Innsbruck in a Few Hours

Innsbruck

 

Innsbruck is the capital city of Tyrol in western Austria located in the wide Inn Valley, between high mountains, at the intersection of two important traffic routes between Germany and Italy and between Switzerland and Vienna. It is a well-known winter sports center, which hosted the Winter Olympic Games in 1964 and 1976 and the Winter Paralympics in 1984 and 1988. Its name means “Inn Bridge

Itinerary:
  1. The Golden Roof
  2. The City Tower
  3. The Helbling House
  4. The Cathedral of St. James
  5. The Imperial Palace
  6. The Jesuit Church
  7. Maria Theresien Strasse
  8. The Hospital Church of the Holy Spirit
  9. St. Anne’s Column
  10. The Servite Church
  11. The Triumphal Arch
  12. The Swarovski Crystal World
The Golden Roof
The Golden Roof

The best way to start our tour around Innsbruck, (if we have limited time or if we simply don’t want to miss some important sites), is from the very heart of The Old Town, and from one of its main attractions, The Golden Roof (Goldenes Dachl).

The roof was completed in 1500, and it was decorated with 2,657 fire-gilded copper tiles for Emperor Maximilian I to celebrate his wedding to Bianca Maria Sforza. They used the balcony to watch festivals, tournaments, and other events that took place in the square below.

Around Christmas, this square becomes a huge market with lots of stalls selling gifts, food and drink.

The City Tower
The City Tower

 

The best view of it is doubtlessly from The City Tower, built 50 years earlier, in 1450 on the side of the old town hall with 133 steps and the 31-metre-high viewing platform. Guards kept watch from it for almost 450 years, warning citizens of fire and other dangers. The lower floors were used as a prison. Today the tower is there for visitors to enjoy, giving them a magnificent and romantic view of Innsbruck.

The Helbling House, named after one of its previous owners, is a building that is simply impossible to miss in this square. It was built in the fifteenth century, significantly changed with new architectural styles afterwards, and completed in 1732. The Rococo stucco decorations added in the early eighteenth century, designed to capture light, made this building unique.

The Helbling House
The Helbling House

Taking Pfarrgasse Street, we will get to The Cathedral of St. James (Dom St. Jacob), Innsbruck Cathedral (Innsbruck Dom), a beautiful cathedral with imposing twin-towered west front and the high dome, built in Baroque style in 1724 and fully restored after World War II.

The Cathedral of St. James
The Cathedral of St. James

The Imperial Palace (Hofburg) is a former Habsburg palace, constructed around 1460, and, along with the Hofburg Palace and Schönbrunn Palace in Vienna, considered one of the three most significant cultural buildings in the country. It was the main building of a large residential complex including the Silver Chapel, the Hofkirche, the Theological University, the Tyrolean Folk Art Museum, Innsbruck Cathedral, the Congress, the Hofgarten…

The Imperial Palace
The Imperial Palace

It was remodeled in Baroque and Rococo style in the 18th century upon instructions from Empress Maria Theresa. The Giant Hall in polished marble and decorated in white and gold, with three large ceiling frescos from 1775, and beautiful portraits of the Imperial family, is particularly impressive. Maria Theresa’s Rooms, Empress Elisabeth’s Apartment, the Ancestral Gallery, the Furniture Museum, and the Painting Gallery, are also worth seeing.

The Jesuit Church
The Jesuit Church

 

The area around the Hofburg offers several other attractions worth seeing. The Silver Chapel built in 1587 as the burial chapel named after a silver image of the Virgin, the Old University founded in 1562, The Jesuit Church (Jesuitenkirche), with its mighty 60-meter-tall dome built in 1640, the Tyrolean Provincial Theater (Tiroler Landestheater Innsbruck), built in 1846, and the Hofgarten, with its Art and Concert Pavilion.

Burggrabben Street will take us straight to Maria Theresien Strasse, the main street of Innsbruck transformed into an elegant promenade and pedestrian zone in 2009, which is the ideal place to take a stroll, do some shopping, meet friends and sit at one of the many outdoor cafés, admiring the magnificent Baroque architecture and the city panorama.

The Hospital Church of the Holy Spirit
The Hospital Church of the Holy Spirit

At the head of this street, we will find The Roman Catholic Hospital Church of the Holy Spirit. The hospital that gave its name to the church no longer exists, and the church has changed its appearance a lot over the years, since the 12th century, when it was first mentioned.

St. Anne's Column
St. Anne’s Column

St. Anne’s Column (Annasäule), a beautiful monument commemorating the event when the last Bavarian troops were driven from the Tyrol on St. Anne’s Day (26 July) in 1703, stands in the center of the street. A bit further, there is The Servite Church (Servitenkirche) scenic, old and typical Austrian church built in the early 1600s and got its current appearance in the late-baroque period, perfect for a lovely picture to capture with the mountains in the background, if the sky is blue.

 

The Servite Church
The Servite Church

The street, and our tour, ends with The Triumphal Arch (Triumphpforte), built in 1765 on the occasion of the wedding of the second son of Empress Maria Theresa, Archduke Leopold, to the Spanish princess, Maria Luisa. Because of the sudden death of Leopold’s father, Francis Stephen of Lorraine, its south side portrays motifs of the wedding of the young couple, and its north side commemorates the death of the emperor.

The Triumphal Arch
The Triumphal Arch

If you still have some time, do pay a visit to The Swarovski Crystal World (Swarovski Kristallwelten) in Wattens, just 20 minutes outside Innsbruck, a magical place that fills senses with wonder and delight. For those who love the brand, or simply love sparkling crystals, this attraction is a real fairy tale world of shimmering crystals for both adults and children.

The Swarovski Crystal World
The Swarovski Crystal World

I hope that you will find my itinerary useful and that it will make your visit even more amusing and pleasant.

Be Happy

This time I wanted to share with you a story that I personally find very inspiring. I know that many of you will ask me afterwards, “Isn’t it sending a totally opposite message of what you have been telling us all the time?” It is not, and it is very important for you to understand that.

You will always hear me saying that we should step out from our comfort zone, and use smartly each second of our lives, that we should be committed to our goals and follow our dreams in spite of everything.

However, it is essential for all of us to stay happy on that path of growth and live with joy every second of our new journey. It is extremely important to have our goals very clear in our heads, made of, fewer material things and more of emotions that we want to face and feel, and to free ourselves from the burden of fear called “What if it goes wrong”, being positively orientated and thus attracting only positive things, which I explained in my previous posts…

 

The Story of Mexican Fisherman

by Timothy Forriss

An American businessman took a vacation to a small coastal Mexican village on doctor’s orders. Unable to sleep after an urgent phone call from the office the first morning, he walked out to the pier to clear his head. A small boat with just one fisherman had docked, and inside the boat were several large yellowfin tuna. The American complimented the Mexican on the quality of his fish.

“How long did it take you to catch them?” the American asked. 

“Only a little while,” the Mexican replied in surprisingly good English. 

