Summer

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February 2019

Must-see sights in Paris

By |2019-02-18T14:28:00-05:00February 13th, 2019|Feature, General, hidden gems, Informational, Paris, Summer, Travel Tips|

Must-See Sights in Paris

So, you have seen movies about Paris and have heard people talk about the “City of Lights” and you are now thinking about visiting this beautiful city.  Rest assured that you are not alone in considering visiting this amazing and beautiful city and for good reason.

Paris is simply a beautiful place to Experience and words cannot do it justice.  There are so many things to do, to see and to Experience that makes this place a perfect destination for just about anybody.  Whether you are a fan of the opera or like to take in beautiful parks, Paris has something that will take your breath away and leave you wanting more.

Some must-see sights in Paris:

  • The Palais Garnier Opera House which is probably one of the world’s most famous opera houses was built from 1861-1865 and has 1,979 seats.  Nicely situated in the 9th arrondissement of Paris, it is very easy to find.  Historically, the Palais Garnier was known for being the home of the Paris opera, but since 1989 the primary use is for the ballet.  The Palais Garnier also offers daily tours of the beautiful building and is highly recommended.
  • Notre-Dame de Paris, Meaning, “Our Lady of Paris” or just Notre Dame is an absolutely beautiful cathedral and is considered to be one of the finest examples of French Gothic architecture.  The cathedral is located in the 4th arrondissement.
  • The Eiffel Tower is one of the most iconic sights in Paris.  The tower was named after Gustave Eiffel, whose company designed and built the tower.  The tower was built in 1887-1889 as the entrance to the 1889 World’s Fair.
  • The Louvre which is the world’s largest and the most visited art museum in the world is located in the 1st arrondissement.  This museum is home to approximately 38,000 objects over an exhibit area of 782,910 square feet.

The list above only scratches the surface of what this beautiful city has to offer.  We highly recommend getting off of the tourist track and exploring the local neighborhood cafés, bars, and restaurants.  It is only when you go into the local neighborhoods and eat and drink where the locals live that you will truly Experience Paris.  Join A Toast to Travel for our Paris and Champagne Experience and learn to Live Like a Local in Paris!

May 2018

Experiencing a Beautiful Italian Summer

By |2018-05-16T05:12:36-05:00May 13th, 2018|Feature, hidden gems, Summer, Tuscany|

Summer in Tuscany
Panzanella

Experiencing a Beautiful Italian Summer

Summer is just around the corner, and for many people, that means it’s time for a vacation! Summer vacations in Italy, especially in Tuscany, can be full of many wonderful festivities and attractions; if you’re a fan of warm weather, you will love experiencing Tuscany’s stunning natural beauty. Tuscany is classified by its Mediterranean climate, with generally mild winters and nice, toasty summers. Due to the unique geography of the region, temperatures can vary widely based upon your location, with the coasts and valleys being generally warmer than hills and mountains. There’s no better time to enjoy the beautiful coasts, with gentle, refreshing sea breezes blowing in to contrast the warm summer air.

Apart from the joys of enjoying lovely Tuscan weather, summers in Tuscany come with another host of benefits. If you read our recent Tuscan food piece, you may recall that we mentioned Panzanella, a salad made of leftover bread and fresh, sun-ripened vegetables grown in the fertile Tuscan soil. It should come as no surprise that this is a terrific summer dish, so if you want to try it at its best, summertime is your best chance. It’s amazingly refreshing on a hot day! If the warm temperatures attract you to the coast, then you’ll find lots of wonderful seafood to dive into as well. And how awesome does a big scoop of authentic gelato sound for a chilly summer treat? Tuscan food is borne out of the finest resources available at any given time, and as a result, it complements the weather in ways that few other foods can.

While summer in Tuscany demonstrates itself to be a great time to enjoy seasonal dishes and the region’s natural beauty, it is also ideal for attending events and landmarks. Most of us would probably agree that a warm and pleasant day is the best time to go for a leisurely stroll; that’s enjoyable enough in its own right. But imagine doing so in the midst of some of the most well-preserved Renaissance architecture in existence! We know that warm weather brings people outside, and this will you give you the chance to observe the peak of human activity throughout the town squares and side streets of Tuscan cities and towns if you feel so inclined.  The chance to observe and explore the ways the citizens of a distant country interact and function throughout their daily lives is a valuable aspect of travel, and one could argue that it is key to fully understanding and appreciating a place. At A Toast to Travel, we believe an Italian vacation should allow you to fully immerse yourself in the culture so that you may experience how it feels to live like a local. And if you choose to embark on our Highlights of Florence and Tuscany Experience in the summer, you’ll get the chance to experience everything that a Tuscan summer has to offer.