Italy

Rome’s Trashy Hotel

The only hotel objects not found on a beach are the floorboards, support beams and sleeping sheets

Every city has a selection of hotels that their detractors would describe as “rubbish.” But only Rome has a hotel that’s literally rubbish. There, in the center of the city near the Castel Sant Angelo, is the Corona Save The Beach Hotel. It is the world’s first to be made of garbage.

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8 Amazing Libraries (and One That’s Horrible)

One of Spot Cool Stuff’s most popular travel posts has been our review of World’s Best Bookstores. But what about those people looking to borrow, and not buy, a book? Fortunately our planet also has several incredible libraries. In fact, there’s a case to be made for libraries having more interesting architecture than any other building type except for religious houses of worship.

Here’s our look at eight architecturally amazing libraries (and one that’s not so much). It is the first in a series of Spot Cool Stuff’s tour of the world’s best looking libraries. To stay updated on all of our posts, including our cool library series, follow us on Twitter, subscribe to our RSS feed or check back with our newly opened Book and Literature Travel category page.

And if you know of a library you’d like us to check out leave us a comment any time. Late fees never apply.

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5 Amazing Towns on Perilous Cliff Sides

Castellfollit de la Roca has a doubly impressive location—it's perched atop a spit of land with cliffs on two sides.

Spot Cool Stuff loves a good cliff-side town. There’s something about them that’s romantic, daring and a little impossible. Here are five of our favorites places where no one with vertigo would want to live:

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Europe’s 6 Best Running Events

You don’t need to be as fast as the Kenians. You don’t need to challenge “Ultramarathon Man” Dean Karnazes on a 100 miles race. Running a marathon or a half marathon or a shorter race is more a personal challenge than a struggle against the clock. And you can enjoy the tourist experience as well, it’s called sightseeing on the run. Crossing the Brandenburg Gate at the Berlin Marathon or entering the Panathinaikon Stadium in Athens will leave you breathless (OK, that maybe be the exhaustion) and offers a more vivid memory of the city than thousands of pictures.

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The 3 Most Posh (and Expensive) Sardinia Suites

Since the early 1960s the Italian island of Sardinia has been a popular destination for the international jet set. The beautiful landscape, the clear blue sea, the amazing archeaology (such as the 3,000-year-old megalithic edifices that are the Nuraghi) and the friendly locals are all part of the attraction. The island’s ultra-excluvie hotels are also a major reason for Sardinia’s luxury appeal.

So what are Sardinia’s most posh hotel rooms like? Here’s our peek into the three most expensive. (Rates given are for the high season).

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A-Maze-Ing

The Villa Pisani maze is the world’s most difficult to solve. Napoleon himself is among those who have been flummoxed by it.

The world “mazerific” is thrown around a lot these days. But we’ve found eight mazes that really are superlative, either for their size, history or quirky features.

Check out our review below . . . and try not to get lost along the way.

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The Big Battle of the World’s Smallest Restaurants

To reserve an entire restaurant for you and your date you have to be exceedingly wealthy. That, or find an exceedingly small restaurant.

Here are three restaurants that consist entirely of one table. Each is in Europe. And each claims to be the world’s smallest restaurant. Which one deserves that dubious title? You be the judge:

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5 Cool, Luxurious (and Inexpensive) Hostels

Mention the word “hostel” and most people recoil in horror, perhaps haunted by memories of dirty dorms, queues for the bathroom and rowdy backpackers. But hostels have transformed in recent years into some of the best value accommodation around, offering the same comfortable rooms and range of facilities you’d expect in a hotel.

As the credit crunch bites and travelers cut back on their holidays, this couldn’t be a more timely transformation—why pay the high room rates of hotel chains when you can get the same standard in a hostel?

Forget the standard youth and backpacker hostel, the term now covers a huge range of lodgings, from guesthouses to beachside apartments (you can even find hostels in tree-houses and old castles these days!). Many hostels now boast private rooms with ensuite bathrooms, widescreen TVs and even a Jacuzzi if you’re lucky!

The rise of the ‘boutique’ or ‘design’ hostel in major cities, with cutting-edge design, stylish interiors and high-tech facilities, is perfect for those of us that want to be cheap and chic.

Here is a look to the five most luxurious hostels out there:

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