The Veil of Veronica

Did you know you can learn about The Veil of Veronica, its history and story
Learn More here: http://www.italy4real.com/VeilofVeronica

Rome's Teatro Dell'Opera releases 2013 opera season

Italy Trip Planning, Trip to Italy, Italy Travel Packages. Italy4Real has been planning great trips to Italy since 1995. Are you ready for a better travel experience? TEATRO DELLfOPERA DI ROMA PROGRAMMA STAGIONE 2012-2013 SIMON BOCCANEGRA Melodramma in un prologo e tre atti Libretto di Francesco Maria Piave e Arrigo Boito dal dramma di Antonio Garcia Gutierrez Musica di Giuseppe Verdi Direttore Riccardo Muti Regia Adrian Noble George Petean / Dario Solari, Maria Agresta / Eleonora Buratto, Dmitry Beloselskiy/ Riccardo Zanellato, Fabio Sartori, Dario Solari / Mario Caria, Riccardo Zanellato / Luca DallfAmico Maestro del Coro Roberto Gabbiani Scene Dante Ferretti Arredamento Francesca Lo Schiavo Costumi Maurizio Millenotti ORCHESTRA E CORO DEL TEATRO DELLfOPERA Nuovo allestimento Martedi 27 novembre, ore 19.00 (turno A) Giovedi 29 novembre, ore 20.00 (turno B) Sabato 1 dicembre, ore 18.00 (turno D) Martedi 4 dicembre, ore 20.00 (turno C) Giovedi 6 dicembre, ore 20.00 (fuori abb.) Domenica 9 dicembre, ore 16.30 (turno E) Martedi 11 dicembre, ore 20.00 (fuori abb.) DON CHISCIOTTE Balletto in un prologo e tre atti Musica di Ludwig Minkus Direttore Nir Kabaretti Coreografia di Marius Petipa e Alexander Gorsky ripresa da Mikhail Messerer Venus Villa / Alessandra Amato, Rolando Sarabia / Vito Mazzeo Scene Francesco Zito e Antonella Conte Costumi Francesco Zito ORCHESTRA E CORPO DI BALLO DEL TEATRO DELLfOPERA Allestimento del Teatro dellfOpera Sabato 22 dicembre, ore 20.00 Domenica 23 dicembre, ore 16.30 Giovedi 27 dicembre, ore 20.00 Venerdi 28 dicembre, ore 20.00 Sabato 29 dicembre, ore 18.00 Domenica 30 dicembre, ore 16.30 Mercoledi 2 gennaio, ore 20.00 Giovedi 3 gennaio, ore 17.00 Venerdi 4 gennaio, ore 20.00 Sabato 5 gennaio, ore 18.00 IL NASO Opera in tre atti e un epilogo Libretto di Evgenij Zamjatin, Georgij Jonin, Aleksandr Preis e Dmitrij .ostakovi. tratto dalla novella di Nikolaj Gogolf Musica di Dmitrij .ostakovi. Direttore Alejo Perez Regia Peter Stein Paulo Szot, Alexander Teliga, Alexey Sulimov, Andrey Popov, Leonid Bomstein, Elena Galitskaya, Elena Zilio, Pavel Daniluk, Saverio Fiore, Andrey Borisenko, Mikhail Korobeynikov, Ruslan Rozyev, Pietro Picone Maestro del Coro Roberto Gabbiani Scene Ferdinand Wogerbauer Costumi Anna Maria Heinreich Coreografia Lia Tsolaki ORCHESTRA, CORO E CORPO DI BALLO DEL TEATRO DELLfOPERA Allestimento dellfOpera di Zurigo In lingua originale con sovratitoli in italiano Domenica 27 gennaio, ore 20.00 (turno A) Martedi 29 gennaio, ore 20.00 (turno B) Giovedi 31 gennaio, ore 20.00 (turno C) Sabato 2 febbraio, ore 18.00 (turno D) Domenica 3 febbraio, ore 16.30 (turno E) GISELLE Balletto in due atti su soggetto di Theophile Gautier e Vernoy de Saint-Georges Musica di Adolphe Adam Direttore David Garforth Coreografia e messa in scena Patrice Bart da Jean Coralli e Jules Perrot Costumi Anna Anni Svetlana Zakharova / Gaia Straccamore, Friedemann Vogel / Giuseppe Schiavone ORCHESTRA E CORPO DI BALLO DEL TEATRO DELLfOPERA Allestimento del Teatro dellfOpera Sabato 9 febbraio, ore 20.00 (turno A) Domenica 10 febbraio, ore 16.30 (turno E) Martedi 12 febbraio, ore 20.00 (turno B) Mercoledi 13 febbraio, ore 20.00 (turno C) Giovedi 14 febbraio, ore 18.00 (turno D) I DUE FOSCARI Tragedia lirica in tre atti Libretto di Francesco Maria Piave Musica di Giuseppe Verdi Direttore Riccardo Muti Regia Werner Herzog Luca Salsi / Dario Solari, Francesco Meli, Tatiana Serjan / Csilla Boross, Luca DallfAmico, Antonello Ceron, Saverio Fiore Maestro del Coro Roberto Gabbiani Scene e Costumi Maurizio Balo ORCHESTRA E CORO DEL TEATRO DELLfOPERA Nuovo allestimento Mercoledi 6 marzo, ore 20.00 (turno A) Venerdi 8 marzo, ore 20.00 (turno B) Domenica 10 marzo, ore 16.30 (turno E) Martedi 12 marzo, ore 20.00 (turno C) Giovedi 14 marzo, ore 20.00 (fuori abb.) Sabato 16 marzo, ore 18.00 (turno D) 19 e 21 marzo a San Pietroburgo in forma di concerto SAMSON ET DALILA Opera in tre atti Libretto di Ferdinand Lemaire Musica di Camille Saint-Saens Direttore Charles Dutoit Regia, Scene e Costumi Carlus Padrissa / La Fura dels Baus Olga Borodina / Ekaterina Semenchuk, Aleksandrs Antonenko, Elchin Azizov, Luca DallfAmico Maestro del Coro Roberto Gabbiani ORCHESTRA E CORO DEL TEATRO DELLfOPERA Nuovo allestimento In lingua originale con sovratitoli in italiano Venerdi 5 aprile, ore 20.00 (turno A) Domenica 7 aprile, ore 16.30 (turno E) Martedi 9 aprile, ore 20.00 (turno B) Giovedi 11 aprile, ore 20.00 (turno C) Sabato 13 aprile, ore 18.00 (turno D) NOTES DE LA NUIT In the Night Musica di Frederic Chopin Coreografia di Jerome Robbins Quartetto Musica di Steve Reich e Philip Glass Coreografia di Francesco Nappa creazione Aria Tango Musica di Luis Bacalov Coreografia di Micha van Hoecke creazione Eleonora Abbagnato, Alessio Carbone Gaia Straccamore, Alessandra Amato, Roberta Paparella, Manuel Paruccini, Damiano Mongelli CORPO DI BALLO DEL TEATRO DELLfOPERA Venerdi 12 aprile, ore 20.00 Domenica 14 aprile, ore 16.30 Martedi 16 aprile, ore 20.00 Mercoledi 17 aprile, ore 20.00 RIENZI LfULTIMO DEI TRIBUNI Opera tragica in cinque atti Libretto di Richard Wagner dal romanzo di Edward Bulwer Lytton Musica di Richard Wagner Direttore Stefan Soltesz Regia, Scene e Costumi Hugo de Ana Andreas Schager / Jason Collins, Manuela Uhl, Roman Astakhov, Angela Denoke / Chariklia Mavropulos, Ljubomir Puskaric, Stanislas de Barbeyrac Maestro del Coro Roberto Gabbiani ORCHESTRA E CORO DEL TEATRO DELLfOPERA Nuovo allestimento In lingua originale con sovratitoli in italiano Venerdi 10 maggio, ore 19.00 (turno A) Domenica 12 maggio, ore 16.30 (turno E) Martedi 14 maggio, ore 19.00 (turno B) Giovedi 16 maggio, ore 19.00 (turno C) Sabato 18 maggio, ore 18.00 (turno D) LA SYLPHIDE Balletto in due atti Musica di Hermann Severin von Lovenskjold Direttore David Garforth Coreografia di Erik Bruhn da August Bournonville ripresa da Maina Gielgud Olesya Novikova / Gaia Straccamore, Leonid Sarafanov / Alessio Rezza ORCHESTRA E CORPO DI BALLO DEL TEATRO DELLfOPERA Martedi 28 maggio, ore 20.00 (turno A) Mercoledi 29 maggio, ore 20.00 (turno B) Giovedi 30 maggio, ore 20.00 (turno C) Venerdi 31 maggio, ore 18.00 (turno D) Sabato 1 giugno, ore 16.30 (turno E) Martedi 4 giugno, ore 20.00 (fuori abb.) Mercoledi 5 giugno, ore 20.00 (fuori abb.) DON PASQUALE Opera comica in tre atti Libretto di Giovanni Ruffini Musica di Gaetano Donizetti Direttore Bruno Campanella Regia Ruggero Cappuccio Nicola Alaimo, Mario Cassi / Alessandro Luongo, Joel Prieto, Eleonora Buratto / Rosa Feola Maestro del Coro Roberto Gabbiani Scene Carlo Savi Costumi Carlo Poggioli ORCHESTRA E CORO DEL TEATRO DELLfOPERA Nuovo allestimento Martedi 18 giugno, ore 20.00 (turno A) Mercoledi 19 giugno, ore 20.00 (fuori abb.) Giovedi 20 giugno, ore 20.00 (turno B) Venerdi 21 giugno, ore 20.00 (fuori abb.) Sabato 22 giugno, ore 18.00 (turno D) domenica 23 giugno, ore 16.30 (turno E) Martedi 25 giugno, ore 20.00 (turno C) BASILICA DI SANTA MARIA IN ARACOELI CURLEW RIVER A Parable for Church Perfomance Libretto di William Plomer adattato dal n.-drama medioevale giapponese Sumidagawa di Juro Motomasa Direttore James Conlon Regia Mario Martone Maestro del Coro Roberto Gabbiani ORCHESTRA E CORO DEL TEATRO DELLfOPERA Giovedi 27 giugno, ore 21.00 NABUCONODONOSOR Dramma lirico in quattro parti Libretto di Temistocle Solera Musica di Giuseppe Verdi Direttore Riccardo Muti Regia e Scene Jean-Paul Scarpitta Luca Salsi / Dario Solari, Francesco Meli, Riccardo Zanellato, Tatiana Serjan, Sonia Ganassi / Anna Malavasi, Luca DallfAmico, Saverio Fiore Maestro del Coro Roberto Gabbiani Costumi Maurizio Millenotti ORCHESTRA E CORO DEL TEATRO DELLfOPERA Allestimento del Teatro dellfOpera Martedi 16 luglio, ore 20.30 Giovedi 18 luglio, ore 20.30 Sabato 20 luglio, ore 20.30 Martedi 23 luglio, 20.00 29, 31 agosto, 1 settembre al Festival di Salisburgo in forma di concerto COPPELIA Balletto in due atti Libretto di Roland Petit Musica di Leo Delibes Direttore Koen Kessels Coreografia di Roland Petit ripresa da Luigi Bonino Luigi Bonino / Denis Ganio, Mathieu Ganio Scene e Costumi Ezio Frigerio ORCHESTRA E CORPO DI BALLO DEL TEATRO DELLfOPERA Sabato 28 settembre, ore 20.00 (turno A) Domenica 29 settembre, ore 16.30 (turno E) Martedi 1 ottobre, ore 20.00 (turno B) Mercoledi 2 ottobre, ore 20.00 (turno C) Giovedi 3 ottobre, ore 17.00 (fuori abb.) Venerdi 4 ottobre, ore 20.00 (fuori abb.) Sabato 5 ottobre, ore 18.00 (turno D) Domenica 6 ottobre, ore 16.30 (fuori abb.) TURANDOT Dramma lirico in tre atti e cinque quadri Libretto di Giuseppe Adami e Renato Simoni dalla fiaba di Carlo Gozzi Musica di Giacomo Puccini Direttore Pinchas Steinberg Regia Garnett Bruce Evelyn Herlitzius / Marcello Giordani / Carmen Giannattasio, Mario Cassi, Saverio Fiore, Gianluca Floris Maestro del Coro Roberto Gabbiani Scene David Hockney Costumi Ian Falconer ORCHESTRA E CORPO DI BALLO DELLfOPERA Allestimento dellfOpera di San Francisco e della Lyric Opera di Chicago Mercoledi 23 ottobre, ore 20.00 (turno A) Giovedi 24 ottobre, ore 20.00 (fuori abb.) Venerdi 25 ottobre, ore 20.00 (turno B) Sabato 26 ottobre, ore 18.00 (turno D) Domenica 27 ottobre, ore 16.30 (turno E) Martedi 29 ottobre, ore 20.00 (turno C) Mercoledi 30 ottobre, ore 20.00 (fuori abb.) Giovedi 31 ottobre, ore 20.00 (fuori abb.) TOURNEE 19, 21 marzo 2013 SAN PIETROBURGO Teatro Mikhailovskij ORCHESTRA E CORO DEL TEATRO DELLfOPERA DI ROMA Direttore Riccardo Muti Maestro del Coro Roberto Gabbiani Giuseppe Verdi I DUE FOSCARI 29, 31 agosto, 1 settembre 2013 FESTIVAL DI SALISBURGO ORCHESTRA E CORO DEL TEATRO DELLfOPERA DI ROMA Direttore Riccardo Muti Maestro del Coro Roberto Gabbiani Giuseppe Verdi NABUCODONOSOR

