«March 2014»

Top Paris Budget Hotel Picks

TiquetonneLike anyone else, I like to save money in Paris.  However, I still like to be comfortable and in a good location when choosing a Paris hotel.  It's not easy to find a budget hotel in Paris but there are some places that I can recommend for those who want to save a few euros when visiting the City of Light.  Check out my blog post to find my picks for budget hotels in Paris.

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The Professor in The Wall Street Journal

Solosky Wall Street JournalIn 2012, I had the opportunity to be profiled in The Wall Street Journal.   A journalist had heard about me retiring from my position as a professor in the State University of New York System and my change of careers to leading small group tours to Paris, Spain, Italy, and Peru.   It took about 2 months from the time all the interviewing was completed until the time the article was published and I remember the first time I saw it in print.   I was traveling home from a small group tour to Peru and Machu Picchu and someone in the seat in front of me was reading The Wall Street Journal.   As he opened it up, I could see he was reading the article.   I resisted the urge to get out of my seat and point to it and say "Hey, that's me!".   It was an exciting time.   Read the blog post to see the WSJ article. 

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Top Restaurant Picks in Florence Italy

trebbio florenceFlorence is one of my favorites when taking people on my small group tours to Italy.  And one of our favorite things to do is EAT!  I like authentic dishes like riboletta, a Tuscan bean soup made with black cabbage.  Let's not forget about the famous Florentine steak.  And then there are the wonderful Tuscan cheeses, breads, and olive oils.   Read the blog post and look at my favorite places to eat when on tour to Florence.

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Private Tour Guides in Paris

traveling professor guideAll of The Traveling Professor's small group tours to Paris are professionally guided.   I made a decision to do that several years ago when I saw how much it adds to the Paris touring experience.  In fact, it can make all the difference in a world on a visit to Paris or any other destination for that matter.  In this blog, I will tell you what to look for in a Paris tour guide and give some of my best recommendations.

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Where to Eat in Peru

monasterioMost people don't think of Peru as being a culinary capital, but it is.  On our small group tours to Peru and Machu Picchu we make it a point to stop in some of the best (and most affordable) restaurants that can be found.   Primarily, the best dining can be found in Lima and in Cusco.   There are traditional dishes such as cuy and alpaca, but Peru chefs have strong skills in creating some of the best fusion dishes that can be found.  Read the blog post and find out where to dine before your next tour to Peru and Machu Picchu.

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Where to Stay in Venice

venice canalVenice is a fascinating city and we often visit on The Traveling Professor's small group tours to Italy.   Some people only do a day trip to Venice but I like to stay a night or two because Venice is most beautiful in the evening as the cruise people disappear from the streets and St. Mark's lights up.  In this blog post I will give my Venice 3 star hotel recommendations so that your next tour to Venice is an enjoyable one. 

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Fare Alert: $634.70 on American Airlines

bargain airfares to milanI was browsing through my favorite search engine for airfares on www.itasoftware.com and I came upon a $634.70 R/T airfare to Milan, Italy from JFK New York.  At those prices, how could I go wrong?  I will be departing New York City on April 2 and returning a week later on April 9.  Although I travel to Europe many times each year on The Traveling Professor's small group tours to Italy, Spain, Paris, Peru & Machu Picchu, I could not pass up this bargain air fare for a personal trip to Italy.  For my plans once I get there, see my blog post.

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Top Paris Restaurants for Lunch

paris lunchI've said it before and I will say it again: dining does not need to be expensive while on tour to Paris.   In this blog post I have listed some of my best places in Paris for lunch.   I like to advocate sitting down for a proper lunch while on tour in Paris whether I am touring alone or leading a small group tour to Paris.   Finding a place to dine in Paris is not easy, but finding one that is inexpensive and good is not an easy task.  Read about my top picks for lunch in Paris.

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What to See in Siena

The Traveling ProfessorOn The Traveling Professor's small group tours to Italy, especially when we go to Florence, a day trip to Florence is a popular destination.   Only about 75 minutes by bus, this Tuscan hill town is known for it's beauty, food, history and well, just for a place to sit around and hang out.   In this blog post I will tell you what's on my list to see in Siena and perhaps on a trip to Italy, you can stop by and enjoy it too.

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Off The Radar Attractions in Paris

guimetI call Paris "The City of Discovery".  Every time I go or every time I lead a Traveling Professor small group tour to Paris, there is always something new to be found.  Sure, we visit the Eiffel Tower, Louvre, Orsay, Notre Dame and all of the great attractions, but sometimes these great sites overshadow other quality attractions.   Take a look at my blog post and see some of the off the beaten path attractions that may make a trip to Paris more fabulous than you ever thought it would be.

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Do's and Dont's of Visiting France the First Time

Paris TouristsWhether traveling to Paris on your own for the first time, or traveling on a small group tour to Paris, being prepared and knowing what to expect can make the difference in making a trip a success.   In today's first part of a 2 segment guest blog by renowned travel expert, Stuart Gustafson (http://www.stuartgustafson.com), he'll give us a few valuable tips on how to prepare for and enjoy  a first tour to Paris.

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Airline Deals

small group tours to parisProbably the largest expense behind the cost of lodging on a tour to Peru or a vacation to Europe is going to be airfare costs.   With fares to Europe this summer in the $1,500 range for economy class, people are scrambling to find the best airfares.   In this blog post I put down some of my best tips for finding bargain airfares to Italy, Paris, and Spain as well as Peru.  So now on your next tour to Europe or even Peru, spend money on dining, touring, or a great hotel instead of giving it to the airlines.


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Paris For Ladies Only

paris ladies onlyLast year I introduced "Paris For Ladies Only" as a new tour offering and it immediately became the most popular trip on my schedule.  It is in many ways like my other small group tours to Paris in that we only take about 12 people, we see the major sights like the Louvre, Orsay, Opera and other popular places in the City of Light.  However on our "Ladies Only" tour we stay at an exclusive 4-star Left Bank hotel and add some spectacular features the ladies prefer.  It's perfect for solo travelers (about half the ladies coming on my tours are solo travelers) or those traveling with a companion.  So, pack your bags and leave the guys behind and check out the details of my "Paris For Ladies Only" tour in this blog post.

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Italy Packing List

small group tours to italyOn Wednesday I embark for a one week tour of Italy.  When I take people on a small group tour of Italy I have a well-defined itinerary but this time, since I am traveling on a personal trip to Italy, my itinerary is somewhat more flexible.   All I know now is I will arrive in Rome and stay for 2 nights, probably taking a trip to Assisi, then I will go up to Florence for a few nights taking side trips to Pisa, Venice and perhaps Siena.   I will probably spend the last night in Milan before heading home.   Check out my blog post to see what I will be packing on a trip to Italy.

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Italy Trip Report: Day 1

Italy Trip ReportWe started out from Great Barrington, MA on Wednesday at 11 a.m.   We made it to JFK by 4 pm to catch our 6:15 pm flight to Milan.  After arriving in Milan it was a train to Milano Centrale train station then a 3 hour cruise into Rome, checking in at 3 p.m.  To say I am tired is an understatement, but I still went out and did a good 5 hours of touring.   Check out the blog post to see what we did today in Rome.

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