visit to a city, gorilla trekking, beach holiday and so on.

When I got the message from Hassan of the travel agency Big Cats Exploration and Safaris, based in Malindi Kenya, I evaluated the possibility to get a partnership.
Diaries of an explorer

Based on my personal experience, you cannot do a road trip on your own in an African state as it is not that safe to travel on your own: I would love to have an independent road trip there, but for security reasons, it's better to get a guide, like Big Cats Exploration and Safaris.

When I went through their website, I decided to accept this partnership because:
  • There are missionary tours, that really makes them different and I know how fantastic it's this experience
  • Their specialty is in organizing tours for disabled people
  • They support orphans and children homes - Pamoja Childrens, Home Kwale.
  • They promote responsible eco-tourism by implementing conservation practices in all their daily operations.
Click "Read more" to get your discount code and know more about the experience you could choose.

"El Oro de Napoles" - a great work by Pio Caro-Baroja

Tuesday, February 18, 2014

When I opened this blog, I would have never thought that one day one of my pictures would have become the cover of a book. It happened that I got a message from Pio Caro-Baroja, regarding a project about a book he was translating and editing in Spanish, "L'oro di Napoli" ( The gold of Naples) from Giuseppe Marotta.
Diaries of an explorer

Canova's Three Graces art expo - Possagno, Italy

Friday, February 14, 2014

Sometimes you don't have to go too far from your hometown to see incredible places, monuments, art expos or simply masterpieces. It's incredible how some people have visited more than a hundred countries worldwide, but do not know at all their same region or where they come from.

This time, Diaries of an explorer comes back to its favourite environment, which is going off the beaten tracks. Possagno is a little town, not far from Asolo, one of the best small towns in Italy, called Borghi d'Italia, from my hometown and Venice.

Possagno was the place of birth of one of the most appreciated and famous Italian artists, Antonio Canova (1757 - 1822), Neoclassical painter and sculptor of marble sculptures. In this little town, you can find the Canova Museum, called Museo e Gipsoteca Antonio Canova.

The art expo involves one of his main sculptures, the Three Graces, in italian Le Grazie, whose marble models are showed in the Saint Petersburg's Hermitage, in Russia, and every 7 years between the National Gallery of Edinburgh and the London's Victoria & Albert Museum. The models were delivered in 1812 to Josephine de Beauharnais first and then to Joseph Russell, Duke of Bedford in 1819.

Carnival of Venice: what you should not miss!

Friday, February 7, 2014

The Carnival of Venice is one of the oldest Carnivals in the world and also one of the most important and famous ones. Last year I wrote a post about the Venetian Masks History and this year I decided to list all the main events you should not miss.
Diaries of an explorer

Presentation of the Ita-Slovenian Road Trip

Sunday, January 19, 2014

As I had the opportunity to go to Ljubljana and stay there a couple of nights, I decided to make a little road trip on my own and I called it the "Ita-Slovenian Road Trip"

What a fantastic opportunity to stop by some interesting places I would have visited before and also some of the Unesco sites I could find along the road.

The result has been a short but great road trip that allowed me to see different places and environment and to discover also things probably I would have ever got to know.

This is the trip itinerary: this time I used Scribble Maps, instead of Quik Maps. You don't even need to register and you can also produce an image, easy to download first and then upload to the blog.
The starting and final point was my hometown Montebelluna. I slept in Ljubliana a couple of nights and the other destinations have been visited in some hours.

Being a 3-day road trip, it can be considered as one of my weekend adventures: so if you want to do the same, this can be a good idea for a weekend. There are for sure some off the beaten path places to visit,

This is shorter in terms of kilometers or miles, days and cities rather than other road trips like the USA East Coast Road Trip or the Road Trip July 2012, maybe similar in terms of km to the Cote d'Azur travel, but at the same time different and interesting because of the uniqueness of the visited places.

Regarding the information and guide, I downloaded the info regarding the different places from internet and bought the following travel guide: the DK Eyewitness Travel Guide: Slovenia ,an essential guide with some good insights and tips. If you speak Italian, I would also recommend the Merian guide about Slovenia.

Don't miss the next post: Diaries of an explorer will take you to Aquileia, an old Roman city.

DISCLAIMER: This post contains an affiliate link.. So if you buy this useful resource you help me gaining a commission, covering the websites costs and providing you useful information about destinations, travel tips and so on. There's no additional cost to you: you get a recommended and useful product and I get a commission.

Asolo: the city of a hundred horizons, Italy

Tuesday, January 14, 2014

If you love small towns, especially medieval small towns, where to feel the real atmosphere of Italy, for sure you have to visit some of "Borghi d'Italia", a list of fantastic small towns you should absolutely visit.

I'm lucky as close to my hometown there's one of them and its name is Asolo. Asolo is located not far from Venice (50 km) upon a hill in a priviliged position. It is called "the city of a hundred horizons" because of the great landscapes you can see from the town and also from its castles.
Diaries of an explorer

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