Che bella Bologna !

DSC05244I am sure that some of you to get to Siena land in Bologna. It is a great possibility to do sightseeing of the capital and the largest city of the Emilia-Romagna (also known as a place with a long tradition of openness towards diversity and minorities).

I like so much this city and can truly recommend you! Different then Siena, is bigger as well as very interesting because contains a wealth of important medieval, renaissance, and baroque artistic monuments.

Bologna developed along the Via Emilia as an Etruscan and later Roman colony. Because of Roman heritage, the central streets of Bologna, follow the grid pattern of the Roman settlement. The original ramparts were supplanted by a high medieval system of fortifications.

Attention attract medieval defensive towers. The most famous of the towers of Bologna are the central “Due Torri”.DSC05293

And for sure you can’t miss a main square Piazza Maggiore, that was created in its present appearance the 15th century.This beautiful square is surrounded by the Palazzo dei Banchi, Palazzo dei Notai, the Palazzo d’Accursio, the Palazzo del Podestà and the Basilica of San Petronio.

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What is more Bologna is enriched by its elegant and extensive porticoes. The famous porticoes are nominated as Unesco “world heritage site”! As you will see they make the city of Bologna unique in the world. Can you imagine that there are about 38 km of porticoes in the city’s historical centre?

DSC05285What is unique – lights and shadows, deep architectural perspectives, different columns and capitals create fascinating and extraordinary urban images. So don’t only miss them: The porticoes of Piazza Maggiore; The portico of the Baraccano Conservatory; The porticoes of Strada Maggiore; The portico of San Giacomo Maggiore and Via Zamboni; The porticoes of Piazza Santo Stefano; The wooden porticoes of Via Marsala; The commercial portico of Via dell’Indipendenza; The portico of San Luca (that is possibly the world’s longest).

DSC05234What not a lot of us know Bologna has been for centuries a town full of large vegetable gardens and secret gardens among the buildings, with walking spaces in the Montagnola Park and in San Michele in Bosco.  Thanks to the decision of Napoleon (in the early 19th century), Montagnola Park became the first public park in Bologna. The first park outside the city walls was the Margherita Gardens.

If you like shopping you should for sure pass the area now known as “Il Quadrilatero” (where the ancient trade guilds were based), the city’s most traditional commercial centre. It is enclosed by the main squares of the city – Piazza Maggiore, Piazza S. Stefano, P. Galvani, Minghetti, della Mercanzia, Porta Ravegnana and Re Enzo.

 I am sure that everyone of you will find something interesting in this city! And then only Sena bus or train to Siena.

Have a sunny and happy day! 🙂

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Free Fitness: Going on Holiday with the Family /with Kendra Thornton/

DSC03923This time is Kendra Thornton time (https://twitter.com/KendraThornton; http://www.thorntonpr.com/travelExpert.html) that came across my blog. In honor of Nutrition Awareness Month she was wondering if I would be interested in doing a collaboration with her about some ways to stay fit with family while on vacation.

Her idea was collaborating with a very select few bloggers, on a one-on-one basis, to create a joint post where we each discuss ways to stay fit/healthy with our family while on vacation. What each of us includes in our write-ups was completely up to us.

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Below you have the opportunity to see the result of our collaboration.

Free Fitness: Going on Holiday with the Family / Kendra Thornton

Vacations are meant for indulgences. You finally have a moment to let yourself do what you’ve wanted, and that shouldn’t stop you from eating, drinking and lounging as much as you want. However, how do you think your body will feel after a week of no fitness? When I found myself at the end of that question, I was in a lot of stomach pain and dealing with dehydration because of my choices. It’s not fun for your body when you suddenly stop exercising and bring on the saturated fats. For families or individuals traveling this spring, taking a moment to plan in fitness and healthy eating is a must.

1. Go Scuba Diving Together
For those who love to swim, you’ll burn up to 900 calories per hour with this activity. This is a great way for teenagers and adults to enjoy an out-of-this-world experience while also getting some great fitness. It does require lessons, but some hotels actually provide scuba diving lessons as part of all-in-one vacation packages.

2. Bring Water With You
Wherever you go this spring, you should buy a case of water to go with you or upon arrival. This will be much cheaper on your budget and saves time in the long run. It can also be helpful for maintaining a healthy diet and avoiding dehydration.

3. Find a Gym
Hotels across the nation have fitness centers with all kinds of weight lifting and cardio equipment. When you plan your vacation, you should make sure to include days where you go to the gym or jog down a particularly beautiful trail. There are lots of ways to work in physical fitness, but bringing your family along will certainly make it better. Hikes, walks, biking and fun runs down the beach are especially good ways to spend an afternoon on vacation.

