TALLINN - between the poles of history and creativity

Estonia's capital Tallinn cannot be described with a handful of corny attributes and some stock catchphrases.

Tallinn - Estonia: St. Michaels Church
Besides many lovely and alluring things, there is also a bit of creepy to see in Tallinn - which makes the city even more intriguing.

For the standard categories, this city is too diverse, its past too changeful, its faith too inconsistent, its present too dynamic, and its future too promising: A hub between the poles of history and creativity.

RIGA - a city break at Latvia's entrancing capital

At this moment, the Baltic states are in some sort of touristy limbo: Certainly not an insider tip anymore, Latvia is still far from being overrun by large tourist groups.

Riga Three Brothers
Two of the iconic Trīs brāļi, the Three Brothers, a historic building complex. 

Although Riga is a modern and forward-looking metropolis, Latvia's entrancing capital preserves proudly its cultural identity, traditions, and a melancholic charm.

How to visit the Lago di COMO - a Lake to Like

Italy's northern lake-region is not only breathtakingly beautiful and the epitome of vacanze, holidays. It is also very easily accessible from many Italian cities as well as from Switzerland.

bye:myself - Renata Green - byemyselftravels: Italy Lake Como
Sail and motor boats quay at Colico, the Northernmost village on Lake Como's shores.

Flying into Milan's Malpensa airport, you don't even have to go downtown to catch a train: You hop on right at the airport and get off at mesmerizing Como after less than two hours.

And here, the dolce vita only begins....

mini guide to MILAN

Milan is probably Italy's most important economic and transport hub with two internationally operating airport in the outskirts.

Chances are that you have a connection in Milan - either between two flights or because you take a train from here to your final destination in Italy.

Italy Milan - View of the cathedral from the museo del novecento
Here you can kill two birds with one stone (actually that's a quite disturbing idiom): Best view at the Duomo, Milan's cathedral, from the Museo Novecento (the spiral on the ceiling is by Lucio Fontana, just so you know)

I had various stopovers in this North Italian metropolis - for instance when visiting the biennials or when going to Lake Como - and can therefore easily share my best bits of advice in this "24 hours in..."-post.

Of course, you won't be able to see all there is to admire in Milan in only 24 hours. Look at it as an aperitivo, Italy's famous equivalent to a happy hour, an amuse-gueule - a yummy snack that will make you come back for more.

But first, let's explore this very diverse metropolis following this mini guide.

GLASSTRESS 2019 at MURANO: it's a crystalline world

Most visitors to Venice stay and explore only the Centro Storico, the historic center, divided into six districts called Sestieri, seeming to form one large island. Albeit, there are said to be a total of 120 islands in the lagoon whereas only 11 are permanently inhabited.

Italy - Murano Island - Vetreria Ducale
Some of the best places to shop for glass on Murano island: The Vetreria Ducale, adorned by a sign of Guerrieri pottery, and to the left the Ferro & Lazzarini glass factory.

The island of Murano is the third largest one - after the Centro Storico and the Lido - and actually consists of seven small islands divided by eight channels and connected by bridges.

World-famous for glass and crystal, Murano is definitely worth the short boat trip from the Fondamente Nove stop; and, while the exhibition Glasstress is on, visiting Murano's crystalline world is indisputably a must.

VENICE on a budget - when to go, where to stay, what to eat, and much more

Visiting Venice can be pretty pricey: You find yourself at one of world's most unique places - and it comes with a price tag.

Italy Venice Canale Grande
Every visitor to Venice will know this sight: The Chiesa di San Simeon Piccolo across from the main train station Venezia Santa Lucia, photographed from the Ponte degli Scalzi.

I've been coming to Venice for years - at least every other year to visit the Biennale di Arte. Consequently, I'm not going there for these overpriced touristy places and services. I enjoy Venice on a budget - and believe me, I enjoy it to the max. Therefore, in this post, I'm sharing my best tips on when to go, where to stay, what to eat, and much more.

Biennale di Arte 2019: Tips on How to Visit World's Most Important Art Event in Venice

Venice is certainly a place worth visiting even when nothing special is on. Venice as such is special enough.

Ponte dell'Accademia Venice Italy
Ponte dell'Accademia, one of only four opportunities to cross the Canale Grande walking, advertising for this year's mega-event.

However, the Biennials are adding some contemporary suspense and glamour to all the shiny renaissance the Doges left behind, and this summer, the 58th Biennale di Arte is on.