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Venice without crowds

When visiting Venice you can elbow your way through the crowds around Rialto Bridge and St. Mark's Basilica...or take a different path. Peaceful canals and beautiful scenes await you just steps from these chaotic places.

On a trip planned by Hand Crafted Travel you'll see the must-see sights as efficiently as possible, and also get off the beaten path to discover the soul of the place.

Travel Thought for the Week

“People get a bad impression of it [the English climate] by continually trying to treat it as if it was a bank clerk, who ought to be on time on Tuesday next, instead of philosophically seeing it as a painter, who may do anything so long as you don’t try to predict what.”

– Katherine Whitehorn, British journalist, The Observer, August 7, 1966

Segovia's Aqueduct

Just 60 miles north of Madrid, the city of Segovia is a great place to relax, and really enjoy the local atmosphere. The town's most striking feature is the aqueduct, built sometime during the reign of the emperors Augustus and Trajan (1st century AD). The aqueduct extends more than 10 miles, delivering water to the town center from the Rio Frio.

As the channel approaches Segovia it has to cross the valley at the base of the town, so the Roman engineers designed a bridge to carry the water channel. The span is more than 2000 feet long, over 96 feet high, and constructed entirely without mortar binding the stones together. The aqueduct delivered a water flow of over 8 gallons per second, and actually functioned as the town's back-up water supply until the 1980's.

The Frauenkirche in Dresden, Germany

The bell-shaped dome of the Frauenkirche is Dresden's most beloved and recognizable symbol. Built in the early 18th century, the stood proudly in the center of the city until February 15, 1944. It withstood the impact of the Allied bombing of the city in World War II, the dome glowing red from the intense heat of the firestorm that followed. Two days later it finally collapsed.

Left untouched for more that 40 years by the Communists it remained a charred pile of rubble until 1994, when reconstruction began. The interior of the new church presents a bright and airy space for reflection and contemplation. The top of the dome is any walk up, and provides fantastic views of the old city center, and the surrounding areas.

Mount Etna is spouting off again

Europe's most active volcano is letting locals know it's still got the goods.

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