www.ctcpi.ca www.italiantourism.com Italian Government Tourist Board
Canadian Travel Council Promoting Italy
ITALIAN GOVERNMENT TOURIST BOARD AGENCE NATIONALE ITALIENNE POUR LE TOURISME
Why Italy Loves Canadians
Dear traveler, By most recent estimates, there are more than 1.3 million Canadians who can trace their ancestry back to Italy, making Italian culture, heritage and language one of the most important components of this country’s famous multicultural mosaic. Although the largest waves of Italian immigration to Canada took place around the turn of the century and during the post World War II period, Italy and its people have been connected to Canada since 1497 when Giovanni Caboto (also known as John Cabot) first set foot on the shores of Newfoundland. Italians have come to Canada over the centuries in search of new horizons and better opportunities. Many intended to return one day to Italy, after making enough money to live out their days in the old country. But Canada captured their hearts and imagination and gave them a chance to envision a broader and more fruitful future. As a people, Italians were attracted to the optimism and freedom they found in the vibrant cities where they settled and built thriving communities, bringing their rich heritage into Canada’s dynamic cultural mix. Canadians willingly embrace our people, culture and history as part of your own. You enjoy, respect and revel in our lifestyle, our gastronomy, our traditions and our history. And we have been continually delighted to share these experiences with you. We see you visiting the eternal city of Rome, a city where we all once belonged. We watch you stroll by the Trevi Fountain in awe and amazement, throwing coins and making wishes or admiring the mighty Colosseum and the magnificent Roman Forum, those epic gateways to the past. Through your enthusiasm and curiosity we feel compelled to welcome, understand and befriend you – as well as make you smile. The pages of this book briefly tell the story of who we are and how our country can inspire emotions and enrich your life experience. With the help of our partners, we want to share this extraordinary journey with you. So indulge yourself and make your travel dreams come true in Italy!
2 Why Italy Loves Canadians
3 CTCPI – The mark of quality & reliability in planning your trip to Italy 4-5 Which Is Your Italy 6-7 Italians Who Changed The World 8-9 The Cities of Art 10-13 The Living Past: Italy’s Museums and Historic Sites 13-15 Performing Arts 14-15 Les arts de la scène
16 Cinema: Screening Italy
17-19 A Feast for the Senses 20-21 Shopping
22 Great Pursuits for the Great Outdoors
23 Natural Therapy: Italy’s Spas
24-25 Italy – A Land for All Seasons 25 Major Cities: Average Temperatures Chart 26-41 Land of Discovery: Italy by the Region 28-29 Map of Italy 30-32 Regions of the North 33-36 Italy’s Central Regions 37-41 Regions of the South 42-47 Planning the Perfect Vacation
Riccardo Strano Director - The Italian Government Tourist Board North America
Italy Travel Planner
50-53 General Information
Canadian Travel Council Promoting Italy The Mark of Quality and Reliability in planning your trip to ITALY Offering peerless experience, dedication and knowledge CTCPI member companies represent the top selection of Canadian Tour Operators Promoting Italy as a destination. When planning a vacation to the “bel paese”, consulting a CTCPI member company can turn an ordinary trip into the vacation of a lifetime. CTCPI member companies cover the spectrum of itineraries. You can choose from escorted tours to independent hotel arrangements, sightseeing, villa and apartment rentals, pilgrimage tours, cooking schools, food and wine tours, car rentals, cruises, walking, hiking or biking tours, sporting events, art and music programs, private limousines and more. CTCPI members are the undisputed experts for all aspects of travel to Italy.
Canadian Travel Council Promoting Italy
Canadian Travel Council Promoting Italy
To better assist you in planning your vacation, our members offer an ideal combination of cutting edge technology for fast Web access together with friendly and responsive offices and professional call centers located in Canada. Whether traveling on a budget or the sky’s the limit, CTCPI members are committed to satisfying each traveler’s needs with the utmost dedication and care. Customer service and satisfaction is a primary goal of the organization. Member companies are chosen on the basis of their longstanding professionalism and service to the travel industry. Qualifications are regularly reviewed and all members must abide by the association’s strict code of ethics. Please use this guide to further wet your appetite for Italy, then call, visit or click on a member company for additional information. CTCPI Canadian Travel Council Promoting Italy Italy Travel Planner
Which is your Italy? Italy appeals to the heart and soul of every Canadian traveler, whether young or old, traveling alone or with a group, on a budget or seeking luxury. Which is why, year after year, Italy ranks as the most requested foreign destination by all Canadians. Romantic Couples Fall for Italy’s inspiring beauty, as seen in cities like Venice, Rome and Verona, home of Romeo and Juliet. All along the Amalfi coast places like Positano, Sorrento, Praiano and Ravello offer spectacular views of the coral-blue sea and the fabled islands of Capri and Ischia. From a secluded B&B or a whitewashed Villa tucked amongst floral cliffs this land beckons to anyone who is in love with someone special and with life itself. Custom-designed trips known as FITs allow couples to customize their vacation, ensuring lifelong memories. Families Experience Italy in a wholly unique way, creating moments that will last forever, bringing history and culture to life in the eyes and minds of your children. Imagine them gazing at the Colosseum for the first time, riding a gondola in Venice, marveling at the Leaning Tower of Pisa or the David in Florence. Family travel can be independent with your own Rental Car, and can include Hotels, Villas and Sightseeing Tours along the way. Or you could travel between the cities by High-Speed Rail – a perennial children’s favorite. Italy offers Singles an opportunity to travel simply and comfortably. The Italians are a warm, welcoming people. You’ll find yourself making new friends with other travelers and locals on daily sightseeing tours, while shopping, and especially at the nightclubs, cafés and restaurants. Hosted Tours or customized trips, known as FITs, are an ideal way for singles to begin their lifelong affair with Italy. Seniors appreciate Italy’s relaxed pace of life. It shows in the faces of the Italians that can be found strolling arm-inarm in each piazza, sitting and sipping coffee at sidewalk cafés and admiring amazing works of art. Italy offers seniors an opportunity to cherish their golden years as they enjoy La Dolce Vita beneath Italy’s sunny skies. Escorted Tours by motor coach provides a safe, relaxed mode of travel and the comforting camaraderie of like-minded companions on an unforgettable life journey. For Students of History and the Arts, Italy is a must, with treasures from civilizations dating back thousands of years. Etruscan, Roman and Greek temples lie side by side with medieval fort towns and majestic Renaissance cities. Over forty percent of the world’s known works of art are found in Italy, while architectural wonders seem to fill every corner:
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Bernini’s columns in Rome, Brunelleschi’s dome in Florence, Palladio’s villas in Veneto, the list is endless. Design a Custom Tour with friends or take a set itinerary that fits your cultural interests. Whatever your budget, what awaits you is priceless. Young & Active travelers of any age will find endless adventure in Italy. From Alpine skiing to windsurfing on the Italian Riviera, biking through Tuscany, hiking the ancient Dolomites and sailing along the Amalfi coast. Climb an active volcano in Sicily, ride a hot air balloon over the Tuscan hills, then catch a game of world-class championship soccer, Formula One racing or a live open-air concert. At night, the streets are teeming with life, offering countless cafés, restaurants, festivals and nightclubs. Hosted Tours and flexible independent FIT itineraries can easily match your desires, schedule and budget. Italy was made for lovers of Food & Wine. From Barolo to Brunello, over 400 varieties of wine grace the Italian table. Hundreds of cheeses from the aged, aromatic Parmigiano Reggiano to the succulently soft Mozzarella di Bufala are all produced in
strict, time-honored ways. Pasta, hams, fish, veal, fresh organic produce, hot crusty bread and the best olive oil anywhere make Italy a gourmet’s paradise. Cooking Classes, Culinary Tours, Wine Tours and more are specifically designed for food lovers to savor the best that Italy has to offer. Groups such as clubs, organizations, parishes, and communities congregate in Italy, since it’s a destination that can host a variety of interests – choirs, bands, golf, biking, hiking, fishing, scuba diving, sports, opera, concerts, shopping, cooking, religion, art, archeology and gourmet food and wine. CTCPI Specialists will work together with your organization to create special Customized Tours that will provide the maximum enjoyment and value to your group. Whichever way you want to experience this magical land, Canada’s top travel providers to Italy are here to help you make the most of your trip – and save you time and money. Buon Viaggio!
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Italians who changed our world Introducing the Italians who redefined culture, history and our perspective in both classic and contemporary times.
Donatello Considered the founder of modern sculpture, Donato de Bardi was born in Florence in 1386. His bronze David was the first nude statue of the Renaissance. Michelangelo Buonarroti Born in Caprese, near Florence, in 1475, this magnificent artist and sculptor transformed blocks of marble into figures full of life. His immortal works include the Sistine Chapel in the Vatican Museum, the Pieta and The Last Judgment. St. Francis of Assisi Giovanni Francesco Barnardone was born to a wealthy merchant family in Assisi around 1181. After taking a vow of poverty, he preached for simplicity and humility before God – to animals as well as to humans. The founder of the Franciscan order, he is also the patron saint of animals and of the environment. Dante Alighieri A literary colossus, born in Florence in 1265, author of The Divine Comedy and father of the Italian language. Sandro Botticelli A friend of both Leonardo and Michelangelo, born in 1445 and renowned for religious and secular-themed
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Garavani was born near Milan in 1932. His Collezione Bianca was the first to have the magic V label. Valentino also designed Jacqueline Kennedy’s wedding dress for her marriage to Aristotle Onassis.
masterpieces such as the Primavera, Birth of Venus and Adoration of the Magi.
now acknowledged as one of the supreme artists of the 15th century.
Marco Polo Born in Venice in 1254, Marco Polo’s 24year odyssey through Asia opened up the Orient to Europe. He traveled the ancient Silk Route, was a guest at the court of the emperor Kublai Khan, and his accounts became the greatest exotic travelogues of their day.
Christopher Columbus Born in Genova in 1451, his home still stands today. Columbus guided his three-vessel expedition across the Atlantic Ocean in 1492, aiming to reach the Far East through a westward course. Instead, he landed in the Caribbean and is credited with rediscovering America in modern times.
Giotto Ambrogio Bondone was born in Vespignano near Florence, in 1267. He is best known for the emotion and realism depicted in his frescoes, which grace the Scrovegni Chapel in Padova and the Basilica of St. Francis in Assisi. Filippo Brunelleschi Born in Florence in 1377, Brunelleschi was an architect, engineer and an inventor. His crowning masterpiece, the Duomo in Florence established new rules of proportion and symmetry. Masaccio Tommaso Masaccio was born in San Giovanni Valdarno, Tuscany in 1401. Leonardo, Michelangelo and Raphael were all influenced by his work, a collection of which lies in the Brancacci Chapel of Santa Maria del Carmine in Florence. Piero Della Francesca Born in Borgo San Sepolcro, Tuscany in 1416, his major work is a series of frescos entitled The Legend of the True Cross adorning the choir of San Francis in Arezzo. Overlooked for centuries, he is
Leonardo da Vinci Born in Vinci, near Florence, in 1452. A Renaissance genius, world-renowned for his paintings, including The Mona Lisa and The Last Supper. Leonardo was also a master architect, engineer, mathematician and philosopher. Amerigo Vespucci Born in Florence in 1454, Amerigo was a navigator and merchant who estimated the world’s circumference within 50 miles. He concluded America was not the eastern part of Asia, as Columbus believed, but a new continent. It is duly named after him. Niccolò Machiavelli Born in San Casciano in Val di Pesa, near Florence in 1469, Machiavelli was a political philosopher, a historian, writer, statesman and diplomat. His book, “The Prince,” is a guide to acquiring, maintaining and deploying political power; its controversial ideas are still taught and studied today. Titian Tiziano Vecellio was born in Pieve di Cadore in the Dolomites in 1490. Venice’s
Gianni Versace Born in Reggio Calabria in 1946, couture icon Versace is known for his striking colors, materials, and cuts, and opened his first boutique in Milan’s Via della Spiga in 1978.
master painter, his most recognized work, l’Amor Sacro e l’Amor Profano, is on display at the Galleria Borghese in Rome. Raphael Raffaello Sanzio was born in Urbino in 1483. His superb use of perspective, realism and animation is exemplified by the School of Athens adorning the walls of the Vatican. Andrea Palladio One of history’s most influential architects, born in Padova in 1508. Thomas Jefferson’s Monticello home was based on Palladio’s pioneering designs. The Veneto region features numerous Palladian villas. Galileo Galilei Born in Pisa in 1564, the inventor of the first astronomical telescope also presaged Newton’s laws of motion and confirmed the Copernican theory of the solar system. Charged with heresy and forced to renounce his theories, his work was officially recognized by The Vatican in 1993. Artemisia Gentileschi Born in Rome in 1593, Artemisia was the daughter of artist Orazio Gentileschi. Recognized as the first woman artist in a male-dominated world of post-Renaissance art, her works are to be found in Rome and in Florence’s Uffizi Gallery. Gian Lorenzo Bernini Born in Naples in 1598, Bernini was
the dominant figure of Italian baroque sculpture and architecture, using false perspective and trompe l’oeil to capture the spectator. His works include St. Peter’s Throne in the Vatican and numerous Roman churches. Caravaggio Born Michelangelo Merisi in Caravaggio, east of Milan, in 1571, his baroque style explored the balance between light and dark, portraying still life in astonishingly realistic form - as shown in Basket of Fruit, The Musicians and the Burial of Saint Lucy.
The author of Foucault’s Pendulum and The Name of the Rose was born in Alessandria, Piemonte in 1932. His background in philosophy, medieval literature and mysticism has captured a generation of loyal readers. Luciano Pavarotti Born on the outskirts of Modena in 1935 and arguably the most important tenor since Caruso, Pavarotti combines accuracy of pitch and quality of sound production with a natural musicality. He is widely acknowledged for having popularized opera.
Enrico Caruso Born in Naples in 1873, Caruso is perhaps the greatest operatic tenor ever. He emigrated to the United States in 1905 due to his heavily criticized interpretation of Elisir D’Amore. Enzo Ferrari Born in Modena in 1898, Ferrari’s innovation, beauty and style in automotive design continues to make his vehicles the most sought after in the world. Valentino Innovative fashion designer Valentino
Italy Travel Planner
The art of the city Italy is a living museum. Her public structures comprise vivid, visible art and architecture that stand as testaments to the country’s history and culture. The Roman and Greek empires influenced early Italian design with their mighty temples and impressive amphitheaters, while Renaissance, Baroque and Gothic design later played important parts in inspiring both architects and artists in the centuries to come. Their tangible, timeless legacies can be witnessed in every major Italian city and town. ROME
Founded in 754 BC by orphaned brothers Romulus and Remus, a walk through Rome is a walk through time. From the Colosseum to the Pantheon to the immaculate aqueducts and roads, the Roman Empire influenced design, engineering and architecture for centuries to come. The Vatican offers the awe-inspiring St. Peter’s Basilica, the Vatican Museums, housing enormous collections of art and the frescoed ceilings of the Sistine Chapel by Michelangelo. From Bernini to Bramante, Raphael and Caravaggio, marvel at the masterpieces that embellish and define the Eternal City: paintings, sculptures, palaces and ever-flowing fountains.
Venice is a feast of magnificent churches, lavish palazzi and stately bridges, all built upon a labyrinth of waterways and streets that are works of art in themselves. Stroll across the Rialto Bridge for an eagle-eye view of the Grand Canal and the gondolas. Delight in the Byzantine wonder of St. Mark’s Basilica, watch St. Mark’s Square bell tower pierce the sky and revel in the riches of the city’s museums. The Gallerie dell’Accademia showcases Venetian masters such as Tintoretto, Bellini, Giorgione and Carpaccio, while the Peggy Guggenheim Collection presents modern giants like Picasso, Dali, Pollock and Mirò.
Built by the Romans and immortalized by the Renaissance, Florence affords an
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unforgettable voyage through timeless art and architecture. Savor the contrast between the Boboli Garden’s green, groomed perfection, Brunelleschi’s bold, red-tiled Duomo and Giotto’s 14th-century Campanile in red, white and green marble. Gothic and Romanesque facades joust for attention on the churches of Santa Croce and Santa Maria Novella. Priceless works by Botticelli, Giotto, Michelangelo and Leonardo da Vinci fill the halls of the Uffizi Gallery. Within the Brancacci Chapel Masaccio’s Adam and Eve are expelled from the Garden of Eden, their shame and despair palpable. Meanwhile, on the Ponte Vecchio, the latest generation of craftsmen fashion unique art one can wear. It’s as if the Renaissance never ceased: Florence’s enlightenment continues to enchant the world.
This enchanting medieval city in the heart of the Emilia-Romagna region is peppered with red-brick roofs and miles of porticos, around which waft intense aromas of Bologna’s famous culinary delights. Visitors will be tempted by plump tortellini, scrumptious tagliatelle with ragu, fragrant mortadella and more. These hearty, savory dishes literally capture the true flavor of this wonderful old town – as well as giving guests the fuel to explore it! Stroll through the Piazza Maggiore or scale the Torre Asinelli, one of Bologna’s Due Torri (Two Towers), a monumental reminder of its historic past. The city is also home to the western world’s oldest university, which fills the atmosphere with a vibrant and passionate spirit. A trip to Bologna is an absolute treat for all the senses.
In the 17th century Naples reigned as the undisputed cultural capital of Europe. Within its National Museum of Archeology lies a bountiful collection of artifacts, sculptures and mosaics recalling its past as well as that of Rome, Greece, Egypt, Pompeii and Herculaneum. Music and song has long defined this sunny city: Naples is home to the San Carlo opera house, Europe’s oldest working theatre since 1737. Architecturally, the jewel in the crown is the Galleria Umberto I; its elegant glass dome and barreled vaults now host shops and restaurants. Nearby, the vast Piazza del Plebescito embraces the Royal Palace and the church of St. Francis of Paola. At day’s end, the sun glints on the towers of the 13th-century Maschio Angioino fortress.
This ancient Phoenician seaside colony features a spectrum of architectural styles reflecting many civilizations: Greek, Roman, Arabic, Norman, Spanish, French and Byzantine. Each built upon and embellished buildings created by successive cultures, creating a wonderful
harmony of designs. From the stunning Royal Palace to the Palatine chapel’s lustrous Byzantine mosaics; from St. John of the Hermit’s original Arab crimsoncolored domes and its serene cloisters to the three-tiered Baroque sculptural
magnificence at the intersection of Quattro Canti. Palermo’s artistry also finds expression in its theaters: at The Teatro Massimo and the Teatro Politeama Garibaldi, concerts and ballet have been performed for centuries.
