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Posts from April, 2009

See some Parisian antiques on the Rive Gauche

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Holidaymakers will be able to add some style and sophistication to their Paris tours later this year by heading to one of the city’s most prestigious antiques fairs.

Carre Rive Gauche, which is named after the famous district in which it is held, will take over Paris’ seventh arrondissement from June 4th to 7th.

According to the organisers of this highly popular event, the range of antiques on show is so diverse that the fair could only ever be held in Paris.

Some 120 of the city’s finest antiques dealers participate in Carre Rive Gauche, showing off a variety of rare and historically significant items, many of which will be specifically selected by art market professionals.

Visitors to the fair will be able to pick up curios and souvenirs to remember their trip by, browse through far eastern and African art, see furniture dating all the way back to the Renaissance and marvel at intricately crafted silverware.

The Rive Gauche – the southern bank of the river Seine – is known for being one of the most romantic districts in a city famous for its passion, as well as a cultural heritage boasting links with Pablo Picasso, F Scott Fitzgerald, Henri Matisse and others.

Paris – Enjoy the view from the Eiffel Tower or see the Mona Lisa in the "city of light".ADNFCR-1652-ID-19110123-ADNFCR

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Experience the Sundown Marathon on Singapore tours

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Active travellers taking Singapore tours in May will be able to combine a fun and energetic pursuit with some of the destination’s most impressive night-time sights.

The Adidas Sundown Marathon will take place on May 30th this year, setting off from Changi Point at 20:00 local time.

This unusual event is described as a "unique experience for runners", taking participants on a varied route designed to "challenge the mind, body and soul".

Runners will pass through the nature parks in the eastern and north-eastern parts of Singapore, as well as a host of city sights and attractions that will appear all the more stunning after the sun has set.

If taking part in the marathon sounds like too much hard work, visitors to Singapore can take up positions on the sidelines to cheer on the runners as they pass.

Also taking place in the south-east Asian city-state this year is the Great Singapore Sale, which will see huge discounts offered at the retail outlets of Orchard Road, Marina Bay and other central areas from May 29th to July 26th.

Singapore – Enjoy the wonderful shops or explore Singapore’s colonial history, whatever you do end the day with a Singapore sling at Raffles.ADNFCR-1652-ID-19109481-ADNFCR

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Scooter Tours – Spain’s Newest Way to Tour

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scooter tours in barcelona Spain has always offered a variety of attractions from discovering hidden courtyards and junk shops in the Barri Gotic in Barcelona to sun-bathing on the golden sands of Mallorca. Choosing which of their hottest destinations to visit is a hard decision. Do you want to visit a water park in Mallorca, go to the Picasso Museum in Barcelona, or buy knick-knacks in Ibiza? If you do decide on Ibiza over Mallorca you’re immediately left with the sad feeling you’re really missing out on the soft sands of El Arenal beach. Luckily, now there are new tours to help you make the most of your time no matter where you choose. continue reading

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Leonard Cohen to play Paris

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Music lovers taking Paris tours this summer may have the opportunity to see one of the industry’s iconic figures live in concert.

Leonard Cohen will bring a tour that is currently taking him across the United States to Europe in July, starting with a show at Berlin’s O2 World on July 2nd.

The legendary singer-songwriter will then head to the Sportpaleis in Antwerp, Belgium on July 4th before playing at the Palais Omnisports de Paris Bercy on July 7th.

With songs such as Hallelujah, Waiting for the Miracle and The Partisan to his name and a career spanning some 40 years, Cohen is one of the most respected figures in the modern music industry.

He recently released Live in London, a collection of 25 songs from a performance he gave at the O2 Arena in 2008.

If one music icon is not enough, visitors to Paris will be able to head to the Bercy on July 9th this year to see a show by Madonna as she brings her Sticky and Sweet tour to Europe.

Paris – Enjoy the view from the Eiffel Tower or see the Mona Lisa in the "city of light".ADNFCR-1652-ID-19107449-ADNFCR

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New hotels, restaurants opening all over Italy

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Holidaymakers planning Rome tours and other travel pursuits in Italy this summer will be able to make use of a number of new hotels, restaurants and other establishments opening across the country.

The national tourist board announced details of a host of new developments, including the four-star Hotel Homs in Rome, which was recently renovated to provide new facilities including the Vuda champagne bar.

Another recent addition to the capital’s offering to tourists is the Il Cuoco Nero restaurant in the Salario quarter, which was opened by respected Italian chef Maurizio Santin.

Further north, the Chianti area of Tuscany will this summer host the opening of Castel Monastero, a new country house resort with facilities including a restaurant bearing the name of Gordon Ramsay.

Milan’s culinary scene will be improved with the opening of the new Home Delicate restaurant, while in Perugia holidaymakers will be able to visit the Alla Posta dei Donini spa.

The Art Newspaper recently released an annual ranking of the world’s cultural institutions which named the Vatican Museums in Rome as the sixth most popular museum last year with more than 4.4 million visitors.

Rome – Visit some of the ancient landmarks such as the Colosseum or tour the opulent Vatican.ADNFCR-1652-ID-19107084-ADNFCR

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Approval granted for ‘unique’ Tate Modern development

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Southwark Council has granted planning permission for a development at London’s Tate Modern that will add a striking new building to the gallery.

