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Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Roman Forum Will No Longer Be Free to Visitors

Special thanks to Tony Polzer of 3 Millenia Tours for the following news:

Starting March 9th the forum will no longer be free to the people. The ticket will be a combination Colosseum/Palatine Hill/Roman Forum ticket. It will be the same price as the current Colosseum/Palatine Hill ticket. However, this ticket will be valid for two days.

In addition to this, the forum will have to make some accessibility changes. For those of you that have been to the forum before might know that some of the gates are no more then just that: small access gates. But since we are now dealing with a paid entrance, these small access gates will no longer be sufficient to handle ticket sales. Therefore, here are the changes to each access gate:
-Via San Gregorio (former Palatine Hill only entrace) - entrance and exit for the Roman Forum/Palatine Hill
-Via dei Fori Imperiali (to the right of Chiesa dei S. Cosma e Damiano) - entrance and exit for the Roman Forum/Palatine Hill
-Arch of Titus - exit only
-Mamertine Prison/Arch of Septimius Severus - exit only
-S. Teodoro (Via della Consolazione) - closed
-Campidoglio (Via Sacra) - closed

There is currently a movement underway by tourist agencies to protest this change as it greatly hampers the flow of tours and people.

Friday, February 22, 2008

February 2008 Issue: Money-Saving Tips, Pisa

The February 2008 issue of Dream of Italy has just been posted to the Web site. Paid subscribers can login to download the issue or mail subscribers will be receiving their issues next week. Here's what is inside:
Tips and Tricks for Saving Euros
There are some easy ways to beat the weak dollar and save money while visiting Italy and we reveal dozens of them including when you should buy your plane tickets, which (brand new) Web sites to use, alternatives to staying in a hotel, why a cruise might be the best deal and much more... Don't miss this information-packed article!!!

Pisa: Discovering La Dolce Vita Beyond the Tower
Pisa is one of the world's most famous tourist quickies, but it is truly a lovely city worth taking the time to explore.

News, Tips Deals and Events
A Warning for Rental Car Drivers; Santo Spirito Reopens in Florence; Terme di Saturnia's New Golf Course; New Venice Hotels Have Tongues Wagging; Ancient Surgery Unveiled in Rimini; Palace of Rome's First Emperor Opens in March

Not a paid subscriber? Subscribe or renew today and receive an immediate download of our 78-page e-book Dream of Italy's Collected Venice, online access to 50 back issues and 10 issues over the coming year!

Thursday, February 21, 2008

Venice: Work Out As The Gondoliers Do!

Venice's Hilton Molino Stucky has introduced a unique fitness program with a distinctively Venetian flavor: Gondolier Training! The first-of-its-kind Molino Stucky Gondolier Training provides an intense full body workout, as well as a rare glimpse into one of Venice’s timeless traditions. Participants are taught the basics, from the physical technique of balancing and using the oar, to etiquette and conduct expected from a licensed gondolier. The training session culminates with a visit to the Venice Squero, the old factory where gondolas are still produced to this day. Every new gondolier is presented with a fitted black-and-white striped shirt, a lasting token of her or his initiation to the field. Lessons cost 360 euros per gondola (carrying two guests) for a three-hour session. For more information, call (39) 041 2723311 or e-mail info.venice@hilton.com

Need more insider's travel info on Venice? Purchase an immediate download of our new e-book Dream of Italy's Collected Venice OR subscribe to our print newsletter and receive the e-book as a bonus!

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

SALE: 15% OFF Italian Decoupage Items

This week only, save 15% on our unique and fabulous Italian decoupage window boxes and buckets...I don't think we have ever had a sale on these before...

If you came to my home, you would be surprised how many of these I use all over the place. I have a Portofino window box on my desk holding assorted office supplies, there's a Venice window box in my bathroom holding colorful wash clothes and the Italia bucket in my kitchen holds napkins!

See all of our decoupage designs - available now at 15% OFF - while supplies last!