4. Choose Wisely When Eating Out
Vacations are about trying new things and having fun. One key thing to remember is that you don’t have to eat everything to enjoy the flavor. You can order something simple, change the sauce or request no cheese to make a dish healthier while maybe getting a sample platter for everyone to enjoy an indulging snack from.
By sticking with your fitness routine on vacation, your body will feel better in the long run, and you’ll be able to maintain your diet. I know my family will be implementing these tips and tricks on an upcoming trip to Orlando. Florida can be a little wet and sometimes rainy in the morning so I always like to choose a hotel with a nice gym. With so many great places to choose from, sites like Gogobot make this process easy as you can read real user reviews and find the right hotel/gym for you.’’
Kendra Thornton (https://twitter.com/KendraThornton;http://www.thorntonpr.com/travelExpert.html)

Free Fitness: Going on Holiday with the Family / Magdalena http://justvisitsiena.com/

DSC03115May is so close. . . and in Siena there are more and more tourists! Season is coming. It is great if you choose Siena and Tuscany as your travel destination. Good choice! 🙂

As Kendra wrote vacations are meant for indulgences. And unfortunately it doesn’t want to be different, especially if you spend your (so priceless) vacation in Italy. It is obvious that immediately typical Italian food and so tasty wine will catch your attention. However it doesn’t mean that you have to stop yourself. Frankly speaking it is impossible not to try tiramisu; gelato; pasta; pizza; Chianti; and typical dolce from Siena. Because where to taste it if not here!

In my opinion vacation should be our carefree time, when it is not necessary to count every single calorie. That is why we should find also some time for (very important) activity. Often we don’t even realize how many ways to stay fit/healthy with our family during free days we have.
DSC03056 Just look below:

1. Walk
Isn’t it a good idea to resign from local transport and your car to discover city by walk. You can’t imagine how much more you can see. And trust me it is priceless to get lost, especially in Siena.
Coming back to activity, walking is particularly easy form of exercise because it doesn’t require any special skill or special sports equipment. So let’s say, it is for everyone.
It is one of the most natural forms of active recreation, which every human body accepts without doubts.
This kind of activity doesn’t need to increase physical effort, because each of us can decide how far and how quickly overcome it.
What is more, walking brings many benefits. It improves circulation, increases cardiac output and well-oxygenates the whole body.
What is the most interesting . . . do you know that even during very fast walks release in the blood endorphins. These hormones of happiness definitely improve our mood and well-being.
So you shouldn’t have any doubts that it is worth moving. Don’t forget about this, when you keep in mind your own health and of course health of your loved ones.

2. Nordic walking
If you have a desire to diversify your walk and to do something more Nordic walking is for you!
Nordic walking is a strenuous walk with poles invented by Finnish scientists and athletes. It combines cross-country skiing techniques and brisk walking with specially designed clubs.
Just only think . . . green forest, wild beach, murmuring stream, singing birds. These are a perfect setting for Nordic walking. And it depends only on you which direction you choose.
Indisputable natural environment makes Nordic walking so good for our well-being during training, and even long after the workout. So it is an ideal activity for our body and spirit.
Do you know that the correct Nordic Walking technique involves about 90% of the muscles!?
What is more Nordic walking (using the proper technique) doesn’t require supplement other forms of physical activity, such as exercising in a gym or swimming.
As you probably know Tuscany is rich in beautiful, green, and unique landscapes. This provides you priceless moments of activity with the nature in the background. So enjoy it!DSC01850

3. Jogging
In Siena more and more of us decide to practice jogging. So why not to continue it during the vacation?
In Siena runner’s roads lead to Fortezza Medicea and what is easy to notice that jogging is for everyone regardless of gender or age.
It has a salutary effect on the functioning of our body. On the benefits of jogging you can find really a lot. Here are just a few of them: running reduces the risk of obesity and the risk of serious diseases; strengthens the muscles and bones; improves mental ability and mood. What is interesting, it has a positive effect on our libido.
Of course it requires of us systematic and strong will. But these depend only on us.

4. Bicycle
And the last form of activity that I want to suggest you is bicycle that more or less every of us has. For me we should really use it as much as possible.
But even if you don’t have it or you don’t want to take it for vocation you can easily rent bicycle in your travel destination and enjoy the beauty of nature and natural landscapes.
According to experts cycling has great effects: oxygenates our body; improves the functionality of the respiratory system. And what is more it has an extremely beneficial effect on the heart. Because improves cardiovascular health, reduces the risk of coronary heart disease.
By bike you can decide to go out of the city even just for a lunch break. Isn’t it much better to eat something sitting on green grass, observing beautiful nature! Forget for a while about the reality. Priceless. . .

DSC03013Summarizing I guarantee you that if you decide for any activity during your vacation you will come back home invigorated with supply of energy for many, many days. Not to mention about memories that are unique souvenir of our holiday and what is more they are for all life.

It remains nothing else for me like wish you happy and sunny vacation!
Magdalena http://justvisitsiena.com/ DSC03057