Florence in One Day Relaxing and Enjoyable, Italy


Florence is a very romantic and charming city with lots of things to do. Myself I could easily go around for weeks or even months. However, most of us have a limited vacation or the budget to extend the trip. Therefore, I decided to share top things to do in Florence so you get the maximum of it. If you have just a day to visit it, you still will enjoy.

  • Ufizzi Gallery – this is one of the most famous galleries in Italy so be prepared. Buy your online tickets in advance before you travel and make a list of top things you would like to see there. Opening hours 8:15-18:50, Monday – closed.
  • Lunch – there are plenty of restaurants in Florence but for you to have the best experience, I selected amazing one in a walking distance, Il Santo Bevitore. It is a traditional Italian restaurant with a great vibe, cozy ambiance, and delicious food. Very important to make a reservation before you arrive. Opening hours 12:30-14:30 and 19:30-23:00
  • Ice Cream – after a nice lunch what can be better than refreshing gelato. Well, there is one of the best ice cream stores right on a corner Gelateria La Carraia. This is my personal weakness, absolutely adore chocolate flavor.
  • Shopping – walk on beautiful shopping streets and get some fashionable outfits for the upcoming season. Opening hours big boutiques – open all day till 19:30, smaller ones – close for lunch 12:30-15:30
  • Santa Maria del Fiore – this cathedral is a must visit when you are in Florence. It is a masterpiece from outside as well as inside. The construction of this cathedral began in 1296, so it is a significant contribution to Italian architecture. Opening hours 10:00-17:00
  • Aperatif – around 6 pm everyone starts to gather for aperitifs before dinner. So take an advantage of this tradition and enjoy a couple of cocktails like Aperol Shpritz or Negroni. In Italy, you will be always served some snacks like chips and nuts with your drink as a compliment. I definitely recommend a super vibrant place on the main square, Gilli Café.
  • Dinner – to have a romantic and relaxing dinner with a fabulous view I would recommend trying Se Sto on Arno which is located on the rooftop of Westin Excelsior Hotel. The combination of high food and high location of the restaurant will take your breath away. Opening hours 12:30-14:30 and 19:30-22:30.
  • After the dinner, just enjoy a beautiful walk around Florence during sunset.

So this is an example of a perfect day in Florence. In fact, this day plan was contracted in a way that everything is in a walking distance and located in the most popular among tourists, an old part of the town. Hope, it will be helpfull for those who are traveling for the first time to Florence. This list was made by personal experience, local interviews, and advice of my friends. Please feel free to add or share your experience of Florence.


Terme di Montecatini Health Retreat, Italy


One of the best trips that I have ever done was to a small village in Tuscany, Montecatini. I came there with my best friend to become more beautiful, skinny and healthy. If fact, among Russian and Ukranian community there is a trend to go to Thermal Waters for health retreat. We heard lots of amazing stories about the water in Montecatini so were desperate to try it for ourselves. The first day of our trip we went to Terme di Montecatini where we got a proper prescription from a doctor on how to drink this water. We decided to have a full course for 6 days but it is allowed to even buy it for a day. It depends on your personal tolerance to such treatments. The prescription can be done in any language, for some reason doctor gave us Russian one.

  1. 250 ml of Regina warm, drink in 3 min while walking
  2. 250 ml of Regina mixed, drink in 5 min while walking
  3. Wait 5 minutes
  4. 500 ml of Tettuccio room temperature, drink in 20 min while walking
  5. After 20 min breakfast, starting with warm tea or warm coffee with milk
  6. At 4 or 5 pm, I could also have o.5 l of Rinfresco for 40 min while sitting

Every day we had to take Regina and Tettuccio on empty stomach between 8:30-12:00. The taste of them was a little salty expessially, Regina. They also had Leopoldina water which wasn’t prescribed to us but we tried a little just for fun. Honestly speaking, it smelled like a sewage, really bad. The others were much easier to swallow. Morning waters we had to drink while walking so we visited each corner of a park around. Really beautiful place, I could call it Tuscan paradise.

