Hotel review: Hilton Garden Inn Venice Mestre San Giuliano

Venice is one of those must-see, otherworldly places.

As touristy as it is, I don’t think there is any place like it.

I posted a photo story here if you’re interested.

Like the city it’s in, the Hilton Garden Inn Venice seems to get stampeded year-around by visitors.

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Hotel review: Holiday Inn Genoa City

There are two final hotel reviews I’ve been wanting to post from my travels in Italy last fall, but first a couple things to know:

  • I’m not reviewing them because they are overly special or luxurious. They’re pretty basic chain hotels.
  • I’m reviewing them because I stayed for free using points, and I was having trouble finding reviews about them when I was booking.

Tomorrow I’ll post about a Hilton Garden Inn in Venice, Italy, but first:

Holiday Inn Genoa City.

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Photos: Venice, fending off the tides

Venice will soon be lost to rising waters is what some say, if the MOSE Project fails. Or if you’re Donald Trump, it’s just a ploy by China to distract us.

The streets near the transit center are packed with tourists. They thin out as you get lost in the maze of stone and water streets, but fill again if you approach Piazza San Marco, the main square (some Venetians want tourists to disappear).

To work its charm, Venice required nothing of me. Not even a gondola ride. Just that I walk, explore. Get lost, as is the popular advice.

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Photos: A rainy Cinque Terre

Local drivers along the steep coastline of Italy’s Cinque Terre honk before going around tight corners.

Since the road is barely wider than a single car in some spots, that honk lets you know not to round that corner.

It was rainy the afternoon we drove through Cinque Terre, a popular region of northwestern Italy that includes a national park and a cluster of towns on a jaw-droppingly beautiful portion of the Italian Riviera. Continue reading

Photos: Genoa, much more than the hometown of Columbus

Though a holiday, America’s capital, a country, and numerous cities are named in his honor, Christopher Columbus set a precedent of genocide, slave trafficking, and abuse of indigenous peoples that was followed for hundreds of years.

For that, I’m not a fan. Apparently neither is his hometown, Genoa, Italy, where I saw only a few small mentions of the late Chris.

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Genoa has all the history of a Florence or Venice, without the throngs of tourists. All the original culinary delight for a good bit cheaper.

Its houses are stacked on hills looking down on the historic port of Genoa, now brimming with yachts, fishing boats, and cruise ships. The stone streets of its Old Town are narrow and sloping.

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