How to make the most of Venice

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Since Venice is one of the most beautiful cities in the world, its beauty has its price. However, you can enjoy everything it has to offer if you plan ahead and budget accordingly.

If you are staying more than a day in Venice, buy a vaporetto travelcard

Travelling across Venice can be a little bit of a rip-off – one vaporetto journey costs €7 – and it would be a shame to miss out on the scenery it has to offer (if you have trouble walking a lot).

If you are under 29 years old, you can buy a vaporetto travelcard valid for 72h,that costs  €28 . With the same travelcard you can also visit Murano, Burano and take a ride to Lido (where you can walk to the beach and see the Adriatic Sea).

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If you want to purchase the tickets in advance, you can do so here , where you can also download Waterbourne Routes map and book different activities.

Take a short trip to the other islands in the Venetian lagoon: Murano and Burano

Plan a self-guided day trip to Murano, the island famous for its glass making and Glass museum. Did you know that they don’t have any glass making teaching schools? The art of glass making has been passed down every generation from father to son! 

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The other lovely island in the Venetian lagoon to visit is Burano. The island is about 40 minutes from Venice by boat and it has a much more different atmosphere from Venice’s busy centre.

The Buranese have painted their houses in bright colours – they say the fishermen painted their houses in different colours to make it easier to recognise them when they would come back home. 

Your eyes will be pleasantly surprised with a wide spectrum of colours and coziness. Although the locals don’t speak very much English, they are welcoming and cheerful.

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Once you’ve returned to Venice, walk around  and take in everything the city has to offer. The architecture boasts a history filled with many secrets and stories ( The youngest building in Venice is 200 years old! Youngest, eh?) 

San Marco’s Square is overly priced. Consider dining somewhere else.

Because it is the main attraction point in Venice, the place is filled with tourists and the restaurants are making the most out of this. You can visit St. Mark’s Basilica and the Campanile Tower and then just wander around. On the small streets you can find plenty of restaurants with lower prices (or you can go for take-away snack on the canals).

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You don’t have to pay for everything in Venice!

There is so much you can see in Venice for free, you just have to arm yourself with comfortable shoes, a bottle of water and a lot of patience (to survive the crowds, of course).  You can walk down the Grand Canal, explore what Giudecca has to offer, visit Scala Contarini del Bovolo ( the so called Snail Staircase) or just admire the churches and their stories.

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Treat yourself to a gondola ride.

The gondola rides cost 80 euros during the day and 100 euros after 7 pm. They last for approximatively half an hour and the gondolier usually offers a splendid tale about Venice’s historical buildings and Casanova’s romances.  The gondola ride is intimate and romantic, but it can also be shared with up to six people, hence reducing the costs for you.

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There’s so much Venice has to offer and you can enjoy it  – either by day or by night. Have a spritz with the locals instead of an expensive Bellini and prepare yourself for an unforgettable journey.

Have you visited Venice?

Have you got any tips or tricks about visiting Venice?

Let me know in the comment section below!

Love,

Csilla x

 

 

Blogs, placements and creativity with FutureRising

Originally posted on FutureRising

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Csilla Kulcsar is originally from Romania, but grew up in a Hungarian family. Interested in space travelling and language tuition, one of her dreams is to teach English or Spanish to children from disadvantaged areas. She is driven by passion, not by money, and believes in second chances as everyone learns from their mistakes in order to thrive.

WHAT ATTRACTED YOU TO WANTING TO WORK IN THE CREATIVE INDUSTRIES?

Being creative has always been a part of me. As a child, I grew up in a bilingual family, so the need to master two languages was key and the only way I could do it was by being creative. The creative industries offer the option of personal development through one’s visual perspective and my desire of working in the creative industries was particularly generated by the media world. Unlike any other industries, the media world exists to deliver information and help others. And that’s what I want to do: help other people understand everything that’s happening in the world.

WHICH ADVERTISING AGENCY WOULD YOU LOVE TO WORK FOR AND WHY?

Ever since I’ve moved to London I have expanded my knowledge about the creative industries.

“…it didn’t take long until I found Grey Advertising and Thinking Juice.”

I started my search for the dream agency I’d love to work for and it didn’t take long until I found Grey Advertising and Thinking Juice. Both of them are really great agencies that deliver creative strategies and digital transformations to brands, and most importantly, they are the leading agencies in the market. By following their work I understood the necessity of delivering customer-focused content and implementing interactive methods of satisfying the audience.

WHY DID YOU START A BLOG & WHERE DO YOU FIND INSPIRATION FOR YOUR POSTS?

