Wednesday, May 23, 2007
OR, olive oil is just as good a reason as any. Olio Capitale has partnered with the Associazione Nazionale Citta’ dell’ Olio to host the Top Extra-Virgin Olive Oil Expo in Trieste this June. This new event will bring together experts in the field of olive oil production both from Italy and abroad. Side events include a lecture on olive-oil-based confectioneries, a technical seminar on the process of extraction, and a master demonstration on frying oils and high temperatures. The Olio Capitale Expo will take place in Piazzale de Gasperi, 1 in Trieste June 10, 11 and 12. Admission is free. -- Laura Cimperman
Monday, May 21, 2007
While this sounds like an enchanting tourist destination, there may not be much time left to experience the same Vucciria that has remained practically unchanged for 700 years. “There's new construction, new developments all around. The Vucciria won't survive,” says Ignazio D'Alessandro, a 62-year-old Sicilian vender who has lived in the area since he was just 5 years old. “The crowds are leaving. The developers are moving in. I'll have to close in the next two years.”
Although the thinning crowds have many vendors worried about the future of their businesses, Ms. Concetta of Shanghai Trattoria told the Pargament, “Places like this can never go away completely… You just watch — the Vucciria will outlive us all.” Let’s hope she’s right, otherwise now might be the perfect time to visit Palermo before summer crowds rush in. To read more about Palermo check out the article “Navigate Palermo Like A Native” in Dream of Italy's Special Report: Sicily
According to Newyorkology.com,"The Delegates' Dining Room is open for lunch only, from 11:30 to 2:30 p.m. and only on weekdays. Reservations must be made at least a day in advance by leaving a message at (212) 963-7625. Jackets are required for men, and sneakers and jeans are prohibited. If you go, allow extra time to pass through regular U.N. security downstairs and show picture identification to get your special badge to go upstairs to the dining room. From the street, enter at the regular public entrance to the United Nations at 46th Street and First Avenue."
Sunday, May 20, 2007
Tuesday, May 15, 2007
According to Neapolitan doctors, "There's a risk of infectious diseases given the rubbish combined with the heat. Burning the refuse makes matters worse by releasing dioxins into the atmosphere.”
So what exactly are they protesting? The underlying issue is their dissatisfaction with the way in which the government has been (or rather has not been) dealing with trash disposal. In fact, the Camorra, the Neapolitan Mafia, which has been known to regulate refuse disposal, is rumored to have instigated the protest. “Anti-mafia officials warned recently that the Camorra was actively sabotaging plans to build incinerators because it would undermine its dumping business.” There have been plans to build landfills in several other sites in the region of Campania, but residents from those towns have also come to Naples to protest in defense of their hometowns’ health and economic well-being. -- Laura Cimperman
Monday, May 14, 2007
As editor and publisher of Dream of Italy, I write about so many topics related to Italian travel, but what I haven't written about much as how I ended up with this "dream" job in the first place. It is often the first question people ask when I meet them at a conference or cocktail party. I haven't had the pleasure to personally meet all of my readers, so it is time I let you in on the story. I came to "Dream of Italy" through some special family connections and possible divine intervention! You will see what I mean when you read "A Mother, A Daughter, A Dream", the essay I wrote for the cool new baby boomer Web site, Eons.com. Yes, it is a day after Mother's Day but I owe my own mother thanks and appreciation every day of the year for literally taking this journey with me (and my father has been equally incredibly supportive!).
Friday, May 11, 2007
While Mayor Massimo Cacciari is very concerned about this "exodus," he points out that this is not an issue specific only to Venice; locals are fleeing numerous European city-centers while tourists continue to flow in. Mara Rumiz, the Head of Housing for the Venice Council, says the city is on track to be completely void of locals by the year 2050 if we fail to take proper measurements. Additionally, many schools and other community-based institutions are being shut down and re-opened as hotels because they lack the demand (and funding) to remain open. This is a grim indication where Venice may be headed if priority is given to tourists (who bring in most of their revenue) and not to the local citizens who are the true life of the city.
For more on this important debate, see the Benetton blog. For more on Venice, see Dream of Italy's Special Report: Venice or the dozens of articles on Venice available through a subscription to Dream of Italy. -- Laura Cimperman
Although this trend started in 2000 when 25 million tourists and pilgrims visited Rome to celebrate the Holy Year, convents all over Italy have begun welcoming more than just nuns to share their quarters.
According to a Associated Press article one of the first convents to rent out its rooms was the Fraterna Domus (Via del Monte Brianza, 62; 39- 06-68802727; e-mail mailto:DOMUSRM@TIN.IT), located near Rome’s Piazza Navona. With rates starting at $64 per person per room, and $104 for a double, this is a bargain considering its prime location and proximity to many tourist destinations.