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The living past: italy’s museums and historic sites Few countries can claim as extensive a heritage of artistic expression. To experience Italy’s art firsthand is to touch the soul of the country. From archeological sites to architecture, museums and galleries, you will discover the many ways Italy’s craftsmen and artists have articulated their passion over thousands of years.
This museum holds the works of Raphael, Perugino, Titian and Botticelli.
Residence of the Sistine Chapel and the Raphael Rooms, including many of the most important and unique art collections on earth.
National Archeological Museum
Palazzo Reale di Capodimonte
One of the world’s most important archeological museums, rebuilt in the late 1600’s as the core of Naples University. The Royal Palace
Behind its beautiful façade are great halls of furniture and paintings, the Biblioteca Nazionale and a small private theater.
“Art is never finished, only abandoned” Leonardo Da Vinci
Galleria dell’Accademia Founded in 1563, the first school in Europe to teach the methods of painting, drawing and sculpture. Bargello Museum Formerly a town hall and prison, this houses Italy’s finest collection of Renaissance sculpture. Archeological Museum Home to a vast collection of Roman, Greek, Egyptian and Etruscan artifacts. Museo dell’Opera del Duomo Features works, carvings and tools by Donatello, Brunelleschi and Luca della Robbia, plus a section dedicated to the history of the Duomo. Museum of the History of Science Dedicated to astronomy, mathematics and navigation. Pitti Palace Built by Brunelleschi for banker Luca Pitti, later purchased by the Medici, contains several museums including The Palatine Gallery, the Royal Apartments, the Silverware Museum, the Modern Art Gallery and the Boboli Gardens.
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Built within the Renaissance Palazzo Cuomo this museum offers collections of porcelain, paintings, archeological finds, manuscripts and embroidery. Uffizi Gallery Italy’s supreme art gallery, created by the architect Vasari, contains an unparalleled collection of paintings from Italy’s best known masters. San Lorenzo The Medici family parish church contains the Medici Chapels and mausoleum, as well as works by Donatello, Michelangelo and Brunelleschi. Brancacci Chapel Built inside the church of Santa Maria del Carmine, famous for the frescoes on the Life of St. Peter started by Masolino and his pupil Masaccio, and completed by Filippino Lippi. Santa Croce A Gothic church containing the tombs of famous Florentines, such as Michelangelo, Machiavelli and Galileo. Alongside is the Pazzi Chapel designed by Brunelleschi.
Pinacoteca di Brera Milan’s most esteemed museum, where the Accademia di Belle Arti was founded in the 1700’s, its 38 rooms host a fine art collection covering Renaissance and Baroque art from the 15th to 20th century.
The Museum of Contemporary Art (CIMAC) Opened in 1984, located on the 2nd floor of Palazzo Reale, showcasing the cream of modern Italian and international artists. Galleria Vittorio Emanuele II A glorious glass- and steel-covered arcade connected to Piazza della Scala, known for its high-end stores and restaurants. Il Duomo (Milan Cathedral) This grandiose Gothic Cathedral in the city’s main square is made of white marble, with a roof of 135 spires and countless statues and gargoyles, and can hold up to 40,000 worshippers. Teatro alla Scala Perhaps the definitive opera house, opened in 1778, the theatre also houses the Museo Teatrale, featuring a remarkable array of opera costumes, paintings, scripts, statues and other materials. Santa Maria delle Grazie Built between 1465 and 1482, this Renaissance church is famous for the fresco depicting the Last Supper by Leonardo Da Vinci.
Duomo di San Gennaro
Within the Duomo is the very lavish San Gennaro Chapel housing the relics of the patron Saint of Naples.
Two palaces designed by Michelangelo, The Palazzo Nuovo and the Palazzo dei Conservatori, containing numerous paintings and classical sculptures. The Palatine
One of the city’s premier ancient sites of Rome, displaying ruins ranging from the simple to the very luxurious. Palazzo Corsini and the National Gallery of Antique Art
Originally the Palace of the Corsini Family who, upon the state’s acquisition, donated their many paintings, essentially founding the national art collection. Museo Nazionale
One of the world’s leading museums of Classical art housing many antiquities. It has five branches: Palazzo Altemps, the Baths of Diocletian, the Aula Ottagona, the Crypta Balbi and the Palazzo Massimo. Vatican Museums
The central area around which the commerce of ancient Rome developed in the 2nd century BC. Its vivid remains demonstrate the use of municipal places during the era.
in the world after the Cairo Museum) was established in 1824, with antiquities from about 4000 BC to 639 AD. Museo dell’Auto
One of the largest auto museums in the world and the only one of its kind in Italy, this stylistically modern building houses a collection of 170 cars. Pinacoteca Agnelli
Completed in 27 BC this circular temple, dedicated to “all the gods,” is Rome’s most well-preserved ancient building.
Architect Renzo Piano built this structure atop the Fiat building, featuring the private collection of Giovanni and Marella Agnelli, including works from Canaletto, Canova and Matisse.
Rome’s greatest amphitheatre, capable of seating 55,000 spectators. It was used for deadly gladiatorial combats and ferocious animal fights staged by the emperors and wealthy citizens.
An incomparable collection of paintings spanning five centuries through the Byzantine, Baroque, Renaissance and International Gothic periods. Ca’ d’Oro
The Museum of Contemporary Art of Rome, built at the beginning of the 20th century on a large industrial complex, is now a dynamic center of cultural activity.
Sitting on the Grand Canal, the “House of Gold” is a public gallery boasting an ornate, gold-leaf Gothic façade.
The most famous church in Venice, set in St. Mark’s Square, famous for its elaborate Byzantine exterior, façade mosaics and the four bronze horses that sit atop the entrance.
The seat of the royal Savoy family until the 1861 unification of Italy took place, displaying ornately decorated apartments, and splendid ceilings painted by Seyter, Miel and Morello. Armeria Reale
A wing of the Palazzo Reale, opened in 1837 containing one of the richest collections of arms and armory. Mole Antonelliana
This is Turin’s awesome and original symbol. The Mole was designed by architect Alessandro Antonelli and built between 1863 and 1889. Since 2000, the building houses the National Museum of Cinema. Museo Egizio
The Egyptian Museum of Turin (the second
Basilica di San Marco
The heart of this museum comprises the magnificent collection of Theodoro Correr, donated to the city of Venice. Doge’s Palace
A Gothic work of art on the Grand Canal, founded in the 9th century, this is the official residence of each ruler (“doge”) of Venice, with the offices of several political institutions within. Peggy Guggenheim Collection
A small museum in the Palazzo Venier dei Leoni on the Grand Canal, home of the art collection of the niece of Solomon R. Guggenheim.
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Le passé au présent: les musées et les sites historiques d’Italie
Performing arts Nowhere on earth are the performing arts celebrated so joyously as in Italy. From drama to opera to music to film, here are just some of the places where you can indulge your particular passion.
CONCERT HALLS & THEATERS Anfiteatro Romano (Cagliari) A 2nd century Roman amphitheater carved out of the quarry rock, complete with underground cages attesting to its gladiatorial history. www.teatroliricodicagliari.it Teatro Carlo Felice (Genova) A perfect example of the traditional Italian horseshoe design originally built in the early 1800’s, refurbished in the 1990’s after damage from World War 11, with a scenic triangular tower and striking façade. www.carlofelice.it
REMAINS TO BE SEEN Pompéi
Pompeii, along with Herculaneum, was destroyed by the eruption of Mount Vesuvius in 79 AD. www.pompeiisites.org Metapontum is an ancient city on the Gulf of Taranto settled by Greeks around 700 BC, where Pythagoras taught in the sixth century. Segesta, in northwest Sicily, was first a Trojan colony, then a Carthaginian
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dependency after 400 BC. Agrigento & the Valley of the Temples are majestic Greek structures, dating back to the 6th and 5th centuries BC, and one of UNESCO’s World Heritage sites. Cerveteri is a vast Etruscan necropolis in Lazio; this spectacular network of mysterious tombs, shadowy crypts and burial mounds dates back to the 7th century BC. Ostia Antica, with its colorful frescoes and detailed mosaics, show how life once was in this thriving port on the Tiber river. The Matera Sassi is an intricate labyrinth of
ancient rock dwellings in the Gravina of Matera, comprising alleys and stairways, caves, arches, galleries, gardens and terraces. Nuraghi, these extraordinary Bronze Age towers of stone, spiraling upward into cones, number over 7,000 and span the island of Sardinia. How they were actually built and maneuvered into place remains a mystery. The nuraghi group Su Nuraxi, near Barumini, is a UNESCO World Heritage site. Its complex network of towers linked to walls and ramparts were probably used as dwellings, fortresses, tombs and meeting places for ancient peoples.
Teatro Comunale (Bologna) Built by Antonio Galli Bibiena in 1763 and decorated with paintings by Luigi Busi and Luigi Samoggia from the mid19th century, this theater reopened in 1981. www.tcbo.it Gran Teatro la Fenice (Venice) Destroyed in a fire in 1996, for the second time, this Venice landmark was rebuilt entirely in a 19th-century style. www.teatrolafenice.it Teatro Massimo (Palermo) Designed by a father and son team in the 1800’s, combining a classical exterior and Liberty-style interior, the theater was renovated and reopened to the public in 1997, after almost 20 years of disuse. www.teatromassimo.it Teatro Massimo Bellini (Catania) Renowned for the acoustics of its
extravagant interior, and one of Europe’s most beautiful entrance halls, this glorious venue was built to pay homage to composer Vincenzo Bellini. www.teatromassimobellini.it
Teatro Dell’Opera (Rome) Also known as Teatro Costanzi. www.operaroma.it
world’s largest stages. www.teatroallascala.org
Teatro Verdi (Florence) Established in 1854, this theater has undergone three separate restorations over the past 50 years, while retaining its classical Italian structure. www.teatroverdifirenze.it
Teatro Regio (Parma) A 19th century opera house, built in 1821-29, this neo-classical building is considered one of the most important and famous shrines of Italian music. www.teatroregioparma.org Teatro Rossini Lugo (Ravenna) The theatre, named Rossini in 1859, still sports in its 18th century style, an austere façade with ornamental pillars and plaster cornices at each story. www.teatrorossini.it Teatro San Carlo (Naples) After being destroyed by a fire in 1816, the theater was rebuilt within ten months and now boasts an orchestra pit conceived by Giuseppe Verdi in 1872. www.teatrosancarlo.it Teatro alla Scala (Milan) This famous neo-classical theater, originally built in 1776 on the site of Santa Maria della Scala, boasts an imposing façade and has one of the Italy Travel Planner
Les arts de la scène
MUSIC FESTIVALS March
Ravello Classical Music Festival One of the oldest Italian festivals, this conceptualized the idea of the “cultural event” and gave Ravello its reputation as a “Città della musica.” www.ravelloarts.org San Remo Festival The world-famous celebration of the Italian Popular Song takes place on the Italian Riviera at the Teatro Ariston, attracting guests and renowned artists from all over the world. www.sanremostory.it
Maggio Musicale Fiorentino The city’s biggest arts festival was founded in 1933 and is hosted at the Teatro Comunale, featuring an international program of drama, dance, opera and orchestras. www.maggiofiorentino.com June Arena Summer Festival in Verona Each year over 500,000 people flock to see opera in this 20,000-seat Roman arena, the world’s third largest
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Les arts de la scène
amphitheater, and among the most wellpreserved. www.arena.it
the beautiful venues providing the stages for the Accademia Musicale Chigiana. www.chigiana.it
Festival Internazionale Dell’Operetta Held at Trieste’s Teatro Comunale “Giuseppe Verdi,” this festival of Light Opera features world-renowned performers. www.teatroverdi-trieste.com/ verdi2009a/
Festival Pucciniano The Puccini Festival in Torre del Lago Puccini (Lucca) began in 1930 according to Puccini’s own documented wishes: “… once I would like to come here and listen to one of my operas in the open air..” www.puccinifestival.it
New Opera Festival of Rome Featuring performances of all classical genres from concerts to operas in the magnificent Courtyard of the Basilica of San Clemente. www.newoperafestivaldiroma.com Ravenna Festival This multifaceted music event – also including opera, concerts, dance, jazz, ethnic music, drama, film, conventions and exhibitions – finds expression in the town’s theaters, piazzas, basilicas, and other public spaces. www.ravennafestival.org Spoleto Festival of Two Worlds A unique celebration, conceived to embrace all aspects of the performing and figurative/visual arts, including opera, concerts, jazz and dance. www.spoletofestival.it July Arezzo Wave Festival In the heart of Tuscany, the “Woodstock of Italy” is the nation’s oldest rock concert, featuring many different stages for music, literature, sports and more. www.arezzowave.com Estate Musicale Chigiana Siena’s Santa Maria della Scala and the church of Sant’Agostino are just two of
for its cutting-edge crossover artistic performances, and experimental theater shows, all in an acoustically splendid arena within the natural rock landscape. www.roccellajazz.net
Stresa Musical Weeks Magical music on picturesque Lake Maggiore, where the “Settimane Musicali” presents the world’s leading performers, major symphony orchestras and chamber musicians. www.settimanemusicali.net
Festival della Valle d’Itria An annual opera and classical music festival held in the town of Martina Franca in Puglia, specializing in reviving unknown works, with supporting talks, recitals and oratorios. www.festivaldellavalleditria.it Macerata Opera Festival One of the world’s most famous opera seasons, held in the Sferisterio, an old ball game court. www.sferisterio.it Pistoia Blues Since this festival started in the early 1980’s, legends from Muddy Waters to Dylan, Patti Smith to Santana have graced its stage. www.pistoiablues.com
Summer Opera Season at Caracalla Rome’s opera house relocates to the magnificent Baths of Caracalla for outdoor opera and ballet performances among the ruins. www.operaroma.it Umbria Jazz Festival This renowned event brings hundreds of artists to the “green heart” of Italy, and offers street parades and midnight clubs celebrating excellent jazz, opo and salsa. www.umbriajazz.com Porretta Soul Festival Top jazz, soul and R&B musicians gather at this festival located in the spa town of Porretta, in Emilia Romagna. www.porrettasoul.it Pescara Jazz Festival Since 1969 the city hosted this sophisticated international jazz happening. www.pescarajazz.com
Baroque Music Festival Held in various churches and palaces in the historic city of Sutri, where the popes once resided, these concerts encompass classical, symphony and chamber music. Cortona Festival del Sole a combination of concerts performed by the world’s most acclaimed musical artists, exhibitions with leading visual artists, discussions with top literary figures and culinary delights with the finest chefs and winemakers. www.festivaldelsole.com
Roma Europa Festival This exciting event brings together music, dance, theater and visual arts with performances by over 300 artists from 20 countries in various locations throughout the city. www.romaeuropa.net Torino September Music Piedmont’s famous classical music festival concentrates on the core of the classical repertory, avant-garde, jazz, and world music, all at the Teatro Regio. www.teatroregio.torino.it & www. comune.torino.it/settembremusica
Rossini Opera Festival Inspired by fresh editions of Rossini’s works, this festival of operas and concerts is beautifully set in Pesaro, on the Adriatic coast. www.rossinioperafestival.it Roccella Jonica Jazz Festival This major event, held in Roccella Jonica (Reggio Calabria), is known
Italy Travel Planner
Cinema screening italy
Feast for the senses
Italy’s cities, villages, countryside and coastlines comprise the most beautiful, natural movie set on earth. Tread the cobblestones of Rome where Audrey Hepburn and Gregory Peck rode on a scooter. Experience Tuscany’s rolling hills where Diane Lane found solace. Lose yourself in the landscape of Mastroianni, La Loren, Fellini, Bertolucci, Cardinale, Pasolini and Antonioni. Indulge in some of the country’s finest film festivals. And take time to take in some of the following shining examples of Italy on celluloid.
FILMS SET IN ITALY
Adriatic Coast Amarcord, 1974 Amalfi Coast The Talented Mr. Ripley, 1999 Only You, 1994 Milan The Bicycle Thief, 1948 Rome Caro Diario (Dear Diary), 1994 La Dolce Vita, 1960 Roman Holiday, 1953 Sicily Cinema Paradiso, 1998 The Godfather I and II, 1972 and 1974 Il Postino (The Postman), 1994 Tuscany La Vita e’ Bella (Life Is Beautiful), 1997 Stealing Beauty, 1996 Under the Tuscan Sun, 2003 Venice Pane e Tulipani (Bread and Tulips), 2001 The Italian Job, 2003
Venice Film Festival Inaugurated in 1932, the oldest film festival in the world is a prestigious part of the Biennale of Venice, and takes place in late August, early September. www.labiennale.org Taormina International Film Festival Founded in 1955, this celluloid celebration
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screens films in competition, previews, independent features, documentaries, shorts and tributes to filmmakers of the past – all at the Palazzo dei Congressi and the town’s famous Greek Theatre in mid-June. www.taorminafilmfest.it Rome International Film Festival (RIFF) Run by a non-profit cultural organization, RIFF’s mission is to promote and increase the visibility of Italian and international cinema and upcoming industry talent. Films are showcased and awarded during March/April. www.riff.it Bologna Future Film Festival Dedicated imagery created with the latest IT, animation, and special effects, this January showcase celebrates new media and new digital technology. www.futurefilmfestival.org Turin Film Festival Italy’s second biggest film festival takes place in November, focusing on avantgarde and innovative modern cinema. www.torinofilmfest.org Courmayeur Film Noir Every December, this fascinating Alpine ski resort screens the finest mysteries, spy stories, horror and sci-fi. www.noirfest.com Flaiano Film Festival Held in July and August, Pescara presents the very best of the international film scene. www.premiflaiano.itA
Italian food is an extraordinary feast for the senses. Ranging from simple to hearty, sweet to spicy, subtle to strong, each dish and delicacy is prepared with the freshest of ingredients. It’s no secret that Italy’s cuisine is incomparable, but you may not know quite how to enjoy it to the fullest. Here’s a helpful guide to exploring and savoring Italy’s culinary bounty. MANGIA! MANGIA!
THE ART OF COFFEE
“Pizza al taglio” - Pizza by the slice, typically a lunch item found at bakeries and offered in many different varieties.
The experience of this sweet life; L’esperienza de questa dolce vita. Dante Alighieri
Making caffé is an art in itself and ordering un caffé in Italy usually means an espresso. This means “to press,” and refers to the pressure applied to the hot water forced through the ground beans, creating this strong, flavorful mixture, whose main variations are listed below.
