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Sunday, June 26, 2011

Join Us for a Twitter #italychat on Women's Travel in Italy

Dream of Italy (@dreamofitaly) will again be hosting #italychat on Twitter on Wednesday, June 1st at 3 p.m. ET. The topic will be women's travel in Italy and our guest will be Susan Van Allen (@100PlacesItaly)! You're invited to join us by asking questions and/or sharing your own own advice on women traveling in Italy

Susan Van Allen's love for Italy stems from her maternal grandparents, who emigrated from Southern Italy. She was born in Newark, New Jersey, and grew up on the Jersey shore amidst wonderful food and drama. When she first stepped off the train into Roma Termini in 1976, she got hooked on Italian travel. Since then she's explored the country up and down the boot--visiting relatives, immersing herself in the country's masterpieces and culture, taking language and cooking classes, and going on boating, biking, and hiking adventures. She's written about Italian travel for many media outlets including Dream of Italy and she's the author of 100 Places in Italy Every Woman Should Go. When she's not in Italy, she is based in Los Angeles, where she lives with her husband and makes scrumptious lasagnas.

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 @100placesitaly will tweet her answer using same number -
    Sample tweet from @100placesitaly: "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 Susan or the crowd a 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 Is it safe for women to travel alone in Italy? #italychat"
See transcripts from past sessions of #italychat

June 2011 Issue - Le Marche, Florence Restaurants

The June 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:

Livin’ La Tavola Marche
Our writer takes us to this rural region of Italy on the Adriatic and introduces us to an American couple who run a very special agriturismo in Le Marche where they give cooking lessons and preserve and teach the traditions of Le Marche.

Le Marche Recipes from La Tavola Marche
Three simple yet delicious recipes to transport the flavors of Le Marche into your home: fava (broad bean) crostini, pesce (fish) in crosta di sale and spaghetti con vongole (clams).

Florence Restaurants: Dining on the “Other Side” of Florence
Foodie Elizabeth Minchilli introduces use to culinary delights around Florence’s Piazza della Passera with a handful of restaurants, gelaterias and delis serving everything from trip to Ligurian specialties to the time-honored Tuscan ribollita.

Sunday, June 19, 2011

Three Great Things to Do on The Island of Elba

In our May special report on the coast of Tuscany, Elisabeth Antoine Crawford took us on a special journey to the island of Elba, just off the coast. She detailed 10 Great Things to Do on Elba, here are three of our favorites:

#1 Get a Mountain High

From the hill town of Marciana, take a cabinovia to the 3343-foot summit of Monte Capanne. Any fear of heights will be seriously challenged during the twenty-minute ride over steep granite cliffs. The yellow, open-air baskets are barely large enough for two people and sway precariously in the breeze. Once at the summit landing, climb the steps to the rocky peak for a panoramic view that will take your breath away. On a clear day, look for the isle of Corsica on the western horizon. Open daily April through October. Call (39) 0565 901020. A round-trip ticket costs 17 euros.

#2 Try Some Drunken Cake

Sample some of Elba's typical pastries, the most famous being schiaccia briaca, or "drunken cake." Made with raisins, pine nuts, hazelnuts, and candied fruit, then soaked in the local dessert wine Aleatico, this crumbly confection can be found in nearly every pastry shop on the island. To try a wide variety of Elban specialties, including torta corona, sbrisolana elbana, and sospiri di Napoleone, visit Pasticceria Lambardi Giorgio in Marina di Campo.

#3 Mine for Iron

The island is famous for being one of the world's richest sources of minerals--particularly iron--and several towns in eastern Elba offer activities for the gem enthusiast. In Porto Azzurro, ex-miner Emilio Giacomelli runs La Piccola Miniera, a Disneyland-style train ride through underground caverns that offer a glimpse into the authentic mining experience.

For a less staged tour, visit the Parco Minerario. Small groups hike to nearby quarries to explore and learn about local minerals. If your passion for gemstones is still not sated, there are notable rock and mineral collections in the towns Rio Marina, Rio nell'Elba, Porto Azzurro and Capoliveri.

Saturday, June 04, 2011

Attend the Italian Life Expo in Portland, Maine Next Week

The Italians are invading Portland, Maine next week! Don't worry, it is a friendly invasion for the first Italian Life Expo. Held at Portland’s waterfront Ocean Gateway Center, the festival will host exhibits on food, wine, and travel opportunities in Italy. Six sessions over the weekend will focus on wine tasting, travel, and culinary products. The event is sponsored in part by Dream of Italy and proceeds will benefit Maine’s Institute for International Studies and the Spannocchia Foundation, which supports conservation efforts and environmental education in Tuscany.

Among the mostly Italian exhibitors are restaurants, vintners, outdoor and sports specialists, travel and tour companies, the Italian consulate and Italian language specialists. Artisan products from Italy will be available to sample and buy, including cheese, prosciutto, olive oil, Italian regional wines, preserves, clothing and ceramics. Guests will have the opportunity to discuss travel options with Italy travel experts, including traveling in Tuscany, visiting destinations off the tourist track, and taking cooking lessons in Italy.

The Italian Life Expo will be held from June 9-11 from 11am-9:30pm at Portland’s Ocean Gateway Center. Sessions fall on Friday and Saturday, with a welcome reception on Thursday. Visitors can buy sessional tickets or day passes, which include access to the exhibit hall, a wine glass for sampling Italian wines, food, and samples of artisan products. So join the Italian invasion! -- Elaine Murphy