TRAVEL MORE FOR A BETTER HEALTH.

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I’M SURE YOU ALREADY KNOW! But just in case you need it, here is a scientific proof from the U.S Travel Assosiation that Travel is seriously good for our health. 🙂 Image

Last month, the U.S. Travel Association, in partnership with the Global Coalition on Aging and Transamerica Center for Retirement Studies, released the results of a research study that showed a link between travel and positive health outcomes. Basically, the study showed that people who travel are healthier and happier than those who don’t travel.

I imagine some of you might be thinking, “I could have told you that.” But it’s useful to have actual data to back up something that many of us in the travel industry know instinctively.

For instance, the study showed that those who travel are significantly more satisfied in mood and outlook compared to those who do not travel (86 percent compared to 75 percent). Further, 77 percent of Americans who travel report satisfaction with their physical health and well-being, while only 61 percent of those who do not travel say the same. Nearly two-thirds (63 percent) of survey respondents report walking more and getting more exercise on trips than they do at home.

Travel also has cognitive benefits. A white paper released as a complement to the study, titled “Destination Healthy Aging: The Physical, Cognitive and Social Benefits of Travel,” reports that the stimuli associated with travel, including navigating new places, meeting new people and learning about new cultures, can help delay the onset of degenerative disease.

“Travel is good medicine,” explained Dr. Paul Nussbaum, president and founder of the Brain Health Center, Inc. and a clinical neuropsychologist and adjunct professor of Neurological Surgery at the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine. “Because it challenges the brain with new and different experiences and environments, it is an important behavior that promotes brain health and builds brain resilience across the lifespan.”

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From Levanto to Lerici (Liguria Italy) – you’ve already decided where to spend your Summer vacations?

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 We’re already thinking about the summer, the scent of the Mediterranean Sea and its unique scenery…so, here is an advice for an unforgettable trip!

An excursion from Levanto to Lerici (Liguria Italy) outstanding and intact scenery of Cinque Terre is a truly unique experience.

Cinque-Terrelevanto-beachfront                 

A bathe in the charming of old colorful towns in a dazzling location as this particular seafront, overlooking hills, steep terrain where the vineyards triumph.
We are in the beautiful location of Cinque Terre National Park, declared a World Heritage Site by Unesco.
The trip starts from Levanto, whose historical center shelters genuine architectural treasures, such as the  Gothic church of St. Andrew or the Municipal Loggia of the 13th century. Along a rocky coastline, which descends steeply into the sea, with tight vineyards  that arise between the rocks, punctuated by small villages where agriculture and maritime blend with rich colors, simplicity and charm.

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First authentic stage of the Cinque Terre: Monterosso al Mare, acclaimed tourist resort, adorned with polished villas and a nice beach . In the old-fashioned village center, where the narrow streets climb up the hill, you can admire the Gothic parish church of St. John the Baptist and the baroque Church of San Francesco, close to the Capuchins convent. Here you will come up, among other beautiful things, with  the literary park named after the the poet Eugenio Montale, chorister of these lands.

       OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA                il gigante negli scogli di monterosso 2

Then you arrive to Vernazza, with its awesome marina, around which develops the medieval town, with its distinctive square, you can admire the imposing watchtowers of Genoa and the bewitching Gothic church dedicated to Saint Margaret of Antioch.

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A hundred feet above the sea there is Corniglia, perched on the crest of the hill and connected to the beach by a staircase of 365 steps;  you can enjoy a splendid view from here.

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Will certainly have a strong impact the huge black rock overlooking the sea on which Manarola stands, known for olive oil and wine production, with its colorful houses that give the impression to arise from the steep rock.
The last (but not least!) village in the Cinque Terre, and also the heart of the homonymous National park, is Riomaggiore; a picturesque fishing village, with high and narrow houses  coloured in typical pastel colors, among these narrow alleyways you can enjoy a continous alternation of light and darkness.

    A side street in Corniglia             Corniglia-chiesa_di_San_Pietro-navata_centrale-soffitto

Leaving the protected area, is definitely worth making a detour to Porto Venere.
This popular resort of Liguria region is a perfect illustration of the blend of nature and architecture: from the marina promenade that frames the infinite palette of its narrow houses, the steep stairways and narrow alleys end on the promontory of the Mouths where stands the Church of St.Peter, from the early Christian era completed in the Gothic style.

      Mareggiata Portovenere 2003       Porto_Venere-chiesa_san_pietro4
Also worth seeing is the Sanctuary of the Madonna Bianca, formerly the parish church of San Lorenzo, built in the 12th century in Romanesque style it was later restored and enlarged, and the Doria Castle, a majestic military fortress.

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 In front of Porto Venere we can find the three islands of Palmaria (where you can visit the beautiful Blue Grotto), Tino and Tinetto, all part of the Regional Park of Portovenere.

    cinque terre isola         laspezia

Then we go straight to La Spezia, where one must visit the abbey church of Santa Maria Assunta, which has an interesting artistic heritage inside; and also worth a visit the Museums of the Italian Navy.