Spuntino - a snack, usually eaten inbetween meals. Aperitivo - an aperitif type of drink, usually wine, which is drunk in order to stimulate the appetite before the meal.
Lungo - More water (about double) is filtered through the grinds, giving a weaker taste, but still stronger than normal coffee.
Prima colazione - breakfast, the first meal of the day.
Ristretto - Less water, yielding a stronger taste.
Pranzo - lunch, the midday meal from 1:00pm to 2:30pm, when activity stops. Merenda - an afternoon snack. Cena - dinner, usually eaten late, between 8pm and 11pm. Scarpetta - whatever is left on your plate is “scooped” up with a morsel of fresh bread.
MAKE A MEAL OF IT, ITALIAN STYLE
Italian meals consist of 3-4 courses: Antipasto - a starter (hot or cold), meant to stimulate the appetite. Primo - the first course, usually a soup, rice or pasta dish. This can be topped with a variety of sauces. (Taste Tip: Never put cheese on any pasta containing seafood. Never chop pasta
with a knife, twirl the strands on your fork like an Italian!) Secondo - the main dish, meat or fish served with a contorno (side dish) of vegetables or salad.
Doppio - Simply two espressos in one cup. In Italy, barmen who save coffee by serving a lungo when a doppio is ordered are frowned upon. Corretto - With a dash of liquor.
(Taste Tip: Don’t mix meat and seafood in the same meal. If your first course is sauced with fish, don’t order a second course of meat.)
Americano - Diluted with hot water.
Dolce - Dessert or fruit and cheese, followed by coffee or a digestivo such as grappa.
Con panna - With cream on top
TIPS ON TIPPING
Tip: When ordering a coffee in a bar, pay at the cash register first, then take the receipt to the barista (bartender), who will then make your brew.
A coperto is a cover charge, an unavoidable “add-on” that basically covers bread and water and is charged per person. Even though tax and services are usually included in the menu prices, it is typical and courteous to leave a small tip of around 10 percent.
Macchiato - With a drop of steamed milk.
Affogato - Served over ice-cream
Italy Travel Planner
Feast for the senses OLIVE OIL, OUR LIQUID GREEN GOLD Olives are grown all throughout Italy, from the northern shores, to as far as Sicily and Puglia, meaning each region naturally claims to be the best producer of olive oil. Here’s a brief look inside this fascinating industry, to help you pick out the perfect bottle on your next trip.
How do oils differ?
Within 24 hours of harvest, olives are crushed whole to maintain their naturally low acidity. The pulp is pressed and the liquid obtained comprises water and several oils, the two most common of which are:
THE COOL OF GELATO
Gelato (ice cream) is the true taste of an Italian summer. Here’s the scoop on the terms you need to learn before you lick. Cono - cone Coppa - cup Con panna - with whipped cream on top Gelateria - ice cream parlor Granita - shaved ice with assorted fruit juices and sugar Tip: Pay first at the cassa (cash register), then present your receipt when you order.
THE PLEASURE OF FOOD SHOPPING
Although there are many supermarket chains like COOP and Esselunga, shopping for food in the specialty shops makes for a richer, more interesting experience. Panetteria, il Forno or Fornaio - bread shop Macelleria - for meat Norcineria - for pork Pasticceria - cakes, pastries and cookies Latteria - for milk Alimentari - pasta, ham, cheese, general food Enoteca or vinaio - wide selection of wine Salumeria (pizzicagnolo) - for salami and other meat products Mercati - markets, mainly for fresh fruits and vegetables
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Food is sold by the etto (100 grams = 4 oz.), the chilo (kilo: 1 = 2.2 lbs), or simply in numbers, such as 2 bananas.
WINE - ITALY’S GLORY IN A GLASS
Home to an astounding 2,000 home-grown grape varieties, Italy produces and exports more wine than any other country, also offering the largest variety of categories. To guide consumers and ensure quality control, the Denominazione di Origine Controllata or DOC (Controlled Denomination of Origin) was introduced in the early 60’s. Responsible for a significant enhancement in the quality of Italian wines, this regulation bears a little explanation to assist your discovery of one of Italy’s true treasures. DOC wines are produced in specific well-defined regions, according to precise rules designed to preserve the traditional wine-making practices. For example, the rules for making Barolo differ markedly from that of Chianti Classico. In 1980, however, Italian authorities established a superior classification of DOC wines: DOCG (Controlled and Guaranteed Denomination of Origin). DOCG wines spring from the wine regions recognized as the finest in the country. They produce less yield, but with superior quality, DOCG wines must pass a tasting committee before they can be bottled. Among the DOCG regions are: Barbaresco, Barolo, Brunello di Montalcino, Chianti (in seven subzones), Vino Nobile di Montepulciano, Albana di Romagna, Gattinara, Carmignano (red only) and Torgiano Rosso riserva. You can find most wines at an enoteca or a vineria. An enoteca is a public or private place where a variety of wines are displayed, sold or tasted. A winery, or vineria, is a regional establishment with sales, wine and food tastings.
Extra-virgin olive oil - The highest quality oil, noticeably green, with acidity of less than 1%, made by cold-pressing the olives - though the use of heat provides more quantity of the oil, the lack of it provides for a better quality. Virgin olive oil - Produced with no chemical treatment, occasionally cold pressed method, with slightly higher acidity between 1% and 3%. There are three distinct categories of
extra-virgin olive oil, each suited to specific dishes and preparations. Mild - Light and buttery, ideal for raw meats and carpaccio, fish, vegetables, soups and pasta sauces. Fruity - Slightly stronger and fruitier flavor, complements grilled meats, pastas or rice in mild sauces, cooked vegetables and bruschetta. Fruity-Spicy - Aggressive taste, perfect for accompanying rustic dishes like the panzanella, Tuscan bread and tomato salad; ribollita, Tuscan vegetable soup; or pasta with beans.
How to buy
Buy olive oil in small quantities, since it ages and oxidizes. Check where the olive oil was bottled, and ensure that the color is green or a dark green. Look for the DOP label, a standard organization that defines the various grades of olive oils: this signifies improved quality. The best place to buy olive oil is in frantoi in Italy, where olive pressing takes place. You can also find top quality oils on estates throughout Italy, from the farms, or from other specialty shops such as an enoteca where you buy wine as well.
Tips: How to taste oil
Like wine, olive oil is a high-quality product with body, acidity and fruitiness that vary from product to product. Experts recommend tasting it before you buy, so it helps to train your palate to distinguish one from the other. In general, good olive oil is sweet with a peppery tone to it. Olive oil tasting should be carried out in a controlled environment. Begin by purchasing a couple of top-quality extra-virgin olive oils produced in different parts of Italy along with one of inexpensive brand to compare.
1. Look at the oil against the light to get an idea of the color. For example, greener oils are usually pressed from early-season olives. 2. Smell the aroma of each of the oils and sort them from mild to strong to establish the ideal order for tasting. 3. Taste them either on a piece of unsalted bread or from separate glasses, using about a teaspoonful of each oil. Cup the glass in your hand to warm it and rotate the oil to release its aromas and flavors. Sip and inhale to vaporize the oil in your mouth. 4. Do not swallow. Spit the oil out and rinse your mouth with some water, or have a small piece of fruit to cleanse your palate before the next sampling. Italy Travel Planner
Shopping SAY HELLO TO SOME GOOD BUYS
Italian goods are renowned for their quality, design and style, with every town offering unique craftsmanship. From Milan’s peerless fashion designs to Como’s silk and Cremona’s violins; from the marble of Massa Carrara, Murano’s timeless Venetian glassware and the genius of Piedmont’s goldsmiths to Ravenna’s mosaics and the ceramic beauties of Vietri sul Mare; Italy is a shopper’s and gift-giver’s wonderland where you always find more than you bargained for.
Main street shopping
Italy’s main avenues and boulevards are vital to the country’s shopping scene, and a long-observed social convention. Here you can browse store windows with the Italians, checking the prices and the latest trends as they stroll and enjoy one another’s company.
Set sale dates are established twice a year by the local authorities, so they can vary from city to city, but are normally in January and July. Seasonal stock is marked down to clear and make way for new merchandise.
this two-level indoor market features fragrant cheeses and fresh meats and a kaleidoscope of vegetables and fruit.
selection of delectable food items.
The savvy collector will love this market of antique furniture, books, clothing and more, all from a time gone by.
Fiera di Senigallia (Saturdays)
Set by Navigli’s charming canals, the numerous stands contain new and used articles from the ethnic and modern to the vintage and collectible.
Mercato di Viale Papiniano (Tuesdays and Saturdays)
This gigantic market hosts plenty of vendors hawking their wares, especially clothing and shoes.
OPEN-AIR MARKETS ROME
This enormous flea market specializes in clothing, shoes, music CDs, house and kitchen wares, outdoor gear, luggage, tools and much more.
Food, clothing and housewares await the eager shopper at this engaging marketplace, located in the Vomero district.
Campo de’ Fiori (daily except Sundays) The day’s freshest food produce and meats are the main attraction on this exuberant Roman piazza.
Porta Portese (every Sunday)
Piazza San Lorenzo (daily)
Stroll this famous market specializing in clothing, souvenirs and leather goods.
Mercato Centrale (Mondays through Saturdays) Steps from the Piazza San Lorenzo,
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Mercato di Antignano (Monday through Saturday)
La Piazzola (every Friday and Saturday)
Clothing, shoes and more are found at this labyrinthine shopper’s paradise.
Porta Palazzo (Monday through Saturday)
This celebrated market, one of Europe’s largest, is held in the Piazza della Repubblica, highlighted by a vast
Gran Baloon (Second Sunday of each month)
Piazza Grande (first weekend of each month) Antique buffs will enthuse over the selections of collectible items and heirlooms.
La Vucciria (daily)
An energetic, memorable market offering the finest food, including freshly caught fish from local waters. Perfect for preparing picnic lunches.
MILAN FASHION WEEKS
These are core events on the couture calendar. In mid-March, the fall/winter collections are previewed. The spring/ summer collections are unveiled in October. www.cameramoda.it
Everyone wants to bring home a “piece” of Italy as a reminder of their travels. The hill town of Deruta, in Umbria, has been famed for its glazed and glossy majolica earthenware since the 15th and 16th centuries. Today’s shopper will marvel at the elegant, vivid and regal pieces created in the workshops and bottegas by talented artisans.
A more economical way of keeping up with the trends and a relatively new concept here, these suburban centers located within warehouses or in shopping villages offer discounted designer labels from factory surplus or previous seasons.
Fifty Factory Stores Are located throughout the northern part of Italy with two malls in Aosta, Biella, Meda near Milan, and Modena near Bologna. The malls contain mostly contemporary fashions with brands like Cerruti, Henry Lloyd and Guy Laroche. www.fifty.it Franciacorta Outlet Villane Guess, Gianfranco Ferre and Frette’s famous Italian linens are just a few of the top fashion brands in this high-tech mall featuring an Autogrill food court and located in Rodengo Saiano near Brescia. www.franciacortaoutlet.it Fashion District Offers an array of designer labels, with mall outlets in Bagnolo San Vito in Mantova; Valmontone, south of Rome; and Molfetta, near Bari. www.fashiondistrict.it La Galleria Outlet Center Seriate Is located near Bergamo, with over 52 shops featuring clothing and accessories for men, women, children, home furnishings and food courts.
McArthurGlen Designer Outlets Has three locations, Serravalle Outlet near Alessandria, the Castello Romano near Rome, and Barberino di Mugello near Florence. The malls contain over 150 stores including clothing, footwear and accessories, all at significant savings. www.mcarthurglen.it Vicolungo Outlets, in Vicolungo Near Novara, has prestigious name brands of clothing, sportswear accessories, home furnishings, cosmetics and products for the whole family. www.vicolungooutlets.com Castel Guelfo Outlet Is just 15 miles from Bologna, specializing in designer labels and accessories priced up to 70 percent off. There is a playground for kids. www.outletcastelguelfo.it Fidenza Village Near Parma, mixes bargains like Reebok and Quicksilver for the younger shopper, with Versace, Pancaldi and Furla for the brand name seekers. www.fidenzavillage.com Wine Outlet Features wines sold directly from the producer to the consumer, and is found in Rovereto near Trento. www.wineoutlet.it Valdichiana Outlet Village Is surrounded by charming villages in the heart of the Val di Chiana near Arezzo and offers over 20 thousand square meters of designer shopping heaven. www.valdichianaoutlet.it
TAX-FREE SHOPPING IN ITALY (I.V.A. Refund) The tax (VAT) on the purchases you
make in Italy can be 20%, 10% or 4%, depending on what kind of goods you are buying, and it is included in the sales price. All visitors residing outside of the European Union are entitled to claim back the tax, if they spend 154,94 Euro (VAT included) or more in one shop in one day (except accommodations, dining or tourist services). The goods need to be exported within three months plus the month of purchase. Example: If you make your purchases on April 10th, you must leave the country no later than July 31st. The goods purchased and the relevant invoice must be shown at the Customs of exit from the EU territory. The Customs office, after having ascertained that all the requirements are met endorses the invoice. Note that the goods must be shown at the customs office: if the traveller intends to carry them by plane, he must go to the Customs office to declare them before checking in the baggage. The refund is made directly by the Italian seller according to the terms agreed with the buyer when the goods were purchased (for example, by credit into a bank account, credit card, cheque, etc.). Alternatively, there are some TAX-FREE companies that can grant immediate VAT cash refund when the goods leave the Italian or Community territory, i.e. without the passenger to return the invoice to the seller: however you can use this procedure only at the most important airports or Customs borders. For further information www.italiantourism.com/money.html Italy Travel Planner
Great pursuits for the great outdoors
Maybe the true religion of Italy, calcio is passionately followed, debated and played nationwide. Nothing compares to seeing a major league (Serie A) match, so try to get a ticket: the season runs from September to May. The modern game was said to be invented in Florence during the 16th century; it was played in the biggest square of the city in teams of 27 players using feet and hands. www.lega-calcio.it (in Italian)
AUTO & BIKE RACING
From legendary Grand Prix sites like Imola, Monza and Mugello to the museums of revolutionary brands like Ferrari, Maserati, Lamborghini, Ducati, Aprilia, Augusta and Alfa Romeo; Italy is a mecca for speed freaks of the two- or fourwheel variety.
The “Giro d’Italia,” held in March, is second only to the “Tour de France” in importance, and Italy has a proud tradition of cyclists. For the amateur, there are myriad challenging bike trails, both on- and off-road. Tuscany, Umbria and Sicily are just some of the many regions where you can safely ride while enjoying the scenery.
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Natural therapy: Italy’s spas
Recent additions for the more adventurous visitor to Italy include hand-gliding, rock climbing, rafting and caving. Friuli, Trentino, Umbria and Abruzzo lead the way in catering to the thrill seekers.
SAILING AND SCUBA DIVING
Italy’s 5,000 miles of coastline offer glorious sailing and rich marine life for the divers, particularly a round Panarea, Vulcano and Lampedusa in Sicily, or Portofino, Capri and Porto Cervo.
Rich in thermal and mineral waters, with a mild climate and stunning scenery, Italy has long been a destination for spa tourism, for therapeutic or pampering reasons. Since Roman times taking care of and cleansing the body has been a central part of the culture, as borne out by famed, popular spa sites such as Abano, Salsomaggiore, Chianciano, Montecatini, Fiuggi and Ischia. These are ideal holiday resorts in their own right, close to historical artworks and places of great beauty, featuring world-class accommodations. Thermal Hot Springs: focuses on health problems and medical healing, detoxification and anti-stress treatments, weight loss programs, rest relaxation.
The ancient game combines the love of nature, precision and competition. The Romans used to play a variation, the “paganica,” with a stick and a leather ball stuffed with feathers. Today, Italy offers the modern golfer a selection of magnificent courses in unspoiled landscapes all over the country, of which Palazzo Arzaga and Villa Condulner (Mogliano Veneto) are just two superb examples. www.federgolf.it
Health and Beauty Spas emphasize beauty treatments, massage and holistic medicine and are usually available in most luxury hotels and resorts and the thermal spas.
Not to be missed is the famous Mille Miglia, the Thousand Miles Race, a wonderful historical re-enactment of the 1927 epic vintage car rally from Brescia to Rome and back. www.1000miglia.eu
Beauty is how you feel inside, and it reflects in your eyes. It is not something physical.
Thermal Baths feature mineral-rich mud and water treatments from natural hot springs and are usually visited for medical purposes.
Italy Travel Planner
Italy a land for all seasons Températures moyennes (Celsius -º C) Températures -º C) pour lamoyennes mer et les(Celsius lacs principaux pour la mer et les lacs principaux MER avril MER Alassio Alassio 15 Alghero Alghero Anzio 18 Anzio 16 Bari Bari 20 Cagliari Cagliari Capri 15 Capri 14 Elba Elba 19 Garde Garde 13 LaSpezia LaSpezia Lignano 14 Lignano Palerme 13 Palerme Pescara 17 Pescara Rimini 18 Rimini 16 San Remo San Remo Taormina 16 Taormina Tarente 18 Tarente Trieste 18 Trieste 13 Venise Venise 15 Viareggio (Versilia) Viareggio (Versilia) 17
What to do in:
Winter - skiing & snowboarding, Christmas and Carnevale. Summer – beaches and boating, Alpine hiking, wine tasting. Spring - Hiking & biking, the art and culture trail. Fall - Grape harvest, truffle hunting, olive picking.
Italy blossoms during the summer, the time to go wild, to show some skin and have long walks along the beach. Of all the coastline’s different resorts and enchanting ports, Rimini and Riccione are for partying; Viareggio and Gargano are for families; Cinque Terre and Amalfi for new and old lovers; Sardinia and Sicily for the more expert sailors and divers. But, as you’ll discover, there are so many more to explore. Italians celebrate the Ferragosto Festivity which marks the hottest day of the year, August 15th. Everything closes and everyone heads to the beaches – so get your towel ready!
Springtime begins with the Easter holiday. In Italy, this is celebrated with friends rather than family as the famous quote says: “Natale con i tuoi, Pasqua con chi vuoi” (Christmas with the family, Easter with whomever you want) Easter Monday (Pasquetta) is all about recovery after the Sunday feast. Spring is also when Italian nature bursts with fragrances and colors. It’s a time to explore art cities, to marvel at surrounding
beauties and enjoy all the cafés waiting for you in the middle of ancient squares.
