To best enjoy Bracciano lake (Lago di Bracciano, in Italian), visit the lakeside town of Trevignano Romano, just 1 hour North of Rome, Italy.
I love my walks along the recently upgraded and beautifully refined waterside at Trevignano, where gigantic pine trees filter the sun above your head as you stroll along. Under the trees are park-like patches with flower beds and benches, alongside the path of beautiful pavers keeping you right along the water’s edge.
The views of Lago di Bracciano are expansive and unobstructed. It is a calm lake where, more often than not, the other side disappears, being shrouded in a mist just above the water surface. Making you more aware of the swans which swim together right in front of you.
It is that sense of calm and softness of color which transport me back to the Boardwalk in West Vancouver, Canada, where I went in prior years. There, the view of the water is of an ocean instead of a lake the size of a volcanic crater. But it does not matter, as both waters are equally misty and shine with the same amazing color scheme of blues and harmonious calm hues. They ooze tranquility.
And there, where the serenity and the beauty of the lake captures you, often, rainbows or cloud-rays remind you of the omnipresence of the Divine.
Being an enthusiast of great architecture as well as a history buff, I have developed a fascination, with European cathedrals. My wife has never quite shared my passion, but since she adores traveling and shopping, we have a perfect arrangement. Our special time of the year is Easter, for the religious significance of the day, and also because we were married on Easter. This year our journey took us to Paris, a city that is known throughout the world as a cultural mecca with a gorgeous architectural heritage.
Soon after we arrived in the City of Lights, we couldn’t wait to visit one of the most famous cathedrals in the world, the Cathedral of Notre Dame. Accommodations in Paris were abundant, we opted to stay at the Franklin Roosevelt Hotel, which was a stone’s throw from the Champs-Elysees. This was a bit of an indulgence, but the casino inside the hotel was all of the justification that I needed.
The Notre Dame cathedral was everything that I expected and more. The entrance to the cathedral was highlighted by a magnificent sculpture of ‘Adam and Eve and the Serpent’. The bell ‘Emmanuel’, which is located in the South Tower, weighs 13 metric tons (over 28,000 pounds) and the sculpture of the Virgin Mary, which is known as the Virgin of Paris, was just a few of the sights that make Notre Dame one of the most impressive cathedrals in the world.
The most memorable trip by far, was our very first Easter outing three years ago. We went to the ‘Eternal City’ of Rome where we checked into the stunning Aldrovandi Palace. We had initially set out to enjoy all the wonders that Rome had to offer – the Sistine Chapel was to be the highlight for me. Little did we know at the time that this chapel would incite such emotion and begin a life-long tradition.
The sensation that took hold of me as I viewed the works of Michelangelo, seeing the actual artistic quality and mesmerizing beauty of his famous ceiling, had a profound effect on both my wife and I. We were left utterly speechless viewing the frescoes, which depicted the ancestors of Christ. My personal favourite, and arguably the most famous, was an apex containing a scene from the Genesis: The Creation of Adam.
In order to appreciate the beauty and the magnitude of artistry, you would have to see it for yourself. It is a vision that will forever keep a place in my heart. Our continued love for these colossal pieces of history has us already planning for next Easter!
About the Author
Chris Bonds is a consultant for HotelTravel – a leading international online travel information and hotel reservations service offering discounted hotel rates in top destinations world wide. Visit http://www.hoteltravel.com for additional travel information.
From the rolling greens of Scotland to the beautiful ancient ruins of Greece, there are a variety of interesting places to visit in Europe. Take a trip to Europe and your most difficult decision is going to be which places to visit during your vacation.
Some of the major cities on this diverse continent include London, Paris, Venice, Rome, Madrid, and Frankfurt.
Since there are so many interesting places to visit in Europe, you may need a bit of help deciding where to go. The following are 10 of the best places to visit for a great time.
Eiffel Tower – Known as one of the most famous landmarks in the world, there is no structure that has ever been built like the Eiffel Tower. The tower is 984 feet high and one of the tallest buildings in the world. The view of Paris from the tower is a definitely must see if you are in Europe.
Acropolis – If you are interested in history, one historical site in Europe that you won’t want to miss is the Acropolis. Located in Athens, you’ll see sites such as the Parthenon, sites built as far back as the 5th Century BC. Not only will you get to have a close up look at all these ancient buildings and ruins, but you’ll also get a great view of the city of Athens from here as well.
The Roman Coliseum – Another of the many interesting places to visit in Europe is the Roman Coliseum. This grand site was originally a huge amphitheater that could seat more than 50,000 people. With amazing ancient architecture, even in disrepair, this is a magnificent site that you definitely have to see.
Tower Bridge – Since 1894, this beautifully designed bridge has been standing over the River Thames in the city of London. From the bridge’s beautiful walkways you can see some breathtaking views of London. You can also visit the engine rooms containing the steam engines that power the bridge. Whether you go in the day or at night, this is a breathtaking must-see.
Edinburgh Castle – Edinburgh Castle is another of the most interesting places to visit in Europe. It is over 1,000 years old and once you see this magnificent castle you’ll soon understand why more than a million people visit it each year. You can tour the castle, enjoy the views and visit the surrounding gardens as well.
Buckingham Palace – Since 1837 Buckingham Palace has been the residence of British royalty, and what would a trip to Europe be without taking the time to see the home of the Queen of England. If you visit during August or September you’ll even be able to see inside the State Rooms of Buckingham Palace.
Big Ben – The world’s largest turret clock tower, Big Ben is one of the best known landmarks in London and definitely one of the most interesting places to visit in Europe. Although it is not open for public tours, it looks spectacular, especially at night when it is all lit up.
La Sagrada Familia – While in Europe, another must see is the unfinished church La Sagrada Familia in Barcelona, Spain, designed and worked on by the famous architect Antoni Gaudi. Unfortunately, he died before the structure was completed. With amazingly designed towers and innovative architecture, however, this is an excellent place to visit while in Europe.
Cathedral Notre-Dame – No visit to France is complete without stopping by the Cathedral Notre-Dame. History buffs will enjoy the rich history of this attraction while art lovers will enjoy the beautiful statues, columns and windows.
St. Michaeliskirche – Right in Hamburgh, Germany, is the beautiful St. Michaeliskirche, known locally as Michl. During the day you can enter the church for free. However, if you choose to go up to the top of the spire, you will have to pay a small but worthwhile fee for its beautiful view of Hamburg.