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Wednesday, October 28, 2009

October 2009 Issue - Special Report: Treasures of Tuscany

The October 2009 issue of Dream of Italy is a special report - Treasures of Tuscany - exploring the hidden corners of one of Italy's most popular regions. Here is what paid subscribers will be reading about:

  • Lingering in Lovely Lucca
  • The Lucca Details: Hotels, Apartment Rentals, Restaurants, Private Guides and Great Shopping

  • Studying Italiano in Lucca

  • Historic Locanda Toscanini - Transformed by an American Journalist and her Italian Architect Husband

  • La Petraia: An Organic Farm and Little Piece of Paradise in Chianti

Ready to dive into this issue but not a paid susbcriber? Become one today and get access to this issue, more than 70 other, 10 issues over the coming year and the BONUS DVD Visions of Italy: The Great Cities!

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Italian Cities Vie for 2020 Olympics

The President of the Italian Olympic Committee (CONI), Gianni Petrucci, will face a multiple-choice decision in endorsing a 2020 Olympics candidate after Bari (one of the major cities in Puglia) declared its interest in Olympic candidacy joining Palermo, Rome and Venice.

In response to Bari’s move, Petrucci joked, “There are as many cities bidding as there are pizzas in Naples.” According to Inside the Games, Petrucci is worried about how the international community will view this Italian outcry for the Olympics. Any city bidding for candidacy must be endorsed by CONI, but no city has yet to consult the Italian Olympic Committee before making their interest public.

Rome narrowly lost the bid to Athens in 2004 by 25 votes and has been the only other Italian city to host the games in 1960, although Turin hosted the Winter Olympic Games in 2006 However, a 2020 Olympics in Rome would also mark the 150th anniversary as Italy’s capital.

CONI will wait until next year to decide on a city and the final decision made by the International Olympic Committee will be in 2013. -- Michael Lowe

When in Rome...Find Free Drinking Water

When I was in Italy three years ago, I found myself holding a beer more often than not. No, it's not because I'm an alcoholic, but because a glass of beer was that much more cost-effective than a glass of water. And, let’s face it, who’s not on a budget these days?

Whether it's bubbly or flat, water, for some strange reason, tends to be the most expensive liquid in Europe and “tap” water just doesn’t seem to exist in some restaurants.

However, next time in Rome, you might be able to forgo the expensive acqua naturale and fill up your own Nalgene or Sigg bottle at a drinking fountain for free. The NY Times has discovered two Web sites with downloadable maps pinpointing Rome’s free fountains.

The first is from the Acea Group, an Italian industrial group managing energy, waste and, of course, water. Acea’s map shows dozens of blue pedestals scattered across Rome including high traffic areas such as the Coliseum and Pantheon. The PDF can be downloaded on this page under the link Mappa dei Nasoni – cartina.

The second, and more straightforward Web site is Watermap – a big blue icon announcing “Gratuita!” announces the suitable place to click. Watermap is similar to Acea’s version, although with more street names and detailing (it’s also a bit more colorful, if you’re the aesthetic type). Watermap’s website also has this cool video posted front and center.

Watermap from WatermapRoma on Vimeo.

Whichever map you decide, you now have the tools to confidently visit Italy’s capital city knowing you can save a pretty euro by taking advantage of its extensive network of fountains. Move aside, Trevi – you’ve got company. -- Michael Lowe

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Shroud of Turin To Go On Display in April 2010

From April 10 to May 23, 2010, the Holy Shroud of Turin will be on display at the Cathedral of Torino. This will be the first time the Shroud will be seen by the public since 2002 when it underwent a restoration to remove patches and burnt pieces of cloth. It was last on display in the Jubilee Year 2000.

The Shroud itself is a linen sheet woven in a herringbone pattern and is said to have been made before Christ. Embedded in the fabric is a faint impression of an image reminiscent of a crucified man which have led followers to believe it is the piece of fabric draped over Christ’s body before burial.