September marks the breaking of the heat and the return from the holidays. Cities become more vibrant, and harvests dot the countryside - grape and olive picking, truffle and porcini mushroom hunting, making for a season rich in culinary delights. This is a wonderful time to enjoy the mountains, woods, remote towns and local wine festivals. And the weather is ideal for seeing the south in its best light: Sicily, Puglia or Campania, to name a few.
The Alps, the Apennines and the Dolomites comprise a white wonderland for skiers. December also contains great historical celebrations, including Naple’s nativity sets, created in all the churches by various artisans. Christmas festivities begin after December 8, and continue through January 6 (Epiphany) when the Befana (a witch) pays a visit to deserving children, giving them gifts.
BEFANA (THE EPIPHANY)
As the story goes, on the night between January 5 and 6, the Befana flies on her broom, clutching a heavy sack full of toys, chocolates and candies (plus coal and ashes), passes over the homes below and descends the chimneys to fill stockings hung by children. A plate of tangerines or oranges and a glass of wine is prepared for the arrival of the good witch. The next morning, along with their gifts, they discover that the meal has been consumed and the Befana’s hand print is traced in the ashes found on the plate. This tradition is typically Italian and has not yet been substituted by the “foreign” figure of Santa Claus. Sometimes, in poor communities, people used to dress as the Befana, going from house to house, bringing gifts in exchange for a smile and kind wish.
The Sun, with all the planets revolving around it, and depending on it, can still ripen a bunch of grapes as though it had nothing else in the Universe to do. Galileo Galilei
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ITALY’S TEMPERATE CLIMATE
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Italy’s weather is mild, thanks to the moderating influence of the seas and the Alps that protect her from north winds, but conditions vary considerably according to how far one is from these two elements. The winter is very cold in the Alps, misty in the Po Plain and the central Apennines; mild and even warm on the Ligurian coast, the Neapolitan avril mai juin julliet août LACS avril mai 13 juin 16 julliet20 août 24septembre coast and in Sicily. The summer is hot and dry, but this is offset by LACS Bolsena 25 Bolsena Gardone (Garda) 13 16 13 20 16 24 21 25 23 2024 coastal breezes, while in the Apennines and Alps it is pleasantly cool. Gardone (Garda) 13 16 21 23 24 20 Stresa-Verbania (Maggiore) 11 15 19 22 24 For last-minute forecasts log onto: www.eurometeo.com/english Stresa-Verbania (Maggiore) 15 11 19 15 22 18 24 21 2222 Bellagio (Como) 11 Bellagio (Como) Iseo Iseo
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LES TEMPÉRATURES MENSUELLES MINIMUMS ET MAXIMALES (CELSIUS - º C) LES TEMPÉRATURES MENSUELLES MINIMUMS ET MAXIMALES (CELSIUS - º C) POUR LES VILLES ET LES HÔTELS PRINCIPAUX POUR LES VILLES ET LES HÔTELS PRINCIPAUX janvier Min Alassio
Alassio 7.9 11.8 Alghero Alghero 17 Amalfi 0 Amalfi 20 Ancône2 8.8 Ancône Aosta 3.3 Aosta 5.1 Bari -2.4 Bari 4.8 12.1 Bologne Bologne Bolzano -1.6 5.1 Bolzano Cagliari -5.1 5.2 Cagliari 14 Capri 5.5 Capri 6.8 13.2 Catania Catania Côme 5.6 15.2 6.6 Côme Elba 0.4 Elba 1 16 Florence Florence Gênes1.8 9.3 Gênes 10.2 Imperia5 Imperia Ischia 6.7 12.3 Ischia 7.4 11.8 Livourne Livourne Messine 5.9 11.2 Messine Milan 9.2 13.8 Milan -1.8 4.2 Naples Naples Ortisei5.5 12.1 Ortisei -7.3 -1.8 Palermo Palermo Perugia 8.3 14.4 Perugia 0.4 4.1 Pescara Pescara 10.3 Reggio2.8 Calabria Reggio Calabria Rimini7.2 13.5 Rimini 7 Rome -0.1 Rome 3.7 12.3 San Remo San Remo Sondrio6 11.8 Sondrio -3.5 5.8 Tarente Tarente Turin 7.1 12.1 Turin -3.6 4 Trente Trente 4.3 Trieste-2.4 Trieste 6.9 Venise3.1 Venise 0.5 6.2 Vérone Vérone -1.2(Versilia) 5.9 Viareggio Viareggio (Versilia) 6.5 12 Viterbe Viterbe 0.8 8.3
septembre octobre Min février Max Min mars Max Min avril Max Min mai Max Min juin Max Min juillet Max Min août Max Min Max Min Max Max 7.4Min 12Max 9.5Min 13.8 Max 13.7 Min 15.7 Max 16.2Min21.8 Max 19.7 Min 23.7 Max 22.6 Min27.5 Max 22.8 Min 27 Max 19.9 Min24.6 Max 7.9Min 11.8
07.4 1712 2 1 2018 3.32 8.824 -2.44.2 5.19.8 7.2 4.8-1.7 12.1 13.5 -1.64.9 5.1 -0.5 5.28.7 -5.1 5.5-2.9 148.9 14.4 6.86 13.2 13.2 5.67 15.2 16.4 0.45.8 6.6 11.4 168.7 1 1.8 9.317 11.6 52.4 10.2 6.75.9 12.312 12.3 7.47.2 11.8 12.4 5.97.5 11.2 12.3 9.26.5 13.8 14.8 -1.89.1 4.2 8.2 5.50.3 12.1 12.9 -7.36.3 -1.8 4.3 8.3-6.2 14.4 15.5 0.48.6 4.1 4.6 2.80.7 10.3 11.8 7.23.8 13.5 -0.18.6 714.6 8.7 3.71.3 12.3 13.6 6 4 11.8 12.4 -3.56.3 5.8 9.5 7.1-1.6 12.1 -3.66.3 413.2 -1.1 8.2 -2.4 4.3 3.1-0.5 6.98.4 3.6 0.5 6.28.3 -1.21.4 5.97.7 6.5-0.9 128.9 11.1 0.84.3 8.3 1.4 1.6
21.8 1019.7 3123.7 1 9.5 1813.8 413.7 2015.7 416.2 22 2 4 24 20 5 4 2022 710 2631 13 11 2831 26 11.1 13 16.7 28 14.415 20.234 4.2 5 9.820 6.7 7 12.4 11.1 11 16.7 5.3 14.4 16.9 20.2 8.718.419.425 -1.76.7 7.212.4 1.4 16.9 8.9 8.7 18.8 19.4 12.712.222.6 22.9 4.91.4 13.511 6.25.3 15.4 18.8 7.6 12.7 19.8 22.6 1216.727.727 -0.56.2 8.715.4 3.78.9 14.2 19.8 5.912 20.4 27.7 9.415.523.628 -2.93.7 8.914.2 1.67.6 15.1 15.1 7.25.9 16.8 20.4 9.5 9.4 18.6 23.6 12.612.922.3 26.9 6 1.6 14.4 16.8 9 9.5 14.6 18.6 10.5 12.6 17.7 22.3 14.813.222.7 26.8 7 7.2 13.2 14.6 6.7 10.5 17.7 17.7 814.8 19.9 22.7 12.419.123.7 27.6 5.8 9 16.4 19.9 8.3 12.4 17.6 23.7 12.315.922.6 28.1 1.46.7 8.717.7 4.8 8 13.7 17.6 812.3 22 22.6 1215.6 2525.5 1 4.8 1713.7 6 8.3 18 22 7.712 20.2 25 11.814 23.731 2.4 6 11.618 4.6 8 15.5 4.6 15.5 7.7 20.2 11.8 23.7 28.7 5.9 12 8.6 14.6 11.6 18.1 1414.621.2 14.6 8.9 11.6 13 18.1 11.5 14 17.1 21.2 14.918.620.9 25.1 7.28.6 12.3 11.5 14.1 17.1 10.8 14.9 17.2 20.9 14.318 20.8 23.5 7.58.9 12.413 8.3 14.1 7.9 10.8 14.1 17.2 11 14.3 16.9 20.8 14.417.920.3 25.2 6.58.3 12.3 14.1 9.811 16.5 16.9 12 14.4 18.8 20.3 15.117.922.8 23.7 9.17.9 14.8 18.8 815.1 19 22.8 12.317.922.4 27.5 0.39.8 8.216.5 3.612 13.6 13.6 7.6 8 15.6 19 10.2 12.3 19.4 22.4 13.616 22.5 26.7 6.33.6 12.9 10.2 7.7 19.4 1.3 13.6 12.4 22.5 5.516.517.8 27.2 -6.27.6 4.315.6 -2.8 12.4 11.8 5.5 19.4 17.8 15 8.528.3 20.6 8.6-2.8 15.57.7 9.61.3 16.9 19.4 815 16.8 28.3 11.518.920.8 27.7 0.79.6 4.616.9 411.8 11.5 11.5 4.5 8 14.9 16.8 7.7 11.5 16.8 20.8 11.614.821.9 24.5 3.8 4 11.8 14.9 10.4 7.7 17.1 16.8 11.3 11.6 19.1 21.9 15.215.522.8 25.8 8.64.5 14.6 10.4 8.717.1 3.7 11.3 12.1 19.1 7.2 15.2 17 22.8 11.419 20.7 26.8 1.3 12.1 5.67.2 15.6 17 7.6 11.4 19.8 20.7 12.614.9 2324.8 4 3.7 13.6 15.6 7.97.6 14.2 19.8 10.7 12.6 18.2 23 13.915.420.228 6.35.6 12.4 10.7 14.6 18.2 6.6 13.9 19.3 20.2 10.217 22.224 -1.67.9 9.514.2 2.5 14.6 8.76.6 16.6 19.3 13 10.2 20 22.2 14.513.322.2 25.3 6.32.5 13.2 20 7.9 14.5 18.6 22.2 11.919.420.8 26.9 -1.18.7 8.216.6 3.813 13.9 3.8 13.9 7.9 18.6 11.9 20.8 15.2 26.7 -0.5 8.4 3.6 14.1 8 19.8 11.6 22.9 19.8 10.9 11.6 17.5 22.9 14.914.721.6 27.1 3.63.6 8.314.1 6.6 8 12.3 6.6 12.3 10.9 17.5 14.9 21.6 13.918.421.5 25.7 1.4 7.7 4.9 12.3 9.6 17.3 17.3 6.7 13.9 19.3 21.5 11.317.622.9 25.3 -0.94.9 8.912.3 3.29.6 14 19.3 10.1 11.3 16.6 22.9 12.614.519.1 27.5 4.33.2 11.114 6.46.7 10.1 10.1 14.5 16.6 6.7 12.6 19.2 19.1 10.816.922.7 22.9 1.46.4 1.610.1 3.6 3.6 14.5 6.7 19.2 10.8 22.7 13.6 27.7
22.6 31 27.5 11 1512 3435 20 2535 18.4 21.422.9 27.8 12.2 8.7 27 24.9 16.7 19.1 28 29.6 15.5 18 26.9 30.7 12.9 14.626.8 29 13.2 13.627.6 29.8 19.1 20.828.1 29.5 15.9 18.825.5 30.8 15.6 17.9 31 29.5 14 18 28.7 30 14.6 17.1 31.8 18.6 25.1 21.223.5 27.9 18 20.625.2 27.6 17.9 20.423.7 28.1 17.9 20.527.5 26.4 17.9 30 1622 26.7 18 27.2 29 16.5 19.420.6 30 8.5 10.427.7 23.3 18.9 21.624.5 30 14.8 18.925.8 28.5 15.5 28.2 1918 26.8 22.524.8 30.3 14.9 17.5 28 27.6 15.4 1718 2431 20 25.3 27.1 13.3 15.426.9 28.7 19.4 21.226.7 29.3 15.2 18 27.1 29.2 14.7 16.5 29.9 18.4 25.7 20.525.3 28.4 17.6 19.627.5 27.9 14.5 17 22.9 29.7 16.9 19 27.7 25.6 13.6 16.1 30.8
1222.8 3527 2016 3534 21.421 27.834 21.124.9 27.7 8.7 13.329.6 24.6 19.1 19.130.7 29.4 18 17.9 2930.2 14.6 13.929.8 28.5 13.6 19.629.5 29.5 20.8 20.330.8 29.2 18.8 19.129.5 31.5 17.9 1817.6 3028 17.118 31.832 16.627.9 31.2 21.2 27.9 20.621 27.6 20.428.125 20.4 20.826.4 28.3 20.5 2220.4 3026.6 1822.6 2930.2 17.1 3028 19.4 19.323.3 29.9 10.4 10.3 3023.1 21.6 22.328.5 30.3 18.9 26.9 1817.228.2 17.830.3 28.3 22.5 30.3 17.522 27.6 1817.3 3127.4 31.2 2018 27.1 19.428.7 26.8 15.4 14.829.3 27.1 21.2 1821.629.230 17.329.9 27.9 16.5 28.8 20.516 28.4 20.327.928 19.6 27.8 1719.329.7 16.225.6 28.8 19 20.130.8 26.4 16.1 15.6 30.2
19.9 34 24.6 16 2112 3432 16 27.7 30 21.1 18.524.6 24.4 13.3 10.529.4 21 19.1 17.130.2 26.8 17.9 15.528.5 26.4 13.9 11.129.5 25.9 19.6 17.629.2 26.9 20.3 19.231.5 27.3 19.1 17.6 28 29.3 17.6 14.5 32 24.4 18 15 31.2 28 16.6 14.5 27.5 21 27.9 18.8 25 25.6 20.4 18.328.3 24.6 20.8 19.126.6 25.8 20.4 18.430.2 24.5 22.6 20.7 28 27.7 17.1 14.229.9 24.7 19.3 17.423.1 27.5 10.3 7.7 30.3 19.7 22.3 20.426.9 28.2 17.2 15.228.3 23.8 17.8 15.530.3 25.7 22 19.827.4 27.4 17.3 24.2 1815 31.2 15.626.8 28.1 19.4 17.927.1 24.8 14.8 12.3 30 24.1 21.6 19.127.9 27.5 17.3 13.928.8 24.6 16 13.5 24.9 20.3 28 18 27.8 24.7 19.3 16.628.8 25.5 16.2 13.326.4 25.5 20.1 17.730.2 23.9 15.6 13.5 26.5
20.4 1217.232 16 10 3030 29 18.51024.4 13.621 18.8 10.5 15.2 17.16.326.8 13.126.4 21.5 15.5 10.225.9 18.4 11.1 18.9 17.65.326.9 23.3 19.21427.3 14.829.3 21.5 17.6 13.724.4 24.4 14.5 17.9 159.9 28 28 14.51027.5 10.7 20.7 18.8 25.6 14.524.6 20.3 18.3 14.225.8 20.6 19.1 15.524.5 21.1 18.4 15.627.7 20.3 20.7 16.824.7 23.1 14.2 17.7 17.49.427.5 22.2 7.713.419.7 14.6 20.43.328.2 16.523.8 23.7 15.2 10.725.7 17.6 15.5 18.3 19.81127.4 22.2 1515.324.2 10.928.1 18.2 15.6 11.624.8 22.7 17.9 14.224.1 20.5 12.3 18 22.214.171.124 15.624.6 22.3 13.9 9.3 18 13.5 24.9 18 188.524.7 12.625.5 18.2 16.6 11.125.5 18.3 13.3 18.7 17.78.423.9 13.126.5 20.1 13.5 9.7 19.7
octobre novembre décembre novembre décembre Min Max Min Max Min Max Min20.4 Max 17.2 12.5 3014.7 10 109 29 21 10 18.824 13.6 8.8 15.2 13.7 6.3 9.9 13.12 21.5 9.9 18.4 17.1 10.2 4.9 18.9 11.7 5.3 -1.923.3 11.8 14 10.121.5 18.8 14.8 13.624.4 19.1 13.7 20.4 9.910 17.9 105.3 2811.3 10 20.722 10.7 5.8 20.3 14.4 14.5 10.120.6 15.5 14.2 10.521.1 14.9 15.5 12 20.3 16.7 15.6 10.423.1 15.9 16.8 13.317.720 9.4 3.9 22.2 10.7 13.4 9.6 14.6 17.1 3.3 -1.523.75 16.5 12.917.6 19.4 10.7 15.5 119.3 18.3 7.3 22.2 15.5 15.3 14 18.2 20.7 10.9 12.6 11.66 22.7 7.7 20.5 17.1 14.2 10.2 18 16 7.2 1.9 22.312 15.6 12.8 18 18 9.3 2.9 8.5 1811.1 10.3 12.63 18.2 8.3 18.3 12.5 11.1 6.1 18.7 12.3 8.4 3.2 20.1 11.9 13.1 8.1 19.714 9.7 4.8 13.4
Min14.7 Max 12.5 11.8 9 8.9 21 10 5 2418 20 8.8 8 13.7 2 5.7 9.99.8 5.9 9.9-1.117.1 14 4.96.5 11.7 6.4 -1.90.6 11.8 -3.718.8 6.6 10.1 16.8 13.67 19.1 15.4 109.9 20.4 16.8 5.36.6 11.3 101.9 227.7 18 5.8 6 14.4 2.8 15.5 10.2 10.1 6.9 14.9 11.8 10.5 13.1 127.8 16.7 9.3 15.9 13.5 10.4 7.3 20 12.5 13.3 10.310.7 15.5 3.9 5.4 9.60.3 17.1 -1.57.1 513.8 -5.619.4 -1.2 12.9 16 9.39.8 15.5 7.5 7.33.5 15.5 12.4 14 4 20.7 17.5 611.612.6 8.3 7.72.2 17.1 4.8 16 13.6 10.2 13.1 1.97.7 12 12.8-2 186.6 13.2 2.9 8 11.1 5.1 3 -2.510.3 -0.6 8.3 12.55 8.9 6.15.3 12.3 7.7 3.22.5 11.9 8.1-0.4 146.8 10.6 4.86.7 13.4 1.8 9.2
8.9 5 8 5.7 -1.1 6.5 0.6 -3.7 7 9.9 6.6 1.9 6 2.8 6.9 7.8 9.3 7.3 10.3 0.3 7.1 -5.6 9.8 3.5 4 11.6 2.2 4.8 7.7 -2 8 -2.5 -0.6 5.3 2.5 -0.4 6.7 1.8
11.8 18 20 9.8 5.9 14 6.4 6.6 16.8 15.4 16.8 7.7 18 10.2 11.8 13.1 13.5 12.5 15.5 5.4 13.8 -1.2 16 7.5 12.4 17.5 8.3 13.6 13.1 6.6 13.2 5.1 5 8.9 7.7 6.8 10.6 9.2
Italy Travel Planner
Regions of the north Italy’s northern regions are a symphony of breathtaking contrasts. Liguria stretches along the Mediterranean, and the jagged peaks of the Alps extend throughout Valle d’Aosta and Piedmont, complemented by Lombardy’s rolling plains. The snowy Dolomites provide the backdrop to the Trentino Alto-Adige and the Veneto regions, while Venice and the sea maintain their delicate, dramatic relationship and the region of Friuli Venezia Giulia yields a treasure trove of Roman remains.