The idea of starting a blog came from the thought that I needed to find a voice for myself. A voice to truly represent who I am and what I do.

“..I launched myself into the great world of media and delivered my stories effectively.”

Finding inspiration is not easy, I must confess. So every time I think of writing something new, I plan ahead with a few days. My muse so far, has been the city. There’s so much in London that’s worth writing about: places, cafe’s, people, literature. And even better, I can link all this to worldwide information and write followers-focused posts.

Interviewing people from different places in the metropolis has given me another insight to what exactly it means to be part of such a great place. By doing so, I never struggle to find a new idea for the blog: I keep a journal with quotes and themes; and when I have time, I just put the pieces together.

HOW DID YOU LAND A PLACEMENT WORKING WITH LONDON AND PARTNERS?

Working with London & Partners has been my greatest achievement so far. Being an International Student Ambassador has offered me an incredible amount of information and personal development and I am really grateful for that. I was just starting my final year of studies at Middlesex University when the opportunity of being an ambassador came through.  I received an email from the Media Department saying that London and Partners are looking for an ambassador from our university; and I simply applied.

My role consisted of visiting different locations in London and blogging about them to inspire future students to come and study in London. It has been a great experience and I have been awarded the ‘Most Committed Blogger’ at the beginning of this month.

IS THERE ANYTHING YOU KNOW NOW THAT YOU WISH YOU’D KNOWN EARLIER?

Yes. One of the things no one ‘warned’ me about London, was the immense cultural diversity that exists here. If I had known earlier, I would’ve moved to London ages ago! The beauty of the cultural diversity in London is that you get to know so many people from all around the world and that is something that shouldn’t be taken for granted.

“Understanding different cultures makes you question whether you know enough about the world…”

Understanding different cultures makes you question whether you know enough about the world surrounding you so I believe that being in London has given me the opportunity of better understand myself as well.

WHAT DO YOU GET UP TO IN YOUR SPARE TIME?

When my schedule is free, I like to travel and take photos and, of course, blog about it! Travelling and writing are my passions and I would feel incomplete without them. Also, I read a lot: whatever falls to hand. From Nietzsche, Dostoyevsky, to Austen and J.K. Rowling. I am a bookworm; I even wrote my dissertation about the impact the Harry Potter books had on literature!

SELL YOURSELF. WHY SHOULD SOMEONE HIRE YOU?

I like to think of myself as a free spirit that challenges herself as much as possible.

“I am fluent in five languages, incisive when it comes to work and devoted to my causes.”

I am fluent in five languages, incisive when it comes to work and devoted to my causes. I also believe in equal rights and the importance of caring for one another; and what better way of doing so, than working in the creative industries and connecting with people.  I like exploring new things and I never just do what I am told, I always wonder about more and try to dive into the immense world of possibilities.

All good things come to an end

Time goes by very quickly, especially when you are busy.

As summer is slowly fading away, I realised that it was due for me to tell you about the LUIP closing ceremony.

As you all know, since October last year, I have been an International Student Ambassador for the London Universities International Partnership and I have achieved so many things through this programme!

I have met wonderful people, gained insight into London’s cultural and historical life – better than most people – and, to be honest, it has been the best experience since I have been in London.  But you know what they say, all good things come to an end.

This partnership has taught me so many things:

That friendships are born from the most insignificant things and that being from a different country it only shows how special people are. And because we are so special, we work our way around the world in different ways.

My fellow ambassadors were students from all around the world studying from English Literature, Nutrition, Veterinary Medicine to Business and Marketing and because of that, we grew together as a whole.

After experiencing London from a different perspective and understanding everything it has to offer, it was time to say goodbye and start our own individual paths, taking with us everything we’ve learnt.

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Fellow ambassadors with their diplomas and prizes!

Fellow ambassadors with their diplomas and prizes!

The closing ceremony was held at the Swan Bar, at the Globe Theatre, where we were delighted with cherry tarts, apple pie, lemon drizzle, and of course, prizes!

One of the other things that I’d like to share is the fact that I was awarded the ‘Most Committed Blogger’ Award and I couldn’t be more than thankful for it!

This wouldn’t have been possible without all your support, follows and comments, and of course, without Kim Duller’s ( our awesome programme leader!!) encouragement and good advices.

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I’d like to also say ‘Thank you!’ to all my fellow ambassadors for sharing their experiences and memories with me, for being such good people and for giving the world the best they have!

I hope the future brings you all the best things.

Love,

Csilla x

Trip to Hampton Court

If you are a fan of the Tudors Dynasty  this post might interest you.

