icons and memoirs of christianity

Three Of The Top Places You Might Want To Visit If You Happen To Visit Rome

A city that is filled with the icons and memoirs of Christianity, Rome is a rich and diverse cultural hotspot of places. Rome happens to be one of the most visited tourist destinations of all times owing to these reasons. That being said and preserving everyone’s own opinions, one tourist shouldn’t spend too many times in just churches and make their visit to Rome stagnant since there is so much more to Rome than just Christian artifacts and church. With that out of the way, here are three of the top places you might want to visit if you happen to visit Rome:

  1. The Colosseum And The Arch Of Constantine- The largest structure left to us by Roman antiquity, the Colosseum still provides the model for sports arenas – present-day football stadium design is based on this oval Roman plan. The building was begun by Vespasian in AD 72, and after his son, Titus enlarged it by adding the fourth story, it was inaugurated in the year AD 80 with a series of splendid games.
  2. The Vatican City- The Vatican is the smallest independent state in the world, with an area of less than half a square kilometer, most of it enclosed by the Vatican walls. Inside are the Vatican palace and gardens, St. Peter’s Basilica, and St. Peter’s Square, an area ruled by the Pope, supreme head of the Roman Catholic Church. This compact space offers much for tourists to see, between its museums and the great basilica itself.
  3. The Pantheon- The best-preserved monument of Roman antiquity is remarkably intact for its 2000 years. This is even though Pope Gregory III removed the gilded bronze roof tiles, and Pope Urban VIII ordered its bronze roof stripped and melted down to cast the canopy over the altar in St. Peter’s and cannons for Castel Sant’Angelo. The Pantheon was rebuilt after damage by fire in AD 80, and the resulting brickwork shows the extraordinarily high technical mastery of Roman builders.

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Planning to visit Maldives Note these tips to make it pocket friendly

Planning to visit Maldives? Note these tips to make it pocket friendly

Maldives is a destination that is perfect for honeymoon trips and family holidays. This pristine island nation could rightly be called a second home of Indian celebrities as they often fly to Maldives to spent some time. From private beaches, luxury resorts and water villas to facilities that suit your budget, Maldives is the perfect holiday destination. Even though a trip to Maldives could be expensive, you could make it budget-friendly if you plan it well. There are many resorts that offer quality accommodation on a moderate budget. Here are some points to note in case you want to visit Maldives without breaking the bank.

Book tickets in advance
Booking flight tickets in advance could save you significant amount of money. It is wise to book them at least 4 – 6 months in advance. The off-season is from April to June, which is the best time to visit Maldives. The ticket fare from Kochi to Maldives would be Rs 8000 – 12,000 per head. However, this could go down in the off season. Besides, most airline companies offer amazing offers when tickets are booked in advance.

Accommodation is indeed an expensive affair in Maldives. However, lots of budget friendly options too are available. In Maldives, most of the luxury resorts are situated in private islands. The luxury resorts here charge up to Rs 30,000 – 5 lakh for a single night.

If you want to choose pocket-friendly accommodation, then you could check into resorts on public islands. There are lots of guesthouses that charge between Rs 3000 – 4000 for a night. Besides, they provide complimentary breakfast too. Water Breeze Guest House and Salsa Retreat are some of the best options here. Meanwhile, Maafushi, Dharavandoo, and Ghuraidhoo are some of the best public islands. Those who do not want to stay in resorts can try budget-friendly guesthouses and water villas.

Tourists often rely on speed boats to travel from one island to another. However, these are very expensive. Meanwhile, the ticket fares in public ferries vary between Rs 50 – 200. These ferry boats operate services to most islands. Depending on local ferries is another way to enjoy Maldives on a budget. However, if are staying in a private island, you could travel in speed boats or in seaplanes.

You could choose packages that offer complimentary breakfast along with accommodation. There aren’t many hotels or eateries in small islands like Fulidu. So, all the hotels here charge almost the same rates for food. Meanwhile, there are lots of multi cuisines restaurants in bigger islands like Mafishu. You could choose eateries that suit your budget. The traditional Maldivian cuisine mostly consists of rice and fish delicacies that is almost similar to ours.

Water sports
Water sports activities like snorkeling and diving are expensive. It is better to enquire about the various packages for water sports activities in various beaches before choosing the one that suits your budget. Maldives is a beautiful island destination where you could enjoy the pristine beaches and indulge in some thrilling adventure activities.

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5 Tips For Travel to Antarctica

5 Tips For Travel to Antarctica

Traveling to Antarctica is a once in a life-time opportunity, and one which tops the bucket lists of many travelers…including us! And, with Spectacular glacial lagoons, dramatic icebergs, vast areas of remote wilderness, breaching whales and deep-diving seals, it’s not hard to see why.

Antarctica really is the final frontier!

Almost everyone who travels to Antarctica travels on a cruise, which is a fantastic option as it combines accommodation, transport, meals and activities all in one. While camping is available in some circumstances once ashore, there is hardly any infrastructure on the continent itself, and as such cruising is best option available for accommodation purposes.

90% of cruises leave from Ushuaia, Argentina, across the Drake Passage, however some cruise companies offer departures from Australia or New Zealand, and explore the Ross Sea side of Antarctica.

#1 Book a Last Minute Cruise

For an average trip consisting of a 10 day cruise you should expect to pay around $5,800 US or £ 3,700.

You can, however, considerably cut down your costs by NOT booking your trip in advance.  Last minute deals are readily available for those willing to show up in Ushuaia in November/December; you may need to be flexible with dates, however can potentially save a few thousand dollars.

#2 Book to Step Foot on the Continent

Make sure your itinerary includes the opportunity to step foot on the Antarctic Continent, as some cruise companies won’t allow you to get off the ship.

