05-lake-matheson

So these are 10 of the most beautiful lakes in the world. From Canada to Patagonia and from Iceland to Italy, they all offer breathtaking sceneries and are worthy of being on your bucket list.

comm448_1200x600_11unique_header

Around the world in 11 ways. From Brazil to Zanzibar via Nantucket, New Zealand, the Netherlands, and beyond, here are some of the most spectacular Listings where living like a local takes you to a whole new level of discovery.

free-things-rome

All roads lead to Rome. And some of them have no tolls! When we asked our members for free and fun things to do in Rome, these were 10 of their favorites. 1. Check Out These Amazing Caravaggios Famous and sought after in early 17th-century Rome, Caravaggio was a notoriously rowdy and belligerent Italian painter. When accused of murder, he fled Rome to escape imprisonment, only to die a few years later under mysterious circumstances in Tuscany and unaware of his papal pardon. He left a legacy of…

dianne_blog

Part of the spirit of “living like a local” is the ability to communicate. You don’t have to be fluent. Most cultures appreciate your attempt at their language and are completely willing to forgive your mistakes and help you out. Don’t just spend time wishing that you could speak the language, make it happen! Here are 5 tips to get you started. Guest post by Dianne Hales I had waltzed in Vienna, floated down fjords in Norway, sipped and supped my way through France— all with just a smattering of…

comm321_EuropeHeader_945x630

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…

medium_9785168414 (1)

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…