“Why don’t you stay out longer and catch more fish?” the American then asked. 

“I have enough to support my family and give a few to friends,” the Mexican said as he unloaded them into a basket.

“But… What do you do with the rest of your time?” 

The Mexican looked up and smiled. “I sleep late, fish a little, play with my children, take a siesta with my wife, Julia, and stroll into the village each evening, where I sip wine and play guitar with my amigos. I have a full and busy life, señor.”

The Story of Mexican FishermanThe American laughed and stood tall. “Sir, I’m a Harvard MBA and can help you. You should spend more time fishing, and with the proceeds, buy a bigger boat. In no time, you could buy several boats with the increased haul. Eventually, you would have a fleet of fishing boats.”

He continued, “Instead of selling your catch to a middleman, you would sell directly to the consumers, eventually opening your own cannery. You would control the product, processing, and distribution. You would need to leave this small coastal fishing village, of course, and move to Mexico City, then to Los Angeles, and eventually to New York City, where you could run your expanded enterprise with proper management.” 

The Mexican fisherman asked, “But, señor, how long will all this take?” 

To which the American replied, “15-20 years, 25 tops.”

“But what then, senor?” 

The American laughed and said, “That’s the best part. When the time is right, you would announce an IPO, sell your company stock to the public, and become very rich. You would make millions.”

“Millions senor? Then what?”

“Then you would retire and move to a small coastal fishing village, where you would sleep late, fish a little, play with your kids, take a siesta with your wife, and stroll in to the village in the evenings where you could sip wine and play your guitar with your amigos.”

 

The Story of Mexican FishermanNice story, isn’t it? However, I wanted to show it to you from another angle.

I was that “fisherman” for so long. I had chosen wisely that kind of life that needed zero effort to give me the maximum pleasure. So what went wrong?

It was not MY dream. I am NOT a fisherman. If you have wings, you should use them to fly, not to hang them on the wall.

If you have talents, they are not there for some strange reason. You have to find that reason and follow your star. Otherwise, you will live somebody else’s dream, not yours. It is absolutely fine, if your dream is to spend time with your friends and family drinking and dancing in a small village hidden from the world. However, if deep inside, you know that you are meant to be somewhere else, go for it. Follow your own dreams, and dream as big as you can.

I got to the point where, continuing living the idealistic life of mine meant starting dying slowly. I had neglected all my talents for so long, but they finally imposed, and stood for their rights.

Be happy and grateful for everything you already have, but at the same time find the courage to choose the unknown and steep path called progress, and to take the responsibility for your own lives.

What do you have to say? Leave me your comments below!

If you want to learn how to transform your passion into a successful online business, contact me via email.

 

Athens in a Few Hours

The Parthenon

Athens! What a city! Its long, fascinating history, starts from the first settlement in the Neolithic age, has its culmination in the 5th Century BC in the “Golden Age of Pericles”, suffers occupation of a multitude  of conquerors over the years, and in 1834, it becomes the capital of the modern Greek state.

A large part of the town’s historic center has been converted into 3 km long pedestrian zone, which makes it the longest in Europe.

It was also one of my smartest travelling choices, since I decided to visit it for the first time on January 2. While my country was frozen and covered with snow, Athens offered me the nicest spring weather that I could only imagine.

Athens - Bitter Orange Trees
Athens – Bitter Orange Trees

Its bitter orange trees (Νεραντζάκι) left an immediate impression on me, since the whole city seemed painted in orange and green. They are mostly used for decoration, as their fruit is too bitter to be eaten raw, or for the making of marmalades and sweets, in alcoholic beverages and in aromatology.

I would highly recommend a longer stay in this beautiful city, but trying to stick to the original idea, I will give you the itinerary of the most beautiful and the most famous sites that you really should not miss.

  1. The National Library of Greece
  2. The Academy of Athens
  3. The National and Kapodistrian University of Athens
  4. Syntagma Square
  5. The Greek Parliament
  6. The National Garden
  7. The Zappeion Mansion
  8. The Panathenaikon Stadium
  9. The Temple of Olympian Zeus
  10. The Arch of Hadrian
  11. The Acropolis
  12. The Acropolis Museum
  13. The ancient Theatre of Dionysos
  14. The Odeion of Herodes Atticus
  15. The Parthenon
  16. The Erechtheion
  17. The Areios Pagos
  18. The Temple of Hephaestus
  19. Plaka
  20. Monastiraki
The National Library of Greece
The National Library of Greece

The best point to start our tour in order to save time and steps is the National Library of Greece (Ethnikí Vivliothíki tis Elládos).

The building is situated near the city center and was designed as a part of the famous Trilogy of neo-classical buildings by a Dutch architect Hansen, also including the Academy of Athens and the original building of the Athens University.

The present building has been inconvenient due to limited space and technology demands and although it will continue to house some of its current functions, the bulk of the library has already been relocated to a new building.

The Academy of Athens
The Academy of Athens

The Academy of Athens is one of its major landmarks, with the figures of Athena and Apollo with lyre on the side pillars, and the seated marble figures of Plato and Socrates.

The National and Kapodistrian University of Athens
The National and Kapodistrian University of Athens

The National and Kapodistrian University of Athens usually referred to simply as the University of Athens, is a public university continuously operational since its establishment in 1837 and the oldest higher education institution of the Modern Greek state, with over 100,000 students.

The Greek Parliament
The Greek Parliament

We will soon get to Syntagma Square, one of the main squares of the town, with the Greek Parliament building dominating it.  There is the Monument of the Unknown Soldier in front of it, guarded by the Evzones in their traditional costume. The Change of the Guards takes place every hour right in front of the building and it is quite impressive.

The National Garden
The National Garden

From this square starts the beautiful National Garden (covering around 40 acres and full of the palm trees, the acanthus plants, and noisy birds), south of which stands the impressive Zappeion Mansion.

The Zappeion Mansion
The Zappeion Mansion

It was erected for the revival of the Olympic Games in the modern world, and now is generally used as Congress and exhibition hall, for meetings and ceremonies, both official and private.

The Panathenaikon Stadium
The Panathenaikon Stadium

From there we will continue towards the Panathenaikon Stadium (Kallimarmaro), the only stadium in the world built entirely of marble, where the first Olympic Games in modern history were held (1896).

It was firstly built for the Panathenaic Games in 330 BC, then rebuilt in marble by Herodes Atticus, an Athenian Roman senator, in 144 AD with a capacity of 50,000 seats, and finally excavated and refurbished in 1869.

The Temple of Olympian Zeus
The Temple of Olympian Zeus

We will continue to the Temple of Olympian Zeus (Naós tou Olympíou Diós), also known as the Olympieion, which used to be the largest temple in Greece during the Roman period, with 104 colossal columns and one of the largest cult statues in the ancient world. Its construction began in the 6th century BC, but it was completed only in the 2nd century AD.

