weekend trips from milan

A Trip to Padua

Padua, a city in close proximity to the Queen of the Adriatic, Venice, appears to live in the shadow of its more “popular” neighbor. During our weekend escape to Padua, we discovered a charming city that boasts of a renowned university (dating back to 1222) whose alumni and professors list includes Galileo Galilei, Copernicus and William Harvey. The world’s first university botanical gardenfinds its home here, and features in the UNESCO heritage list.

In “PIZZA” City, Napoli

The city of “authentic” pizza margherita, Napoli (or Naples), has a remarkable identity of its own. Great food (read PIZZA :)), spectacular views of the Gulf of Naples and the majestic Mount Vesuvius, a beautiful historic center, and the delightful nativity scenes and figurines in a vibrant street made our visit very memorable. Hunger pangs: Having heard rave reviews about Neapolitan pizza, we did not think much about lunch and dinner choices – it was vera pizza napoletana all the way, with bufala DOC – and we did not regret it at all :).

A “Wall” of a Time at Lucca

During conversations with friends in Italy (over a cup of cappuccino, of course :)), a popular topic of discussion is the charming cities of this country. And one town that many folks have fallen in love with, is Lucca. Reason enough to plan a getaway to the Tuscan town. In the regional train from Florence to Lucca, we rarely took our eyes off the windows during our journey though the picturesque Tuscan countryside.

A Promenade in Luxembourg: Vallée de la Pétrusse

Our morning promenade of discoveryin Luxembourg had been remarkable, and we were eager to resume the journey. It was time for a stroll in the gorgeous Vallée de la Pétrusse. As we descended from the vantage viewpoints overlooking the valley, we passed Rue St. Ulric and then, Rue St. Quirin. The verdant valley gave us an entirely different perspective of the city. The walls of the ancient fortifications rose on either side.

A Promenade in Luxembourg: The Fortifications and Valley Views

On a bright sunny morning, we began a day-long promenade of discovery in the city referred to as the “Gibraltar of the North”, owing to its strategic fortifications (which are now a UNESCO World Heritage site). Armed with walking maps from the Tourist Office at Place Guillaume II, we were all set to explore the city of Luxembourg. In the midst of this city known for its high GDP per capita, lies an ancient quarter waiting to narrate its tale: of tumultuous history, of fierce battles, of foreign occupation, of patriotism, of dreamy castles and strong fortifications.

The Buzz in Brussels: Comics, Waffles, the Manneken Pis and more

The capital of Belgium was on our travel itinerary in spring 2013. Tintin and Asterix, waffles and fries, the “little” Manneken Pis and the majestic Grand Place made our trip a memorable one. Grand Place: If you have time for just one place in Brussels, the Grand Place it would be :). Also known as the Grote Markt, this UNESCO World Heritage Site is among the most popular tourist attractions in the city.