Let us step back in time and follow the world of King Henry VIII, Cardinal Wolsey and Oliver Cromwell at this world known historic palace, Hampton Court.

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Some of the things you can see at Court are the beautiful Tudor Kitchens, the Great Hall – that still preserves the décor and immense dining table – and the Chapel Royal.

Surrounding the castle, you can get lost in the beauty of the gardens, the Great Vine, and, literally lost in the Maze.

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Hampton Court Maze via 365Tickets

Hampton Court Maze via 365Tickets

Englishmen are known for being fond of their lawns and one of the key attractions at Hampton Court are the beautiful gardens. The eccentricity and perfection of the flowers draws you immediately in, and, if you let your imagination play, you can almost feel the magic of history!

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Over 750 acres of royal parkland are boasting with sparkling fountains and gracious displays of over 200,000 flowering bulbs and there is no better place at Court to have a picnic and relax.

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There is though a rumour that circulates across the Palace.

The ghost of Catherine Howard is believed to frequent the Court’s Haunted Gallery where she was dragged back screaming to her rooms while under house arrest, being accused of adultery by King Henry VIII. Have a look around, and you might just hear the Screaming Lady!

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Henry VIII portrait

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Hampton Court offers a delightful experience into the immense world of Tudors: galleries, bedrooms, paintings, sculptures, everything you can imagine a Royal household can have, you’ll find it here!

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You can even take a cape and stroll around *feeling royal*

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If you want to visit Hampton Court Palace  you can book your tickets here.

Take my word for it, it is an amazing place to have a day out and enjoy cultural richness!

 

 

Why study in London?

Originally posted on LinkedIn

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Following a degree in London has always been my dream.

Even from highschool, I was fascinated by the high-quality education that has been praised over the years, and eventually, I decided to pursue my dream. Being the cultural capital of the Globe, London is a metropolis that offers more than it meets the eye, and once you’ve submerged in the beautiful London world, there is no easy escape.

Coming from a country that is still in development and a small town, I realised that being a London student offers so many free things to experience and so many people to meet.

Although many people argue whether London is the most expensive city to live in or not, I tend to disagree.

The capital is a city that has higher prices than other cities, is true, but as an international student, you can still manage and have fun!  Budgeting and understanding the prices that grocery brands offer is the first thing to do. For example, as a self-supporting student, once I’ve gotten a job, I managed to keep my weekly groceries at  £15 per week.

It’s not an easy task, but once you know where to shop and that street markets offer you great deals, you’re ready to go!

I understood how important it was to come and study here from the moment I stepped inside Middlesex University.

I studied Creative Writing and Journalism, and because the world is changing at the blink of a second, I knew London is the place to be. The accessibility of information, technology and place is absolutely amazing and is only in London where you can develop a sense of responsibility and attachment.

Having peers from all around the world in my class, I have met many international students that have given me another perspective over the world,and over the boundaries that sometimes are pointless.

One of the greatest things about studying in London, as a Creative Writing student, was the fact that inspiration can be found anywhere.

Regardless if you’re enjoying the sun in the park, the view from Richmond Park, sipping your tea in St Paul’s, there is no better place to evolve professionally than London.

Universities offer a great range of activities that students can get involved, and more importantly, they offer cross-platforms for students from all the United Kingdom to know each other.

For example, I have been lucky enough to be selected as a Student Blogger last year for the Southbank Centre during the Women of the World Festival. Secondly, because, along with my friends, we’ve set up the FutureRising society at university, I have also become a FutureRising contributor. FutureRising is a creative online website that allows people from the creative industries to connect.

Overall, I believe that London has to be experienced in order to be understood. Students coming here will see that although hard-word is necessary to succeed, with the cultural immensity that London offers, things will be easier and more entertaining!

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New documentary explores the truth about Romanians in Britain

The Romanian community’s expansion in the UK transcends into a big voice. Csilla Kulcsar meets with two Romanian producers and discusses their upcoming documentary, ’13 Shades of Romanian’.

It is no longer unfamiliar to anyone that immigration in Britain has been a widely discussed topic. The national newspapers have been battered with negative headlines on immigrants and truth be told, Romanians have been a lot in the attention of the media.

Britain is known across the world as one of the countries that provide the strongest job market and opportunities for people from all cultural backgrounds. According to a study done by Migration Watch UK (March 2014) the net migration levels are five times higher than they used to be in the 1990s and 35% of the population believes that “immigration is one of three most important issue facing Britain”.

Also, 76% of the public opinion (by the same study) thinks “immigration has placed too much pressure on public services, such as health, transport and education”. It is understandable that the public opinion is concerned about their public services, however, the unnecessary false image built on immigrants is producing stir among Romanians.

