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Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Incredible Deals on Flights to Italy

Spring means savings when it comes to buying tickets to Italy.

US Airways is offering roundtrip flights to Milan and Rome from NYC or Philly for $298 plus taxes and fees. This is good for weekday flights through May 20th. You must buy your tickets by this Thursday.

Eurofly is selling roundtrip flights between NYC and Rome for $499, including all taxes and fees. Good for flights through April 30th.

Monday, February 23, 2009

The Pros + Cons of Retiring in Italy

Have you been dreaming of retiring in Italy? As part of my research for the Italy chapter I wrote for the new book Retirement Without Borders, I conducted extensive interviews with American expats who retired there. Here's a summary of the pros and cons of their retirement experiences --

· The savoring of life; la dolce vita is still alive and well in Italy.
· The sense of community and the noisy warmth of family life
· With 3,000 museums and 60% of the world's art, Italy is culture heaven.
· Good, affordable health care.
· The mild Mediterranean weather.

· The dollar's fall against the euro makes Italy expensive. (Although the dollar has been gaining strength again.)
· The wheels of bureaucracy turn excruciatingly slowly.
· Need to be in pretty good shape; Italy is not disabled- or wheelchair-friendly.
· Great Italian food, but little variety in ethnic dining.
· Corruption: Italy does not get high marks from Transparency.org

Purchase a copy of the book here. Paid newsletter subscribers can read excerpts from the book, here and here.

Friday, February 20, 2009

February 2009 Issue - Retiring in Italy, Ravello, New Hotels

The February 2009 issue of Dream of Italy is out! Paid subscribers can login to see the PDF version (or read the articles on Web pages). Become a subscriber today (you'll get immediate online access to 60 back issues and our Rome e-book too) and this will be your first issue!

Want to spend your golden years in Italia? Here's practical advice on the cost of living, health insurance, residency, red tape and real estate.

This Florida couple bought a 900-year-old house in Tuscany and gives advice to those thinking of doing the same.

A husband surprises his wife with a renewal of wedding vows at one of the Amalfi Coast's most romantic hotel.

News, Tips, Deals and Events

Dream of Italy on the Radio and in the U.K. Media

Yesterday was a good PR day for Dream of Italy.

First, in the morning, yours truly appeared on the radio show How to Tour Italy, hosted by Anthony Capozzoli. Anthony and I had a great conversation. We talked a bit about my favorite guide Enrico Bruschini and Enrico's book, about some of my favorite places in Italy and about the travel planning services I offer.

Then I was checking my Twitter feed and learned (what an appropriate way) that the Daily Telegraph (U.K.) named me one of the top 50 travel tweeters. Cool! Do you twitter? The author of the top 50 article also explains how to set up a Twitter account and how Twitter can help you plan a vacation. Follow me @dreamofitaly

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Truly Venice Offers a Free Night's Rental in Venice

Truly Venice offers the finest selection of holiday rentals in Venice, Italy. Dream of Italy who book a Venice apartment online before March 20th get 1 night for free (on a minimum of 6 nights stay). Enjoy breathtaking Grand Canal views, relax in a hidden garden or admire from the rooftop terrace this magical city with Truly Venice!

(This is an ad.)

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Eating Your Way Through Italy

Want to eat your way through Italy? Then you have to go right to the producers - those Italians who excel at making very specific culinary delicacies. And who better to guide you to these producers than someone who imports Italian foods into the U.S. DItalia.com, our favorite online Italian food store, is offering two incredible tours this May introducing foodies or want-to-be-foodies to the best of Italy.

In Sicily, the DItalia tour will take folks to the top sights in and around Palermo, Ragusa and Marsala but will also visit cheese, honey, chocolate and olive oil producers. There's a stop at the Salt Flats of Trapani, a cooking class, meals at Italy's best restaurants and much more.

In Puglia, there's a full itinerary covering Gallipoli, San Gregorio and Lecce and the towns in between. Taste wine and olive oil. Visit local artisinal food producers as well as stone masons and figurine producers.

Monday, February 16, 2009

Introducing Restacumme - Your Next Vacation in Cilento

RestaCumme provides personalized travel programs that ensure a memorable vacation in Cilento and elsewhere in Italy.

Our TravelCilento staff can create an affordable travel plan for you with boat tours, cultural and ecological activities as well as unique culinary experiences based on the Mediterranean diet.
For a no obligation travel plan to Cilento, contact us at info@travelcilento.com.

(This is an ad.)

Thursday, February 12, 2009

What's On in Rome This Spring

Heading to Rome this spring? Here are some events you might want to know about:

Exhibit: Bicentennial of Charles Darwin's Birth
One of the largest exhibitions dedicated to 200th anniversary of the birth of English naturalist Charles Darwin takes place at Rome's Palazzo delle Esposizioni through May 3rd. The exhibit retraces the journeys and the experimental research that drove young Darwin in the formulation of his revolutionary theory of evolution.

What a place to run a marathon! This 26-mile run begins and ends at the Colosseum on March 22nd. You can stand along the race route to cheer on the competitors or even do some running yourself. A 4k Fun Run starts at the Colosseum at 9:15 a.m. (right after the marathon racers take off). The entry fee is just 7 euros and includes a t-shirt!

Roma Wine Festival
This April 25th and 26th, head over to Rome's Citta del Gusto, a cooking and dining complex run by the folks behind the Gambero Rosso guidebooks, for a wine extravaganza. For 20 euros, you can taste wines and hob-knob with leaders in the industry.

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Our Friends at Kublai Want to Plan Your Trip to Italy

Let the Tuscany-based travel planners at Kublai take care of every aspect of your Italian vacation! Maddie Bacarelli and her colleagues will recommend hotels, villas and charming B+Bs they've personally visited and create personalized itineraries including restaurants, sites, guides and shopping. Kublai also specializes in wedding planning, corporate meetings and family travel. E-mail Maddie at maddieb@kublai.it or call her at (39) 055 8706884.

(This is an ad.)

Monday, February 02, 2009

Taking Your First Trip to Italy? Don't Miss This Free Special Report

Are you planning your first trip to Italy this year? I've got a fantastic and free resource for you! This is a project I have wanted to work on for a long time - I love helping first time visitors to Italy learn how to navigate their way around - and the folks at Perillo Tours gave me the opportunity by asking me to author their FREE eReport The First Timer's Guide to Italy.

First, I'll tell you what it is NOT. It is NOT a guide to where to stay or where to eat. It IS a guide to how to plan your trip. I start out by going over what destinations should be on a first-timer's itinerary and what specific sites to see within those destinations.

I then get into some very practical advice such as:
  • the pros and cons of hotels vs. villas
  • how to get cash or charge purchases in Italy without paying huge fees
  • how to use your cell phone in Italy or other options for calling home very cheaply
  • where to buy the best authentic Italian products
  • what you need to know before planning your visits to churches and museums
  • what to expect an a restaurant in Italy
  • how to get around and when it makes sense to rent a car
  • what quirky characteristics to look for in Italian society
  • and much, much more

Visit Perillo's Web site and immediately download your free copy of The First Timer's Guide to Italy written by yours truly!