Dream of Italy Header


Thursday, March 29, 2007

What's in the March 2007 Issue

Are you a paid subscriber? Click to log-in and download the issue. Postal subscribers will receive issues next week.

Inside Villa d'Este's Culinary World: We pull back the curtains at Lake Como's exclusive Villa d'Este to discover what makes the hotel's culinary offerings so tempting.

Tales of Risotto: Villa d'Este Chef Luciano Parolari, also known as the "King of Risotto" shares cooking tips for his famous risotto, which has been wowing famous and non-famous guests alike for decades.

The Dream Interview: Joe Knows Rome: Travel guru Joe Brancatelli reveals his favorite places in Rome, including wonderful apartment rentals and authentic restaurants undiscovered by the American media.

News, Tips, Deals and Events: Cooking in Le Marche; Screenwriting in Spoleto; Apartment Rentals in Florence; Nightly Events at Westin Hotels in Italy.

Not a Subscriber? Find Out How to Access 50 Issues Over the Coming Year

Take an Enthralling Video Tour of Tuscany's Art Treasures

Overwhelmed by the sheer volume of artistic treasures in Tuscany? Want to prepare for your trip by learning more about the artists (Michelangelo, Giotto, etc.) who created these treasures and the Tuscan towns, big and small, where these pieces exist? I've never seen a more comprehensive and user-friendly video presentation about the art of Tuscany than Treasures of Sacred Art: Tuscan Journeys. Viewers can experience an artistic journey in small bites, as each of the 30 1/2 hour episodes focuses on a small corner of Toscana. A full five episodes focus on Florence and there are two episodes on Siena. But all the often overlooked places are included as well, episode 9 visits Prato, episode 30 explores Grosseto and the Maremma. I wish I had this six-DVD set before I visited first visited Tuscany; still even after visiting the region many times, these DVDs have given me a full art history education!

WATCH A VIDEO CLIP: Explore Florence's Duomo

SPECIAL OFFER: Receive this $99 DVD-set free when you purchase a "Define Your Dream" Consulation with The Italian Dream Concierge. (While supplies last.) Did you know you know that if you enjoy your consultation so much, you can apply the cost to a "Design Your Dream" Personalized Itinerary Planning Package?

BONUS: Receive a free copy of Dream of Italy's Special Report: Chianti ($11 value) when you purchase this incredible DVD set. (Subscribers may alternatively request a one-month extension on their subscriptions as a bonus.)

The Heavenly Risotto of Lake Como's Villa d'Este

What exactly is it that makes Lake Como's Villa d'Este feel like heaven? The perfect location on a shimmering, serene lake? The sumptuous decor? The acres and acres of botanical gardens? All of the above for sure and then there's the food. In the March 2007 issue of Dream of Italy, we pull back Villa d'Este's culinary curtains and discover two gastronomic powerhouses - Executive Chef Luciano Parolari, also known as the "King of Risotto" and his much-heralded repertoire of risotto recipes, which have been wowing famous and non- famous guests alike for decades. Parolari and the hotel's longtime director of public relations, Jean Govoni Salvadore, have collected the recipes and related stories in the new book, Tales of Risotto: Culinary Recipes from Villa d'Este (Glitterati, 2006). They have generously given us permission to reprint the recipe for "Risotto with Artichokes," the dish Frank Sinatra always ordered when he visited. Click here to see the recipe.

Visit (and Shop) Florence and Rome with the Girls!

(This is a paid advertisement.) Ladies, let's go shopping and touring in Italy. Join the 4th Annual Women’s Expedition experiencing the tastes, sights, and shopping in Florence and Rome. The trip runs from August 26 to September 3, 2007 and includes:
  • Sightseeing with experienced local guides
  • Transportation by luxury mini vans
  • Accommodations at charming 4- and 5- star hotels
  • Continental breakfast daily
  • Welcome and farewell dinner parties
  • Fewer than 18 passengers and personal service.
  • $2,990 per person, based on double occupancy.

Single occupancy rates on request. Airfare not included. Optional three-night extension to Positano. For more information, call Michelle Weiss at Best Travel (847) 498-3450 or e-mail her atmichL4@ aol.com

Tuesday, March 20, 2007

Rare Chance to "Eye" Italian Treasures

For the past 15 years, Fondo per l’Ambiente Italiano (FAI) has dedicated the first weekend of spring (this year, March 24 and 25) to Giornata di Primavera, a two-day national festival celebrating Italy as an open air museum of its own—this year involving every region of Italy for the first time. Over 500 monuments in over 200 cities, often closed to the public or open on a limited basis, will open their doors wide.
The festival invites Italians and visitors alike to pause and reconsider the cultural and historic beauty Italy contains—including many lesser-known, yet important palazzi, towers, churches and archeological sites. FAI hopes Italian in particular will see the country with new eyes, con occhi nuovi, including historic buildings that aren’t always given the attention that they merit.

