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Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Advertise Your Italy Business with Dream of Italy

I know many of those who follow Dream of Italy and the Dream of Italy Blog are themselves involved in the business of travel to Italy. So this blog post is for them - to share latest opportunities we have to connect Italian travel enthusiasts with the businesses (especially small ones) who want to serve them. Here are the online sponsorship and advertising opportunities we're currently offering (at special rates!):


  • Sponsored Sections - We have divided all of our content (well over 700 articles) into sections or hubs, with all of our Umbria content, for example,linked off one Umbria section page. We have over 30 section pages and each one is available for an exclusive sponsorship with a text ad at the top of the main section page. (See Rome example)

  • Ads in Dream of Italy E-mail Updates - Twice a month, we send out an e-mail update to thousands and thousands of passionate Italophiles. We have room for two ads in each of these e-mail updates. (See a recent example) The ad package includes
    one 60-word linked ad with photo in one Dream of Italy e-mail update and that same ad appearing as a blog post (labeled as an ad) on the Dream of Italy Blog.

  • Sponsored E-mails Devoted Exclusively to Your Company - The sponsored e-mail is sent to our list but features your company alone, no editorial copy from Dream of Italy, no other ads. This is a great opportunity to capture our audience with your unique offerings. In order to provide maximum exposure for our advertisers and maintain our readership, only one sponsored e-mail per month is available. (See a recent example)

The best thing about all of our advertising opportunities? They are much less expensive than you imagine and well-priced for small businesses. We have limited advertising opportunities and they are filling up so contact us today for more information.

And don't just take our word for it. Here's what one satisfied Dream of Italy advertiser has to report:

"I've been a huge fan of Kathy McCabe and Dream of Italy for many years, so advertising with Dream of Italy was natural for me. Each time we place an ad in one of the twice monthly e-mail updates, we see an immediate increase in our Web traffic and sales as a direct result. If you own or operate an Italy or travel-based business, I cannot think of a better way to reach your target audience than advertising with Dream of Italy."
-- Laura Faust, Ciao Laura

So You Want to Go to the Venice Film Festival?

When you're planning you trip to Italy, the first rule of thumb should be to always check what special events are happening in the destinations you're visiting. In conjunction with a last-minute trip to the Dolomites at the beginning of September, I decided to spend a few nights in Venice before my journey into the mountains. Yesterday, I checked our Italy events calendar (we're adding more fall and winter dates) and low and behold the Venice Film Festival is taking place while I'm in La Serenissima. (Bit of trivia - It is the oldest film festival in the world.)

I feel like a fool for not remembering this annual September event but as soon as I realized it, I rushed over to the Venice Biennale Web site to see if I could get a ticket to one of the screenings while I was in town. A few clicks and mission accomplished! Though it is the most expensive movie ticket I have ever bought ($25), I'll be seeing the Italian film Il Grande Sogno. I wanted to see 1) a movie that is actually in competition for the Leone d'Oro prize (other classics are also being screened) and 2) an Italian film (there are subtitles for anything I don't understand). So if you're planning to be in Venice between September 2nd and 12th, consider taking in a flick at the festival. You might just see a Hollywood (or Bollywood or Cinecitta) star or two!

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Women's Travel Club: Great Way to See Italy

Earlier this week, I had lunch with Allison O' Sullivan, managing director of The Women's Travel Club. We had much to talk about from our passion for travel to changes in the industry and how women are on the forefront of travel and looking for new and meaningful ways to see the world.

Allison told me that the Italy trips are among the most popular offerings of The Women's Travel Club (I'm not surprised!) and that women who are traveling solo but who would like to be part of a larger group love these vacations. Upcoming trips include: Thanksgiving in Tuscany and Italian Lakes.
I was particularly impressed with the Florence - Art & Architecture tour slated for September. The group stays at the lovely Grand Hotel Baglioni and the program gives participants a true immersion into what makes Florence so unique - the art and architecture. So many visitors to Florence just do a "hit and run" to see the David or the Uffizi when really these places are best enjoyed with expert guides. Plus the group ventures out to Siena and San Gimignano to experience some of the spectacular art in Tuscany!