Morning waters we had to drink while walking so we visited each corner of a park around. Really beautiful place, I could call it Tuscan paradise. The architecture of Terme di Montecatini is just magnificent not to talk about nature. Plus they play lovely live music every morning. The place reminded me of one scene in the movie The Duchess. In fact, I really felt myself like a duchess there, I bet many important and royal people were coming to this place for many years.

So the most intresting part of this health reatreat, the results. Does it or it doesn’t work? Frankly speaking, I haven’t loose any weight. Nevertheless, I guess because I was eating nonstop all italian delicious food and all gelatos of Tuscany. But my skin became magicly clear and more beautiful. After a month, I really feel that the water cleaned some of the toxins from my body. Taking into cosidereation that I was going to cosmetolagist for many months and couldn’t solve some skin problem, I consider Montecatini water really helped.

Last but not least, the cost of this lovely treatment was around € 100  for 6 days including doctor consultation. Moreover, you can rent a glass for € 2 which is refundable once you give the glass back. At the end of the course, I also bought face cream for skin balance made with this magical water so hopefully, soon I will do a review on it.



FUME Restaurant, Dubai


img_8021FUME is one of the most popular restaurants in Dubai. There you can find plenty of choices for breakfast, lunch and dinner.  For any taste and diet there is a solution, plus the chef can tailor some of the dishes to your taste. I have been in FUME for around 6 times, two in the downtown branch and four in Pier 7, Dubai Marina. It is not a Michelin starred food experience, rather a great place to gather with friends. My favorite menu there is for breakfast as it offers great healthy choices. However, I know many people love to come there after work to get a glass of wine or beer. For a lunch, I personally have a mixed feeling about the food. Some dishes I like and some I wouldn’t order it again. But in general, I am super picky with the food and also, my Russian origin can play some role in my food preferences.

Regarding the service, I also have a comment. One time in FUME Pier 7 I was treated rather rude than polite by some British lady when I wanted to sit at a specific table. The restaurant was almost empty and she was trying to give the worst table ever. Maybe that lady just had a bad day, after all we all have such days but with such experience, I didn’t want to go there for many months. So I hope it was an exception rather than their daily way of dealing with customers.  Of course, if you come as a press you will be treated excellent everywhere, that is why I like to come as a simple customer to see a true quality of food and service.


Moving on, the interior there is quite nice and different. The place has many modern details, true character and lots of day light. Aw… almost forgot to mention about gorgeous view of the yacht bay and lovely water channel. In conclusion, FUME restaurant is a great simple place to come with a big group of friends and have some fun. If you tried this restaurant already, let me know about your experiences, I would love to know your opinion about it.

  • Location – Fume Pier 7 & Downtown Dubai
  • Cuisine – British
  • Food quality – great for breakfast and snacks, the rest was nothing special
  • Food Presentation – simple food with little decorations
  • Service – average, sometimes excellent sometimes rude
  • Ambiance – nice and cozy place
  • Parking – very convenient and easy
  • Price – $$$
  • Overall Experience – ★★★★☆


As-Siyaaha Tour Operator, Mauritius

As-Siyaaha Tour Operator is one of the best tour company in Mauritius. I came across this company while I was doing a plan for my trip. I found them through Google search. After checking out their website, I decided to contact them and I am so happy that I did. Of course, at first, without knowing the company I was a little bit skeptical if I did the right choice. But after my first tour, I couldn’t be happier that I found them. Therefore, love to share my wonderful experience and help those who are also planning to travel to Mauritius. As-Siyaaha Tour Operator offers very competitive prices and lots of different services. All employees that I have met were super friendly, professional and knowledgeable about Mauritius. On their website, you will find services such as,

  1. Airport Transfer
  2. Rent a Car
  3. Lots of Activities
  4. Any type of Side Seeing Tours
  5. And much more.

I was going with them everyday during my trip. They were the one, who picked me up from the airport as well as dropped me at the end of my trip. Also, with As-Siyaaha I did a couple of full day side seeing tours with stops at a tea plantationboat crafting factoryseven colors earth and etc. Plus, I did few boat activities such as swimming with the dolphins and catamaran tour on the east side. Thanks to As-Siyaaha Tours my trip to Mauritius was absolulty great, I got lots of beautiful photos and priceless memories. Last but not least, they tailor services for different types of costumers like families, vip cliens and just single travelers.


