The Relais dell’ Ussero at the Villa della Seta di Corliano is on the road which runs along the foot of the hills from Pisa to Lucca, passing through the small town of San Giuliano Terme. The Villa is a historical fifteenth century mansion surrounded by a centuries-old park. It is a property of great charm in which the owners offer, in 12 rooms, a relaxing stay immersed in the beauties of the local countryside.
The Villa della Seta is very conveniently located near the village of Corliano only 2km along the road from the health spa of San Giuliano Terme, and halfway between the historical cities of Pisa and Lucca (a 15 minute drive to both). Florence is only an hour away and Siena an hour and a half.
An excellent and inexpensive place to eat - panini stuffed with meat or veg. "Panini are sandwiches, Jim, but not as we know them!"
Volta di San Piero 6/r, the covered passage at the Santa Croce end of Borgo degli Albizzi;
tel: 055 234 0838
This clever card ("Friends of the Uffizi") gets you into all the state galleries for free - Uffizi, Accademia, many more. Plus - and this is the best thing - you get to jump all of the massive queues! It lasts for a year and it's genius.
25 euro for the under-26s, 60 euro for those above, and a family deal for 100 euro.
Try pizza for Cubans, sold from house windows. If you look around you can get this cheap and tasty local pizza for as little as 5 peso cubanos. Greate taste. Enjoy your meal!
Try Piro Guinart, the green house on the corner, a few metres from the bus terminal.
The food is very rustic and basic but the restaurants tend to only cook local regional food specialising in either fish or meat. My favourite restaurant can be found in Grottomare Alta and is called Osteria dell’Arancia. It has a sister hotel on the Kings Road, London but the original is better – last time I was there dinner was about €40 for everything.
Boustan is my fave place for lebanese wraps in Montreal. It's the perfect place to get a bite to eat after a night of partying on Crescent Street (they're busiest at 3am). Their shish-taouks are fantastic. Made with garlic mayo, pickled turnips, the entire wrap is fire roasted before being served. A real cheap eat as well at about C$4 each.
2020A Crescent Street (on the north west corner of Crescent Street and de Maisonneuve Blvd);
tel: (514) 843-3576
This is fantastic! Little huts (some on stilts) just outside the centre. Trees and plants are totally overgrown so you feel like you're in the jungle. A great breakfast is included in the very cheap price and the nice guy who runs it will help you book treks and elephant rides. It's a complete gem.
3 Soi 4, Ratchadamnoen Rd, Chiang Mai (most taxi/tuk tuk drivers will know it well when you get in at the station or the airport);
tel: (053) 278 140;
I've stayed at this place a few times, and always had a positive experience. It's moderately priced and in the downtown core. Rooms are generously sized, well maintained, and feature kitchenettes. The decor is simple but not in a distracting way. A particularly good place for families to stay. Close to the metro, lots of shopping, as well as culture and nightlife.
455, rue Sherbrooke Ouest, Montréal, Québec H3A 1B7;
tel: (514) 284 3634, or toll free in Canada on 1 800 363 3010; fax: (514) 287 1431;
Great food market in the Mile End portion of the main (St Laurent Boulevard). Cheap cheap, authentic corn tortillas and fantastic nachos, as well as a good selection of Mexican foodstuffs.
5274 Boulevard Saint-Laurent;
tel: (514) 495-0606
Throughout the summer months pick-up games of beach volleyball are ongoing at the bottom of Parc Jeanne Mance. You can come alone and join a game, or show up with a group of friends. Games only cost a couple of dollars. It's very friendly, usually sun-drenched, and a great place for people watching to boot!
Parc Jeanne Mance is alongside Avenue Parc, just on the opposite side of the Mountain (Mont Royal). The Volleyball courts are set up at the southern end of the park
A restaurant specialising in food from the north east - carne seca, carne de sol, aipim. Very reasonable prices, large portions, and in addition to the beer on draft you can choose from a huge list of tropical juices to wash your food down.
