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Ventana - An Enchanting Resort in BIg Sur

Summary: I love Ventana. I highly recommend visiting  and exploring the landscape at Lime Kiln and Andrew Molera State Park which I've blogged about here. Please note this is #notsponsored . Yes, that means we paid our own bill! Lots of details in the following review. including a Post Ranch vs Ventana comparison.  Can you tell there's something exciting beyond this beautiful gate? There's something special about Big Sur, a magic in the light, the presence of the Pacific, the cliffs, beaches, redwood forests and the murmur of the surf. It's one of my favorite places in California. I couldn't think of anywhere else I wanted to be to celebrate turning fifty, because it's a place where there's a sense of nature, space and light and a wide horizon. We've been to Big Sur many times and for a celebration there are two fantastic hotels vying for your attention. The exclusive, modern and very private, cliff top Post Ranch Inn and on the other side of the road the …

Five Resources for Rome

For additional blog posts on Rome click here.

Here are my thoughts on some resources that might help you enjoy your trip to Rome. Just a few things we've found useful over the years, this is not an exhaustive list!

  1. On the food front I recommend downloading Elizabeth Minchelli's Eating Rome. I have  this app and Katie Parla's app but the fact is that Eating Rome is just better designed. I did like some of Katie Parla's suggestions and so I was glad to have her app but I found the Eating Rome interface easier to use and therefore more useful.  The content is great and there is a wonderful comments section from users which makes the whole thing feel like you're joining a community of foodies, highly recommended.
  2. Tour companies I can personally recommend include  Eating Italy (for their food tours) and Context Rome who offer a wide range of fascinating small group tours led by academics. I highly recommend Context for a tour of the ancient Roman sites. It really helps to get have someone help you fill in the Forum, which comes alive when you have the socio-cultural context. Here's my blog post on our Eating Italy food tour of Testaccio.
  3. Reservations to make in advance, Villa Borghese, Palazzo Farnese and the fascinating Scavi tour at the Vatican. The Scavi tour is one of the best tours we've ever taken. You go into the Vatican past the Swiss guards and are taken on a tour through the old Roman necropolis which is right under St. Peter's. What is most interesting is the juxtaposition of  pagan Roman and Christian burial sites right next to each other. You really get a sense for the cultural transition. 
  4. Download an offline map of Rome to your phone before you leave home. You will be happy to have it if you don't have data or are relying on wifi. We also downloaded the metro map.
  5. Online Resources - This is a limitless category, but I always check Fodors for trip reports and slowtrav which can be useful too. Check out all my blog posts on Rome here. If this is your first trip to Rome you may find Rick Steves' free audio walking tours helpful, download them before you leave home. I like this article on 30 Unique Things to do in Rome which has links to lots of different Rome blogs for further inspiration, enjoy!



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