This Weekend in Washington, DC

Do you live in the Washington, DC area or plan to be here this weekend? Visit the Dream of Italy booth at Washington National Cathedral’s Flower Mart. The 67th annual benefit for the gardens, grounds and woodlands of Washington National Cathedral takes place Friday, May 5, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. and Saturday, May 6, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. …

“Mob-Free” Shopping in Sicily

Visiting Palermo this summer? After checking out the goods in the airport’s duty-free shopping area, you might want to check out Palermo’s “Mob-free” shopping. Bloomberg reports that 106 shops and businesses in Palermo, that refuse to give in to mafia extortion have teamed up to offer mob-free shopping. They were inspired by a local clothing-maker who was gunned down 15 …

So You Want to Buy a House in Italy?

Buying real estate in Italy has become one of my favorite topics as of late. For our March issue, I wrote about the areas of Tuscany that still make good prospects for foreign buyers. I personally have always said that if I had the money, I would buy a piece of oceanfront land or a home in Puglia. Businessweek Online …

Vespa Turns 60

The de facto symbol of Italian life – the Vespa – celebrated its 60th birthday today. The manufacturer unveiled three new models and plans for a Vespa museum – a brilliant idea! According to ANSA, “the Vespa’s actual birthday was April 23, the day in 1946 when the patent for the innovative two-wheeler was registered in Florence by Piaggio & …

New York Times on Affordable Italy

The New York Times Sunday travel section featured a spread on affordable travel in Europe. The Times covered Milan, Venice and Rome in Italy: Best Advice Venice: Instead of paying a minimum of 80 euros for a 45-minute gondola ride, pay 50 cents to take one of Venice’s public gondolas across the Grand Canal. The traghetto is a far less …

April Sponsors

The following companies have made this issue of Dream of Italy possible: Casale Sonnino – 18th century villa just outside Rome Chiantionline – olive oil from the heart of Tuscany DaVinci Capers – learn to think like Leonardo while visiting Tuscany Italian Vacation Villas – renting quality villas, farmhouses, and apartments in Italy Kublai – this Italy-based travel agency can …

Four Hot List Hotels in Italy

Conde Nast Traveller (British edition, thus the spelling) is out with their 2006 “Hot List” of where to stay worldwide. Four Italian hotels made the cut: Byblos Art Hotel Villa Amista (Verona) – The hotel is likened to “a museum of modern furniture.” Hotel Caruso Ravello (Amalfi Coast) – It reopened last June after a major refurbishment by its new …

So You Want to be a Travel Writer?

It is definitely not as glamorous as it sounds, but it is the most satisying job I can imagine. Italy inspired me to become a travel journalist and to start a travel newsletter. Seeking similar inspiration? What better place to learn about travel writing than in Italy. If you’re in Rome on May 18th, stop by American novelist Linda Lappin’s …

Get Your Dose of Italian Television

Come on, we know you are secretly fascinated with Italy’s trashy television shows. You say you’re not…but as soon as you get back to the U.S. you feel like American television is just so, uhm, prim and proper in comparison! Well then does my friend Joe have a Web site for you. He took a break from intensely monitoring the …

Italian Election Drama

The Italians love a good drama and they have one on their hands today. Officials say Romano Prodi has unseated Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi in Italy’s closest election ever. According to Bloomberg News, “Prodi, 66, and his allies won 158 seats in the Senate to 156 for Berlusconi’s coalition after gaining four of the six seats set aside for Italians …