In his piece, 36 Hours in Porto, NY Times Travel writer, Seth Sherwood unveils a revitalized Porto, Portugal. From street food and shopping, to a thriving art scene and noble architecture, Porto’s intrigue extends well-beyond its vitnering heritage. Of course, few travelers will find themselves impervious to the temptation of the Douro Valley’s famed varietal, Port, and there are plenty of opportunities to sample some, but visitors will also find a number of worthy rivals among Portugal’s ample selection of domestic wines. On VBT’s walking Tour of Portugal, travelers can take advantage of a three day extension in Porto, enjoying all that the budding metropolis has to offer. Enjoy 36 Hours in Porto.
The Best Views in Italy
VBT travelers love Italy for many reasons ranging from the cuisine, to the chianti, to the cappuccino. As well as for its rich and varied history that has defined civilization itself. The advantage of exploring by bicycle and on foot is the spectacular views we can pause to enjoy. So we offer here some of our favorites. Go ahead, linger over them a while. There’s no hurry.
View of Rome from St. Peter’s
It’s been said that those who work hard are rewarded. Where better to earn your prize than atop St. Peter’s Basilica in Vatican City? Give your legs a workout, and admire a rapturous view of an ancient city, during the Rome extension of these Italy vacations: The Tuscan Coast, Tuscany by the Sea, Puglia: Italy’s Undiscovered Coast, Tuscan Hill Towns by Bike and The Amalfi Coast & Capri.
View of the Duomo in Florence
When you’re ready to step back from the intricate details of Florence’s Renaissance splendors, retreat to the south bank of the Arno River, past the Pitti Palace and into Boboli Gardens. The colossal beauty of Brunelleschi’s Duomo and Giotto’s campanile may best be admired from afar. Explore Florence during extensions before our Tuscan Coast and Tuscan Hill Towns by Bike trips.
View from Villa Cimbrone in Ravello
Standing on this balcony at Ravello’s Villa Cimbrone, you won’t be alone if you imagine that your Mediterranean view is endless. A past admirer was equally inspired, perhaps by the godlike statues, and coined this perch the Terrace of Infinity. The likes of Greta Garbo and D.H. Lawrence have also gazed at this magnificent view. Visit Ravello during our Amalfi Coast & Capri Walking Vacation.
View of Lake Como
Earthen-hued villas line Lake Como’s shores like so many celebrities huddling around for
a close-up. Indeed, for every lakeside village colored with terra-cotta simplicity and lapped at by tiny sloops, you’ll find grand estates dressed in over-the-top gardens with private yachts. You can visit Lake Como during an extension after our Italy: Po River Valley and Lake Garda Bicycling Vacation.
View of the Bay of Naples from the Hotel Europa Palace in Sorrento
From our Hotel Europa Palace in Sorrento, we admire the azure waters of the Bay of Naples. We’re also glimpsing a dark chapter of ancient history, when Vesuvius across the bay darkened the sky with ash and froze Pompeii in time. Today, it’s a mere sunset that darkens these heavens, and at night the lights of Naples flicker on the bay to the north. Sorrento is featured on our Amalfi Coast & Capri Walking Vacation.
View of the Dolomite Valleys
You might think it’s crazy to bicycle in the most mountainous region of Italy, but in the Dolomites of South Tyrol, easy bike routes wind their way past towering peaks. And lush valleys – with dreamy names like Pusteria, Aurina, and Venosta – are dotted with tiny villages that bring fairy tales to mind. You can experience the magic of easy alpine biking during our Italy: Cycling the Dolomite Valleys.
View of Siena
As it was in the 13th century when it was constructed, Piazza del Campo remains the focal point of Siena public life. It is where the Palio di Siena (known locally simply as Il Palio) horse race is held twice each year on July 2 and August 16. Many consider this the best spot to glimpse unspoiled medieval Italian architecture and city planning. Indeed, you’re likely to hear the echoes of cafe conversations, weekly markets, and city celebrations of the past 700 years. Visit Siena with VBT during our Tuscan Hill Towns by Bike trip.