Wednesday, January 23, 2013

2013 San Marino Chamber Choir Tour Route

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Home away from home: NH Laguna Palace, Venice

 The grand finale of the 2013 SMCC tour will be in Venice, Italy, where the group is staying at the NH Laguna Palace Hotel for three nights from Thursday, April 4 to Saturday, April 6.
One of the largest covered structures in Europe, this four-star hotel features free WiFi, phone, radio, air conditioning, coffee/tea station, hairdryer as well as a refrigerator in the rooms. Breakfast is served buffe-style and the Laguna hotel restaurant serves international and Italian dishes. 

Home away from home: Hotel Bristol, Opatija


Founded in 1906, the Bristol Hotel in Opatija, Croatia, will be the San Marino traveling group's home away from home on Tuesday, April 2, 2013.

The renovated, four-star hotel has a total of 78 rooms which all feature a TV, phone, in-room safe, as well as WiFi and climate control. 

There is also a spa & beauty area that includes a whirlpool, sauna, steam bath, fitness area, and massages. 

Aside from the restaurant, which serves local and international fare, the hotel also offers its own coffeehouse, the Cafe Palme, which serves Croatian specialties and coffees.   


Home away from home: Hotel International, Zagreb

The journey continues for the travelers of SMCC, as the group goes from one capital city to the next. After Ljubljana, Slovenia, the next stop is Croatia's capital city of Zagreb. The four-star Hotel International will be the group's home away from home for two nights on Sunday, March 31 and Monday, April 1, 2013. 
The four-star Hotel International has a total of 205 rooms, all equipped with a coffee/tea station, phone, TV, hairdryer, and air conditioning. The internet is also free of charge. Breakfast is served buffet-style in the mornings in the hotel restaurant. 
If you are interested, click here for further information and pictures

Home away from home: Austria Trend Hotel, Ljubljana


The first home away from home for the San Marino Chamber Choir and family & friends will be in Slovenia. The group is staying at the Austria Trend Hotel in the country's capital city of Ljubljana for two nights on Friday, March 29 and Saturday, March 30. 

Any of the 214 rooms feature a hairdryer, safe, TV, as well as air conditioning as part of their standard amenities. The hotel also offers free wireless internet. The hotel restaurant, where breakfast is also served in the mornings, offers domestic specialties, as well as international fare. The Wellness Club features massages, a sauna, and a whirlpool. For more impressions of the Austria Trend Hotel, be sure to check out the Gallery on the website

Monday, January 14, 2013

Incantato's Zagreb

In July 2013, the Croatian capital, which dates back to 1094, will be the next European capital to join the European Union. Despite this fact, however, Zagreb is not as international as one might expect. It has managed to retain much of its street-level character that is shaped as much by local tastes as global commercial imperatives. 
With the exception of a few, most of the businesses you will encounter in Zagreb are local ones. Explore the courtyards leading off of the main shopping street and you are sure to discover a unique world of boutiques and workshops. Many of these sell hand-made jewelry or individually-crafted hats and shoes. Zagreb is still able to boast professions such as millinery (hat making) and cordwainery (shoemaking/cobbler) with businesses still located in their traditional places in the city center. Additionally, unlike many of its fellow European capitals, Zagreb is a city where the main outdoor fruit and vegetable market still occupies center stage, just a few steps from the main square. All journeys through the city will cross the main square, as you can walk almost anywhere in this big village.
Although Zagreb may lack the big-city vibe of Vienna or Budapest, this is really where the charm of the city lies. It is a city where you can easily wind down, as it has remained compact in Central European fashion and most old-school entertainment options such as restaurants, concert halls and theaters are concentrated in a relatively small area. Sightseeing should involve a walk around the cobbled Upper Town, as well as a stroll of the grid-patterned streets of the Lower Town.

Mind the Blast:
Every day since 1877, a single loud cannon blast from Upper Town has signaled noon, so don't be scared when alarmed when you hear cannon fire. 
Marvel at the Cathedral:
If Zagreb has an iconic freature, it is the two towers of the Cathedral, created by Hermann Bolle after an earthquake struck in 1880. The Cathedral of the Assumption of the Holy Virgin Mary Right is right in the heart of town and a five-minute walk from the main square.
An icon returns:

One of the biggest attractions the city is currently able to offer is that of the Croatian Apoxyomenos, one of the country's oldest artworks. The statue was salvaged from the ocean floor in 1999 and has been dated to the first century BC. Currently, Croatia's most famous Roman-era statue is on display at the Mimara Museum.