May201429

There are certain things that really do make you think of italy – delicious pizza, refreshing gelato ice cream, the astounding Colosseum and the unusual Leaning Tower of Pisa to name just a few.

If you want your kids to experience the real Italy on your next family holiday, make sure you take them on a trip that includes plenty of outstanding local food, a spot of sightseeing and a dash of adventure. We’re going to run through some of the highlights around Naples – you’ll find a more detailed itinerary here.

Neapolitan food

Neapolitan simply means anything that originated in Naples, and there are numerous Italian favourites that come from this coastal city. One of the most famous is pizza, with the Neapolitan variety featuring a thin base and offered with a huge array of toppings – although you still can’t beat the classic tomato and mozzarella.

There are dozens of pizzerias in Naples – such as L’Antica Pizzeria Brandi, Trianon di Cero and Di Matteo – so you and the kids can grab a slice while you’re out and about. There are several classic pasta dishes from Naples too, including pastae fagioli, which is a kind of pasta and bean soup, and gnocchi alla sorrentina.

Make eating dinner together as a family a key part of your holiday to ensure you get to sample the best of Italian cuisine.

Vesuvius and Pompeii

Pompeii is famous for having been completely covered by hot ash and pumice when nearby Mount Vesuvius erupted in AD79, killing the majority of the 15,000 residents. Because of its speedy and unusual end, the city was remarkably well preserved and archaeologists have made some incredible discoveries in the ruins.

If you’re based in Naples you can’t miss an excursion to this amazing site, where you can explore opulently-decorated villas, wander along the colonnaded streets and marvel at Roman temples. However, you don’t just have to stay in Pompeii, as there is also the option of taking a trip to Vesuvius’ crater rim. Kids will love the excitement of getting this close to the volcano, while mum and dad can enjoy the amazing views of Naples and its bay.

Sorrento and the Amalfi Coast

The Amalfi Coast is one of Italy’s premier seaside destinations because of its beautiful landscapes that are dominated by sheer cliffs. The towns in the region are perched on the slopes of steep hills and march from the sea all the way back inland. Driving along the twisting roads between these towns is bound to thrill youngsters, who will love being able to see the curves of the tarmac ahead as it winds its way up impossibly steep hills and clings to the very edge of the cliff.

Sorrento is a well-known holiday hotspot and one that’s bound to appeal to parents thanks to its elegance and charm. Children are sure to enjoy an ice cream or two, with gelato Italiano available from parlours all over the town.

Once you’ve taken in Sorrento’s classic Italian style, head into the countryside that surrounds the town for a stroll through orange orchards, vineyards and olive groves – it’s a great way to see where all that tasty food you’ve been eating has come from. As well as growing the raw ingredients, products such as jam, olive oil and even honey are all produced in the area.

May201421

We all want different things from our holidays, but one thing most of us have in common is a craving for a little relaxation. If you fancy really getting away from it all on your next break, I think you’ll find it pretty hard to beat a cruise – especially if you go to a gorgeous sun-drenched destination like the Caribbean.

If you’ve never been on a cruise before, you may well be wondering just what makes this kind of holiday more relaxing than others. So, today I’ll be taking a look at what exactly it is about cruises that makes them stand out from the crowd. Hopefully, this’ll provide you with a little inspiration for your next getaway!

Ease of travel

In the relaxation stakes, one of the major benefits of cruising is how easy it makes your journey. After all, as much as most of us love going on holiday, long airport queues, uncomfortable plane journeys and tiresome hotel transfers aren’t quite so treasured.

The beauty of cruising, especially if you do it from right here in the UK, is that you eliminate all that. Instead, you just need to get to your cruise ship and then you can spend your time travelling from A to B in total comfort. More than that, your journey can be as much a part of your holiday as visiting the destinations themselves!

Lots of ways to be pampered

Cruises really do specialise in relaxation. Go on a cruise with a company like Fred. Olsen and you’ll find your every need is catered for, which means you can indulge yourself every step of the way.

Most ships, for example, will be home to spa facilities (though it’s always worth booking your session or any treatments before you actually board your cruise. After all, you’re bound not to be the only one who fancies a spa day, so it’s always worth doing a little advance planning to make sure you don’t miss out!

Unwinding in the pool, taking dance classes, sipping a cocktail in the bar or simply reading a good book on deck are just a handful of the other ways to be pampered on board.

Spend your time how you please

Similarly, a cruise gives you the freedom to spend your time exactly how you please in a way that few other holidays do – largely because you’ll have so many options to hand at all times. So, if you feel like being completely lazy and doing nothing at all, you can do so – though there are plenty of possibilities if you fancy doing something else.

You can head to the library and find a good book to read, for instance, or get a bit more active by joining in a fitness class or hitting the gym. And at your ports of call, you can go on a range of exciting planned excursions – or go it alone and explore independently. The choice is yours!

Enjoy amazing food

No relaxing holiday is really complete without indulging in a little edible decadence – and a quality cruise will never fail to impress on that front. Usually, you’ll have a choice of cafes, bars and restaurants to choose from over the course of the day, including the chance to go to a formal dinner where you can really enjoy a sense of occasion, as well as great food.

Plus, you’ll also get to experience the cuisine of the various destinations you visit along the way – something that gives you an opportunity to soak up a little local culture while you’re enjoying yourself!

Visit beautiful places

And of course, let’s not forget the fact that a cruise gives you the opportunity to visit not just one, but lots of relaxing destinations in tucked-away corners of the world. For example, you could pick an itinerary that takes you along the Amazon River and then around the beaches of the Caribbean – a combination that gives you the chance to discover quiet, hidden destinations and cultures, as well as some of the most beautiful stretches of sand you’re ever likely to come across. Plus, you can even visit islands like Madeira and Tenerife en route!

May201416

The Dutch holiday of King’s Day is not only a street party and massive street market rolled into one, but it’s the most orange-colored holiday in the world. KLM and Heineken partnered up this year to give 10 Americans the chance to experience the festivities and celebration in Amsterdam this year.

The competition began on Amsterdam Avenue in New York City, where KLM and Heineken set up a mini replica of King’s Day, complete with a little market and orange booth. They pulled people aside throughout the day, and asked them dance-related questions. Those who answered correctly didn’t yet know what was in store for them. They were simply instructed to meet at JFK airport on April 25… and be ready for anything.

So where did these lucky winners end up? They were ushered straight on a plane headed for Amsterdam, for the ultimate Orange experience. No sooner had they landed, but they were put straight on an orange bus to the Heineken Brewery. Here, they tasted some local beers and then hopped on a boat to enjoy the scenic canals of the city. As they floated through Amsterdam, watching the orange festivities ignite all around them, they were surprised by DJ Armin van Buuren jumping on board to give them a private performance. These Americans had never experienced anything like this Dutch holiday! After this amazing cap off to their introduction to Amsterdam, they went on to enjoy the street parties and festivities of King’s Day with the rest of Amsterdam.

Check out the Orange Experience video below:

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