Things About Italy To Know Before You Go

Here are some important things about Italy that you may not know which will be helpful if you decide to visit.


Italy is home to many of the world’s historical and cultural treasures. What’s more, 41 of the UNESCO World Heritage sites are located there. Whether you are interested in art (Leonardo da Vinci, Botticelli, Michelangelo), opera (Puccini, Verdi) or architecture (Venice, Rome, Florence), your senses will be aroused by the beauty all around you.


There is a strong regional influence which runs through Italian life. One of the things about Italy many people do not know is that it was only unified as a nation state at the end of the 19th century. So the role of regions, their food, their customs and individual laws is still important. Having said this, Italy was one of the 6 founder members of the European Union in 1957, and has always been at the heart of the European integration movement. It was one of the first countries to adopt the Euro.

*Public Holidays

Italy has many national public holidays throughout the year (as well as a few regional ones) and these can catch the traveller by surprise if he is not forewarned! It is always best to check opening times of museums and galleries on such days, as well as paying extra attention to railway and bus timetables. Banks are usually closed on these public holidays:

January 1st, January 6th, Easter Sunday and Easter Monday, 25th April (Liberation Day), 1st May, 2nd June (Republic Day), 15th August, 1st November, 8th December, 25th and 26th December.

*Clothes Shopping

Visitors are often impressed by the stylish dress of the Italians they meet. But did you know that you can buy designer clothing at a fraction of the original price by taking a short tour out of Florence? This is one of the things about Italy that makes it so attractive for the bargain hunter. There are Prada and Gucci designer outlets at 30% -50% discount, so you can stock up on fashion items and leather goods.

*Food and Drink

Italian food and drink is not all pizza, pasta and Chianti wine! Look out for these special things: extra virgin olive oil (which is claimed to have health-giving properties), Parmesan cheese (which strictly speaking should only come from the Parmigiano Reggiano area to be truly authentic), Brunello di Montalcino (particularly fine red wine which is sometimes kept for 50 years before drinking) and finally the famous truffles (tartufi) which taste fantastic grated over pasta.


As well as hotels there are lots of other accommodation possibilities. Why not relax in your own Italian villa, to use a base for tours and excursions? Or a farmhouse with original features like wooden beams, vaulted brick ceilings and arches? If you have children, perhaps a stay in an “agriturismo” – an Italian working farm – where you can immerse yourself in the rural Italian way of life and enjoy the hospitality of the owners.

There are so many things about Italy to discover and enjoy. It is the perfect vacation destination!

Shopping Paradise In Hong Kong

A far cry from the days of discourteous shop owners who pester their customers to buy and the high pitched haggling shopping, Hong Kong today is refreshingly modern and a much more pleasurable experience. The Hong Kong shopping experience has also expanded in terms of variety and sheer volume, in time it will give Singapore a run for its money.

An eternally popular shopping district with tourists, locals and expats in HK is Causeway Bay; it is a cluster of varied shops ranging from department stores, fashion boutiques to bargain stalls. Chances are that you will spend a good deal of your time in Hong Kong shopping around this area. Some of the highlights of this district include Sogo, a popular Japanese department store, the Sony Style HK flagship store that stocks the latest technical gadgetry. For the fashion conscious some of the best places to visit are the Island Beverly and the Causeway Place shopping arcades. Times Square is a popular teen and tourist hangout which is big, sleek and unquestionably modern. The large Jumbotron is a great place to celebrate the New Year with plenty of revelry, and it also holds a number of chic up-market fashion outlets such as Lane Crawford, Zara and Super City.

Central is the posh shopping district for the upwardly mobile in HK. If you are a tourist don’t go here unless you have lots of cash to burn, the products on offer are so alluring and finely crafted that it is highly probable that you will spend you life savings here. Shoppers can get their fix of Armani, Prada, Dior, Fendi, Louis Vuitton, Max & Co, Polo, Ralph Lauren, Chanel, Celine, Ermenegildo Zegna, Escada, Gucci, Versace and so on.

The Landmark building apart from a diverse shopping experience is known as a popular haunt of tech buffs in HK. The Wanchai shopping district is perhaps the most varied of all areas in HK; it is an intriguing collection of odds and ends that holds everything from fashion accessories, laptops, art, ornate antiques and home-ware. Another interesting area to visit is the Peak, apart from the breathtaking view it holds precious souvenir shops and fashion outlets.

To truly enjoy the delights of shopping in HK it is advisable that tourists stay in a hotel in Hong Kong that offers good access to the popular shopping districts. Cosmo Hotel is one such hotel that is centrally located and lets you indulge in a magical shopping experience.

Designer Handbags – A Fashion Statement

Handbags will forever be the ultimate fashion accessory for women of all ages. Every woman understands the value of a great designer handbag, and a purse is much more than just a safe place to stash money and other valuables. You can easily make a fashion statement with whoever great designer you are carrying on your shoulders. The right designer handbag is as much a fashion statement as any other part of the outfit, and a great designer bag has a lot to say about the taste, style and sophistication of the wearer.

How to check the quality?

