Lyon: Monet’s trees, secret passages and lives from above

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    Lyon was one of those cities that didn’t attract me at all.

    When my father proposed it this summer as one of the stages of our French road trip I was not particularly excited, I was more inspired by the villages of Provence.

    But his diabolical plan was to reach Bordeaux in the shortest possible time to get wine.

    Lyon would have been our first stop. None of us would have a say in this.

    Lyon it is.

    Travelling really teaches us that prejudices are stupid.

    Lyon is beautiful.

    The most beautiful city we have seen throughout the trip.

    And it made me think, it made me dream, it even made me study.

    Vieux Lyon. Old Lyon. You cross the Rhone and you find it there: so French, so sweet, without mouths. All the colours are warm and pastel. Even the light seems to be coloured in pencil. When I was there, the sky was blue and the sun warmed without bothering. September is a wonderful month to travel.

    Categories: France

    Organize a trip online: the ABC of low cost

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    Lately I’ve been amazed on more than one occasion how young people, even my age, find themselves very awkward to organize a trip online.

    I go to the agency that if not I wonder what I’m doing!

    You can’t imagine how many people arrive on my blog looking on Google for the shortest way from New York to Boston or as I arrive from Big Ben to Notting Hill on foot.

    Do you understand? There’s no basis for it, not even Google Maps.

    Online there are a lot of blogs that collect low cost offers or that talk about how to live a destination with minimal expense, but already it’s an “advanced” level for those who just start from scratch.

    So I thought of writing a schematic post to help the willing who want to venture into the online organization of a low-cost trip but do not know where to start. Let’s start from ABC, I write you a minimum guide, only the basic resources that I use when I start to plan a trip.

    It takes some time, but do you want to put satisfaction and savings?

    How to book your flight

    1. First of all, which airports are closest to you? 

    Consider all those that are within a 2 hour drive of your home. These are the capable ones, especially the somewhat smaller airports that are generally those from which low-cost flights depart.

    2. Now look for the route you are interested in on a flight aggregator.

    You have to understand which airlines are serving your destination: I usually look on Skyscanner because it does not force you to choose a departure city, you can also put Italy.

    Try different dates and combinations, especially if you don’t have a fixed destination but just want to do a few days around Europe.

    On Skyscanner as a destination you can also put anywhere. Me if I want to leave but I don’t know where I put “from Italy to Everywhere”.

    3. So go to the sites of the chosen airlines.

    Once you have identified the 3-4 most convenient airlines go to the sites of the individual companies and do the same search.

    Compare prices and choose the cheapest: sometimes booking on aggregators costs more because they retain a percentage, sometimes it is really cheaper because you find specific offers from the aggregator. You compare from time to time.

    How to find and choose a hotel

    1. Hotel search.

    I use practically only Booking because it gives the possibility in almost all hotels to cancel the booking up to 24 before completely free of charge. I

    In this way you can book hotels even if you are not 100% sure to leave.

    Or you can book multiple rooms at the same time to keep them locked and have time to calmly choose the best, just cancel the others, for free.

    Search on Booking for your destination, look at where your hotel is on the map and choose the best 3-4 hotels after reading the ratings of those who have been before you. It is essential that near your choices there are metro or bus stops.

    Hostels are the cheapest solution and are also a nice opportunity to meet other travelers.

    2. Check reviews and prices.

    Once you have found a short list of hotels cross-check TripAdvisor (for reviews) and the individual hotel sites (for prices): the same as above, sometimes you save on Booking, other times by booking directly on the hotel sites. While with planes it is more likely to find the best prices on the sites of individual companies, for hotels I find it almost always cheaper to book with Booking.

    3. Alternatively you can try the last minute

    If you love the risk you can book in the day with Blink Booking (at this link you will find a post where I talked about it that explains well how it works): from 11 in the morning you will find offers for the day really discounted. It is very convenient, but not in all trips you can afford to book the last second. And then you need a smartphone because there is only the app.

    4. Or cheaper hospitality solutions.

    If you are more adventurous there are services such as Couchsurfing or Airbnb.

    Couchsurfing is just a travel style: you choose to be hosted by locals who decide to provide a free bed or sofa for passing guests. It is generally chosen by those traveling alone or by those who want to know from within a culture or a city.

    Airbnb instead is a real marketplace of houses / apartments / rooms for rent: you can choose the house in which to be hosted and book it, of course for a fee.

    I recommend a very useful post on Viaggiaredasoli.net that explains the differences between these two services.

    What to do and see

    1. Buy a Lonely Planet from the place you’re going.

    But what, are you a blogger and do not advise us to search the net? You have to go with order.