Fine Art Photography of Italy

With over 20 years of traveling to and from Italy; Rem Malloy has compiled a collection of thousands of unique images of Italy that are suitable for framing in your home or office. See a sample of his collection. Visit the online Gallery

Weather Trends in Italy

Weather Trends in Italy When to visit Italy – Weather Trends – Italy’s Seasons Historically we recommend a trip from late April to Early October which is considered travel season for tourists. The summer months of July and August can be incredibly hot and many Italians take the month of August off from work to holiday at the beaches throughout the country. The further south you go the warmer the weather trends. Sicily can have lovely weather in the winter and it’s a great place to go during the off season. The experts at Italy 4 Real have come up with a basic monthly guide of weather and tourists load for the year. January and February are cold, wet or snowy. Tourism is very low, as are hotel and flight prices. March and April are rainy and still much chillier than visitors often expect. Tourism surges briefly during Easter week, seeing many traditional Catholic festivities, including pilgrimages. May and June are pleasantly warm throughout most of the country, attracting large amounts of tourists. Expect long lines and crowds, so consider booking a private guide or sightseeing tour to avoid lines. Reservations for hotels, train travel, and museum entrances are a must. July is about the same as May and June, with continued heat, prices, and lines August is likely the hottest month, especially in cities. Visiting in August can be challenging, because it is high season, but also the time many Italians leave work to go to the beaches. You will see signs chiuso per ferie ("closed for holiday") the week of Ferragosto, an important Italian holiday that falls on August 15. Attractions remain open in August, but often operating under limited hours. Reservations still highly recommended. September's climate is much better and the heat breaks about the first week of the month. Businesses re-open, Italians return to work from their August holidays, and there are fewer tourists than in prior summer months. October sees fewer tourists, low season prices, cooling temperatures and lovely fall landscapes - reasons, all, to make this month more attractive to visitors who can swing an off season vacation (more difficult if you have school-aged children). November in Italy is cold and virtually empty of tourists. Count on low season pricing. December is low season up until the period encompassing Christmas through the Feast of the Epiphany (January 6). As early as the week after Christmas, many Italians begin the popular settimana bianca, or "white week" of ski breaks, thus sending Alpine resorts into full swing. Christmas in Italy is an exciting, tradition-rich time to visit, worth considering for your second or third trip. Get your customized tour quote for any time of year with the experts at Italy 4 Real!

The 7 Hills of Rome, Italy

The 7 Hills of Rome Rome is the city of the 7 hills. Seven Hills, this is what we always read. Some of them are quite popular, others not so much: Capitol Hill, with Michelangelo’s Piazza (square) designed in 1537, where the second most important art collection in Romei is located, the wonderful Capitoline Museums (the first most important art collection is the Vatican Museums) Palatine Hill: it’s right by the Colosseum and the Roman Forum. The archeilogical ruins of the Imperial Palace are spread out here among beautiful pinecone trees. Celius Hill, worth an half day tour to the magnificent churches of St Clemen’s, St Gregory; St Giovanni e Paolo. Aventine Hill: today a quiet and rich residential neiborhood, one of the places where I would love to live, if I was millionaire… The best sunset in Rome is from the Giardino degli Aranci (Orange Garden), by the Church of Santa Sabina. So romantic… Esquiline Hill: the China Town of Rome is here, precisely around Piazza Vittorio. The Basilica of Saint Mary the Major with its unique Medieval mosaiques is on top of this hill. And also Michelangelo’s Moses is displayed in the Church of St Peter’s in Chains… Quirinal Hill: the highest hill of Rome, precisely 160 feet. Famous because of the Presiden’t House, the largest Palace of Italy (only 800 rooms…) Viminal Hill, the less popular one, with nothing interesting up there, apart from the Ministry of Interior… In reality the Hills of Rome are not seven, as we keep on reading in all the books. The Hills are precisely 18! Vatican Hill is the most famous one, where the Vatican Museums are located, and at the foot of which stands St Peter’s Basilica. Moreover the Pincio Hill, on top of the Spanish Steps; Gianicolo Hill, by Trastevere neibourhood. Italy4Real can help you plan your next Italy Travel Package to Rome so you can see our famous hills! http://www.italy4real.com

Italy Travel Video from my Trip to Italy to see Vatican City, St. Peters and the Vatican Museums

My last Italy Travel experience took me to Rome and to Vatican City. I took the HD Vatican video of the highlights of the Vatican Museums and Saint Peters Dome during my trip to Italy. my friends over at http://www.italy4real.com just loved it. I hope you do too.
 

