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Recent Europe reviews

  • Clontarff Home

    "Perfect. Close to ocean, castle and home was wonderful. More than we hoped for in Ireland!"
    Guest: Maroney Date of Stay: May 2014 Review Submitted: June 2, 2014
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  • comfortable and well-located

    "We really enjoyed our stay here. The photos don't do justice to the studio. It's comfortable and roomy. [It's a studio, so only good for one couple.] It was clean, and nicely furnished. The wifi worked very well. The kitchen was well-furnished. The bathroom was small, but very clean and stylish. Spello is a wonderful location : not crowded but with all the amenities we needed (especially with restaurants and wine bars). And the studio has about the best location possible in town. It's got a great view of the scenery to the east, but it's a 5 minute walk to the centre of town. A lot of climbing, but it's a hill town! The entrance from the street opens into a very large terrace, with a splendid view (and a washing machine). [The terrace is a little barren : some more plants would be nice.] The studio is entered from the terrace : it's got a great view but is very private. Roberto was very helpful. There was a lot of street construction (or destruction) just outside the building when we visited, but that's a very temporary phenomenon and Roberto warned us about it. We didn't actually use the kitchen much : it's very well-equipped, but the local cafes and trattoria were so good (and so cheap) that we ate all our meals out. We particularly enjoyed the food and service at La Cantina, Osteria de Dada, and Drinking Wine, and breakfasted daily in the garden of the Bar Bonci. And bought what groceries we needed at the little store on the main (post office) square."
    Guest: anonymous Date of Stay: June 2014 Review Submitted: June 20, 2014
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  • Dawn breaks in Provence

    "The sign at the entrance to Montjalade now proudly says "Quai du point du jour". Every hour and every light - constantly changing- is a new discovery at this wonderful house. Owner Joan Duck is delighted to have transported the sign from the banks of the Seine, and has ensured that a stay in her Provençal paradise will indeed be a 'daybreak' for her visitors. The sun climbs through the trees from the east towards Reillanne and then lights the garden in a golden glow before gleaming on the clear waters of the pool. Afternoon brings strong contrasts, brilliance matched by deep shadows, and at night the pool reflects the moon and the breeze rustles the bamboos where the sparrows roost. Purple prose? Yes, I admit it, but Montjalade deserves Cézanne, who lived down the road, in Aix and I'm no painter so words are all I can offer. My wife and I are gardeners, though, and anyone who loves gardens will love Montjalade and recognise the care and love with which Joan has created this Eden, seeing that this plant will look just right there and that new tree here- just as a painting is created from a mass of tiny details. Yet at the same time, it is all unfussy and relaxed. That's also how Joan treats her guests- ever ready to help, guide. joke and suggest, but never to intrude, so that in this other Eden, we a Grandpa Adam and Granny Eve were left quite undisturbed to splash in the pool. When we needed help though, Joan was there. Grandpa Adam managed to drive the wheel of his car into a concealed ditch. Joan was at the ready with ramps and boards and helped by a passing stranger, the car was soon out, quite undamaged. What else? The house is lovely too- quirky, original, (like Joan) no straight lines anywhere, full of odd and ends and much to make for comfort, and lovely bathrooms. If you are a fan of Le Corbusier, this isn't the place for you. If you want peace, joy, pure air, ever changing light, and need your 'daybreak', go to Montjalade."
    Guest: Grandpa Adam Date of Stay: August 2014 Review Submitted: September 22, 2014
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  • Wonderful

    "We loved it... Plenty of space for five adults, every appliance you can imagine, located in the middle of everything including a bakery steps away, grocery store on the next block, a bank close by, just a few blocks to the Metro and plenty of restaurants and bars. The super high ceilings made the space feel so big and open. Being in the middle of everything means you will get street noise, especially in the Master bedroom. Light sleepers will wake up to sirens, horns honking, light rail etc. If you want to sleep in and need total peace and quiet this will be an issue. If you want to get up and get to the sights it's no issue! We were 100% thrilled with this place and would recommend completely"
    Guest: David W. Date of Stay: March 2014 Review Submitted: April 10, 2014
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Europe Travel Tips

If you’re ready to say goodbye to the U.S. and bonjour, ciao or hola to Europe, here are some country highlights and other tips to get you started on planning your perfect European getaway:

European Travel Tips

There’s a lot to keep in mind when traveling across the pond, especially to a country where you don’t speak the language. Though Europe is a collection of diverse countries, there are some general things to know about this Old World continent that will help you plan and enjoy your trip.