The Arch of Hadrian
The Arch of Hadrian

The Arch of Hadrian (Apsida tou Adrianou), or simply Hadrian’s Gate (Pyli tou Adrianou), is a monumental gateway built to celebrate the arrival of the Roman Emperor Hadrian and to honor him for his benefactions to the city, in 131 or 132 AD. It offers a great view of the Acropolis and the Temple of Olympian Zeus.

Walking along Dionysou Areopaghitou Street (on the south side of the Acropolis) we will first see the impressive Acropolis Museum on the left, one of the most important contemporary works of architecture in Athens. Made of steel, glass and concrete, it houses 4,000 exquisite finds from the Acropolis monuments.

The ancient Theatre of Dionysos
The ancient Theatre of Dionysos

On the right, we will first encounter the ancient Theatre of Dionysos from the fifth c. B.C, the first theater ever built and the place where most of the works by Sophocles, Euripides and Aristophanes were performed.

The Odeion of Herodes Atticus
The Odeion of Herodes Atticus

Continuing, we will reach the Odeion of Herodes Atticus, which was built in 161 A.D. and is nowadays the venue of the performances of the Athens Festival and a fantastic place to enjoy Operas due to its excellent acoustic.

From there we will climb up to the Acropolis, the site of some of the most important masterpieces of worldwide art and architecture. The most famous ones are certainly the Parthenon temple , the temple of the Athene Nike, the Erechtheion, and the Propylaea, that we will actually walk through as we arrive at the top to the Acropolis and again as we leave it. When it was built, the Propylaea was a magnificent entry point to the temples on the top of the Acropolis.

We owe this place to Pericles (495 – 429 BC) who coordinated the construction of the site’s most important building in the fifth century BC. Much later, they were seriously damaged during the 1687 siege by the Venetians during the Morean War when a cannonball hit gunpowder stored in the Parthenon.

The Parthenon
The Parthenon

The Parthenon (Parthenónas) is an enduring symbol of Ancient Greece, Athenian democracy and Western civilization. It is a temple dedicated to the goddess Athena, the patron of the citizens of Athens. Its construction began in 447 BC when the Athenian Empire was at the peak of its power and it was completed in 438 BC. Its sculptures are considered some of the high points of Greek art.

The Parthenon replaced an older temple of Athena that was destroyed in the Persian invasion of 480 BC.

The Erechtheion
The Erechtheion

The Erechtheion is probably the most elegant part of the Acropolis.

The building had two porches. The roof of the north porch was supported on six Ionic columns. At the south porch, which was the most well-known, the roof was supported by six statues of maidens known as the Caryatids, instead of the typical columns. One of the sculptures from the western section was removed by Lord Elgin in 1801 and is today located in the British Museum.

A visit to the Museum, located close to the Parthenon is also highly recommendable, and the view of the city from the rock is absolutely impressive.

The Acropolis
The Acropolis

Coming down from the Acropolis we will arrive at the Areios Pagos, a prominent rock, located northwest of the Acropolis and the most ancient law court of the world. Philopappou Hill stands opposite it with its beautiful cobbled roads and with the Roman monument on its top, and the Pnyx, where the citizens of ancient Athens used to gather to discuss their democratic rights.

Following the pedestrian road, we will get to the Ancient Agora, the ancient Athens’ commercial, political and religious center and to the well preserved Temple of Hephaestus.

The area that developed around the Ancient Agora of Athens is called Plaka and it is considered the oldest district in Athens, as it has been continuously inhabited since antiquity. It is the heart of the historic center and one the most picturesque neighborhoods of Athens with its narrow streets, lovely neoclassical buildings, small cafes, traditional taverns, souvenir shops and ancient ruins in almost every corner.

It is very commercial and popular with tourists, because there are plenty of things to do and see there.

Monastiraki
Monastiraki

Continuing from Plaka we arrive at Monastiraki, our final destination, a characteristic area with narrow streets, and the city’s traditional bazaar full of very attractive shops, local food, restaurants and coffee shops. It is a nice place to walk around and it has an amazing view to the Acropolis.

Turning to what I said in the beginning, I would highly recommend a longer stay in Athens, because these 20 sites are only the most important ones, that you would really regret not seeing.

I sincerely hope that you will find my itinerary helpful. If so, I will be happy to read your comment below. If you have a suggestion for the next one, you can send me an email in the “contact” section.

Memory Card Technique for Learning Foreign Languages

memory card technique for learning foreign languages

This time I will show you how to use my memory card technique for learning foreign languages. I started using it while I was still at the University. We were supposed to memorize huge sentences in Latin and ancient Italian language, and as long as they were written on paper in some kind of logical order I somehow managed to reproduce them.

However, as soon as I tried to reach them individually, without context, it became much more difficult. Then I started using these cards, and the results were so fascinating even to me personally, that I immediately classified them as one of my basic teaching techniques.

During my classes, when I finish explaining a new grammar topic, I always give my students a task to translate a few sentences from native to foreign language. These sentences always contain a new grammar topic, some new or less familiar words we mentioned during that class and an actual event, which creates an emotional connection between students and sentences, which they recognize then as close, interesting, and relevant. For me as a teacher, it would surely be much easier to use always the same sentences, already prepared, but then, I would not be able to create that precious emotional connection.

memory card technique for learning foreign languages
Memory Cards

After we check and correct them, their next task is to copy those sentences to small papers (usually 1/32 of an A4 format, meaning an A4 format folded in half 5 times), so that each sentence is written on the separate paper. In such a way we avoid the effect of the “memorized image”, I spoke about last time. The sentence in the mother tongue is always written in blue for example, and its translation is always red, with no intention to create any psychological effects, but to make it easier to pick them up and put them together if they scatter.

I insist on using small papers because it is the only way that we can have them with us all the time, on the plane, in the wallet, or simply in an empty box of chewing gums. Thus, whenever we find ourselves stuck in a queue or in traffic jam, during the day, we can take them out and use this time wisely instead of getting annoyed.

The next phase is, naturally, crucial. We read the sentences in our language (blue side) and try to translate them to the language we want to learn to speak. It is not something that we should learn by heart, because we are already familiar with the grammar and new words in them. We should learn them as an ideal basis for making hundreds of new similar combinations.

When we give the answer, we turn the paper and check its accuracy on the red side. If we make a mistake, we should try to understand why we did it, and then we put that paper on the bottom of the pile. If we are just insecure or insufficiently fast, the paper goes to the bottom again. Only if we give the answer promptly and accurately, we can put that paper aside.

learning foreign languages.

When we encounter the same paper for the second time, we should translate it easier. If this is not the case, paper will end up again at the bottom of the pile. After the second and the third round, the pile will start getting smaller, and our attention can concentrate on the most difficult ones. It is important to keep going through them, until we learn the last paper. We should repeat the whole procedure the next day, then in 3, and in 7 days. It is always amazing to see how well some of them manage to escape from our memory.

As a result, we will always have the latest 10 or 20 papers that we know badly, the next 20 that still torture us, but the pile of those ones that we know excellently will grow day in day out, and they represent our real knowledge.

What do we get with this?