Italy Travel Holiday Traditions in Italy

Track Santa this year and learn about the holiday season in Italy. http://www.italy4real.com/track_santa_holiday_in_italy The holiday season in Italy is a big deal! As you can imagine, the Italians really love their Christmas. Italians celebrate the holiday between December 24th and January 6th They also celebrate “Saturnalia” which is a winter solstice festival that goes until New Years Day when the Roman New Year known as “Calends” begins. For visitors to Italy during this time of the year, there are so many wonderful things to see and experience many weeks before Christmas Day. Festivities throughout the country begin in late November and continue into January. Some of the more notable celebrations in Italy are… In ROME during the holiday season there is a large Christmas market, nativity display and many large Christmas trees lit throughout the city. The biggest event is in Saint Peters Square in Vatican City where the midnight mass is given by the Pope inside St. Peters Basilica. On Christmas day at noon the Pope comes out onto his balcony to give his Christmas message. In NAPLES there is a huge celebration featuring Nativity Cribs and amazing nativity displays. In the homes of the Bay of Naples, families celebrate Christmas Eve with seven fish recipes. Eat up! In TORNIO they celebrate Christmas with professional lighting artists that travel to Torino from all over Europe to put up over 10 miles of lights! In MONTE INGINO they have a tree that won The World’s Tallest Christmas Tree in 1991. Each year they have a tree that is over 650 meters tall and has nearly 1000 lights. The star on top of the tree can be see from over 25 miles away! Haunkkah is celebrated in Italy as well. In Rome they have a wonderful part of the city near Campo dei Fiori. The area is a thriving Jewish community that celebrates the holiday with large, cantle lit Menorrah that is lit every night during the holiday period in Rome. Tracking Santa Starts Each December 24th at 12 Noon PST. Here is the link: NORAD SANTA TRACKER (http://www.noradsanta.org/en/)
BLACK FRIDAY ONLY

24 HOURS EXTENDED! Until Monday, Nov. 28th at 10:30 pm!

You must submit your request by 10:30 pm on Monday, November 28th, 2011

http://www.italy4real.com/black_friday_italy_travel

Black Friday Italy Travel Specials

BLACK FRIDAY ITALY TRAVEL DEALS ONLY UNTIL 10:30 PM, FRIDAY NOVEMBER 25TH, 2011

http://www.italy4real.com/black_friday_italy_travel
The Vatican, Sistine Chapel, St. Peters Square and the Vatican Museums are the major points to see when visiting Vatican City. http://www.italy4real.com can book NO LINE VATICAN TICKETS with or without guide.

The inside of the Vatican Museums is amazing and something each traveler to Rome should see.

Photo Tour of Bergamo, Italy

Bergamo is at the foothills of the Alps and an easy trip from Milan. The pros at http://www.italy4real.com can send you on an amazing vacation. send them an email at info@italy4real.com



Are you concerned about travel to Greece?

Are you concerned about travel to Greece because of their economic problems?


“ Strikes and demonstrations are a regular occurrence. Greece is a stable democracy and these activities for the most part are orderly and lawful ”
Bureau of Consular Affairs – U.S. Department of State, dated May 2011 Travel.state.gov


by Rem Malloy

Protests gone bad, tear gas, riot police are all images of Greece we have all seen on the evening news as the Greek government tries to bail itself out of debt.

Does the current economic situation in Greece make it a good time or a bad time to travel?

Travel to Greece is alive and well in 2011; and the savvy traveler knows that when a country is in economic distress, the luxury destinations, hotels, services and all things travel become big bargains.
While people protest; all for a good reason; they tend to do it around the government buildings in several square blocks of Athens and Thessaloniki. I would recommend checking with your hotels front desk to see if there are any issues when visiting Syntagma Square, also known as "Constitution Square” since it has the Parliament Building along one side of the square; and may be a hot spot for protests.


People who are protesting their governments, typically are not doing it at tourist spots; they tend to protest where the government offices are located.


What that means for you is a relatively normal sightseeing experience as long as you keep “see all the government buildings” off your must see list.


In 2011; Greece 4 Real sent a 12 family member group from Virginia to Athens and the Greek Islands Touring during the most turbulent times.


Their report was surprisingly positive…


TripAdvisor Review - Jun 28, 2011, 7:47 AM
“We used Italy 4 Real back in 2008 to schedule a trip to Italy for 8 people. They did a fabulous job; consequently, when I started planning out a trip to Greece in 2011 for 12 people, I immediately called Italy 4 Real. We worked with Rem Malloy and he was great. He was able to give me valuable advice as I worked to set our itinerary and the accommodations and activities he suggested couldn't have been better. Everyone on the trip absolutely loved our hotels, and the individuals at the hotels treated us like family. Rem also suggested we take a boat ride around Santorini with Captain George ---- which was a highlight for everyone. The transfers from the airports/hotels all made the trip so easy, which given the large size of our group was really important in keeping everyone happy. As we were leaving the Islands, everyone in our group kept telling me what a great job I did planning the trip, and I had to keep telling them that it was all Rem. When we plan our next trip to Europe, I will definitely call Italy 4 Real to see if they can help us plan that trip!!” Our TripAdvisor Page


As you can see no mention of riots, danger or chaos. One of the key factors in a successful Greek vacation is spending the most of your time Greek island hopping; where you spend just enough time in Athens to see the Acropolis and the Parthenon, the New Acropolis Museum and the Plaka which is full of winding streets; in and around the Acropolis. The Plaka is known for its boutique shops, local restaurants, and some great historic architecture.


Once you see the basics of Athens; get out to the islands. Protests are not going on in the Greek Islands; The locals on the islands are tending to their normal busines of catering to the tourists. Naxos , Paros and of course Santorini are strong bets that won’t disappoint . You can reach Santorini easily by air from Athens in just about an hour and be sipping Ouzo (an anise-flavored aperitif) overlooking the Aegean Sea while the locals in Athens hash out all the problems.


The Greek Islands are on sale; and you as the traveler should be looking at this opportunity like you would a 50% off sale at Macy’s .. so go out there and plan your Greek vacation now.

#

THINKING OF TRAVELING TO EUROPE? NEW TRAVEL WEBSITE PUTS YOU IN CONTROL OF YOUR VACATION PLANNING

Pacific Northwest-based travel company Italy 4 Real’s new site provides improved navigation, direct access to maps, enhanced searching, and rich content

Visit the site now http://www.italy4real.com


SEATTLE – June 17, 2011 – Italy 4 Real, a Pacific Northwest-based travel company specializing in tours to Italy and Europe, today launched its new website at www.italy4real.com.The dramatically redesigned site embodies the company’s forward–thinking vision and commitment to the growing needs of its customers.



“With this new website, Italy 4 Real can provide memorable travel services to Italy as well as assist travelers in their research with our online Italy research material,” said Rem Malloy, president and co-founder at Italy 4 Real. “The site uses the latest security, advanced web technologies and social networking connectivity in an easy to use platform which is welcome in today’s mega site playing field.”



Out of a global total of 880 million tourists, Italy ranks fifth with more than 43 million visitors per year. The new Italy 4 Real website will allow the company to easily update its product line with the latest trends in travel to Italy while also streamlining operating costs.



The website is packed with useful information such as shopping advice, Venice sightseeing, trips to Tuscany, car rental in Italy and travel tips.



Registered users of italy4real.com will have exclusive subscriber-only access to maps, guidebooks, city guides, articles and more; all written by local experts and guides.



“The Italy 4 Real philosophy is to provide our customers with the most personalized travel experiences possible through research, local knowledge and the development of customized vacation packages and small group tours that appeal to a broad range of new and experienced travelers,” said Malloy.



From cooking classes to romantic boutique hotels and farmhouse stays, Italy 4 Real’s custom trip planning services provide travelers a wide array of unique trip packages and experiences.



About Italy 4 Real

Mother and son team, Deborah de Maio and Rem Malloy, launched Italy 4 Real in 1995 because they saw a need for a boutique tour operator that understood the hesitations and concerns of travelers going abroad. With extensive on-the-ground knowledge and understanding of culture differences, Italy 4 Real specializes in creating trips from beginning to end sending travelers on their way with the confidence and resources they need to travel solo. For more information, please call (425) 355-3711 or go to www.italy4real.com







###

A day in Rome..

A great video of a day in rome.. let http://www.italy4real.com plan your next trip to Rome!

Ski Vacations Ski Holidays with Italy4Real

Plan a great ski vacation to Italy this year with one of the most attentive and professional companies out there for Italy ski vacations. One thing you must know about planning your Italy ski holiday is which area of Italy to go. Some of the best European ski prices can be found in Italy as well as some of the best skiing in Europe can be found in Italy.

