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Thursday, November 29, 2012

Great New Italy Data Plan for Smartphones,iPads

Whether you're bringing your own smartphone or tablet to Italy or renting one our friends at Cellular Abroad, the company tells us that they have a fantastic and cheap option for getting data. Cellular Abroad's new and improved Uno Mobile SIM card costs just 9 euros for one GB of data (plus regular calling).

"If a traveler has an iPhone and they want to get the Italian SIM card, they can get the Uno Mobile SIM card we offer and still get our great rates (.09 euros to call in Italy, .35 to call the U.S. and free incoming calls) and they can get data for 9 euros for 1 GB. That means that they can browse Google Maps live, etc. Alternatively, if they have an iPad they can put the SIM in their iPad," says Sebastian Harrison, president of Cellular Abroad.

Here is how the Cellular Abroad Uno Mobile SIM card measures up to other data roaming options with other carriers:
Uno Mobile is 9 euros for 1GB of data
Verizon is $250 for 1GB
AT&T is $120 for 800MB (if you ask for the plan)
TMobile is $15 per MB

SPECIAL SAVINGS: Cellular Abroad is also offering a $10 discount to Dream of Italy readers with the code: dreamitalia

Monday, November 26, 2012

November 2012 Issue - Italy for the Mobility Challenged, Moving to Tuscany

The November issue of Dream of Italy - covering the realities of moving to Tuscany, travel in Italy for the mobility challenged and more  -  is hot off the presses.

If you're NOT a subscriber, subscribe today to instantly access the PDF version of this issue and nearly 100 additional back issues of our award-winning print newsletter.

Our paid subscribers (who can log-in here) are reading the following articles this month:

What I Learned When I Moved to Tuscany
Thirtysomething Jennifer Criswell leaves New York for Montepulciano and learns a thing or too about real Italian daily life. You can't help but laughing at what she discovers. A must-read for anyone who is thinking about moving to Italy.

Italy For the Mobility Challenged
Those who have trouble walking or who use wheelchairs can still enjoy Italy - it takes a bit of planning but we've talked to some inspiring travelers who share their trips and strategies.

Flying Wheels
A profile of an accessibility travel company that plans both independent and group tours for the mobility challenged.

News, Tips, Deals and Events
The Testaccio Market in Rome has moved into its new digs. A museum devoted to gelato opens outside of Bologna. Two new Italy books for Italophiles.

Sunday, November 25, 2012

Cyber Monday Deals on Italy Travel Gifts


Holiday Gift Subscription to Dream of Italy - Starting at Just $32!


More details on gift subscriptions



Italy-Inspired Christmas Cards -
Special Price: Save $2 Per Pack

More details on Italian Christmas Cards


  


 

Italy Note Cards - Great Gift for Italophiles -
Special Price: Save $2 Per Pack

 More details on Italy Note Cards





Italia 2013 Desktop Photo Calendar By Mary Ann Glass - Special Price


 More details on the Italy calendar
 






All of these deals are available on Cyber Monday and on Tuesday, November 27th!

Thursday, November 22, 2012

The Perfect Gift for Travelers and Italy Lovers: A Holiday Gift Subscription to Dream of Italy

It is that time of year again....

Time to start thinking of a gift for that favorite Italophile in your life...even if that is YOU!

We're offering our most affordable, goodie-packed holiday subscription deal EVER, with a six-month online subscription starting at just $32! ($15 off our usual subscription rates)

Plus, this year's BONUS is a stunning Italia 2013 desktop calendar by Mary Ann Glass - a $16.50 value. The plastic display case provides a rotating photo display for each month.




Buy a gift subscription for someone -
we will send it in a gift package w/calendar by Xmas 
  
  
The best part about a subscription to Dream of Italy?

You or your gift recipient receives immediate online access to 100 back issues covering every corner of Italy.

Looking for a cooking vacation in Puglia?

A budget and family friendly rental in Tuscany?

The perfect hotel for a honeymoon on the Amalfi Coast?

The new pizza place Romans are raving about?

Find all the answers in our back issues. PLUS, of course, we publish 10 NEW information-packed issues per year - delivered in print by mail or online.

Get all of the subscription details NOW! It is our most affordable and info-packed deal EVER!

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Introducing Capture Italy Boutique Photography Tours


Let Capture Italy Boutique Photography Tours take you to some of Italy’s most beautiful locations - Rome, the Amalfi Coast, Tuscany, Venice – where you will learn how to perfectly capture historic architecture, ancient monuments, stunning landscapes and the everyday life of Italy and its people.

