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1 - ISSUE 0/2 - WINTER 2009 YEAR

Enchantment at

La Scala OLIVE OIL Italy’s golden bounty • ART The Farnese Collection • WELLNESS Water, water everywhere • SPORT Golfing year-round • TRANSPORTATION High speed trains take off • TRAVELOGUE Christmas season events







agic is a timeless art, and Italy is magic. It is a country capable of offering - every day, each month, and in every season - new captivating images of itself in a kaleidoscope of colors, scents and surprising scenes. The options for tourists who come to Italy extend well beyond the standard summer vacation or winter snow holidays. Italian cities, for example, boast splendid museums overflowing with artistic treasures, the result of more than two thousand years of history and creativity. A stroll through their halls will arouse emotions destined to remain among a visitor’s fondest memories. People who travel here also find the tastes and scents of an ancient culinary tradition, one that has been transforming the earth’s bounty into unforgettable dishes for centuries. Dear tourists, when you arrive in Italy, let your heart lead the way. A thousand surprising landscapes, from medieval strongholds to millenary sanctuaries, archeological sites and more will reveal themselves to you. You will find the fruits of ancient Mediterranean civilizations at your fingertips. Most importantly you will find - every day, each month, and in every season - welcoming smiles. These smiles are not something Italians learn in school, but manifestations of an attitude written deep in our DNA. I would like to conclude citing the words of Pope Benedict XVI, who defined tourism “ invitation to avoid closing oneself up in one’s own culture, to welcome and interact with different ways of thinking and living.” This, too, is why we can’t wait to welcome you to Italy.


6 Enchantment at

La Scala SPORT Golfing year-round • WELLNESS Water, water everywhere • TRANSPORTATION High speed trains take off • OLIVE OIL Italy’s golden bounty • ART The Farnese Collection • TRAVELOGUE Christmas season events

Graphic design and editorial production Graffiti Media Factory Federico Fiecconi Managing editor (English) Aaron Maines Collaborators Andrea Bosco, Viola di Duby, Martina Medail, Marzia Morganti Tempestini, Arianna Nespolon, Leonardo Piccinini, Paolo Pizzato, Vincenzo Progida, Chicco Ronchetti, Alfredo Rossi, Maria Luisa Rossi Hawkins, Aniello Ruggiero, Mirco Zanghì.

I TA L I A N O V E R T U R E Take a look inside La Scala, the milanese theater experts and opera buffs everywhere consider synonymous with superior opera.


Olive Oil





A bimonthly of Italian tourism, culture and current events. Year 1 – Issue 0/2 – Winter 2009 Editor in Chief PIERLUIGI RONCHETTI

Cover story

TRAIL OF GOLD From north to south, east to west, Italy is a land of olive trees. Find out more about the special role this fruit plays in Italian culture.

HARD BODIES At Italy’s national archeological museum in Napoli, the Farnese collection introduces visitors to a wealth of classical sculpture.

WAT E R C I T I E S Thermal waters and mineral-rich natural springs contribute to making a range of Italian locations ideal wellness destinations.

Cover Photo Marco Brescia / Teatro alla Scala Photos AP / LaPresse, R.Brotzu / Archivio Aspen, Alessandro Dobici,, Robert Perathoner / Fotostudio Prodigit, George Pimentel / Getty Images, Marka, Grazia Neri, Marco Parente / Unionpress, Luciano Romano, The Estate of Francis Bacon, by SIAE 2009, Stefano Venturini. Special thanks to Bruno Bizzozzero, Stefano Cagnoni, Carlo Maria Cella, Città dell’Olio, Elena Fumagalli, Alessio Giobbi, Marcella Marconi, Ida Mazzei, Alessandra Santerini, Roberto Scanarotti, Stefano Soranzo, Teatro alla Scala, Enrica Teffenini, Trenitalia, Francesca Ventre. Registered with the Tribunale Civile di Roma Sezione Stampa e Informazione July 3, 2009 Published by Ku Comunication Srl Via Di Villa Pepoli, 20 00153 Roma Printed by Arti Grafiche Italo Cernia Srl Coordinamento tecnico: Lev Di Luisa Villamaina SaS Via Capri, 67 – 80026 Casoria (NA) Info Ku Comunication srl (+39) 06 45438557 – (+39) 392 9854051 Graffiti srl (+39) 02 89693429 (fax)









Winter 2009

COMING BACK TO CAPRI World-renowned American actor Paul Sorvino talks about his love of Italy, sharing what makes Capri so special for the Sorvino family.

TEE FOR ALL SEASONS In keeping with a new effort to promote golf around Italy, the magazine showcases some of the country’s premiere clubs and courses.

AERO SPEED Italy’s new “Red Arrow” high speed trains are making connections nationwide, providing a quick, comfortable way to get from A to Z.

T R AV E L O G U E Come Christmas, towns across Italy shift into high gear to celebrate the holidays. Discover some of what’s going on around the country.


Director’s Notes


PIERLUIGI RONCHETTI DEAR READERS, I’ve worked in newsrooms and run newspapers most of my life. But my experience with Magic Italy has proven to be one of the most fascinating projects I’ve ever undertaken, precisely because of its engaging, inexhaustible subject. It is also a difficult challenge, given the wealth of options it offers. Those of us who are fortunate enough to live in Italy find ourselves in a land blessed by God, rich in excellence of all kinds. Art, history, landscape, climate, gastronomy, music, fashion, craftsmanship, design and entrepreneurial inventiveness all blend together to form an “Italian way of doing things” that has no equal. The difficulty lies in selecting just a few flowers from such an ample bouquet. In this issue you’ll find a mix of vastly different subjects, all united by this same, world-famous style. From golf courses to La Scala, from spas to Roman statues, from olive orchards to festive celebrations, the magic of Italy will unfold before your eyes. The uniqueness of our land is a direct product of its diversities. One small note: we have decided to honor the Italian names for regions, cities and artists throughout this magazine. Therefore you will not find “Venice,” “Tuscany” or “Raphael,” but rather Venezia, Toscana and Raffaello. This allows us to be as faithful as possible to the senses and sounds of our country, a land that awaits each and every one of you, ready to welcome, surprise and move you. Happy reading.



MUSIC Outstanding performances, famous guests, rich, storied history‌ In the world of opera, La Scala is more than just a theater, it is the theater By ANDREA BOSCO - Photos by MARCO BRESCIA, RUDY AMISANO

STANDING OVATION Onstage at La Scala theater in Milano, performers bask in applause from one of the most demanding audiences on the planet. 7


very tourist who visits Milan insists on seeing two things: Da Vinci’s Last Supper and La Scala. As the Financial Times once pointed out, “La Scala” is the third most widely recognized Italian brand name following Armani and Ferrari. For the Milanese, La Scala is a sort of virtual true town hall, a temple devoid of religion. Famous composer Giuseppe Verdi thrived here; Arturo Toscanini made his bones as an orchestra director between its hallowed walls. Maria Callas sang her way into legend upon its stage. Originally designed and built by Italian architect Giuseppe Piermarini in 1776 on land where the Santa Maria alla Scala church once stood, the La Scala building has been continuously modified. Its most recent renovation took place in 2005, and lay at the heart of a fractious division between the then-superintendent Carlo Fontana and then-director Riccardo Muti, even as everyone involved searched for an appropriately professional solution. The current superintendent Stephane Lissner (co-director of the Theatre des Bouffes du Nord, together with Peter Brook),

strongly supported by vice-president of La Scala’s board Bruno Ermolli, has proven to be the best man for the job. Despite the economic crisis that has crippled the West and forced Italian authorities to cut public spending for arts and culture, La Scala stands to avoid budgetary difficulties, a position made possible by its decision to decrease spending from 10 to 5.8 million euro. Efforts are being made to break even on the year. “Funding from private contributions,” explains Ermolli, “will prove fundamental. Keeping the 2009 budget balanced will allow us to provide supplementary benefits to the people who work for us. That would represent a reward worthy of the success we’ve had, even in the middle of such a difficult moment.” Today, La Scala can vaunt nearly 20,000 season ticket holders, subdivided between opera, ballet, concerts and recitals. It has increased the number of performances to more than 200, and has promoted a rise in young spectators to almost a thousand season ticket holders. Of course La Scala remains – at least one night a year – the epicenter for famous guests and noble