Catamaran Tour on East Island, Mauritius

Catamaran tour is one of my favorite activity I have done during my trip to Mauritius. It is a full day tour to the small island on the east side. Since I was living on the west side, it took more than an hour ride but it was totally worth it. The driver picked me up 7:45 and we reach the place at 9 am. At first, the weather was a little chilly and drizzling, but after an hour, it became sunny and beautiful. Nature around is indescribable. We were going on shallow water like 1-3 miters depth, plus it was very transparent with gorgeous turquoise color. On our way, we stopped at the waterfall for a couple of minutes then we came back and had lovely lunch with barbecue which was prepared on the boat. Then around 1 pm, we reached the island. According to locals, the place has the best beaches in Mauritius. I do agree, there were beautiful white sand and clear blue water. Also, on the island were few restaurants and shops. We stayed a couple of hours there, enjoyed the beach and I got some lovely souvenirs. On our way back the weather was like paradise, all our group was enjoying the sun and gorgeous view from the boat. If you are thinking which tours to take in Mauritius, I would definitely recommend this one. Everyday I had some great tours but this one was my absolute favorite. Last but not least, I recorded a video about each tour I visited so please check it out.

  • Tour – Catamaran Tour
  • Location – East Island of Mauritius
  • Tour Operator – As-Siyaaha Tour Operator
  • Experience – amazing day and super relaxing boat tour
  • Duration – full day (from 8 am till 6 pm)
  • Price – rs 2,300 ($65)
  • Tour Rating (0-5) – 5, very nice tour


Mauritius, Seven Colors Earth

Mauritius has so many rare animals, plants and other wonders of the world. One of them is  Seven Colors Earth which is visited by the majority of tourists traveling to the island. You can combine this attraction with the South Side Seeing Tour or just to go there directly. Once you get the ticket, it will take 5-10 minutes driving to the first stop which will be the waterfall. There are two observation points to see the beautiful water falling from the cliff. Then when you are done, you will need to drive a bit further and in the next stop, you will reach entrance for the Seven Colors Earth. The person in the gate will check your ticket and you are free to stay there as much as you want. The colors of the earth change due to the oxidation processes. This wonder of the world is not to miss during your trip to Mauritius. I honestly enjoyed my time there and got lots of amazing photos. In the area, you will also see a nice coffee shop and toilets. Beautiful place to just relax and have a cup of coffee with the dessert. Last but not least, on the way to this attraction, you will have a couple of stops for pictures and sea view from the mountain. Below, I attached many photos from this tour as well as I have a video about all my trip.

  • Tour – Seven Colors Earth
  • Location – South Side
  • Tour Operator – As-Siyaaha Tour Operator
  • Experience – was amazing to see such a wonder of our planet
  • Duration – 3 hrs
  • Price – rs 225 per person ($6)
  • Tour Rating (0-5) – 5, one of my favorite tours


Mauritius Side Seeing Tour

The first day of my vacation in Mauritius, I went for the full day of side seeing. I didn’t organize the tour instead, I ask the tour company As-Siyaaha Tour Operator to create some nice plan with the best places to visit. So we agree the driver pick me up at 8 am and take me around. Within a day, I saw so many beautiful places such as,

  1. Boat Crafting with Souvenir Boat Shop
  2. Dimond Souk
  3. Other Tourist Stores
  4. Mauritius  Volcano
  5. Biggest Lake in Mauritius
  6. Tea Plantation
  7. Temples
  8. Gardens and Parks with rare trees
  9. Seven Colors Earth
  10. And lots more on the way.


It was a very productive day to get to know Mauritius. The think I liked the most, my tour was very privet so I could decide where to stop and what I want to see.  If you are visiting Mauritius you can also tailor your tour this way and just see the best of the island. Last but not least, I was traveling alone but if you are coming with a family or group of friends, it would be a great deal since the van can accommodate many people. Also, I did a full video of my tours and places I visited so feel free to watch it.