  1. We learn some new grammar rules.
  2. We learn some new words.
  3. We create a basic sentence that we can easily adjust to new situations.
  4. Most importantly, we create an automatic response in a foreign language, and therefore spontaneous speech.

I will end this by sharing a personal experience of mine. After several months of studying with these cards, I went to my exam, got my questions, and naturally remembered everything without a problem, but what amazed me and my professors most, was the ease and the speed of my language. It was completely spontaneous and smooth.

Do try this simple system and tell me about your experiences.

If you want to receive updates about my new posts, please leave me your email address in the “contact” section.

Language Learning Tips – Words

Talking to my friends who would like to engage with me in some sort of online business, I often encounter their lack of knowledge or insufficient knowledge of the English language, as an obstacle. The opportunities that a global world market can offer are far greater than any local and national ones, and therefore using English for work, for me was a logical choice. Furthermore, the system I have chosen to get the necessary knowledge and experience for this job, offers training, brand-new software and support of more than 2,000 members on the same path of growth, always ready and eager to help, but in English.

Hence my need for trying to share my 25 year long experience in language teaching and all the things that could make the learning easier, or even more interesting and entertaining, in the next blogs on the site. I am a professor of Italian language and literature, my mother tongue is Serbian, I learned English and Russian at school and now I am studying Greek for fun.

My students achieve remarkable results because we use all the resources we have to make studying easier and more enjoyable and we use some tricks to fool our own brain so that it does not deceive us.

How do you study new words? The answers I get to this question are fascinating. Some students repeat them a few times, or read them once and simply try to memorize. Some of them make lists with the words and their translation and keep reading them.

Imagine that you have a list of 30 new words, you learn them for a while and then, only after a few hours, during a test or in a conversation, you cannot remember many of them.

Then maybe you start repeating learned words, and your brain already knows which word is the next one below and which is the last one. This is because the brain memorizes the picture of the list and reproduces it at that moment, but it has nothing to do with real knowledge and it is not of a permanent character.

If you try to use a word from the list the next day, there are great chances that you will be very angry at your bad memory. After all, what did you actually do?

Imagine that you are a great fan of t-shirts and you are fond of buying them. Every day you buy some and put them in your wardrobe, without order. There is now a chaotic pile there, but you love it. Then, it happens that you need a yellow t-shirt with the green strips and you know you have it, but no matter how hard you try, you cannot possibly find it. The same thing happens in your head with words. There is no hook in the sea of them, which will draw the desired word to the surface.

However, if you hang the t-shirts in the closet, the situation will be completely different. No matter how many T-shirts there are, the sleeve of the one you want will still be visible and easy to find.

Thus, the most important thing in learning foreign words and languages in general is creation of associations. My younger students, after just a few lessons, become little experts in making them, and the older ones, used to repetitive learning, find it a bit harder, but they also start liking it as soon as they experience the first benefits of lasting and reliable memory.

associations

  1. Make a list of thirty words of a foreign language, and write their meaning on the right
  2. Read them and try to create a good association to each one of them. For example, the Serbian word for a monkey is “majmun”. Pronounced, this irresistibly reminds me of “my Moon”, so you should try to imagine the Moon in the sky that itches like a monkey. In addition, if you can “hear” the sound of it or “see” for example, the red color of its cap, the association will be better and more reliable. The more connected ideas to the desired word you make, the better the association gets. We can take for example, the Italian word for a tree “albero”. It looks like Albert, doesn’t it? Then imagine Albert Einstein sitting under a tree, rubbing his mustaches and thinking about relativity! It takes a little time and effort when you first encounter a new word but this way is far more efficient than learning it by heart, which usually, very soon ends up with forgetting.
  3. Cover the right side of the list and make sure you know the translation of each foreign word.
  4. Cover the left side now and try to translate the words in the opposite direction, from your language.
  5. Ideally, give someone to read them to you randomly to avoid the “memorized image”, i.e. what the brain has visually scanned, which, in most cases has nothing to do with knowledge.

Next time, I will introduce you to my “technique of small papers” that you will be able to use also for word learning later. From week to week, I will try to pass on to you many things that I have created for my students during all these years, that made their learning process of foreign languages much easier and much more fun. If you want to receive updates about new posts, leave me your email address in the “contact” section, and if you have any questions or suggestions, please leave a comment below.

Merano in a Few Hours

Merano in a Few Hours

Here we are again on our track of meeting new towns and places that will leave an impact on our lives and enrich our memories. We are still in Italy, but this time in its northern part, in South Tyrol.

If you need a healthy break instead of the standard Italian visiting of museums and churches, Merano can be the right choice for you. Although surrounded by snowy peaks that reach even 10,000 feet, this well-known alpine ski resort, also called “City of Flowers“, sits in the Passeier Valley completely sheltered, which makes its climate mild in winter and cool in summer.

Merano in a Few Hours
Merano

With a few hours available to visit it, you will manage to see its most important sites, but also to enjoy its clean air, friendly local people, exquisite food and wine, beautiful streets without cars, and parks full of colorful flowers and exotic trees.

  1. Winter Promenade
  2. The Kurhaus
  3. Post Bridge
  4. The Holy Spirit Church
  5. The Bozner Tor
  6. The Church of St. Nicholas
  7. Portici St.
  8. The Prince’s Castle
  9. The Theatre Puccini
  10. The Evangelistic Church

Merano

We will start our route from one of the bridges of Merano, over the Passer river, known as Theatre bridge, and go for a short walk along “Winter Promenade“, (Passeggiata Inverno) admiring its marvelous sights and sounds. Soon, on our left side we will see a beautiful building The Kurhaus constructed at a time when Merano was a popular spa resort due to the frequent visits of Empress Elisabeth of Austria and the aristocracy. It has a large portico, with columns and statues, and often hosts many interesting events.

The Kurhaus
The Kurhaus

When we get to Post Bridge we will see The Holy Spirit Church across the river, built in the German Gothic style at the end of the 13th century, an then rebuilt in the 15th century after being destroyed by a flood.

Merano’s Coat of Arms
Merano’s Coat of Arms

 

 

 

Walking back over the bridge we can notice the town’s coat of arms from the14th century, which depicts the red Tyrolean eagle sitting on a wall with four pieces of Ghibelline battlements and three arches that symbolize the city.

 

Via Roma (Rome St.) will take us straight to the historical center of the town through The Bozner Tor (Bolzano Gate). Merano has three gates. The Vinschgauer Tor (Vinschgau Gate) in the west first mentioned in 1290 and assumed to be the oldest of all gates. The Passeier Tor (Passer Gate) from the 15th century in the north, a tall, slim stone tower with a single arch and Bozener Tor (Bolzano Gate) in the south, from the 14th century, also with a single stone arch and a very steep roof, but considered the most beautiful of all town gates.

