Tuesday, October 31, 2006
A source told Britain's Daily Express newspaper: "Katie recently visited the hotel with Victoria and fell in love with it instantly. It's an ideal place for Tom and her to tie the knot because it's hidden away by dense greenery on the landward side, while the view on the opposite side which overlooks the lake is stunning. Katie was made aware that Mussolini used it as a war-time base, but she seemed more interested in the fact that the likes of Grace Kelly had stayed there."
Thursday, October 26, 2006
The entertainment news show Extra reports that Tom Cruise and Katie Holmes will marry at the super-luxurious Villa d'Este on the shores of Lake Como. Earlier this week, the couple announced their wedding date as November 18th, but the location of the nuptials was no more specific than Italy.
Carla Capalbo, author,The Food and Wine Guide to Naples and Campania recommends:
- The vegetable garden at Punta Campanella: Alfonso Iaccarino's vegetable garden for his famous two-star Michelin restaurant, Don Alfonso 1890, is in the completely unspoiled, UNESCO-site peninsula, Punta Campanella. It once housed a Greek temple, and has been left intact for millenia. Alfonso and his wife, Livia, bought it when it was a wild jungle, and have lovingly retamed it, planting it with dozens of varieties of native southern Italian olive trees, and all the indigenous vegetables his kitchen loves to serve. These are the luckiest vegetables on earth, as they look out on only one thing: the island of Capri surrounded by the blue Mediterranean.
Leni Attanasio, owner, with her husband, Palazzo Murat, Positano recommends:
- the restaurants Acqua Pazza in Cetara; Da Gemma trattoria in Amalfi; Capo D'Orso in Salerno; Il Grottino Azzurro in Positano; Donna Rosa in Montepertuso; and La Tagliata, between Montepertuso and Nocelle.
Giulia Sersale, Supervisor, Plants and Flowers, Le Sirenuse, Positano recommends:
- mortella, the beautiful Mediterranean plant known as wild myrtle that thrives here. La Mortella (the place of the myrtles) is also the name of the garden on the nearby island of Ischia that was created by Lady Susanna Walton, wife of Sir William Walton, a noted British composer. Designed by English landscape architect Russell Page, La Mortella is one of the world's great gardens, with rainforest trees, fountains, lotus pools, scented plants, olives, and wild roses. HRH Prince Charles is the patron of La Mortella, and recently a book was published, La Mortella: An Italian Garden Paradise, (New Holland Publishers, 2002). DOI readers who are garden enthusiasts may also be interested in the Mediterranean Garden Society.
Wednesday, October 25, 2006
Since Katie visited Lake Como earlier in the month, predictions are that the wedding will take place at George Clooney's villa or another venue in the Lakes region.
Sunday, October 22, 2006
The October issue of Dream of Italy is out and here are the articles paid subscribers will be reading:
Smell Lemons. Find Bliss. The Amalfi Coast Awaits
Guidebook author, Barrie Kerper, guest editor of this issue explains what makes the Amalfi Coast so special.
The Hotels of the Amalfi Coast Offer Beauty and Splendor
Reviews of six hotels in Amalfi, Positano, Ravello and Praiano.
Broaden Your Visit: Naples and the Archaeological Sites
How to get to Naples, Pompeii, Herculaneum and other sites, from the
Amalfi Coast and the best private guides and private drivers to lead the way.
A Guide to the Villages of the Amalfi Coast
Where there is to see and do in Amalfi, Positano, Ravello, Praiano, Atrani, Furore, Concadei Marini, Maori, Minori, Cetara and Vietri sul Mare.
News, Tips, Deals and Events
A guide to the Amalfi's best shopping, especially for ceramics. Lemon Lifestyles offers cooking lessons on the coast. Take a hike along the Amalfi. Where to eat. Getting around. Why fly Eurofly to Naples and the Amalfi Coast.
A Few of their Favorite Things
We ask the experts -- Leni Attanasio, owner, Palazzo Murat; Faith Willinger, cookbook author; Giulia Sersale, supervisor, plants and flowers, Le Sirenuse; Carla Capalbo, cookbook author -- about their favorite hotels, restaurants, stores and secret places on the Amalfi Coast.
**Want to buy a single copy of this issue? Click here**
**Planning to visit Italy in the near future? Paid subscribers receive 10 issues per year PLUS online access to our archive of over 36 back issues of Dream of Italy. That's over 46 issues for the price of a one-year subscription! Less than $2 an issue! What more do you need to plan a once-in-a-lifetime Italian adventure? Click here to read about more subscriber benefits and to join!**
Wednesday, October 18, 2006
The train left Turin at the beginning of the month to start its trek down to Palermo. From Sicily, the artwork will travel back to the north, ultimately arriving in Milan for a final showcase.