One of the main draws of Antarctica is the phenomenal wildlife; hundreds of emperor penguins, leopard seals, exotic birdlife; wouldn’t you actually want to walk among the spectacular wildlife you’ve traveled to the edge of the earth to see?!

#3 Know Which Costs Are Included

You may think you’ve found a killer deal on a cruise to Antarctica, but be sure to double check and fully research all of the trip details and associated costs.

A lot of companies will offer hugely discounted rates, however not cover inclusions such as food or optional activities like kayaking during your trip. Make sure you’re aware what is included and what’s not, and balance this against more expensive cruises which do include everything for you.

Some itineraries also include travel to South Georgia and the Falkland Islands as part of the trip (something to consider as you’re traveling all this way!), and check for optional activities like kayaking, hiking, scuba diving, helicopter rides or camping.

#4 Don’t Overdress

Jonny Blair of Don’t Stop Living recommends not to overdress.

The air was clean, clear and crisp. I was ridiculously over-dressed. They had told me that Antarctica would be cold so I feared the worst. I needn’t have bothered.

Two coats and two pairs of trousers and socks was extreme, but I was already dressed for the landing as we anchored off shore. I was even sweating!

Aim for quality of clothing over quantity (also remembering you have to fit everything in your bag). Make sure your jacket is windproof, waterproof and comfortable, and that it covers your lower back.

Consider which colours look better in photos (bright colors is a good way to go). And pack a hat which covers your ears.

#5 Record Your Adventure

The old saying “photos or it didn’t happen”applies here! Be sure you’re set with enough equipment to properly chronicle your adventure.

Antarctica is a once in a lifetime trip; a continent most people only ever dream of stepping foot on; so this could well be the trip which is worth the investment in good camera equipment.

You may also consider traveling with a diary to record each day’s adventure, or alternatively a voice recorder works well for those not keen on writing. Also, think about investing in a decent pair of binoculars.

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4 Celebrity Stylists You Need to Follow Right Now!

4 Celebrity Stylists You Need to Follow Right Now!

You might wonder why, every time a celebrity steps foot outside, they are dressed to the nines and always looking extremely stylish, even if it’s just in sweatpants. That’s because they often have a creative genius behind their look, also known as a stylist! Most of your favorite stars’ best looks were created by stylists that you might have never heard of — and that needs to change. Here are five celebrity stylists you need to follow right now!

1. Maeve Reilly

If you’re into cool and edgy street style, Maeve Reilly is your girl to follow. She’s worked with so many cool celebrities like Hailey Bieber, Megan Fox, and Charli D’Amelio. Maeve doesn’t keep all her tips and tricks just herself, though; she shares them on her YouTube channel. She makes all kinds of interesting videos regarding fashion, one of our favorites being her “What exactly is Street Style Fashion?” video.

2. Law Roach

If you’re into neutrals and a monochromatic moment, follow Law Roach right now. Not only is he an amazing stylist, but he is also a fashion icon himself — he’s currently the judge on HBO Max’s “Legendary”. He styles so many celebs like Zendaya, Bella Hadid, Venus Williams, Tom Holland, and so many more! Here is one of our favorite neutral red carpet looks he put together for Zendaya!

3. Dani Michelle

Dani Michelle is another great celebrity stylist and who appears to be a Kardashian favorite, with Kendall Jenner and Kourtney Kardashian both using her frequently. Her style and styling skills are truly unmatched. One of our favorite looks from her is a street style outfit she did for Kourt consisting of a silver strapless top with cameo cargo pants. I think it’s safe to say cargo pants are cool again.

4. Chloe and Chenelle Delgadilo

A sister styling duo! We love it! Wardrobe scientists Chloe and Chenelle Delgadilo are taking the fashion world by storm. Some of their top clients include Olivia Rodrigo, Willow Smith, and SZA. They styled Olivia for her tour, and let’s just say they did not hold anything back. All her looks are so perfect and match her personality so well! Well done, ladies!

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6 Best Spots for Bungee Jumping in the US

6 Best Spots for Bungee Jumping in the US

Everyone, at one point or another, has toyed with the idea of jumping off a cliff with nothing more than a cable around one’s ankles. Depending on the amount of daredevil in you, you’ll most likely fall somewhere along the spectrum between “would rather die than bungee jump” and “is there a two-for-one special?”. AllTheRooms is here to tell you yes, you most certainly should go bungee jumping. Words fail to describe the mid-flight weightlessness and post-flight highs, so you’re better off just experiencing it yourself. With the United States home to tons of beautiful bridges, rugged canyons, and gushing rivers, you may not have to travel far to get your kicks. Here’s our list of the best spots for bungee jumping in the US: land of the free…fallin’ (sorry).

High Steel Bridge, Washington

Nestled in the dense rainforests of the Pacific Northwest, the High Steel Bridge is a strong candidate for the most beautiful bungee jump spot in the United States. When it comes to extreme sports, and bungee jumping in particular, this spot in Washington isn’t the highest or the most dangerous, but to be surrounded by lush evergreens and a meandering ice-blue river below makes for an unforgettable experience. Just be aware that the operator only organizes trips for groups of 12 or more, so you may have some convincing to do.

Stratosphere SkyJump, Nevada

If you’re more of an urban soul, the Stratosphere SkyJump in Las Vegas allows you to jump from a building’s 108th floor in the heart of Sin City. This is actually a great option for first-timers who are hesitant about jumping off a cliff. At Stratosphere, you’re suspended by a cable the entire descent that eases you down and minimizes the jerking from traditional bungee jumps. You’re slowly eased to the ground and politely asked to exit through the gift shop. It may not be the most authentic bungee jump experience, but if you’re in Las Vegas knocking out bucket list items, the SkyJump is something to consider.

