Tuesday, 31 January 2017

One Down, Eleven to Go!

January started with a cold weather and came to an end under the rain, and although I quite enjoy those sunny but chilling winter days, walking around the city, rainy days invite me to stay home, close to the fire place with a hot cocoa on my hands.

The January blog posts make me revisit some beloved places of Paris and Rome, and Lisbon was brought to you in a city guide with simple tips and useful information. Unfortunately my plans to visit Oporto could not come to reality but I hope to return to that amazing city before Spring.

Soon we all be running trough the smallest month of the year and in no time I'll be here rapping up February! Hope to have some new topics to share with you during the second month of 2017 and to continue to bring to you some of the Instagram accounts that impressed me more recently (have you read the post on the 17 travel Instagram accounts, under 17K, to follow in 2017?).

These nine photos are the Top 9 for January on our Instagram account. You can follow us there for daily photos and tips.

Wednesday, 25 January 2017

The Wine Chronicles | Wine Tourism in Portugal

Although a very small country, Portugal has a diversity of climates and landscapes, and such a rich culture that you will be amazed. The hundreds of years of history, and the regular contact with other people and civilizations made Portuguese what they are, proud of traditions and receptive to change.

That can be found in gastronomy where, side by side with a rich culinary tradition, we find famous creative Chefs that, inspired by their roots and all the innovative trends of the international cuisine, contribute for a vibrant gastronomical panorama.

On the wine scene, Portuguese winemakers have also been able to capitalize on what their wines have of unique - Portuguese varieties and their different flavors - investing wisely in the growth of quality, knowhow and presence in the competitive wine market. Their open-mindedness and initiative has led to an exponential growth of the sector and the last years with numerous estates producing high quality distinctive wines.

Spread all over the country, in 14 wine regions, the terroirs couldn't be more diverse, and many of these estates have also an enormous potential for tourism. These places share their rich heritage with the visitors, providing not only accommodation but also activities associated with wine, gastronomy and the live in a rural environment.

One of my projects for the current year is to bring to you some of the best wine tourism places in Portugal, highlighting not only what you can find in terms of accommodations and activities in a specify estate, but also what the region has to offer geographically and culturally.

Thursday, 19 January 2017

Chronicles from Rome | 7 Must Go Places in the Eternal City

Rome is known to be the Eternal City and visiting it is like making a voyage in time, stepping from an era to the next. From the Imperial Rome, to the Medieval, through the Renaissance Rome to the Baroque we can find the impressive marks of architecture and art.

The city has so much to see and enjoy that we can stay for weeks without running out of places to visit. Unfortunately, for most of the visitors the time is limited and choices have to be done. If you don't have that many days to stay in Rome, plan your visit to check all of this unmissable places.


The Forum was the center of the political, juridical and comercial life of the Ancient Rome. As the Roman population grow, the original Forum get too small and in 46BC Julius Cesar ordered the construction of a new one. Several Emperors after him did the same.  Today, the archaeological sites of the several Forums constitute an organic complex renamed in the modern era the “Imperial Forums”, reaching from Capitol Hill  (Campidoglio) to the foot of the Quirinale Hill. Walking around those ancient stones is an unforgettable experience that no visitor can miss.


The construction of the largest amphitheater of the Roman Empire was commissioned  by Vespasian in 72 AD in a swamp area of the city. It was used for gladiator fights and hunting simulations involving ferocious and exotic animals. With almost two thousand years, the Colosseum is still the symbol of the eternal city, drawing thousands of visitors every year. This means long queues and an endless wait, but don't despair, you can avoid it buying the tickets online. The visit to its interior is really worthwhile.


The Pantheon, built by the Emperor Hadrian between 118 and 125 AD  is a true master piece of Roman engineering.  As we enter, our eyes are drawn to the central round aperture at the very top of the dome that illuminates the entire building. Built over the ruins of a previous  temple
commissioned by Marcus Agrippa, to a whom was made a dedicatory inscription on the portico, the Pantheon was transformed in a charge in the Middle Age. There you can find the tombs of Raphael and of several Italian kings.