    My advice is first of all to buy a Lonely (forget about the other guides, I tried them all, the Lonely is the best, and did not give me even one euro to say, in fact I left him a lot ‘).

    Read it from top to bottom well before you leave, study your destination.

    Plan your route based on the most interesting things to see and do.

    For hotels/locations/restaurants/shopping, forget about driving. For hotels see above, for restaurants ask passers-by or check on Tripadvisor (I always do that).

    2. And now look in the blogs!

    Look for information on what you have selected from Lonely by integrating your program.

    If you have time, also browse forums like Cisonostat: I know that they are a bit ‘vintage forums, but there is a lot of up to date information and many travelers who can advise you if you are undecided about something.

    I tell you to read Lonely first because the web is too dispersive, on the internet you can find everything and nothing.

    For the initial skimming I rely on Lonely.

    3. Buy as many tickets as possible online for the things you want to see.

    Museums, shows or attractions: you save money and queue.

    For example, at the Alhambra in Granada you often run the risk of not finding a seat without tickets booked online in advance.

    I use Lastminute.com for London musicals on which I found really convenient offers for the most famous musicals (like Mamma Mia! last year). It’s called last minute but you can also book in advance, I usually book a month earlier.

    4. Plan your itinerary well if you intend to move.

    If you want to move and you need an itinerary the tools are 3:

    Google Maps (which gives you the distance and shows you which cities are well connected and which are not),

    blogs (there are many posts dedicated to the itineraries),

    the old and dear Lonely (both because it has the recommended itineraries and because it indicates the most beautiful cities to connect in your itinerary).

    Where to eat

    1. Ask passers-by or Tripadvisor.

    If I do not know the place or ask the passers-by or I rely on the Tripadvisor app that is very convenient because it tells you the restaurants closest to you and also gives you the price ranges (passers-by do not, however, as quality usually take us).

    2. Use apps for offers.

    Find out if there are any portals that aggregate the offers of restaurants in the country of destination of your trip.

    For example, in France there is LaFourchette that has great offers, I tried it and it works very well.

    In Italy there are several, I know EasyDinner that works well.

    Finished! Here is the minimum guide for the online organization of a low cost trip.

    I hope it will serve the less practical.

    If you need more detailed information please write me (comment, email, Twitter, pigeon traveler …).

    If you’re satisfied with this post, have a good trip!

    Categories: Planning and Tips

    My ten-day itinerary in the south of France

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    Do you have ten days, a car, good company and maybe even a passion for wine? This is the itinerary for you.

    In this post I will tell you about our tour in the south of France, it will be a practical post to help those who intend to organize a similar trip.

    Let’s start from the basics:

    • Days: 10 days, the first ten of September
    • Stages: Lyon > Bordeaux > Dune du Pilat > Cap Ferret > Saint-Émilion > Toulouse > Carcassonne > Montpellier > Aix-en-Provence
    • Ground kilometres: 2,700 km
    • People: 4 (my family) + the navigator (see this post: The conflicting friendship between my father and the navigator)
    • Total cost of the trip: 700/800€ per person all inclusive (the car was ours, not rented)
    • Visited cities: 8
    • Means used: our car, in fact

    We left home with our car and crossed all of France from Lyon to Bordeaux. On our way back we passed through the south, along the Provence arriving in Italy passing by the coast.

    As usual I drew the map below.

    After the general floatation, we move on to the stages. We spent two nights in Lyon, five in Bordeaux, one in Toulouse and one in Montpellier.

    In Bordeaux we stopped to visit all the surroundings: the Dune du Pilat, some ocean, Saint-Émilion, Cap Ferret and other small villages nearby.

    A – Departure, in our case Bologna

    B – Lyon

    I expected nothing from Lyon, but I really liked it. This thing that the two rivers (the Rhône and the Saône) meet right in the center of the city I like very much.

    Not to be missed:

    The whole area of Vieux Lyon

    Walk through the markets along the banks of the Rhone

    The traboules: you enter through a door and you come out three streets further on

    The hill of Fourvière with its splendid Basilica (reachable by funicular)

    Dinner in one of the typical Lyonnais bouchons (be careful not to end up in the classic tourist traps)

    The peninsula between the two rivers, the Presqu’Île, the vital centre of the city, in particular the walk from Place des Terreaux to Place Bellecour

    C – Bordeaux

    Elegant, elegant, French without the mouths of the French. Pacata, kind, warm. Also this city was a beautiful surprise. In the evening it gives its best. You can visit Bordeaux walking far and wide with your nose up.