Let’s take an example widely known to the United Kingdom.

Channel 4 has launched a few months ago a documentary called “The Romanians are coming”, which, in their own words is “a documentary series exploring the levels of Romanians trying to make a new life in Britain, and seeking out the truth behind the headlines about immigration”. As the documentary episodes’ unfolded, a narration upon the Romanian life described the poor conditions in which some communities live.

The Telegraph has stated:

“The argument made by the film was that the majority of Romanians come to Britain […] to escape lives of grinding poverty back home”.

Interestingly enough, this documentary triggered a debate about the Romanians in the UK and two of the biggest British newspapers – The Independent and The Telegraph – have given their review on the documentary and don’t agree either with the unapologetic views presented. The perspective that was created by “The Romanians are Coming” have offended most of the Romanians already established in the UK and some have even protested outside Channel 4’s headquarters.

While I was on a quest of finding answers for the stigma put on the Romanian immigrants, I’ve met two Romanians living in London whose project seeks to challenge the views of many people. Anda and Dragos Teglas are the producers of the upcoming crowd-funded documentary called “13 Shades of Romanian”.

The project came to life as an inspirational movement meant to change the perspective on the Romanians in Britain. In an interview with them, I managed to undo the woven threads of this project.

Interviewer: Csilla Kulcsar. Photo courtesy by Rita Santos

Interviewer: Csilla Kulcsar. Photo courtesy by Rita Santos

Dragos Teglas is the founder of the production house “This Is Insomnia”, where he acts as a Senior Editor, Post-Production Supervisor and Director and his unique style of editing along with his creative vision stand out in his visual work. On the other hand, his sister, Anda Teglas, has joined the company as Co-founder and Creative Director. With the aid of many years of experience in production and her bubbly personality, she oversees the creative aspects of the development, production and post-production stages.

Anda and Dragos Teglas. Photo courtesy by Rita Santos

Anda and Dragos Teglas. Photo courtesy by Rita Santos

The Teglas brothers are not new to the media world. They have many years of experience across the film, advertising and entertainment platforms. As Romanians themselves, living and working in the UK, the immigration stigma has gotten to their ears and have decided to shift people’s perspective about Romanian immigrants.

“13 Shades of Romanian” is a project that aims to shed some light on the lives of Romanians in the UK. When the campaign had started, Anda and Dragos hoped their project would successfully echo overseas.

People from all around the globe contributed, and the goal of £12,000 has been effectively achieved.

The idea of creating this documentary had come from the premise that nobody has yet tapped into the positive side of the Romanian community. The two brothers have said:

“ We wanted to showcase a different side of the Romanian community living in the UK and to start with positive stories, stories that people haven’t had access to before.”

They have considered of doing a project of this kind previously and they knew they had to wait for a perfect moment to put everything in motion. Projects of such scale take time and funds, but more importantly, it needs to be driven by good stories and motivation. Dragos believes that our entire knowledge comes from stories; however, some stories are not particularly factual or conclusive. The levels of migrant communities have significantly increased in Britain and so did their negative illustration.

“I think that right now, we don’t have a great image; and not only Romanians suffer from that”, is what troubles Dragos’s mind and it was vital for this project to be put forward.

The launch of the documentary has a particular personal connection to Anda and Dragos. They want to capture the main essences of the stories that the documentary will present, so that “people will be able to understand a little bit better what a nation like Romanians are doing in Britain”.

Dragos Teglas. Photo courtesy by Rita Santos

Dragos Teglas. Photo courtesy by Rita Santos

Anda talks about the context into which “13 Shades of Romanian” was born and she has mentioned one important thing:

As I said, we have thought of creating such a documentary for a long while, but we haven’t taken action until The Romanians are Coming documentary. Even though it was born at the same time, it is not meant to be seen as a direct reaction to it.

What we’re trying to achieve is a more balanced view of the Romanian community; but it’s not meant to have any political affiliations or implications.”

 

Anda Teglas. Photo courtesy by Rita Santos

Anda Teglas. Photo courtesy by Rita Santos

Whilst trying to maintain an objective course and to convince the audience to see it as an independent film, “13 Shades of Romanian” still manages to raise questions. The title itself is a reflective conglomeration of words and many of those reading it are probably thinking it might be something related to the famous ’50 Shades of Gray’ movie. However, it’s not.

Number 13 is in many cultures a superstition, perceived as having negative connotations without solid grounds, which has lead me to believe that 13 stories within our documentary will be a good link” Anda explains.