Piazza Navona is an elegant square, full of people and animation. Built on the site of Stadium of Domitian, still preserves its outline while presenting a predominantly Baroque style.  The main focal point is undoubtedly the Fontana dei Quatro Fiumi or Fountain of the Four Rivers, placed in the center of the square. The piazza is a highly popular meeting place for Romans and tourists alike, and a nice place to have a meal in one of its numerous restaurants.


Inspired by the Roman triumphal arches, the Fontana di Trevi was built in the 18th-century. This beautiful Baroque fountain is one of the most crowded spots in Rome and is not easy to get close to its edge. If you fantasize with a reenactment of the iconic scene of the movie La Dolce Vita, think twice as entering the basin of the fountain is strictly forbidden. Nevertheless, you can drop a coin in the water, guaranteeing a future return to Rome.


The area around this square is a must go place. From having a meal (or a gelato!) at one of the Cafés in the square, to appreciating the view from the scalinatta, to  take a walk in the Pincio Gardens or a visit to the Villa Medici, not to say, for the most fashionable of you, a shopping tour to some of the most famous fashion stores streets in Rome (Via Condotti rings any bell?), there is a lot to do around this beautiful square.


A visit to the Vatican City is mandatory, not only to Piazza San Pedro and the Basilica but also to the Vatican Museums. To visit the Basilica di San Pedro beware you must be wearing suitable clothes. Shorts and mini skirts or even sleeveless dresses or blouses are not allowed. The magnificent Vatican Museums are among the greatest and most important in the world. Its magnificence and popularity explains the extremely long queues tailing back from the the entrance. But rest assured, once inside you'll find your patience to be totally rewarded. There is so much to see that you should allow at least half a day to check the most important exhibits.

Wednesday, 18 January 2017

17 Instagram Travel Accounts (Under 17K) to Follow in 2017

Instagram is perhaps my favorite social media and I'm always looking for new accounts featuring beautiful pictures and inspiring images. Some are huge accounts, but everything starts small and today I'll be sharing with you 17 accounts, all under 17K, that conquered my eyes (and my heart!) and that (I think) you will love to follow. They surely deserve it!


Jamie is an American expat, living in Italy and writing her blog A Bite of Culture. Her Instagram account - @abiteofculture - is loaded with beautiful photos of Italy, many vintage Fiat 600 and the ocasional foodie image (the girl knows how to make fresh pasta!)

A photo posted by Jamie (@abiteofculture) on


Caley is a happy and, in her own words, cute girl! Her joy reflects on her colorful and dynamic photos from around the world. You can find her dancing in many pics and her energy is really contagious. In her account @caleycb you can surely find inspiration for traveling the world.

A photo posted by caley coleman (@caleycb) on


Doro describes herself as a part-time adventurer, hooked on exploring new places. You can find her stories on the blog Doro Henrietta and her beautiful photos in her Instagram account @dorohenrietta. There you will find inspiring pics from her visits to Asian and European countries.

A photo posted by Doro 🌏 (@dorohenrietta) on


Jyo introduces herself as a Travel & Food blogger on a Mojo hunt for food, travel & adventures, and you can be sure to find all that on her bright photos @findmymojyo. On her blog Find My Mojyo you can find stories and travel tips on numerous destinations, but also delicious vegetarian recipes.

A photo posted by Jyo (@findmymojyo) on


Kajal and Komal are two twin sisters, traveling and photographing across the seven continents. Although they describe themselves as amateurs photographers the quality of their photos is outstanding and her feed absolutely addictive. You can find it @followkk.

A photo posted by @followkk on


Jin is a travel and lifestyle photographer, a foodie enthusiast, and a world traveler from Texas that presents us a creative and curated Instagram feed @jinchuferrer. In her blog Contradiction of Sorts you can find her portfolio and tips on many locations. I must warn you, the photos are absolutely breathtaking!