Royal Gorge Suspension Bridge, Colorado

The Royal Gorge Suspension Bridge in southern Colorado is far and away the most expert jump on this list. In fact, it’s closed all year except for the Go Fast Games event. For the three-day festival, avid thrill-seekers from around the world flock to Colorado to jump roughly 1,000 feet. That equates to about 15 seconds of free falling. If you’re not daring enough, visiting the event as a spectator is just as fun. Hang out on the bridge or on the river below and watch people walk the plank.

Navajo Bridge, Marble Canyon, Arizona

Located near the North Rim of the Grand Canyon, the Navajo Bridge offers a jump site between massive red sandstone cliffs that lead down to the Colorado River. At 470 feet, it’s not exactly for beginners. One of the best parts about Marble Canyon is that the most of the tour operators include a post-jump river dip in your package, which makes for an excellent way to cool down and gawk upwards at the bridge you just willingly jumped from. Unlike some other sites that only have one operator, there are a few here, so feel free to shop around.

Rio Grande Bridge, New Mexico

One of the highest bungee jumps in the United States is the Rio Grande Bridge in New Mexico. The “Gorge Bridge,” as locals call it, stands a whopping 680 feet above the river and offers daring jumpers probably more freefall time than they are really comfortable with — enough time to have a full-fledged conversation with yourself about why you decided to make this decision. Bungee Expeditions has over 25 years of experience in the industry (don’t let the 1990s-era website fool you) with an impeccable track record, so you’ll be in good hands. Just keep in mind that there’s a price to pay for heading to the biggest household name in bungee jumping — be ready to shell out over $300.

Redwood Trees, California

In one of the more unique takes on bungee jumping, Bungee Adventures operates from the dense forests of Humboldt, California. Instead of jumping off a suspended bridge, you jump 200 feet between two giant redwood trees. In order to get to the top, instead of just walking up some stairs, you’ll need to learn how to climb up fixed ropes attached to the trees. Many people say the experience upwards in the redwoods is as rewarding as the fall on the way down.

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20 Tips for Driving in Snow

20 Tips for Driving in Snow

Use these tips for safe driving in snow and other winter weather.

Winter driving is dangerous and can be terrifying, even for well-seasoned motorists. The American Automobile Association’s (AAA) Foundation for Traffic Safety says snow-covered roads – as well as roads coated with ice, slush or water – account for nearly 500,000 vehicle crashes and more than 2,000 road deaths each winter.

“When we hit the winter months, especially as we enter the holiday season, we are in a rush. There is holiday shopping, there are places to go. You start to see an increase in people becoming more erratic in their driving behavior because they are in a rush for the holidays. You throw snow and ice on top of it, and it becomes a potential disaster,” said Dave Phillips, senior public affairs specialist at State Farm Insurance.

Tips for Safe Winter Driving in Snow

1.Stay Home

If the weather is bad, stay home. Only go out if necessary.

2.Remove Snow and Ice

Before you clear off the windows, start the car, set the airflow to defrost, the fan speed to maximum and the temperature to high. The goal is for the driver to have an unobstructed view in all directions.

Carry a brush to remove snow on the vehicle’s roof, hood, trunk lid, and all windows before driving. Use a scraper or a credit card if necessary, to remove ice on the car windows and mirrors.

Also, make sure the inside window glass is clean in all directions. It can take longer to defrost ice and snow if the rear glass is dirty. Also, check to see if the rear-window defroster is working. Be careful when cleaning the glass to avoid damaging the defroster wires.

3.Decrease Speed

Winter driving is all about slowing down, giving yourself plenty of distance between vehicles in front and to the side of your vehicle. Lower your speed to account for poorer traction. A vehicle’s tires will slide on snow and ice, so gently press down on the brake pedal to stop. Your tires will spin when accelerating, so gently press down on the accelerator to go. Remember, bridges and overpasses freeze first.

4.Minimize Distractions

There are always distractions that come into play as part of everyday driving – the temptation to speak on the cell phone, turn on a podcast, or anything else.

“You really need to focus your attention more so on what is going on out that windshield when the weather is bad,” Phillips said. The risk of an accident greatly increases when snow and ice cover the street. “You have to be more cautious and vigilant. You also have to be aware of everybody else out there on the road in front of you and peripherally, people who may not be practicing the same (safe) driving principles you are using.”

5.Use AWD and 4WD

Driving in snow, sleet and ice can be helped with all-wheel drive or 4-wheel drive. But, it’s no panacea for safe driving habits. Learn the difference between AWD and 4WD.

Phillips describes the misguided belief of it this way:

“You can get a false sense of security thinking that because I have a 4WD (or AWD) vehicle I am safer. I have extra traction and extra traction is implied as extra safety,” Phillips said. “Hence I am going to speed, or I am not going to pay as close attention as I would in a sedan that doesn’t have those features.”

What those drivers fail to realize is that their SUV’s steering, braking, cornering and general maneuverability on snow, slush and ice are helped by AWD and 4WD. However, no matter what type of vehicle you’re driving, simply, slow down.

6.Keep a Full Tank of Gas

Fill up your gas tank ahead of the storm and keep it full. You don’t want to run out of gasoline if you end up stuck for hours in bumper-to-bumper traffic during a snowstorm, sleet or ice storm. When the tank gets half empty, fill it up.

7.Invest in Sand

You probably will get stuck in the snow this winter. That’s why it’s a good idea to keep a bag of sand or kitty litter in the car. Place sand or kitty litter under the drive wheels if you get stuck. Straighten the wheels and accelerate slowly.

Do not spin the tires because you likely will dig deeper into the snow, making it more difficult to move on.

8.School Your Teen Drivers on Driving in Snow

There may be a few exceptions, but probably close to 100 percent of us learned the basics of driving on dry pavement. To prepare teens for winter driving, take them to a parking lot that is covered with snow to demonstrate braking, steering, accelerating and decelerating. Do this before the driver hits the slippery streets on their own, Phillips said.

