Palladio: 2008 is the 500th of the birth of the great neo-classical architect, Andrea Palladio. Celebrations are planned throughout the Veneto region where Palladio designed his famous villas and churches. The city of Vicenza will also host events and exhibitions. Paid subscribers can learn more about Vicenza and a fantastic local guide in Adventures in the Veneto, a DOI article published a few months ago. More on the Palladio anniversary can be found at http://www.palladio2008.info/
Puccini: Italian love opera and they love the great composer Giacomo Puccini. His hometown of Torre del Lago hosts an incredible annual summer opera festival with the stage set right on a lake, but this year it will be even more special as it is the 150th anniversary of Puccini’s birth. Tosca, Turandot and Madame Butterfly will be performed at the Puccini Festival. The famed opera house La Scala will put on La Boheme in July in honor of the anniversary.
Padre Pio: It might sound a little grisly but the Vatican has announced that in honor of the 40th anniversary of the death of Padre Pio, his body will be exhumed and put on display. Seven million pilgrims annually already visit the burial site of the popular Italian saint, formally known as St. Pius, located in San Giovanni Rotondo, Puglia. See Dream of Italy’s Special Report: Puglia for travel information.