    The most impressive place is the Place de la Bourse, a gigantic square with a magnificent carpet of water that reflects the lights of the city overlooking the Garonne.

    D – Dune du Pilat

    The Dune du Pilat is a mountain of sand, more than 100 meters high, more than 3 kilometers long.

    I was there, 1.60 meters low, in front of a colossus 60 times taller than me.

    Twice the Tower of Pisa, five Christmas trees of the Rockefeller Center in New York, a Pirellone, a skyscraper in Cesenatico, much more than a Statue of Liberty.

    Do you understand how impressive that is?

    When you get up you’re left speechless.

    On the coast of the dune the view is 360 degrees: 180 degrees of infinite ocean, 180 degrees of pine forest as far as the eye can see.

    E – Cap Ferret

    The maritime villages of the Gulf of Arcachon are very nice, this I point out in particular because it has a beautiful lighthouse on which you can climb and from which you can see the whole basin. The beaches of Cap Ferret are very long and deserted. The ocean is crazy and superblu. Some areas are particularly frequented by nudists, we have noticed a little late.

    F – Saint-Émilion

    A village that looks like a watercolor a few kilometers from Bordeaux famous for its wines and cellars (chateaux). To do: take your car and drive around, get lost in the hills and the beautiful chateaux that really look like castles but surrounded by vineyards. It’s like being in a movie.

    G – Toulouse

    I wasn’t particularly excited about Toulouse. Very nice walk along the Garonne. Very particular the architecture of Cathedrale St-Etienne. City full of clubs and young people. One day is more than enough.

    H – Carcassonne

    This is a place that would have thrilled me as a child: it speaks of the Middle Ages, of knights, ladies, witches, intrigues, banquets and lace. The old town inside the walls is very touristy and a bit ruined in my opinion. But the whole promenade of the walls is amazing.

    I – Montpellier

    Viva! It’s a living, pulsating, smiling city! We happened to Montpellier on Friday: from June to September every Friday evening Montpellier lights up with Les Estivales, an event that revives the city centre with shows, concerts, stalls and markets. Even in winter there is something similar, in December: Les Hivernales, of course with a Christmas theme.

    J – Aix-en-Provence

    Arriving in Aix-en-Provence, it seems as if we are slowly getting into a film.

    Have you seen a good year? Take Russell Crow out and add the macarons.

    Even the light looks different when the places are so beautiful.

    We’ve walked a lot through Aix, far and wide.

    Don’t miss Book in Bar, a beautiful place, a bookshop+bar of yesteryear.

    Aix-en-Provence is an enchanted place, which alone is worth the trip. It’s worth seeing everything, every corner and every café, every square and every market.

    Avoid like the plague on weekends, they will make you hate this enchanting place.

    How children (and adults) play in Bordeaux

    Café in Bordeaux

    Café in Bordeaux

    Walking in Bordeaux

    Walking in Bordeaux

    Overview, Dune du Pilat

    Overview, Dune du Pilat

    Travel notes to the Dune du Pilat

    Travel notes to the Dune du Pilat

    Cap Ferret

    Cap Ferret, the deserted beaches

    The lighthouse of Cap Ferret

    The lighthouse of Cap Ferret

    Cap Ferret, the ocean

    Cap Ferret, the ocean

    Cloister of the Collegiate, Saint-Émilion

    Cloister of the Collegiate, Saint-Émilion

    The view from Saint-Emilion

    The view from Saint-Emilion

    The wines of Saint-Émilion

    The wines of Saint-Émilion

    The countryside around Bordeaux

    The countryside around Bordeaux

    The splendid Carcassonne

    The splendid Carcassonne

    The small houses of Toulouse

    The small houses of Toulouse

    Toulouse by night

    Toulouse by night

    Fine posters in Toulouse

    Fine posters in Toulouse

    Jardin Japonais, Toulouse

    Jardin Japonais, Toulouse

    Montpellier

    Montpellier

    Details of Aix-en-Provence

    Details of Aix-en-Provence

    Categories: France

    Brainstorming diary of a trip to Japan

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    Cherry blossom is magic

    It’s magic.

    You can’t understand it without having lived it. You can imagine, but it’s different.

    I’ve seen pictures of the flowering for many years, I’ve always been open-mouthed, but always thousands of miles away from those new flowers. Always without really understanding when this magic was overwhelming and powerful.

    Then I went to see them bloom.

    I arrived in Japan at the end of March, when only a few flowers had timidly and prematurely appeared on the branches of Tokyo.

    Then, one day after the next, the magic happened.