Designs created by international architecture firm Herzog & de Meuron will see the oil tanks of the former power station in which Tate Modern is situated used as the basis for the new structure.

Announcing its approval of the project, Southwark Council said the proposed building will be "an extraordinary and unique addition to London’s townscape" that will offer further regeneration benefits to London’s Bankside area.

Tate director Nicholas Serota said: "We are delighted that Herzog & de Meuron’s revised plans have been granted approval by Southwark Council. We look forward to creating one of the most exciting cultural buildings in Europe which will bring direct benefits to Southwark and London as a whole."

Coming at an estimated cost of £215 million, the development is scheduled for completion in 2012.

From June 12th this year, travellers on London tours will be able to head to Tate Modern to see Futurism, the first major exhibition of futurist art in Britain for some 30 years.

London – Ride the London Eye, visit the Tower of London or take a day out of the city to see Stonehenge.ADNFCR-1652-ID-19107062-ADNFCR

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Visit some of Europe’s leading museums for free

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People taking culture and sightseeing tours across Europe next month will have the opportunity to visit some of the continent’s most high-profile institutions absolutely free.

The Nuit des Musees initiative sees museums and galleries all over the continent welcome visitors for free for one evening, with most opening from dusk until the early hours of the morning.

May 16th will be the date of the 2009 edition of Nuit des Musees, which this year will be celebrating its fifth anniversary.

Institutions set to take part in the project this year include Cosmo Caixa in Barcelona, the Museo Sorolla in Madrid, the Galleria dell’Accademia in Florence and the Musee Charlier in Brussels.

France will be one of the biggest participants in Nuit des Musees, with major attractions including the Pavillon de Vendome in Aix-en-Provence, the Musee d’Aquitaine in Bordeaux and the Louvre in Paris expected to be involved.

The Louvre was recently named by the Art Newspaper as the most visited museum in the world last year, ahead of the British Museum in London, the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York and other institutions.

Culture and Sightseeing – City Tours – Whichever city you are in these tours will help to ensure you do not miss a thing.ADNFCR-1652-ID-19105587-ADNFCR

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Try a taste of Times Square

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Times Square, one of New York’s most famous tourist attractions, will be even more alive with activity than usual on June 8th when it hosts its annual outdoor food festival.

Taste of Times Square is one of the city’s most popular public events, showcasing the best food on offer at the area’s leading restaurants.

As well as sampling mouthwatering cuisine, people on New York tours who make it to the festival will be entertained by street artists and other local performers who will give shows on three stages.

Those who really get into the spirit of the occasion will be able to take free dancing lessons before strutting their stuff all evening long to music provided by a live band.

Taste of Times Square is attended by thousands of food lovers and partygoers every year, who gather on West 46th Street between Broadway and Ninth Avenue, an area that includes New York’s Restaurant Row.

Times Square is one of New York’s iconic locations, famous for its ball-dropping ceremony held every New Year’s Eve.

New York – From the dizzy heights of the Empire State Building to the serene Central Park, New York has it all!ADNFCR-1652-ID-19105113-ADNFCR

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Cape Town to host Funny Festival

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Stand-up comedy fans will be able to incorporate some top-class entertainment into their Cape Town tours this year as the city hosts the Vodacom Funny Festival.

The event will be held at the Baxter Theatre Centre in the iconic South African city from June 15th to July 19th.

Audiences will be introduced to the leading performers in the local comedy scene, including Marc Lottering, described as "Cape Town’s favourite son", who will act as master of ceremonies.

Other acts taking part in this year’s festival include female comic Tumi Morake from Johannesburg and physical comedy duo Gamarjobat, who will come to South Africa all the way from Tokyo.

The British comedy scene will be represented by the Raymond and Mr Timpkins Revue, who have already made a name for themselves in clubs across London.

As well as familiarising themselves with the creative culture of the city, visitors to Cape Town can get to know the local wildlife by going cage-diving with great white sharks or taking part in a whale-watching tour.

Cape Town – From the wine route to the game parks there is so much to see and do in Cape Town.ADNFCR-1652-ID-19104961-ADNFCR

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Italy and the Vatican Worship for Easter

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As the home of the Vatican, it is no surprise that Easter in Italy is a major event. The celebrations vary from the intensely religious to the carefree celebrations of spring. Catholic masses are conducted by the holiest of men in the Vatican and traditions of amusement take over neighboring towns. The historic Scoppio del Carro leaves worshipers in awe. The celebrations are extremely religious but are conducted on such a scale that members of any school of thought will enjoy them. Italy at Easter time is a spectacle and a dream but there is no Easter bunny in Italy, so don’t expect to be greeted by a sugar-covered chocolate marshmallows when you land.

Easter Sunday, a Day of Celebration

Pasqua, the Italian Easter, sees the people of Italy escape out of doors and enjoy the spring sunshine. People parade the streets holding large statues of Mary or Jesus before them in reverence. Catholic priests travel from home to shop to home offering blessings for good luck. In St. Peter’s Basilica the Pope says a special mass. An average of 100,000 people turn up for this even every year covering the earth beneath the Pope’s balcony. The night before the Pope baptises adults newly converted to Catholicism and calls the word to peace. continue reading

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