Rapallo was never on my list. I never thought there could actually be something about this city. It lies on the Ligurian Sea coast, just between Cinque Terre and Genoa. As a girl from Croatia, I know it from the history books as the Treaty of Rapallo was signed there, in Villa Pagana, formerly known as Villa Spinola. A treaty…
The five Cinque Terre villages are situated in northern Italy on the Mediterranean Sea, just 3 hours by train from Milan, Pisa and Florence. I have arrived by car and totally enjoyed the national park that spreads across the five villages. La Spezia My journey started in La Spezia. This was the very first stop as I…
Tintine was slowly climbing up the hills of San Marino. Not much pressure should have been put on this car as she had enough of the shocks in the last year or two. The hills around us were rising and soon we found ourselves surrounded by an amazing view. It was San Marino surrounded by…
My Life in Sicily finished after a year spent on this island. It was time to turn on my Tintine (a beautiful red car), hop on a ferry and say goodbye. I was nostalgic as a was driving through Reggio Calabria. But soon I was in Puglia – the region with the best Italian cheeses.…
Ardennes are super fun to visit. They are cold but there is loads of trails to discover. Hence, after so many locations, Rochefort was on the route as well. Its ancient position at the crossroads where the route to Saint-Hubert crossed that from Liège to Bouillon required fortifying: the ruins of the old castle, which gave the place its name and…
Once upon a time, there was a little Ivana in Cuba trying to explain a poor restaurant holder that the pizza ragusa he is having on the menu is not some Italian name for some Italian city, but the city of Dubrovnik in Croatia. Stupid girl. Ragusa is a city on the southern side of the…
An Ionian seaside town, Avola is a mix of old and new. The town focuses heavily on the sea, with its history as a tuna fishing port. Today, the remains of the Vecchia Tonnara at the wharf are a stone backdrop to the sandy beaches. Avola dates back to a pre-Greek people called the Sicani.…
Located about 11 kilometres north of Catania, it is the perfect little commune to visit during the ottobrata – the local festivity that occurs every October here in Sicily, celebrating the fruits of the land: frutti di terra. The first encounter went wrong already 🙂 Approaching the booth with fruit, I have noticed quince – one…
If something is worth visiting in life, it is the Aeolian islands. Becasue it makes you think about winter in the south. It makes you think about simplicity of life. And it makes you realise how not to treat the tourists: just some bags of potatoes that need to be shipped from one island to…
I haven’t had a chance to spent a bit more time discovering this city. But just a glimpse and it made me think to re-visit and make it’s due. When the time will come, I promise to update with more photos. But for now, enjoy the story 🙂 Several civilizations settled in Milazzo and left…
I didn’t expect much from this harbour city, to be honest. I knew they have a great beer – Messina cristali di sale: a great Sicilian beer brewed since 1923 and one of the most loved Italian beers. It is the third largest city on the island of Sicily, and the 13th largest city in Italy.…
Senlis is a city in the northern French department of Oise, Hautes de France. Cute, medieval and charming. It offered us great peek into history: The monarchs of the early French dynasties lived in Senlis, attracted by the proximity of the Chantilly forest. Senlis is situated on the river Nonette. Senlis was known in early Roman imperial times as Augustomagus. During the 3rd century, a seven-meter…
Travelling to Portugal for the third time, and trying to enter this beautiful palace for the third as well. Third is a charm – they say! 🙂 My friend picked […]
Travelling to Portugal for the third time, and trying to enter this beautiful palace for the third as well. Third is a charm – they say! 🙂
My friend picked me up at the airport. I had coul,e of hours free before my conference started, So we immediately went towards the city of Sintra – a picturesque Portuguese town that is set amidst the pine-covered hills of the Serra de Sintra.
The historic center of the Vila de Sintra is famous for its 19th-century Romanticist architecture, historic estates & villas, gardens, and numerous royal palaces & castles.
In all it’s mystical beauty – it used to attract famous people like poet Lord George Gordon Byron and still continues nowadays with people like Madonna etc.
You can notice the glorious houses and villas hidden behind the greenery and bushes while climbing upwards towards the castle.
Instead of climbing up towards the Pena Castle, my friend and I took the tuk tuk. I know, crazy, right? You wouldn’t expect it here in Portugal, right? However, if you look again, you will notice narrow roads which sometimes turns sharply where the opposite car is coming unexpectedly. Tuk tuk makes sense, no? 15 EUR for 20 min of the ride. Nikola and I happily jumped in 🙂
As per our arrival we decided to have a coffee first! After all, the queue to enter the castle was long and we had enough time to go local, hence Pasteis de Nata – a Portuguese egg tart pastry dusted with cinnamon.
Small break of 20 min made us new and fresh again! We purchased the entrance tickets and entered the a Romanticist castle on the top of a hill in the Sintra Mountains above the town of Sintra. The importancy of this place says that it is a national monument and constitutes one of the major expressions of 19th-century Romanticism in the world. The palace is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and one of the Seven Wonders of Portugal. It is also used for state occasions by the President of the Portuguese Republic and other government officials.
The castle’s history started in the Middle Ages when a chapel dedicated to Our Lady of Pena was built on the top of the hill above Sintra. According to tradition, construction occurred after an apparition of the Virgin Mary, of course.
The Pena Palace has a profusion of styles much in accordance with the exotic taste of the Romanticism. The intentional mixture of eclectic styles includes the Neo-Gothic, Neo-Manueline, Neo-Islamic and Neo-Renaissance.
As the castle is placed on such a strategic and I would dare to day – hedonistic place – the view goes up to the ocean…
The inside of the castle is astonishing as well. The decorations and furniture amazed us with its unique style.
Talking about kitchen – time to refresh with some Portuguese version of sangria, oh joy! 🙂
We sterted to glimpse down the hill. Not easy! We tried to avoid the main road and search for small paths through the forest. Of course, we got lost several times, the night started to fall down and the full moon (!!) started to appear. Should I mention that this is how all the horror movies start?
The garden is a park, well actually a labyrinth of through shaded woodland. The 200 hectares of the park may simply appear as an ancient forest but the area was specifically designed by King Fernando II, who wished the grounds to be a maze of romantic paths to enthrall his guests. Indeed.
Time to eat! Dinner a la ocean food in the pacific country! We met with another friend from Bosnia and Herzegovina and shared the wine and shrimp risotto.
The architecture is just stunning! this place should be definitely on the traveler’s bucket list!
Beautiful place and great food. I would love to visit the place someday with my soulmate soon.
Wow admin! amazing way of posting I really like it keep going on…
thanks for this knowledge
The architecture of these places is just awesome.. and you look adorable
I love it. It´s nice. It is totally reomendable
What made you choose Portugal this time?
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