WHERE THE WORLD COMES TO LISTEN Above, La Scala dressed in its finest white for the Christmas season. Right, a view of musicians in the orchestra pit with the private tiered audience boxes rising behind. 8




was busy frying eggplants at my house in Palermo when the phone rang. It was La Scala. They wanted me to direct Carmen starting on December 7th, the opening show of the season. They wanted me, somebody who has never seen an opera in her life!” Thus Emma Dante, 42, an avantgarde Sicilian director took center stage in Milano. Her investiture was a bet for La Scala’s superintendent, Stephane Lissner, who commented: “I was imagining a tragic Carmen, a dark, stormy character. And I wanted an Italian director, some-

body young and brilliant.” First presented at the Opera-Comique in Paris on March 3, 1875, Georges Bizet’s Carmen was based on a Prosper Merimee novella of the same name, and tells the story of Sergeant Don José’s passionate love for the gypsy Carmen. The third side of the story’s love triangle is formed by the bullfighter Escamillo. In its tragic conclusion, José kills Carmen in a fit of jealous rage. Next December 7, La Scala will host a heroine worthy of Greek tragedy, with death as the only constant within a barren landscape. The extremely beautiful Anita Rachvelishvili (in a debut performance), will have nothing but her gifted voice to use to enchant the audience as she is outfitted with a monk’s hood as part of the production’s

costume design. Tradition (and Seville) have been done away with: Emma Dante’s location will be something far more sinister. Lissner and the director Daniel Barenboim made a courageous and risky choice. In Bologna in 1966 a revolutionary Carmen took the stage with a production directed by Alberto Arbasino, scenes and costumes designed by Gae Aulenti, Vittorio Aulenti and Gregotti. The theater audience protested to the point where those responsible had to flee the scene…

BEHIND THE SCENES Above, a billboard poster for Carmen Jones (1954), a contemporary version of Georges Bizet’s opera with new lyrics and an African-American cast. Right, director of La Scala Daniel Barenboim calls the orchestra to order.

may soon enact legislature for opera houses nightlife, but at the same time it has become that will make it possible for La Scala to become a theater that welcomes aficionados in casual a National Theater. Today more than ever, this attire. Its Sunday morning matinee allows two transformation appears indispensable, a necpeople (a young person accompanied by an essary step towards balancing the relationship adult family member) to see a show for the between public and private financing. Today, for price of one. example, out of the nine members of La Scala’s The theater has drawn upon the talents of Daniel board of directors, six are public officials, while Barenboim, the man who created the Divan Oronly three hail from the private sector. At the chestra by bringing together Israeli, Palestinian, same time, more than 60% of La Scala’s funding Syrian and Jordanian musicians as a symbol of comes from private sources, while only 40% is cooperative peace. provided by the state. In order for the institution Barenboim also established a music program considered one of the world’s great theaters to for street orphans similar to what Venezuelan LA SCALA was first designed become fully efficient and functional, issues like José Antonio Abreu accomplished in the 1970s. and built by Italian architect Giuseppe this one must be addressed and resolved. The It’s a path that has been undertaken by Gustavo Piermarini in 1776 on land where morning after Milano won the right to host Expo Dudamel, who together with Daniel Harding, Ricthe Santa Maria alla Scala church 2015, newspaper headlines read “Milano, Home cardo Chailly, Daniele Gatti, Myung Whun Chung once stood. Its most recent to La Scala, to Host the Expo.” and Pierre Boulez, proved to be an orchestra renovation took place in 2005. “La Scala will play a key role in the Expo,” says director skilled drawing enthusiastic accolades Lissner. “But I believe that this event must also be from La Scala’s demanding audience. In June taken as an opportunity to effect concrete improvements for the 2010, following a decades-long absence, a man many consider life of this city’s citizens: from public transportation to the envifirst among equals – Claudio Abbado – will return to direct at ronment. We will be dealing with this delicate theme in 2011 with La Scala. The strengths of an orchestra appreciated around the a new work commissioned from Giorgio Battistelli, based on enworld, as well as its talented opera cast and extraordinary dancvironmental themes and inspired by Al Gore’s documentary.” ers have made La Scala the focus of performances in the US, Thoughts, plans and projects: La Scala is a culture factory and Canada, Korea, China and Japan, where audience and critics home to countless memories. Here, every evening the curtains alike have rushed to applaud. rise, cast and crew come to life, breaths suspended as pride for Abroad, La Scala represents the best possible calling card for a product recognized all over the globe takes center stage. It is Italian culture. It is nothing less than a founding stone for the a gift for the people of Piermarini: demanding, competent, at projects the Italian ministry of tourism intends to undertake. times controversial, but ever a willing audience for this beautiBut when La Scala is on the road, it cannot sell tickets back ful performance stretching back over centuries. home. With this double bind in mind, the Italian government 10


Hours Central ticket office – Duomo - Galleria del Sagrato, Piazzo Del Duomo, Duomo subway station. Open every day from noon to 6 p.m.

La Scala Theater Via Filodrammatici 2 – 20121, Milano

Closed November 1; December 8, 24-26; January 1 and 6; April 25; May 1; June 2.

Subway For line 1 (Red line), get out at “Duomo” For line 3 (Yellow line), get out at “Duomo”

Evening ticket office – Theater La Scala Theater, Via Filodrammatici 2. Open 2 hours before shows start until 15 minutes

after shows have begun. Only sells tickets for that evening’s show. Reservations and Information Information about seat availability, season ticket purchases and individual tickets. Tel. (+39) 02 72003744, every day from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. This service adheres to the same annual schedule as the central ticket office, and is closed for summer holidays from July 18 through August 31.


OLIVE OIL From tree-studded foothills in northern Italy to the verdant slopes around Sicily, visitors to this country encounter a vast bouquet of olive oils in every imaginable color, tone and taste By MARZIA MORGANTI TEMPESTINI


PITCHER PERFECT On the hills below Orcia, a scenic hilltop town in Italy’s Toscana region, row upon row of olive trees are cultivated to yield some of the world’s most highlyprized olive oil.


live oil is a marvelously versatile foodstuff. It can be damaged by heat, loves the dark, can absorb other scents and freezes solid in the cold. It enjoys a brief life, and is best consumed when it is young, within a year. After that, it starts to yellow and loses its flavor. Olive oil works well with everything, and is especially tasty with soups and beans. The liquid creates a flavorful embrace for raw celery and artichokes, and is simply perfect on bruschetta, toasted Italian bread that has been browned and rubbed with a little fresh garlic. Right now, as leaves fall from the trees and the first frosts begin to appear, fresh extra virgin olive oil is in its prime. In the hills around Italy, the ancient, time-honored tradition of gathering olives and pressing them to extract their oil is underway. November and December are the best months for purchasing fresh olive oil, a moment when the liquid is a perfect expression of all the multiple scents – from light flowery hints to intense grassy bouquets – that contribute to its character. This is also a way to discover unusual landscapes, following the trail of golden oil that unites northern and southern Italy. It is easy for visitors to see the love that connects men with the land and centuries-old traditions surrounding olive oil cultivation, the way they “rake” the branches by hand with the same tools first used by the Etruscans, or roll great rock millstones around to press the olives in olive mills where a sapient blend of modern technology and time-tested tradition produce increasingly perfect oils. Exploring Italy means discovering an infinite variety of olive oil flavors, from taggiasca olives, typical of the Liguria region, to the Nocellara del Belice cultivars in Sicilia that produce the prized Castelvetrano olive oil. Further flavors await in Chieti, in Abruzzo, from the Grossa di Gerace trees in Calabria, or from the Suvereto and Trequanda cultivars in Toscana. Olive oil can vaunt a millenary history, as some of the oldest olive trees in Italy can attest. A trip to one of this country’s vari-