R. Paulo Barreto 25, Botafogo, five minutes walk up R. Voluntarios from Botafogo metro station;
A great little lunch place on rue Saint Pierre which has all the feel of a sit down restaurant at cafeteria prices, ranging from 8-12 dollars. Not worth going to visit on its own, but a great place to recuperate at lunchtime if you are visiting the old town
445 rue Saint Pierre, near Vieux Montreal; tel: (514) 849 0894;
Metro: Square Victoria;
This restaurant, not far from the Chateau, is a delight. It serves French cuisine with a modern twist, all seasonal ingredients, for a good price.
43 rue de France
Tél. : +33 (0)1 64 22 01 57
Fax : +33 (0)1 60 72 08 73
Email : email@example.com
Fontainebleau is about 35 miles from the centre of Paris.
A modern, smart restaurant with Czech and some Italian dishes - reasonable prices with most main courses around 200Kc. Great afternoon cakes.
Tynska 12 (Only 3 minutes from the Old Town Square - go down the alley at the left of the Tyn church.)
tel: 224 829 043
Metro: Namesti Republiky
An oasis of calm for weary travellers in China!
Four Streets of hotels, bars, restaurants and budget travel agents.
An excellent, clean, air-conditioned room (with shower) cost me CNY 60 (GBP 4) per night. Beer is CNY 6 a pint! Internet use is free all over town in bars and hotels.
You can get an English breakfast and yes a sandwich. I was caught staring at one for too long because I have been away for a long time. I just about got away with it as the shopkeeper spoke good English.
You can also revamp your traveller's wardrobe as the shops offer clothes in Western sizes and most people speak good English here.
Come here by tourist boat (CNY 400) or bus (CNY 20.) Stay here and not Guilin as it is much cheaper (see above.)
It's a cheap, no frills motel in an out of the way location. There are plenty of 'mom and pop' motels in the USA, which offer a 'non fancy' but adequate room for $15-25 (£8 to 15) a night. They are often not 'right downtown', but are in safe, somewhat secluded locations - often near low priced shopping and such. Often local people use them.
I'd recommend: "How to retire on practically nothing" (Loompanics press) for guidance. A place that the author of that book recommends is the 'College Inn' in South Carolina. Its rooms go for $15 to 20 a night as i recall. There are plenty of bargains in the states. One has only to look for them. There are also cheap eating places in Vienna.
The nearest metro station is in Dunn Loring (on the orange line). Metrobusses connect with Vienna. Or - if you have a car, consider driving to the metro station in Dunn Loring and parking in the Metro garage (on the street if you get there early enough).
Get a ferry timetable at Split ferry terminal and find one of the little routes that goes around several of the small islands. The ferries provide the islanders' bus service, and deliver the post and supplies. If you pick a good route you'll sail into half a dozen tiny blue-water harbours of outlying islands, and all for just a few pounds. Most tickets are valid all day, so you can step off for lunch on an island before continuing. The ferries usually do a circuit, so you'll be back in Split by nightfall. If you are backpacking, you can see almost the entire coastline this way.
Get a timetable at the Split ferry terminal on the waterfront. Most staff speak English and will know the best routes to take.
We wanted a week in La Rochelle in our own flat and the Comfort Hotel St-Nicolas provided us with a perfect studio for our little family of three. Reasonably priced at 392 euros (245 in off season) and impeccably located in the fantastic and charming St-Nicolas quarter - a stone's throw from everything. The studios are just around the corner from the hotel proper and their facilities (breakfast, free internet, bar) are available to studio guests.
Whilst the gardens are free, and it’s a pleasure to walk in the huge park overlooking the Firth of Forth, the castle is by guided tour only. However, there are also arts events organised in the castle. It is a really nice and relaxing place with astonishing views.
There is also a restaurant at the back of Lauriston Park called Lauriston Farm, which is run by Brewer's Fayre, so the meals are pretty low priced and the quality is OK, though the menu is a bit mainstream. Pub is quite child friendly, and has a nice beer garden and huge parking space.
It is also situated near the famous seaside promenade by Cramond, and near the community golf course. Lots of sheep and cows in the fields, too.
Lauriston Castle. 2a Cramond Road South, Edinburgh, EH4 5QD; tel: 0131 336 2060;
For more information see: www.information-britain.co.uk/showPlace.cfm?Place_ID=740;
For pictures see: www.flickr.com/photos/idleberry/sets/72057594130404977/
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