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Thursday, February 24, 2011

March 17th Voted New Holiday in Italy

In celebration of its 150th birthday, Italy is showing its pride as the government declares March 17 a national holiday. It marks 150 years to the day since Victor Emmanuel II proclaimed the formation of the Kingdom in Italy. Turin, the unified country's first capital, will host numerous events from March to November titled “Esperienza Italia." Other Italian cities are also joining in on the celebration in their own way in the form of festivals, exhibitions and concerts.

For now while Italy’s official birthday has a place on the national calendar, it didn’t arrive there without some controversy and it’s not certain how long it will remain. Thursday, March 17th will bring about the closings of banks, schools, offices and most shops while some museums and galleries may remain open, but not all Italians are so excited to share in the celebration.

Though this is to be a celebratory day signifying unity, some Italians are against the holiday. In times of economic hardship, some feel the day off, which will cost the country money, is unnecessary and irresponsible. Luis Durnwalder, the president of the 90% German-speaking Tirol, is voicing his opposing views claiming his region was forced into a union with Italy and therefore has no desire to participate. Others have raised the notion that the holiday is a reminder of the the economic disparity between the northern (traditionally the more prosperous) and southern (facing more struggles) halves of Italy. -- Kendra Howard

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Join Us for a Twitter #italychat on Umbria


Dream of Italy (@dreamofitaly) will be hosting the third #italychat on Twitter on Wednesday, February 16th at 3 p.m. ET. The topic will be Umbria and our special guest will be @brigolante! You're invited to join us by asking questions and/or sharing your own Umbria expertise.

@brigolante is really Rebecca Winke, an American expat, who runs the Brigolante Guest Apartments near Assisi and blogs frequently about the best things to do in Umbria. Rebecca was lovely enough to join our Umbria Harvest Week guests for dinner in November 2010 and we hope to see her again this November! (If you're interested in learning more about the region, Dream of Italy's current sample issue is a special report on Umbria.)

If you would like to participate by reading the chat and hopefully asking and answering questions (we know many of you are experienced Italy travelers!), here are some tips:
  • Be sure to use the hashtag #italychat within your Tweet so everyone can see your question, answer, contribution, etc.
  • Whether or not you have a free Twitter account, you can follow #italychat LIVE here OR here or you can come back to these links later to read the chat in full.
  • @dreamofitaly will tweet out all questions using "Q" and a number-
    Sample tweet from @dreamofitaly: "Q1: What if your favorite town in Umbria? #italychat"
  • Our special guest @brigolante will tweet her answer using same number -
    Sample tweet from @brigolante: "A1: I love Assisi #italychat"
  • Anyone else on Twitter including YOU can answer the question too using A+number as this is all about sharing great experiences and Italy travel information.
    Sample tweet from YOU: "A1: I love the little town of Cannara #italychat"
  • If you want to ask Rebecca or the crowd an Umbria question, start your tweet with @dreamofitaly followed by the question and I will put it in the queue and give it a number (example - "Q6") and tweet it out when ready.
    Sample tweet from YOU: "@dreamofitaly What are your favorite vineyards in Umbria?"
Photo of Perugia by Arthur Isack during Dream of Italy's Umbria Harvest Week

Wednesday, February 09, 2011

Special Offer From Ciao Laura Culinary Vacations


Ciao Laura Culinary Vacations offers cooking vacations, hands-on cooking lessons, wine and foodie excursions in Italy.

Spring Special: 10% OFF our FARM-to-FORK Cooking Lessons in Chianti or $100 OFF Gourmet Cooking in Bella Tuscany weekly cooking vacations programs booked in April 2011. Offer not valid on previously booked programs.



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Thursday, February 03, 2011

Words, Wine and Wandering: It’s Word/Play Week in Verona Italy!

Join author Linda Dini Jenkins, a Dream of Italy contributor, for a once-in-a-lifetime writing and touring week. With Verona as our base, we’ll visit Vicenza and Padua, tour wineries and share in a cooking class. And together, we’ll capture what we see, taste, smell and experience in three workshops at a real palazzo! May 23-30, 2011. See www.travelthewriteway.com for full details. Reservations due by March 15.

Tuesday, February 01, 2011

Join Us for #italychat on Italian Wine

Two weeks ago, Dream of Italy (@dreamofitaly) hosted the first #italychat on Twitter. We had a grand time talking about Rome travel. The second #italychat will be held Wednesday, February 2nd at 3 p.m. ET. We're talking about Italian wine and visiting vineyards with special guest @vinoroma! You're invited to join us by asking questions and/or sharing your own Italian wine expertise.

Now,
@vinoroma is really Hande Leimer, a sommelier based in Rome who offers wine tasting courses for tourists and Italian natives alike through her company Vino Roma. You can see a sample of her wine tasting advice in this Why Prosecco is Not Italian Champagne video and this How to Taste Italian wine video.

If you would like to participate by reading the chat and hopefully asking and answering questions (we know many of you are experienced Italy travelers!), here are some tips:
  • Be sure to use the hashtag #italychat within your Tweet so everyone can see your question, answer, contribution, etc.
  • Whether or not you have a free Twitter account, you can follow #italychat LIVE here OR here or you can come back to these links later to read the chat in full.
  • @dreamofitaly will tweet out all questions using "Q" and a number-
    Sample tweet from @dreamofitaly: "Q1: What if your favorite white wine? #italychat"
  • Our special guest @vinoroma will tweet her answer using same number -
    Sample tweet from @vinoroma: "A1: I love Pinot Grigio #italychat"
  • Anyone else on Twitter including YOU can answer the question too using A+number as this is all about sharing great experiences and Italy travel information.
    Sample tweet from YOU: "A1: Via Condotti is my favorite for the designer shops #italychat"
  • If you want to ask Hande or the crowd a wine question, start your tweet with @dreamofitaly followed by the question and I will put it in the queue and give it a number (example - "Q6") and tweet it out when ready.
    Sample tweet from YOU: "@dreamofitaly What are your favorite vineyards in Puglia?"
We plan to host #italychat every other Wednesday at 3pm ET. The next #italychat will be Wed, February 16th with special guest @brigolante. The topic will be travel to Umbria!