The Bozner Tor
The Bozner Tor

We will enter the old town under these remains of the original city walls. Leonardo da Vinci St. with beautiful pastel-colored buildings on both sides will take us to The Church of St. Nicholas (La Chiesa di San Nicolò), dedicated to Saint Nicholas, the patron saint of the town. Built in the 13th century and expanded over time, it got its final shape in 1465. The architectural style is mainly Gothic. It is quite large, and nicely decorated. It consists of three naves and has well-preserved stained glass windows and a tall clock tower with a sundial outside.

The Church of St. Nicholas
The Church of St. Nicholas

Via Portici, Merano’s main street, starts from here. It has no cars, many beautiful pastel-colored buildings, a few medieval drinking fountains, sidewalks sheltered from rain, snow and hot sun by old porticos, number of outdoor cafés or restaurants and shops.

Upon reaching the Merano Town Hall (Il Municipio di Merano), we will turn right to Galileo Galilei St. that will take us to The Prince’s Castle (Il Castello Principesco), a small but delightful little castle and one of the best-preserved castles in South Tyrol. Built in 1470 at the bottom of Monte Benedetto and at the heart of Merano’s city center, as a residence to Sigismund, Archduke of Austria, it was for a long time the administrative seat of the Counts of Tyrol and it welcomed a number of illustrious guests. Although refurbished, it looks very real, showing how nobility used to live in the 15 century.

The Prince’s Castle
The Prince’s Castle

Nowadays, the couples in Merano intending to get married can choose between the community hall and the romantic Prince’s Castle.

The Theatre Puccini
The Theatre Puccini

Galileo Galilei St. and further Cassa di Risparmio St. will take us to Corso Della Libertà, another important street of Merano, but less busy than the parallel Portici St.

Turning right, we will soon reach The Theatre Puccini (Il Teatro Puccini) another architectural jewel of the town, richly decorated, with a beautiful ceiling and gilded ornamentation.

Taking Carducci St, opposite the theatre, we will get to our final destination in this tour The Evangelistic Church (La Chiesa Evangelica di Cristo), overlooking the Passer river, and immersed in a beautiful English garden. Its construction began in 1883 and ended two years later. Apart from religious services, the church hosts many organ concerts, and concerts of sacred music.

The Evangelistic Church
The Evangelistic Church

Like Annecy in France or Baden-Baden in Germany, this lovely town surrounded by scenic mountains, with many nice shops and restaurants and with an amazing spa, is definitely worth visiting!

 

 

 

 

 

Fear of Change

Fear of Change

The more time I spend on the Internet communicating with people and talking to my closest friends, the bigger is my need to write a few lines about a terrible phenomenon that is deeply rooted in our society, called indecision, indifference and lethargy.

We all face problems and ours are always both the biggest and the most terrifying. There are people who, when they encounter a problem, do their best to solve it, and those ones who will keep complaining about it, no matter how much advice they get, without even considering the possibility to apply some.

Is it possible that our fear of change is so big that we stay immobile and prefer keeping the existing, obviously poor state, to taking a risk and getting, maybe, something worse? Life is not a gamble. In most cases, it is the product of our decisions and our choices.

Why are we so averse to accepting the responsibility for our own lives?

Fear of Change
Fear of Change

I will give you just a couple of examples.

I know many women who remain in catastrophic marriages and relationships just because of mere material security, or because of their children, thus giving them immediately the perfect model to avoid in their lives. In the worst cases, they choose to stay together to have company for parties, restaurants or holidays.

If they dare to leave their bad relationships or marriages, they usually do it only hoping to find better partners who will provide them with more satisfying lives. Do we really estimate our abilities so poorly? How about trying to build the life of our dreams on our own, that will consequently, bring the right people to us.

Let me give you an easier example. Many of my friends are struggling to lose weight. I often hear them saying that I am a lucky girl, the same for years, that I cannot gain weight. Oh yes, I certainly can.

The only difference is that I prefer being slim to a donut or to a glass of wine or beer. Such an explanation immediately brings negative comments that I am a slave to life, instead of enjoying it. On the contrary, I always take the maximum of it. I enjoy eating out. I adore chocolates and sweets, but from time to time and moderately. To be able to enjoy my favorite sweets whenever I want, I exclude buying those, always available ones, in the supermarkets. It also saves a lot of money! I will have dinner at a beautiful restaurant once or twice a week, but all the other meals during that week will be light and controlled.

Take Control

I often hear many of my young students complaining about their look. They say that they prefer sitting in front of a computer or TV in the evenings or at weekends to going out with friends and exposing themselves to possible unpleasant comments about their overweight. They feel embarrassed, but they take another bite of a pizza anyway. I try to explain, that the age they have, with all its privileges comes once in a lifetime and that they have to take full advantage of it. Sacrificing now something that will be at their disposal all their lives, will enable them to enjoy something else that belongs just to that specific period of life. It is now that they should receive so many compliments every day, they will remember for the rest of their lives, and meet more new people than ever again later.

Then I tell them to ask themselves if that tasty burger or chocolate are worth losing a compliment or a smile of a handsome young man or a beautiful girl or staying at home. If their answer is yes, it is perfectly fine, because it is then their choice. We all have our own priorities. If instead, we do something and feel the need to justify our behavior, then we talk about our weaknesses. We should enjoy our passions but should also be aware of our weaknesses and try to defeat them.

The same goes for the job. I know so many people that simply hate Mondays! They do their 9 to 5 jobs waiting for the weekend, or even worse, for their retirement. That is when they will compensate everything they missed in their youth. I seriously doubt it. Aging still carries its limitations.

I also know some unemployed people, and whenever I start talking to them about numerous possibilities of working online nowadays, they immediately find at least three times as many excuses not to do such a thing. Then I am ready to hear again – “It is easy for you. You do not have a preaching boss who gets on your nerves. You go on holiday whenever you want, you travel wherever you want.” They are actually right. Now they are. But I know very well that it took a lot of courage for me as a young girl, to take on the responsibility for my decisions and to start my own business, choosing it among  seemingly more favorable opportunities offered to me at the time, and to keep growing it later, even as a single parent.

Fear of Change

Can you then imagine the reaction to this new initiative of mine? At the moment when my work finally allows me to live not too luxurious, but rather comfortable and carefree life, I decide to embark on a completely unfamiliar field of digital marketing and online business. It takes a lot of self-control to spend evenings and weekends when everybody else relax or have fun, working on self-development and learning something completely different and new. At the same time I am fully aware that we will not be able to resist to this trend much longer and that we need to jump in as soon as possible.

That is my choice. The freedom that this knowledge gives is invaluable. Instead of living peacefully, I consciously embark on a new challenge that brings no risk, but requires devotion and consistency. The training is both interesting and useful. Every day I am a witness of my personal improvement and it gives me great satisfaction.

If I could give every one of you just a little bit of my passion and desire to move you forward to a better life and to your dreams coming true, I would do it. Still, I am afraid you will have to find it by yourselves. Always bear in mind that “fear kills more dreams than failure ever will.”

Belgrade in a Few Hours

The New Year is approaching and although there are hundreds of cities I have visited, waiting to be shared with you, somehow for this special occasion, Belgrade, my hometown, has imposed itself, as a special gift.