Get a free quote on a trip to Italy here

Siena, Tuscany & San Gimignano by Italy4Real

The tour will begin with a beautiful excursion through the delightful hills of the Chianti countryside, with an ever-changing scenery of vineyards and olive trees. Upon arrival in Siena you will be guided through the old city centre. Walk along the small medieval streets, admire the splendid palaces and find yourself at the Cathedral where you can visit the splendid interior that includes the Libreria Piccolomini and the Museo dell'Opera Metropolitana. The guided tour will conclude in the Piazza del Campo, one of the world’s most famous and beautiful squares, there you will see the Palazzo del Comune. After the tour you will have free time to eat and refresh yourself before leaving for San Gimignano.
San Gimignano is situated on a hilltop, and has remained intact through the centuries. It is famous for its numerous towers, frescoes and other art treasures. You will have free time in order to explore this tiny yet extraordinary city. On your way back, don’t forget to behold the ancient medieval hamlet of Monteriggioni enclosed by its famous walls, which have remained intact since the thirteenth century.

Book online at http://www.italy4real.com

TRAVEL 4 REAL CEO MEETS WITH UNITED STATES SENATOR PATTY MURRAY IN EFFORT TO HELP WOMEN IN SMALL BUSINESSES CREATE JOBS


SEATTLE – March 24, 2011– Travel 4 Real CEO, Deborah de Maio joined a small group of select women small business owners as they talked with United States Senator Patty Murray concerning increasing access to the marketplace for women and minority owned businesses.

The U.S. House of Representatives voted in 2010 to pass legislation to boost lending for and provide targeted tax relief to small businesses. The legislation addresses the needs of small businesses with the Small Business Lending Fund Act and the Small Business Jobs Tax Relief Act.

These two bills, which are fully paid for, will now move together as one for consideration by the U.S. Senate.

“One issue in the past has been that large banks are only lending to larger businesses or ‘sure bets’ and are not looking at established small, women and minority owned businesses that have been impacted and need the funding,” explained de Maio.

“I have pressed the Small Business Administration to further its professional contacts with women and minority owned businesses, and I will continue to push the SBA to follow through on directives from Congress to help women and minority business owners have a fair shot at receiving government contracts,” said U.S. Senator Patty Murray recently.

The Small Business Lending Fund Act that was passed by President Obama in September, 2010 will increase lending to small businesses by creating a small business loan fund designed to boost lending to small businesses by providing additional capital to community banks with a requirement that the money be lent out and a penalty provision on those banks that do not make the loans. The fund will save taxpayers $1 billion over the next 10 years.



Travel 4 Real was awarded the Top 50 Diversity Owned Businesses in Washington in 2011 and the 2010 and 2011 Top 50 Woman Owned Businesses in Washington State by DiversityBusiness.com.

Business owners can access information on the program by visiting: http://www.sba.gov/ and Murray’s website, http://murray.senate.gov/public/

About Travel 4 Real
Mother and son team, Deborah de Maio and Rem Malloy, launched Travel 4 Real in 1995 because they saw a need for a boutique tour operator that understood the hesitations and concerns of travelers going abroad. With extensive on-the-ground knowledge and understanding of culture differences, Travel 4 Real specializes in creating trips from beginning to end sending travelers on their way with the confidence and resources they need to travel solo. For more information, please call (425) 355-3711 or go to www.travel4real.com www.italy4real.com

###

Review of Italy Villa Resort

This lovely property features both self catering apartments and hotel style rooms. Located near Assisi, Italy. Let http://www.italy4real.com book your next trip to Italy!

Italy Travel 2011 BIT Travel Show Milan, Italy

Join us in Milan for Italy's largest travel trade show where we find the best for our clients each year; the BIT. Bit, International Tourism Exchange, is the biggest exhibition of the Italian tourist offer in the world, and one of the most important for the world tourist industry, with a complete overview of the best international products.

An annual event for which there is a high level of expectancy from trade operators and travellers, so that they can see first hand the range of tourist destinations all over the world.

See why http://www.italy4real.com/ is the #1 provider of customized travel and small group tours to Italy. We travel to Milan to research the latest Italy has to offer our clients




Italy Travel 2011 BIT Travel Show Milan, Italy

Tuscany B&B Video Preview

Get your first look at this exclusive Bed and Breakfast in Tuscany offered by
Italy 4 Real

Experience Italy 8 day tour Review

video



Experience Italy 8 Day 3 STAR
Our most popular tour! New Lower Price for 2011. This is a great 3 star escorted tour that gives you a taste of all of the major sites and areas of Northern and Southern Italy in 8 days. This tour features the major cites of Venice, Florence, Rome as well as the highlights of Tuscany such as the Chianti wine area and Montepulciano. A great value that includes private airport transfers!


Departure Date : January - October
Valid till : 30 October 2011
Days / Nights : 8 Days/ 7 Nights
Hotels : 3 & 4 Star
Price: SEE PRICE USD*
Countries : Italy
Cities : Rome, Assisi, Siena, Florence, Bologna, Padova, Venice, Tuscany, Chianti, Montepulciano, Rome. * Prices based on current Euro exchange rate and subject to change.
Itinerary



Customer Experience:


Customer Reviews:
"The trip was great. Italy is beautiful and we both had a great time. The tour that we were on was a huge success. The tour guide Stephano was extremely nice and informative. The bus driver was equally as nice. I was very nervous about doing anything with a tour because of the "clock" you are on but this erased my fears. We couldn’t have asked for a better group to be with as we made a few friends. Thank you for your help with everything!”
- Steve B. Norwood, MA. "

see more reviews

Day 1 Highlights: Arrival to Rome, Private Airport Transfer, Relax & Unpack!


DAY 1: Arrival to Rome – Welcome to Italy!
+ Included: Airport Transfer
This tour begins and ends in Rome

Welcome to Italy! Your private transfer will be waiting for you outside baggage claim at Rome's airport to take you in style to your hotel in Rome.

Check into your hotel and relax. The first day in Europe is what we call the “Jetlag Day” where all you are to do is unpack and relax.

Today is your day to arrive, get over the long flight and just enjoy the fact that you have just begun your well needed vacation to Italy.

Stroll the streets around your hotel for a cocktail, find a local artist studio to look over the latest Roman art or just find a piazza and people watch; the choice is yours!

Day 2 Highlights: Assisi, Basilica of St. Francis, Siena, Piazza del Campo, Florence


DAY 2 – Umbria to Tuscany

+ Included:
Buffet Breakfast
Guided Assisi & Siena Sightseeing Tour
Multi Course Dinner

Fuel your full day of sightseeing with pastries, juice, authentic italian espresso and more at your hotel’s included continental breakfast.

Then board your deluxe motor coach for the scenic drive to Assisi, with time at leisure to explore this medieval city. It is the birthplace of St. Francis and is still surrounded by its ancient walls.

We suggest you visit the Basilica of Saint Francis with its early Renaissance masterpieces by Giotto and Cimabue. Lunch is at your leisure. You will then proceed to Siena to take in views of the town square, Piazza del Campo, where the world-famous horse race, the Palio, takes place every year.

Also see the elegant Palace and the Cathedral. Reach your hotel in glorious Florence, the capital of Tuscany, in time for an included, multi-course dinner featuring Italian specialties—an ideal time to get to know your fellow travelers.

Day 3 Highlights: Florence, The Duomo, Campanile Tower, Santa Croce, Gates of Paradise, Piazza Della Signoria


Day 3 – The City of Art – Florence!

+ Included:
Buffet Breakfast
Guided Florence Sightseeing Tour
Multi Course Dinner

Optional:
Trip to Pisa
Private Wine Tasting
Guided visit to Uffizi or Accedemia Museums

Today’s sightseeing tour is dedicated to exploring Florence, the cradle of the Renaissance.

Visit the beautiful Piazza del Duomo, the Cathedral of Santa Maria del Fiore and its dome by Filippo Brunelleschi, Giotto’s Bell Tower, the Baptistery of St. John with its amazing bronze doors called the Gates of Paradise, Campanile Tower, and Santa Croce, the 13th-century Franciscan church with Cimabue’s famous crucifix just to name a few.

There is plenty of free time for Lunch is on your own; perhaps sit at an outdoor café for a typical Italian mid-day meal. Be sure to save room for some exquisite gelato! With your afternoon at leisure, you may want to check out the many shops and stalls at the Ponte Vecchio, where you can browse for Italian leather goods and other souvenirs.

Your afternoon is free or you may join an optional tour to see Pisa or an optional private wine tasting at one of our local wine shops to taste what makes Tuscany such a powerful wine region.
Meet back at your conveniently located hotel for an included multi course dinner featuring some of Florence's special dishes. Tonight you are in Florence!

Day 4 Highlights: Bologna, Piazza Malpighi, Piazza Del Nettuno, Neptune Square, Maior Square, Padova, Saint Antonio Basilica, Venice


Day 4 – Tuscany, Heartland and Venice

+ Included:
Buffet Breakfast
Guided Bologna & Padova Sightseeing Tours
Multi Course Dinner

Enjoy your breakfast and prepare for a full day of exploring.
It’s on to Bologna for a visit to the city. Visit the city’s historical center and some of the most famous squares in Bologna such as Neptune Square and Major Square. See King Renzo’s Palace, Podesta Palace and The Basilica of San Petronio to name a few.