13 Stories. Photo courtesy by Rita Santos

13 Stories. Photo courtesy by Rita Santos

Furthermore, it’s all about marketing tactics. Anda wanted something that made people wonder and make them be interested. The two terms have been tied together in the hope that the wider audience will want to know more about this challenging project. And it is challenging, indeed; selecting the stories was not an easy task. Dragos considers that that was the most challenging part of their journey so far:

It is a hard job to select anything. I, myself, as an editor have to decide everyday from thousands of possibilities. It is not everyday that happens for someone to send you their personal story or to open up their heart and tell it.

It’s something quite special.”

Although hundreds of stories have been sent in, the documentary can only present 13 of them and they are going to be narrated by a British Journalist. The producers wanted someone passionate to be the documentary’s narrator; someone who could appeal to people and their choice had fit the requirements. Richard Green, a friend of theirs has been selected for this special task.

He’s very talented; he worked with The Sunday Times for over 15 years and now freelances with over national publications.”

Richard Green. Photo via This Is Insomnia

Richard Green. Photo via This Is Insomnia

As a travel journalist, Richard has travelled all around the world, and, surprisingly, never worked in Television.

He’s natural and knows how to get deep to the bottom of the problem when he speaks to somebody. We really wanted him”, Anda and Dragos have revealed.

The impact on the British audience might be very revealing and the creators of the idea are very optimistic:

People are much more open to see a positive and good story and we think we’re going to capture their souls.

As filmmakers, we hope that after they’ll see the film, they will say that their time wasn’t wasted.”

Immigration is a continuously widely discussed topic and through this project, the producers hope to bring transparency and straightforwardness towards the image of Romanians living in the United Kingdom.

My Thames Waltz – A River Cruise of Cultural Discovery

Imagine a river cruise on the waterways of London, gliding through picturesque landscapes dotted with skyscrapers and old buildings: an escape where the destination will be as pleasant as the journey.

On the 28th of March I had the chance to join the world of river cruising on the Thames, alongside my fellow ambassadors and, let me tell you this, it was breathtaking.

Will you join me on a trip through memories?

via ASALONDON

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Our day started of with a short, but colourful, visit at the National Portrait Gallery, in Trafalgar Square, where history meets with contemporaneity and talent is boasting everywhere. At first, finding the Gallery seemed a little complicated but after about 50 stairs and a short walk, we managed to get to our desired place.

Trafalgar Square view from The National Gallery  entrance

Trafalgar Square view from The National Gallery entrance

As you enter the National Portrait Gallery, your visual perspective is being flooded with portraits of all sorts, old, new, colourful, black & white and your breath is just simply taken away by their beauty. I am a much more simpler person, and I have to be honest, my understanding of art is not that wide. However, one thing’s drawn me in for sure: The Tudors Gallery

Words cannot even measure the satisfaction I had while being in the room with the portraits of all the Tudors, and I’ll let the pictures speak for me:

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Mary Queen of Scots

             Mary Queen of Scots

 

The Tudors

                     The Tudors

After strolling in the National Portrait Gallery, it was time for us to take off and do some City River Cruising.

Just so you know, City Cruises offers a spectacular trip on the Thames, and it’s only £9.10 for a student and your cultural experience will not only be enriched by the views but will take your breath away!

For those of you that don’t know, City Cruises:

Is a company that operates scheduled public sightseeing cruises on the River Thames in London, serving Westminster, London Eye, Tower and Greenwich piers every day (except 25 December) throughout the year. It operates the services mainly using purpose-built wheelchair-accessible ‘RiverLiner’ vessels, which have a large open top deck and enclosed lower saloon with panoramic windows and bars, backed up by some ex-Paris single-deck conservatory-style sightseeing boats.

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If you are a Harry Potter fan, with City Cruises you can actually see the school where Daniel Radcliffe ( City of London School)went, and, also enjoy an abundance of historical facts without getting bored.

Take my word for this, you’ll feel like the cruise is taking you back to time and you’ll enjoy every moment of it!

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                                        The Old City of London School. River View via Panoramio

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Our lovely Ambassador Leader, Kim Duller

Our lovely Ambassador Leader, Kim Duller

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London Eye, under heavy clouds of rain

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Enjoying the view with my friend and guest, Rita

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What would be the City Cruise without this famous view?

Just to finish off my tale about the City Cruises, I’ll let you enjoy a video that our friend, Divi Malshe (http://whatiluvv.blogspot.co.uk), created to enchant your views:

If you are interested in finding out more about the exciting things that City Cruises are offering, make sure you check their website and buy yourself a ticket!

Until next time my darlings,

Csilla xx