So many times destroyed and always raised even more beautiful, Belgrade, the capital of Serbia, is a city of rich history, but also of fantastic nightlife and of gorgeous women.

Belgrade Confluence

Although I could write about it for hours, I will stick to the original idea of my posts. I want to offer you a list of the most important sites to see in Belgrade in case you intend to visit it briefly. They are ordered in the way that allows you to move from point A to point B, saving your time and steps. However, if you have more time, you will easily spend it enjoying your favorite ones.

  1. The Temple of Saint Sava
  2. Slavija Square
  3. The Museum of Nikola Tesla
  4. The Old Palace
  5. The House of the National Assembly of Serbia
  6. Tašmajdan Park
  7. Mark’s Church
  8. The House of Vuk’s Foundation
  9. Terazije Square
  10. The Albania Palace
  11. Knez Mihailova Street
  12. Republic Square
  13. National Museum
  14. The National Theatre
  15. The statue of Prince Michael
  16. The Cathedral Church of St. Michael the Archangel
  17. The residence of Princess Ljubica
  18. Kalemegdan
  19. Belgrade Zoo
  20. The Victor Statue
  21. The building of Geozavod
  22. Ada Ciganlija Lake
  23. Skadarlija
The Temple of Saint Sava

I suggest we start our tour from the magnificent (Hram svetog Save), the most monumental building in the city. It is one of the largest Orthodox churches in the world, and it is built in the Serbian-Byzantine style. At its highest point the dome is 70 m high, while the main gilded cross is an additional 12 m high. Saint Sava was the founder of the Serbian Orthodox Church and a very important figure in medieval Serbia, whose remains were burned on the spot in 1595 by Sinan-Pasha, Ottoman Grand Vizier.

The Temple of Saint Sava
The Temple of Saint Sava

Do not miss a chance to see the crypt of about 2,000 square meters below the Temple, which is a cultural monument that goes far beyond the religious purpose of the building.

Taking Bulevar oslobodjenja Street we will come straight to Slavija Square. It is one of the largest and busiest squares in Belgrade, with a roundabout and probably the most chaotic traffic in the city. There is a musical fountain in its center with a diameter of 32 meters and the water jets 16 meters high.

For the lucky ones that can spend some more time in Belgrade I suggest also a visit to The Nikola Tesla Museum. It is easy to reach if you take the second exit from where you entered the roundabout and at the very beginning of Mekenzijeva St, turn left to Prote Mateje St, that will take you straight there. The museum of one of the greatest scientist of all time offers an interactive content that makes his original work very interesting, both for kids and adults.

Kralja Milana Street

Kralja Milana St. connects Slavija Square and Terazije, the city center. It is a fantastic place to find many famous international and local brand stores, cafes and restaurants, with many underground passageways.

The House of Vuk’s Foundation

In addition you will find some marvelous buildings and facades built in the late 19th century, like Dom Vukove Zadužbine (The House of Vuk’s Foundation), firstly used as the seat of the Russian embassy, then as the home for War Orphans and from 1878 as the headquarters of the Ministry of Education.

The Old Palace

Just before this building, on your right you will encounter Stari dvor (The Old Palace) once the royal residence of the Obrenović dynasty. Today it houses the City Assembly of Belgrade and is located opposite Novi dvor (The New Palace). Deeper behind the park you will see the enormous Dom Narodne skupštine Republike Srbije (The House of the National Assembly of Serbia) another landmark of Belgrade. This truly magnificent monument with all its artistic treasure inside is unfortunately not open to visitors. There are two impressive sculptures by Toma Rosandić in front of it, entitled Igrali se konji vrani (Play by Black Horses).

The House of the National Assembly of Serbia

Right next to it, behind the Main Post Office Building there is a huge park Tašmajdan, with the impressive St. Mark’s Church on the edge. This Serbian Orthodox church, built in 1940 in the Serbo-Byzantine style, preserves one of the most valuable collections of Serbian icons and sarcophagus containing the relics of Serbian Emperor Dušan 1308-1355. It is time to get back to Kralja Milana Street.

Terazije Square

 

Coming to Terazije Square, you will not be able to miss the Terazije Fountain with 6.35m high pillar and four lion heads spouting water through their open mouths, erected in 1860 to mark the return of Prince Milos Obrenovic to the throne and located just in front of the Hotel Moscow, another fascinating building, belonging to this square.

 

A little bit further, you will see the Albania Palace, which dates back to the 1930s and got this name from the kafana Albanija that previously occupied the same spot. At the time of its construction, it was the tallest building on the Balkans.

Knez Mihailova Street

It is also the starting point of Knez Mihailova Street, Belgrade’s most popular promenade that both young and old, hosts and foreign guests simply adore. It is the main walking street and one of the best places to feel the pulse of the city.

Knez Mihailova Street

It offers a mixture of fast food and high-class restaurants, coffee shops that are full at any time of the day, shops, antique shops, street singers, and beautiful architecture of numerous national and international cultural institutions (Serbian Academy of Sciences and Arts, Centre Culturel Français, Instituto Cervantes and Goethe), many galleries, hotels and hostels.

Serbian Academy of Sciences and Arts

It is not clear whether it is more beautiful in summer bathed in the sun, or in winter, festively decorated, but it is always full of smiling faces and a lot of positive energy.

Republic Square
The statue of Prince Michael

At its beginning, behind the Albania Palace, there is Republic Square, one of the central town squares with some of the most recognizable public buildings, including the National Museum and the National Theatre. The statue of Prince Michael is located in the heart of this square. This bronze monument, erected in honor of Mihailo Obrenović III, Prince of Serbia who liberated Serbia from Turkish domination is a very popular meeting place in Belgrade.

Walking along Knez Mihailova Street just before it reaches Kalemegdan, turn left to Kralja Petra Street, that will take you to Saborna crkva (The Cathedral Church of St. Michael the Archangel), another magnificent orthodox church. It is one of the few preserved monuments of Belgrade from the first half of the 19th Century. Some of the most powerful Serbs like Vuk Karadzic, Dositelj Obradovic, Prince Mihajlo Obrenovic and Milos Obrenovic were buried here.

The Cathedral Church of St. Michael the Archangel

Opposite the Cathedral, a bit to the left, you will see Konak kneginje Ljubice (The residence of Princess Ljubica), built between 1829 and 1831 by order of Prince Miloš Obrenović for his wife Ljubica and their children.

The residence of Princess Ljubica

 

It is full of interesting furniture, personal belongings and artwork. Your trip through the past of Belgrade will be guided by an actress in a monodrama called “Kafa kod kneginje Ljubice.” As a part of the show, you will be served coffee with rahatlokum, and then taken around the museum, in her, very charming way.

 

 

 

It is finally time to immerse in beauty of Kalemegdan.

Kalemegdan

The Belgrade fortress, built on a hill above the Sava and Danube confluence, destroyed and rebuilt so many times for 16 centuries, still stands proudly as the symbol of Serbia’s capital.

