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Recent Europe property reviews

  • Wonderful Tuscan apartment, with pool

    "Have just returned from a 3 week trip to Europe, during which we very much enjoyed our stay in Apartment K of Linearis Holiday House for 4 nights. This two-level apartment, spacious for our family of 5, had 3 bedrooms and 2 bathrooms (showers and bidets, no tubs), living room with TV, kitchen with stovetop (no oven), fridge, table and chairs. There is wifi available in the garden house by the pool (not in individual apts) and a washer/dryer are available for an extra fee, if desired. Unfortunately, there was an unprecedented heat wave ongoing during our stay, making the upper floor (with bedrooms) significantly hotter than the downstairs. Other renters from France and Germany seemed to take it all in stride though, not wilting as we were. In this case, the second level was probably to our detriment: with heat rising upwards, a ground floor unit would have been much cooler overall (our living room often found one or more of us retreating to it in the middle of the night! ). For us, this was the only detraction: an airconditioning unit upstairs would have made a world of difference, given the weather, and though Katia kindly provided us 3 fans to circulate air, we often felt as if we were in a convection oven, even with the windows wide open! Thankfully, the beautiful clean inground pool was available to start the day with a cool dip and also after long days of sightseeing, a wonderful respite from the heat. The location is a bit tricky to find, but is very well situated, close to San Gimignano, Sienna, Volterra, and 45minutes to Florence; we found the PAM supermarket in Poggibonsi relatively close and invaluable for provisions, a lucky thing as we were unable to find any restaurants in that town (?!); it was only on the last day that we drove to the cute little village of Barbarino Val d'Elsa several miles down the road and had a wonderful dinner there on the terrace as the sun set. (There was a cute restaurant on the way there, in St.Appiano, but it is apparently so popular that reservations are recommended; we five arrived for dinner and couldn't be accomodated!) Again, we would highly recommend this place for its location, ambience, and spaciousness, and can imagine how absolutely wonderful it is when the temperatures aren't in the high 80s ! Recommended for families, folks of all ages; one needs a car."
    Guest: annette s. Date of Stay: June 2012 Review Submitted: July 2, 2012
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  • Great Apartment in Central Rome

    "We spent a week in Rome and loved this quaint little apartment. It was perfect for us. It is very easy to walk to any of the major sites but it is also near the metro for locations that are further away. They are working on cleaning and restoring Trevi Fountain right now and while we would have loved to have stayed here while it was running we are glad they are preserving this treasure. I would highly recommend this apartment to anyone considering a trip to Rome. It became our home away from home. We were greeted at the airport by the driver who dropped us off steps away from the apartment. Pong met us at the drop off point and showed us to our room. There was a refrigerator full of bottled water and fresh fruit in the kitchen. A very nice welcome. Thank you for a fabulous week!! There is not an elevator so if you have trouble with stairs it could be a problem. It was fine for us. Gene and Melissa Martin Salem Oregon USA"
    Guest: The Martins Date of Stay: July 2014 Review Submitted: July 20, 2014
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  • Perfect for our Honeymoon

    "This place is conveniently located near a vaporreto stop (water bus). Also very near to shops and dinning. The stay here was perfect, the place had handy books to help us communicate and lots of maps to guide us. Cute little balcony with view of the grand canal. We loved our stay here."
    Guest: Celila G. Date of Stay: July 2014 Review Submitted: August 9, 2014
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  • Delightful country lodging

    "My husband and I stayed here for 5 nights at the end of June. The room and bath were comfortable, light, and spacious. We loved the country air and lovely, peaceful setting. The cottage was convenient to all the D-Day beaches as well as to Mont Saint Michel. The owner was the best. Her breakfasts were delicious and her comments and suggestions were most helpful. At the end of the day, we were able to stretch our legs by walking around the small village before going to bed. We would definitely like to return and would recommend this B and B to our family and friends."
    Guest: Giger Date of Stay: June 2014 Review Submitted: July 13, 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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