Country of Oxymoron

To say that Italy is the country of oxymoron would hardly be an exaggeration. It is a modern, industrialized nation, yet a large part of its land is agricultural. It is the harbinger of style, with its designer brands leading the pack all over the world, yet, at the same level, it is a typical Mediterranean country. Italians like to live modern lifestyle, yet they lay an emphasis on the traditions and rituals of the Catholic Church. It is known for its exotic wines, yet you would find many in Italy denouncing wine culture. As said, Italy is the country of oxymoron.

You would get see Italian oxymoron in its towns, both large and small. These are five Italian towns most visited by the globetrotters:


Rome hosts glorious remnants of erstwhile Roman empire. The city has an array of ancient monuments, interesting medieval churches, beautiful fountains, museums, and Renaissance palaces. Even a week's time would be less to visit all historical assets of Rome. Modern Rome is a lively city with excellent restaurants and nightlife. The Vatican City, the seat of Pope, consists of a walled enclave within the city of Rome. St. Peter's Basilica is a famous attraction within Vatican City. The most impressive features in Rome comprehend the Trevi fountain and the Spanish Steps, the Roman heritage sights such as the Pantheon, the Colloseum and the Forum Romanum, the museums and the world famous churches like Giovanni and Saint Maria Maggiore.


Milan is the laboratory of artistic experiments. The Duomo, the second largest cathedral of the world and the world's largest collection of marble statues, is the most popular attraction in Milan. Other major attractions are the Castello Sforzesco, the Basilica of Sant'Ambrogio, the Palaeo-Christian Basilica of San Lorenzo, the Biblioteca Ambrosiana, containing drawings and notebooks by Leonardo da Vinci and is one of the main repositories of European culture. The town is the home of the Brera Academy of Fine Arts. The church of Santa Maria delle Grazie, houses the Last Supper, one of the most famous paintings of Leonardo da Vinci.


Venice is an urban masterpiece that has canals instead of streets. In Venice, all defining moments of life like weddings, funerals, carnivals and regattas are performed on water avenues, which is an unforgettable experience off visitors. The classic gondola ride with the opera-warbling operator is on must-do list. For cheerful bars and restaurants, visit the area surrounding Campo di Santa Margarita in San Polo. Saunter through the romantic back streets to see the personal side of Venice.


Naples is an extraordinarily vibrant town with geographically blessed surroundings. The giant of Mount Visuvius always keeps the city under its shadow. Sitting between a volcano and the deep blue sea, it offers contrasting scenic views. The food (especially pizza) is great, something not to be missed. Opera, classical music and jazz are ingrained in the town's culture. The city's culture is influenced by Spanish and French influences to large extent.


Florence is the Renaissance capital of the world. Its world-renowned sons are Leonardo Da Vinci, Dante Alighieri, Machiavelli, Fra Angelico and Michelangelo. During the Italian Renaissance period, Florence constructed its renaissance palaces and squares, making the town a live museum. It is a town of incomparable indoor pleasures. Spirit of Renaissance can be seen in full glory in its chapels, galleries and museums.

Take out sufficient time for Italy travel if you wish to understand the country properly. Italy has so many variants of itself that you would just feel short of time when touring the country.

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How To Select A Travel Guide

Selecting the appropriate travel guide is key to a successful trip. While some travel guides detail historical and cultural information, and photographs, others emphasize on lodging, dining, transportation facilities and different route maps. An ideal travel guide is a combination of these two types.

Types of Travel Guides

1.Some travel guides cater to upper class travelers who don’t have much time for researching about a particular destination. These types of travel guides provide suggestive tour plans for vacations from 1-3 weeks for selective destinations and the best available lodging, food, and transport options.

2.Other types of travel guides help those who have less money and more time. They provide exhaustive lists of destinations and different types of lodging to choose from.

3.There are also specialized travel guides that provide information on special travel interests such as art, history, trekking, etc.

Selecting a Travel Guide

Travel Objective: Before selecting a travel guide it is better to be clear about the purpose of the tour. If history, culture, and art are the main reasons for traveling, travel guides providing adequate information in these areas will be more appropriate. Travelers who are looking for an offbeat and challenging destination may search for a guidebook that will help them to find such places.

Easy to Use Format: Good travel guides must have a pleasant layout with easy to read typeface. There should be an index, list of local attractions and the important points must be in bold to draw attention of the readers. Important information should be easily found while navigating through its pages.

Adequate Maps: A good travel guide should provide adequate number of user-friendly maps of the destination city, areas of tourist interest, transportation options and detailed roadmap. This is particularly important for tourists who are traveling alone.

Comparison of Accommodation Rates: Some travel guides provide accommodation rates in broad price range that are not quite helpful. So, it’s better to look for those guides which state exactly how much a particular hotel room will cost. This is more important when a person is traveling independently on a fixed budget.

Travel Plans: Depending upon the travel plan an individual may decide to buy a city guide, a country guide or a multiple country guide. If special interests are involved such as hiking, trekking and eco-tourism, the main travel guide may be supplemented by specialized travel guides.

Penny-Wise: A trip may or may not cost thousands of dollars but spending a few dollars on the right travel guide won’t be a bad investment. A good travel guide should not be rejected just because it is costly. Whether it serves the purpose or not should be the only consideration for purchasing it.

Half the fun of a trip is in its planning. Therefore, it’s wise to select an appropriate travel guide while planning a trip. Nowadays, there are various websites that provide travel related information free of cost. Those who are interested may visit such websites for additional information and homework. This would help them to select the travel guide that would best suit their needs, and in turn, would help them to make a successful trip. Selecting the appropriate travel guide is key to a successful trip. While some travel guides detail historical and cultural information, and photographs, others emphasize on lodging, dining, transportation facilities and different route maps. An ideal travel guide is a combination of these two types.

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