    Just like in cartoons, when a spell and a patina of glitter are made, it starts from the fairy’s wand and spreads all over the world. Same. But with flowers. And for real.

    A blanket of pink flowers has spread over Japan until it explodes with color, energy, power, joy.

    The Japanese went crazy, celebrated hanami with picnics and parties under the trees, filled their mobile phones with photos of flowers and their social selfie with cherry trees in the background.

    The women wore their beautiful kimonos and made every glimpse magnificent with their colors, grace and elegance.

    These wonderful flowers swept Japan from day to day in a whirlwind of celebration and joy.

    One day after the next, we saw the flowers bloom and the cities take on colour.

    Each temple became pinker and brighter surrounded by thousands of flowers.

    Each park seemed to be festively decorated, each street became a watercolor.

    The last days in Japan have been a continuous “but what a wonder” with the nose upwards.

    It’s magic, really.

    It can’t be explained. I believe that Japan during the flowering of sakura is a special place, one of the most special that nature and man together can give.

    You don’t believe it.

    Go and see it with your own eyes.

    Not being able to understand and be understood

    This whole tongue thing has got me all upset.

    I’ve never travelled to a place where I really didn’t even vaguely understand the meaning of a speech or a sign.

    I speak English, French and Spanish. I’m good with German bases, I understand and make myself understood in Portuguese.

    In South America, North America, Europe, North Africa, Southeast Asia I have never had a problem. I’ve always understood (sometimes more, sometimes less – even much less!) and I’ve always made myself understood.

    Not in Japan.

    In Japan, if a sign is in Japanese, you can’t even vaguely understand what that means.

    If the cashier of the 7Eleven asks you a question in Japanese, you’re going to be terrified by the disappointment you’re going to have to give her by telling her through gestures that you haven’t understood anything. You’re welcome. Total zero.

    Because in fact the worst part of not understanding anything is having to confess it to the very kind Japanese who is trying to help you. To break the heart.

    As soon as I arrived, I went to the ATM of the airport to pick up some yen and on the screen there was a big inscription in Japanese. And that’s it. Only a few keys, in Japanese, were illuminated.

    I tried to push a few buttons: nothing.

    Then the screen: nothing.

    I took two steps back in the hope that a wider view would give me the key to reading that incomprehensible contraption. Nothing.

    Just a red light on one side. Does that mean it’s out of order? Is that why it’s not working? Well.

    Anyway, no yen for me. I just looked around to see if I was the only one coming back to this strange bubble of misunderstanding.

    No. Confused faces, muffled movements. Everyone was a little lost. Not that it was a consolation, it was just strange. Different.

    I was told that in Japan they don’t speak English. And I thought, “yes, well, we’ll understand each other. Medium, let’s say. Understand each other in some way you understand each other, sooner or later.

    But I’ll just tell you that the receptionist of Nikko’s ryokan (a person who works in a tourist city, mainly with foreign tourists, in charge of their reception) spoke to Google Translate about his smartphone and then showed us the English translation to explain himself.

    Incredible scenes.

    And he was so tender and in trouble that we would all embrace him to reassure him, we would learn Japanese to get him out of the clutter.

    A Japan that are a thousand, but that in the end is only one

    After a few days in Japan you really wonder how many souls can live together in one country.

    There is Japan of temples, Zen, meditation, introspection.

    There’s Japan of manga, anime, action figures, maid cafes.

    There is the one of a thousand bright signs, of the intersection of Shibuya, of karaoke at the top of one’s lungs in tiny rooms soundproofed with phosphorescent drinks.

    There is that of tradition, of kimonos, of onsens, of elegant and composed gestures, of rituality.

    There is Japan of the subway squeezed at rush hour, of hordes of business men who flood the streets at 6 p.m. with their black suits all the same, which seems like an invasion of Smith Agents of Matrix.

    And in the end all these little pieces, looking beyond the surface, meet, mix, and create a single complicated Japan, multifaceted, intriguing and elusive.

    Because the business man after 6 p.m. goes to party under the cherry blossoms and finds himself at 2 a.m. in a karaoke with his colleagues. And in the room next door are the elegant girls dressed in the kimono. Even the 5-storey Akihabara manga shops have their own sacredness, like everything in Japan: from temples, to onsen, to sushi.

    It’s a mosaic that only makes sense with all its little pieces.

    The most absurd things in the world are all in Japan

    Clam soup in cans in the dispenser.

    Rice with chicken curry in the shape of a teddy bear.

    Strawberry ice cream in the shape of a rabbit.

    Coffee where you can caress cats (neko café).

    Coffee where you can caress owls.

    Frosted bananas covered with sugars.