Creating a Family-Friendly Italy Itinerary

This is a guest post from Amie O'Shaughnessy of CiaoBambino.com:

Narrowing down the best itinerary is the hardest part of planning a trip to Italy. There are countless amazing places to experience and it’s temping pack an exhausting number of stops into a two-week itinerary.

This strategy will backfire when traveling with young children—minimal accommodation changes and easy logistics are essential. This makes the job of creating the best itinerary that much more difficult.

I’ve helped hundreds of families travel through Italy with kids of all ages. Travel preferences are vastly different, but there is a tried and tested itinerary with kids, particularly for families visiting Italy together for the first time.

I outlined our most popular family-friendly itinerary and corresponding travel tips in a recent post on the Ciao Bambino Blog. Of course, there are endless variations that will work too, but this is an excellent place to start weighing the options.

Related:
Tips for Choosing Child-Friendly Lodging in Italy

An Italian Village That Transforms Into Art

There's a town just outside Bologna where every two years the buildings turn into a giant canvas. (Just look at these photos!) This September the village is set for yet another artistic transformation...Read the details here

Photo credit: Il Cama, flickr.com

Sunday, August 09, 2009

Savor Italy at the Smithsonian This Fall

The Smithsonian Associates, the educational arm of the Smithsonian Museum in Washington, DC, is putting on a program of lectures this fall entitled Savoring Italy. I am so honored to be co-presenting two of these lectures and hope that if you are in the DC-area or will be visiting during that time, that you will join me!

First, I will be speaking at Southern Italy's Hidden Gems on Thursday, October 22, from 6:45 to 9 p.m. I will take the audience on a virtual tour of the captivating regions of Basilicata, Calabria and Puglia. And since no Italian experience would be complete without something to eat, food historian Francine Segan will conduct a tasting of southern Italian delights.

My friend, guidebook author and DOI contributor Barrie Kerper will join me in Exploring Undiscovered Rome, Florence and Venice on Saturday, November 7, from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. We will visit the nooks and crannies of three of Italy's most popular destinations and give the audience plenty of our most personal and practical travel tips. Francine Segan will again conduct an incredible food tasting.

Hope to see you at the Smithsonian this fall! Be sure to buy your tickets before they sell out.

Thursday, August 06, 2009

July/August Issue - Special Report: Emilia-Romagna

The July/August 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 65 back issues and our Rome e-book too) and this will be your first issue!

After 15 centuries, Ravenna's luminous mosaics still shine with the golden brilliance of the empires that endowed them. These shimmering sacred images reveal both familiar and unexpected chapters in Italian history. We recommend a private guide to show you the magic of Ravenna's mosaics.
With its appetite for art, Bologna's contributions to the good life are more than gustatory. Though known as the "Red City" for its architecture and politics, our writer found a brilliant palette of museums, galleries, churches and markets with mouth watering visuals for every taste.

A World Heritage Site in Emilia-Romagna, this medieval and Renaissance city has excellent food, art and architecture. And music year-round. Plus you can see it all by bicycle.

Sunday, August 02, 2009

Surf's Up in Italy


Ah, the massive national vacation that is August has begun in Italy! Wonder how many Italians will add surfing to their holiday activities? I didn't realize that there are a number of places in Italy where conditions are prime for surfing. Justine Gregory explores them in one of our latest free access articles - Surfing in Italy: Hang Ten Italian-Style, Dude!

As Justine uncovers, surfing is particular popular on the Italian Riveria (in the region of Liguria), and on the islands of Elba (Tuscany), Sardinia and Sicily. In fact, the town of Levanto in Liguria is known as “Italy's surfing central.” Ready to do some Italian surfing? Read up on the information and resources Justine uncovered.

Map from wannasurf.com