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Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Buon Natale from Cooper the Dog

Whether you've been naughty or nice, my dog Cooper hopes Santa is good to you! Buon Natale!

Monday, December 22, 2008

Introducing Summer in Italy Villa Rentals

At Summer in Italy, we know you don't just want to see Italy, you want to experience it! That's why we have selected only the best variety of well-equipped vacation rentals. But we don't offer just villas- we give you real service and advice, too!

And when we say "real service and advice" we mean it! Jump to our Web site now and get your free copy of "How to Save Money While Traveling in Italy," an invaluable resource which includes a special holiday gift.

We are located along Italy's famed and beautiful Amalfi Coast. We live here, and want to help you make the most of your visit to our gorgeous corner of the world. Let us direct you the hidden treasures, introduce you to the natural beauty and the friendliness of our people. We can make you feel Italian, at least for a week!

From the sheltered shoreline of Sorrento to the unrivaled dramatic splendor of the Amalfi Coast towns of Positano, Praiano and Ravello, you can find just the right home away from home at Summer in Italy. Here you'll find breathtaking views, highly productive groves of olives and citrus, and warm hospitality to match the southern sunshine. The storied island of Capri, perennially popular with the glitterati, can also be your destination or home base.

A few miles south but a world away from the tourist crowds, you'll find the Cilento, an area that is relatively unknown but not lacking in allure. (The area is featured in Dream of Italy's December 2008/January 2009 issue.) Here you'll discover genuine hospitality, rich flavors, stellar views, and an unhurried lifestyle. You'll be able to fully immerse yourself in daily Italian life. The important Greek ruins of Paestum and Roman remains of Pompeii and Ercolano are within easy reach. Here you can also watch the production of mozzarella di bufala and taste the delicious results!

We also have a selection of villas and apartments in Tuscany, Umbria, Rome, Venice and Lake Como - all of which have been recommended to us by friends and by past guests themselves.

(This is an ad.)

Monday, December 15, 2008

Venice for the Holidays: Markets, Concerts and Masses

Our friend Nan McElroy, author of Italy, Instructions for Use (hint: makes a terrific stocking stuffer!) is lucky to live in Venice year-round but like most of us believes the holidays are a particularly special time of year in La Serenissima. There are Christmas markets, a special glass exhibition on the island of Murano, classical music concerts, celebrations in Piazza San Marco, Midnight Mass at Basilica San Marco and much more. Nan wrote an insider's guide to all the fun for the December/January issue of Dream of Italy and we've made it a free access article for all to read!

Snowy San Marco Venice Christmas Cards
Buon Natale San Marco with Wreath Christmas Cards
Venetian Gondola Framed Photograph
Venetian Glass Jewelry

Sunday, December 14, 2008

Stock up on Holiday Foods at DItalia.com

If you're looking to stock up on Italian specialties for Christmas dinner or to give yummy Italian treats as gifts, we wanted to remind you about our friends at DItalia.com We got to know them by being their customers first - bought some of their gift baskets for clients a few years ago - and we continue to do our own holiday food shopping at DItalia.com. This is definitely the place to buy some holiday panettone, pandoro, panforte and torrone. Hurry, there's only FOUR days left for Christmas delivery...

Friday, December 12, 2008

Where to Attend Christmas Mass (in English) in Rome

If you didn't plan far enough ahead to get tickets to Midnight Mass at St. Peter's Basilica at the Vatican, there are plenty of other places to attend Christmas mass in Rome - after all the city has hundreds of churches. Our writer in Rome, Frances Kidd, reports the following churches usually hold English-language services during the Christmas season. You should check by phone or online for exact times and services.

All Saints’ Anglican Church: www.allsaintsrome.org
Ponte S. Angelo Methodist Church: (39) 06.687.68314
Rome Baptist Church: www.romebaptist.org
St Andrew’s Presbyterian Church: www.presbyterianchurchrome.org
St Patrick’s Church (Roman Catholic): www.stpatricksrome.com
St Paul’s within-the-Walls (Anglican Episcopal): www.stpaulsrome.it
S. Isidoro Church (Roman Catholic): (39) 06.488.5359
S. Susanna Church (Roman Catholic) (pictured above): www.santasusanna.org

Why This Subscriber Loves Dream of Italy

There's nothing that makes my day more than an unsolicited e-mail from a happy Dream of Italy subscriber. And this one from earlier this week really put a smile on my face. Juanita is talking about the FREE BONUS Berlitz 4-CD language course that's part of our best subscription deal ever - and part of our holiday gift subscription package (there's still time to order!):

Dear Kathy--Link Many thanks for the wonderful Berlitz Italian language CD. I listen every day in the car and found that this particular method is the best-----I also have the Pimsler set that I bought a few months ago, but I like the Berlitz better. This seems to provide much better review and repetiton of the lessons -----works for me !!!!

Thank you for this and for all the wonderful information your provide us. I love each and every issue which are highlighted or flaged or catalogued by subject /region in my growing library of booklets! Congratulations to you and your staff--keep up the great work.

Buon Natale

Your faithful subscriber,
Juanita Megaro

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Christmas Time Means Panettone!

Our guest blogger Robin Locker recounts her discovery of panettone and the history of this Italian holiday food-

When I first saw panettone, I thought it was the ubiquitous fruitcake that you see around the holidays. You know- the dense brick of a log that everyone hates, but gets as a gift...and re-gifts it on down the line until they find someone who either actually likes it, or decides it would best be served as a festive doorstop.

Oh yes, that fruitcake.

But panettone, is better. Way better. I saw Giada {her recipe follows} and I was hooked! I should have figured that anything shaped like a chef's hat, should be a darn good culinary treat.

Read more about the history of panettone and get Giada's recipe

Thursday, December 04, 2008

Barack Obama Starring In Naples Nativity Scenes

Our intrepid writer France Kidd ventured to Naples to explore their most famous Christmas tradition - the creation of presepi or Nativity scenes. This year Neapolitan craftsmen have made figures of Barack Obama, Michelle Obama, Hillary Clinton, John McCain and other famous Americans and Europeans to fill their scenes. All of this Christmas fun can be found on one street - Via San Gregio Armeno. Read more about Christmas shopping in Naples.

Monday, December 01, 2008

Cyber Monday Deals on Italian Gifts

We've got tons of them! See all the details HERE