    Bars full of people playing the same online game.

    Stores for cosplayers only (where they sell clothes to dress up as manga or anime characters).

    Sushi disguise.

    Toilet with more buttons than a spaceship.

    Finally, as I write this post I’m wearing my socks with the separate big toe I took in Japan. The ones you need to comfortably wear your flip-flops.

    I’m more uncomfortable than rare, I’m constantly rubbing my big toe with my finger next to it in the vain hope that what divides them (the evil sock) will be removed from the middle.

    I can only think of another sensation so annoying: do you have your panties in the middle of your ass?

    Categories: Japan

    Travel Italy: Luca and Danilo’s adventure among extreme sports, explorations and inclusion

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    Today we want to tell you a story. A story of friendship, difficulty, courage and hope. Of determination, pursued dreams and a lot of love for life. It all began 20 years ago. Our protagonists are called Danilo and Luca and they know each other in a place where none of us would ever want to be: in the spinal unit of Turin. An accident made them immobile from the waist down.

    But even in this situation, the two boys do not lose heart and, to put it in their own words, they decide to see it as “a new beginning”. Yes, because to be happy in life you must first decide to be happy!

    From the friendship between Luca and Danilo was born Viaggio Italia

    The friendship between Danilo and Luca, one designer and the other architect and musician, is cemented by great passions in common: that for sport, especially if extreme, and that for travel. Now: if you are reading these lines, in a travel blog, it means that you too, like us who are writing them, know well how strong the desire to discover, explore, know. In a word, to travel.

    And when you really want something, there are no limits, as for Danilo and Luca, who four years ago created a project based on the combination of ‘sport and travel’. They called it ‘Viaggio Italia’ but the name is now perhaps a bit ‘misleading, in the sense that from the Bel Paese our friends have expanded ‘Around the world’, breaking every border and every barrier, mental and physical.

    Travel Italy between the Bel Paese and the World

    They started with 30 stages in Italy, from North to South. An opportunity to talk about accessibility and inclusion but not only: also about innovation and technology, because all their experiences are shared on blogs and social networks. In fact, the watchword is ‘sharing’, ‘meeting’, and the aim is to offer useful ideas to those who find themselves in the same situation but also to those who do not. In our opinion, in fact, they are useful reflections for everyone!

    Danilo and Luca, with Viaggio Italia, then expanded to the world, thanks to sponsors such as Lufthansa, and here we find them in magnificent destinations such as Brazil, India and Africa. Look at the wonder of videos, everything is there: joy, adventure, meetings, sports, travel, and the rough and endless landscape of Ladakh.

    Travel Italy between extreme sports and travel

    There is another password, also entrusted to the beautiful images of the video: ‘challenge’: Luca and Danilo, in fact, in their raids, try not only to travel in themselves but also in activities such as surfing, hang-gliding, paragliding, hand biking, canoeing… and so on!

    They might all seem out of the world, inaccessible, but anyone can live them in turn. Just take part in a beautifully organized trip, in the wake of those made by Danilo and Luca, which you can find on the website of Viaggio Italia in the section ‘Parts with us’. You can watch videos of trips to Brazil, Africa and India on the website of Viaggio Italia. The mantra of every trip is: share.

    Travel Italy as a Journey of Life

    Viaggio Italia is a beautiful communication project, which sees companies such as Lufthansa among its sponsors. A project that intends to speak and show the disability from a different point of view. Not denying the difficulties (that Luca and Danilo tell us: for example, how complicated it is to find a rental car that has the controls adapted), but underlining the possibilities.

    Categories: Planning and Tips

    New Year’s lessons in Paris!

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    Welcome back my dear ones! 

    Are you beautiful weighed down by Christmas binges? 

    Have you thrown / broken down the scale? 

    Unfasten the pants button when you sit down because you don’t want to admit that you need a larger size?

    Well I don’t : I caught an infamous intestinal virus in that of Paris!

    After gorging myself on macarons, fondue, baguettes, croissants and salmon in decidedly oversized quantities, the karma fell on me relentlessly keeping me in bed a full day in the grip of fevers and pains, while my evil and greedy friends were having a good time in Versailles. 

    After a week with my stomach wrinkled like a sock, I’m just recovering now. I still struggle to face these delights in the face

    Categories: France

    Flight Cancellation: Are you entitled to a refund or compensation?

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    Who has experienced the nasty surprise of a flight cancellation? We know, it is never a good gift: we feel unfortunate victims of the systems and decisions of the airlines, we feel that we can do nothing to recover our right to travel and the idea of replanning everything can discourage us.

