Postcards from Italy
THE BLOG OF CIU TRAVEL

Switzerland’s Surprising Islands

Landlocked and most famous for its soaring Alpine peaks, Switzerland may not be the first country that comes to mind when considering an island escape. As cabin fever sets in for many of us who are still limiting short and long jaunts outside the home, our bookmarked destinations for future trips begin to stretch beyond the A-list sights we’ve been dreaming about for years to include lesser-known but no less dazzling locations.

Brissago Island(Photo by Josef Grunig via Flickr)

Switzerland’s islands belong in this latter category, undiscovered jewels scattered across the country’s placid lakes and often outshined by the showstopping nearby mountains. Home to everything from lush botanical gardens and picturesque castle ruins to storied hotels and restaurants, these islands offer a unique way to experience Switzlerland’s natural beauty and historic charm.

Here are the five most beautiful and accessible Swiss islands to explore on your next trip:

Read More…

Keeping Cool Like an Italian

In normal times (remember those?), the lion’s share of our clients scheduled their Italy trips during the summer months. Though summer is an ideal time to visit—with long hours of sunlight for sightseeing, clear days for exploring outdoor archaeological sites and medieval villages, and balmy evenings for dinners alfresco—these torrid months also bring soaring Mediterranean temperatures and scorching sun that can be uncomfortable for much of the day, especially in the south and major cities.

men-in-tights-florence-cr-brian-dore
(Photo by CIUTravel via Flickr)

Air conditioning is slowly becoming more common in Italy, but a surprising number of sights and businesses still do not have any sort of cooling system beyond open windows and fans. Indeed, many Italians avoid air-conditioning like the plague, believing it causes all sorts of ailments from stiff necks to digestive issues. Instead, Italians tend to use a number of life hacks to combat the heat, from how they dress to how they schedule their days.

ice-cream-tower-montefalco(Photo by CIUTravel via Flickr)

You may not be headed to Italy this summer, but the Italian heat is quite probably headed to you now that we are in July. Sure, you could crank up the a/c for the next few months to stay cool, but for the sake of the environment—and as a fun cultural experiment—we suggest you try some of these tricks of the trade from the Bel Paese to make it through the dog days of summer.

Read More…