Introducing - La Tavola Bella

The finest hand-painted Italian dinnerware, tableware, gifts and decorations for the home - all hand-crafted in Deruta, Italy. At La Tavola Bella, we provide you with a lifetime of beauty and a vacation from the everyday each time you use one of our products.

Visit us at the International Food and Wine Show March 1 and 2 in Washington, DC. Visit our blog for more details.

(This is an ad.)

Sunday, February 17, 2008

Italy In America: An Osteria in Jackson Hole

I'm just back from a vacation in Jackson Hole, Wyoming. I have never been there before and the surroundings were absolutely stunning. I went skiing, dog sledding and snow shoeing and when my muscles weren't aching too much went out for some great meals.

One of the highlights was a meal at Il Villagio Osteria, which just opened a few weeks ago in the Teton Village ski area where I was staying. The sleek-looking restaurant is part of the new Hotel Terra, a luxurious new eco-friendly hotel. The night I wandered into the restaurant with my skiing pals, the place was absolutely packed. We were lucky enough to get four seats at the bar and went to work picking out a bottle of wine and our dishes. Being the one with the most Italian wine experience, I was put to the task of selecting a bottle and went with a $42 Barbera d'Alba, which we liked so much we later ordered another one.

We started with salads and calamari. I had panzanella salad - a take on the traditional Tuscan dish of bread and tomatoes - this juicy salad included peppers. It was an excellent way to begin the meal. Next, I had homemade ravioli with a goat cheese filling. I adore ravioli but mine was cooked a little too long and slightly mushy. The real star of the night was the red wine risotto which two of my friends had - I wish I had ordered it. Though we barely had room, we ordered one piece of tiramisu and four forks and the dessert was among the best I have had in an Italian restaurant in the U.S.

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

The Latest on Italy Airfare Sales

It is that time of year again -- sales for spring travel to Italy!

Fly to Rome for $399 roundtrip on Eurofly. The price is for select flights from New York  for travel through April. Price includes fuel surcharge but not taxes. 

Alitalia has roundtrip fares of $549 for travel now through March 29. A Saturday night stay is required.    Tickets must be purchased by February 17

Travelocity is offering exclusive fares to Europe, including Italian destinations, starting at $200 one-way. Flights are on Aer Lingus through Dublin. Valid for travel until June 30. Tickets must be issued by March 31. 

Thursday, February 07, 2008

Ravello Exudes Romance

I'm convinced that the Amalfi Coast town of Ravello is a bit closer to heaven than most other places. I'm not just talking figuratively; it literally seems like you can reach out and touch the sky - all the while enjoying the most majestic views of the coast below. This photo is from my recent stay at Ravello's Palazzo Sasso -- truly one of the world's most amazing and romantic hotels. Ravello is blessed with incredible villas turned hotels - Villa Cimbrone (you must eat at their innovative restaurant) among them. Everyone visiting Ravello - day trippers, too - must see the incredible gardens at the Villa Cimbrone.

In our Special Report: Amalfi Coast, Barrie Kerper uncovered more reasons why Ravello is so special.

Sunday, February 03, 2008

Romantic Italian Travel Gifts for Valentine's Day!

This Valentine's Day, think outside of the box -- the candy box that is -- candy is great, but don't you want to get your Valentine something more unique and meaningful? If he or she loves Italy or if you're planning a trip together to the land of la dolce vita, we have a choice of two perfect gifts:

Romantic Italy Travel Gift Basket - Packaged in a Big Red Bow!

In Love in Italy Romantic Guidebook + BONUS Amalfi Coast Report - Free Valentine's Gift Wrap!

Note: You must order by 3 p.m. EST Friday, February 8 for delivery by Valentine's Day!

Saturday, February 02, 2008

What are Your Favorite 30 Things in Italy?

Travel writer Tim Jepson has compiled a list of the 30 best things in Italy for the Telegraph newspaper. Lists like these always prompt discussion and debate; "but what about x or what about y." Jepson's list and links to related articles from Dream of Italy are below. Feel free to share your favorites in the comments section!