A region rippling with Alpine streams flowing into the Po, and dominated in the east by the lakes of Maggiore and d’Orta. The capital, Turin, features cultural and artistic influences from the Romanesque-Gothic and Baroque styles, while Sestriere and Bardonecchia offer fantastic skiing resorts.
This is the most mountainous region of Italy, dominated by Alpine peaks, glaciers, valley streams, pine forests and high pasturelands, and accessed by the tunnels at the historic passes of Monte Bianco and Gran San Bernardo. The capital, Aosta, recognizes both Italian and French as its native tongues, and offers visitors such sights as the 11th century Romanesque Cathedral, Sant’Orso Church and the perfectly preserved forts of the Aosta Valley.
• Valle d’Aosta Müller Thurgau (DOC), white • Valle d’Aosta Torrette Superiore (DOC), red • Chambave Passito (DOC), dessert wine • Genepy, herbal alpine liqueur
“I hope that I may always desire more than I can accomplish.” Michelangelo Buonarroti (1475 - 1564)
26 Italy Travel Planner
• Hand-woven wool draps (covers) and rustic upholstery fabrics from Valgrisenche • Lace clothing, curtains and tablecloths from the Cogne valley
Just For Kids
Gran Paradiso National Park, set in the Valleys of Cogne, Valsavarenche and Rhemes, is rich in chestnuts, oaks, white fir and locust-trees, as well as wildlife such as royal owls, woodpeckers, martens, partridges and the alpine finch. www.parks.it/parco.nazionale.gran. paradiso/Eindex.html
Red Letter Days
January 30/31 Feast of Saint Orso in Aosta, an important artisan fair featuring the mountaineer art of the alpine bow. May, second Sunday Festival du “Vien de Nus,” in Nus, celebrates the excellent local wines, Rouge and Tastes • Fontina, a semi-soft, smooth whole milk Malvoise, with tasting in the afternoon. June 23/24 Feast of San cheese Giovanni, Gressoney Saint John, • Renette apples and Martin Sec pears beginning with the Fires of St. John, the • Chestnuts from the Lillianes town’s patron saint, the night before municipality a mass, followed by the “Walser” • Tegole almond cookies from Aosta • Beefsteak alla valdostana, a breaded procession with the blessing of the lambs. September, Last Sunday Grape veal cutlet fried and topped with Festival, Chambave, a seasonal fontina and ham, then reheated in the event honoring the wine harvest with oven on a slice of polenta. public sales and tastings. November 1 Cantes Festival, Arts & Crafts • Sabots, the famous wooden clogs from Cogne, wherein the community’s bachelors offer each other wine and Val d’Ayas food, and sing until sunset.
• Barolo (DOCG), red • Barbaresco (DOCG), red • Barbera (DOCG), red • Nebbiolo (DOC), red • Dolcetto (DOC), red • Asti Spumante (DOCG), sparkling white
• White truffles from Alba • Risotto with rice from Vercelli, a dish made with beef stock, veal bone marrow and saffron • Castelmagno cheese is a cylindrical pressed, semi-fat semi-hard cheese tinged with blue mold • Robiola from Murazzano is creamy fresh cheese, superb with olive oil and fresh herbs • Bicerin is Turin’s signature blend of coffee, milk and chocolate
Arts & Crafts
• Wickerwork from Alessandria • Ceramics and stoves from Castellamonte • Silverware and jewelry from Valenza
Just For Kids
Safari Parks in Murazzano, in the Langhe region, with a variety of 300 animals to observe, and in Pobia, showcasing various endangered species.
Red Letter Days
February 10 - 26, 2006 XX Olympic Winter Games, hosted by Turin and the surrounding Alps. September, second Weekend
Douja d’Or, Asti, where prestigious wine producers (a douja is an old decanter) host a celebration involving food stands and a parade in traditional costume with carts, wagons and vintage tractors. October, first Sunday Palio degli Asini, Alba, is literally The Race of the Donkeys, a comical contest dating back to the medieval rivalry between the cities of Alba and Asti, which coincides with the Feast of the Truffle and a historical recreation of the Giostre delle Cento Torri, or Tournament of the 100 Towers. September, Third Sunday The Palio of Asti recreates historical events and everyday life in medieval times, with Italy’s oldest horse race, a historic procession in medieval attire and spectacular sbandieratori (flag-wavers).
Spreading over the Po Valley and bordered to the north by the Alps, this region is a veritable lake district, including eastern Maggiore, Varese, Iseo, Como and northern Garda. Each major city contains striking monuments to Romanesque and Gothic architecture, such as the Cathedral of Milan, while sumptuous Renaissance palaces and churches abound – some containing examples of the Lombard painting movement, which peaked during the fifteenth century.
• Franciacorta Spumante (DOCG), sparkling white • Bonarda (DOC), red • Lugana (DOC), white • Valtellina superiore Inferno (DOCG), red
• Torrone from Cremona, a traditional sweet made of almonds, nougat and honey
• Risotto alla Milanese, sautéed rice cooked in broth and saffron • Ossobuco, shank of veal with its bone and marrow • Pavese Soup, a clear broth served with toasted bread and eggs • Bresaola from Valtellina, a cured thin- sliced meat
Arts & Crafts • Violin-making in Cremona, home to the world-famous Stradivari • Legendary accordions from Stradella • Pottery from Lodi, suppliers to many European noble houses • Printing and dyeing silk in Como
Just For Kids The Leonardo da Vinci Museum of Science and Technology in Milan is a wonderful way to witness the inventions of the great man; the fabulous Toy Museum in Canneto sull’Oglio near Mantua; Fantasy World provides a miniature version of Italy for children to play in; they also love climbing the spiral stairs to the top of the Duomo Cathedral, the world’s largest Gothic cathedral.
Red Letter Days Year-round, last Sunday of every month, except July & August, Naviglio Grande Antiques Fair, one of Milan’s most charming sections is transformed into a bustling market. December 7-9, Feast of Saint Ambrogio, Milan, celebrated for three days in the Piazza of St. Ambrogio with antiques, crafts, food delicacies, sweets, wine, and a market on the third day. Coincides with the Opera season premiere at La Scala.
Italy Travel Planner
Latina L A
Strai t of Sicily
S I C I L Y
Reggio di Calabria
Strai t of Otranto
Golfo di Taranto
A P Bari UL I A
B A S I L I C AT A
Enna Caltanissetta Agrigento
Ad ri ati c Sea
Avellino Salerno Amalfi Capri Positano
Z I O
A B R U Z Z O
T U S C A N Y
Gulf of Venice
U M B R I A
FRIULIVENEZ IA GIULIA
Pistoia Cesena Prato
Med i terranean S ea
V E N E T O
Reggio IL Bologna nell' Emilia I A Portofino R O M A G N A
Savona Cinque Terre La Spezia
Lecco D Trento Como Varese Monza Bergamo Brescia Vicenza Novara Milan
T RENT INOA LT O A D I G E
N I A PA
P I E D M
AOST A VALLEY
L O M
O Ta na ro
S H E LI
L A B R I A C A
Regions of the north TRENTINO AND SOUTH TYROL
A dramatic Alpine province, rich in rivers and lakes, and clusters of mountains and valleys, bisected by the Adige river. Three natural parks, AdamelloBrenta, Paneveggio-Pale of S. Martino and Stelvio conserve the native flora and fauna, including bears. Straddling Germany and northern Italy, the capital Trento combines both diverse cultures to create a fascinating artistic aesthetic.
• Caldaro (DOC), red • Santa Maddalena (DOC), red • Marzemino (DOC), red • Teroldego Rotaliano (DOC), red • Riesling (DOC), white • Muller Thurgau (DOC), white • Merlot (DOC), white • Pinot Bianco (DOC), white • Bianco Val d’Adige (DOC), white • Moscato, amber dessert wine
Kids Fun Park in the Alta Badia is a winter wonderland, including a toddler’s play area and a solarium for adults. Visit the Clifftop Castles, such as the Churburg (Castel Coira) in Sluderno, Castle Tyrol in Merano, Schloss Runkelstein in Bolzano and the Castle Kastelbell west of Merano. The Archeology Museum of the Upper Adige in Bolzano specializes in the Stone, Copper and Bronze Ages, and is home to the 200-year-old mummified Ice Man.
Red Letter Days
October, first week Festa dell’uva, Merano, celebrates the harvest with a grape festival and a parade in Tyrolean costume.
December, first Saturday Festa dei Klosen, Passo dello Stelvio, dedicated to Santa Claus, where Tastes costumed locals wander the streets until • Speck, a smoked ham the church bells are rung and everyone • Biroldi, blood sausages filled with nuts, unites in prayer. nutmeg, cloves and cinnamon • Gemsenfleisch, Alpine chamois goat February, second Weekend with red wine vinegar, salt pork, herbs Carnevale Asburgico (Hapsburg’s and sour cream Carnival), Arco, began in 1876 to • Orzetto, a barley soup with onion, unite the population with their imperial garlic, vegetables and herbs simmered with speck
Arts & Crafts
• Wooden sculptures and masks from the Moena and Pozza are hand carved and hand painted, called faceres and used in the Ladin Carnival period • Copper articles from Cavalese • Wrought iron from Malè
Just For Kids
Topolino Junior Ski Trophy, Madonna di Campiglio, second week of February 2006, with races, competitions and displays hosted by Mickey and Minnie Mouse.
30 Italy Travel Planner
Regions of the north rulers, the Hapsburgs. On the Friday, a concert is held in the hall of the casino; Saturday sees a tribute to traditional artisans and craftsmen, with an evening gala ball; Sunday, is a masked parade, celebrated with floats.
A broad, flat province stretching from the Tagliamento River and to the Adriatic coastline, dotted with lagoons, interesting geological formations and countless grottoes. The regional capital is Trieste; major towns include Udine, Gorizia and Pordenone. Evidence of older civilizations is abundant: Aquileia is a noted Roman archeological center, also with magnificent mosaics in its Romanesque Gothic Basilica.
• Colli Orientali del Friuli: Tocai Friulano (DOC), white • Collio Goriziano Cabernet (DOC), red • Ramandolo (DOCG), dessert white
• San Daniele Prosciutto, renowned sweet air-cured ham • Montasio, a creamy, rich, hard cheese made from cow’s milk • Musèt, a spicy pork sausage • Lota from Trieste, a traditional soup with beans, potatoes and sauerkraut
Arts & Crafts
• Hand-crafted wooden chairs from Manzano • Ceramics from Udine • Mosaic work from Spilimbergo
Just For Kids
Aquasplash in Lignano Sabbiadoro, is a spectacular water park that suits thrill lovers and families. www.acquasplash.it (in Italian only). Take in the Punta Verde Wildlife Park, Lignano Sabbiadoro, home to 1500 animals, plant life and small lakes. www.parcozoopuntaverde.it
Red Letter Days
October, second Sunday “Barcolana” Autumn Cup, Trieste, a spectacular sailing event, open to large yachts and thousands of smaller boats, creating a regatta where famous champions and Sunday sailors compete together. www.barcolana.it
Redeemer, Venice, Holy Mass is held followed by a religious procession and fireworks. The Saturday night before, St. Tastes • Pandoro, a Christmas bread cooked in Mark’s Basin features a kaleidoscopic play of lights and reflections against the butter, sprinkled with fine white sugar city’s silhouetted spires, domes and bell • Fegatio alla Veneziana, calf’s liver towers. sautéed in onions, parsley and sage September, first Sunday Historical with butter, oil and a hint of vinegar • Pasta e Fasoi, noodles and beans in a Regatta, Venice, a procession of thick broth flavored with onion, carrot, 16th-century style boats, with the famous Bucintoro, the boat representing the celery and pork rind Serenissima, at its head, followed by a • Sardele in Saor, fried sardines in oil racing competition. with onions and vinegar, marinated September, every even numbered year with pine nuts, raisins and lemon peel A human chess game is played on the • Tiramisu, coffee-flavored cream of square of Marostica every second Friday, mascarpone and eggs layered with Saturday and Sunday. This tradition ladyfingers and topped with bitter dates back to 1454. chocolate December, second Sunday Fiera del Radicchio, Treviso, honors the Arts & Crafts uniquely long-shaped radicchio in the • Murano glass, uniquely hand-blown, Piazza dei Signori. fused and tinted • Burano lace, crafted entirely by needle • Venice Carnival masks, made with papier-mâché and hand painted
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January 6 Epiphany of the Thaler, Gemona del Friuli, a historical parade of dames and knights accompanying the mayor to the duomo for the celebration of the Mass. End of June “Aria di Festa,” San Daniele, a San Daniele promotional event, with tastings, music shows and exhibitions. www.prosciuttosandaniele.it September, 2nd Sunday Provincial Grape Festival, Cormons, offers samplings of the area’s finest wines and typical dishes, with a market, an allegorical parade, folk groups and bands.
Bordered by the eastern part of the Po Valley, this extensive plain comprises the majestic Dolomites of Cadore and the lagoon zone, including Venice, the region’s agelessly beautiful capital. Here, Byzantine influences abound, in San Marco’s and the Cathedral of Torcello, while there are innumerable glorious examples of Romanesque, Gothic and Renaissance art and architecture. Other unmissable treats include the Venetian islands of Murano, Burano and Torcello; Chioggia; the canals of the Brenta and the Veneto villas.
• Recioto di Soave (DOCG), a golden, fruity white • Bardolino Superiore (DOCG), red • Prosecco di Valdobbiandene (DOC), sparkling white • Tocai (DOC), white
• Amarone della Valpolicella - (DOC) dry, light, harmonious red
Gardaland, Castelnuovo del Garda, is the largest amusement park in Italy. CanevaWorld, also on Garda, is another theme park with movie studios, water rides and themed restaurants.
Red Letter Days
February Venice Carnival, the highlight of the year, with masked balls and decorated costumes of the 18th century. June 12-13 Festa di San’Antonio, Padua, a historical, costumed parade, a torchlight procession on the Bacchiglione and lots of fireworks! June 17-August 31 Summer Theater in Verona, the world’s third largest Roman amphitheater hosts its annual opera season. July, third Sunday Feast of the
Italy Travel Planner
Regions of the north
Italy’s central regions Central Italy abounds with diverse landscapes and towns rich in art, architecture and culture. From Tuscany’s transcendent treasures amid countless towers, palaces and churches, to the “green heart” of Le Marche and Umbria, to the lush Po Delta in Emilia Romagna and Lazio, home to Rome and the independent papal state, Vatican City.
Centered around the Gulf of Genoa on the Tyrrhenian Sea, Liguria is a mountainous region formed by the Maritime Alps and the Apennines, leaving only a narrow coastline. The region is divided at Genoa, the capital, into the Riviera di Ponente (west to Ventemiglia), and the Riviera di Levante (east to La Spezia) – the tail end of which is the beautiful, unspoiled “Le Cinque Terre” (the Five Lands). Throughout Liguria, you can find superb examples of Roman ruins, Romanesque and Baroque architecture and many medieval forts, towers, walls and castles.
A rare treasure combining history, beauty and romance, Ferrara is a former fortified city in the heart of the Emilia-Romagna region. Its peaceful ambience – which inspired de Chirico’s metaphysical paintings – studded with gems for her guests to discover. Its cathedral reflects the glories of both the Romanic and Gothic styles; the Church of Sant’Antonio in Polesine contains fascinating frescoes from the 13th and 14th centuries; and the Estense Castle is an extraordinary example of military architecture. The Casa Romei (Palazzo dei Diamanti) was a luxurious private Renaissance residence, while the Museo Nazionale Archeologico hosts numerous artifacts that testify to Ferrara’s formidable past.
Sciacchetrà (DOC), white Pigato (DOC), white Vermentino (DOC), white Rossese di Dolceacqua (DOC), red
Basil Pesto, a cold sauce of fresh basil, olive oil and pine nuts Focaccia, a flat bread with salt and olive oil Farinata, a thin pancake made of chick pea flour and baked in wood ovens.
Arts & Crafts
White and blue ceramics from Albisola Handmade lace, macramé, from Chiavari Plush velvet from Zoagli Lace and embroidery from Portofino
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Genoa Aquarium is the biggest in Europe, featuring sandbar sharks, seals and dolphins. Also visit Le Caravelle Water Park, in Ceriale.
Red Letter Days
July, every weekend Sagra del Muscolo (Cozze) held on Portovenere’s seashore is the Feast of the Mussels organized to help fund Cadimare’s rowing team
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during the regatta Palio del Golfo in La Spezia. Renowned for delicious mussel-based dishes, dances and other entertainment. May and July Regata delle Antiche Repubbliche Marinare, this rotating yearly celebration comes to Genoa (the other venues are Amalfi, Pisa and Venice), beginning with a historical costumed parade and starring a 2,000-
meter boat race. May, second weekend Sagra del Pesce (Feast of the Fish), at Camogli, is over 50 years old, a competition between the districts of Porto and Pinetto, that build large wooden structures on the beach which become night bonfires. On Sunday, in an enormous pan in the town square, almost two tons of fish are fried and consumed.
Half mountain range (the Apennines), half coastal plain along the Adriatic Apennines, this region’s capital is Bologna, a famous university town. Historically, important Roman traces can be found in Rimini and Ravenna, once capital of the Western Roman Empire. Romanesque Lombardian style is showcased by the Cathedrals of Modena and Piacenza e Ferrara, while Gothic, Renaissance and Baroque styles are all well represented in the main towns.