Many handbags which are made up of different types of leather, especially from Lambskin, Calfskin, Goatskin and Patent Leather is easy to distinguish if the leather is of a good quality or not. Most designer handbags have the brand name or logo on the satin lining, which gives a nice shine to them.

Most famous designer bags

The Gucci bag is today one of the most famous bags out there. Nowadays, Gucci bags can be found at prices more affordable to the average consumer, especially those handbags found online.

Coach handbags are also extremely popular. Coach bags are heavy due to the luxury hardware and leather used. A Coach bag should also sport a quality interior. In the United States alone, there are about three hundred stores that sell Coach handbag and it is also possible to purchase them cheaper if you visit outlet stores where prices range from between an affordable two hundred dollars to just five hundred dollars.

Burberry handbags are becoming more and more popular every day. The Burberry Handbag is a mainstay of high fashion. Burberry was founded in 1856 by 21 year old Thomas Burberry an apprentice to a country draper in England. There are many fake Burberry handbags on the market today so keep your eyes open and only shop from reliable shops.

Today women prefer designer bags to look different from the crowd and to be noticed from the crowd. If you don’t stand out you will just be one in the crowd. It is more important than you think and a nice looking designer handbag can make you stand out.

The “Hip and In” Eyeglasses for This Summer

There was a time when prescription eyeglasses were generally associated with the elderly. Prescription glasses made us think of our parents or grandparents reading the paper on a lazy afternoon.

Times have changed. If you need to wear a pair of prescription eyeglasses, it does not necessarily mean that you should sacrifice looking fabulous. Now you could find a lot of retailers carrying different frames made by different brands, and almost always you have the option to fit corrective lenses in it.

These prescription glasses are great and fashionable for when you are indoors or working at the office or even when you are out with friends at night. They do not only help you see clearly, but they are also designed to enhance your personal style. You can have several prescription glasses to match your clothes or even enhance your facial features.

But now that it’s summer, you just want to have fun. The good thing is that prescription glasses might be amped up to give you that fun, fashionable look while taking care of your eyes. And you don’t need to have separate sunglasses and prescription eyeglasses.

Prescription Sunglasses: Protection and Fashion

In fact, you could have prescription glasses made for you for the summer. Prescription sunglasses are sunglasses that have your corrective prescription in the lenses. That just means that you can now wear sunglasses that help you see clearly while also protecting your eyes from the damaging effects of the sun.

It is summer and the best protection you could get for your eyes is a pair of sunglasses. Don’t you think that it is great to be able to have something fashionable to wear while also being adequately protected?

This is a great development too. The Vision Council of America reports that around three in every four Americans wear corrective eyewear, a majority of these wear eyeglasses. So pretend that prescription sunglasses have not been invented yet. Can you imagine how many out there are walking in sunglasses but are blind as a bat? Or those walking around without adequate protection from the sun?

What’s more, you could get prescription sunglasses from leading fashion outlets. For example, did you know that Jennifer Lopez has her own line of eyeglasses and sunglasses? You can get an Alyssa sunglass or a Shannon sunglass and have it fitted with your own prescription correction built into the lenses.

Looking for established brand names? Take a look at Burberry’s BE 4090 Eyeglasses, where you could choose from a range of colors for the lenses. Perhaps you would be happier with DKNY’s DY 4064 prescription sunglasses or Emporio Armani’s 9687/S. Dolce and Gabbana, Marc by Marc Jacobs, Giorgio Armani, Gucci, Ralph Lauren, Tommy Hilfiger all have prescription sunglasses that you can get! You can namedrop as much as you like while also looking great.

For men, you can try out Maui Jim’s 212 Akamai Sunglasses, which could also be fitted with prescription lenses. Or why not go for an Oakley Flak Jacket XLJ for the ultimate sporty look? If you want a more classic appeal (think Tom Cruise in Top Gun), get the RayBan RB3025 Large Metal Aviator Prescription Sunglasses.

If budget is a concern, there are a lot of fashionable yet cheap eyeglasses that you could turn into prescription sunglasses. In fact, you can fit prescription lenses on most frames that you fancy and turn ordinary sunglasses into prescription eyeglasses. For example, Adidas has the Adivista L Prescription Sunglasses that cost only a little above the $100 mark, while Tory Burch has the TY 7012 Prescription Sunglasses that sell for around $120.

Prescription Sunglasses: Convenience

Another reason why you should get prescription sunglasses for the summer is convenience. Instead of wearing a pair of sunglasses for the beach and switching on a pair of eyeglasses for driving, you can just wear a pair of prescription sunglasses. This way, you do not have to rummage through your bag to find the pair of glasses that you need. And sometimes, the glare of the summer sun maybe a little bit too much for your eyes, and this can be a problem when driving. A pair of prescription sunglasses can help you reduce the glare while also making it easy for you to see where you are going.

Further, you can now buy eyeglasses online, so there is no reason for you not to have your preferred frame and look.

Style, convenience and protection. These are enough reasons why you should get a pair or two of your prescription eyeglasses or sunglasses this summer.