    Often, if an airline cancels a flight, it does so for our own safety, facing serious economic losses itself.  For example, a company can cancel a flight if there is a health, geopolitical or terrorist risk at the destination airport or in anticipation of natural disasters.

    But every airline, because of a European regulation called “EC261” which protects air passengers, has an information and financial burden on passengers in the event of cancellation of flights, so we travelers are not alone in the face of an inscrutable system.

    Today you will find out when you are entitled to compensation and when you are entitled to reimbursement for flight cancellations. And we’ll also tell you which are the easiest ways to get them.

    Flight Cancellation Refund: when and how to get your ticket back

    If your flight is cancelled for any reason more than 14 days before your departure date and you are notified through the company’s official channels (e.g. via the email address we provided at the time of booking, by phone or text message if we chose the messaging options for important communications), you are entitled to a full refund of your flight.

    This refund can also be made by immediate bank transfer or check.

    But beware! If you cancel your flight within 14 days you may also be entitled to a refund in addition to a refund.  This, always according to the European regulations and as you can also read in the page dedicated to the differences between compensation and flight cancellation refund that AirHelp illustrates on its portal.

    Because of this burden of compensation, the company may offer you an alternative flight: if you accept it, however, you will no longer be entitled to compensation.

    Even if you only find out at the airport that your flight has been cancelled, so if the cancellation occurred suddenly, you are entitled to a refund at the same time directly from the company’s desk.

    But be careful, because in case of last minute flight cancellation, your rights are extended.

    What are you entitled to if you learn about flight cancellations at the airport?

    Finding out at the airport that your flight is no longer on its way means waiting in the terminal to ask for information about what happened, to understand what you want to do and how to act.

    For a start, we would like to suggest you download the App from AirHelp, the world’s leading company in the field of assistance to air passengers.

    With this free App you can find out in a few minutes, entering your flight data and a few other details, what are your rights and how to proceed to claim them without stress.

    A real panacea for the peace of mind of travelers!

    However, it is good to know that during your stay at the airport for reasons related to misunderstandings by the airlines, we have the right to assistance. That is, we can consume drinks and food and get a refund from the company.

    In addition, if we are at the airport and it is here that we have learned of the cancellation, we also have the possibility to have compensation, which starts from a minimum of 200 euros for the shortest routes and can reach up to 600 euros for intercontinental routes and longer flights.

    Flight cancellation compensation: this is how much you can get and in which cases

    Regardless of the policies implemented by individual airlines, European Regulation EC 261 protects us from sudden cancellations for flights within the European Union including the outermost regions of Guadeloupe, French Guiana, Réunion, Martinique, Mayotte and Saint-Martin, the Azores and Madeira, and the Canary Islands.

    Know that you are entitled to compensation in the event of:

    • Cancellation without notice through official channels of the company that we have described in the previous paragraphs;
    • Cancellation due to staff strikes or staff shortages;
    • Operating circumstances, i.e. due to the management of aircraft and airport personnel;
    • Aircraft maintenance.

    In short, it is possible to have compensation in proportion to the number of kilometres we would have had to cover for all cancellations for which the company is responsible.

    On the other hand, we are not entitled to compensation (but only reimbursement) in the event of cancellation for exceptional circumstances, i.e. those that are independent of the company’s responsibility and linked to the safety of passengers, such as disasters and health or terrorist risks.

    Have you ever learned that your flight has been cancelled? How did you react?

    Categories: Planning and Tips

    “I jumped from 10 meters!” Or not?

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    Our trip to Greece was full of surprises, discoveries, fatigue, laughter and adrenaline. We visited Athens by going to stick our noses everywhere, even in the Anafiotika district. We have turned in long and wide the island of Naxos, until to find of it its more lost and fascinating little church, that one of Agios Sozon. We traveled Milos from north to south (and vice versa) to visit every beach of this island of 1000 colors. And just in Milos we jumped from the cliff of Sarakiniko risking the bone of the neck and not only that.

    Here, one of the recurring memories of the trip to Greece is just that jump from the cliff of Sarakiniko. Every time we ask ourselves two questions:

    1- How long have we been going up?

    2- And above all: why did we do it?

    While for the second question, the only answer is “ok, it went well, we don’t think about it anymore”, for the first question we are stuck with doubts from time to time. At the time of the dive we had estimated a height of 4 meters, more or less. But soon the first doubts about the “nasometric” estimate were revealed. So what to do? Nothing better than asking Galileo Galilei for help.