But, with the faithful, come the prudent. Over the years, radio carbon dating has produced evidence that the Shroud was actually made during the Middle Ages, well after Christ’s death and, just last week, an Italian scientist, Luigi Garlaschelli claimed that he recreated a copy of the Shroud by painting a piece of fabric with pigment, baking it in an over and then washing.
Garlaschelli claims this is evidence enough to disprove that the Shroud is real, but for a brief period in the spring of 2010, you can decide for yourself. Bookings to see the Shroud can be made starting in December at http://www.sindone.org/ - Michael Lowe

Sunday, October 18, 2009

Enjoy New Year's Eve in Umbria

Music and Markets Tours presents the best of live jazz from Umbria Jazz Winter in hilltop Orvieto, remarkable food and wine, and the unique winter beauty of Tuscany and Umbria.

Revel in a jazzy New Year's Eve, stroll Tuscan lanes, visit an olive farm and vineyard, and shop at world-class outlets.

Complete details on the Music and Markets Web site or call (877) 260-6383

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Friday, October 16, 2009

Florence, Rome and Venice Voted Best European Cities

For those of us who love Italy it is no surprise that 25,000 Conde Nast Traveler readers have chosen Florence, Rome and Venice, respectively, as the top three cities in Europe. This year, readers chose from over 10,000 properties and destinations according to regional categories.

Other notable awards include Capri and Sicily in the third and fifth spots for European islands, hotels Il San Pietro in Positano (on the Amalfi Coast) and Il Pellicano in Tuscany taking first and second in the Southern European hotel category and Villa D’Este in Lake Como taking fourth in the European Resorts category.

The awards will appear in the November issue of Conde Nast set to hit newsstands on October 20th. For the full list of results: www.cntraveler.com/readerschoice -- Michael Lowe


Thursday, October 15, 2009

Italian Art News

Lots of art news coming out of la bel paese these days. Here's a quick summer of art news you should know about:
  • You may have already heard that art experts think they have discovered a previously unknown ink and pencil drawing by Leonardo da Vinci. And they figured it out in a most modern way - through fingerprints. They matched a fingerprint on the portrait of a young woman (originally thought to be that of a 19th century German artist) to the print of an index or middle found on Leonardo's "St. Jerome" in the Vatican. The artwork is valued at $150 million.

  • Nicole Martinelli of Zoomata.com has written for Dream of Italy about how to see an art restoration in Florence. Now, over on her site, she tells art lovers how they can see the restoration of Caravaggio’s 1609 masterpiece “Adoration of the Sheperds.” Groups of 10/15 people will be allowed to watch restorers at work in Rome’s lower chamber of parliament. Hurry, the restoration is expected to be completed in January.

  • If you can't make it to Italy, you can take in some of Leonardo da Vinci's rare sculptures at Atlanta's High Museum of Art through February. Some of the master's sketches are also on display. The centerpiece of the collection a nearly 30-foot recreation of da Vinci's destroyed horse statue, which towers over the plaza outside the High.

Thursday, October 08, 2009

Win a Copy of Seafood alla Siciliana

WINNERS: Toni Lydecker has chosen mcjip@roadrunner.com, Tony and NewYorkPR to receive copies of her book. Contact us with your snail mail address!!

Toni Lydecker, a frequent contributer to Dream of Italy, wrote about Sicilian cooking schools for the newsletter while she was in the process of researching her new book, Seafood alla Siciliana: Recipes and Stories from a Living Tradition. Now our readers have the chance TO WIN ONE OF THREE COPIES of the book!

The location of Sicily, surrounded by three seas, explains the importance of seafood to the island's unique crossroads cuisine, fed over the centuries by trading, invasions, and occupations. In her book, Lydecker explores this rich tradition and shares recipes gathered in the kitchens of cooks whose specialties range from couscous with fish to pistachio-crusted shrimp.

