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Manual 29 Things to Do

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Golf buggies are the mode of transport on the islands and should you ever get the chance, be sure to hijack one to go for a spin! Practically any private dining set up can be arranged — from dining on water to dining in a beach pit dug into the sand. The options are as endless as your creativity! Again, the Maldives really does have it all. This swing was one of my favourite secret spots at Taj Exotica. I gave myself one rule heading in to my trip to the Maldives: catch every sunrise and catch every sunset. The sun rises early around 6am so we started quite early each day, but this was a great chance to see and enjoy the resort to ourselves.

Then every evening we would catch the sunset — be that in the pool, by the beach, or at the bar! During our stay at Jumeirah Vittaveli we pledged to try as much local cuisine as possible. During one of our lunches we tried a local cooking class, learning to cook the-most-divine-tasting tofu curry I have tasted in my life! You may have noticed a few things on this list involve coconuts: sipping coconuts, bathing in coconut milk, and finally learning how to make coconut oil!

Their smiles, enthusiasm, and willingness to share their culture with you is what stays with you long after your visit. I can still envisage those grins! Another great water activity that is offered at most resorts free of charge is kayaking. Its a great way to start your day before over indulging in all the incredible cuisine… and its not too hard to get a hang of!

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While it is good to try ALL of the activities and ALL of the food, it is also good to just kick back and take it all in. In fact, the time wasted wasting time was not time wasted at all! The only downside to the Maldives is departing on that inevitable flight home. Just remember that this is a paradise that will always welcome you and you can always come back for more! Hi Brooke! Thanks in advance! But maybe you ignored it….

29 Unusual Things to Do in Rome to Escape the Crowds

Great post! You missed swimming with the whale sharks. Ahhh, the colors of Maldives are just something else! A small piece of heaven on earth. Great post Brooke, your photos are just stunning and are making me long for some summer sunshine. Happy Travels! That all looks incredible — cannot wait to get there on my honeymoon, once I have found Mr. Love this! Your photos are beautiful! Oh my, what an incredibly gorgeous place! I definitely would looove parasailing and swinging in the sea! A Quick Guide to Positano.

Comments Hi its really awesome beautiful images and nice article. Beautiful photos!

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I bet that water was warm!!! The tour ended with a short concert in the Jupiter room, which is usually closed to the public, and afterwards, we could explore the gallery on our own. Palazzo Doria Pamphilj is at Via del Corso, The Sounds and Visions of Caravaggio music tour takes place at 11 am on Saturdays and lasts an hour. Go to Palazzo Barberini at 9 am. For some reason this gallery is overlooked and we had it completely to ourselves. The ground floor houses older art from the ss.

We preferred the first floor the piano nobile where the family would have lived with its stunning frescos and Renaissance and Baroque paintings. The first floor had recently been renovated and until October includes a modern art exhibition from MAXXI where portraits and self-portraits are displayed alongside the classical art.

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The second floor was closed on our visit, but we had more than enough to see without it. Palazzo Barberini is at Via delle Quattro Fontane, Galleria Sciarra was built in the late 19th century for the wealthy Sciarra family and was originally due to be a shopping mall but instead became the headquarters of their magazine. Closed Mondays. There are plenty of Roman ruins to visit in the city but what makes Le Domus Romane unique is its use of multimedia technology. Access is by tour only which takes place on a glass floor above the ruins of two Roman villas from the 1st—4th centuries AD.

The building above, Palazzo Valentini, is a 15th century Renaissance villa which was built on top. These would have been very grand private residences, and the tour includes the hot and cold baths and some beautiful mosaics. Light, music, visuals, and audio are used to explain what you are seeing and show what the houses would have looked like in Roman times.

Although the technology feels slightly dated, it does help bring the ruins to life.


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Le Domus Romane is at via Foro Traiano No photos allowed. It would be especially lovely at sunset although it was cloudy on the day we visited. The rooftop bar is open every day from 6. We have mixed feelings about the Capuchin Crypt. The crypt lies beneath the Church of Santa Maria della Concezione which was once the home of Capuchin friars. When they moved here they brought the remains of the deceased friars with them, but rather than simply burying them, they decorated a series of tiny chapels with the bones. The chapels contain the skeletons of small friars in robes with thousands of bones arranged around them in arches and decorative details.

They are divided by body part—skulls, pelvises, and shoulder blades all collected together. Even the light fixtures above us in the corridor were made from bones. But to us it seemed anti-religious and thought they should acknowledge how disturbing the place is.