Since the first fortification, built by The Romans in the 2nd century, destroyed many times by the Goths, the Huns, the Avars and the Slavs, Singidunum managed to survive. After the medieval and Turkish era, Belgrade was converted into a park in the middle of the19th century. It has kilometers of paths, a few playgrounds for the kids, hundreds of benches and a great wall with spectacular and romantic views of sunsets. Nowadays it hosts several museums and galleries, restaurants, sports courts, and the Belgrade Zoo. If you are too tired, you can get the mini train that runs around the park.

Belgrade Zoo
The Victor Statue

The statue Pobednik (The Victor) is the work of famous sculptor Ivan Mestrović, created in 1928 to commemorate Serbia’s triumph over both Ottoman and Austro-Hungarian Empire. Initially made to be placed at Terazije Square, but since representing a nude man, it could have had a bad influence on a young girls and women of that time, so it had to be placed where it stands now, overlooking New Belgrade.

The Building of Geozavod

Going down towards the river you will find many restaurants and clubs but also a beautiful building of Beogradska zadruga, (Belgrade Cooperative) or (The building of Geozavod), one of the most beautiful and monumental buildings that adorn the Karadjordjeva Street in the Savamala district. The building was recently restored, and got back its original glow.

The Building of Geozavod

Now you can decide to keep walking along the river of Sava and recently made Sava promenade and to follow the realization of a huge project called Belgrade Waterfront. At a neglected piece of land, on the right bank of the Sava river, between the Belgrade Fair and Branko’s bridge, Belgrade will get a world-class, super-modern downtown district, unlike anywhere in the region. It will have a million square meters of luxury apartments, 750,000 square meters of office and commercial space, five-star hotels, an opera house, and the largest shopping mall on the continent.

Ada Ciganlija Lake

You might prefer using public transport to our last destination, Ada Ciganlija Lake, commonly called “Belgrade’s Sea”. This artificial lake with its incredible beach hosts over 100,000 visitors a day and up to 300,000 visitors over the weekend. Due to its central location, it is an immensely popular recreational zone. You can play football, tennis, golf, mini golf, beach volleyball, basketball, baseball, rugby or field hockey… You can choose rowing, kayak, windsurfing, water skiing, walking balls or pedal boats.

Ada Ciganlija Lake

You can try bungee jumping, artificial wall climbing or paintball, or you can simply sunbathe and swim in this well maintained beach and enjoy its numerous cafes and restaurants, which when night falls, transform into nightclubs for partying all night long.

As I have already said, Belgrade is an ideal city for nightlife. From Ada Lake, you can pass to New Belgrade’s and Zemun’s side, where you will find a huge number of floating restaurants called “splavovi” all along the banks of Sava and Danube.

Finally, you should not miss Skadarlija!

Skadarlija

What Plaka is for Athens, Montmartre for Paris, Trastevere for Rome, Skadarlia is for Belgrade. This, first class bohemian quarter combines the spirit of old times with live music and great authentic cuisine. Many “kafanas” gathered in a rather small street, with their unique atmosphere, is something that no one would expect to find in the very center of the capital city.

Enjoy!

Your Life Is Your Choice

The New Year is approaching and we all tend to analyze the previous year and to promise ourselves different wonders and impeccable behavior. Unfortunately, this mood usually lasts just for the first few days and then we all return to our usual habits and weaknesses. Then why are we so excited? Why do we blindly repeat this every year? Simply because the feeling, while visualizing them, is so good. Still, all it takes to accomplish them is to keep fantasizing and to stay positive.

I become aware of how positive thoughts are important to our lives a long time ago, in my early twenties. Today, you can find such studies everywhere, but at that time, I even risked looking weird, especially if I started talking about it enthusiastically. I also learned some techniques of relaxation, of passing from alpha to beta and delta states of consciousness, of treating with my own hands. I can assure you that each of these techniques worked perfectly for the first few months. If you come to a bus stop and want a bus, it comes right away. If you want to park your car, a free parking space is immediately in front of you. If you want to get your favorite questions at the exam? No problem.

Then you see John, a friend from the group who managed to lose 20 kilos using these techniques, or Mary who found a new job after a long time. However, as time passes, you slowly start forgetting the techniques and you spend less time visualizing your goals, for a simple reason that you actually do not know what you really want.

Finally, you start doubting that they had ever had an effect.

I remember that the only important thing for me then was to be slim, and I achieved it almost immediately, but I explained to myself that it would have happened anyway, with or without visualization. It might have. From this point of view, I find particularly interesting how my mind used to play with the visualization of my ideal partner. In fact, I always got exactly what I had asked for. However, as a rule, I would also discover an infinitely negative characteristic in them that I could not foresee. Much later, I learned to add this positive affirmation, while visualizing my ideal partner: “He always surprises me only in a positive way!”

It is interesting that, along with all my skepticism, and the absence of practicing, these techniques functioned perfectly in some critical moments.

I remember a situation when I went to clean the snow off the car in front my building, when my mother suddenly started shouting out of the window and calling me to go back immediately. She was in the house with my six-year old son and my father. Instead of imagining all possible versions of the catastrophe in my head, I forced myself to repeat one single sentence: “Everything is fine”, blocking in that way all the negative thoughts. Indeed, when I arrived, everything was fine. More precisely, my son had fainted while waiting in a warm jacket for me to call him to get downstairs, but when I arrived, he was completely fine.

I also remember when I had lost the car keys on a 300 meter long sandy beach in the morning, and found them six hours later, as soon as I applied the technique. Would I have found them without it? Maybe. Would everything have been fine at home even without those focused thoughts? Maybe. Still, I doubt.

Such examples are numerous. It was not difficult to draw a conclusion about what made some of them successful. It is not enough only to visualize your goals, no matter how well you do it, making them stronger by adding sounds, colors or scents. It also requires implementing deep, sincere emotions and unconditional faith.

Why am I telling you all this?

I have been working as a professor of languages for whole my life. I have hundreds of students whose way of learning in general changed drastically after my classes. I am loved and respected and the lists of new students, still waiting for me to teach them, are very long. However, at one point, I realized that working 9 hours a day is too much. Although I travel with my son 3 or 4 times a year, and dance very often, those are the only things I do for myself. Someone would say it is more than enough. However, I think our life is too short and we have to use every second of it wisely, loading it with new memories, feelings and knowledge.

I started thinking of filming my lectures and uploading them on YouTube, but also of other opportunities that online businesses offer, of digital marketing and of using my Instagram and Facebook accounts for it. I liked the idea of freedom to travel and work at the same time wherever and whenever I wanted.

Just then, accidentally or not, among so many offers to develop a successful online business, an offer came to me, and thanks to it, you are reading this today. The ideal one. They expected no particular computer skills from me. It is a comprehensive, detailed program, which guides you from point A to point B gradually towards the success and the goals you set for yourself. They asked for as much dedication as we could give, depending on how fast we wanted to reach our goals and the only thing they really required was a new mindset, positive and focused on success. The one that I have been familiar with all my life.