EARTHLY RICHES Clockwise from the top: olive trees grow at intervals in a terraced orchard, a typical cultivation technique along Italy’s steep slopes; rich green extra virgin olive oil pours from a spigot in an olive mill; a millstone crushes olives to produce olive oil; farmers sift through an olive harvest, removing leaves, stems and undesirable fruit. 14


OLDER THAN THE HILLS Known for their ability to resist inclement weather, drought and disease, some olive trees can live for millennia. At left, a centuries-old Saraceno cultivar continues to flourish in an olive orchard in Puglia.



t takes roughly five kilograms of olives to produce one kilogram of olive oil. UÊi`ˆÌiÀÀ>˜i>˜Ê«iœ«iÃÊ placed great emphasis on the olive oil trade, building specially designed flatbottomed ships capable of storing as many as 500 barrels in their holds. UÊ/…iÊ,œ“>˜Ãʅ>`Ê>Ê special bourse, known as the arca olearia, where olive oil shares were bought and sold. UÊ/œ`>Þ½Ãʏ>˜`ÃV>«iʈ˜Ê /œÃV>˜>]ʜvÌi˜ÊÕÃi`Ê>ÃÊ a backdrop for popular commercials and movies, was transformed thanks to olive tree and grapevine cultivation ordered by ̅iÊi`ˆVˆÊv>“ˆÞ°ÊˆÃÊ in Umbria are dotted with endless olive tree orchards thanks to a prize instituted by Pope VII in 1830 that guaranteed a paolo]Ê>˜Êi˜ÌˆÀiÊ`>Þ½ÃÊ salary, for each new olive ÌÀiiÊ«>˜Ìi`°Ê/…>˜ŽÃÊÌœÊ this incentive, more than 38,000 trees were planted across the region.


UʘÊÕÀ>Ãʈ˜Ê->À`i}˜>]Ê ˆ˜Ê̅iÊ->ÃÃ>ÀˆÊ«ÀœÛˆ˜Vi]Ê ÛˆÃˆÌœÀÃÊV>˜ÊÃiiÊ̅iÊ->˜Ê Nicola Olivastro, an olive tree that is roughly 2,000 years old. UʘÊ/Àiۈʈ˜Ê1“LÀˆ>]Ê̅iÊ ->˜Ì½ “ˆˆ>˜œÊœˆÛiÊÌÀiiÊ stands six meters tall and is over 1,700 years old. UʘÊ>}ˆ>˜œ]Ê/œÃV>˜>]Ê in the Grosseto province, the famous olivone della stregaʭ܈ÌV…½ÃʜˆÛiÊ tree) is more than 3,000 years old. UÊ˜Ê >˜˜i̜ʈ˜Ê>À>Ê ->Lˆ˜>Ê­,ˆï®]Ê̅iÀiʈÃÊ an olive tree that is over 2,000 years old.


D.O.P. is the key Italian olive oils that bear the Denominazione `½"Àˆ}ˆ˜iÊ*ÀœÌiÌÌ> label use ingredients and preparation methods specific to a single region, providing a sort of quality guarantee.

ous olive oil museums will provide the inquisitive visitor with all he or she might hope to know about this extraordinary fruit. In addition to the well-known Museo dell’Olivo in Imperia (Liguria), similar institutions can be found in Trevi, Torgiano, Pastena, Castelnuovo di Farfa, Picciano, Cisiano del Garda, and in Chiaramente Gulfi, as well as in countless other farming museums located throughout Italy. “With the right strategies and promotion, olive oil tourism is a key capable of opening up a series of tourism markets that have until now remained marginal with respect to traditional tourist traffic,” says Enrico Lupi, president of Italy’s national “Città dell’Olio” olive oil association. Città dell’Olio is active across Italy, with more than 340 partners including towns, provinces, chambers of commerce and mountain communities in every region of the country. “One of our main objectives is to get the most out of areas where olive oil cultivation is highest, with all that implies in environmental, economic and cultural terms. In this sense, the olive oil tourism project is not limited to simply creating tourist packages – although these are undoubtedly important – but is designed to encourage a welcoming attitude from all the economic players involved in this effort in any given area: hotels, restaurants, producers, sales outlets and so forth. This will be a path to development and an opportunity for tourists, who will have access to both information and quality services.” As part of this project, Città dell’Olio is currently promoting two important initiatives. The first is Pane e Olio in Frantoio (Bread and olive oil in olive mills), a nationwide celebration of typical breads and olive oils that takes place each Sunday in November. The second, Andar per Frantoi e Mercatini (Visiting olive mills and markets), is a calendar that highlights the various initiatives dedicated to olive oil held throughout Italy from November through March. Finally, from November 27-29, an important, five-star event entitled Olioliva 2009 will be held in Oneglia to celebrate the best extra virgin olive oils from Italy’s Liguria region.

SECRET BEAUTY Most people only pay attention to olive trees come harvest time. But in the spring beautiful, delicate flowers like these adorn the tree’s pale branches.

WELLBEING AND MAGIC trange but true: it took an American to teach the Italians that extra virgin olive oil is especially good for you. In the mid-1970s, doctor Ancel Keys reevaluated this ageold food, drawing attention to its usefulness in preventing heart disease and arteriosclerosis. It is the only oil that can be produced from simply pressing the fruit, requiring no additional physical or chemical processes. It is easy to digest, reduces “bad” cholesterol and stomach acids, lowers the risk of renal calculi, favors bone growth in young people, and is a rich source of vitamins including ]Ê Ê>˜`Ê °ÊÕÀ̅iÀ“œÀi]ʺۈÀ}ˆ˜»Ê olive oil is rich in what are known as bioregulators, substances that can slow senescence and favor


brain activity. It also contains tocopherol, an antioxidant that can slow down aging at a cellular level, inhibiting wrinkling. UÊUsed for millennia by people in ̅iÊi`ˆÌiÀÀ>˜i>˜ÊL>Ș]ʜˆÛiÊ oil is a source of food, medicine and light. It is an unguent, trade merchandise, and a symbol of peace and good health. Olive trees have always been Ûi˜iÀ>Ìi`°Ê/…iˆÀÊLÀ>˜V…iÃÊÜiÀiÊ used to create nuptial beds, and wound together to form a crown that is a universal symbol of peace. An olive branch was the first sign Noah received after the œœ`]Ê>˜`ÊiÛi˜Ê̜`>ÞÊ >̅œˆVÃÊ are marked at the beginning and end of their lives by a dash of olive oil.

Uʈ««œVÀ>ÌiÃ]Ê̅iÊv>̅iÀʜvÊ medicine, advised people to use fresh olive oil to cure mental illnesses. Up until just a few decades ago, olive oil was the most common country remedy for nettle stings, skin ulcers,

and as a cure for earaches. It has been used to make soaps, beauty products, to conserve vœœ`Ê>˜`Ê>ÃÊvÕi°Ê-œ“iÊiÛi˜Ê claim that a few drops of olive oil have the power to ward off the evil eye!