Lunch is at your leisure and the afternoon is yours to explore. Later we will continue Padova for a visit to the Basilica of Saint Antonio and then on to the city of bridges; Venice, with its romantic canals, in time for multi course dinner at your hotel. Welcome to Venice! Note: The 3 star package includes a hotel in Mestre located outside historic Venice. For hotels in historic Venice, please select our
4 star package for this tour .

Day 5 Highlights: Venice, Boat Cruise to the Glass Island of Murano, Glass Blowing Demonstration, St Marks Square, Doges Palace (exterior), Bridge of Sighs


Day 5 – The City of Bridges – Venice!

+ Included:
Buffet Breakfast

Guided Murano & Venice Sightseeing Tour

Multi Course Dinner
Optional:
Venice Wine Tasting
Private Gondola Ride
Musical Gondola Ride

Good morning! As you rise and shine in Venice, the smell of fresh espresso and pastries fill the air. Today you get to learn about glorious Venice, with its 177 islands, 150 canals and 400 bridges.

Venice is your playground this morning; sightseeing begins with a private boat ride to the island of glass; Murano for a tour of a glass factory where you will see how the masters turn sand into some of the most delicate glass works in the world. Then on to the famous St. Mark’s Square (watch out for pigeons!) and the ornate Doge’s Palace (outside), once home to the aristocrats of Venice, Bridge of Sighs and more!

With the afternoon at leisure, you may want to linger over lunch at a sidewalk café—be sure to try some gelato! Or perhaps take a ride in a traditional, hand-built gondola—after all; an authentic gondola ride on Venice’s canals just may be a once-in-a-lifetime experience! Don’t forget dinner is included tonight as well.

Day 6 Highlights: Tuscany, Chianti, Val Di Chiana, Montepulciano, Rome


Day 6 – Tuscan Wine Country
+ Included:
Buffet Breakfast

Sightseeing

Enjoy your breakfast and prepare for your departure to the heart of Tuscany’s wine country. First stop of the day is the Chianti region.

Chianti is world known for its landscape and wine. Located between Siena and Florence, Chianti is synonymous to fine Tuscan wines. The town we choose to visit in Chianti is Montepulciano which is widely known for its famous Brunello red.

You will have plenty of time to visit the local wine shops for tastings, photos of the wine barrels and rolling Tuscan countryside. Later in the afternoon we continue to the capitol of Italy; Rome! Dinner on your own in Rome.

This tour includes our free TRIP PAK which includes free maps, sightseeing, dining and regional guides. Your TripPak will show you plenty of things to do during your free time when you arrive to Rome!

Day 7 Highlights: Rome, St. Peters Square, Piazza Navona, Pantheon, Trevi Fountain


Day 7 – All Roads Lead to Rome!
+ Included:
Buffet Breakfast

Guided Rome Sightseeing Tour
Optional:
Rent a Vespa
Private Wine Tasting
Rome Cooking Class
Gladiator for a Day
Personal Shopper

Sip your espresso, take another bit of the fresh fruit and enjoy your breakfast because today you will walk the capital city and learn firsthand the history of Rome.

A walking tour of the city will introduce you to Piazza di Spagna, Fontana di Trevi, Pantheon , Piazza Navona and end in San Pietro Basilica. Now that you have a basic understanding of the layout of the historical center, the remainder of the day and evening are yours to explore, relax and soak it all in.

Ask your Travel Expert about some of the great optional tours you can experience while in Rome such as renting a Vespa scooter or wine tasting at the International Academy of Wine. Italy4Real has dozens of great things to do!

Day 8 Highlights: Private Airport Transfer


Day 8 – Rome to Home

+ Included:
Buffet Breakfast

Airport Transfer

After breakfast, bid arrivederci to your fellow travelers and transfer to the airport for your flight home, or continue your European vacation on your own.

No matter what your travel plans, the experts at
Italy 4 Real can help you with the arrangements.



Departure Dates 2010/2011: Experience Italy 8 Day, 3 Star

STATUS : GUARANTEED DEPARTURE!
ALL DATES AVAILABLE -BOOKING NOW
You will select your requested departure date during check out.


2010
October 1 , 3 , 8 , 10 , 15 , 17 , 22 , 24
November 7 ,21
December
5

2011
January 2 , 16
February 6 , 20
March 13 ,27
April 3 ,10, 17, 24
May 1, 6, 8, 13, 15, 20, 22, 27, 29
June 3, 5, 10, 12, 17, 19, 24, 26
July 1, 3, 8, 10, 15, 17, 22, 24, 29, 31
August No departures
September 2, 4, 9, 11, 16, 18, 23, 25, 30
October 2, 7, 9, 14, 16, 21, 23, 28, 30

Important notes about this Tour

3 Star hotels for 7 nights with private bath.
Transport by modern European coaches
All breakfasts are included
4 multi course dinners
All taxes included!
Private Airport Transfers on pick up and departure
Tour host for duration of tour
Private Guided Sightseeing Tours
Porterage Service: just 1 piece of luggage per person
Tours are guaranteed in English but may also include other languages to accommodate passengers of other nationalities.
Hotels: Rome: Hotel Corona or similar, Florence: Hotel Raffaello or similar, Venice: Hotel in Mestre(suburb of Venice): Hotel Delfino or similar

Group Size: Guaranteed Departure with Min 2 people. Average 20
The tour does not include: airfare, tips
All tours are governed by the Terms & Conditions
*Travelling alone? Single supplements available for this trip. Complete Quick Quote Request Box Below. Discounts apply to Low Season Travel, Inquire when booking

This tour includes the following extras at no charge!

Our Exclusive TRIP PAK that contains over $50 in maps, local and regional travel guides, travel tips, city information, dining suggestions, sightseeing suggestions and more all developed by our staff of Travel Experts and guides to make your trip more enjoyable.


Access to our 24 hour CRS System (Client Response System) where you will have access to your personal Travel Expert for questions or assistance during your trip

This program includes our Local-Assist™ local assistance service. You will have access to our local representative in Italy by phone or in person for any assistance needed.
Only Italy 4 Real offers a real person at your destination for help or questions!



Have a question or want this tour quoted with airfare, fill out the Quick
Quote Request box Below

©2011 Travel 4 Real LLC.
Licensed as providers of travel and tour operators. License number: 602031659

Lombardi's Fabulous Family and Friends Gourmet Food and Wine Tour of Italy

Lombardi's Fabulous Family and Friends Gourmet Food and Wine
Tour of Italy

Join Lombardi's Neighborhood Italian Restaurants for an intimate trip to savor and enjoy Tuscany and Emilia Romagna with the owners of Lombardi's and Italy 4 Real in May 2011.

About Lombardi's:Founded in 1987 by veteran restaurateur Diane Symms, Lombardi’s was launched with a vision of serving memorable, full flavored, yet simple and affordable Italian food. The name “Lombardi’s” was chosen because “Lombardy” is a region in Italy. Lombardi’s is a family owned business with Diane’s daughter, Kerri Lonergan, an integral member of the ownership and management team.

When: MAY 14 - 26, 2011

Taking Reservations Now
Limited Space Available

Where: Central Italy - SIENA - SAN GIMIGNANO - CHIANTI - PARMA - MONTALCINO - PIENZA - MONTEPULCIANO - FLORENCE - BOLOGNA - MODENA

Cost: Click to see price

Get on the waiting list now : 425-355-3711 orinfo@italy4real.com

- Click and complete first.
Place your deposit using PayPal:
$350 per person non refundable
- Place your deposit with personal check or over the phone using a major credit card.

The Program

MAY 14 - Depart USA
Today's Events: Day 0

Today you will depart from the United States for your fligth to Italy. Italy 4 Real will assist you with your flight reservations. Flights are not included in this program.

Important Airfare Note: you must depart USA on May 14th to arrive on the 15th of May in Italy. - Italy 4 Real will be happy to research and book your airfare for this trip. Everyone must arrvie to Florence airport between 8-10 am on May 15th for the single airport transfer.

MAY 15 - Arrival to Italy - Florence Airport to Siena
Included today: airport transfer, 3 star hotel, welcome drink, multi course welcome dinner.
Today's Events: Day 1

Arrival of the group at the Florence airport. Pick up by private driver and departure for Siena.

Arrival and check in at the 3 -Star Superior Hotel in the center of Siena. Check in and relax. Tonight we will have a welcome reception with drinks and a great welcome dinner with mutiple courses of the local foods.

About the Hotel : The hotel is a new 3 star hotel located in the beautiful Tuscany town of Siena. Just a few steps away from the main square. The building dates back to the year 1600 and has been recently renovated and rooms are spacious and decorated in soft colors with an attention to detail.

About Siena:The historic centre of Siena has been declared by UNESCO a World Heritage Site. It is one of the nation's most visited tourist attractions. Siena is also home of the famous Palio horse race.