Dream of Italy readers receive $500 per person discount on our May 2013 Photographers Tour, must book by February 8, 2013.

(This is an ad.)

Sunday, November 18, 2012

Photo #12 Flying Angel - Italy Photo Tour via the Italia 2013 Calendar


Ready to fill 2013 with Italy? We have the perfect Italia 2013 Desktop Calendar for you. You can either purchase it OR receive it FREE when you subscribe to Dream of Italy.

The photo above is the featured photo for December 2013. Here photographer Mary Ann Glass explains how she captured the image:

When we stayed in Umbria, we used to take frequent trips to Montefalco to buy wine. At that time (this was a few years ago) the town was a bit run-down, but it still had its beauties. This gilded wooden angel was in a church near the town gate, and I'm attracted by anything gilded! I didn't have a good angle to photograph the entire angel, but I didn't mind because I thought this cropping brought to life the otherwordly quality of such a beautiful creature.

See more of the Italy calendar images

Saturday, November 17, 2012

Photo #11 Tuscany Chapel - Italy Photo Tour via the Italia 2013 Calendar


Ready to fill 2013 with Italy? We have the perfect Italia 2013 Desktop Calendar for you. You can either purchase it OR receive it FREE when you subscribe to Dream of Italy.

The photo above is the featured photo for November 2013. Here photographer Mary Ann Glass explains how she captured the image:

This abandoned Tuscan chapel was in the countryside near Buonconvento, just south of Siena. For me, it is perfection -- iconic Tuscany. We had stopped here to take photos a few hours earlier, then returned as the sunset light hit it, and the difference a couple of hours makes in light intensity is amazing. I took photos of this chapel from a number of angles, but I felt head on, framed by its cypresses, was the strongest and most satisfying composition.


See more of the Italy calendar images

Friday, November 16, 2012

Photo #10 Rome Cubist Walls - Italy Photo Tour via the Italia 2013 Calendar


Ready to fill 2013 with Italy? We have the perfect Italia 2013 Desktop Calendar for you. You can either purchase it OR receive it FREE when you subscribe to Dream of Italy.

The photo above is the featured photo for October 2013. Here photographer Mary Ann Glass explains how she captured the image:

This wonderful array of Roman color stopped me in my tracks! How best to show it became the question. I wanted to include as much of the color as possible, while keeping the flavor of the modest street. To my eye, the black detail of the wires and -- is that an air conditioning unit? it looks more like stereo speakers, but it couldn't be, oh well -- add a needed grounding element to the sequence of pastel color



See more of the Italy calendar images

Thursday, November 15, 2012

Photo #9 Rome Bookseller - Italy Photo Tour via the Italia 2013 Calendar


Ready to fill 2013 with Italy? We have the perfect Italia 2013 Desktop Calendar for you. You can either purchase it OR receive it FREE when you subscribe to Dream of Italy.

The photo above is the featured photo for September 2013. Here photographer Mary Ann Glass explains how she captured the image:

 I had no schedule, no particular agenda in Rome, so I spent my days strolling around the historic district, with obligatory stops for water, wine, pasta and gelato. My hotel was near the Tiber, and I was entertained by the variety of vendors all along the river. Among my favorites were the old booksellers (the books were old, not the vendors necessarily). I love the look of the old paper, the typefaces, the bindings, so I took this photo to remind me of it.
See more of the Italy calendar images

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Photo # 8 Umbria Villa Sunset - Italy Photo Tour via the Italia 2013 Calendar


Ready to fill 2013 with Italy? We have the perfect Italia 2013 Desktop Calendar for you. You can either purchase it OR receive it FREE when you subscribe to Dream of Italy.

The photo above is the featured photo for August 2013. Here photographer Mary Ann Glass explains how she captured the image:

Can you smell the lavender? This view is from the Umbrian villa we stayed at for last July's painting/photography workshop. Our participants, when asked what they wanted from the workshop (besides learning how to paint and photograph better), all said they wanted to be able to slow down and savor life. So we did. Soon after this photo was taken, we sat at the table, sipped the house wine, dined on pasta and wild boar, figs and apricots from the villa, and talked late into the night.