    Brief history of uniformly accelerated straight motion

    Don’t make that face, I’ll make it very brief. In 1638 Galileo Galilei published Discorsi e dimostrazioni matematiche intorno a due nuove scienze attinenti alla meccanica e i movimenti locali in which he investigated with a method – not by chance – scientifically the problem of a body falling from a given height to the surface, drawing essentially three conclusions:

    A falling body moves with uniformly accelerated rectilinear motion

    In the absence of air all bodies fall with the same acceleration, called acceleration of gravity, indicated by the symbol g, and which on the Earth is worth on average 9.89 m/s².

    In the presence of air, due to friction, the bodies may fall with different hourly laws from those of the uniformly accelerated motion

    Galileo therefore demonstrates that a body in free fall and without friction moves with a rectilinear motion uniformly accelerated, regardless of its mass.

    There are two equations that describe this motion:

    Well, we have what we need (I mean the second equation). Now: let’s calculate the height of this blessed dive!

    Calculating the height of the dive

    Having said that, let’s move on to calculation. Since we have a video of the dive taken with the iPhone, the first thing that the good scientist-traveller does is to calculate the time between the moment of departure from the cliff until the impact with the water.

    Using video editing programs such as Virtualdub you can calculate (with good approximation) this time. The verdict was: 1.3 seconds. I assure you that, when you are in the air, they seem much more (for the squeeze). Something like that:

    Well, at this point:

    • knowing that t equals 1.3 seconds
    • assuming a rectilinear motion (yes, I know that it is not exactly so, but have mercy)
    • neglecting the friction with the air
    • and applying the hourly law of uniformly accelerated rectilinear motion, it is obtained:

    x(t) = 1/2 * g * t² = (9,89 * 1,3²)/2 = (9,89 * 1,69)/2 = 8,35 meters

    The mystery is solved! Now you know how to calculate the height of your next dive. Happy, huh? Um… Hey! But… have you fallen asleep?

    Categories: Planning and Tips

    Japan: all the tips you need to plan your trip

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    apan: how to best organize your trip

    Japan. The goal of my dreams.

    I have dreamt of setting foot in the land of the Rising Sun for so long, and finally this year has been the Year. The one with a capital ‘A’, the one from Japan.

    I would like to describe to you everything I have seen and experienced, every single moment and every single thing, and I would like to tell you by wire and by sign all the emotions I have experienced, but it is impossible.

    Describing a sensation or an emotion is impossible. Describing in an article every little nuance of such a fascinating culture is impossible, but nevertheless I want to try to do it, as I tried to do it during the trip with my photos and my stories on instagram. And even if I know that I will not be able to tell you everything, I will try with a series of posts about this beautiful country.

    Given the many questions that have been asked to me through social networks during the trip on how to best organize the trip, I decided to start right here, collecting in this article all the useful tips needed to better prepare your visit to Japan.

    Japan: things to know before you leave

    Before leaving for the other side of the world, it’s a good idea to organize yourself in the best possible way, and I want to give you all the tips to do so, so as to help you make your experience perfect (or almost perfect) and low cost.

    Yes, low cost, you understand, because if there is a myth to be debunked, it’s just this: Japan is not so expensive, you just need to know how to organize!

    How and when to buy a flight? Where to sleep? How to move? And with the Internet, how do you do it? If I speak English, will they understand me?

    I know these are all the questions you are asking yourself if you are planning a trip to Japan, so here are all the answers.

    Japan: when to book your flight to save money

    Rule number one when buying your ticket: buy it as soon as possible. It may seem exaggerated to you, but I bought the ticket, starting in mid-July, at the beginning of February. And to tell you the truth, I started looking at the costs as early as January.

    As I wrote to you earlier, it will seem exaggerated, but if you want to buy a cheap ticket, moving in time is the best strategy. I managed to get it at EURÂ 550, but by April the figures had already risen considerably. If you are worried about booking well in advance, you can always take out an insurance policy that will reimburse you for your trip in the event of last-minute unforeseen circumstances. Trust me, the cost of the ticket with the insurance will certainly be lower than the cost of the ticket bought a month earlier.

    My advice is to choose a direct flight, I flew with Alitalia that has direct routes from both Rome and Milan. Upon arrival the jet leg will be heard, and even if twelve hours of flight seem to you many, in my opinion it is better to make a single ‘pull’, rather than stopover in other cities, in this way you will avoid arriving with the batteries totally discharged.

    How to get around Japan

    You can’t plan a tour of Japan without the Japan Rail Pass. 

    The JRP is a pass that allows tourists to travel throughout Japan using Japan Railways (JR) trains, including shinkansen, the fastest trains in the world (except for Nozomi and Mizuho).