MAY 16 - Siena, Wine and San Gimignano!
Included today: Breakfast, transfers, wine estate visit and private tasting unch, private guided tour of Siena city centre, visit to San Gimignano, 3 star hotel.

Today's Events: Day 2

In the morning enjoy a buffet breakfast featuring fruits, cheeses, juices, pastries and of course the best Italian espresso! After breakfast you will meet our local guide for a 3 hour walking tour of Siena. No matter if you have been there before; our guides will show you a side of the city only the locals know. Visit the Duomo (church) the main square and learn about the famous Palio horse race!

After the tour you are ready for lunch. You will enjoy a light tasting lunch in an organic wine estate that produces the famous Vernaccia di San Gimignano, extra virgin olive oil and saffron! The estate owner will give us a short presentaion of the estate and you will taste the homemade products and wines!

In the afternoon you will travel to the town of San Gimignano for a visit of the town on your own during free time. Here you will see the famous towers, quaint shops and meet the locals that make this town famous! Private transfer back to your hotel in the afternoon for dinner on your own and overnight stay.

About San Gimignano: San Gimignano rises on a hill (334m high) dominating the Elsa Valley with its towers. The town increased in wealth and developed greatly during the Middle Ages thanks to the "Via Francigena" the trading and pilgrim's route that crossed it. Such prosperity lead to the flourishing of works of art to adorn the churches and monasteries. In 1199 it became a free municipality and fought against the Bishops of Volterra and the surrounding municipalities. Due to internal power struggles it eventually divided into two factions one headed by the Ardinghelli family (Guelphs) and the other by the Salvucci family (Ghibellines). In 1348 San Gimignano's population was drastically reduced by the Black Death Plague throwing the city into a serious crisis which eventually led to its submission to Florence in 1353. In the following centuries San Gimignano overcame its decline and isolation when its beauty and cultural importance together with its agricultural heritage were rediscovered. The construction of the towers dates back to the 11th and 13th centuries. The architecture of the city was influenced by Pisa, Siena and Florence. There are 14th century paintings of the Sienese School to be seen and 15th century paintings of the Florentine School.

MAY 17 - Free Day Siena
Included today: Breakfast, 3 star hotel.

Today's Events: Day 3

Today is the day to explore Siena on your own. Get to know the city and all its charm. Find a shop, sit and people watch, the choice is yours. Lunch & Dinner on your own with overnight in Siena.

MAY 18 - Montalcino, Abbey Of Sant Antimo GREGORIAN CHANTS
Included today: Breakfast, private transfer, visit to Montalcino, visit to Castelnuovo dell'Abate, visit to Sant' Angelo in Colle, 3 star hotel.

Today's Events Day 4

Wake up to the smell of fresh espresso at your buffet breakfast. Departure by private minivan with Italy 4 Real tour director for a full day excursion to Montalcino.

On the road we will stop at the enchanting hamlet of Bagno Vignoni, where you can admire the medieval spa where Lorenzo il Magnifico and St Catherine from Siena use to bath. The village was built around this pool made of rock and the atmosphere is very romantic and unique.

Arrival in Montalcino and you will have free time to visit the beautiful centre of this Medieval town. A visit to the Fortress for a pleasant walk on the walls and a visit to the inside Enoteca Regionale del Brunello. Time on your own for lunch.

After lunch, transfer to Castelnuovo dell’Abate to visit the famous Abbey Of Sant Antimo where you can listen to the GREGORIAN CHANTS by the Augustinian Monks affiliated to the order founded in the 12th Century by St. Norbert in Premontre.

This will be followed by a mass celebrated in this 9th. Century abbey. The view of this abbey and the sound of the Gregorian chant will remain your memory for many years.

About the Abby: the nearby Abbey of Sant’Antimo welcomes all who wish to marvel at its unadorned early Romanesque architecture, contemplate in its peaceful, prayerful silence, or be mesmerized by the monks daily vespers sung in Gregorian chant. The abbot offers in-depth tours of the property and a glimpse into the daily lives of the monks who inhabit it. Standing strikingly alone in a pasture at the foot of a hill, the abbey’s origins are said to be connected to Holy Roman Emporer Charlemagne. Legend has it that he knelt on the very spot and vowed to God that he would dedicate an abbey on the site if he and his troops would be spared from plague sweeping the area.

About Montalcino: Montalcino has been known for its red wines since the 15th century. However the inventor of Brunello was Ferruccio Biondi Santi who first decided to abandon Canaiolo, Ciliegiolo and Colorino vine species and concentrate on Sangiovese

His bottle dated 1888 is probably the absolute first in history. In 1966 and 1980 respectively, Brunello was among the first Italian wines to be granted the titles DOC (Controlled Denomination of Origin) and DOCG (Controlled and Guaranteed Denomination of Origin).

Private tranfer back to you hotel dinner on your own and overnight stay.

MAY 19 - Pienza, Montepulciano & Pecorino Cheese!
Included today: Breakfast, private transfer, guided tour of Montepulciano, winery visit and tasting, light lunch, private guided tour of Pecorino cheese factory, 3 star hotel.
Today's Events: Day 5

Buffet Breakfast at our Hotel. Depart with your Italy 4 Real tour director for Montepulciano. This splendid little town – whose artistic and architectural heritage led it to be called the Pearl of the Cinquecento – has preserved its beauty. We will meet our local Italy 4 Real guide and head up the steep streets of the outlying districts of the city. You will discover beautiful palazzos and churches imbued with the unparalleled art of foremost Renaissance architects. The splendidPiazza Grande, must be seen: the Duomo with its uncompleted façade and the Town Hall, surrounded by Renaissance palazzos. The valley below is an unforgettable view with the outstanding and elegant mass of the Tempio di S. Biagio.

After the guided walking tour of the center, after the visit we will transfer to visit one of the oldest cellars of Italy; Avignonesi, walking along its renaissance stairs down to the Etruscan grotto, where now precious bottles of wine age.

Guided wine tasting of the great Vino Nobile di Montepulciano and other wines of the grotto. You will then depart to a local important wine producer, Le Capezzine, where you can enjoy a tasting light lunch with their best wines.

In the early afternoon transfer to Pienza and time on your own to enjoy this enchanting little town. In the late afternoon transfer to one of the best local cheese factory where you will discover the many flavours of the Pecorino di Pienza cheese through a guided presentation and tasting. Back to your Hotel. Dinner on your own and overnight stay.

About Pienza and Montepulciano: In 1458 Enea Silvio Piccolomini decided to transform the villageof his birth, Pienza, into a symbol-town of the Italian Renaissance. Over the three years from 1459 to 1462 the new Pienza saw the creation of the luminous Cathedral of the Assuntawhich contains works by major Sienese artists of the day and is flanked by the imposing Palazzo Piccolomini whose loggia offers a celebrated panoramic view over Val d’Orcia; then there is the Town Hall and the Bishop’s Pal ace with its museum. The church of San Francesco (13th century), the walls and the austere parish church of Corsignano are mediaeval, the latter mentioned for the first time in 714.

MAY 20 - Florence
Included today: Breakfast, private transfer, private guided tour of Florence, Artisan Tour, 3 star hotel
Today's Events Day 6

Buffet Breakfast. Today you travel to Florence where our local guide will meet you for a full day of exploring Florence by foot. In the morning you will have a panoramic tour of the centre including the Boboli Garden where you will end the first part of your tour.

Lunch is on your own. After lunch your will have the “artisan tour” in the Oltrarno area and some time for a coffee and some shopping.

Late in the afternoon return to your Siena hotel for dinner on your own and overnight in Siena.

MAY 21- Bologna Cooking School - Tortellini's Passion
Included today: Breakfast, private transfer, private guided tour of Bologna, cooking class, lunch, visit to chocolate factory, 3 star hotel.
Today's Events Day 7

Buffet Breakfast at our Hotel. Check out and transfer to Bologna. Upon arrival we will continue to the oldest cooking school in Bologna. Today you are going to prepare the true “Tortellini” in one of the oldest school of Bologna. So, after a nice welcome coffee break where you will be introduced to the “operations” and to the history of the school, you will take your place and start to prepare your handmade tortellini from the making of the dough, use of the roll, preparation of the filling and final creation of the so called “Venus’ navel” (3 hours class), followed by a delicious tasting of your masterpiece.

In the afternoon meeting with your Italy 4 Real guide for a the tour of the town visiting the historical “botteghe” (food shops) of the centre, where you can taste many traditional delicacies and have some time for shopping: the “drogheria “ (the spice shop), the “salsamentario” (sauces shop), the “sfogline” (the ladies who makes hand made pasta), the chocolate factory and final the medieval outdoor market. Back to your hotel for dinner on your own and overnight

Bologna hotelAbout the Hotel: This very friendly family-run hotel is situated in a quiet corner of Bologna's historic centre. The hotel is surrounded by history with one of the most prominent churches nearby and only a few steps away from the main square. It is also one of the most prestigious areas of the town with the Law courts, elegant designer shops and city gardens.With a 360° view of Bologna overlooking the terracotta rooftops of the centre, the view stretches from the famous medieval towers to the hills surrounding the town. In summer you can sunbathe while relaxing in the rooftop jacuzzi. You can sit and marvel the view or relax in this comfortable intimate hotel in a peaceful corner, right in the heart of 4one Italy's most medieval and

About Bologna: The history of Bologna is so closely woven into its architectural structure that the monuments on the average tourist itinerary don’t even begin to tell the whole story. Visiting Bologna means losing yourself among the porticos and alleys, discovering stately old palazzi, and, yes, also visiting those monuments that have become the symbols of the city. The one real monument to Bologna is Bologna itself.