Everything matched.

Now only the sky is the limit. I wish this New Year brought you such awareness. Our brain is a magnet. If you think positively, positive things will come to you. If you think about problems all the time, they will always be at your disposal.

Write to me about your experiences. Have you managed to get rid of negativity and criticism so far?

Always remain positive and optimistic! Dream big, smile often, be grateful for everything you already have and enjoy every step of your journey!

Trento in a Few Hours

Trento in a few hours? No problem! 🙂

If you are lucky enough to have a chance to spend a few hours in this quiet town full of hidden treasures, you will be able to see them all, but also to enjoy and admire its unique peace and beauty.

The city center is small, so you can finish your walking tour quite quickly, and then spend time enjoying its cafes, shops and parks nearby.

ITINERARY:

  1. La Piazza del Duomo
  2. La Fontana del Nettuno
  3. La Cattedrale di San Vigilio
  4. Il Palazzo Pretorio
  5. Il Museo Diocesano
  6. Le Case Cazuffi Rella
  7. Il Palazzo Municipale or Il Palazzo Thun
  8. La Casa Geremia
  9. La Chiesa di san Francesco Saverio
  10. Il Castello del Buonconsiglio
  11. La Torre Verde
  12. La Torre Vanga
  13. La Chiesa di Santa Maria Maggiore
  14. La Statua di Dante Alighieri
  15. Il Mausoleo di Cesare Battisti
La Piazza del Duomo

We will start our route from La Piazza del Duomo (Cathedral Square), in the heart of Trento, which is one of the main squares, and the city’s political, religious, and social center.

La Fontana del Nettuno

 

 

 

In the center of the square, there is the magnificent Fontana del Nettuno (Fountain of Neptune), stunning and fairly massive, sculpted by Francesco Antonio Giongo in 1768.

 

 

 

La Cattedrale di San Vigilio

La Cattedrale di San Vigilio or Il Duomo di Trento (The Cathedral of Saint Vigilius) is the main religious structure in the town constructed in the 11th century and then renovated several times over the years with many 14th century frescoes.

This is Romanesque-Baroque church, built over a pre-existing church from the 6th century devoted to Saint Vigilius, patron saint of the city. It was the seat of the Bishop of Trento until 1802. It has two staircases built into the walls and a large rose window with the Wheel of Fortune on the façade.

Il Palazzo Pretorio

Around the square there are other amazing buildings to visit, like Il Palazzo Pretorio (The Praetorian Palace), which houses Il Museo Diocesano Tridentino (the Diocesan Museum), a fantastic museum dedicated to the religious history of Trento with a wonderful collection of paintings, wooden sculptures, tapestries and manuscripts from the 9th century to modern times.

The Prince-Bishop Federico Vanga erected it in 1220 and it used to be the seat of the Bishops of Trento, but also of the Municipality and the Courts. Its huge clock tower, La Torre Civica, was used in the past as a city jail.

Le Case Cazuffi Rella

Right next to it, there are Le Case Cazuffi Rella, two beautiful adjacent houses of the sixteenth century decorated with frescoes and with arches underneath. The façade on the left shows characters and scenes from classical mythology, and on the right illustrates the subjects of Virtue, Time and the Triumphs of Love.

Il Palazzo Thun

Next to them, you will find Via Rodolfo Belenzani, where you will be able to keep admiring some of the best of Trento’s facades painted with historical, classical, and mythological motifs.

Near its north end, on the right, there is Il Palazzo Municipale or Il Palazzo Thun (The Town Hall) which was the property of the Thun family for four centuries since 1454 and their coat of arms stands on the façade and on the arch of the portal. On the opposite side of it, there is La Casa Geremia from the end of the 15th-century, a fabulous example of Renaissance architecture in the city, known particularly for the restored frescoes with historical-moral motifs on the façade.

La Casa Geremia

 

La Chiesa di san Francesco Saverio

 

 

In the very end of the street, hidden among these beautiful buildings, there is La Chiesa di San Francesco Saverio, pretty, little church erected between 1708 and 1711, and considered the greatest expression of Baroque religious architecture in the region of Trentino.

 

 

 

Turn right and Via Roma (further Via S.Marco) will take you straight to the Castelvecchio. Il Castello del Buonconsiglio (Buonconsiglio Castle) is the largest castle complex in this region, composed of a series of buildings of different eras. There is a huge round tower La Torre Aquila (The Eagle Tower), with the magnificent frescoes of the Cycle of the Months representing the landscape, the activities, the habits and the fashion of Medieval Trentino. There are also Il Magno Palazzo, an Italian Renaissance-style palace, and the Baroque Giunta Albertiana.

Il Castello del Buonconsiglio

The castle was the residence of the prince-bishops of Trento from the 13th to the 18th century and nowadays it houses Il Museo Provinciale d’Arte (the Provincial Gallery of Art)

La Torre Verde

Going back towards the Adige River, follow Via Torre Verde, and you will soon find La Torre Verde (The Green Tower) in the middle of the road, surrounded by other buildings and easy to miss. It is very beautiful and particular tower with a green cusp and one of the symbols of the city. It was a strategic point of the city walls on the edge of the Adige, before the river was diverted in 1858.

 

La Torre Vanga

 

 

In the end of the street, you will find another tower, La Torre Vanga, built in 1210 by Prince-Bishop Federico Vanga, on the banks of the Adige to guard a bridge over it. After the river was deviated at the foot of Monte Bondone it was used as a prison.

 

 

 

Before going right to Giardini publici to sit on the bench and enjoy the greenery, do not miss a beautiful church on the left, just a few hundred meters away. It is La Chiesa di Santa Maria Maggiore, beautiful and imposing Renaissance church with the marvelous portal and the triumphal bell tower.

La Chiesa di Santa Maria Maggiore

Giardini publici is a well-kept garden with benches, a pond with ducks and the square in the middle, with the impressive and dominant sculpture of Dante Alighieri, 18 meters high, and certainly one of the most beautiful and impressive among the Italian monuments dedicated to the Supreme Poet.

La Statua di Dante Alighieri

From that point, you can clearly see the Mausoleo di Cesare Battisti (Cesare Battisti Mausoleum) on the opposite side of The Adige River. The most famous Trentino irredentist, journalist, geographer and patriot, Cesare Battisti, captured in the First World War by the Austrians and executed in front of the Castello del Buonconsiglio, rests in this imposing mausoleum overlooking the city of Trento, surrounded by a beautiful park and easily reached on foot. Rather than artistic, it has symbolic and commemorative value.

Il Mausoleo di Cesare Battisti

Trento is enchanting. Small and quiet, colorful and appealing, it offers the perfect combination of beauty, serenity and pleasure. I discovered it chasing one of my biggest passions, to travel and to see new places and new people all the time. If you also share this passion, but find many obstacles in accomplishing it, you may also consider starting your own online business that will enable you to live a fulfilling life. Find out how!