Julia and Werner travel the world with a camera on their hands, and their sensibility brings us beautiful photos of places, nature and people. You can check their work @juliasanphotography but also on their site World Viber where they share their travel stories, tips and photos.


Charlotte was born in London and currently lives in Paris. She loves to travel and shares her passion and lots of inspiration, both on her blog Lulu Escapes and at her delightful Instagram account @luluescapes.


Mônica is a blogger from Brazil, on the road since 2014. With Eduardo, edits the blog Eduardo & Mônica Runaways where you can find not only their great photos but also sound travel tips (in Portuguese). Her Instagram feed @monicamoras is amazing and worth following.


Saša and Borut are a young Slovenian couple that loves to travel and to photograph the places they visit. And what photographs! In black and white, the astonishing photos @ourjourneyblog are full of drama and intensity. You can find their travel stories, tips and color photos at their blog Our Journey.


Raphael is a French traveller, photographer and video maker (you must see his videos!). You can find photos and vidos on his blog Raphael Melloul and follow his adventures through his amazing photos on Instagram @raphaelmelloul.


Sara is a Canadian girl living in Rome. Photographer and ocasional writer you will fall in love with the warm colors of her photos and the wit of her delightful writing. You can find it all (including recipes!) at her blog Verbalized and follow her excellent Instagram feed @sara_.

A photo posted by Sara White (@sara_) on


Sierra is from NYC and is passionate about seeing the world (and good songs too!). And I must tell you, is a pleasure to see the world trough her eyes. There is color, light and beauty in every frame! So please, visit her Instagram feed at @sierradehmler and be inspired to go out and see the world.

A photo posted by Sierra (@sierradehmler) on


Erica and Sam run a blog (The Manini Experience) and a travel company for those who want to go on kick ass trips, combining adventure, philanthropy and photography. If that's what you're looking for, better pay them a visit. Keep track of their adventures and awesome photos at @themaniniexperience.


Jess is the girl behind the blog The Wondering Dreamer, where she share her experiences and tips for various locations. She changed her live and is happy living in the moment and taking each day as it comes. Her peace of mind is present on every photo she shares on her Instagram @the_wondering_dreamer.


Kristen, writes the Travels & Treats blog, providing her readers with information and inspiration for great food & travel experiences. Her Instagram account @travelsandtreatsblog will bring you not only beautiful images of the places she visit but also delicious pictures of the treats she eats.


Lynne wanders the world in search of adventure and the next great cup of coffee. In the meanwhile she writes her blog Well-Caffeinated Traveller, bringing her readers her stories and best tips for different locations. You can also follow her on Instagram @wellcaffeinatedtraveller for great pics.

I hope that you love this Instagram accounts so much as I did and, perhaps, have discovered some new feeds from this list that you were not following before. If you are not following my account and want to keep track of my adventures in 2017 you can find me @thewandererschronicles.

Share your own Instagram favourites with me and all our readers in the comments below!

Tuesday, 17 January 2017

Chronicles from Paris | Les Ponts de Paris

Austerlitz Bridges and Bercy Bridge 

Paris has more than 30 bridges crossing the Seine and most of them are truly works of art. Walking along the river and crossing from one bank to the other is a great way to see the bridges, but a river cruise can be one of the best ways to have a great view of the city from the water and, of course, a privileged view of its numerous bridges.


If you hop on the boat close to the Eiffel Tower (I did!) and sail in the direction of Île de la Cité, one of the first you can see is Passarelle Debilly. This pedestrian bridge was built at the beginning of the 20th century and offers spectacular views over the Eiffel Tower.


Built for the 1900 Universal Exhibition, the Pont Alexandre III is one of the most spectacular bridges in Paris, both for its architecture and decoration and for its location, connecting the Invalides (on the left bank) and the Grand Palais and Petit Palais (on the right bank). At the extremities you can see four 17 meters high pylons crowned with gilt bronze sculptures of winged horses. The views one can enjoy from the bridge are overwhelming, making it not only a great place to stroll but also a privilege view point of the city.