No tickets are necessary to view these monuments, but FAI requests that donations be made to the organization, to be used in future preservation efforts. Here are a few of the sites that will be open this weekend:

Milan: headquarters of the well-known newspaper, Corriere della Sera, and the Palazzo Triennale
Venice: Chiesa della Pietà
Rome: Cappella de San Silvestro alla Scala Santa, opened for the first time since its restoration, and the Palazzo Marino, home to the Ministry of Marine Defense
Florence: Accademia della Crusca, the oldest of such language schools, and the Biblioteca Nazionale

For a full list of sites , organized by location, call (39) 0141 720850 or visit www.fondoambiente.it -- Cailin Birch

Sunday, March 18, 2007

Tuscany Villa w/Concierge Available This May!

The Italian Dream Concierge has a deal for you - your own villa near Lucca WITH your own personal on-site concierge for the week. This is a one-time offer presented by an incredibly knowledgable colleague who is also an Italian travel specialist.

Here's her offer: "I have have this beautiful villa with two separate apartments just outside Lucca (Tuscany) for the week of May 26 to June 2, 2007. Unfortunately, I will only be using the small apartment and would like to rent out the larger apartment to one of your fantastic readers!

Pesco has its own outside entrance and is 2500 square feet with four bedrooms and three bathrooms. The villa, complete with a full-size country kitchen, is furnished with art and period pieces and boasts panoramic views as well as a large swimming pool. The usual rental rate is $3,500 but I am offering the apartment for only $2,500 for the week. I will be on premises (downstairs) to help with day- trip itineraries, restaurant reservations, and anything else, serving as the guests' personal concierge." Serious inquiries only. E-mail me for more information.

Wednesday, March 14, 2007

Don't Leave Home Without Trip Insurance!

One essential part of travel planning is being prepared for the unforseen. That's why purchasing trip insurance makes sense. It's an affordable way to protect your travel investment AND give you peace of mind. Dream of Italy has teamed with tripinsurance.com to bring you well-priced, comprehensive travel protection. Basic protection (sample cost: insures $3,500 trip for a 50-year-old traveler for just $125) covers:

  • trip cancellation (due to covered reasons)

  • trip interruption (up to 100% of trip cost)

  • emergency medical benefits (including evacuation)

  • theft/loss of baggage and personal effects (up to $1,000)

  • baggage delay (up to $250)

  • multi-lingual 24-hour hotline

For just a few dollars more, travelers can opt for Enhanced Protection which provides additional benefits. Note that by purchasing your trip insurance within 15 days of making your intial trip deposit, you may also receive: waiver of pre-existing conditions and protection against financial insolvency of the travel supplier. You may use this link to sign up for protection for any trip, not just to Italy.

Thursday, March 08, 2007

What is Insider Travel Information Worth to You?

What would you be willing to pay to ensure that your Italian journey was the trip of the lifetime -- to avoid a mediocre meal or even worse a mediocre hotel or villa in the land of la dolce vita?

What if just one tip saved precious hours that may have otherwise been spent waiting in line?

Or if one tip introduced you to an unforgettable Italian showing you around his olive oil farm or teaching you how craft ceramics?

Some say this information would be worth hundreds of dollars - or might even be priceless if used to plan a once-in-lifetime trip such as a honeymoon or trip with the grandkids. Dream of Italy provides this valuable insider advice for LESS THAN the cost of a dinner for two at an Italian trattoria!

No time to hesitate as our subscription rates increase on Sunday, March 11th. Subscribe today for access to 40 back issues, 10 new issues over the coming year AND a copy of our new e- book, Dream of Italy's Collected Florence.

And a preview -- our March issue will be out at the end of next week and includes a delicious and exclusive tour of Villa d'Este (on Lake Como) and its kitchen...we'll be sure to include a recipe or two as well!

Wednesday, March 07, 2007

Italian Horsemen to Retrace Marco Polo Journey

A team of horsemen from Perugia is gearing up to retrace the route of Venetian explorer Marco Polo along the ancient Silk Road, according to the Italian news agency ANSA. The expedition, set for this fall, will cover 16 countries in 15 months. "The horses will be the hardy 'maremmana' breed, from the marshlands of Lazio and southern Tuscany - similar to the tough pack-horses used by Marco Polo, his brother Maffeo and father Niccolo'. Before the expedition sets out, they will be trained to tackle rough terrain by experts from Perugia University's Equestrian Studies Centre," ANSA reports. In the March 2006 Special Report: Tuscan Hideaways, Dream of Italy reported on how to experience riding exquisite horses while visiting the Maremma area of Tuscany.