• Albana di Romagna (DOCG), white • Sangiovese di Romagna (DOC), red wine • Trebbiano di Romagna (DOC), sparkling white
• Lambrusco di Sorbara (DOC), sparkling red and rosé • Castell’Arquato Nocino walnut liquor
• Aceto Balsamico vinegar from Modena • Parmigiano Reggiano cheese from Parma • Tortellini in Brodo, pasta filled with Mortadella, prosciutto and veal, in a meat broth
Arts & Crafts
• Ceramics from Faenza • Graffito ceramics from Ferrara • Clay pots from Montetiffi • Golden mosaics from Ravenna
Just For Kids
Mirabilandia is an amusement park in Savio with 36 rides, 14 waterfalls, ice skaters, fireworks, acrobatic parrots, stuntmen, flowers and gardens, plus a small town, “Bimbopoli” for very little ones. www.mirabilandia.com/index_en.htm Italy in Miniature in Rimini is the most famous miniature park in Italy, with rides, games, monuments and great food. www.italiainminiatura.com
Red Letter Day
January “Arte Fiera,” Bologna, a large international contemporary art fair at the Piazza della Costituzione devoted to young galleries, publishing houses, bookstores and institutions. www.artefiera.bolognafiere.it April “Paganello,” Rimini, sees
hundreds of people compete on the beach for the “Ultimate Frisbee” World Cup. www.paganello.com May, last weekend Palio di Ferrara, Ferrara, is a dramatic horse race between the eight town districts around the oldest town square in Italy, complemented by a Historical Renaissance Parade. www.paliodiferrara.it/ August, last week Palio di S.Reparata e della RomagnaToscana, Castrocaro Terme, is another wonderful horse race, offset with Renaissance pomp, entertainment and decorations. Italy Travel Planner
Italy’s central regions
Stretching gently down the Apennines to the Tyrrhenian Sea, this region is a geographically charming mix of hilly landscapes and long sandy expanses, headlands and archipelagos. With Florence as its capital, Tuscany is unrivaled as a cradle of art and monuments to Italy’s many eras and civilizations: Etruscan, Roman, Gothic and Romanesque. From Fiesole to Chiusi, Volterra to Siena, Pisa to Elba, Tuscany’s beauty and appeal is as varied as it is enchanting.
creator Carlo Collodi) www.pinocchio.it. The Viareggio Carnival Parades, with floats and papier-mâché puppets take place each February. www.viareggio.ilcarnevale.com. Near Siena is the Museum for Kids, to introduce children to the world of visual arts through labs, excursions, visits and arts and crafts. www.comune.siena.it Also Cavallino Matto, near Livorno, is an exciting theme park deep in the pine forest along the Tyrrhenian coast. www.cavallinomatto.it
Red Letter Days
Easter Sunday Scoppio del Carro, Florence, is a spectacular Easter celebration involving a cart with fireworks set up in Piazza del Duomo di Santa Maria del Fiore, and the liberation Temptations of a dove of peace. • Bianco di Pitigliano (DOC), white • Vernaccia di San Gimignano (DOCG), www.comune.firenze.it April - June Maggio Musicale white Fiorentino, Florence, is the • Chianti (DOC & DOCG), red city’s biggest arts festival, including • Brunello di Montalcino (DOCG), red international music, drama and dance. www.maggiofiorentino.com Tastes June 2 Festa di Sant’Erasmo • Ribollita, a popular Florentine (Feast of St. Erasmo), Monte vegetable soup with black cabbage Argentario (Porto Ercole), sees the • Bistecca Fiorentina, a regionally town’s Spanish fortresses adorned with unique T-bone steak lights while an evening procession of • Pecorino & Raveggiolo cheeses, from boats dressed with flags is held on the sheep’s milk in the Sienese hills sea. June, third Sunday and Arts & Crafts September, first Sunday Giostra • Ceramics and terracotta from an del Saracino (Saracen’s Game), ancient tradition dating back to the Arezzo, is an ancient festival with Etruscan era eight riders, two from each of the city’s • Jewelry from Florence and Arezzo districts, each galloping towards the • Marble from Massa Carrara “Saracen,” an “armed,” revolving • Il Toscano, a long, slim cigar with an mannequin in a fight for the most points. intense, strong aroma June 16 Luminara e Regata Storica per • Any leather goods, from jackets to San Ranieri (Illuminations and Historical handbags Regata for St. Ranieri), Pisa, is notable for the evening before, when a display Just For Kids of candles embellishes the contours Parco Collodi near Pistoia is a park devoted to Pinocchio (named after his of buildings and monuments; floating
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Italy’s central regions candles also light up the Arno river. The day after, the true festival begins with a rowing regatta with four competing teams. June last Sunday Il Gioco del Ponte (Bridge Battle), Pisa, is a grand military parade in 17th-century costume, followed by a competition between two teams pushing a cart on the bridge in opposite directions. www.comune.pisa.it July 2 & August 15 Palio di Siena, perhaps Italy’s most famous and colorful horse race in the historic town square. www.ilpaliodisiena.com September 13 Luminara di Santa Croce (Illuminations of the Holy Cross), Lucca, is a centuries-old procession carried out on the eve of the recurrence of the Holy Cross through a city decorated with thousands of lights, from the Church of St. Frediano to the Cathedral of St. Martino.
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The “cuore verde” (green heart) of Italy comprises an undulating landscape dominated by woods, valleys and water – most notably the lake known as the Trasimeno, and Falls of the Marmore, which are the highest in Italy. Etruscan traces are abundant in Todi, Bettona, Orvieto and Perugia, while Spoleto and Spello feature impressive Roman remains; Spello is a city, where the Romans left some impressive remains. Beautiful examples of Romanesque style are embodied in the Cathedrals of Assisi, St. Silvestro and St. Michele in Bevagna. The Renaissance still lives through magnificent monuments in towns like Perugia and Gubbio, to name but two.
• Colli Perugini (DOC), red and white • Torgiano Rosso Riserva (DOCG), red • Sagrantino (DOCG), dry dessert wine
• Black truffles of Norcia, Cascia, and Spoleto; earthy, distinct and strong flavor • Honey from Valnerina, a delicate, mixed flower fragrance and flavor • Budellaccio salami from Norcia, flavored with salt, pepper, and fennel seeds, dried fireside • Porchetta, pork, cooked on a spit over a wood fire, stuffed with minced liver, heart and lungs, pepper, garlic, salt and wild fennel
Arts & Crafts
• Pottery from Deruta, with a unique color scheme • Pottery from Gubbio, based on a 16th-century luster technique that causes red-golden reflections • Tablecloths from Perugia woven in the “occhio di pernice” (eye of a partridge) design of white linen embellished with blue bands and geometric decorations
Citta’ della Domenica in Perugia is a nature park and zoo with hundreds of wildlife and exotic animals, even a reptile house, a huge play area and a little train to tour visitors. www.cittadelladomenica.it
Red Letter Days
February, last weekend Black Truffle Fair, Norcia, has local and national food producers showing off their specialties, with frequent tastings of truffles, the cheese and lentils of Castelluccio and forest fruits. May, last Sunday Palio della Balestra, Gubbio, consists of a medieval crossbow contest between the Società Balestrieri Eugubina and San Sepolcro. October, first Sunday Palio dei Terzieri, Trevi, boasts a contest
between three districts and a historical, costumed procession, commemorating the reconstruction of the town destroyed in the 13th century.
A rugged region, facing the Adriatic Sea, with narrow valleys, deep gorges and numerous rushing streams that meet a coastline of gently rolling hills and flat plains. The regional capital is Ancona, and remarkable Roman remains exist in Ascoli, Fano, Ancona, Fermo, Urbisaglia and near Macerata. The presence of local artists such as Raphael and Bramante made this area one of the hotbeds of Renaissance art. Beauty can also be found in natural form in the stunning views from cities such as Pesaro and Urbino.
• Verdicchio dei Castelli di Jesi (DOC), white • Piceno Red (DOC), red
• Olive all’ascolana, delicious deep fried stuffed olives • Brodetto, a simple, tasty fish soup • Arrosto segreto, a fish dish, cooked on both sides at the same time • Porchetta, a very flavorful dish of roast pig • Fabriano Salame, very spicy cured beef from Fabriano • Fossa, cheese aged while buried in a pit, great with jam
Arts & Crafts
• Lace pillows, a delicate, timeless art • Accordions and other high-quality musical instruments from Castelfidardo • Engraved and decorated furniture
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Gran Sasso & Monti della Laga National Park, in Casa del Parco di Arquata del Tronto.www. parconazionalegransasso.it
Red Letter Days July 15 – August 15 Macerata Opera Festival, Macerata, one of the world’s most famous opera seasons held in the old arena called Sferisterio. www.sferisterio.it August Summer Jamboree Festival, Ancona, an eclectic musical festival with bands from all over the world. www.summerjamboree.com August, third Sunday Festa del duca (The Duke’s Festival), Urbino, held in honor of the Duke Federico da Montefeltro, begins on the 15th with heralds, drummers, games, crafts and foods recalling the Renaissance, followed by tournaments on the Sunday.
The region embraces the highest and hugest massifs of Central Italy, with peaks which often are higher than 2,000 meters, as well as a steep and rocky Adriatic coast. The capital L’Aquila has strong Roman and Renaissance influences, but the most creative period was during the Middle Ages, as seen in many wonderful cathedrals, abbeys and sculptures. Goldsmithing is also a renowned craft, dating back to the 16th century. Adding to the drama of this area, the National Park of Abruzzo is home to species like the Marsican Bear and the Gray Wolf.
• Montepulciano d’Abruzzo (DOCG), red • Cerasuolo (DOC), rosé • Trebbiano (DOC), white • Centerbe, a liqueur from various aromatic plants
• Saffron, the pride of the Navelli plains • Purple-red garlic, exclusively from the fields of Sulmona
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Italy’s central regions ABRUZZES (suite de la page 35) • Black lentils from Santo Stefano di Sessanio • Maccheroni alla Chitarra, a handmade pasta cut in thin strips using a fine wireframe similar to the strings of a guitar • Confetti, sugar-coated almonds, a traditional wedding treat from Sulmona • Parrozzo, a rich chocolate cake, a Christmas favorite
Art et artisanat
• Laces from Scanno, artfully crocheted • Blankets, rugs and tapestries from Taranta Peligna, with flowers, birds, vivid sceneries artistically woven in • Gold and silver jewelry from Sulmona and L’Aquila’s goldsmiths • Iron and copper artifacts: gates, housewares from Guardiagrele, Manoppello and Pescocostanzo
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The National Park of Abruzzo, The National Park of Gran Sasso-Laga, the Regional Parks of Sirente-Velino and Maiella-Morrone, numerous State Reserves and three World Wildlife Fund Oases, are all natural sanctuaries where stunning landscapes house recognizable and rare animals, extraordinary flowers and plants to enrapture a young traveler.
Red Letter Days
May, first Thursday Procession of the Snake Catchers, Cocullo (L’Aquila), takes place in a picturesque mountain village, where the inhabitants celebrate St. Dominick by draping his statue in live snakes. July, first Sunday Sagra dell’Agnello (Feast of the Lamb), Rocca Pia, a food festival with a traditional contest called solco dritto, involving a ploughing competition. September, first Sunday La Corsa degli Zingari (The Gypsies’ Race), Pacentro, has participants meeting on a crag of the Ardinghi hill facing the
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Regions of the south
town. When the bell rings, the racers rush barefoot down the slope, towards the town finish line at the church altar.
from Ciociaria • Wrought iron from Veroli
Pulcinella Puppet Theatre, on the Gianicolo Hill in Rome has free daily shows, though donations are appreciated. Bioparco, the Rome zoo has a vast array of animals in a natural setting. For older kids, head to the Capucin Crypt, an eerie secret vault filled with monks’ skulls! Outside of Rome, try the Giardini di Bomarzo, a garden located near Viterbo, featuring statues of mythical monsters in a surreal setting.
Billowing between the Apennines and the Tyrrhenian Sea, this varied region combines coastal flatlands, and extinct volcanoes that form the lakes of Bolsena, Vico, Bracciano, Albano and Nemi. Rome is, of course, the capital of Italy, as well of the region, which itself is incredibly rich in outstanding relics of all the different periods, and has always been the center of an intensive artistic life from the Middle Ages to the 18th century – and contains the hub of the Papacy in Vatican City.
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Blending sheer spectacle with a plethora of architectural remains, the south of Italy presents much to enchant today’s visitor. See the breathtaking Roman ruins preserved at Pompeii, the Greek influence and magnificent beaches of Sicily and the mystifying ancient structures in Sardinia called nuraghi. Admire the Romanesque and Baroque stylings from Puglia to Campania. Bliss out on the Amalfi Coast or lose yourself in the forested landscape of Abruzzo and Molise, the rugged countryside and bustling fishing ports of Basilicata and Calabria. Temptations
• Biancolella (DOC), white • Falerno del Massico (DOC), red & white • Lacryma Christi (DOC) red, white & rosé • Limoncello, a popular golden citrus liqueur from Amalfi
Red Letter Days
February 2 Festa delle stuzze, Fiuggi, honors the miracle of San • Frascati (DOC), white Biagio, who in 1928 chased out the • Montefiascone Est!Est!Est! (DOC), enemies intent on attacking the town. white Large tree trunks, stuzze, are carried • Torre Ercolana (DOC), red from the forest and lit in the main square. • Fiorano (DOC), red March 26 Rome Marathon, Rome, sees • Colle Picchioni (DOC), red the city come to life with music, events, • Peroni beer concerts and more all along the race route. Tastes June 16-24 Festa de’Noantri • Puntarelle, spears resembling endives Trastevere, Rome, has the image • Bruschetta, homemade bread oven of Madonna de Noantri moved by a toasted and topped with garlic, procession on the eighth day. This takes tomatoes, olive paste • Carciofi alla Giudea, artichokes deep- place on the Tiber, where the statue was fried in olive oil and garlic, seasoned discovered, and food banquets with local products abound in Trastevere and its with mint surrounding neighborhoods. • Spaghetti alla Carbonara, a cream August 5 Festa della Madonna sauce with bacon, garlic and chili della Neve, Rome, celebrates the peppers mixed in a bowl with raw legend that in year 352 it snowed on eggs • Bucatini all’Amatriciana, slender pasta the Esquilino, now home to Santa Maria tubes with tomato sauce and salt pork, Maggiore Church. Today white petals are thrown from the Borghesiana Chapel and grated pecorino cheese of the dome. • Abbacchio alla Cacciatora, baby December 15 - January 15 lamb cooked with rosemary, garlic, Mercato della Befana, Rome, is a anchovies and vinegar well-known Christmas fair held in Piazza • Porchetta, roasted pork from the Novana. Castelli Romani, an area south of Rome December 25 A public blessing on Christmas Day by the Pope in St. Arts & Crafts • Ciocia, a local peasant leather sandal Peter’s Square, Rome.
This region is renowned for having one of Italy’s most beautiful coastlines, backed by irregular massifs punctuated by valleys and plains. Among Campania’s riches are the isles of Capri, Ischia and Procida in the Gulfs of Naples (the regional capital) and Salerno, as well as examples of classic antiquity, such as those in Herculaneum, Pompeii, Paestum and Cuma, where amphitheaters, triumphal arches, villas, bridges and tombs are plentiful. Baroque design is strikingly expressed in The Royal Palace of Caserta, and even Paleolithic Art is represented in Naples and Nocera, while relics of the Longobard Age can be found in Capua and Benevento.
Tastes Mozzarella, moist, fresh and pungent, from Campania buffalo’s milk Sweet, fragrant lemons from Sorrento Zuppa di vongole e cozze, a savory clam and mussel soup flavored with tomatoes and spices. Neapolitan Pizza, crisp yet soft to the bite, inimitable Sfogliatelle, shell pastry filled with ricotta cheese, scallop-shaped and dotted with candied citrus peel Arts & Crafts Ceramics from Vietri sul Mare, dazzling majolica earthware Handmade paper from Amalfi Coral cameos from Torre del Greco
Leather sandals from Positano, Capri or Palinuro; original designs or crafted to order Just For Kids Vesuvio National Park, in San Sebastiano al Vesuvio (Naples) offers a “hands-on” sensory trail where kids can discover, touch, smell and observe the diverse colors and scents of the local plant life. www.vesuviopark.it Edenlandia, in Naples, is a theme park with a host of rides, live music and dance shows, 3-D theatre, games and more. www.edenlandia.it (only in Italian) For an educational excursion, Citta della Scienza, Naples, is a science center and planetarium with workshops and displays exploring nature, science and the environment. www.cittadellascienza.it The Villa Comunale Aquarium in Naples is one of the oldest in Europe (1873) and houses many varieties of marine life. Red Letter Days Monthly, third Sunday except August Villa Comunale Antique Fair, Naples, is held in the Villa Comunale gardens. In December it is open every weekend for the pre-holiday shopping season. www.fieraantiquarianapoletana.it (only in Italian) September 19 Feast of San Gennaro, Naples, commemorating the “miracle” of the liquefying of the saint’s blood, followed by eight days of other celebrations including processions and
Italy Travel Planner
Regions of the south
Molise is a hilly continuation of Abruzzo’s landscape, crossed by many rivers that flow into the Tyrrhenian Sea. The region’s place in the history of Italian art is secured by the cycle of ninth-century frescoes in the crypt of San Lorenzo in San Vincenzo al Volturno. Elsewhere there are plenty of examples of Romanesque, medieval and Baroquestyle architecture – of which Roman- and Neapolitan-influenced design can be seen in the civic palaces.
saint whose statue was found intact and undamaged after the 1805 earthquake, and who saved other citizens from harm. Gioco Tradizionale “La Pezza de Casce” In this lively carnival game, volunteers toss a hefty wheel of cheese along a tricky route in Vinchiaturo, full of inclines and descents, eventually to return back in front of the Castle of Vinchiaturo. The winner, positioning the cheese on a specified spot, yells out the crucial phrase, “A la ‘n ‘ tutta!” or “It’s all here!”
