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TIPS FOR ENJOYING VENICE WITHOUT THE CROWDS

Venice is one of those places everyone must visit at least once. The uniqueness of Venice is that it is comprised of 118 islands connected by over 400 bridges. The charm of its canals, bridges, and stone buildings with hanging flower baskets are truly spectacular. I first visited Venice almost 20 years ago and the biggest difference was how crowded it was this time around. The thing about Venice is knowing where to go without the crowds so you can enjoy the beauty, charm, and romanticism. Otherwise, you will be battling through a multitude of people and totally not appreciating this beautiful city. The area around Piazza San Marco can be tough to get through, especially during day time h

CROATIA'S WORLD HERITAGE SITES

Did you know Croatia has 9 UNESCO World Heritage Sites? A World Heritage site is a landmark or area which is selected by the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) as having cultural, historical, scientific or other form of significance, and is protected by international treaties. This tiny country is a little over 20k square miles (about the size of West Virginia!), and it has so many spectacular places and natural beauty. During my recent trip to Croatia we were fortunate enough to visit 3 of the 9 UNESCO sites... Plitvice Lakes National Park... This spectacular park has 16 turquoise blue lakes with waterfalls separating the upper and lower lakes.

FOOD & WINE EXPERIENCES IN CROATIA

Croatia was full of surprises... I expected beautiful scenery and a great vacation but the experiences were beyond my expectations. From the minute we arrived I was blown away by the spectacular water of the Adriatic Sea. With deep blue tones and crystal clear water, it was so inviting. The beaches are rocky but jumping in during our days out on a boat was so refreshing. Croatia also has a tremendously upscale culinary scene... 3 Michelin starred restaurants and 55 restaurants with Michelin recommendations (which usually means they are on their way to obtaining a star). We had delightful culinary experiences all over the country... fresh fish and seafood, the most tender grilled meats,

THE MOST ROMANTIC TOWN ON THE MEDITERRANEAN

In the north west tip of Croatia lies the Istrian Peninsula. This area was once part of Italy and still has a very Italian culture and feel. Some say this is what Tuscany used to be like many years ago. Rovinj was my favorite city in this area (and one of my favorites in all of Croatia!). The Old Town was so charming... narrow winding streets, colorful stone houses with bright shutters, and a beautiful harbor. I completely fell in love with Rovinj while getting lost strolling around the pedestrian only cobblestone streets. Wandering the streets is the best way to explore Rovinj. Walk all the way up to the church and climb to the top for magnificent views. The beautiful harbor lights up in

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