Travel Briefs

The city of Florence, Italy, is handing out fines of up to €500 (near $565) to people caught eating outdoors along any of four streets — Via de’ Neri, Piazza degli Uffizi, Piazza del Grano and Via della Ninna — between the hours of 12 and 3 p.m. and 6 and 10 p.m. The city is attempting to reduce congestion and litter in those areas.


The town of Acquentico, in Imperia province, northwestern Italy, put temporary speed cameras up near a pedestrian crossing on the SS28 Nord highway in late October. Within two weeks, 58,568 speeding infractions were recorded. (The town has a population of 120.) The success of the cameras has caused the town council to install permanent cameras. The speed limit within the town is 50 kilometers (31 miles) per hour.

The 12th Les Flora lies Internationales flower exhibition, held every five years in Nantes, France, will take place May 8-19 in 2019 at Parc des Expositions de la Beaujoire (Route de Saint-Joseph de Porterie, 44300 Nantes). More than 200 flower and plant experts from all over the world will create landscapes at the exhibition hall, on the banks of the Erdre River.

A ticket costs €20.50 (near $23). Contact Comité des Floralies (phone +33 02 40 14 58 60,


Commemorating 500 years since Leonardo da Vinci's death in France, a large collection of his drawings, paintings and sculptures are scheduled to be exhibited in autumn 2019 at the Louvre (Paris, France;, the dates yet to be announced.

Pieces include a large number on loan, including works from the Royal Collection of Queen Elizabeth II. (At press time, the Italian government considered the loaning of some da Vinci works held in Italy to be controversial, and it...


Carnival Cruise Lines ( announced, on Nov. 26, that any passenger caught smoking in an undesignated area, including in his or her own cabin, will be fined $500, and he or she, and any other person staying in their cabin, may be removed from the ship at the next port of call. Anyone removed from a ship for a smoking violation will be banned from future Carnival cruises.

Previously, smoking violators only faced a cleaning fee tacked onto their bill.

After years of delays, the Maputo-Catembe suspension bridge, across Maputo Bay on the coast of southernmost Mozambique, was officially opened on Nov. 10. Two 450-foot-high towers suspend the roadway nearly 200 feet above the bay. The 1.86-mile-long bridge is the longest suspension bridge in Africa.

The king of Morocco inaugurated Africa's first high-speed train system, the Al Baraq, on Nov. 17. The trains connect Casablanca to Tangier, with stops in Rabat and Kenitra. Traveling at speeds of over 320 kilometers per hour (199 mph), each train can make a one-way trip in two hours, 10 minutes. (Previously, it took four hours, 45 minutes.) A one-way ticket costs MAD132 (near $14), second class, or MAD195, first class.


The former Cunard Line ocean liner Queen Elizabeth II, now a luxury hotel docked permanently at Mina Rashid Port in Dubai, began taking reservations in November. The 1,300-room hotel has 13 restaurants and bars plus a museum.

Room rates run about $100-$400 per night during high season (around January-May) and can be lower in off-season. Visit or call +971 4 528 888.