Category Archives: Lifestyle

Amsterdam increases tourist tax

City of Amsterdam will be adding a levy of €3 per person per night for travelers staying overnight in hotel in addition to the 7% of the room rate it currently charges.

The decision will make Amsterdam the highest overnight tax in Europe, on average.

Leonardo masterpiece lent to Louvre

Director of Venice’s Galleria dell’Accademia Giulio Manieri Elia had agreed to lend Leonardo da Vinci’s Vitruvian Man (circa 1490) to the Louvre Museum, ANSA News agency reports. The French cultural establishment will have the iconic drawing for eight weeks for a exhibition on Leonardo set to open on October 24.

Franceschini is going to Paris on to sign a partnership memorandum with his French counterpart Franck Riester for the exchange of artworks.

Venice removes trinket shops

The Venice city council this week approved a resolution to stop trinket shops and cheap souvenir shops opening in St Mark’s Square and around the Rialto bridge,

https://twitter.com/niaforg/status/1177576501597876224?s=21

The decision to be ratified by the regional government indicates that new commerce will have to respect rules regarding quality of goods prior to obtaining a licence to sell.
The aim is maintain the city’s cultural identity.

Thomas Cook travelers stranded

Thomas Cook has ceased trading after talks failed to produce a funding lifeline for the ailing travel company, placing 9,000 British jobs at risk and triggering a huge repatriation effort to bring home 150,000 UK holidaymakers overseas.

The Civil Aviation Authority announced at 2 AM on September 23 that the world’s oldest holiday company had gone into administration and that all flights and bookings had been cancelled.

“If you are currently abroad and your flight was with Thomas Cook we are providing new flights to return you to the UK. These repatriation flights will only be operating for the next two weeks (until 6 October 2019). After this date you will have to make your own travel arrangements. From a small number of locations, passengers will have to book their own return flights” the company announcement said.

 

Stromboli eruption safety concerns

Italy Stromboli volcano in Mediterranean  has erupted for the second time in two months, sending huge plumes of smoke and forming ash clouds in the air.

No injuries have been reported on the island, though local officials have advised tourists and nearby residents to remain cautious. As the eruption occurred, witnesses to the event took some incredible footage.

 Stromboli erupted in what local authorities in Italy considered might be classified a “paroxysmal event.” This is where a pyroclastic flow — a rapid moving plume of gas, rock, and volcanic ash — is shot out from the volcano. Italy‘s National Institute of Geophysics and Volcanology said the smoke plume reached a height of 2 kilometers (1.2 miles).

Elena Schiera, who enjoyed sailing on a boat with her family near the island when the volcano erupted, shared several videos of their escape from the cloud of smoke. “All of a sudden we heard a loud bang and saw a large black cloud spewing out of the Stromboli crater and pouring into the sea,” she told CNN.

 

Spanish Steps sitting ban

Sitting on Rome‘s Spanish Steps ( Scalinata di Trinità dei Monti) is no longer allowed as the local police is imperative to apply the rules in a more stringent way, sources said to ANSA news agency. The famous steps are also considered to be a monument, meaning sitting or lying on them is banned.

The film Roman Holiday(1953), starring Audrey Hepburn and Gregory Peck  made the Spanish Steps famous to world audience.

Those who breach the ban risk a fine of 250 , which can go up to €400 if the steps are dirtied or damaged.

The stairway was designed by architects Francesco de Sanctis and Alessandro Specchi, commissioned by French diplomat Étienne Gueffier (1723–1725).

International Cat Day: cats forever!

International Cat Day is a full 24 hours of across the world recognition and veneration of one of humanity’s oldest and most beloved pets. The festivities were put together for the first time in 2002 by, the International Fund for Animal Welfare (IFAW), among other animal rights groups, to celebrate the most popular pet on the planet.

An estimated 500 million cats are thought to be frolicking in gardens of planet Earth, which is wonderful, because owing a cat has been shown to improve mental health and to relieve stress, anxiety and depression.

Cats are reigning in offices of Prime ministers, and in hearts of presidents, guarding Foreign offices, and Hermitage museums. Some of them have even blogs and press-secretaries.

However the cats are also victims of their own success, in Digital Age – the felines are confronted with new challenges as online sale:

“The EU Dog & Cat Alliance is calling for more attention to the rising issue of the online sale of pets.

“The vast majority of websites which sell pets in the EU are completely unregulated in more than three-quarters of Member States. 

“This trade poses risks to pets being traded and consumers, who have very little protection from rogue sellers. Animals which have been illegally bred and traded can carry diseases such as rabies or Echinococcus multilocularis, which can be passed on to humans, or have genetic disorders which consumers are not aware of at the time of purchase.”

Larry Obama

 

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