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Friday, January 25, 2013

Dec. 2012/Jan. 2013 Issue - Best Tour Guides in Northern Italy

The December 2012/January 2013 issue of Dream of Italy - a special report on the best local tour guides in northern Italy -  is hot off the presses.

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

Enhance Your Italy Trip with a Great Tour Guide
A passionate and informative local can make all the difference in your understanding of the sights of Italy. We tell you what makes a great guide, how they are licensed in Italy and how to hire the right guide for you.

How We Chose the Guides
So how do you curate the best guides in one area of Italy? We personally toured with many of these guides, asked trusted contacts for recommendations and took nominations online from readers and subscribers.

Great Tour Guides in Northern Italy
Profiles of more than 30 local tour guides and touring companies-- expert in art, history, wine, gastronomy, adventure and more -- from Cinque Terre to Venice and spots in between.

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Let's Talk Italy at The New York Times Travel Show

If you're in New York City this Sunday, January 20th,  don't miss The New York Times Travel Show and the 11:30 a.m. travel seminar "Make Your Italian Vacation Dreams Come True".

Kathy McCabe, editor of  Dream of Italy, will be on the panel along with fellow Italy travel experts Susan Van Allen, Italian American author of 100 Places in Italy Every Woman Should Go and the Golden Days in Italy blog, Gina Ruggiero, founder of Villa Vita International; Steve Perillo, President Perillo Tours; and Dominic Siano, Founder and President, Tour Italy Now.

The seminar is open to the public (but you must purchase a ticket to the show to enter) and will conclude with a Q&A on planning your Italian dream vacation.

Hope to see you there!

Sunday, January 13, 2013

Introducing Tuscan Film School

Looking for an outside-the-box Italy trip this spring? Ready to unleash your inner filmmaker? Our friend Dakkan Abbe is hosting a week-long Tuscan Film School at the stunning Spannochia estate May 11 to 18, 2013.  We know Dakkan as the producer of the exquisite PBS documentary Inside The Tuscan Hills. I know many of our readers have enjoyed Dakkan's work. Now here is the chance to learn from him directly.

After an initial day of classroom work the group of up to 10 students and Dakkan will move into the field, where they will begin shooting stories, mostly non-fiction portraits of local artisans and chefs, and participants will continue to develop the skills and techniques necessary for compelling and dynamic storytelling. The group will move in and out of the classroom discussing what is working and what isn't. All students will have finished films to bring home with them.

Cameras will be proved by the school, and a Final Cut Pro editing station will also be on-site, with editing skills being one of the key components of the class. The Tuscan Film School tuition is $2,350 for the week and includes all meals, lodging, equipment and travel during the week. Wine and alcohol is extra.

Wednesday, January 09, 2013

Plan Your 2013 Italy Trip Around These Events

Thinking about a trip to Italy in 2013? Plan your visit around one of these amazing events...

Carnevale in Venice: See the city's official program of events from January 26 to February 12. The balls are spectacular and expensive. We've been to the stunning Ballo del Doge and hear the Bauerlesque Ball is a hot ticket this year.

Pietro Bembo in Padua: A celebration of the Italian Renaissance scholar Pietro Bembo includes his personal items and manuscripts as well as art by Titian, Bellini, Mantegna and Raphael. Runs February 2 to May 19.
Faith Art in Rome: 2013 is the Year of Faith as declared by the Pope. There were be a special exhibitition "On the Path of Peter" at Rome's Castel Sant' Angelo from February 7 to May 1.

Titian Exhibition in Rome: This eagerly anticipated show of the works of Titian opens March 1 at the Scuderie del Quirinale and runs through June 16.

America's Cup in Naples: The America's Cup World Series sailing event will take place in Naples April 16 to 21. A half-million spectators are expected.

Lamborghini on the Roads of Italy: The iconic Italian automaker celebrates 50 years in 2013 and celebrates with a five-day Lamborghini road trip from Milan through Emilia-Romagna. Starts May 7.

Open Cellars: Over 1,000 vineyards across Italy open their cellars during the last weekend of May. A spectacular chance to experience the wines of Italy.

Art Biennale in Venice: Once held every other year, the Biennale  (one of the world's best international contemporary art shows) is now an annual event. Exhibitions at the Arsenal and Giardini take place June 1 to November 24.
Palio in Tuscany: Italy's most famous horse race takes place each year on July 2 and August 16

Umbria Jazz: Perhaps Italy's best jazz festival, Umbria Jazz takes place twice a year with a great set of performances on tap for Perugia, July 5 to 14.

Andrea Bocelli performs in a Tuscan field: The annual one-night only Teatro del Silenzio takes place in Bocelli's hometown of Lajatico every July. The exact 2013 date has not been announced yet.

White Truffle Festival in Alba:  The greatest white truffles in the world hail from the Piedmont countryside. This fair - held on weekends between October 4 and November 17 - celebrates "white gold."

Tuesday, January 08, 2013

Be A Good Fellow Traveler, Help the Chemically Sensitive

Think before you stink!: That's basically the message behind this compellling travel tip from San Franscisco Chronicle travel editor Spud Hilton. If you're going to be traveling in close quarters - in a plane or a train or bus with others you don't know - please limit your use of fragrance and cologne. For those who are chemically sensitive or have asthma encountering your toxic cloud (yes, fragrances have toxic ingredients) could send them into spasms or create a physical reaction that has them in bed for days. Trust me your sensitive fellow travelers will thank you for skipping the perfume that day!