See more of the Italy calendar images

Monday, November 12, 2012

Photo # 7 Rome Street Saint - Italy Photo Tour via the Italia 2013 Calendar

Ready to fill 2013 with Italy? We have the perfect Italia 2013 Desktop Calendar for you. You can either purchase it OR receive it FREE when you subscribe to Dream of Italy.

The photo above is the featured photo for July 2013. Here photographer Mary Ann Glass explains how she captured the image:
Rome, again. As a general rule of thumb, I photograph all the saints and angels and Madonnas I see, on the street, by the roadside or in a church. This faded saint -- I don't think it's a Madonna -- still reigns in one of Rome's historic districts. I composed this on an angle so that I could bring in some of the soft blue of the old shutters, which contrast sweetly with the worn orange of the stucco. And who doesn't love a bit of ribbon detail!
See more of the Italy calendar images

Sunday, November 11, 2012

Photo #6 Roadside Madonna - Italy Photo Tour via the Italia 2013 Calendar


Ready to fill 2013 with Italy? We have the perfect Italia 2013 Desktop Calendar for you. You can either purchase it OR receive it FREE when you subscribe to Dream of Italy.

The Madonna photo above is the featured photo for June2013. Here photographer Mary Ann Glass explains how she captured the image:

Umbria and Tuscany are particularly rich in Madonnas -- not only in churches, but on building walls and even stand-alone shrines. This Madonna - protected by chicken wire -- was along a local road near Cortona. No matter what condition a Madonna might be in, she continues to be honored and remembered with candles and fresh flowers.



See more of the Italy calendar images

Saturday, November 10, 2012

Photo #5 Umbria Olive Tree - Italy Photo Tour via the Italia 2013 Calendar



Ready to fill 2013 with Italy? We have the perfect Italia 2013 Desktop Calendar for you. You can either purchase it OR receive it FREE when you subscribe to Dream of Italy.

The olive tree photo above is the featured photo for May 2013. Here photographer Mary Ann Glass explains how she captured the image:

This is another 5:30 am morning shot. The villa we stayed at near Todi, in Umbria, was on a ridge. A few hundred yards up the hill was a stand of olive trees, softened by the morning mist. I have taken many photos of olive trees -- lovingly tended by the Italians for many many years, the trees exhibit character and beauty. I am drawn to the soft moody quality of this image, so that's why I included it in this year's calendar.
See more of the Italy calendar images

Photo #4 Tuscan Sunrise - Italy Photo Tour via the Italia 2013 Calendar


Ready to fill 2013 with Italy? We have the perfect Italia 2013 Desktop Calendar for you. You can either purchase it OR receive it FREE when you subscribe to Dream of Italy.

The sunrise photo above is the featured photo for April 2013. Here photographer Mary Ann Glass explains how she captured the image:

We were staying at a Tuscan villa near San Gimignano for 3 weeks, and having a glorious time. This was the view from our apartment, taken at 5:30 in the morning. If you want to get this kind of gentle, layered vista, you have to get up just before sunrise. Unfortunately, it won't look like this every morning! but if you're persistent, you will be rewarded.

See more of the Italy calendar images

Friday, November 09, 2012

Photo #3 Rome Church - Italy Photo Tour Via the Italia 2013 Calendar


Ready to fill 2013 with Italy? We have the perfect Italia 2013 Desktop Calendar for you. You can either purchase it OR receive it FREE when you subscribe to Dream of Italy.

The Rome cupola photo above is the featured photo for March 2013. Here photographer Mary Ann Glass explains how she captured the image:

When I travel in Italy, I go into every church I see. Even the plainest country church can have beautiful candlesticks or serene madonnas or flying angels on the walls. But Rome, hands down, is the best for churches. The interiors are extraordinary and often Baroque. This is not a particularly famous church, but I loved the intricate plasterwork, the multitudinous cast of characters - human and divine, naked and clothed -- swirling around the dome. It's hard to see in this size of the photo, but at the very top, an angel or saint is looking down on us from heaven.
See more of the Italy calendar images

Thursday, November 08, 2012

Listen to A Free Podcast on Christmas in Italy


Christmas in Italy is such a magical time. It is one of my favorite times to visit Italy or get Italian inspiration for my life back home.

I was thrilled when my friend Anthony of How to Tour Italy wanted to interview me about travel ideas and traditions surrounding Christmas and New Years in Italy.

You can listen to the free Christmas in Italy podcast online here or download it for free on iTunes.

And be sure to get our free guide to Christmas in Italy -- it has some great holiday recipes too!