  • Tour – Mauritius Side Seeing
  • Location – West and South Coast
  • Tour Operator – As-Siyaaha Tour Operator
  • Experience – amazing and well-tailored tour to my preferences
  • Duration – the whole day (around 8 hrs.)
  • Price – rs 3,800 ($106)
  • Tour Rating (0-5) – 5, was really great experience


Transportation in Mauritius. By Taxi, Car or Bus?

For those who are planning to travel to Mauritius for the fist time, an important question will be how to I deal with transportation. Is it possible to rent a car or better to take a taxi or even go with the public transportation? In this article, I would like to give all the necessary information on this matter and break some of the misconceptions you may have.

To Rent a Car

To rent a car is super easy in Mauritius. It is a very developed country; therefore you can get such service as anywhere in the world right from the airport. There are many famous rent-a-car companies such as Avis, Sixt, Europcar and etc. Also, the tour company I was  dealing with during my trip As-Siyaaha Tour Operator have rent-a-car service as well. You can check their rates on the website. The important thing to notice cars drive on the left-hand side and the wheel inside the car in on the right side. So if you are able to drive in The United Kingdom or Australis, then you will manage in Mauritius. In addition, people are driving there very fast and a little bit crazy from my point of view. So you might expect lots of honking. They use honk just to warning others that they are coming, they mean by it “Watch Out”.

Cost – rs 1,200-6,000 ($34-170) a day depending on a car you want to rent.


To Take a Taxi

Another option for travelers will be to take a taxi. There are no famouse taxi system such as Uber or YandexTaxi. However, if the car has taxi sign on it, it means the driver is fully licensed. In fact, Mauritius is a very safe and well-regulated country. To find a driver there who will take you around all day long, quite easy. The important part is to agree on the price before the ride. Many people are taking a taxi to side seeing or any places they would like to visit. Also, a driver will wait for you as much as needed even if you take 3 hours. Do not be shy on this aspect, in Mauritius people will actually think you crazy if for example you are going to the zoo and agree on one ride without return. They like to wait and be happy to do it for the same price as you came to the place. Also, you can agree with a tour operator for any rides you needed. Personally, I was dealing with As-Siyaaha Tour Operator so I can recommend them for airport transfer as well as all kind of tours.

Cost – rs 500-3,000 ($14-85) per ride depending on where you like to go.


To Take a Bus

There are lots of buses and many stations around the island. In fact, if you need a short ride it is quite easy to find a bus. You will see Bus Stop signs on most of the roads. Just stand next to such sign and raise your hand!!! If you don’t raise your hand, bus not going to stop for you.  I didn’t try such transportation because I was standing and didn’t raise my hand, I had no idea I supposed to do that. So a couple of busses just passes next to me with a huge speed and honk. Almost like in a movie :))) Last but not least, most of the buses have different colors, it is just because they are from different companies.

Cost – rs 50 ($1.5) per ride, not sure if it would depend on distance as well.


Casela Zoo & Safari, Mauritius

Casela is a nature park in Mauritius which offers many fun activities such as safari, walking with lions, playing with domestic animals and etc. The park presents many animal species. It was located 10 min ride from the place I stayed, West Coast Tamarin Area. Once taxi dropped me I went to buy a ticket. The lady in the cashier explain me different packages, she was so helpful and clear on every option. Everywhere in Mauritius people speak very well English and French. So if you know any of these two languages, you will feel very comfortable communicating with everyone. Many activities were closed on Sunday so if you planning to visit choose any other day of the week, not to miss anything. Also, with the ticket she gave me a map of the whole park.


Once I entered the park, I saw lots of cages with birds, some of them are a walk throw concept. Also, there are many peacocks around the park. Then after, there is a beautiful restaurant with a stunning view. It is located on top the heel so the rest of the zoo and safari are dawn. On the way to the domestic animals, you will pass monkeys cage. After that, you will reach pet zone with deers (like from Bambi cartoon), rabbits, donkey, goats, pigs and others. Most of them you can touch they are super friendly and enjoyed to socialize with kids and adults. After the pet station, I reached tortoises farm. They are so big like a chair but sitting on them nor riding is not allowed.