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Should you visit? We were the only visitors in this small art gallery of 16th and 17th century art in a Renaissance palace. The most interesting part is the forced perspective gallery by Francesco Borromini in the courtyard.


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The gallery of arches is only nine meters long but an optical illusion makes it look much longer and the sculpture at the end larger. Galleria Spada is at Piazza Capo di Ferro, The suppli rice balls at Supplizio are another typical Roman snack. Everything we ate there was delicious including the melanzana alla parmigiana eggplant parmesan to start, the spaghetti cacio e pepe a lighter version than the ones we ate in Testaccio , and the spaghetti verde with rocket, pecorino and lemon—so simple but so good.

You need to book a few weeks in advance. If you are very hungry, order the 2-person antipasti and watch your table fill with bowls of vegetables, beans, cheese, and prosciutto. For something more classically Roman, the Chiostro del Bramante is a cafe above an art museum with balcony seating looking down on lovely fresco-covered cloisters. On our next trip, we plan to treat ourselves to a stay in the 5-star Grand Hotel de la Minerve in a 17th-century mansion with views of the Pantheon and a rooftop terrace.

Check prices here. Check prices. The Colosseum is a 20 minute walk from the centre of Rome and the area gets very crowded with visitors to the famous Roman amphitheatre. The Baths of Caracalla were only the second largest public baths in Rome, a fact that astonished us as they are absolutely huge.

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They were inaugurated in AD by the Emperor Caracalla and became the most spectacular thermal complex in ancient times. The site includes hot and cold baths, gym, library, cafes, and an Olympic size swimming pool where people lounged at the edges and played games you can still see the notches in the stone. The gardens are also a lovely place for a stroll or a picnic on the grass.

In the summer, concerts take place here. What we loved most about these ruins is the use of Virtual Reality. The Baths are free on the first Sunday of the month, but they are much busier then so either arrive at 9 am or visit on a quieter day. We arrived at 10 am and they had already sold out of VR headsets reserving them in advance is a good idea. After looking around for an hour we managed to get one. The Domus Aurea or Golden House was an immense villa complex of 80 hectares built by Emperor Nero after the great fire of 64 AD which destroyed most of the city.

Emperor Trajan used it as a foundation for his public baths, sealing windows and doors and filling some spaces with dirt. Entrance is by group tour only. Tours are led by an archaeologist and use video and virtual reality to show what the villa would have looked like with its decorative walls and beautiful views of the countryside. Most of the art was removed when Trajan built on it, but you can see some small sections of mosaics.

One of the most impressive spaces is a large octagonal room with an oculus in the ceiling to let in light—it predated the Pantheon and was used as a private art gallery. Tours only take places on weekends, last 1. This tour combines the Domus Aurea with the Colosseum. Instead of eating in this touristy area, I recommend heading to the nearby neighbourhood of Monti, only a minute walk from Domus Aurea. There are plenty of places to eat in the area—we liked La Taverna dei Fori Imperiali.

If you do want to, the Colosseum Palace Star has views of the Colosseum from its spacious rooms and gets fantastic reviews. Another option is to stay in the nearby Monti neighborhood— Soggiorno Downtown is excellent value and only a 5-minute walk from the Colosseum. Search for more hotels near the Colosseum here.

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Aventine Hill is one of the seven hills Rome was built upon. A little further on from the Keyhole is the Giardino degli Aranci or Orange Garden, a small, peaceful park with stunning views over Rome. Continue on to the Roseto Comunale or Rose Garden, another tranquil retreat from the city with a beautiful display of roses and city views. Aventine Hill is a quiet place to base yourself in Rome and you get more for your money here. Testaccio is our favourite neighbourhood in Rome, and we recently spent a month there.

See our Testaccio neighborhood guide for more details including where to eat and stay. Read our Testaccio food tour review for more details. Testaccio Market is one of my favourite markets in the world with fantastic fresh produce stalls as well as lunch options ranging from pasta to sushi. If you are very keen you can visit inside on weekends, but otherwise the best views are from the Non-Catholic Cemetery. The pyramid is at Via Raffaele Persichetti.

Tours inside the Pyramid are in Italian and only run on weekends at 11 am. Keats, Shelley and Gregory Corso are among the famous people who were buried at this cemetery for non-Catholics. St Pauls is one of the four great basilicas of Rome and it is immense. When the Apostle Paul was executed here in the 1st century AD his followers erected a small shrine, which became a church a few centuries later. Over the centuries the church grew in size and splendour.