Photo of Catania Sicily by Leandro's World Tour

Wednesday, November 07, 2012

A Reading List for Sicilian Cuisine

Barrie Kerper, the author of The Collected Traveler series of travel books, introduced to two incredible Sicily cooking schools in our October issue. Here she shares her reading list to immerse yourself in Sicilian cuisine:
 

Two excellent books that generally cover Sicilian cuisine are Pomp and Sustenance: Twenty-Five Centuries of Sicilian Food, Mary Taylor Simeti and Sicily: Culinary Crossroads, Giuseppe Coria.

But a more focused read is Cucina Paradiso: The Heavenly Food of Sicily, More than 175 Luscious Recipes Reflecting the Rich Arab Heritage of Sicilian Cuisine by Clifford Wright. Wright's fascination with the history of Arab culinary influences in Sicilian cuisine has produced an interesting book with great recipes. A Sicilian gastronome and author he met, Tommaso d'Alba, shared a Sicilian proverb with him: Scratch the skin of a Sicilian and you will find an Arab." D'Alba went on to note, "Make no mistake: the Arabs produced a true and proper revolution in the food habits of Sicily."

(Even In Mary Taylor Simeti's other wonderful book, On Persephone's Island, she writes about Sicilian panelli, saying they are, "as far as I know, the only dish in all of Italian cooking that requires chick-pea flour, and they are made only in Sicily, no doubt a legacy from the Arabs." )

I was especially interested to read about the origin of some Sicilian desserts, like cannoli, which has an Arab heritage, and cassata, a cake, which is derived from the Arabic word qa'sat, a kind of large baking pan. Zeppole (or zippula in Sicilian) comes from the Arabic word zalabiyah, soft fried dough. Wright also informs us that a 14-century Egyptian writer, Al-Maqrizi, wrote in his book entitled Al-Mawa'iz, that the Sicilian sweets traditionally made for religious celebrations - Easter, Christmas, Lent, and all those many saints' days, as numerous then as now - were exactly the same as those made for Ramadan in Cairo.

Photo by dottorpeni, flickr.com

Tuesday, November 06, 2012

In Palermo Sicily: Marzipan and La Martorana

In our October issue, Barrie Kerper wrote about two incredible cooking schools in Sicily. Here she shares one of her favorite Sicilian treats and its provenance:

It's hard for me to accurately describe the creativity of Sicilian confectioners, who shape and color marzipan into incredibly life-like treats - sea creatures, fruits, nuts, baskets, spaghetti, eggs, etc. Marzipan is an island-wide specialty in pasticcerie, but in Palermo it is king.
Its popularity is traced to the Benedictine convent of La Martorana, where the nuns were famous for their pasta reale from about the 13th century. The convent no longer exists, but it was associated with Santa Maria dell'Ammiraglio, commonly known as La Martorana because the convent was founded by Eloisa Martorana.

Dream of Italy readers who've been to La Martorana know that it's a gem - with its stunning mosaics and elements of Byzantine, and Islamic North African architecture - and Arab traveler Ibn Jubayr referred to it as "the most beautiful monument in the world" in 1184. Those who haven't been yet must put it on their list for a Palermo trip.

Photo by dichohecho, flickr.com

Monday, November 05, 2012

Photo #2 Borgo in Umbria - Italy Photo Tour Via the Italia 2013 Calendar


Ready to fill 2013 with Italy? We have the perfect Italia 2013 Desktop Calendar for you. You can either purchase it OR receive it FREE when you subscribe to Dream of Italy.

The above Umbria photo is the featured photo for February 2013. Here photographer Mary Ann Glass explains how she captured the image:

We visited an abandoned borgo -- hamlet -- tucked on the side of a mountain. In the hazy distance is the outline of Todi, one of the charming hill towns of Umbria. The borgo was terraced up the hill, and consisted of a chapel, a manor house, a well, and maybe a dozen stone houses -- it was magical! I chose this image for February because its cool colors and strong shapes make it a more inverted image, and I always think of February in that way.

See more of the Italy calendar images

Sunday, November 04, 2012

NEW Italy in Snow Christmas Cards - Special Deal!

For years now, we have carried wonderful Italian Christmas Cards by artist Allison Cross. Allison is at it again this year with two new designs (snowy Florence Duomo and snowy Siena) and an incredible Snowy Italy variety set. These three new products are all specially priced at $14.95 (for eight cards/envelopes) for a limited time only. Get them hot of the printing press!