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Monday, May 30, 2011

Join Us for a Twitter #italychat on Amalfi Coast Travel

Dream of Italy (@dreamofitaly) will again be hosting #italychat on Twitter on Wednesday, June 1st at 3 p.m. ET. The topic will be Amalfi Coast travel and our guest will be Laura Thayer (@ciaoamalfi)! You're invited to join us by asking questions and/or sharing your own own Amalfi Coast travel advice.

Laura Thayer grew up as a travel lover and nomad, living in eight different states before making the jump to expat life in southern Italy in 2008. She attended St. John's College in Annapolis, Maryland, where she learned how much she loves living in a sailing town and studying languages (Ancient Greek & French). Graduate school pulled her back to the Midwest, where she completed a Masters in Art History at the University of St. Thomas in St. Paul, Minnesota. During a fateful holiday on the Amalfi Coast, she fell in love with southern Italian architecture and one very special tour guide. She now lives near another sailing town, the seaside village of Amalfi where she works as a freelance writer.

If you would like to participate by reading the chat and hopefully asking and answering questions, 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 is your favorite town on the Amalfi Coast? #italychat"
  • Our special guest @ciaoamalfi will tweet her answer using same number -
    Sample tweet from @ciaoamalfi: "A1: My favorite is the town of Amalfi #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: Ravello has to be the best town on the AC #italychat"
  • If you want to ask Laura or the crowd an Amalfi Coast 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 the best gardens to visit on the Amalfi Coast? #italychat"
See transcripts from past sessions of #italychat

Sunday, May 29, 2011

May 2011 Issue - Special Report: The Coast of Tuscany

The May 2011 issue of Dream of Italy is hot off the presses. If you're NOT a subscriber, become one today and save $15 on our regular subscription rates and receive access to this issue and more than 80 back issues! Our paid subscribers (who can log-in here) will be reading the following articles:

Rediscovering Paradise in Castiglioncello
This little-known Tuscan coastal town offers the best of the coast of Tuscany including a famous festival of fish.

10 Great Things to Do on the Island of Elba
Most famous as Napoleon’s island of exile, Elba offers so much more than a slice of history. Think natural wonders, amazing seafood and cuisine, thermal springs and more.

Forte dei Marmi: Family-Friendly Beach Vacation
Want to take the kids on a beach vacation in Tuscany? Our expert has the perfect resort for the ultimate Italian beach vacation with kid-friendly hotels, sandy beaches and easy access for day trips.

Il Pellicano: The Love Resort
Dianne Hales, author of the book La Bella Lingua shares why this romantic beach resort on the coast of Tuscany has been drawing her and her husband back year after year…

Friday, May 06, 2011

Get Insider Italy Travel Advice from #italychat on Twitter

These days there are so many new and innovative ways to get travel advice. Through our nine years in business, Dream of Italy has always tried to ride the wave and find new and innovative ways to present great Italy travel advice (i.e. our first iPhone/iPad app is about to launch). In January, we founded #italychat on Twitter. Every other Wednesday, we invite one special guest and anyone who has a Twitter account to tackle one Italy travel or culture topic.

The results (see our page of #italychat transcripts) have generated a wealth of insider tips on everything from participating in an archaeological dig in Italy to the best places to eat pizza in Rome. James Martin, About.com's Europe Guide, said in a recent article on alternative travel resources, "You'll find many travel writers and expats extolling the virtues of a trip to Italy and spilling their travel secrets freely (it's that punch)." Here are some highlights from recent sessions of #italychat:

How to Join An Archaeological Dig in Italy:
Daryus Arya (@saverome) shared this tip in our #italychat on archaeology: You can sign up as a volunteer- a good website is www.archaeological.org and see our Ostia dig... think of a skill you can bring as an architect, donor, engineer, etc; or just enthusiast! Time is running out; crews are filing up-- do apply soon and if you are passing by in the summer- say Hi and ask questions- excavators love to share!

Best Places to Eat in Tuscany:
James Martin (@wanderingitaly) was our special guest for this #italychat on Tuscany for foodies: I repeat: Antica Locanda di Sesto for meat outside the walls of Lucca. Man, pig fat rules. My local Spino Fiorito for three course lunch with all the organic wine you can stomach for 10 Euros is nice as well.
@ilpalazzone shared: ll Silene di Roberto Rossi in Pescina EVERY TIME! amazing primary ingredients, creative but not pretentious, great wines.

Best festivals in Umbria:
Rebecca Winke (@brigolante) was our special guest for this #italychat on Umbria: Fave festivals: medieval Mercato delle Gaite in Bevagna and Calendimaggio in Asissi.
@seeyouinitaly shared: Cheese rolling on Pasquetta, Monday after Easter in Panicale. weather permitting

Thursday, May 05, 2011

The Story Behind "Extra Virgin" with Debi Mazar and Gabriele Corcos


I couldn't help but be hooked from the first episode, when I started watching Extra Virgin on the Cooking Channel. I was already familiar with actress Debi Mazar and had been following her Italian husband Gabriele Corcos on his website Under The Tuscan Gun and his presence on Twitter. I'm not sure what I was expecting but the chemistry between the couple and their love of each other, their daughters and the food they loving prepare, just jumps off the screen. I had the most lovely conversation with Gabriele a few weeks back and turned it into this article which appeared in the April 2011 issue of Dream of Italy. While print newsletter articles are usually only available to paid subscribers, I've made it accessible to all:

When you're Italian man, you move to the United States for love but you can't legally work here yet, what do you do? Cook. At least that's what Gabriele Corcos did and in the end it led to a television show that you may have seen over the past few months Extra Virgin on the Cooking Channel. Corcos met American actress Debi Mazar in Florence in 2001 at a dinner party for a mutual friend. It was love at first sight and soon the jazz musician, who hails from the town of Fiesole which overlooks Florence, moved to Los Angeles to be with the star. But as soon as he arrived, Mazar was off to Canada for several months to shoot a Jackie Chan movie

Read the rest of the article

Wednesday, May 04, 2011

Join Us For a Twitter #italychat on Italian Cuisine and Cooking

Dream of Italy (@dreamofitaly) will again be hosting #italychat on Twitter on Wednesday, May 5tth at 3 p.m. ET. The topic will be Italian cuisine and cooking and our special guest will be Judy Witts Francini (@divinacucina)! You're invited to join us by asking questions and/or sharing your own Italian culinary expertise.

Our dear friend Judy Witts Francini fell in love when she moved to Tuscany in 1984, first with Florence and then with her husband, Andrea. Already trained as a pastry chef, Judy began to study Tuscan cooking right at the source learning from locals at the markets how to choose and combine the best and freshest ingredients. In 1988, she started Divina Cucina, a cooking school across the street from Florence's famous food market, Mercato Centrale. Judy's passion for her topic and wealth of knowledge about authentic Tuscan cooking earned Divina Cucina media attention around the world. Her classes are always filled. She recently opened a new culinary teaching space in the Tuscan countryside and she is the author of the cookbook Secrets From My Tuscan Kitchen.

If you would like to participate by reading the chat and hopefully asking and answering questions, 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 is your favorite Italian dessert? #italychat"
  • Our special guest @divinacucina will tweet her answer using same number -
    Sample tweet from @divinacucina: "A1: I love biscotti with vin santo #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: Every time I go to Italy, I cannot resist semifreddo #italychat"
  • If you want to ask Judy 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 is the most unusual way to prepare pasta? #italychat"