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Visit BremenThe German Tourist Board suggests that those heading to Bremen look into the city’s “Bargain Travel at Summer Prices” package.

The cost begins at 93 euros per person, double occupancy, and includes accommodations for two nights, breakfasts, guided harbor and city-wall tours and a two-day ErlebnisCard, good for use on all public transportation and for discounts at some museums.

A one-night stay begins at 43 euros per person, double occupancy. It includes accommodation, breakfast, guided walking tour and ErlebnisCard.

For details, call the Bremen Tourist Board at (+49) (0) 1805-101030. The Web site is www.bremen-tourismus.de; it includes an English version.

Tuscan cookingIf you’re interested in learning to cook Tuscan cuisine or to enjoy the Italian area’s wines, then you might want to check out one of the cooking packages offered by Aolmaia Tuscany Society, a small group of Italians who organize cultural holidays for tourists.

The three-night Cooking Break in Tuscany, for example, runs from Thursday to Sunday. Participants spend three mornings in cooking classes and the afternoons on a wine tour and tours to San Gimignano and San Miniato.

Courses are available in July and September through October. October and November are truffle season, so they are a focus of the course during that time.

The cost is 960 euros per person, double occupancy, and includes all activities, meals, transportation and three nights’ accommodations.

Other classes include Lucca and Cinque Terre Cuisine, Tuscany Wine Break and Siena Cooking and Spas. For details, see www.aolmaia.com.

‘Skike’ at the OstseeHave you tried to “skike” yet? The new sport is similar to cross-country skiing except you don’t need the snow. You wear skates that use the same wheel construction as a bicycle (which gave the sport its name: skate plus bike) and push with poles. The pole and skate movements are coordinated to give an efficient upper- and lower-body workout (the manufacturers say it uses 90 percent of your muscles without overloading a single part of the body). All ages can participate.

The Baltic Sea town of Kellenhusen, Germany, has the first “Skike Point” in the country. Seven routes take you through woods and moors, along the beach and by monasteries. Courses are held all summer, many of them free with holders of the OstseeCard.

For details on skiking, go to www.skike.com. For details on Kellenhusen, go to www.kellenhusen.de (in German). For details on the Baltic Sea and vacations there, go to www.ostsee-schleswig-holstein.de/index_e.html.

Singles party in FlorenceIf you’re a single and in Florence, you might be interested in a singles party at the Trattoria Da i’Conte Diladdarno in the city center. Held the first Thursday of the month with dinner at 8:45 p.m., the event features a special buffet and live music.

The price is 22 euros, including dinner and beverages. Reservations are available by calling (+39) 01-55-225-001.

Best BetsFRANCE: “Liberty, Equality, Fraternity” is Saturday’s motto as France celebrates its national day, Bastille Day. It was on July 14, 1789, that the high-security prison was attacked by an angry mob, an event that sparked the beginnings of the French Revolution. The biggest celebration is in Paris, where the party begins the night before with balls and dancing on the Bastille square. On Saturday at 10 a.m., a grand military parade marches down the Champs-Élysées accompanied by jets flying formations overhead. In the evening, fireworks are set off from the Trocadero. The Paris Web site is www.v1.paris.fr/en.

ITALY: Friday through the weekend, Monteriggioni returns to the Middle Ages with the second half of its medieval festival marking the siege of 1478. From 6 p.m. you can experience the historical atmosphere, strolling through a medieval crafts market and camp and being entertained by medieval street artists. The Web site is www.monteriggionimedievale.com (in Italian).

After the plague of 1576 had killed up to 50,000 Venetians, the Doge Alvise Mocenigo II pledged to build a church if the epidemic would end. In 1577, the promise was fulfilled and construction began on the church on the island of Guidecca, after which a yearly celebration was held in its honor. Although originally a religious feast, now the Redentore, or Feast of the Redeemer, is a colorful gathering during which the inhabitants decorate their boats and sail into St. Mark’s basin in the afternoon to eat and wait for the fireworks display at 10 p.m. For more, go to www.turismovenezia.it/eng, click on Events and then Venetian Traditions.

— Jayne Traendly


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