STRENGTH AND BEAUTY One of the most famous scuptures in the collection, the “Farnese Hercules” is a massive, nearly 3 meter-tall replica of an original 4th century Greek sculpture. Facing page, a 1.52 meter-tall marble scupture of Aphrodite, the goddess of love. 18

HARD BODIES ART The Farnese collection in Napoli showcases ancient Greek and Roman sculptures that have been delighting art lovers for centuries By LEONARDO PICCININI




he Farnese Collection is a story of sovereigns and dynasties, a tale of popes, kings and emperors who fell in love with its treasures, struggling to keep hold of them and pass them on. But no matter its origins, it is unquestionably the largest historical collection of ancient sculpture in the world, one that fills visitors to the national archeological museum in Napoli with wonder. The museum itself may be the most important of its kind in the world for classical archeology. Over time, it has helped influence our modern love affair with antiquity, thanks to the collections of artworks, treasures and archeological finds from Pompei and Ercolano, some of which you will see on these pages. The Farnese Collection is of particular interest today, following a massive restructuring and renovation that was conducted in order to better organize the more than 300 sculptures included in the collection. It all began in Roma, when Pope Paul III (1534-1549) oversaw the Vatican. Modern archeology had yet to be invented, and the capital’s most important fami-

lies conducted vast, uncontrolled excavations in order to dig up important sculpture. The pope was particularly interested in finding things he could use to adorn his palazzo, recently built by Sangallo and Michelangelo. Thus the collection was born, primarily with sculpture recovered from the Caracalla baths. It was spread out around the Farnese palazzo’s sumptuous rooms, as well as in the Farnese gardens in Palatino, the Farnesina villa and Villa Madama. Two hundred years later, Elisabetta Farnese’s son Carlo III, the Duke of Bourbon, became the new King of Napoli, and ordered the family’s entire collection of artworks to be brought to the city below Mount Vesuvius. He began with the family’s paintings, which were brought in from palaces in Parma, and which are today conserved in Capodimonte. His son Ferdinando IV continued with the sculpture, angering the pope and testing the technological limits of his day. Just consider the difficulties inherent in moving the Toro Farnese, a group sculpture in marble standing 5 meters high and weighing more than

FARNESE’S MARVELS Facing page: Aphrodite and Eros, a 1.22 meter-tall marble sculpture presumably from the late Hadrian era. Top left, Harmodius and Aristogeiton, also known as the “Tyrannicides,” 1.85 meter-tall marble sculptures. These are Roman copies of the original Greek sculpture. Top right, Apollo seated with a lyre, a 2.14 meter-tall marble scuplture from the 2nd century AD. Above, the famous Farnese Cup, a 20 centimeter-wide cameo cup from the 2nd century BC. 21

24 tons! The sculpture was loaded aboard a wooden ship and rowed slowly but surely up the Tevere (Tiber) river. Moving the collection was traumatic for Roma and the cultured world. Goethe himself deplored the act, despite the fact that it was supervised by his good friend, German painter Jacob Philipp Hackert. The collection survived the French Revolution and Napoleonic invasions relatively unscathed, in some measure because Napoleon’s relatives Joseph Bonaparte and Joachim Murat, who succeeded Fernando on the throne of Napoli, did everything in their power to protect it. The Emperor of France complained on more than one occasion that the “Farnese Hercules,” a gigantic sculpture standing more than three meters tall and boasting “enormous brawny members” that set ladies of the day into a tizzy failed to arrive as planned in Paris. In 1799 the sculpture had finally been packed and was ready to go, but the revolution in Napoli prevented it from ever leaving the city. At the beginning of the 1800s, the Farnese Collection was moved to the ex-Palazzo degli Studi, a university building where Giambattista Vico once taught, and which today still houses Italy’s national archeological museum. Today the collection can be found on display among this building’s ornate rooms, where great masterpieces of classical sculpture like Harmodius and Aristogeiton, the two young Athenians who attacked the family of tyrant Peisistratus and were killed for their betrayal, a famous reclining Venus that is often copied to decorate bathhouses and gardens, and the sculpture known as the “Venus Kallipygos,” with her eternally marvelous derriere… It also includes famous cameos, like the Farnese Cup, a cameo cup produced in the 2nd century in Alexandria whose previous owners included Holy Roman Emperor Frederick II and Lorenzo de’ Medici.

GODS, FAUNS AND FLUTES From the top: a view of one of the museum exhibition halls; a 1.58 meter-tall marble statue of Pan and Daphnis; a detail of a statue of Artemis. 22

WORLDLY BURDEN This marble statue of Atlas shouldering a decorated globe stands nearly two meters tall.


Museo Archeologico Nazionale Piazza Museo Nazionale 19 80135, Napoli Tel: (+39) 081 5441494 Subway Take the 1 and 6 lines, stopping at “Piazza Cavour” and “Museo.” Hours Open daily from 9 a.m. to 8 p.m. (final entrance 7 p.m.). Closed Tuesdays. Closed for holidays January 1, May 1 and December 25. For further information www. Tickets ` 6.50 / ` 3.25 reduced. Entrance is free for children 17 and under, and for seniors (65 and over) with a valid ID, as well as for teachers and students of some university disciplines (with a valid ID). Visitors ages 18 to 25 pay a reduced ticket (` 3.25). Discount ticket A single ` 8.50 ticket (good for 3 days) provides entrance to the archeological museum at Campi Flegrei, the monuments and archeological areas in Pozzuoli (amphitheater and “SerapideMacellum” temple), Baia (the thermal baths park and monumental park), and Cuma (archeological park and acropolis).


WELLNESS As far back as Roman times, people have enjoyed the natural springs and thermal waters that can be found in almost every corner of Italy By VIOLA DI DUBY

THE BEAUTY OF BATHING Top right, the Berzieri baths in Salsomaggiore. Above, Italian model Marianna di Martino de Cecco relaxes in the spa’s mineral-rich waters. 24

Salsomaggiore THE SALSOMAGGIORE BATHS are one of the most

important in Italy, famous for their bromo-iodine salt, one of the richest mineral salts found in nature. The Salsomaggiore baths are located in Salsomaggiore Tabiano Terme, in the Parma province, halfway between Milano and Bologna. The closest highway exits are Fidenza (off the Milano-Bologna A1 highway), and Fiorenzuola (off the Brescia-Torino highway). The closest airport is located in Parma. (Tel: +39 0521982626/0521994356). For further information:



taly is something of a Mecca for those who desire water year-round, not simply during summer vacations or winter trips to exotic locations. This land of architectural marvels and artistic masterpieces, a global capital for design, fashion, fine food and high culture, also provides visitors with numerous opportunities for watery wellbeing: hundreds of thermal baths and spas, locations once known as “water cities” that allow visitors to spend a vacation dedicating their time to relaxing and feeling good. Spas are places where people can fight stress and renew personal beauty both through traditional methods – hydrotherapy, baths, mud packs and so forth – and through new methods created in modern, sometimes avant-garde wellness centers. Internationally-renowned for their skilled professionals and effective treatments, Italian thermal baths represent a key resource for tourism thanks to their efficient structures and the wide range of treatments they offer. They are almost always located in beautiful natural settings, and surrounding towns and villages often provide countless possibilities for exploring artistic, cultural and architectural treasures that have been here for centuries and even millennia. And since this is Italy, there are always countless temptations for the nose and stomach as well, culinary wonders that are a natural, fundamental component of any effort to rejuvenate body and mind. Today, Italian spas are enjoying a sort of renaissance, a new golden age for places rich in history, where the presence of “healing waters” was often first discovered by ancient Romans. During the Roman Empire, sumptuous bath buildings were constructed across Italy by leaders like Agrippa, Nero, Caracalla, Diocletian and Constantine. These rulers strove to outdo one another, each one creating facilities that were bigger and more grandiose than his predecessor’s. Baths were

COMFORT CURES Near right, a look inside the spa. Center right, one of the spa’s spring-fed grottoes. Far right, typical clay therapy, considered particularly beneficial for the skin. 26

Bagni di Lucca THE CENTRO TERMALE BAGNI IN LUCCA includes the “Jean Varraud and Casa Boccella” complex, which provides guests with classic therapy treatments, and a “Ouida Center,” which provides specific wellness treatments and therapies. There are two natural steam grottoes: the Grotta Grande and the Grotta Paolina (named after the sister of French Emperor Napoleon, who spent a great deal of time here). The easiest way to reach the baths from Milano is to take the A1 highway to Parma, then follow the SpeziaLivorno A12 highway to Viareggio and take the connector route for Lucca, then take the Lucca exit and travel towards Acetone for 23 kilometers. From Firenze, follow the FirenzeMare A11 highway towards Lucca, exit at Lucca, then travel towards Acetone for 23 kilometers. The closest airport is located in Firenze (Tel: +39 0553061300). For further information:

WATERVILLE Palazzi overlooking the Serchio river in the Garfagnana region of Italy, near Lucca.


only part of the services these buildings provided. They also included room for sports, swimming pools, parks, libraries, small theaters and restaurants. But the true golden age of thermal baths took place in more recent times, during the gorgeous Belle Époque period spanning the nineteenth and twentieth centuries. During those decades, dreams of splendor and wealth spurred the construction of elegantly decorated Liberty-style structures inspired by nature and distinguished by the eclectic tastes and vaguely oriental inclinations of their designers. They were refined locales, filled with marble carvings, stuccoes and fountains, and quickly became the preferred destinations of international nobility and haute bourgeoisie. 28

These suggestive edifices continue to thrive today alongside modern structures equipped with every imaginable comfort (Jacuzzi pools, fitness rooms, Turkish baths, saunas, massage centers and more) in the various spa centers that can be found throughout Italy, from north to south. Visitors can regenerate in the ferrous waters of the so-called “Alpine Riviera” (Saint Vincent), where Italy’s royal Savoia family went to relax in the 1800s. Imperious castles that seem to springstraight from a child’s storybook sit atop the low mountains outside. Among the hills of the Alto Monferrato region, amid small forests and vineyards, travelers will find the sumptuous neoclassical baths of Acqui Terme, where the presence of palliative hot springs was common knowledge even in Roman times. The green hills above Garda

A WEALTH OF WATER In Acqui Terme, a town located in Italy’s Piemonte region, spring waters play a protagonist’s role in the local piazzas and fountains.

Lake host the Sirmione baths, a wellness destination once celebrated by the Roman poet Catullus, and a favorite getaway for Northern Italian high society during the nineteenth century. Between Vicenza and Padova, a land enriched by splendid villas designed by Palladio, visitors can discover the marvelous baths at Abano; while down in Emilia Romagna, the Salsomaggiore baths are famous for the wide variety of treatments they offer amid a blend of art nouveau and art deco architecture. Toscana, a region more often associated with food and wine, has beautiful wellness centers in Montecatini, where a vast park creates a perfect pastoral setting for the spa. At the baths in Lucca and Garfagnana, another favorite destina-

Acqui Terme THE BATHS AT ACQUI TERME have been well-

known since Roman times for the therapeutic value of their waters, rich in sulphur and bromo-iodine salts. There are two main bath facilities: Nuove Terme in Via XX Settembre (Tel: +39 0144 324390), located near the train station; and the Stabilimento Termale Regina, located in the Bagni area inside the park (Tel: +39 0144 324390). The closest highway exit coming from Milano or Torino is the Alessandria Sud exit (off the BresciaTorino A21 highway). The nearest airport is located in Genova (Tel: +39 01060151). For further information:

tion for Romans and travelers during the Middle Ages, illustrious guests have included Matilda of Tuscany and Holy Roman Emperor Frederick II. In more recent times artists including Shelley, Byron and Puccini all traveled here to relax and rejuvenate. In Saturnia, elegant atmosphere comes immersed in the heart of the wild Maremma region, halfway between mountains and the sea. Further south, in the turquoise splendor of the Gulf of Napoli, the world-famous baths at Ischia lay between the rocky hills of Mount Epomeo and farmers’ gentle orchards and vineyards, amid fresh pine forests and caressed by gentle sea breezes rich with hints of Mediterranean myrtle and wild rosemary. And to think we’ve only named a few… 29


COMING BACK TO Actor, singer, cook and animal activist Paul Sorvino is one of America’s celebrated artists. Although he spends his time between his house in Los Angeles and a farm in Pennsylvania, he’s the first to admit there’s no place like Italy.



r. Sorvino, you visit Italy all the time. Do you have a favorite destination? It’s hard to decide, all of Italy feels worth visiting… It’s so full of culture, monuments, beautiful places. I think my favorite place is a toss-up between Via Veneto in Roma, Piazza della Signoria in Firenze and all of Capri. I’m an artist. I love Firenze because of Michelangelo, I love Via Veneto for its energy, and Capri because of the colors of the sea, the lights over the city and the beauty of the water…and because my family is from Napoli. What makes Italy so special in your eyes? I live in Los Angeles but I think of Italy everyday, what makes it so special is its spirit, its light, and its people. I marvel at how they are capable of living their lives immersed in tradition, culture and love of family. I also love the food there. It tastes like nothing else, even the simplest dishes have special flavors that are incomparable, impossible to match. How has your Italian heritage influenced your career? I think life is too short not to be Italian—I honestly think that being Italian validates you emotionally. It makes you stronger. It gives you a leg up in any profession, because of Italians’ strength and their power of the family. Our inherited creativity

plays a part too… I think being Italian makes you a better person. What is the first thing you do when you arrive in Italy? I land at an airport, take look around, breathe deep and say to myself… here I am. Then a driver usually picks me up and I go wherever I need to be. Just being there makes me feel good, makes life better. What do you treasure most about Italy? Definitely its artistic legacy. Italy is the culmination of art and culture, inventions and creations. Italians have made so many contributions to the world. There is a richness in Italian life that is channeled down to individuals. I love that. There is also a calm in Italy that I cannot find anywhere else in the world. Italy is different and I feel different when I am there. Do you have a favorite memory of Italy? I go to Italy every year, and I have several favorite memories. I remember however one day I was in Capri with my daughter Mira, walking around together along its narrow streets. She was captivated by the place, and told me, “dad this place is beautiful, this place is magic and I want to get married here.” And that’s exactly what she did, a year later in a Giorgio Armani dress. She even spent her honeymoon there on the island.

FUN IN THE SUN Tourists and locals mingle together in Capri’s famous central piazza, where bright flowers and colorful sun umbrellas enliven this snapshot of life in a southern Italian gem of a town. 31

for all seasons 32


PRISTINE GREEN Located not far from Venezia, the green courses at Golf Club Jesolo are open year-round. A special ferry service brings players to and from the city on a relaxing 40-minute sail through the lagoon.

GOLF In a land renowned for traditional tourist attractions, Italian golf courses provide an unexpected added value: places to play 365 days a year 33


eeing up on the verdant greens of Acquasanta golf club outside Roma, players face the elegant Aqua Claudia aqueduct, initiated by Caligula in 38 AD and completed by Claudius in 52 in order to bring fresh water to the burgeoning Roman populace. It is an unusual backdrop for eighteen holes of golf, and captures the essence of what it means to play this sport in the Belpaese: enjoying pristine facilities amid all the art, architecture and fine living that makes Italy unique. Italy can boast hundreds of excellent courses, some of which were designed by premiere world names like Jack Nicklaus, Arnold Palmer, Robert Trent Jones, Pete Dye and Robert von Hagge. Over 100,000 Italians play golf regularly, and the number is rising steadily. Surprisingly, despite these numbers, Italy has yet to attract the kind of dedicated golf tourists that other countries can boast. “Countries like Spain and Portugal, just to name two, attract roughly one and a half million golf tourists each per year,” says Bruno Bizzozero, a board member and director of tourist affairs for Federgolf, the organization responsible for promoting, organizing and overseeing Italian golf at all levels. “In Italy we get 150,000 at most. That means we represent a significant op-

STRONG MOON RISING Above, professional golfer Diana Luna is just one of the Italian players making headway in the international professional circuit. 34

SEA, SURF AND EXTRAORDINARY SIGHTS Above, golfers at the Acquasanta

facility outside Roma play before ancient Roman aqueducts, while players at San Domenico (below) in Puglia enjoy verdant greens all winter long.