- Learn a few polite key words, standard greetings and salutations in each country that you visit, including: good morning, how are you, I’m fine, thank you and please. Another helpful phrase that needs no explanation is: “Where is the bathroom?”

- In the majority of European locales, waiters and other restaurant workers are paid full salaries and don’t depend on tips as wait staff do in the U.S. It’s standard to leave just a few Euro (unless you have a very large group) as a tip for each meal.

- Before leaving for your trip, make sure your passport is up-to-date, as well as your license if you plan to rent a car. Check in with your bank to let them know you’ll be vacationing in Europe so they are aware and don’t freeze your account. Ask about their credit and debit card policies for ATM use abroad.

- Pack lightly, if you can! Many charming old buildings in Europe don’t have elevators, so it won’t be fun to carry a very heavy bag up several flights of stairs. Also, if you forget some essentials, you should be able to find what you need abroad.

-Purchase converters and adapters so you can charge your phone, dry your hair and plug in your laptop without ruining your devices or blowing out the power.

Italy

Italy is one of the top spots for Americans on their European travels due to its seductive culture, scenic landscapes, ancient history and rich cuisine. Some of the best things to do in Italy are to wander down narrow, ancient streets and duck into various opulent and ancient churches. Indulge in the Italian tradition of a four-hour meal in a fancy restaurant, relishing in “il dolce di fare niente” - the beauty of doing nothing. Here are some of the must-see cities and sights on your Italian vacation:

Rome

Your Roman holiday will be filled with architectural gems known the world over. Take a tour of the Colosseum, spend a few hours traversing the ruins and stare up at remarkably well-preserved temples in the Roman Forum. Walk down an unassuming, narrow alley until you emerge in a wide-open piazza and are graced by the magnificence of the Pantheon. Other must-visits are the Trevi Fountain, the Spanish Steps, St. Peter’s Basilica and the Sistine Chapel in Vatican City, the fountains of Piazza Navona and the Borghese Gardens. Grab gelato at tiny Old Bridge and massive La Palma - two of the best gelaterias in the city.

Tuscany

The Tuscan countryside is romantically written about by authors around the world, and when you pay a visit to Siena, Florence or the smaller surrounding cities, you’ll know why. Stay at a bed and breakfast in the rolling, sunflower-laden countryside outside Siena, and make sure to spend some time in the city center as well - Piazza del Campo (the town square) and the Siena Cathedral are particularly breathtaking. In Florence, the center of the European Renaissance, make an appointment ahead of time for the renowned Uffizi Gallery, shop for gold jewelry on Ponte Vecchio, climb the steep steps inside the Florence Duomo for thrilling views and don’t miss seeing Michelangelo’s famous “David” at the Accademia di Belle Arti.

United Kingdom

The U.K. is a good place to visit for your first trip to Europe because there’s no need to learn a new language. You might want to learn a few British slang words though: A restroom is “the loo,” a stroller is a “pram” and “knockered” means completely exhausted. Here are some tips and top spots for U.K. holidays:

London, England

London is a massive, cosmopolitan city brimming with culture, history and fun. While you are here, take a ride on the London Eye, tour Her Majesty’s Buckingham Palace, learn about the sordid and magnificent history of the Tower of London and make an appointment ahead of time to climb the 334 steps up Big Ben’s belfry for excellent views of Westminster. Also, take advantage of London’s fabulous museums such as the Tate Modern, the Natural History Museum and the British Museum, an architectural gem that holds the Rosetta Stone and other famous antiquities - they’re all free to visit! Your trip will not be complete without a shopping trip at Harrod’s and a stroll through part of the 350-acre Hyde Park.

Dublin, Ireland

Ireland is known for its emerald countryside and scenic cliffs overlooking the sea. While in Dublin, one of the top things to do is visit the ancient Dublin and Malahide castles. Walk through the historic, gothic-style St. Patrick’s Cathedral, which was built in the 12th century, have a picnic in Phoenix Park or St. Stephen’s Green and go shopping on quaint Grafton Street. Other must-visits are the Trinity College Library, the Kilmainham Gaol panopticon prison and the National Museum Ireland. Take a tour and raise a glass at the Guinness Storehouse and the Old Jameson Distillery.

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