At the end of the park, the safari starts. First, you can see beautiful and rare white lions. There is an observation point for every cage. If you paid for an additional experience “walking with lions”, it will be happening over there. Next, walking down the park you will reach giraffes area. You can even feed them for extra rs 100. Then the safari bus will take you in the wild part of the park where are living such animals as rhino, emu, zebra and others. The ride is quite short just like 15 min but fun to do. Instead of the bus you can also rent a quadricycle and ride it by yourself in the park. In conclusion, it was a great experience so if you like the animals it would be a great place to observe and admire them.

  • Tour – Casela Park
  • Location – West Coast, Mauritius
  • Tour Operator –  As-Siyaaha Tour Operator can provide you a car or a ride to this park
  • Experience – really fun time, especially if u have kids. But it is not the biggest zoo I have been.
  • Duration – 3-4 hrs.
  • Price – Different packages. I paid rs 750 for entrance, plus taxi rs 800.
  • Tour Rating (0-5) – 5


Swimming with Dolphins, Mauritius

One of the most popular activities in Mauritius is to Swim with the Dolphins. The tour starts at 8 am at a meeting point next to bay for the speeding boats. After everyone has arrived, the guided takes you to the boat and tell about the tour, dolphins and other interesting information. The company I went with As-Siyaaha Tour Operator, had a great boat and super professional staff. So if you want to try this activity, I would 100% recommend them. Also, it is not guaranteed that you will see dolphins; however, if you don’t this tour company will give you a free tour the next day.


Then we went few kilometers from the coast where the dolphins usually swim. Once we reached the place, there were like at least 10 more of speeding boats full of tourists. You can totally jump and swim but the water temperature was around 25′ so a little bit chilly. I saw many people were swimming, hoping that they would touch a dolphin. But those dolphins in the ocean are wild and not trained. So don’t expect they will play with you. I would call this tour watching the dolphins rather swimming with them.


After chasing and watching the dolphins, we went closer to the coast where water was much warmer. During this stop, we had time to swim and snorkel. The boat didn’t have toilet or changing room so if you planning to do this activity, bring your towel, wear swimming suit and apply SPF +50. Even after I applied sunscreen,  I got sunburned so do not forget it yourself. In the sea, it takes seconds to look like a tomato plus sunburns hurt for a couple of days. In conclusion, for those who likes to go with the speeding boat, it would be an amazing adventure. But if your kids would like to play and really swim with this beautiful creatures, take them to the dolphinarium.

  • Tour – Swimming with Dolphins
  • Location – Mauritius, West Coast, Tamarin Area
  • Tour Operator – As-Siyaaha Tour Operator
  • Experience – great ride with the speeding boat and swim in turquoise water
  • Duration – 2 hrs. or full day
  • Price – rs 1,200 for 2 hrs. or rs 2,000 full day with a lunch
  • Tour Rating (0-5) – 4 because the name of the tour is a bit misleading


Tea Plantation Tour, Mauritius

Mauritius is a wonderful country which offers many fun activities. During my first trip, I tried to visit as much as possible and one of the tours I took, was to the Tea Plantation. I went with As-Siyaaha Tour Operator and combine the visit with a couple of others side seeing activities. With this company, you can get a driver for the whole day and tailor the tour according to your own interests. In fact, they will recommend the best places to see. The landscape is beautiful in Mauritius, on the way to the plantation, I passed lake with the sweet water, temple and many beautiful parks. It is located on top of the mountain which touches the clouds; therefore, it rains quite often.

The plantation is surrounded by forest/jungle with beautiful and rare trees. To visit the place, there were different ticket packages. For example, the official rates were rs 500 for  factory tour+museum+tea tasting, rs 250 for a museum+tea tasting, and to just have a tea tasting rs 170. I took the second option which includes museum and tea tasting. To be honest, the museum was very small and boring. The funny thing, there were a group and one employee approached me and asked which language do I speak? I said, English. So he took me with a group to the factory by mistake, thinking I paid for the full package. So I glanced at this factory but can’t say it would be worth to pay money for it. It just machines everywhere, processing tea step by step which you can see even from outside.