FROM FAIRWAY TO FIRENZE Right, Italian golfer Emmanuele Lattanzi works his way out of a bunker. Below, rolling greens and distinctive Mediterranean cypress trees on the course at Circolo del Golf dell’Ugolino, a club located in the heart of Toscana.

portunity for people who want to spend their vacation playing this sport. They have a chance to enjoy playing here without any of the crowds and chaos they might encounter somewhere else.” With this in mind, the Italian government is organizing a special yearlong promotion that will concentrate on twelve gorgeous courses in Italy, including the historical Acquasanta course, as part of an effort to emphasize how golf vacations in this country provide visitors the opportunity to play year-round. Playing courses in the winter is an especially attractive opportunity. “Starting in Roma and moving south,” notes Bizzozero, “temperatures in the winter generally remain between fifteen and twenty degrees Celsius. And the weather in Sicilia and Sardegna is even more pleasant.” This means the greens stay green, breezes stay balmy and 36

playing outdoors is a pleasure. Furthermore, with nearly 90% of Italy’s courses concentrated in the center and northern parts of the country, courses in the balmier areas are delightfully free of crowds, providing even further incentive for potential golf tourists. “These new courses in the south are definitely on the cutting edge. We have a great deal of development going on down there.” Many of these southern courses have been built deliberately close to the seaside, where sea breezes from the Mediterranean keep the air warmer, and views from the various greens extend out over the sea’s pristine turquoise waters. Most courses in Italy are located close to major cities, providing not only a range of different hotels and agriturismi – special Italian facilities that offer both lodgings and exceptional locally grown and prepared food – but also access to museums, parks, theaters and historic centers.


Sicilia-Calabria IL PICCOLO GOLF CLUB (Tel. +39 0942 986252 / A gem of a golf course located at the foothills of Mount Etna, with 18 emerald green holes set amid a black lava stone landscape, overlooking the Mediterranean. Campania CASTELVOLTURNO GOLF CLUB (Tel. +39 081 5095150 / Located just minutes away from Napoli, this 18-hole course overlooks Ischia and the surrounding Mediterranean. Puglia-Basilicata SAN DOMENICO GOLF (Tel. +39 080 4829200 / First constructed in 2000, this 18-hole course develops amid seascapes, olive orchards, cactus, myrtle and more. Toscana CIRCOLO DEL GOLF DELL’UGOLINO (Tel. +39 055 2301009 / www.golfugolino. it) This 18-hole course was first founded in 1889 among the suggestive foothills of Chianti by a group of English expatriots.

Sardegna PEVERO GOLF CLUB (Tel. +39 0789 958000 / Pevero provides one of the more spectacular golf courses in the world, with 18 holes overlooking the scenic Golfo del Pevero and Cala di Volpe. Valle D’Aosta-Piemonte CIRCOLO GOLF BOGOGNO (Tel. +39 0322 863794 / Designed by Roberto von Hagge, this 18-hole course extends over rolling hills at the foot of Monte Rosa. Abruzzo-Marche-Umbria-Molise MIGLIANICO GOLF (Tel. +39 0871 950566 / Located in the heart of Abruzzo, the Miglianico course was designed by Ronald Kirby, and is set amid woods, grape vineyards and artificial bunkers. Veneto-Trentino Alto Adige-Friuli GOLF DELLA MONTECCHIA (Tel. +39 049 8055550 / and the Golf Club Jesolo (Tel. +39 0421 372862 / The Montecchia course boasts 27 holes set in the Euganei foothills, amid small lakes, woods and the splendid Villa of count Emo Capodilista. The 18-hole Jesolo course is located not far from Venezia, and is set amid the rolling sand hills and Mediterranean scrub typical to this region.

Lombardia CIRCOLO GOLF VILLA D’ESTE (Tel. +39 031 200200 / This 18-hole course, familiar to aficionados the world over, lies just minutes away from Como Lake, near the famous Villa D’Este and Cernobbio hotels. Lazio CIRCOLO DEL GOLF DI ROMA ACQUASANTA (Tel. +39 06 7803407 / One of the oldest and most famous courses in Italy, Acquasanta lies just outside Roma, providing 18 holes set against extraordinary monumental backdrops including an ancient Roman aqueduct. Emilia Romagna RIMINI VERUCCHIO GOLF CLUB (Tel. +39 0541 678122 / www.riminiverucchiogolf. it) Set within Valmarecchia park, this 18hole course was designed by Brian M. Silva amid the gorgeous terraced hills of Emilia Romagna. Liguria CIRCOLO GOLF DEGLI ULIVI (Tel. +39 0184 557388 / www.golfsanremo. com) The Circolo degli Ulivi course develops along steep olive tree-covered hills that descend down towards the Mediterranean sea.

OVER THE MOUNTAINS AND TO THE SEA Left, a view of the Circolo Golf Villa D’Este near Como Lake. Above, snow-capped Italian Alps provide a suggestive background for golfing at a course in Novara. 37

TRANSPORTATION Italy’s national railway company is on track to provide high speed service to every corner of the country By ALFREDO ROSSI


RED ARROW Italy’s newest high speed trains provide service between major cities, arriving and departing as often as once every fifteen minutes.


ONE DOWNTOWN TO ANOTHER Barely half a year into service, Italy’s new high speed trains have already cut at least 30% off travel times between some major Italian cities.

‘L ‘‘L ‘‘

ast December 14th, with the introduction of the new Firenze-Bologna line, we cut half an hour off the time it takes to travel between Roma and Milano. Today you can cover the distance between the two most important cities in Italy in just three hours. And it takes a good fifteen minutes less to travel between Roma Tiburtina and Milano Rogoredo. You can drink your first coffee of the day at a bar outside the Coliseum and still have plenty of time to sit down for lunch, perhaps for a good plate of risotto allo zafferano, in a restaurant outside the Duomo in Milano.” Mauro Moretti, CEO of Ferrovie dello Stato, Italy’s national train system, is appropriately proud of what his company is doing. The timetable that the company initially imposed has been followed to the letter. Trains are becoming increasingly important thanks to the superior service they provide: they travel at speeds of over 300 kilometers per hour, with new trains leaving every fifteen minutes during peak hours, creating a sort of “national subway system.” The Roma-Milano axis is not the only one taking advantage


of these improvements. Thanks to the completion of an entire high speed network, the trip from Torino to Salerno has become a pleasant voyage lasting less than six hours. Ferrovie dello Stato has taken pains to put the traveler at the center of its project. Tickets are easier to reserve online or via cell phone, stations have been rendered more user-friendly. Trains have been outfitted with more comfortable seating and electric outlets. First class travelers aboard the Eurostar AV Frecciarossa (red arrow) receive a welcoming drink and Italian snacks, as well as a choice of newspapers in the morning. All AV trains provide restaurant and bar services. Plans for improvement extend beyond the Frecciarossa trains. There is also strong growth forecast for the ETR 600 Frecciargento (silver arrow), the youngest train in the company’s fleet, which travels at 250 kilometers per hour throughout northeastern Italy. Starting this December, this train will join the high speed network as well, providing service between Roma and Venezia in just three and a half hours. This should have a considerably positive effect on Venezia’s

airport, which will be able to receive tourists interested in exploring the Venezia-Roma-Firenze triangle via train. And in a few years’ time, the company will have completed a high speed link between Milano and Trieste as well. High speed trains also free up “historical” rail lines, making it possible to increase the number of local passenger and freight trains. At the same time, they have earned safety awards in Europe and around the world. On the high speed lines, trains are guided by the ERTMS-ETCS (European Rail Traffic Management System-European Traffic Control System), an Italian system for rail traffic management that broadcasts data on the GSM-R (Global System MobileRailways) network. This makes it possible to intervene from a distance when necessary. Designed and developed in Italy, and chosen as the standard for Europe’s entire high speed network, the ERTMS-ETCS won the Best Paper prize in Montreal in 2006, awarded by the international railway community. Furthermore, trains consume 91% less than a similar voy-

age by plane, and 68% less than a similar trip by car. In 2008, railway lines kept 27,000 tons of carbon dioxide out of the atmosphere. Now the Ferrovie dello Stato has decided to launch a special “The less you pollute, the more you earn” campaign. Soon Italian train tickets will display the energy savings of a given voyage alongside “normal” details like the route, class, day, seating and price. In other words, passengers will see firsthand how much CO2 they have kept out of the environment, how many liters of oil they have managed to save by taking a train. This energy savings will be transformed into green points and counted on a special individual railway frequent traveler account that can earn free tickets, discounts or upgrades. Furthermore, a complete overhaul of Italy’s train stations, already partially completed, is renewing interest in areas of Italian cities that had been abandoned in the past. “There remains a great deal to do,” says Moretti, “but that’s what we are working towards. We have the resources. We have the ability. We will succeed.” 41








VAL GARDENA (SASLONG) December 18-19, 2009

PALAZZO REALE Through January 31, 2010

Set amid the breathtaking Dolomite mountains (recently declared a UNESCO World Heritage site), the Alpine Skiing - FIS World Cup highlights the best athletes in each discipline, including two World Cup competitions: Downhill and Super G. Information: (+39) 0471 777777.