9.Respect Snowplows

Snowplow drivers focus on clearing roadways. At the same time, the snowplow driver may be on the radio getting instructions from a superintendent. As a result, it could be that peripheral vision gets obstructed by the flying snow and the truck’s big snowplow. The driver may not see your vehicle. ‘You need to be very cognizant of what they are doing,” Phillips said.

In addition, watch out when driving next to a snowplow on a major roadway. The snow that flies off the sides of the plow can hit your windshield making it difficult to see the road. To be safe, keep a distance from any snowplow on the road.

10.Watch for Deer

Keep an eye out for changing weather conditions and deer. November is the No. 1 month for vehicle collisions with deer, followed by October and December. “The erratic behavior of deer, unfortunately, is happening during the snow season,” Phillips said.

11.Be on the Lookout for Black Ice

The pavement looks wet but it is actually ice-covered. Black ice is the term used to describe this condition. During the day the ice and snow may thaw, but as the temperature drops in late afternoon or evening, the water may turn to ice on the roadway. “Pay attention to changing temperature conditions,” Phillips said.

Many vehicles post the outside temperature on the instrument panel display or elsewhere in the vehicle – as it gets close to or below freezing, beware.

12.Don’t Use Cruise Control

Resist the urge to use cruise control when driving in snow, ice or slush. The road may be wet, but there still might be black ice or unplowed snow ahead.

These conditions could result in losing control of the vehicle when driving on cruise control because the system may not react as quickly as you can if you feel a loss in traction.

13.Invest in New Wiper Blades

Safety first! Streaky and dull wiper blades need to be replaced. Your vision through the windshield will look better only when wiper blades get replaced. Want to find out the cost to replace your wiper blades? Check out our maintenance and repair pricing tool and Service and Repair guide to help you price out new wiper blades.

14.Fill Up Windshield Washer Fluid

Frequently check the windshield fluid. Use a liquid that does not freeze and keep a gallon of the fluid in the vehicle. This will help keep you safe if you run out. Always keep an extra gallon in the car during winter.

15.Clean Headlights, Taillights

Lights can get quickly covered with snow, ice, and slush. Use a rag, tissue, paper towel or a newspaper to clean each light. As a driver, you want to see as far as possible ahead and you want drivers to see you, too.

A headlight’s or taillight’s visibility can be reduced by over 50 percent if the lights are covered with winter grime. Keep extra dry rags in the car for this purpose.

16.Check Tire Pressure and Tread

Check tires monthly to determine that each tire is properly inflated and that each has a sufficient amount of tread. If the tread looks worn down, replace your tires. That’s where your local automotive dealership service department or tire retailer comes in, supplying you with the same Original Equipment Manufacturer (OEM) tires that your vehicle was wearing when it first rolled off the assembly line.

“You are going to see a diminished performance in traction (and) the stopping distance will take longer” if there is very little tread remaining on the tires, said David Bennett, manager of AAA’s repair systems. “As you get into the ice and snow, you want to make sure that you have good traction, and that starts with your tires.”

17.Inspect the Spare Tire

Don’t be caught this winter with a flat spare tire. Check the air pressure on a monthly basis and carry a portable air compressor.

18.Keep Your Tire Repair Kit Current

Some automakers have replaced the spare tire with a tire repair kit. The kit consists of a small compressor, hose and a bottle of thick, sticky sealant that is forced through the valve into the tire. AAA recommends checking the kit’s expiration date and replacing it when necessary. Some kits should be replaced every four years.

19.Don’t Block the Radiator with Cardboard

AAA’s Bennett says, don’t do it. Some drivers in the Snowbelt regions place a large piece of cardboard in front of the vehicle’s radiator. The purpose is to increase the temperature of the coolant flowing through the engine and radiator. This, in turn, increases the temperature of the air flowing through the heat exchanger, giving passengers a toasty environment.

“That is not a great idea because (cardboard) prevents airflow from coming across the radiator, which could cause the engine to overheat,” Bennett said.

If the driver forgets to remove the cardboard when the outside temperature rises above freezing, there could be serious, expensive engine damage, leaving you stranded on the highway.

20.Carry Emergency Supplies

Plan for the unexpected. Pack non-perishable food, bottled water, blankets, a flashlight, cellphone, cellphone battery, first-aid kit, air compressor, tire-pressure gauge, a small shovel, jumper cables, extra jacket, boots, gloves, and your prescription drugs.

As above, a bag of kitty litter or sand that can be used for traction under a tire is also a good idea. It might also come in handy to keep a bag of environmentally-friendly ice melt in the car.

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Everything you need to know before visiting Rome

Everything you need to know before visiting Rome

I first visited Rome in 1992 and my love for the city has only grown since. I wrote my first book about the city in college and rarely does a year go by since then when I don’t visit my favorite piazza (Navona), enjoy my favorite gelato (cioccolato e limone con panna) or gaze upon my favorite art (Raphael’s Stanze…among many others).

Rome can seem imposing to first-time visitors but enjoying the Eternal City and all its myriad nuances is much easier than many people think. Here are my essential things to know for everyone lucky enough to be headed for magnificent, wonderful Roma.

Planning your trip to Rome – be the architect of your own days

Rome gets crowded and some sights like the Vatican museums are both overwhelming and overwhelmed with other visitors. Many a tourist has lapsed into a stupor as they wander the nearly 7 km (4.5mi) of corridors. By the time they finally reach the Sistine Chapel, they gaze up at Michelangelo’s fantastic ceiling and mutter “oh yeah, more art.”

But with a little planning, you can avoid the most crowded times at the Vatican Museum. Visit Tuesdays and Thursdays; Wednesday mornings are good too; and afternoon is better than morning. Monday is an especially bad day as other museums in Rome are closed (use the day for exploring the city’s streets, squares, back alleys and parks).