HOW TO WIN A COPY OF Seafood alla Siciliana: Be over 18 and leave a comment telling us below about your favorite place in Sicily and why or the place you would most like to visit in Sicily and why. Author Toni Lydecker will choose her favorite three winners based on the content and thoughtfulness of their answers. Please only enter if you live in the U.S. or Canada as the books can only be shipped to addresses in those countries. You must leave a comment with your entry before 11:59 p.m. ET, Friday, October 23, 2009 to be entered into the drawing. Be sure to include an e-mail to reach you (if your Blogger profile doesn't include one) or be sure to check back the week of October 25th to see if you won!

Win a Copy of 100 Places in Italy Every Woman Must Go

Frequent Dream of Italy contributor Susan Van Allen has a new book out and five lucky Dream of Italy Facebook Fans WILL WIN A COPY of 100 Places in Italy Every Woman Should Go! If you're already a Facebook fan, you're already entered to win. Not a fan? Become one with just a click here and you will be entered to win.

Reading Susan's new book is like having a fun-loving, savvy girlfriend whispering in your ear on a femme-friendly ride up and down the Italian boot. She focuses on the feminine aspects of Italy, where Venus—the Vixen Goddess of Love and Beauty—and The Madonna—The Nurturing Mother of Compassion—reign side-by-side. 100 Places in Italy Every Woman Should Go is full of humor and passion, guiding you to discover such delights as masterpieces that glorify womanly curves, the palace where Audrey Hepburn lived in Roman Holiday, bewitching gardens, blissful beaches, sublime places for shopping, lively wine bars and chic jazz clubs. You’ll become inspired to join a cooking class taught by revered grandmas, ski in the Dolomites or paint a landscape in Tuscany.

HOW TO WIN A COPY OF 100 Places in Italy Every Woman Should Go: Just be over 18 and become a Fan of Dream of Italy on Facebook. If you’re already a fan, you’re already entered as we will be randomly choosing five winners from among all of our Facebook Fans. You must become a Fan before 11:59 p.m. ET, Friday, October 23, 2009 to be entered into the drawing. Books will be shipped to winners anywhere in the world.

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Win a Copy of La Passeggiata

WINNERS: G. G. Husak has chosen AK, Maureen Sheldon and Laura to receive copies of her book. Contact us with your snail mail address!!

If you've ever been to Italy, you probably know what a passeggiata is...the Italian ritual of taking an early evening walk. Author G.G. Husak has written a book entitled Passeggiata: Strolling Through Italy about the annual pilgrimages she and her husband began to take to Italy once they became empty-nesters. You can WIN ONE OF THREE COPIES by telling us about your favorite walk in Italy!

Wandering together along out of the way paths in tiny hill towns and seacoast villages, Husak and her husband explore breathtaking scenery. By traveling light and learning the vagaries of Italian life, they have become Italian in spirit. The book provides many practical hints on how to travel like the locals, reminding us that even novice travelers can learn valuable lessons from immersion in another way of life, and that one’s companion can be an essential part of the pleasure of a journey.

HOW TO WIN A COPY OF Passeggiata: Be over 18 and leave a comment below telling us about your favorite walk (passeggiata) in Italy and why. Author G.G. Husak will choose her favorite three winners based on the content and thoughtfulness of their answers. You must leave a comment with your entry on our blog before 11:59 p.m. ET, Friday, October 23, 2009 to be entered into the drawing. Books will be shipped to winners anywhere in the world. Be sure to include an e-mail to reach you (if your Blogger profile doesn't include one) or be sure to check back the week of October 25th to see if you won!

Wednesday, October 07, 2009

Special Offer on Italian Olive Oil

Savor the Memories of Italy with Olio2Go, Italy's Finest Olive Oil!

Estate-bottled extra virgin olive oils from Tuscany, Sicily, Umbria, Liguria, Marche, Lazio, Calabria, and more...

Dream of Italy readers will receive a free Canonica Verde Spice Blend with any order over $75.

Use Offer Code: DreamSpice99 in shopping cart during checkout. We will add the Canonica Verde Selection to your order. One offer per household, quantities are limited; expires October 30, 2009.

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