The last stage of this beautiful trip, is Lerici, the so-called Gulf of Poets (the Gulf of La Spezia, chosen by Byron and Shelley for their holidays). The resort is marked by a lots of stair and steps and alleyways and by the imposing military Castle. Not to be missed a stroll along the promenade and a visit to the oratory of San Rocco, with its 14th century bell tower and the church of San Francesco for the valuable works of art stored there.

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I greet you with a wonderful song by a beloved singer passed away, that was just from these  wonderful places. (local dialect)   http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KoVxtw5V3GQ

With closed eyes I can already smell the scent of the blue sea..

>>>  If you choose to cruise the Mediterranean, Seadreams can bring you there!
        Visit the Facebook page here:  https://www.facebook.com/SeadreamsExcursions
😉

_SEARCHING OUR OWN PRIVATE ITHACA_

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            IlViaggioDiUlisse

The theme of travel is present in the literature of all time, from classical antiquity to present days. The hero, therefore, has become a symbol: Odysseus. He is clever, curious about every experience, willing to risk in order to satisfy the desire for knowledge; Ulysses is the man sensitive to family affection, longing to finally land the much missed home: his journey, then, is the need to rediscover the roots, to give security to existence. From Homer’s poem the figure of Ulysses was handed over to the subsequent literature as a “hero of knowledge”.

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Ulysses (in greek Ὀδυσσεύς , Odysseus) Half hero, half man. Hero of which you can not do without, who knows how to overcome obstacles with intelligence.

He is the prototype of modern man, contradictory, experienced, adventurous, wise, clever but mostly CURIOUS. Subject to Fate, but also master of its own destiny, ” homo faber fortunae suae.”

Ulysses represents the Journey, the Adventure, he is Freedom, is Research in all its variations, and it is LIFE itself cause life itself is all these things. A journey that encompasses the duality between loyalty to the roots and the challenge of research and full knowledge of “the Other”. And ‘ risk of loss , but also the promise of conquest.

Our natural urge to always searching for New, the instinctive attraction to what separates us from the realities unknown , the ability to adapt to unpredictable situations.

This is the eternal journey of ourselves in search of ourselves, of who and what we really are!

Ulysses is a hero that crosses the border, is a man who wants to go deeper into Knowledge.

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Many authors have written on the myth of Ulysses , giving each one a different reading but he is always the most fascinating and enigmatic of the literature.

Dante describes Odysseus as a hero of the rebellion and free-thinking , which goes beyond the Pillars of Hercules because it does not tolerate limitations. Mainly highlights the desire for knowledge and imagines his last trip with his teammates over the mythical Columns where it was written ” Non plus ultra “. Limit beyond which the medieval man sees the unknown, destruction and death..the end of the world.

“Thus Spoke Zarathustra” by Nietzsche is about a superman, free to build his own destiny, above moral and social laws , following stress and instinctive impulses.   D’Annunzio imagines Odysseus like a  hero – symbol of navigation, as the personification of the superman, the one that rises above the. Always him, the bard/poet , coined the word “Ulisside” to indicate a person inclined to travel.

For Joyce‘s Ulysses the journey is within, he is the absolute anti-hero , not larger spaces not units of time, place and action.

Ulisse_Stromboli              Ulisse_libia

Ulysses becomes the emblem of a free life and of an heroic fullness.

But we all are “Ulysses” or indeed: “Odysseus”; you are, I am.

When the exclamation mark that we use as our compass snaps, becomes a question mark, and takes us off guard and forces us to open that map of our Existence, to follow with our finger the Roads and investigate those reasons which, at every junction, drive us to take just that one and not the other direction.

Everyone follows his way, imagining his way , everyone is looking for the hidden corners , although sometimes the stories go wrong, theese are just doors behind doors, everything remains the same and everything will change, maybe tomorrow will be better, maybe tomorrow will be worse; but tomorrow, as today is just temporary.

Maybe you are just traveling to get lost..or maybe you are traveling with a goal, living your trip as if each second were the last one; trying to understand what it is this thing that we created and that at some point gets out of hand, enslaves us and kills us, the closer you get the further it goes away: our Knowledge and consciousness!

And traveling beacuse we don’t really know our destination, traveling between Life and Dream, Mortality and Immortality.

Mortality in a sense, so desired by Odysseus, because his desire to return home is so much strong to refuse immortality, he refuses an endless life offered him by Calypso on her island…Is the Journey a perpetual return, to themselves?

 We can land anywhere, but we will never disembark from ourselves.

Have you ever thought of a trip following the footsteps of our hero Ulysses?                                             In the meanwhile, you might look for inspiration here:

http://www.getyourguide.com/rome-l33/rome-full-day-tour-shore-excursion-from-civitavecchia-t11061/

“I cannot rest from travel:                                                                                                                                        I will drink  Life to the lees: all times I have enjoyed                                                                              greatly, have suffered greatly, both with those                                                                                             that loved me, and alone.”                                                                                                                                Alfred Tennyson