Then my driver took me up on the heel where the tea tasting was actually happening. It was like 5 min drive from the factory. There were 11 different kinds of Bois-Cheri tea. I also ordered a waffle with honey and vanilla ice cream. It was so relaxing and enjoyable tour. In fact, I am a big fan of fine teas so for me it was an experience. Also, the rain made me feel so cozy with this big selection of nice Mauritian teas. Last but not least, there is a great seafood restaurant in the same building. I didn’t try it but it looked amazing and it is definitely on my list for the next trip to Mauritius.

  • Tour – Tea Plantation Visit with Tea Tasting
  • Location – South
  • Tour Operator – As-Siyaaha Tour Operator
  • Experience – wonderful time and relaxation
  • Duration – 1-2 hrs.
  • Price – rs 500 the full package with As-Siyaaha Tour, and rs 170 just tea tasting dropping by or combining with other side seeing tours
  • Tour Rating (0-5) – 5 for tea tasting only


Atlantis Aquaventure Waterpark

Atlantis Aquaventure  is one of the “must visit” places in Dubai. I absolutely love this waterpark. Some people might say it is only for kids but I say we all want to feel this way deep in our hearts. Besides, many waterpark attractions are actually for adults.

There is so much to do in this waterpark. First, you can try some of the 12 cool attractions. And I would say half of them for really brave people. You can easily spend a full day riding all. Then there is beautiful aquarium in the middle of waterpark where you can get ride inside of a glass tube. If you have some extra cash to spend, you can go as well to fed sting rays or swim with the dolphins. If you don’t want to pay you can watch them which also super fun.

I took a photo of the map they gave me at the entrance so you can see for yourself how many activities park has.


When you get hungry park has lots of places to eat. My favorites are Barracudas and Shark Bites where you can get many different meal options. As a snack, you can go also buy ice cream, fresh fruits, and many others tasty things. For coffee, I would recommend Starbuck as it is located in the Dolphin Bay. So you will enjoy your latte while watching live these lovely creatures.

Moreover, those who were missing the beach and salty sea in their home countries, get a chance to swim in the property of this resort. In fact, this is the place I love to sit, on the grass under some lovely palm and with stunning sea view. While walking along the beach you will see small funny crabs as well hiding in little holes and on rocks.

If you have a child with you, there are also a special place for little ones. Their mini aquaventure has a couple of slides as well and big water playground. In fact, the place even fun for many adults who afraid of big rides. So fun for everyone guaranteed.

Besides, if you have an event and want to come with the group, Atlantis Aquaventure offers rent of private cabanas. So you might consider this one for the next birthday party of your kids. Also, while writing this post I found out that you actually can even get a free pass to the waterpark on your birthday. Just go to the website www.aquaventurebirthday.com and put your details to get it. I try to register myself for fun and they send ticked direct which I can redeem during a week from my birthday date. It is a super cool option to safe for around 300 AED and try the park.

Personally, I was coming to Aquaventure since Atlantis Resort was build so I guess I visited waterpark more than hundred times and love to come here till now. Therefore, I want to share some tips to get a maximum of your visit.

My advises

  • Come same time water park opens
  • Take towel with you; otherwise, you have to pay 30 AED for one
  • Take few cold bottle of water, or they will charge 13 AED for each inside
  • In the entrance with the ticket, take Waterpark meal deal for 45 AED, inside you will pay more around 73 AED (drink plus food)
  • Don’t take any food with you, they will take it anyway at the security point
  • Don’t take any expensive things or take locker in this case
  • Take coffee at Starbucks in Dolphin Bay and meet sunset
  • Register your birthday for free pass at www.aquaventurebirthday.com


In conclusion, this is my cool experience of Atlantis Aqua Park. I hope this post was useful for you and you will have a chance to visit this awesome place. If you have any comments feel free to write it below. P.S. The price I wrote depends if you did birthday registration or bought ticket online or your resident or you purchase it at the counter.

  • Price: 50-350 AED per person (entrance plus food)
  • Place: Atlantis Resort, The Palm Jumeirah
  • Time: from 10 a.m. till 18:30