This exhibition pays homage to the dry, distinctive realism of American Painter Edward Hopper, considered among the most important artists of the twentieth century: 160 artworks including oil paintings, drawings, engravings, watercolors and etchings. The exhibition is also scheduled to travel to Roma (Fondazione Roma Museo, February 16 through June 13, 2010). Information: (+39) 02 875672. THE EXHIBITION IS CURATED BY CARTER FOSTER, CURATOR AT THE WHITNEY MUSEUM OF AMERICAN ART IN NEW YORK.

By plane: Milano’s Malpensa Airport By car: 145 km from Genova / 585 km from Roma

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By plane: Bolzano-Dolomiti Airport By car: 337 km from Milano / 209 km

from Verona



RICCARDO MUTI DIRECTS THE LUIGI CHERUBINI YOUTH ORCHESTRA GIOVANNI DA UDINE THEATER December 5, 2009 The capital of Italy’s Friuli Venezia Giulia region is set to welcome maestro Riccardo Muti (right) for the first time, where he will direct a performance of Giovanni Paisiello’s Missa defunctorum, an eighteenth-century Neapolitan masterpiece. Information: (+39) 0432 248411. FIRST COMPOSED IN 1789, PAISIELLO’S WORKS WERE REWORKED TEN YEARS LATER.

By plane: Trieste-Ronchi dei Legionari Airport By car: 384 km from Milano / 131 km from Venezia



THE SANT’ORSO FAIR AOSTA (HISTORIC CENTER) January 30-31, 2010 For two full days artists, artisans and craftsmen will exhibit their handiwork in the streets of Aosta’s historic city center: from wood and stone sculpture to wrought iron and leather creations; from traditional clothing to local grolle, a wooden drinking cup. The festival includes music, performances, local foods and wines. Information: (+39) 0165 3001. THE FESTIVAL CULMINATES IN A MIDNIGHT CELEBRATION HELD THE NIGHT OF JANUARY 30TH, DURING WHICH THE CITY REMAINS OPEN AND LIVELY UNTIL DAWN.

By plane: Torino Caselle Airport By car: 114 km from Torino / 186 km from Milano

DOLOMITI BALLOON FESTIVAL ALTA VAL PUSTERIA January 9-17, 2010 For an entire week, the skies above Alta Val Pusteria will be filled with hot air balloons. This invasion of brightly colored flying objects provides visitors not only with an opportunity to enjoy a unique air show in the Dolomite mountains, but also the chance to take a brief ride through the sky. Information: (+39) 0474 972458. FLIGHTS ARE SUBJECT TO WEATHER CONDITIONS; INDIVIDUAL RIDES LAST ONE HOUR AND COST 215 EURO PER PERSON.

By plane: Bolzano-Dolomite Airport By car: 321 km from Milano/266 km

from Venezia


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CLAUDIO BAGLIONI IN CONCERT RENZO PIANO AUDITORIUM December 26-28, 2009 This more than two hour-long concert offers fans an opportunity to appreciate the music of Claudio Baglioni, one of Italy’s great singer-songwriters. Songs from his album Questo piccolo grande amore (This Grand, Tiny Love) have been rearranged and enriched as part of the show. Information: (+39) 06 80241281.

Two remarkable artists for the price of one: the powerful paintings of Caravaggio alongside Bacon’s striking, geometric portraits. Both artists are considered among the most important geniuses of their times. Information: (+39) 06 32810.



By plane: Roma Fiumicino Airport By car: 284 km from Firenze / 585 km from Milano

By plane: Roma Fiumicino Airport By car: 284 km from Firenze / 585 km from Milano

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GALLERIA BORGHESE Through January 24, 2010




INTERNATIONAL BIENNIAL OF CONTEMPORARY ART FORTEZZA DA BASSO December 5-13, 2009 This renaissance stronghold, built in 1534 by Antonio da Sangallo, is set to host the seventh edition of the famous Firenze contemporary art biennial, which showcases works by artists from all over the world. The guests of honor will include Marina Abramovic (winner of a Leone d’Oro award at the 1997 Biennale di Venezia), and Shu Yong (below), who will present several paintings from his Chinese Myth series. Information: (+39) 055 3249173/3218172. THE FIRENZE BIENNALE HAS BEEN AN OFFICIAL PARTNER OF THE UNITED NATIONS’ “DIALOGUE BETWEEN NATIONS” PROGRAM SINCE 2001.

By plane: Firenze Airport By car: 284 km from Roma / 317 km from Milano

OLIVE MILLS OPEN TO THE PUBLIC SPELLO December 5-8, 2009 A town rich in historical and architectural treasures, Spello is the destination for a fascinating tour through one of this region’s most valuable assets: Umbria D.O.P. olive oil. Whether gathering olives, touring centuries-old olive tree orchards, attending olive oil cooking classes or tasting freshly-pressed oil in the olive mills, this celebration offers visitors a chance to learn all about the production of one of the world’s culinary wonders. Information: (+39) 0742 30001. THESE OLIVES ARE STILL HARVESTED BY HAND AND PRESSED COLD IN ORDER TO GUARANTEE THEIR SUPERIOR QUALITY.

By plane: The International Umbria

Perugia-Sant’Egidio Airport By car: 182 km from Roma / 151 km

from Firenze




PITTI UOMO FORTEZZA DA BASSO January 12-15, 2010 The capital of Italy’s Toscana region hosts the Pitti men’s clothing convention, a key global fashion event that celebrates clothing designers’ sense of elegance, refined tailoring and creativity. Information: (+39) 055 36931. THIS EVENT IS RUN BY PITTI IMMAGINE, AN AGENCY THAT ORGANIZES SOME OF THE MOST IMPORTANT FASHION EVENTS IN THE WORLD.

By plane: Firenze Airport By car: 284 km from Roma / 317 km

from Milano

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VIRGIL BY NIGHT SAN LORENZO MAGGIORE COMPLEX Every Friday through December 18, 2009 Within the suggestive San Lorenzo archeological park, lantern tours provide visitors with a fascinating insider’s look at stories, myths and legends from ancient Napoli, tales that have been lost over time and which allow people to rediscover this magical city’s rich history. Reservations required. Information: (+39) 081 19558498. CONSIDERED THE MOST IMPORTANT LATIN POET, VIRGIL SPENT A GREAT DEAL OF TIME IN NAPOLI, WHERE HE FIRST MET HORATIO AND LEARNED ABOUT EPICUREAN PHILOSOPHY.

By plane: The Napoli Capodichino Airport By car: 227 km from Roma / 498 km from

Reggio Calabria

i SICILIA CATANIA Left and center, a painting and sculpture by Lucio Fontana; below, a painting by Alberto Burri.

BURRI AND FONTANA PALAZZO VALLE Through March 14, 2010 In the heart of Catania, amid the richlydecorated rooms of Palazzo Valle, a marvelous exhibition is providing visitors with the chance to appreciate masterworks by Alberto Burri and Lucio Fontana, two of the most important figures in contemporary art. Burri’s sinuous, elastic artworks are counterbalanced by the metaphysical inquiry and concept of spatial dimensions inherent to Fontana’s artwork. Information: (+39) 095 7152228/7152118. THE EXHIBITION INCLUDES ROUGHLY 100 ARTWORKS, AS WELL AS A SECTION DEDICATED TO DRAWINGS.