Across Rome, weekends are always busier at attractions as tourists are joined by Romans enjoying the sights on their days off.

Buy tickets in advance

You’ve mastered the Metro and finally reached your sight of choice, only to discover a guide ahead of you in the line for tickets methodically – and slowly – buying tickets for 40 people. Or you discover that a few hundred others are already in the queue for tickets. While you wait in the hot sun for your turn, you feel a prime chunk of your day ticking away.

However, you can easily avoid ticket lines by buying in advance online. The Vatican museums are a perfect example of where you’ll feel the joy as you walk past the waiting masses and breeze in. For any major sight in Rome, it’s always worth checking the website for advance ticket sales, especially due to COVID-19 related restrictions. And note that some unmissable attractions like the Museo e Galleria Borghese or special tours, like the secret castle tours at Castel Sant’Angelo require you to have an advance ticket as admissions are limited to avoid overcrowding.

Stack the deck: making your first visit memorable

Decide which of the unmissable top sights you’ll most enjoy – keeping in mind that you almost certainly can’t see them all unless you have loads of time in Rome, and knowing that trying to “do” places like the Vatican or the Forum in a couple of hours borders on the criminal.

And always leave extra time for wandering, café sitting, and people watching. It’s one of the true highlights of Roman life.

Know what to skip

Have the self-awareness to know your limit on churches. Yes, some would cry sacrilege, but if you’re standing in some world-famous house of god and you can’t remember which one you’re in because it’s looking a lot like the previous ten, then it’s better to just pick a couple from the long list and focus on those. Plus, you’ll have something saved for your next trip.

And a word of caution on two specific sights:

The Spanish Steps – a nice stone staircase with good views yes, but a reason to go out of your way, no. Tourist traps, touts and fast-food jostle for space in this neighborhood. Give it a miss (and if you do go, don’t sit down! See below).

Bocca della Verità – an old stone carving of a lion head with a mouth that’s been pawed by millions of sweaty fingers. Every country seems to have one of these (hello Blarney Stone!), right down to a magical legend, in this case the lion will bite your hand if you tell a lie. Uh-huh.

Dining etiquette in Rome

Book your table in advance

Some of Rome’s most vaunted restaurants fill out their reservations list weeks in advance, so it pays to book tables before you arrive. But even if you’re playing it loose, it’s a good idea to always reserve your table in advance, even if you don’t do so until just a couple of hours before your meal (assuming there are still tables available). Having a reservation is one of those intangibles that’s essential in practice, as Roman restaurants clearly give more respect to people arriving with a booking as opposed to mere walk-ins – even when there are plenty of available tables.

Break bread like a Roman

Most restaurants open from noon to 3pm and 7.30pm to 11pm, usually closing one day per week (often Sunday or Monday). In August most eateries close for at least a week; although some close for the entire month.
Other essential tips:

  • Dress up to dine out. What to wear? See below.
  • Bite through hanging spaghetti – no slurping it up, please.
  • Pasta is eaten with a fork (no spoon).
  • It’s OK to eat pizza with your hands when you’re getting it to go – in restaurants people usually use a knife and fork.
  • Like any Italian grandma, fare la scarpetta (make a little shoe) with your bread to wipe plates clean.

Try to keep up: know when and how to dress to impress

Roman style is world-renowned and there’s no better way to escape the tourist cliche than to dress with panache, especially when going out to celebrated restaurants and clubs. Let sharp and smart be your bywords in this and don’t underestimate what you can achieve with travel-friendly black and eye-catching accents like a truly special scarf. This is true for all genders.
Also, know that by day and when you’re out in the neighborhoods, dapper casual is the rule. Still, there’s never a time when you’ll want to wear a sweatshirt, goofy shorts, hiked-up socks and the like – unless it’s your signature look and you can pull it off!

Don’t break the laws for tourists

Picking up the trash is an ongoing and seemingly eternal challenge for Rome, but efforts are being made on other fronts to try to bring some order. In 2019, a series of laws were introduced to reign in the excesses of the visiting masses. People caught breaking these rules risk fines of up to €400 ($450) or a temporary ban on entering the area in which they caused the offense. Among the restrictions:

  • Sitting on the Spanish Steps is forbidden.
  • No wading in the city’s fountains.
  • No “messy” outdoor eating near historic monuments.
  • No walking around bare-chested.
  • No dragging strollers or wheelie suitcases up or down historic staircases.
  • When drinking from the public drinking fountains known as nasoni, don’t place your lips on the spout – drink from your cupped hands.

Be polite and observe the local formalities

Italy is quite a formal society, and the niceties of social interaction are observed. Greet people in bars, shops, trattorias, etc with a buongiorno (good morning), buon pomeriggio (good afternoon), or buonasera (good evening).
Say mi scusi (excuse me) to attract attention or ask for help. Use permesso (permission) to pass someone in a crowded space and ALWAYS cover up at churches (that means shoulders and legs for a start).

Health and safety in Rome

Rome has no inherent health hazards, beyond the bloating that comes from wildly excessive food (and gelato) intake. But we have a few tips that will keep you feeling tip-top.
Stay hydrated. It gets hot in summer, especially out in the open air of places like the Forum. Carry a water bottle, drink copious amounts and keep it filled at the many public drinking-water fountains.
Ancient cobblestones, long staircases and hours spent wandering are just some of the features that will tire you out. Wear shoes with excellent support and cushioning.

