Top five autumn breaks in Europe and the Middle East

Looking for go away for a weekend this autumn in Europe? Here is Mapplr’s top five autumn breaks from lively cities to tranquil countrysides: (1) London: The Olympics is over and so is the Golden Jubilee, but what they’ve left behind is a city that has been renovated, cleaned up and beautified. You’ll find refurbished […]

Travel guide to Venice, Italy

To help you make the most out of your trip to Venice, I put together this travel guide based on my own experiences in the city. Venice is an extremely touristy city, more so than Rome. The BBC reported five years ago that “there are¬†60,000 permanent residents, 60,000 day visitors (tourists and commuters from the […]

Mapplr’s favorite restaurants in Venice, Italy

There’s no shortage of restaurants in Venice but it’s easy to get trapped in one that caters exclusively to tourists who do not want to savor the true flavors of Italy. My criteria for a good restaurant in Italy are: it should have customers who are locals (and preferably who are regulars) it should not […]

Pensione Accademia: tranquil boutique hotel hideaway in Venice

It is difficult to find a hotel in Venice that is quiet and private, away from the hordes of tourists who wander around the city. You have to find one that is situated on a small side canal, not overlooking a piazza as Venetian piazzas have noisy restaurants and cafes. I found what may be […]

Hotel Sant'Elena: luxury in a former Venetian convent

I do not normally profile chain hotels on Mapplr because I like small, independently run hotels and B&Bs. However, from time to time, I make exceptions. Hotel Sant’Elena is a luxurious 76-room hotel housed in a restored former convent in a quiet part of Venice. Although it is part of the Best Western hotel chain, […]

Mapplr’s favorite hotels in Venice

Venice is one of those places that you’ve read about, seen in photos and on film, but can’t quite believe when you get there. Aside from the art and history that pervade the city, the food is very good. While I would never recommend going to Venice during the summer months (too hot and crowded), […]