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Spring is the ideal time for a weekend getaway. We asked the HomeExchange.com fans on Facebook to share their recommendations for a weekend getaway near them. Here are the 10 spectacular destinations they came up with. Loire Valley, France Photo Credit: Matthew Badger CC via flickr The Loire Valley — 2 hours south of Paris, in the center of the country — is known for its stunning royal castles, Renaissance palaces, medieval fortresses and impressive cathedrals. This area has been declared a World Heritage Site by UNESCO for its unique…

monet france gardens

Have you ever wondered where great artists find their inspiration? What led to Claude Monet painting his water lilies, and where did he paint them? Did you know that it is an actual place that you can explore, take-in, and maybe even inspire your own creativity? Here, we have found and assembled the unique destinations where Claude Monet and Leonardo Da Vinci found their muse. 1. Claude MONET Giverny, France While looking out of a train window, Claude Monet noticed the French countryside of Giverny unfold in an…

In monopoli, the blues of the sky and the sea meet in harmony

Guest post by Catherine Monroy As the saying goes, “Italians are happy French.” This summer, after a hard year, I longed for happiness and and I thought I could kill two birds with one stone as my son is learning Italian and needed to improve his skills. It all started with a wonderful home exchange with an Italian family in Alberobello, a city in Puglia listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site for its archaic houses called trulli. Just the beauty of these unique homes, where it is…

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Of course you could travel to Paris, Barcelona, or Rome, but tucked away beyond the big cities are some truly beautiful destinations. To get you started, here are some of our favorite hidden villages in Europe. Bornholm, Denmark photo credit: Steenbergs via photopin cc The island of Bornholm might not be a secret for Danes, but it’s new to many foreigners. It’s a popular summer getaway spot for locals, with a fantastic coastline, great opportunities for outdoor activities, and a rich history. You can also visit the tiny…

10 Free Venice EN

Looking for free things to do in Venice? We’ll give you ten! 1. Cross the Rialto Bridge The Rialto Bridge is probably the most famous in Venice. It’s an excellent place for people watching, and you can happily spend a while watching the gondolas beneath you. If you want to avoid the crowds, visit early in the morning or after sunset, when you’ll have a beautiful view of the Grand Canal.   2. Visit the Piazza San Marco St. Mark’s Square is a common tourist destination, but a…

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HomeExchange.com member Francesca has stayed in exchange homes for some of the world’s biggest festivals. We asked her to share some of what she’s learned along the way! How many exchanges have you done? Ten! Valencia for Fallas, Guadalupe, Lima, Buenos Aires twice, Rio de Janeiro, Salvador De Bahia for Carnival, Bail, and twice to Paris.   What’s something that surprised you about the Carnival in Brazil? I traveled to Carnival in February of this year and learned that the celebration is different from town to town! Salvador is…

our favorite restaurant in Marth's

Have you ever dreamed about traveling around the world in eighty days like the infamous Phileas Fogg? With a little more time but the same amount of wanderlust, HomeExchange.com members Monique and Marcello have decided to go ’round the world in 80 home exchanges…and they are on their 58th so far! “Our adventure started in 2002, when we promised our nieces and nephews to take them to the States as gift for their 18th birthday. Our first exchange was in summer, in Naples, Florida, with a niece and…

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From throwing televisions to wearing lucky underpants, there are some pretty interesting ways to celebrate the new year all around the world!