Keep your wits about you

Rome is generally a safe city, but petty theft is a real risk. Use common sense and watch your valuables. Pickpockets and thieves are active in touristy areas such as the Colosseum, Piazza di Spagna, Piazza Venezia and St Peter’s Square.
Stay alert around chaotic Termini train station and on crowded public transport – the 64 Vatican bus is notorious. Keep your wallets, phones and valuables out of reach of pickpockets – wallet bulging in your back pocket? No way!
In case of theft or loss, always report the incident to the police within 24 hours and ask for a statement. The emergency number for the police (Carabinieri) is 112. Make sure you never drape your bag over an empty chair at a streetside cafe or put it where you can’t see it.

Beware of gangs of kids or others demanding attention. If you’ve been targeted, take evasive action and/or shout ‘Va via!’ (‘Go away!’).

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Surprising Effects of Drinking Cranberry Juice, Says Science

Surprising Effects of Drinking Cranberry Juice, Says Science

Drinking juice has quite a complicated history. While some health gurus try drinking juices to “detox the body,” others say juice is packed with too much sugar, and drinking too much of it can negatively affect your long-term health. However, in many cases, drinking a portioned about of certain types of 100% fruit juice can actually benefit your health in many ways by providing your body with necessary vitamins and antioxidants—and cranberry juice is definitely one of them.

Plus, it’s not just for women! While drinking cranberry juice is a popular suggestion for womanly health, there are other incredible effects for all people to benefit from. Here are a few that will likely convince you to grab a bottle on your next grocery run. Then, for even more healthy drinking tips, check out our list of the 5 Best Juices to Slow Aging.

1. Cranberry juice is rich in antioxidants.

Along with being nutrient-dense and filled with vitamin C, cranberry juice is also known to be a great source of antioxidants.

“[They are] well-understood to be one of nature’s superfoods containing tiny bioactive compounds called polyphenols which have been shown through more than 50 years of research to provide numerous health benefits,” says Audrey Perkins, Senior Manager at Ocean Spray with a Master’s in Nutrition.

A report from Advances of Nutrition proves that cranberry bioactives can positively affect “blood pressure, glucose metabolism, lipoprotein profiles, oxidative stress, inflammation, and endothelial function.” Cranberry juice, in particular, is a powerful way to get antioxidants. A study from The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition found cranberry juice consumption can improve the health of those with coronary artery disease.

2. Cranberry juice can help UTI health.

If your mother ever told you to drink cranberry juice for your womanly health, she wasn’t wrong. This juice can, in fact, positively affect your urinary tract health, decreasing your risk of developing infections.

“The unique combination of polyphenols found in cranberries have anti-adhesion properties that can help prevent certain bacteria from sticking within the body and help maintain urinary tract for UTI health,” says Perkins.

Another study from the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition evaluated women who drank 8 ounces of cranberry juice a day and found it reduced their risk of recurring UTIs by 40%. The FDA soon followed with a recommendation for women to consume cranberry juice regularly.

According to Perkins, following that study’s recommendation and consuming at least one 8-ounce serving of cranberry juice a day—such as the Ocean Spray® Cranberry Juice Cocktail—can help reduce the risk of recurrent urinary tract infections in healthy women.

3. Cranberry juice can decrease oxidative stress.

“The powerful oxidative stress-reducing properties of cranberry polyphenols have been shown to reduce risk factors associated with cardiovascular disease and help with heart health,” says Perkins.

A study from the British Journal of Nutrition confirms, stating the consumption of cranberry juice for study participants over a 60-day period resulted in improved cardiovascular risk factors due to the cranberry’s oxidative properties.

4. Cranberry juice can benefit gut health.

Lastly, according to Perkins, research suggests the consumption of cranberry products can also help to maintain a balance of good bacteria in your gut—which is important for decreasing the risk of developing all kinds of diseases including metabolic diseases, cardiovascular disease, immune and endocrine disorders, cancer, bone disease, Alzheimer’s, and more.

One animal-based study from Gut shows the positive benefits of polyphenol-rich cranberry extract, which positively benefits the microflora population in the gut and reduced intestinal inflammation. Chronic inflammation increases the risk of many diseases, so it’s important to keep inflammation levels low in the body.

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11 Fashion Mistakes Everyone Makes in Their Teens

11 Fashion Mistakes Everyone Makes in Their Teens

And it has nothing to do with trends.

Your style changes so much between middle school and college that of course, they’re going to be some regrettable outfit choices along the way. Everyone has them! But avoiding these common fashion mistakes will help you own your style — sans any major outfit regrets.

1. You spend all your money on the newest trendy clothes and accessories. If you’re constantly buying fast trends that go out of style the next season, you’ll end up with a closet full of stuff you never actually wear. Bye, money! Instead, balance a few new trendy pieces each season with classic items you’ll wear forever, like a goes-with-everything dress and a pair of jeans you love.

2. You wear whatever your friends are wearing, even if it’s not really your style. Sure, it’s much easier to just fall in line with what everyone at school is wearing, but it’s much more fun to stand out with your own personal vibe. It might take you a while to figure out, but if you only buy and wear what YOU like, you’ll feel so much more confident, and over time, you’ll start to develop your own unique style.

3. You wear something just because your mom or dad doesn’t want you to wear it. When it feels like your parents are totally trying to control every aspect of your life, including your style, it’s tempting to wear things you know they won’t like just to spite them. But you know that amazing feeling you get when you win an argument over your outfit? It usually goes away as soon as you realize you actually aren’t into it at all. Like that super-short skirt that your mom didn’t like but you wore anyway to make a point, and then you were uncomfortable all day pulling it down.

4. You buy clothes that don’t fit because you’re worried about the size on the tag. You might be one size in one store and a totally different size in another. It doesn’t mean anything, except that stores can’t get their sizes straight! Don’t even look at the size, and instead pay attention to how it fits. You’ll look and feel your best when you’re wearing something that fits you well, regardless of what’s on the tag. And if you’re really worried about anyone else seeing what’s on the tag, just cut it out!