MAY 22 - Modena and Ferrari!
Included today: Breakfast, private transfer, balsamic vinegar tour and tasting, lunch, guided visit to Modena, visit to Ferrari museum in Maranello, 3 star hotel.

Today's Events Day 8

Buffet Breakfast at Hotel. Today departure for a full day excursion in the area of Modena. In the morning visiting the beautiful center of the town with your Italy 4 Real local guide, its impressive cathedral and the elegant streets. After the visit transfer to the surroundings of Modena by an ancient “Acetaia” producing the renowned Aceto Balsamico Tradizionale di Modena DOP – There you will meet the owner who will introduce you to the world of Basamic Vinegar and its secrets.

Enjoy a tasting lunch based on Aceto balsamico matched with traditional dishes.

The rest of the afternoon will be spent visiting one of the myths of the Italian creativity and excellence, the Ferrari Museum in Maranello where you will discover part of the history that made this car a status symbol for many generations.

Back to Bologna, dinner on your own and overnight stay.

MAY 23- Culatello Experience!

Included today: Breakfast, private transfer, Cultatello ham factory tour and tasting lunch, 3 star hotel.

Today's Events Day 9

Breakfast in hotel. Transfer to a local ham factory producing the famous “culatello” in the area of Fontabellato (Parma). Here the group will have a private tasting educational tour as following:

Introduction meet and greet with the “Norcino”:

Presentation of the sectioning of pork’ haunch that, once salted, tied and put inside the pork bladder and bind fast in it, is ready to become a Culatello

Private visit to the maturing factory: During the visit to the maturing factory where you will learn that winter mist and humid cellars are essential elements for a good maturing process
Preparation of Culatello with wine: Culatello, after 12/15 months of maturing it can be taken out of the cellars, but before consumption it is necessary to soften it.

During the tasting educational tour you will learn the “culatello treatment”: the strings are taken out, a rag is wound round Culatello that is then plunged in a pot full of wine.

Judging of the Culatello – Competition among 3 culatello: The competition among culatello is the most amazing part of the tour. you will be given technical voting papers to judge 3 culatello slices on the basis of their color, taste in the mouth and fragrance.

After the visit and the tasting competition, you will have the opportunity to taste all kind of salted meats produced by the factory. It is possible to taste the difference between Culatello, Culaccia and Fiocco di Prosciutto and understand how the same meat, processed in different ways, can result so many different flavors.

In the afternoon, returning back to Bologna. Dinner on your own and overnight stay.

MAY 24 - The King of Cheeses!
Included today: Breakfast, private transfer, guided tour of Parmigiano Reggiano factory, tasting of cheeses, guided tour of Parma, 3 star hotel.

Today's Events Day 10

Buffet Breakfast at our Hotel.

After breakfast, early departure by private transfer for a cheese factory, Consorzio of Parmigiano Reggiano in order to see the entire process.

The visit will be extremely interesting: from the delivering of milk to the working and transformation of the traditional forms, to the salting and aging phase. This visit will last almost the entire morning and will conclude with a taste of this delicious cheese, famous in the whole world.

After the visit transfer to Parma where you will meet your Italy 4 Real guide and walking tour of this elegant city, little known for its artistic importance, although loved for its excellent food. You will visit the Palazzo Ducale, the Palazzo della Pilotta, the Teatro Regio and Teatro Farnese, the enchanting Cathedral and Baptistery, etc. The itinerary led by guide will explain artistic highlights, as well as eno-gastronomic details.

Lunch on your own. Afternoon in Parma on your own to explore the city and do some shopping. Parma deserves time since it is one of the best town of Emilia Romagna. Back to Bologna late in the afternoon. Dinner on you own and overnight.

MAY 25 - Free Day Bologna & Farwell Dinner
Included today: Breakfast, farewell dinner, 3 star hotel

Today's Events Day 11

Today is your time to explore Bologna on your own and visit that last shop, eatery and photo spot. Spend your day soaking up the sun and people watching in a city square. Tonight a grand farwell dinner in centre to have the first close encounter with the “Fat Bologna" an experience your taste buds will never forget. Overnight stay.

MAY 26 - Arrivederci Italia!
Included today: Breakfast, airport transfer

Today's Events Day 12

Buffett breakfast at the hotel and check out. Private transfer to the airport for the trip home. End of services.

Airfare Booking Notes:

Depart USA: May 14

Arrival Date: May 15, Arrival Airport: Florence (FLR)

Departure Date: May 26, Departure Airport: Florence (FLR)

Italy 4 Real will assist you with booking your air for this tour because of required timing of arrival to Italy. If you choose to book your own air please contact us for arrival and departure guidelines to insure you can take the included pick up and return airport transfer.

If you would like us to book your air, submit your request onlinehere

Questions about this tour or booking? call 425-355-3711 Monday - Friday 9am -5pm PST or info@italy4real.com

The 2011 Program Includes:

    • 6 nights at a 3 star centrally located hotel in Siena – in double superior rooms
    • 6 nights at a 3 star sup. hotel centrally located in Bologna – in double superior rooms
    • Buffer breakfast daily
    • Welcome drink and dinner at the Hotel in Siena
    • Dinner in a traditional osteria in Siena.
    • HD guided visits to: Siena – Montepulciano –Parma – Bologna – Modena
    • 1 FD Visit to Florence including the Artisan tour
    • guided visit and wine tasting at the Antica Cantina di Montepulciano
    • Guided visit and tasting lightlunch at Le Capezzine in Montepulciano
    • Visit and cheese tasting at Caseificio Cugusi in Pienza
    • Tasting lightlunch at the Fattoria S.Donato in S. Gimignano
    • Guided visit and lunch at the Acetaia Pedroni in Modena
    • Culatello Experience with tasting lunch at La Fattoria di Fontanellato
    • Cooking class Tortellini with lunch in Bologna
    • Guided visit and tasting in a cheese factory of Consorzio Parmigiano Reggiano
    • Welcome drink and farewell dinner in Bologna

The quote does not include:

  • Drinks during lunches/dinners where not indicated
  • Entrance tickets
  • Baggage handeling
  • Tips
  • Airfare
  • Everything not listed above
$350 per person non refundable
To use PayPal click Pay Now
to place your deposit using a major credit card or personal check cl

Italy Travel

Great Italy Travel starts here www.italy4real.com

Maxin at the Maxwell


There is a new style of hotel in Seattle, one with no breakfast, no bar and a small pool but lots of class. I recently had the pleasure of experiencing The Maxwell in Seattle, Washington.

At first the thought of no breakfast or bar at a modern hotel made me apprehensive and I must admit I went to the Maxwell with a slightly raised brow wondering what’s up? I was expecting to feel the cut to the bottom line during my stay but I was pleasantly surprised.

When I got to the Maxwell, the light bulb went on and I got it. The new style is not to take more away from your experience but make your stay more enjoyable by focusing on the time spent in the room.

The Maxwell provides the maximum room experience with at home comforts. Upon arrival there was no official bell person but the lobby felt like a well designed European boutique hotel. The furniture had style; there were cool patterns in the carpets and chairs. The lobby had plenty of places to sit and relax, with most feeling like a corner of a fashionable home.

The hotel is eclectic but in a modern way. I was impressed with the use of color, mod-retro furniture with high end touches such as fine wood, tile and rich fabrics. The Maxwell does not disappoint with in- room amenities such as the latest model of Keurig® pod coffee maker, a 42 inch flat screen with DVD set up, microwave, mini-fridge and cool Sony bedside clocks.

The beds are wonderful, not only are they good looking with bright splashes of color and great pillows but they feature pillow top mattresses and nice heavy comforters…its stuff like this which will keep you in the room and happy.

When you do decide to leave your “lux cave” you are right in the center of Seattle’s action and just a stone’s throw away from Seattle Center, Pacific Science Center and the Space Needle. The Maxwell’s prime location on lower Queen Anne gives the urban tourist plenty of pubs, retro movie theaters and the best under two buck greasy burgers you have ever had at Dicks. All-in all the Maxwell Hotel’s location is better than a smack dab downtown one because you are on the edge of a neighborhood with easy city access without the parking, homeless or noise you experience in metro centered properties.

I’m all about the old adage “only need a place to rest my head, “ but as a professional in the travel industry, I know that there are more hotels than you would ever want to stay in any major city so when one comes along with an easy style, a room you’ll never want to leave and damn good lobby cupcakes; I’m checking in.

