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Backpacking Through Italy

Aside from visiting all the famous sights, such as the Colosseum and the waterways of Venice, Take a tour a journey through the most artistically influential of Italy’s cities. At the same time, you can simply relax and enjoy the the Italian atmosphere, like no other in world.

Welcome to Italia, where the wine is cheaper than water!
Start in Rome. It’s a big city and there are many things to do. Start off with a tour of the Roman Forum; then check out the nearby Palatine Hill and the Colosseum, before going over to the Galleria Borghese. If you can stay awake, visit the Circus Maximus & the Baths of Caracalla as well. Unwind from the day at the Alexanderplatz Jazz Club with some live music.

Take a student based walking tour which includes the Spanish Steps, Trevi Fountain, and Bernini’s Four Fountains among many, many other stops. If your feet aren’t tired yet, check out the Pantheon and Piazza della Rotunda, or if you like cats, the Largo di Torre Argentina, which is now the city’s cat shelter. Check out the loo at Jonathan’s Angels, before partying with Italian Goths at Jungle.

Take a tour of the Vatican and see the Sistine Chapel. Then climb the dome of St. Peter’s Basilica for the loveliest view of Rome money (and the ability to ascend 350 steps) can buy. On Saturday night, club hop between Alien and Piper, and end up at Gilda on the Beach to dance ’til dawn in the sand.

Head north to Pisa. Take silly pictures of your friends pushing the tower up during the day, but ascend the tower at night for a gorgeous view of the city in moonlight. grab dinner’s at the Osteria dei Cavalieri.

Moving on again, up to the region of Cinque Terre. It consists of five hilly, coastal towns: Monterosso, Vernazza, Corniglia, Manarola, and Riomaggiore. They’re interconnected through hiking trails, the most famous and shortest of which is a stone tunnel called the Via Dell’Amore. Tan and relax under the Il Gigante rock carving at Monterosso’s largest beach. Party at the nearby Il Casello, before heading back to your hostel.

After hiking through a few of the towns, call it a morning and spend the rest of the sun filled hours at a beautiful secluded beach hidden between Vernazza and Corniglia. Continue to relax at Il Bar Sopra Il Mare, and watch the Mediterranean Sea under the stars.

Arrive in Milan freshly tanned. First, ascend the Duomo for a grand view of Milan, and then wander the 23 art-filled rooms of the Pinacoteca Ambrosiana. Stroll through the Fashion District on your way to La Scala, arguably the best opera theater in the world.

Visit Castello Sforzesco which contains 10 Musei Civici, allowing you to explore what interests you most. Don’t forget to view Da Vinci’s ‘Last Supper’ housed in the nearby Chiesa di Santa Maria delle Grazie. Have dinner and chill for the night in one of the restaurant-clubs in the Porta Ticinese.

Arrive in the city where Romeo proclaimed: ‘It is the East and Juliet is the sun,’ so you must definitely visit the Casa di Giulietta, as well as her tomb. After, make a stop at the nearby Museo Degli Affreschi and then climb the 368 steps of the Torre dei Lamberti for a spectacular view of ‘fair Verona.’ Top off the day with an Italian Shakespeare performance at the Teatro Romano, or catch an opera during the Verona Opera Festival.

Once in Venice, visit the Rivoaltus Legatoria for a one of a kind hand crafted leather journal. Then check out the Collesione Peggy Guggenheim, have a picnic at the Giardini Pubblici & Sant’Elena, and wander past the Grand Canal and the Rialto Bridge as you walk to the Basilica di San Marco in the late afternoon.

Get up early and visit Murano, the cluster of islands home to Venice’s glassmakers. Come back to view the Gallerie Dell’Accademia and to take the campanile to the top of the Basilica di San Giorgio Maggiore for a lovely view of the city. Then perhaps relax on a gondola ride just before sunset. Break the romantic mood by heading over to Bacaro Jazz for a bra-filled good time.

Start your stay in Florence with a visit to the Duomo, which you most definitely should climb. Check out the free Orsanmichele and the famous bronze doors of the Battistero. Enter the Accademia if only to view Michelangelo’s two sculptures: David and the Slaves. Cap the day with one of May Day Lounge’s special ‘banana cow’ shots.

Wake up early and ascend the Campanile for another spectacular view of Firenze. Spend the rest of the morning in the Uffizi, then head over to the Palazzo Vecchio after lunch for a “Secret Routes” tour. End with a trek up to the Piazzale Michelangelo for a beautiful sunset.

Explore the Palazzo Pitti with its Galleria Palatina and beautiful Boboli Gardens. If there’s time left, wander the remarkably untouristed Bargello, and if you can read Italian, be sure to check out the Casa di Dante. Boogie down Wednesday night at Florence’s hottest club, Central Park.

Da Assisi in a day; time to run around like a crazy person. Start off with the Basilica di San Francesco and St. Francis’s tomb. Observe the beautiful frescoes in the Pinacoteca, and then make your way to the Rocca Maggiore; its view is breathtaking. Lunch across from the Templo di Minerva and wander the Foro Romano. Visit the Duomo di San Rufino for more Roman ruins and then finish at the courtyard of the Basilica di Santa Chiara.