5. You wear what you think your crush thinks is hot. You might think your crush will notice you if you start wearing mini-skirts, or maybe if you dress sportier, they’ll think you’re hot. When in reality, there’s nothing hotter than showing you’re confident enough to rock your own kickass style.

6. You wear shoes that KILL your feet. No matter how ~gorgeous~ a pair of heels are, if you can’t walk in them, then they aren’t worth it. Flats are just as cute, and won’t stop you from running around all day and showing off the rest of your cute outfit.

7. You have no idea what’s in your closet because it’s so messy. Cleaning out your closet is a huge pain, but you’ll spend half as much time finding something to wear in the mornings if you can actually see all your clothes. Ditch whatever you don’t love or doesn’t fit you well, and only keep what you’re excited to wear every day.

8. You don’t know how to wash your clothes properly, or you don’t pay attention to garment labels. While sorting your clothes or even drying cleaning them (UGH) is such a pain, it could seriously save that shirt you just spent your entire measly paycheck on.

9. You compare your style to your fave celeb’s style. It’s fun to get inspo from Kylie Jenner’s Instagram, but since you aren’t a gazillionaire who gets paid to look perfect, it’s pointless to try to compete (and trust me, it’s exhausting trying!). You don’t have to have a new outfit for every hour of the day or endless designer clothes to look amazing. Plus, celebs often mix in affordable finds, and you can find tons of less expensive alternates to their designer duds at stores like Zara, Topshop and H&M.

10. You’re afraid to experiment with your style. Everyone has regrettable fashion moments in middle school, high school, college and beyond! It’s totally part of finding your style. If you don’t try out different looks, how will you ever figure out what works and doesn’t work for you? Plus, fashion is supposed to be fun, and what’s “in” and what’s “out” is constantly changing. So, don’t be afraid to take some chances. You might cringe when you look at old OOTDs, but that’s all part of finding your style.

11. You listen to to what friends/magazines/ANYONE else says about what you “should” or “shouldn’t” wear based on your body type. Guess what? Your body isn’t shaped like any type of fruit, and no one knows what really looks hot on you. So forget the “rules” about how to dress for your body type, or what anyone says you can or can’t wear. Focus on playing up your fab figure, and highlighting whatever you love, whether it’s your strong legs, or your booty. Bottom line: Wear what makes you feel amazing, and everyone will think you’re *flawless*.

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How to wear every fit of jeans

How to wear every fit of jeans

In the 146 years since Levi Strauss riveted together his first pair of jeans, denim trousers have been reworked in every shape, colour and style imaginable. Which makes for a lot of choice. Some are universally flattering. Others are not. There are jeans that you can wear anywhere, and jeans that only work in a handful of very specific looks (denim short-shorts, we’re looking at you). It can be, on the whole, a tad confusing. So we tapped our expert stylists to break down how to wear each of the most popular cuts, from spray-on skinny to tent-like wide fits.

How to wear skinny jeans

What are they? Jeans cut tight. And we mean, really tight. They should cling to your skin, tapering aggressively from the top of your thigh to your ankle. Often, they’ll be slightly stretchy, to make wearing them slightly more comfortable.

Who they suit: Skinny jeans are so unforgiving that it’s astonishing they remain as popular as they are. They tend to work best on equally skinny frames, as bigger thighs especially can make them bunch in weird ways. Rock stars and teenagers can look good in skinny jeans. For everyone else, it’s a struggle.

How to wear them: At the extremes of fit, you need balance. Chunky trainers and boxy tees will throw out your silhouette, so stick to slim everywhere. On your feet, that means things like sleek Chelsea boots or minimalist trainers, while above the belt tailored shirts and figure-hugging jackets always work.

How to wear slim-fit jeans

What are they? The skinny jean’s easy-to-wear cousin. Slim-fit jeans still taper, but less, so there’s a little bit more fabric and every lump and bump isn’t on show.

Who they suit: Pretty much everyone. They create a long, lean silhouette that looks good on men of almost any physique. The only exception is if you’ve got really huge thighs – if you’re a Premier League footballer, or you can deadlift a Nissa Micra, then slim turns back into skinny.

How to wear them: Slim is, by a distance, denim’s most versatile cut. If you get a pair in dark indigo, then you can dress them up with a blazer (Ralph Lauren, king of smart-casual, even adds a shirt and tie) but they’ll still look good with a hoodie for lazy weekends.

How to wear regular-fit jeans

What are they? The original cut, as you might have guessed from the name. These tend to have only a very slight taper, which means they’re much wider at the ankles than the fits above.

Who they suit: The extra fabric means they’re ideal for bigger guys, because you won’t have to squeeze in your thighs and buttocks to make them fit. They’re also good if you tend towards a fairly classic style – this cut’s endured for more than a century, so it won’t be going out of style any time soon.

How to wear them: Regular-fit jeans rarely feel as smart as slimmer variants, which means they’re best worn casually. The originals were designed for workers, and they still look great with other rough-and-tough pieces, like work jackets, check shirts and boots.

How to wear straight-leg jeans

What are they: Jeans with no taper. These drop straight from thigh to ankle, which means they’re roomy and, currently, very on-trend.

Who they suit: These are great for guys with bigger builds, because they balance your top and bottom halves. If you’re slimmer, you can still wear them, but be extra careful about the fit of the rest of your outfit. If you go too big, you’ll disappear inside your clothes.

How to wear them: Straight-leg jeans have a 90s feel (and, before that, a 50s vibe) so they’re perfect with other clothes that nod to that era. Like skinny jeans, we’re nearing the edges of the fit spectrum, so balance is key – think chunkier shoes and looser tees and knits.

How to wear wide-leg jeans

What are they: Fashionable, but not necessarily that functional, these are oversized and tent-like jeans that exist mostly as a middle-finger to the dominance of skinny jeans.