• Biferno (DOC), red, white & rosé • Pentro di Isernia (DOC), red, white & rosé • Giant white celery from Campobasso • Calcioni di ricotta rustici, rounds of pasta dough filled with ricotta, provolone and prosciutto fried in olive oil Picellati, honey pastries with nuts and grapes
An arid, rocky region of two coastlines, one in the center of the Gulf of Taranto in the Ionian Sea, and a tiny one on the Tyrrhenian Sea, with the famous resort of Maratea. Potenza is the capital of this archaeologically blessed area. Relics of the Greek era can be found in Arts & Crafts Metaponto (the Palatine Tables), while • Engraved church bells of Agnone ruins of the Roman Age can be seen • Zampogne, homemade bagpipes in Venosa. Medieval art is featured in called from Scapoli Venosa and Cerenza (Romanesque • Steel fretwork, such as firearms, knives, style), with Arab-Byzantine and French scissors from Campobasso influenced architecture in Melfi and • Hand-crocheted pillow lace from Lagopesole and Matera – where visitors Isernia can also see the “Sassi,” typical houses and churches literally dug into the “tufa” Just For Kids crag. The Association of Folklore and Culture in Vinchiaturo gives kids 5 years and up Temptation experience of the local traditions with • Aglianico del Vulture, red local dances and songs. • Moscato del Vulture, dessert wine Red Letter Days
May 19 & 20 Festa di San Bernardino da Siena, Vinchiaturo, celebrates the
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• Luganiga, a salt-cured meat kept in lard or olive oil • Ciaudedda, artichokes braised and stuffed with potatoes and stewed in tomatoes • Pignata di Pecora, ewe cooked with potatoes, tomatoes, onions, pork and pecorino in a clay pot called pignata Arts & Crafts
• Carpet woven from sheep’s wool • Enameled, patinated brass cowbells from Stigliano • Hand-carved wood, in chestnut, oak, beech, fir, cherry and pear depicting pastoral life and historical traditions • Clay for the manufacture of majolica, porcelain and ceramics Just For Kids
Regions of the south
• Diavolicchio, a chili pepper found in many local recipes
Walk through the labyrinthine alleyways of the Sassi of Matera, or take a tour with the pollicino bus. Lago di San Giuliano is surrounded by a thick forest and is a breeding ground for water birds and the ideal habitat for many kinds of fish. Red Letter Days
May 29 La Sfilata dei Turchi, Potenza, a parade in costume, food and entertainment to recall the legend of San Gerardo, who saved the city from a Turkish invasion. June 15 Festa di San Vito, Castelmezzano. San Vito’s statue along with Sant’Antonio and patron San Rocco are paraded from the church through the streets amidst food stands and fireworks. July 2 Festa della Madonna Bruna, Matera, entails a painting of the Madonna being carried on a cart through the streets by costumed horsemen, then returned to the church where the cart is demolished, and faithful followers obtain a small relic to take home.
steps away from one another. www.zoosafari.it Red Letter Day
APULIA Occupying the easternmost part of the peninsula with a long coastline on the Ionian and the Adriatic Seas, Apulia is essentially flat and dry, with occasionally plunging cliffs. Of great cultural interest are the megalithic monuments at Dolmens and Menhirs, as well as the great archeological complexes at Canne della Battaglia and Ignazia. Roman remains are especially noteworthy throughout the region, and there are superb Romanesque cathedrals at Trani, Barletta, Molfetta, Bitonto and Ruvo di Puglia and Bari – where majestic castles of thirteenth-century Byzantine-Arab style can also be found. Also unmissable is Alberobello with its typical “trulli” houses.
August 27 Cavalcata di Sant’Oronzo, Ostuni, a parade of costumed horsemen carry a giant statue of Saint Oronzo through the streets. September 20-23 Anniversary of the Stigmata and death of Padre Pio, San Giovanno Rotondo, remembers and celebrates a popular figure from Pietralcina with religious ceremonies, prayers and a torchlight procession. December 13-24 Fiera dei presepi e dei pupi, Lecce, is an 11-day antique market displaying hand-crafted nativity figures.
styles are also well represented in art, design and monuments.
• Aleatico (DOC), red • Moscato di Trani (DOC), white
• Cirò (DOC), red, white & rosé • Greco (DOC), white • Savuto (DOC), red • Lamezia (DOC), red, white & rosé
• Orechiette e rape, the classic pugliese’s pasta course • Tarallucci e vino, a simple appetizer of salty and spicy donuts, great with wine • Cosciotto di capretto in creta, an ancient recipe featuring a goat cooked on clay Arts & Crafts
• Nativity figurines made out of clay • Pietra Leccese, a soft stone perfect for intricate detail work; visible all over • Lecce throughout its baroque architecture Just For Kids
Zoosafari, the largest safari park in Italy, and Fasanolandia, an amusement park, are both located in Fasano, Brindisi,
CALABRIA The extreme south-western region of Italy, washed by the Tyrrhenian and Ionian Seas, dominated by a high central Apennine ridge, overgrown with thick woods, and wild coastal landscapes. Catanzaro is the capital of this region, which yields abundant evidence of previous artistic civilizations and ancient colonies in Sibari, Crotone, Catanzaro, Locri, Vibo Valentia. In Cosenza and Reggio Calabria are baths, theaters and bridges of the Roman Age, while the religious buildings show Byzantine influences, reflecting the region’s time under the Empire of Byzantium. Gothic, Renaissance and baroque influences and
• Aubergines, pickled, fried, stuffed or added to scrumptious pasta sauces • Maccaruni and lasagna, stuffed with cured meats, sausage, hard-boiled eggs and cheese. • Soffritti and morsello, a distinctive dish of tripe and innards boiled and cooked with tomatoes and spices • Capocollo, cured, aged pork tenderloin from the neck or upper shoulder, seasoned with salt and spices • Caciocavallo silano, cheese from cow’s milk, formed and strung oval- shaped pairs • Bergamot, a fragrant citrus fruit whose essence is used in teas, candies and liqueurs Italy Travel Planner
Regions of the south
Regions of the south Arts & Crafts
CALABRIA Unique Arts & Crafts
• Colorful pottery from Seminaria; vases, tableware, urns and masks • Tapestries and blankets from Longobucco, created on looms worked by hand and foot • Chestnut wood wickerwork from San Giorgio Morgeto • Briarwood smoking pipes from Reggio di Calabria, hand crafted and carefully carved Just For Kids
Natural Museum Libero Gatti Copanello, has a botanical garden overlooking the reefs of the Ionic Sea with over 1,000 specimens of beautiful shells from all over the world. During the summer kids can enjoy the Aquarium and Marine Park of Isola di Capo Rizzuto, observing fish and marine life while learning about the protected zones of the Calabrian coastline. www.riservamarinacaporizzuto.it Zambrone Aquapark and Odissea 2000 in Rossano are two of the largest water parks in the south, filled with thrilling
40 Italy Travel Planner
water slides and various pools. www.aquapark.it or www.odissea2000.it
Less than two miles from the Italian mainland, Sicily is the largest island in the Mediterranean and the southernmost region of Italy. Famous for its blue skies and mild winter climate Sicily is also home to Mount Etna, Europe’s largest active volcano. This fertile paradise was settled by Siculi, Phonecians, Greeks, Carthaginians, Romans, Moors, Normans, Spaniards and Bourbons among others, and the remnants of these astounding cultures cover the entire island; from the temples of Agrigento to the priceless mosaics of Piazza Armerina and the ancient capital of Siracusa. Smaller islands, such as the Aeolian, Aegadean and Pelagian chains as well as Pantelleria, just 90 miles off of the African coast, are also part of Sicily, offering superb beaches and local lore.
Red Letter Days
Easter Week Rito dei Vattienti, Nocera Terinese, is highlighted by the Easter Saturday procession, in which a statue of the Addolorata is carried, followed by several rituals of the “Vattienti.” May 3 Feast of the Tri da Cruci, Tropea, commemorates the end of the Saracen occupation during the Middle Ages with fireworks and symbolic acts such as the explosion of a galley and the burning of the dove. July 1-7 Sagra della Cipolla Rossa, Tropea, or “the feast of the red onion,” honors the queen of the gastronomy of Tropea. Many farm stands display and sell their home made specialties, while the feast concludes with games and musical shows. August, last week La Festa del Turista, Vibo Valentia, celebrates the end of the summer holidays with the gathering of the “giants” (huge papier-mâchè depictions of the Saracens) and tastings of delicious regional specialties.
• Nero d’Avola (DOC), red • Aglianico del Taburno (DOC), red & white • Sambuca di Sicilia (DOC), red & white • Cerasulo di Vittoria (DOCG), rosé • Bianco Alcamo (DOC), white • Moscato (DOC), white • Gold, Amber and Ruby Marsala, dessert wine Tastes
• Delicate and fruity extra virgin olive oils • Sea salt from Trapani • Sicilian honey, pistacchios and succulent blood oranges • Almond paste marzipan shaped into colorful miniature fruits • Ricotta-filled cannoli • Delicious cassata cake with ricotta and pistacchio
• Red coral artwork from Trapani • Hand-painted tambourines • Medieval style puppets on a string • Highly collectable ceramics from Caltagirone • Fanciful Sicilian carts in all sizes • Artistic objects made from glazed bread in Salemi Just For Kids
The creepy catacombs of San Giovanni beneath Siracusa date back almost 3000 years. Il Piccolo Teatro dei Pupi, also in Siracusa, showcases medieval puppetry most summer evenings. In Bagheria, near Palermo, is the Museo dei Giocattoli Pietro Piranio with over 700 toys from the last four centuries. In Palermo itself, discover the Museo Internazionale delle Marionette, an entire museum dedicated to the Sicilian art of puppetry. Midway between the temples of Agrigento and the Roman-era mosaics of Piazza Armerina kids can enjoy a funfilled afternoon at the Parco Acquatico Conte, a waterworld theme park in Sommatino. Red Letter Days
February 3 – 5 Catania hosts three days of festivities in honor of St. Agatha, revolving around sweets made from marzipan. May 9 – 10 Tre Castagni enjoys two days of celebrations complete with local specialties, processions and Sicilian Carts in honor of Santi Alfio, Filadelfio e Cirino. July 9 – 15 Palermo offers seven days of non-stop excitement in honor of Santa Rosalia, featuring a huge fireworks display on the 14th and a magnificent parade on the 15th. July 25 In Caltagirone, thousands of olive oil-bearing torches (coppi) connected by a fuse are lit at once in commemoration
of a day-long festival honoring San Giacomo. August 13 – 15 La Cavalcata dei Giganti, Messina, stars 30-foot-tall papier-mâché knights leading a parade of bands and Sicilian carts through the city in a three-day celebration. December 13 Siracusa is home to a huge celebration in honor of Santa Lucia, the city’s patron saint, involving pageantry, parades and plenty of pushcarts filled with tempting delicacies.
SARDINIA The second largest island in the Mediterranean, formed by a series of mountainous massifs, hills and narrow highlands, has jagged, rocky coasts concealing marvelous beaches and countless picturesque inlets and islets. Cagliari is the capital, ruled by a special statute. Pre- and post-historic eras are expressed by the megalithic “Tombs of the Giants”; the “domus dejanas” (houses of the witches), tombs dug into the rock; and the mysterious “nuraghi,” around 7,000 truncated cone towers found all over the island. Phoenician and Roman remains have come to light at Tharros and Nora; there are Roman relics at Porto Torres and Cagliari and the Gothic-Catalonian style survives from the rule of the Spanish House of Aragon. Temptations
• Vernaccia (DOC), white • Malvasia (DOC), white • Nuragus (DOC), white • Cannonau (DOC), red & rosé
• Pecorino, cheese made from sheep’s milk, eaten either fresh or aged to a sharp, piquant flavor and grated • Porcheddu, roast suckling pig flavored with herbs and spices and then spit- roasted • Fiore sardo, golden cheese from sheep’s milk Unique Arts & Crafts
• Wrought-gold or filigree creations make lovely jewelry • Filet lace from Bosa and Osilo, with delicately embroidered flowers, fruits, geometric shapes and folk scenes • Basket-making from the Campidano area, where straw is woven into spirals around a small brocade fabric center Just For Kids
Aquarium Laguna di Nora in Pula reveals the fish and flora of the Sardinian seas. Aquadream in Baja Sardinia is a major water theme park with twisting slides, games, miniature golf and more. www.aquadream.it (only in Italian) Water Paradise in Sorso offers pools with artificial waves as well as “kiddie” pools, water slides, whirlpools and more. www.waterparadise.it (only in Italian) To better understand this extraordinary island, visit a perfectly detailed, scaleddown model at Sardegna in Miniatura, Barumini. www.sardegnainminiatura.it Red Letter Days
May 1 Festival of Saint Efisio, Cagliari, is a celebration including the longest procession in the Catholic world, including decorated carts, musicians, worshippers, knights and more. May second to last Sunday Cavalcata Sarda, Sassari, or the “Sardinian Ride,” recalls the victory of the Sardinian and Pisan forces over the Saracens around the year 1000. Hundreds of horses and knights from all parts of the island show off their skills. Italy Travel Planner
Planning the perfect vacation Italy’s waiting. On the previous pages we’ve tried to give you a flavor of her exclusive appeal and many attractions; a sense of the varied beauty of the land and its remarkable regions; a glimpse of the myriad artistic, cultural and historic influences that remain to be enjoyed there. The Canadian Travel Council Promoting Italy (CTCPI) represents a broad range of member companies, each of which has exceeded the highest industry standards for customer service, quality, reliability and price/value satisfaction. While each company specializes in one or more forms of travel, they are all committed to assisting you in planning the Italian vacation of a lifetime. Travel with confidence and style. The choice is yours! Start by determining which kind of travel you enjoy the most.
Type A — Carefree Prefer to concentrate on seeing and experiencing the country? Try a fixed schedule approach with daily itineraries such as an Escorted Tour by motor coach; mostly all-inclusive with a full-time escort, available year-round. Rates vary based on the season, length of stay, accommodations and destinations. Special interests such as food & wine, archaeology, religion and sports often fall within this category. Type B — Independent If you love exploring on your own, choosing your own destinations and accommodations, then a custom-designed Independent Tour, FIT or villa vacation works best for you. Airfare, car rentals, rail, ferry tickets and even access to special venues such as concerts or wineries can all be incorporated to meet your timetable and budget. Type C — A Little of Both If you enjoy some structured touring with the flexibility to discover independently, a Hosted Tour may just be the answer. Generally includes airfare and transfers, accommodations, group sightseeing tours in each destination, some meals – and plenty of free time as well.
“As the Italians say, good company in a journey makes the way seem shorter.” Izaak Walton
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For over 35 years, Sunquest has been taking Canadians to the world’s best destinations in style. Featuring over 300 vacations to the Caribbean and Mexico, Sunquest also offers a comprehensive cruising program in the Mediterranean, complete with convenient direct flights from Toronto to Rome, Venice or Naples, and itineraries that visit some of the region’s most beautiful ports-of-call. Offering 4 fabulous itineraries on 4 fantastic ships, you’ll start your journey in either Rome, Venice or Naples – 3 extraordinary jewels in the Italian crown – where you have the option to spend a night before heading off on your cruise, and then board the beautiful MSC Musica, MSC Poesia, or the brand new sister ships the MSC Fantasia and the MSC Splendida. From these wonderful vessels, explore some of the greatest historical sights in the world, framed by a beautiful backdrop of azure seas and desert, world-class cities and humble villages, festivals, concerts, carnivals and music. This region is the hub of the world’s ancient trade routes… a passionate land of many faces and infinite contrast. Whether you are planning a romantic escape, a getaway with friends or a group voyage, Sunquest has made it easy. We have lots of options, with something to suit every style and budget. Part of the Thomas Cook Group of companies, Sunquest is the winner of the national Agents’ Choice Awards and the Consumers’ Choice Award for ‘Best Tour Operator’ in Toronto, Vancouver, Calgary, Edmonton and Winnipeg. For more information on its Mediterranean cruise program, which runs from May to October, please visit www.sunquest.ca or call 416-485-6060 or 1-877-485-6060.
With over 30 years of experience and expertise under its belt, ALBATours is known for having the best Italy vacations… whether it’s packaged holidays or independent adventures, ALBATours’ expert product knowledge and buying clout makes Italy so affordable that Canadians can’t help but return time and time again. Offering fully escorted coach tours, city tours, hotel stays, car rentals, go-asyou-please vacations and flights to various cities in Italy, along with Mediterranean cruises with sister company Sunquest, ALBATours operates its program from May to October each year. Currently ALBATours’ 2009 air only program is on sale, with 4 flights a week to Rome, 2 flights a week to Venice, 1 flight a week to Pescara and 1 flight a week to Lamezia. All flights originate from Toronto and if you book early, you will be able to book roundtrip flights to Rome and Venice for as low as $499 in economy class and $299 in Club Class for added comfort on your flight. Look out for our weekly specials. There is no better time to escape to Italy, than now, and no better way to do it than through ALBATours, the Italy specialists! For more information on ALBATours’ Italy program, which runs from May to October, please visit www.albatours.com or call 416-485-6060 or 1-877-485-6060.
ITALY IS OUR EXPERTISE
For over a third of a century, KOMPAS EXPRESS has been a leader in customizing cultural travel to Italy. KOMPAS EXPRESS works with partner airlines and other travel suppliers to create, develop, and manage specialty programs in Italy. Our aim is to make travel as easy as possible by designing unique tailor made itineraries just for you. Literally anything is possible. We will help you to the best of our ability to get exactly the holiday you want. KOMPAS EXPRESS travel experts can easily create a one-of-a-kind program based on your personal specifications, with as much or as little support as you like from our global network of guides and services. That is for individuals as well as for small groups. This activity has earned KOMPAS EXPRESS through the years a strong and reliable reputation as a very serious and respected travel company. The dedication and commitment to customer service has won KOMPAS EXPRESS the loyalty of its worldwide clientele. Our company has been solidly growing over the past third of a century: we know the areas of Italy we sell and we have our hotels inspected periodically. Most importantly to our philosophy, though, is that everyone in our dedicated team has a passion for what he or she does. Whatever the interest, KOMPAS EXPRESS can design for you a complete program. For example: Choral-performing tours Orchestra-performing tours Opera Art tours Academic tours Leisure tours Food & Wine tours Garden tours Senior Citizens leisure weeks Student cultural tours Private Minivan and English-speaking driver for small groups Call your travel agent today or contact us at: 1-800-EUROPE-1 www.kompasexpress.com www.kompasXlusive.com
Italy Travel Planner
Your style…. Your way!
Arts & Leisure Tours / Travel With Flair Since 1990, Arts & Leisure Tours has been offering carefully crafted and unique travel experiences to create memories of a lifetime. We believe our reliability, expertise and knowledge are the keynotes of our business and we strive to offer our clients the very best. From our experienced staff to our meticulous planning, we will assist you in all your travel plans and personal arrangements. Let us show you how our styles, our pace and our travel values set us apart. A&L redesigns your travel ABCs Looking for a travel experience to suit your style and provide stress free planning together with time and cost savings? Arts & Leisure Tours has reinvented the travel basics to offer a trip style to suit every traveller. Our trip planners offer custom services designed to create unforgettable experiences from independent travel to small group trips and everything in between, all designed to ensure that you return home with stories you won’t stop sharing. À La Carte - Personally Selected Hotels and Services Choose from our personally selected and inspected collection of accommodation, excursions and special services which are sure to delight. Prepaid services mean guaranteed rates and worry free arrangements. Our meticulous trip planners scour and screen each menu item, so we ensure every recipe we whip up provides you with outstanding value and excellent variety.