By plane: The Catania-Fontanarossa Airport By car: 209 km from Palermo / 98 km from


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Typical autumn fruit from Sardegna.

PERFORMANCES IN VARIOUS TOWNS Through December 20, 2009 Experience the wonders of a unique, authentically independent territory, where inhabitants have proudly protected their linguistic, musical and cultural traditions for centuries. Here you will discover a new Sardegna, exploring the small towns that make this region such a special place to visit. In December, the Barbagia tour will make stops in the following towns: Teti and Gadoni (4-5-6), Fonni (7-8), Orune (11-12-13) and Olzai (18-19-20). Information: (+39) 0784 252097. BARBAGIA IS A VAST, MOUNTAINOUS AREA IN THE HEART OF THE ISLAND OF SARDEGNA, EXTENDING ALONG THE FLANKS OF THE MASSIVE MOUNT GENNARGENTU.

By plane: The Olbia Costa Smeralda Airport By car: 181 km from Cagliari / 120 km from Sassari





CAPURSO December 7, 2009

THE ACIREALE CARNIVAL ACIREALE Starting January 30, 2010 The Acireale carnival is one of the most spectacular events in Sicilia. The splendor of its decorated wagons, its merry masked groups and comic bands, exhibitions, performances, concerts and competitions all combine to make the celebration unique. Don’t miss the inaugural ceremony, when the keys to the city are turned over to the Burlesque King. Information: (+39) 095 895249/895248.

Enjoy a special festival of local wines and foods, wandering by torchlight amid the winding streets of Capurso’s historic center. Tastes, colors, smells and sounds blend together to offer visitors a unique window into the culture and traditions of this marvelous territory. Information: (+39) 080 4551124. THE “FANOJE” ARE CONSIDERED SACRED FIRES. OVER TIME, THEIR PAGAN ORIGINS HAVE BEEN REPLACED BY STRONG RELIGIOUS SYMBOLISM.


By plane: The Karol Wojtyla

By plane: The Catania-Fontanarossa Airport By car: 209 km from Palermo / 98 km from Messina

By car: 95 km from Taranto / 262 km


International Airport in Bari from Napoli

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CHRISTMAS MARKET BRUNICO Through January 6, 2010 Considered the gem of Val Pusteria and a popular skiing destination, Brunico celebrates Christmas spirit with small, specialized markets. The town is filled with colored stands, craftsmen’s products and special culinary treats. On weekends, music performances including traditional Alpine instruments enliven the atmosphere. Information: (+39) 0474 555722. MAKE SURE YOU CATCH THE SAN NICOLÒ PROCESSION, HELD ON SUNDAY, DECEMBER 6 AT 4 P.M.

By plane: The Bolzano-Dolomiti Airport By car: 337 km from Milano / 209 km from Verona


CHRISTMAS TRADITION ROMA, PIAZZA NAVONA Through January 6, 2010 A Christmas tradition returns to the heart of Italy’s capital: every year the marvelous facades and world-famous sculpture of Piazza Navona are joined by a vast Christmas market including stands selling special sweets, toys, food and more. According to local tradition, buying a Christmas tree ornament at this market brings good luck for the coming year. Information: (+39) 06 0606. THE PIAZZA NAVONA CHRISTMAS MARKET HAS BEEN HELD ANNUALLY FOR ALMOST ONE HUNDRED YEARS.

By plane: Roma Fiumicino Airport By car: 284 km from Firenze / 585 km from Milano

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The 7th edition of the largest and most important food and crafts fair in Umbria. The best in art, history, culture and more come together here in Rocca Paolina, a spectacular stronghold first built during the 17th century by Antonio da Sangallo for Pope Paolo III Farnese. Information: (+39) 075 5068004/7922087. STARTING THIS YEAR, THE MARKET WILL ALSO DISPLAY SUPERIOR ARTS AND CRAFTS INCLUDING FINE LACE AND GOLD JEWELRY.

By plane: The Umbria Perugia – Sant’Egidio International

airport By car: 182 km from Roma / 151 km from Firenze

NAPOLI Through January 6, 2010 Via San Gregorio Armeno, one of the oldest streets in Napoli, is famous all over the world for its countless Christmas manger shops. Along the street, creative and skilled artisans produce extraordinary mangers, each handcrafted and unique, from shepherds and magi to statuettes depicting modern day movie stars and statesmen. Information: (+39) 081 7951111. ALTHOUGH VIA SAN GREGORIO ARMENO IS THE FOCUS FOR VISITORS AND NEAPOLITANS ALIKE DURING THE CHRISTMAS SEASON, ITS SHOPS ARE OPEN YEAR-ROUND.

By plane: Napoli’s Capodichino Airport By car: 227 km from Rome / 498 km from Reggio Calabria




LIVING CRÈCHE CUSTONACI December 26-27, 2009 Just outside the town of Custonaci lies a small village of low houses that form the prefect stage setting for a spectacular living crèche. Alongside live representations of Biblical figures, visitors will find scenes depicting local life, from farmers working the earth to craftsmen making tools and toys, even children at play. The effect is a captivating, living Christmas village. Information: (+39) 0923 973553. ALL THE ACTORS IN THIS LIVING CRÈCHE ARE CITIZENS OF CUSTONACI OR THE SURROUNDING TOWNS.

By plane: Trapani’s Vincenzo Florio Airport By car: 111 km from Palermo / 332 km from Messina

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FIRENZE A treasure chest of architectural, artistic and cultural wonders, Firenze has been a destination for international tourists for centuries. The city celebrates year’s end with a series of events. Traditionally, its most important celebration is the party at Saschall theater, though more laidback revelers may want to enjoy a toast in the refined rooms of Castel di Poggio. A rich selection of dancehall parties, restaurant offerings and villa stays combine to provide visitors with a wide array of choices. THE EVENT IN SASCHALL THEATER IS ORGANIZED IN COLLABORATION WITH PACHA, A DISCOTHEQUE IN IBIZA. By plane: Firenze airport By car: 284 km from Roma / 317 km from Milano

Enjoy New Year’s Eve in Venezia, celebrating a city unlike any other on the planet, amid canals and footbridges, in the splendor of Piazza San Marco and the multicolored flashes of light and fireworks over the surrounding bay. The city organizes countless events for visitors: theater performances, a special concert in La Fenice theater (December 30 at 8 p.m.; 31 at 4 p.m. and January 1 at 11:15 a.m.), a jazz concert at the Fondamenta Nuova (January 1 at 6 p.m.), even a grand collective kissing event during which thousands of couples welcome in the New Year! Information: (+39) 041 2412988. MORE THAN 60,000 PEOPLE ARE EXPECTED TO PARTICIPATE IN THIS YEAR’S “COLLECTIVE KISS” IN PIAZZA SAN MARCO. By plane: Venezia’s Marco Polo International Airport By car: 275 km from Milano / 405 km from Genova




ROMA New Year’s Eve in the capital of Italy is an unforgettable experience. The city’s marvels, from monuments to historic palazzi, characteristic streets and parks provide a perfect backdrop to a rich selection of events, including celebrations at the Salone delle Fontane at EUR, a boisterous festival in Casale di Tor di Quinti and dancing at Spazio 900, where visitors will discover miniatures of four major monuments from Paris, London, Madrid and Roma. OTHER EVENTS INCLUDE SPECIAL NEW YEAR’S CELEBRATIONS IN THE ART CAFÈ DISCOTHEQUE AND AT VILLA BORGHESE. By plane: Roma’s Fiumicino Airport By car: 284 km from Firenze / 585 km from Milano

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Magic Italy - Issue nr. 2 - Winter edition  

Magic Italy - Issue nr. 2 - Winter edition