Who they suit: You need to have a bit of heft to pull off jeans like these, otherwise they’ll drown you. Whether your build has been honed by spending hours in the gym, or avoiding the gym, wide-leg jeans can create a nice counterweight to a bigger torso.

How to wear them: They run counter to most things you think you know about jeans. Because of all that extra fabric, they’ll often come with a higher waist-band and pleats, which means they work best worn on your actual waist with a white tee or shirt tucked. You also need shoes with a bit of weight, or they’ll disappear under the hems.

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5 Top Luxury Destinations You Should Be Considering

5 Top Luxury Destinations You Should Be Considering

Vacation should be a time to relax and enjoy doing some of your favorite activities. It’s also a great opportunity to try new things and indulge in some fun and memorable experiences. But traveling in luxury offers a whole new level of experience. It’s all about experiencing the best of the best, from personalized services to gourmet meals and extravagant accommodations.

So, if you have the cash to splash, why not treat yourself to some of the world’s most luxurious destinations? Below, we’ve rounded up the top five luxury destinations that are truly worth the splurge.


Famous for its culture and exquisite cuisines, Provence is an excellent alternative to Paris for a luxury escape to France. Beyond the endless choice of luxury hotels, Provence is an enchanting destination with a stunning landscape that has lured generations of great artists. From the gleaming Côte d’Azur to the majestic peak of Mont Ventoux, Provence is definitely a better alternative to the often-overcrowded city of Paris.

If you’re into culture and history, then you will love exploring the picturesque towns of Provence. Some of these towns date back to the Roman period and are home to some ancient cultural sites. Check out the Théâtre antique d’Orange, a Roman theatre built around the 1st Century AD that’s still largely intact. For those who love nature, Provence offers many things for you to explore, from lush pine forests to scented lavender fields and beautiful olive groves.

Provence is home to extraordinary landmarks. A visit to the imposing Pont du Gard tower is a must. This three-tiered Roman aqueduct has been beautifully preserved and traverses the River Gard at the height of 50 metres. End your day with a leisurely stroll along the winding streets of Avignon or the charming Old Town of Nice.

The Galapagos

The Galápagos Islands, located off the coast of Ecuador, is a long-desired destination for those who love nature and wildlife. Offering a fascinating open-air wildlife museum experience, The Galapagos is not like any other place on Earth. The islands are home to an astonishing array of endemic species and are among the few places on Earth where visitors can observe exotic wildlife up-close.

The best way to explore the magical islands of the Galapagos is to go on a luxury cruise aboard the best expedition ships. Book a luxury small group cruise that starts and ends with stays at Ecuador’s most lavish accommodations. You can also opt for a customized cruise to the magical islands, exclusively designed for your group.

Aside from exploring the Galápagos, consider visiting off-the-beaten-path destinations in Ecuador, such as the Tagus Cove and Punta Vicente Roca on Isabela Island. You can also choose to explore Punta Espinoza on Fernandina Island, where you can interact with flamingos and the Galápagos penguins, said to be the smallest species of penguin in the world.

Turkey’s Bozburun Peninsula

Straddling across a forested coastline towards the nearby Aegean Islands, the Bozburun Peninsula is one of Turkey’s most picturesque destinations. With its sheltered coves, azure bays, and olive groves set beneath lush mountains, Bozburun Peninsula will make your luxury vacation a truly memorable one. Even when you visit at the peak of summer, the beaches remain peaceful here, with village life geared towards fishing, agriculture, and the production of the gulet, a traditional wooden sailing vessel.

Stay at a luxury villa on your holiday to the Bozburun Peninsula and immerse yourself in the peaceful rural life of Turkey. You will have plenty of options for your luxury accommodations. Some of these villas have private pools that open to the spectacular views of the peninsula and dramatic vistas of valleys and seas. During your downtime, witness the golden sunset from your terrace or hang out at one of the cozy beachside cafes.

Spain’s Balearic Islands

The Balearic Islands are known for their laidback and breezy charm. While the islands are more famous for their vibrant nightlife, they offer a wealth of experiences geared towards luxury travelers. Each of the islands has its own charm and feel. From the hedonistic vibe of Ibiza to the dreamy vistas of Menorca, the Balearic Islands are a great destination to consider for your luxury vacation in Spain.

In each of the islands of the Balearic, you will find lavish villas, most of which overlook the gorgeous views of the Mediterranean Sea. If you’re looking to treat yourself to a taste of the five-star lifestyle, stay at Casa Conchica, one of the best places for villa holidays in 2022. Tucked in the verdant greens of Mallorca, this lavish accommodation offers ultimate comfort and relaxation. In Ibiza, you will find modern designed holiday villas perched high up on the hill overlooking the deep blue waters. These villas are equipped with modern amenities, including heated pools that open to the most breath-taking views.


If you want to seek paradise on your luxury holiday, Seychelles is the best place to be. Here, you can explore miles of flawless white sand beaches and diverse tropical landscapes. Set in the Indian Ocean, Seychelles is an archipelago of 115 beautiful islands. Victoria, the capital city, located on the main island of Mahe, is known for its colonial charm. Initially settled by the French in 1778 before the British came in 1841, the city has a rich mix of cultures that has given this city a deep historical significance.

For some fun adventures, dive amid shipwrecks and colorful marine life or visit nature reserves home to rare animals, such as the giant Aldabra tortoises. Hike through the mountain rainforest of Morne Seychellois National Park, where you will find mangrove forests and the country’s highest peak.

Offering a variety of lavish accommodations, from rooms fitted with contemporary decor to villas that open to unsurpassed views of the Indian Ocean, your holiday to Seychelles is one that you will never forget. To make the most of your holiday, stay at the luxurious Raffles Seychelles and enjoy direct access to the beautiful sandy beaches of Praslin Island.

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