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Bravo! - Independent Explorations Prefer to fly solo when travelling, or maybe have a few of your closest friends accompany you? Bravo! This independent trip style is for those who are comfortable on their own. Choose from our flexible suggested itineraries or customize your own, all based on A&L’s personal experience. Our expert trip planners have “been there, done that”, so you can be sure that they will be able to assist you in designing your own unique itinerary. Leave the work up to us, the vacation is for you to enjoy! Connoisseur -Tailor Made Travel The luxury to do what you want when you travel and to have the very best, this is what Connoisseur travel means to us. Call it extravagance, indulgence, lavishness or upscale. We prefer to call it magic! From grand hotels, to hidden country gems, private Mediterranean yachts to luxury tented camps; you can rest assured you will certainly slumber in finery. Enjoy the hospitality of your local hosts as you indulge in wine tasting in prestigious cellars, relish great art with private guides, and revel in the glorious spectacle of country scenes and backroads. Let us create the perfect connoisseur event whether it’s your wedding, your corporate function or your dream vacation. Dolce Vita - Small Group Journeys Enjoy the ‘Good Life’ on one of our small group journeys and explore our destinations in comfort. Select one of our scheduled departures or if you travel with a group of friends have us prepare a customized itinerary just for you. Our Dolce Vita trip style is for curious travellers who
seek out authentic experiences in the company of a knowledgeable host. The group size is kept deliberately small, an average of 12 – 16 guests, so the feeling is intimate and relaxed. And special requests can easily be accommodated. The focus of each trip is specific so you really immerse yourself in a particular region. We stay in charming hotels and country inns (with usually only two or three hotels per trip) and dine in small, typical restaurants. The luxury of expert guides, the chance to meet like-minded travellers and the opportunity to take in the best each region offers; with our Dolce Vita trips, you can have your cake and eat it too! Escorted - Guaranteed Departures Safety in numbers! If this is your motto, than this is the style for you. Our Escorted trips allow for a very enjoyable and leisurely way to appreciate a foreign country, especially for those with time or budget restraints or for those who would like to cover a lot of ground in a short time. Roll along in comfortable motor-coach vehicles, with panoramic windows and reclining seats. Each tour is guided by professional, multicultural and expert hosts as well as local guides who know the area better than anyone, so you can take comfort knowing that you will not miss out on any of the destination’s highlights. Our tours are also guaranteed which allows you time to plan ahead so you can save money on flights and travel expenses without any worry. Call your travel agent or (905) 850-8984 /1-800-387-4110 www.artsandleisuretours.com
Discover the Best of Italy in Style! We invite you to experience the INSIGHT difference when touring Italy with us in 2009. 7fh[c_[h[iYehj[Zjekhef[hWjeh\ehel[h)&o[Whi"?di_]^jLWYWj_edie\\[hiYb_[djiWY^e_Y[e\el[h'(&gkWb_jolWYWj_ediXobknkhocejehYeWY^j^hek]^ekj8h_jW_d" ;khef["j^[;Wij[hdC[Z_j[hhWd[WdWdZDehj^7c[h_YW$?di_]^je\\[hiWf[hiedWb_p[Z[nf[h_[dY[j^Wj^[Wha[diXWYajej^[=ebZ[d7][e\;khef[WdJhWl[b$
THE INSIGHT DIFFERENCE: Ceh[BheecCWn_ckc<ehjo=k[ijGkWb_jo>ej[bi:[i_hWXb[BeYWj_edi :[b_Y_eki:_d_d]?cf[YYWXb[I[hl_Y[Ceh[?dYbkZ[ZI_]^ji[[_d]
CHOOSE FROM ANY OF OUR VARIETY OF MOTORCOACH TOURS:
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For more information on our Italian itineraries, contact your Favourite Travel Agent or visit www.insightvacations.com
Passion For Italy For 80 years, Globus family of brands has been providing a variety of products that address the needs of todayâ€™s diverse traveller. Whether itâ€™s a fully escorted, premium, independent, or river cruise vacation, with Globus family of brands you will get unmatched value and world-class customer service with every journey.
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Escorted Tours That Simply Offers More
Globus vacations are designed to offer you flexibility and choice, plus a pace that best fits the way you want to travel. Globus offers MORE included features, MORE quality hotels and MORE experience with 80 years of taking travelers on unforgettable journeys. In addition, Globus offers twice the number of included features â€“ MORE value with an average price less per day than our nearest competitor. The safety of our travelers and the richness of our vacations is a priority and it is what has made Globus the worldwide leader in travel and a name you can trust.
Monograms is independent travel without the hassle of logistics and guesswork. Unlike most other independent travel companies where you have to execute every detail, Monograms creates extraordinary packages to destinations around the globe.
Walk in the footsteps of the Roman Emperors and follow the tradition by throwing 3 coins in the Trevi fountain. Enjoy Renaissance Florence and itâ€™s traditional Tuscan hospitality, art and architecture. Enjoy walking the tiny streets and shopping for Italian designer fashion in the floating city of Venice.
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Budget Travel and Affordable Vacations
More than four decades ago, Cosmos virtually invented the budget vacation. Since then weâ€™ve refined the concept of low-cost travel packages. Although others have jumped on the budget-travel bandwagon, Cosmos prices are still the best value. Our team of experts has refined our itineraries to combine the must-see sights with significant time on your own. We not only offer more choice of activities, we also offer longer stays in key cities for more flexibility in our itineraries. We provide air, accommodations, transportation and the services of a knowledgeable Tour Director for much less than if you booked them individually on your own.
Discover the big cities and some of the less famous destinations in this fabulous country. Stay in La Spezia in the Cinque Terre region and Milan, Italyâ€™s fashion capital! Youâ€™ll also visit the picturesque village of Sirmione at Lake Garda, stop in Bologna, the home of spaghetti bolognese, and re-enact the balcony scene from Romeo and Juliet in fair Verona where the story was set.
General information TRAVEL SEASONS High June - September. This is the most expensive and popular time to travel. Shoulder April - May September - October December 15 - 24 Low November 1 - December 14 December 25 - March 31 DOCUMENTATION Passports A passport is valid for 6 months beyond the date of the return flight. Canadian citizens with a valid passport can stay
in Italy 90 days. If a longer period is required they must obtain a visa. Note: Minors under 18 years of age not traveling with their parents require a declaration from both parents, or their legal guardian, authorizing their independent travel.
MAJOR ITALIAN AIRPORTS Rome Fiumicino (FCO) Leonardo da Vinci www.adr.it Ciampino (CIA) www.adr.it Bologna (BLQ) Guglielmo Marconi www.bologna-
Flight info Canada - Italy 2009 DIRECT SCHEDULED FLIGHTS
TRAVEL WITHIN ITALY
Florence (FLR) Amerigo Vespucci www.aeroporto. firenze.it
Air Domestic airlines connect all country’s airports as well as some European cities. Among them: Meridiana www.meridiana.it Air Dolomiti www.airdolomiti.it Air One - Alitalia www.flyairone.it www.alitalia.com
Genoa (GOA) Cristoforo Colombo – Sestri www.airport. genova.it Milan Malpensa (MXP) www.seaaeroportimilano.it Linate (LIN) www.sea-aeroportimilano.it Bergamo (BGY)
Milano Orio al Serio www.sacbo.it Naples (NAP) Capodichino www.gesac.it Pisa (PSA) Galileo Galilei www.pisa-airport.com
Palermo (PMO) Punta Raisi www.aeroporto.palermo.it Turin (TRN) Citta di Torino www.aeroportoditorino.it
CONNECTING SCHEDULED FLIGHT OPTIONS AIR FRANCE
www.britishairways.com via London, U.K.
via Frankfurt or Munich
www.czechairlines.com via Prague
NOTE: The above listing of various airlines services from key gateways in Canada to Italy. Please check with the airlines or your travel agent to confirm service availability.
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Venice (VCE) Marco Polo www.veniceairport.it
DUTY FREE The following goods may be imported into Italy without incurring customs duty by passengers over 17 years of age arriving from countries outside the EU. • 200 cigarettes or 50 cigars or 100 cigarillos or 250g of tobacco 2 liters of wine and 1 of spirits (over 22 per cent) or 2 liters of fortified or sparkling wine • 50ml of perfume and 250ml of eau de toilette • 500g of coffee or 200g of coffee extract (if over 15 years of age) • 100g of tea or 40g of tea extract gifts not exceeding $200.00 (if entering from a non-EU country)
Ferries Regular boat and hydrofoil services run to most of the islands, including Capri, Elba, Giglio, Sardinia, Sicily and the Aeolian Islands. There are also some links along the coast. Ferry service from main ports connects most of the ports of the Mediterranean countries, included Greece, Croatia, Slovenia, Albania, Malta, and the island of Corsica. www.ferriesonline.com Rail There are nearly 16,000km (9,400 miles) of track in the country. The Italian State Railroad, Trenitalia, runs a nationwide network at very reasonable fares, calculated on the distance traveled, and there are a number of excellent reductions. A new rail pass, the Trenitalia Pass, is the only pass available to people resident outside of Italy (it supersedes the old Italy Flexicard, Railcard and Kilometric ticket). This allows from 4 to 10 days of unlimited travel within a two-month period. Any train in Italy can be used, although a small supplement is payable on Eurostar Italia services. The pass also entitles the holder to discounts on some Italy-Greece ferry routes, hotels and other special offers. Both first- and second-class passes are available. Children aged from four to 11 pay half the adult fare, and there is a reduced-rate Youth Pass for travelers aged under 26. Please note that once you purchase your train ticket you must validate it at the yellow box at the
beginning of the train tracks, otherwise it will be invalid. For further information, www.ferroviedellostato.it
Road The highway (AUTOSTRADA, symbolized by AA) has tolls and charge according to distances and size of the motor vehicle. Some stretches, the Salerno-Reggio Calabria, Palermo-Catania and PalermoMazara Del Vallo, are toll-free. Gas stations along the highway are open 24/7. State roads (SS) are also very good and require no tolls. Gas stations on the secondary roads are usually closed from 1:00pm to 3:00pm. Visitors should check locally about exact hours of operation. The road signs are usually international. Italian highways do accept credit cards: pick the lane that reads Via Card and any major credit card will be accepted by the machine. More information on the Italian motorway network is available from the Società Autostrade at www.autostrade.it
Traffic Regulations Traffic drives on the right. Italy recognises driving licenses and other traffic documents that are valid in other countries. Canadian driving licenses are valid in Italy but the license must be accompanied by a translation or an international license (check your local CAA in Canada). Passengers are required by law to wear seat belts. Speed limits are 50kph (30mph) in urban areas, 90/110kph (55/65mph) on country roads, 130kph (80mph) on highways. High beams are prohibited, especially in towns and cities, but are permitted when an emergency arises, when driving through darkness but only when no vehicles are coming in the opposite way. Lights are required by
law to be ON at all times by law. Red warning triangle on board is mandatory. Note: Fines for speeding and other driving wrongdoings are particularly heavy and on-the-spot.
Limited traffic areas (Zona Traffico Limitato) Limited traffic areas have been created in most of the historical centers of Italian cities. This measure has been taken to increase pedestrian areas, commercial activities, and reduce pollution to preserve historical sites. In these limited traffic areas only authorized vehicles are allowed to drive, such as: buses, police cars, ambulances, etc. Residents have access as well. All of the authorized vehicles have their license plate registered with the Municipal Police. If a vehicle crosses a limited traffic area, cameras will take a picture of the license plate. The photo is automatically sent back to a computer of the Municipal Police and if the license plate is not registered a violation ticket is generated and sent to the owner of the vehicle. The limited traffic areas are clearly indicated with a sign marked with a white circle with red borders, stating the hours in which the area is restricted. Please Note: Due to the law and the authority that is held by the local Municipal Police, the Italian Government Tourist Board cannot act as an intermediary in settling disputes over traffic violations. Road service: In case of vehicle breakdown, dial 116 at the nearest telephone and tell the operator your location and car description and the nearest Automobile Club of Italy (ACI) office will be notified for immediate assistance.
Italy Travel Planner
General information COMMUNICATIONS Telephones
Full IDD (International Direct Dial) service is available. • Italy country code is 39, so from Canada, dial 011 39 followed by 06 for Rome, 02 for Milan, 011 for Turin, 081 for Naples, 041 for Venice and 055 for Florence), drop the 0 if calling an Italian cellular number. • Outgoing international code: 001, Canada city area code and telephone number.
Travel Times The following chart gives approximate travel times (hour.minutes) from Rome to other major cities in Italy. From ROME to AIR Florence 0.45 Milan 0.65 Venise 0.65 Naples 0.45 Palerme 0.60
ROAD 2.30 6.00 6.00 2.00 10.00
RAIL 2.30 6.00 6.30 2.30 14.30
All Italian cities rely on trams and bus transportation: the fare structure is integrated between the various modes. Tickets can be purchased from tobacco shops or newsstands. Taxi: Available in all towns and cities. Government-regulated taxis are either white or yellow. Avoid taxis that are not metered. There are extra charges for night service, luggage and taxis called by telephone. All charges are listed on a rate card displayed in the cab with an English translation. Taxis can only be hailed at strategically located stands or booked by telephone. One
52 Italy Travel Planner
cannot hail a cab from the streets. A 10% tip is expected by taxi drivers and this is sometimes added to the fare for foreigners. MONEY MATTERS Single European currency (Euro) The Euro is the official currency. The first Euro coins and notes were introduced in January 2002; the Italian lira was still in circulation until 28 February 2002, when it was completely replaced by the Euro.1 Euro = 1.65 $CAD approximately. Do check before traveling www.xe.com The Euro is divided as follows: bills of 5, 10, 20, 50, 100, 200, 500; coins of 1 & 2 Euro and 1, 2, 5, 10, 20 and 50 cents. Currency exchange Travelers’ cheques and foreign money can be changed at banks, railway stations and airports, and very often at major hotels (generally at a less convenient rate, depending on the denominations of currency being bought or sold). Check with banks for details and current rates. Credit cards Most reputable establishments will accept major credit cards. Those establishments accepting credit cards will post the logos in their front windows, just as they do in Canada. Most of the credit card
companies charge a fee for overseas purchases. Travelers cheques In major Italian cities and tourist areas traveler checks are accepted. Please note that the amount exchanged is subject to a service fee (5 - 6.5 % varying from bank to bank). Currency restrictions Check with the embassy before departure. Import and export of both local and foreign currency is limited to Euro 12,500. If it is intended to import or export amounts greater than this, the amount should be declared and validated in Italy on form V2. Banking hours These vary from city to city but, in general, Mon-Fri 8:30am-1:30pm and 3:00pm-4:00pm, Sat 8:30am-1:00pm, although many banks are closed on Saturdays and Sundays. ATM card Using your ATM card is the easiest and most convenient way to get cash when needed. Just make sure that your card has logos on the back reading NYSE – MAESTRO and PLUS or CIRRUS, and that your pin code is numeric only. Check with your bank for restrictions.
Telephone booths now only accept phone cards, which can be purchased at post offices, tobacco shops and certain newsstands and are available for 5, 10 and 20 euros.
GSM 900 and 1800 networks. Network operators are TIM - Telecom Italia Mobile www.tim.it, Vodafone www. vodafone.it, Wind www.wind.it and H3G www.h3g.it. If you are traveling to Italy and want to use your cell phone, you most likely won’t be able to do so. Unless you have a GSM tri-band phone, you will need to make special arrangements with your cellular carrier. Another alternative is to rent a cell phone. In fact, most tour operators from our list will be happy to arrange this.
Internet corner booths operated by Telecom Italia are available for public access and can be found at airports, major hotels and in other public places. Many Internet cafes are scattered throughout all main towns. Wireless connection for laptops are available at the Rome www.adr.it and Milan airports. www.sea-aeroportimilano.it
Letters between Italy and other countries usually take 4 to 7 days to arrive. Stamps are sold in post offices and tobacco shops. Hours vary but usually are as follows: Mon-Fri 8:00/8:30am-1:00/1:30pm 2:00/2:30pm-5:30/6:30pm Saturday 8:00am - 1:00pm.
In Italy the current is 220 volts, compared to the North America 110 volts. If you plan on using your own 110-volt appliances, you will need a voltage converter, unless your appliance is designed to also work with 220 volts electricity (dual voltage). For example, most laptops and some electric shavers are designed to work both at 110 and 220 volts. Plugging in an appliance that is not designed to run on 220 volts electricity without using voltage converter will damage it. Regardless of voltage, you will need an adapter.
USEFUL INFORMATION ENIT - Agenzia Nazionale del Turismo
(Italian Government Tourist Board) Via Marghera 2, 00185 Roma - Italy Tel: 06 49711 Fax: 06 446 3379 www.enit.it
Tel: 613 232-2401 Fax: 613 233-1484 firstname.lastname@example.org www.ambottawa.esteri.it
Italian General Consulate 136 Beverley St Toronto (Ontario) M5T 1Y5 Tel: 416 977-1566 Fax: 416 977-1119 email@example.com www.constoronto.esteri.it
Italian General Consulate 3489 Drummond St Montreal (Quebec) H3G 1X6 Tel: 514 849-8351 Fax: 514 499-9471 firstname.lastname@example.org www.consmontreal.esteri.it
Italian General Consulate
1100 - 510 West Hastings Street Vancouver (British Columbia) V6B 1L8 Tel: 604 684-7288 Fax: 604 685-4263 email@example.com www.consvancouver.esteri.it
Via Zara 30 00198 Roma - Italy Tel.: (+39) 06-85444.2911 (recorded information only) Fax: (+39) 06-85444.2912
Italian Government Tourist Board (ENIT)
175 Bloor Street East - South Tower Suite 907 Toronto (Ontario) M4W 3R8, CANADA Tel: 416 925-4882 Fax: 416 925-4799 firstname.lastname@example.org www.italiantourism.com
275 Slater St, 21st Floor Ottawa (Ontario) K1P 5H9 Italy Travel Planner
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