Book your own stay at the Seattle Maxwell hotel with Travel 4 Real 800-554-5170 toll free or 425-355-3711

A Week in Tuscany & Umbria

A Week in Tuscany & Umbria

A Week in Tuscany & Umbria

This self guided week long tour you will discover some smaller jewels of the two sister regions; Tuscany and Umbria. Visit some of the more unique and off the beaten path villages and towns. Add a few days to make it a longer tour.


Departure Date : All Year

Valid till : 31 December 2011

Days / Nights : 8 Days/ 7 Nights

Hotels : 3 Star Bed and Breakfast Accommodations

Price: see price in USD, CAD, GBP, EURO and YEN*

Countries : Italy

Cities : Bettona, Torgiano, Deruta, Perugia, Montefalco, Assisi, Montepulciano, Pienza, Siena, San Gimignano, Chianti, Montalcino

Itinerary

divider line

Customer Experience:

SmileSmileSmileSmile Smile (5 out of 5)
Customer Reviews:
"What a great route and design. Italy 4 Real gave us the route, on the ground support, the accommodations were just what we were looking for”
- Terry;. Boston. "

see more reviews

divider line

Day 1 Highlights: Arrival to Rome, Bettona, Relax & Unpack!

Welcome to Rome

DAY 1: Arrival to Rome – Welcome to Italy!

+ Included: B&B Accommodations, Multi Course Dinner

This tour begins in Rome

Welcome to Italy! Arrival in Rome. Pick up your rental car (not included) and travel to the Umbria Region. Arrival in Bettona, lovely medieval village in the heart of the region of Umbria. Accomodation in a lovely bed and breakfast you will love your room and multi course welcome dinner in the characteristic restaurant of the Relais. Overnight stay.

Today is your day to arrive, get over the long flight and just enjoy the fact that you have just begun your well needed vacation to Italy.

Stroll the streets around your hotel for a cocktail, find a local artist studio to look over the latest art or just find a piazza and people watch; the choice is yours!

You will need a rental car for this program, take a look at the options here

Divider line
Day 2 Highlights: Torgiano, Deruta, Perugia

Tuscany

DAY 2 – Umbria to Tuscany


+ Included:

Buffet Breakfast

Wine tasting

Sightseeing Route to follow


Fuel your full day of sightseeing with pastries, juice, authentic italian espresso and more at your hotel’s included continental breakfast.

After breakfast depart for the hilltop town of Torgiano, not far from Bettona to visit at leisure the Wine Museum that will delight both the connoisseur as well as the merely curious.

You'll have the chance to taste the singular wines of Umbria′s most illustrious wine house Cantine Giorgio Lungarotti which lies just outside Torgiano. The rest of the afternoon can be spent in Deruta, renown for its beautiful ceramic and pottery. Here we suggest you to visit the National Museum of the Pottery, located just in the village centre. You will also have time to a stop to Perugia, elegant town rich in important monuments and renown for its production of Chocolate (the world famous "Bacio" candy was born here). Dinner on your own and overnight stay.

divider line
Day 3 Highlights: Montefalco, Assisi

Tuscany`

Day 3 – The Cradle of Umbria

+ Included:

Buffet Breakfast

Olive Oil and Food Tasting

Today’s sightseeing tour is dedicated to exploring Umbria, the cradle of the Renaissance.

After breakfast departure for Montefalco, gorgeous medieval town called "the terrace of Umbria" for its incredible panoramic location. Here you will visit an ancient olive oil mill run by a nice woman and her family, for a tasting of traditional local food and olive oil.

Typical Italian snacks will be served. The rest of the day is dedicated to visiting Assisi at your leisure. Dinner on your own. Back to the Hotel and overnight stay.

divider line
Day 4 Highlights: Montepulciano, Pienza, Siena

Tuscany

Day 4 – Tuscany Heartland

+ Included:

Buffet Breakfast

Wine Tasting


Enjoy your breakfast and prepare for a full day of exploring. After breakfast departure for Tuscany. First stop at the Renaissance town of Montepulciano. The town is the birthplace of the humanist poet Poliziano and host to works of some of Italy′s greatest architects. Quench your thirst with a bit of wine with a tasting and tour with snacks in an ancient wine cellar in the city center.

Lunch at leisure. In the afternoon you will have the chance to stop in the lovely town of Pienza and take your time to get lost in the narrow and characteristic streets of the town, which names as "la Via dell′Amore", are so romantic. Arrival in your Hotel in Siena area. Dinner on you own and overnight stay

divider line
Day 5 Highlights: Cooking Class, San Gimignano

Italy cooking Class

Day 5 – Italian Cooking Class! San Gimignano

+ Included:

Buffet Breakfast

Italian Cooking Class

Good morning! As you rise and shine, the smell of fresh espresso and pastries fill the air. Today you get to learn about Siena and have a great cooking class!

After breakfast at the Hotel drive into the Sienese countryside to attend a cooking class in a farmhouse. You′ll learn the principle secrets of Italian cuisine, such as the art of making a delicious pasta. Enjoy for lunch what you created during the cooking class.

The reminder of the afternoon can be spent in San Gimignano, wandering among the towers and shops of this timeless medieval town. Dinner on your own in San Gimignano. Overnight at hotel.

divider line

Day 6 Highlights: Chianti, Winery Tour, Siena

Wine

Day 6 – Tuscan Wine Country

+ Included:

Buffet Breakfast

Winery Tour and Tasting


Enjoy your breakfast and prepare for your departure to the heart of Tuscany’s wine country. First stop of the day is the Chianti region.

After breakfast departure for the Chianti region, located between Siena and Florence known around the world for fine wines. Enjoy a bit of culture with a tasting and tour of winery, complete with tasting. In the afternoon you’ll have chance to wander the medieval streets of Siena and have time for shopping and relax. Dinner on your own and overnight stay.

divider line

Day 7 Highlights: Montalcino, Brunello Wine Estate, Lunch

Italy Wine

Day 7 – The King of Wine

+ Included:

Buffet Breakfast

Wine Estate Tour and Tasting

Lunch

Sip your espresso, take another bit of the fresh fruit and enjoy your breakfast because today you will walk taste and learn about the amazing Brunello wine.

After breakfast departure for Montalcino, where you will enjoy a winery tour and tasting in a Brunello wine estate. Lunch in a central trattoria and the afternoon, we suggest you a visit to the intimate 11 century Romanesque church of St. Antimo. Returning back to Siena, have a stop to the impressive Benedictin Abbey of Monte Oliveto Maggiore, one of the finest holy place of Tuscany region. Dinner on your own and overnight stay.

divider line

Day 8 Highlights: Private Airport Transfer

Siena

Day 8 – Farewell Tuscany


+ Included:

Buffet Breakfast


After breakfast, Last day of your tour. We suggest you to spend the morning in Florence on your own, for visiting this wonderful art city. Possibility to extend the stay with one or two overnight stay in town. End of our services.

No matter what your travel plans, the experts at
Italy 4 Real can help you with the arrangements.

divider line

Departure Dates 2011: A week in Tuscany and Umbira


STATUS : GUARANTEED DEPARTURE!
ALL DATES AVAILABLE -BOOKING NOW

This tour departs on your schedule, any day any time!


Important notes about this Tour

This tour is SELF GUIDED which means that you travel on your own at your own schedule with the following inclusions.

3 nights - 1 HB + 2 b&b accomodation in Umbria
4 nights b&b accomodation in Tuscany
Wine tasting at Lungarotti in Torgiano
Light lunch at a traditional olive oil mill in Montefalco
Visit and wine tasting in an ancient cellar in Montepulciano
Visit and wine tasting in a traditional cellar in Montalcino
Visit and wine tasting in a cellar in Chianti
Lunch in a local trattoria in Montalcino
3 hour cooking class in a villa with lunch and drinks included
Our assistance on the spot
LocalAssist™ - Local assistance 24 hours from Italy 4 Real
TripPak™ - Free travel maps, guide books and information
CRS System™ - 24 hour travel support hotline during your trip
Taxes and Service Fees included

The tour does not include: airfare, tips, rental car
All tours are governed by the Terms & Conditions

*Travelling alone? Single supplements available for this trip. Contact US. Discounts apply to Low Season Travel, Inquire when booking

This tour includes the following extras at no charge!

Extras at no chargeOur Exclusive TRIP PAK that contains over $50 in maps, local and regional travel guides, travel tips, city information, dining suggestions, sightseeing suggestions and more all developed by our staff of Travel Experts and guides to make your trip more enjoyable.

24 Hour Travel Help LineAccess to our 24 hour CRS System (Client Response System) where you will have access to your personal Travel Expert for questions or assistance during your trip

Local-AssistThis program includes our Local-Assist™ local assistance service. You will have access to our local representative in Italy by phone or in person for any assistance needed.

Only Italy 4 Real offers a real person at your destination for help or questions!

Have Questions? LIVE CHAT ONLINEHave a question or want this tour quoted with airfare, info@italy4real.com

©2011 Travel 4 Real LLC.
Licensed as providers of travel and tour operators. License number: 60203165