One of the drawbacks may be that most of these bed and breakfasts do enforce a strict curfew, usually ranging from 9 to 11 p.m. This may be a turn-off for younger travelers who want to experience Italy’s all-night clubs and discotecas, but for the more laid-back tourists, a good night’s rest may be welcomed after a long day of touring.
So if hotel prices are too steep, and the curfew doesn’t scare you away, staying in a convent may just be the answer to your prayers. Also check out http://www.monasterystays.com/ and http://www.santasusanna.org/ for a listing of convents and monasteries in locations throughout Italy. Still want to stay in a regular hotel? See our Special Report: Rome for some of our recommendations. -- Laura Cimperman
Sunday, May 06, 2007
Once the whistle has been blown, however, no one stands on ceremony.
Players, still bedecked in color-coordinated jerkins and breeches, use all possible means to get the red and white ball over the wall at the opposite end of the piazza. In the meantime, individual brawls break out between members of opposing teams, which officials say has become excessive in recent years. In 2005, police opened probes into over 40 participants for violent behavior, and last year, over 50 players were taken to court after a serious scuffle at the beginning of the first match led to the tournament’s suspension. Officials hope that this year’s hiatus will give tempers time to cool, and the tournament is scheduled to return in 2008. -- Cailin Birch
Relais Alla Corte del Sole is one of the four charming Umbria hotels reviewed in this issue by Rosanne Cofoid: Well, if George Clooney stayed here, it's good enough for just about anyone. The romantic 18-room Relais began its life as a 13th-century monastery that belonged to the order of St. Stephen, and it is believed that St. Margaret stayed here on her way to Cortona. Situated high on a hill, less than a mile from the border of Tuscany, with a wonderful view of the surrounding countryside and Lake Trasimeno, the property is perfectly located to tour both Tuscany and Umbria--it's located just 11 miles from Cortona and Montepulciano. The accommodations are spread throughout the property in beautifully restored ancient stone buildings, complete with beautiful and immense wooden beams on the ceilings and furnished with beautiful antiques and carpets; many feature canopied beds. The largest suites can accommodate up to five, an ideal solution for a family. The grounds also include a large swimming pool with a bar strategically located to make the most of the position. The hotel has a lovely lounge/bar, L'Orangerie, with several comfortable sitting areas (and a prominent photo of G.C.!), perfect for reading, playing a game, or relaxing with friends after a day of touring. There is also an excellent restaurant complete with wine cellar and sitting area below, a perfect area to hold a wine tasting or serve hors d'oeuvres. The property offers a variety of wellness services, such as tension release massage and shiatsu, tours of the area, and cooking classes. Località "I Giorgi", Petrignano, (39) 075 9689008Rates: During the high season, a double ranges from 195 to 230 euros per night and a suite is 285 to 340 euros. Junior suites also available. Includes breakfast and taxes.
Read About Three More Charming Umbria Hotels (Paid Subscribers Only)
Tuesday, May 01, 2007
Dream of Italy will be one of the more than 50 boutique booths on the grounds. We'll be selling a wide selection of Italian jewelry from Dream of Italy Designs. We'll also have Italian home decor items, note cards, prints, DVDs and books. If you're in D.C., stop by and say "ciao!" The Flower Mart will take place Friday, May 4, 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. and Saturday, May 5, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Special Report: Amalfi Coast) Here are some things to consider:
* Driving Experience/Desire for Adventure*: I don't mind driving in Italy; I've done it numerous times, but I also know that drivers in Italy are crazy. They see the lines in the road and speed limits as mere suggestions and are incredibly impatient. If this is your first time driving here, think about whether you are confident enough to do so on one of Italy's most trying roads. On the Amalfi Drive, the road is so narrow that special traffic cops must stop traffic to allow huge tour buses to pass, the twists and turns require quick reflexes and when it is raining, traffic can really back up (see photo -- but if you're in one of the local buses, you're stuck in traffic too.)
The April issue has been posted and is in the mail to paid newsletter subscribers. Subscribers can
log in here to download the PDF. Non-subscribers who
sign up today,can access this issue and 40 back issues immediately. Non-subscribers can also purchase the PDF of the April issue ($9) or have a
hard copy mailed to them ($11). Here's what's inside:
Ponza: The Secret Island Romans Love:
Around 20 miles long and three miles wide, some 23 miles off the coast of Lazio, Ponza has few foreign visitors and has managed to remain almost exclusively the haunt of Italians.
24 Hours in Ponza:
Which villa to rent; which caves to visit; how to boat around the Pontine islands; where to eat the best seafood.
Charming Places to Stay in Umbria:
Four special places to stay in Spoleto and in the Umbrian countryside; one was even good enough for George Clooney.
News, Tips, Deals and Events:
The Pass That Lets You Skip Florence Museum Lines; Numbers at the Pantheon; New Hotel Openings from Milan to Sicily, including Tuscany's Castello Banfi.