Tel: +39 055-2645910
Fax: +39 055-2646721
Institute at Palazzo Rucellai
Via della Vigna Nuova, 18
Florence, Italy 50123
|Europe & Beyond
Low Cost Airlines
The expansion of low cost airlines in Europe has literally "taken off" in recent years. It is now possible to find inexpensive flights all over Europe. However, make certain you confirm the location of the airports, as some of these companies have based themselves far outside of city centers to cut expenses; they rely on shuttle buses to connect them to the city, which can add to the cost and duration of travel. The low-cost airline guide
will help you find the best price to and from just about anywhere in Europe. Oh and by the way, yes professors will make it extra difficult for those who miss class on the coveted, and obvious Mondays and Thursdays.
Trains are a great way to travel around Europe; they are quick, reliable and go into the hearts of more than 30,000 destinations all over the continent. Trains are also relaxing, safe, comfortable, and leaves plenty of room to meet fellow travelers. Though it is not necessary, some people chose to purchase Eurail
passes before arriving in Europe. This can be a good choice if you have a some-what defined itinerary, as the Eurail ticket must be used in a certain time frame. Otherwise it is possible to purchase tickets online or from any of the central train stations, both for local and international trains. Visit www.trenitalia.it
for information on trains in Italy. For inter-EU travel check out Die Bahn
for itineraries from Italy to other countries.
Love them or loath them, buses have been running the long distances between European cities for just about as long as they have been around. They are usually less expensive than a plane or train ticket, but require long hauls to reach most far away destinations. It is surprisingly difficult to find good bus information in Europe because many of the services are local, unless you are dealing with very long distances. Remember that reservations need to be made in advance, and be sure to understand your arrival times –2am arrivals have been known to happen, when travelers were convinced it was 2pm. Look for links below for more information. These are just a couple of the bus companies that run lines across Europe: www.eurolines.com
European Hot Spots
Given many students tendency to travel to as many foreign cities as possible in the shortest amount of time while studying abroad, we can guess that you will be heading north, south, east and west in search of exotice new places. But please remember that arriving in Barcelona one day and leaving the next may give you bragging rights, but anything short of a three-day stay is really just passing through. Quality is better than quantity, and chances are you will be back overseas before you know it so don't try to do all of Europe in a semester. Choose your trips wisely and give yourself ample time to explore, soak up, and enjoy your destination. And remember before you book that flight to some far away place, we encourage you to make the cities in Italy your foremost destinations, yes, our grass is the greenest.
As the largest port city on the Mediterranean, Barcelona is one of Europe’s most vivacious, dynamic and quickly expanding cities. It is also home to the famous artist and architect, Gaudi, many museums containing Picasso’s works, and a Gothic center almost fully intact. When touring Barcelona, don’t miss strolling the Rambla, admiring the spires of the Sagrada Familia, perusing Park Guell, or sitting down to Paella, a sumptuous seafood dish typical to the region. If you do nothing, make sure you see the city with the red or orange hop on, hop off buses that leave from Placa Catalunya and stop at all the best sites, oh and of course try the tapas and serrano ham.
How to get there: www.vueling.com
The city of lights, and reputedly the most visited city in Europe, Paris lives up to its name of being the European capital of love. The quintessence of everything French, this stunning capital is a noted center for fine cuisine, culture and couture. It can be an expensive visit, especially during the high season, when the locals vacate and the city becomes an international melting pot for curious tourists. Between museums, exhibits, restaurants, shows and all that can be seen just wondering the city streets, Paris deserves all the attention it gets.
Amsterdam – uncanny city of contrasts – has become many travelers’ favourite hangout. It is a city that thrives on juxtapositions: radically modern art installations can be found in 17th century buildings; a place where bicycles and BMW ride side by side; and where thick beer is enjoyed in funky, alternative cafes. Despite its reputation for being an unruly city that thrives on illicit activities, Amsterdam is a tranquil and pretty place: antique houses, cobbled stone alleys and tree-lined canals all contribute to its pleasant Dutch atmosphere.
Where to Stay: www.hostelz.com
How to get there: www.transavia.com
, low-cost airline guide
The capital of the once-most-powerful empire on the globe has become Europe’s largest melting pot, and a year-round tourist destination for hundreds of thousands of travelers. Thinking of London, Big Ben, London Bridge, ‘er Majesty, and ole Boy George are a few things that come to mind, but there are also red phone booths, yoeman warders, and those famous red-suited guards in funny hats. There is no off-season in the city, and very few of its attractions close or reduce their hours during the winter.
Where to Stay: www.londontown.com
Called “The City of hundred Spires”, Matricka Praha – or “little mother Prague” – has a stunning cityscape and was largely unscathed by the battles of WWII. Despite that it suffered the worst floods for two centuries in 2002, it is in good shape, and has been declared a UNESCO heritage site. The town was once an old stomping ground for Kafka, Mozart, as well as Soviet tanks. Prague, in fact, was under communist leadership for more than 40 years, and so, has maintained that distinctly “eastern European” feel. The city’s exquisite medieval center is fascinating, and though it is rapidly transforming you can still find local treasures like the many traditional pubs where pork dumpling are washed down by great Czech beer.
How to get there: www.skyeurope.com
and low-cost airline guide
So much can be said about Germany’s second most popular destination, only after Berlin: it is the largest city in Germany’s southern region, Bavaria; it lies at the foot of the German Alps and makes a beautiful post card for envious friends and family; but what Munich is most noted for – at least among a large percentage of college students world-wide – is the famed Oktoberfest. Other than its proud beer-lovers, however, Munich has a staggering array of museums, a vibrant art scene and an impressive gothic center. Unless you’re a fan of below-freezing temps, the best time to visit Munich is late spring to early fall, keeping in mind of course the height of summer will also be the most crowded time of year.
Where to Stay: www.hostelz.com/
Nota Bene: Many low cost airlines uses minor airports, usually located further from the main cities and inconvenient departure and arrival times to save money. When you book a flight, take into account the extra expenses for bus or train transportation and perhaps and extra overnight stay.