Pulled mostly from private collections, the train contains works by well-known Italian artists like Giorgio Morandi (whose 'Still Life' is pictured) ,Giorgio de Chirico and Enrico Baj. Adorning the six-car train are paintings from the post-World War II period to present, some of which have never been displayed in public. --Shauna Maher
Thursday, October 12, 2006
But in a city where tourists can stroll along the Tiber to visit the mausoleums of Hadrian and Augustus, what makes this new underworld so notable? According to Paolo Liverani, a former Vatican Museums official, it helps "document the middle class, which usually escapes us. You don't construct history with only generals and kings." The artifacts also shed light on the subject of religion in a period when Christians were highly persecuted.
Thinking of adding the necropolis to your next Vatican visit? As of this week, you can, but be sure to plan ahead. All visitors must write to the Vatican Museum for permission before being allowed to tour the grounds. Tours will be conducted in groups of 25 or less, on Fridays and Saturdays. The Vatican plans to expand visiting days based on popularity of the site. -- Shauna Maher
The major Italian tourist cities deal with a very large volume of visitors, particularly tourists who arrive in large tour groups for short trips and then leave the city to dine and sleep elsewhere, taking the real revenue to smaller towns. This tax is intended to help alleviate the burden on the cities’ infrastructure and services that this type of tourism demands. Venice, for example, already has a similar tax, which is only levied on tourists who make temporary stops in the city on tour buses, and then leave at night.
The new law is a loose one: it is not yet decided how this tax will be collected, but it may be incorporated into the fees charged by bus companies that take tourists into major cities on daytrips. Also, the 2007 budget allows each city to decide to exempt the tax from certain establishments, such as youth hostels, or to only apply it at certain times of the year. Revenue from this tax would then be spent on the maintenance of infrastructure and tourist services. -- Cailin Birch
Wednesday, October 11, 2006
The balmy weather accompanying the rain, and the thunderstorms that these conditions produce, are the perfect combination for a tasty truffle crop. The favorable weather is producing both a larger and more flavorful harvest, keeping hunters and hounds—especially the designated truffle hunting dog, the lagotto romagnolo (Romagna water retriever)—foraging through the forest.
After a string of disappointing truffle crops in past years, hunters and aficionados are gearing up for next weekend’s annual Alba White Truffle Fair, when prices will be given to this year’s prized white truffles. For more on truffle hunting, check out Dream of Italy's On the White Truffle Trail, On the Trail of Truffles in Alba, and our Special Report on Turin/Piedmont. -- Shauna Maher
Tuesday, October 10, 2006
Friday, October 06, 2006
As The Italian Dream Concierge, I will offer personal consultations, itinerary planning and even escorted tour services for those seeking a once- in-a-lifetime trip, filled with all of the unique experiences I have written about in the newsletter over the years -- cooking lessons, private guides, truffle hunting, vineyard visits, spas, Italian crafts, Carnevale balls, unique villa rentals, etc.
My unique perspective as a writer and Italian travel expert allows me to approach travel planning from the “experience” of travel rather than the “business” of travel. Indeed, unlike a travel agent, The Italian Dream Concierge doesn’t accept referral fees or commissions for recommendations. (You can take our itinerary to your own travel agent or seamlessly book through one of our partner agents for no extra charge.) When media outlets such as ABC News, Travel Channel Radio, USA TODAY and U.S. News & World Report need the inside scoop on
travel to Italy, they come to me. I hope you will too!
I look forward to making your dreams of Italy a wonderful reality through the personal service of the The Italian Dream Concierge.
(before November 10th, save $100 on the following):
Proceeds from the sale of the photo will go to Respite Italia as well as the British organization Breast Cancer Haven. Another way to help the work of Respite Italia is to rent one of their holiday properties in Italy. The owner of each property offers two weeks a year free-of-charge to breast cancer patients in need of a break.
Thursday, October 05, 2006
On the terraced hills of Italy’s Amalfi Coast, the Mediterranean sun and ocean air combine with volcanic soil to produce lemons the size of grapefruits. For hundreds of years, southern Italians have used the thick, juicy skins of these Sorrento lemons, named after the nearby town, to create a sweet tangy, liqueur known as limoncello (as the Italian word for lemon is limone). Historians suspect that limoncello, like many other regional liqueurs, was developed by local convents. In the 17th century, the nuns of Santa Rosa in Conca dei Marini used the lemon liqueur to make their famous lemon pastry, sfoglietta Santa Rosa.
For generations, local families have passed down their own recipes for macerating lemon peels to create limoncello. Only four ingredients may go into the liqueur – lemon zest (the colored portion of the peel), grain alcohol (or vodka), water and sugar – but Italians argue that much can go wrong if those ingredients are not up to par, or if the maceration process is interrupted. There are hidden pitfalls everywhere. For example, the limoncello may not turn out right if the alcohol is not strong enough. Some recipes allow two weeks for the mixture to ferment; others insist on as many as 80 days.
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