    With the JRP you can use as many trains of the JR line as you want, every day at any time, paying a single fixed price that varies depending on the length of stay / use. You can buy it for 7/14/21 days at the following prices: 218€ for 7 days – 349€ for 14 days – 446€ for 21 days. Well, if you have in mind to move to different cities in Japan, the JRP is definitely convenient!

    Buy it. The JRP can be purchased from the comfort of your own home on this website. After completing the purchase process online you will receive a confirmation email and about 24 hours later, you will receive by mail, at the address given, the paper vouchers of the JRP.

    Use it. Bring your vouchers with you, and when you arrive in Japan, look for the JR office at the airport. There, you will indicate the start and end date of use of the JRP and they will convert the vouchers with the actual pass.

    To use the JRP you just need to show it to the staff at the entrance and exit turnstiles of the station without having to validate it.

    With the JRP you have access to all trains on the JR line without having to book a seat. If you want to be sure to have a seat assigned, avoiding the hypothesis of standing for the journey (we never happened in 15 days even though we have never booked seats), go to the counter of the JR, indicate the route you want to travel and you will be made the ticket, of course at no cost.

    You will also have access to the Yamanote Line in Tokyo, a raised metro that runs, in a circular way, throughout the center of Tokyo. It is very convenient to visit the city and will avoid you to buy metro tickets. We moved only with that to see the whole city, we took the other lines only two or three times and I must say that there is a good saving.

    Internet in Japan: surfing and calling on holiday

    An essential element for your trip to Japan is the internet connection, so you can not have a Pocket wifi, believe me it will be your salvation. To understand where you are, where you have to go, what means to take, or to call via Skype or WhatsApp, wifi will be essential. Having it is very simple and the cost is very small.

    Rent it. On the same site of purchase of the JRP you can also book the Pocket Wifi, which has a price of 42 € for 5 days. Together with the purchase of the Pass you can also book your wifi pocket, following the online procedure. Two days before departure you will receive an email in which you will be given all the information (office in charge and location of the same) for the collection, which you can make comfortably at the airport. At the time of collection you will also be given an envelope that you will need for the return before departure. Very simple! The efficiency of the Japanese is unique!

    I strongly recommend you to buy it, having the internet connection is essential to move around in a simple way and also to call saving a lot of money. And be assured that you will never have no signal absence, in 15 days we have never had any kind of problem, we have had the connection 24 hours a day

    Public transport: how to get around Japan

    I don’t need to tell you that Japanese public transport is super efficient: metro, bus and taxi are a dream, fast, punctual and super clean! Both the subway and the buses have one-way fares, so depending on the route you take you will pay one rather than another.

    Buses. On the buses you can comfortably make your ticket on board. Go up the central door and pick up a card with a number written on it, corresponding to the departure area. Once you have arrived at your destination, leave the front door and before you get off, hand over the card to the driver, who will tell you how much to pay. If you don’t have any coins with you, you will find a money exchange machine on board!

    Metro. If you have not purchased the JRP, you will have to make the ticket before passing the turnstiles, which will have, even in this case a variable rate, depending on the distance travelled.

    To use public transport, however, you can buy rechargeable card, on the same site of purchase of the JRP and Pocket Wifi. Here you can choose between Suica or Pasmo cards (valid both in Tokyo and in the other cities of Kansai), which are rechargeable cards that will allow you to access public transport without having to buy the ticket from time to time. At the end of its use, if there is a residual credit inside, it will be returned to you, along with the deposit.

    An advice, on public transport maximum rigor. You are not on the phone, you speak softly and you wait for the arrival of any vehicle in line, waiting patiently and without haste to get off or get on. I recommend, in Japan the queues are fundamental: if there is to wait you wait in line.

    What to bring

    What to pack?!

    I know that this is the question that everyone asks themselves and for this reason I want to give you some advice about it. First tip: don’t take the whole house with you, in Japan you’ll find everything and more, so don’t worry about being left without something. If you have to buy something urgent, in every corner you will find the ‘combini’, i.e. shops open 24 hours a day where you will find everything, from food to drinks, from clothing to battery chargers, cables of all kinds and much more, in short, they are a salvation!

    In my opinion, there are three fundamental things to have. An adapter (choose a universal one), because the sockets are different from ours; a power bank (even if you will find sockets everywhere) because you’ll be wild to take pictures consuming in a blink of an eye the battery of the phone; memory cards and spare batteries for cameras. For all the rest rest rest assured, everything you forget you’ll find there, indeed, if you want a piece of advice from the heart is better to start with as few things as possible, because you’ll go crazy to go shopping!

    Categories: Japan