The Pont des Arts has become one of the most mediated bridge of Paris due to the locks of love couples left on it. Built in the first years of the 19th-century, this was the first iron bridge of the city. As its reserved for pedestrians, this footbridge is a great place to stroll and to take some photos, namely of the |Ile da la Cité and of Pont Neuf. If you go on a romantic trip, this is a must go place (maybe you can take a lock and make a love promise in Paris!).


Although its name means New Bridge, the Pont Neuf is considered to be the oldest stone bridge in Paris, having being commissioned by Henri IV in 1578. Consisting of two spans, the bridge connects both banks via the Île de la Cité. Crossing this bridge to the island can be a great way to start a visit to  all the interesting attractions that it houses.


Pont Saint-Michel is a stone bridge linking the Place Saint-Michel on the left bank  to the Île de la Cité, near the Sainte Chapelle. Across the Île, the very similar Pont au Change links to the right bank. Although it has been initially built in the 14th century, it was reconstructed several times, the latest in 1857.


The Pont Notre-Dame links the right bank, in front of the Hotel de Ville,  with the Île de la Cité, in front of the Marché aux Fleurs et Oiseaux. This bridge stands in the place where the first bridge was built in the city. Since then,  it has been destroyed and reconstructed numerous times. The current structure, in stone and metal was inaugurated in 1919.


The Pont au Double links the left bank, in front of Square René Vivian, at the Quartier Latin,  with the Île de la Cité, in front of Notre Dame. This lovely bridge derives its name from the toll amount which was charged for its crossing in the 17th-century - a "double" denier. In the 18th-century the bridge collapsed and was rebuilt. In 1880's, the bridge was replaced by the one arch cast-iron bridge that you can see now.


The Pont des Arts isn't the only one that welcomes loving couples. The narrow Pont de l'Archevêché
is also one of the preferred spots for couples that want to immortalize their love vows. This bridge, reserved for pedestrians and cyclists, links the Île de la Cité to the left bank at the 5th arrondissement.


The Pont Louis-Philippe is located in the 4th arrondissement, and links the Île Saint-Louis with the Saint-Gervais neighborhood on the right bank. The current structure of this arched bridge was inaugurated in 1862. The spandrels are decorated with stone laurel wreaths surrounding metallic rosettes. On the background of the photo you can see Pont Marie.


The Pont de Sully is, in reality, two separate bridges meeting on the eastern tip of the Île Saint-Louis, linking the island to both the left and right banks of the river. Rebuilt by Baron Haussmann after the French Revolution, as part of Haussmann's renovation of Paris, it opened on 25 August 1877. Designed with an angle of about 45 degrees to the river banks, the Pont de Sully offers one of the loveliest views of the quay at Île Saint-Louis and of Notre Dame Cathedral.

Wednesday, 11 January 2017

Lisbon Chronicles | Bairro Alto

Really close to Chiado and Príncipe Real, Bairro Alto is an old and picturesque neighborhood, with narrow, stone paved streets and centenary buildings. Built in the 16th-century was once the home to charcoal yards, sailor's bars, and prostitution houses. Those days are gone! Since the 80's became mostly known for its bars and restaurants, along with more traditional Fado establishments.

If you walk around Bairro Alto by day, you will find calm streets and maybe some old ladies hanging the laundry out their windows (great photos!). By night, the Bairro awakes and becomes a meeting point for people of all ages, cultures and nationalities.

Contrasting with the calm somnolence of the day, the vibrant, bohemian nights of Bairro Alto surely attract all that love to hang out with friends, enjoying music and a good drink.

No matter if you prefer it by day or by night, Bairro Alto is one of the emblematic neighborhoods in the city and deserves a visit. The same is truth for the small Bica neighborhood, just across Calçada do Combro. You can get the funicular or walk down the steep street to look around this colorful part of Lisbon.

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