Take a relaxing stroll through the Fiera Antiquaria Napoletana and gawk at things we’re to poor to buy. Or if you really want to pack Naples in, start by paying respect at Virgil’s Tomb, then ascending the Castel Dell’Uovo for a beautiful view. Throw in a visit to Napoli’s world famous Aquarium. Surround yourself with a garden for the night’s drinking at TintaDiRosso.

Take a daytrip to Ischia for its gorgeous Mortella Gardens, beaches, and hot springs; or a daytrip to Capri for its stunning cliffs and the famous Blue Grotto. Party hard and expensively with chic Italians at whichever island you end up.

Wake up early in order to see all of the Museo Archeologico Nazionale. After lunch, brave the Catacombs and subterranean alleys of Napoli. If your feet haven’t given up on you yet, check out the Museo di Capodimente before grabbing dinner. At night, checkout club Rising South for one of its special summer events.

Take another daytrip. There’s the volcano town, Herculaneum; the volcano, Mt. Vesuvius; or Campi Flegrei with the Tempio di Mercurio near the Roman Baths, the Antro della Sibilla (a cave gallery/ pizza oven), and the Flavian Amphitheater. End the day with an opera at the Teatro San Carlo, whose acoustics are said to be better than La Scala’s.

Backpacking Through Vienna, Prague, Budapest

On a whirlwind tour of Eastern Europe’s most cosmopolitan cities, be prepared for oldstyle elegance, reflective musings, and traditions galore.  You can just as easily spend the evening at one of Europe’s premier opera  houses, the Staatsoper, as you can conversing with the cognoscenti in a Viennese coffeehouse. Walk across the iconic Charles Bridge in Prague and sigh away in one of Budapest’s meltingly hot mineral baths.  No matter what you do, you’ll feel like gentility.

City Stats:
* Countries: Austria • Czech Republic • Hungary
* Capitals: Vienna • Prague • Budapest
* Official Languages: German • Czech • Hungarian
*Currency: Euro • Czech Koruna • Forint

(1USD = .7EUR = 19.5KOR = 177.5FOR)
* Population: 8 million • 10.3 million • 10 million
* Weather: 68 – 95 F average

National Drink: Weisser Spritzer • Becherovka (herbal bitter) • Pálinka (~brandy)

Things to Do:
* Catch an opera in Vienna
* Re-enact ‘Before Sunrise’ (dibs on Ethan!)
* Wander Prague’s Staré Město
* Relax in a mineral hot spring at the Gellért
* Catch a summer festival in Budapest
* Drink lots of beer

EF college Break

At EF College Break they want everyone to enjoy traveling as much as they do. They believe that regardless of how much money a person has, all young adults should have access to the unique education of world experience. That’s why they’re dedicated to creating affordable European tours for 18-26 year old backpackers. Whether you’re an experienced traveler or a first-timer, They offer the spontaneity and excitement that backpacking always brings, while traveling cheaper and safer in groups.

Every trip, although unstructured, includes airfare, train fares, hostels, and public transfers from the airport to the hostel and back. Every tour starts or ends with a Welcome or Farewell Dinner, and every EF College Break backpacker receives a commemorative towel pre-tour. Also on board are two experienced backpacking tour coordinators with global phones who are easily accessible at all times. Whether you sight-see all day or party all night, EF collegebreak is watching out for you. They do all the basic trip planning, at the cheapest group rates we can find, so there’s nothing for you to stress over. Except on the stopover portion of any stopover flights, an EF collegebreak employee will be with you at all times of travel, getting you to your train, plane, or boat on time. Your tour coordinators will also escort you to and from your hostels on traveling days, so no worries about getting lost in the big city with everything you own on your back.

Aside from making lifelong friends, since EF collegebreak is marketed mostly towards a college crowd, it is an excellent way to network. So get ready for the best summer of your life and come experience new people, customs, and cultures with us!

Travel Tips For Traveling Abroad

Here’s some important travel trips before you go on any  backpacking trips to Europe!

Make sure that your passport isn’t going to expire within 6 months of your departure date, otherwise you might not be admitted into the EU.

Make two copies of your passport. Leave one at home easily accessible to your emergency contact, and take the other one with you.  Keep that copy in an entirely different spot from where you are keeping your passport.

Bring a second form of identification as backup, such as your driver’s license or birth certificate, and make two copies of it as well. Keep those copies in the same places you are keeping your passport copies.  Store your second form of identification away from your passport and all the copies.

Make copies of your travelers checks’ serial numbers and of your debit/credit cards.  Hide these well, and do not write down your pin number.

If you require prescription drugs, ‘you must carry both a copy of the prescriptions themselves and a note from a doctor, especially at border crossings. While traveling, keep all medication with you in your carry-on luggage.

We recommend buying some sort of traveler’s insurance in case of an accident or emergency back home or abroad.  Your medical insurance may already cover any medical costs while traveling.  As well, the provides a basic insurance packet for US card members.

Write your emergency contact information inside your passport, as well as any allergies and medical conditions you have, your blood type, and any important medical history.
Update your personal information (name, telephone #, home address) on your backpack and daypack, in case the item gets lost.