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Italy’s Beautiful Aeolian Islands

March 13, 2012 by  
Filed under Attractions

Italy has not shortage of beautiful vacation destinations, but the Aeolian Islands are among its most enchanting regions. The eight islands that comprise the Aeolian group are situated in the Tyrrhenian Sea to the north of Sicily. Roughly 200,000 people visit these islands each year making them a popular Italian vacation destination. Read more

Seven Stars Galleria :: Milan, Italy

August 6, 2010 by  
Filed under Hotels

Milan, Italy is home to the first of three current self proclaimed seven star hotels in the world, the Seven Stars Galleria (also known as the Town House Galleria). Located in the heart of the city, this unique and prestigious luxury hotel provides guests with the highest level of service and is the only hotel inside the historic “Galleria Vittorio Emanuele II”. Built in 1876, this remarkable landmark features amazing architecture from extraordinary hand painted vaulted ceilings to large shuttered windows, all preserved and restored to provide guests with one of the most unique environments you can find. Prepare to have your every desire fulfilled and immerse yourself into this historic setting. Read more

Venice Film Festival :: Venice, Italy

July 14, 2010 by  
Filed under Festivals

Founded by Count Giuseppe Volpe in 1932, the Venice Film Festival is the oldest film festival in the world. Taking place every year in late August of early September on the island of the Lido, the festival is one of the world’s most prestigious and is also part of the Venice biennale, an exhibition and festival for contemporary art. The first “Esposizione d’Arte Cinematografica” was held in 1932 at the Hotel Excelsior as part of the 18th Venice Biennale. The 2010 festival takes place from September 1st – 11th and the official lineup will be announced in Rome at the end of July. The festival’s goal is to raise awareness and promote various aspects of international cinema in all its forms. It includes homages and retrospectives to major figures in the industry that have helped raise awareness. Read more

Battle of the Oranges (Carnevale di Ivrea) :: Ivrea, Italy

July 7, 2010 by  
Filed under Festivals

Ivrea, a town in northwestern Italy is most famous for its traditional carnival celebration. The core of the Carnevale di Ivrea is the famous Battle of the Oranges where thousands of citizens are divided into nine teams who them violently pelt each other with oranges. These orange battles occur on the traditional carnival days of Sunday, Monday and Tuesday. Held every year in late February, the celebration revolves around a 12th century legend of a miller’s daughter who refused the local duke’s “right” to spend a night with each newlywed woman in his domain and instead chipped off his head. This refusal lead the commoners in the town revolting against their rulers, they then stormed and burned the palace. Each year a young girl is elected “Mugnaia” and plays the role of Violetta, the miller’s daughter who still today, honored as a local symbol of freedom. Read more

Villa d’Este :: Tivoli, Italy

June 10, 2010 by  
Filed under Landmarks

Villa d’Este and its amazing Italian Renaissance Garden in Tivoli near Rome are a comprehensive example of Italian Renaissance culture at its most refined. Commissioned by Cardinal Ippolito II d’Este upon his appointment as Governor of Tivoli, the existing villa built in the 13th century for use by the governor was entirely reconstructed to meet the cardinal’s vision of a palatial setting surrounded by an amazing terraced garden. Using nearby Villa Adriana, the palatial retreat of Emperor Hadrian, as inspiration the cardinal created an elaborate garden with a mixture of architectural elements and water features which had a strong influence on European landscape design for centuries to come. In 2001 it was added to the UNESCO World Heritage Site list as an outstanding example of Renaissance culture at its peak as well as due to the influence the gardens of Villa d’Este had throughout Europe. Read more

Duomo di Milano :: Milan, Italy

June 2, 2010 by  
Filed under Landmarks

Il Duomo di Milano (Milan Cathedral) is an amazing sight to behold and is the world’s largest Gothic cathedral. In fact, the only cathedral of any style in the world that are larger are St Peter’s Cathedral in Rome and the Cathedral of Seville in Spain. Although construction on the building began in 1386, it wasn’t until less than a hundred years ago that the final details were completed with its last gate being inaugurated on January 6, 1965. In 1805, when Napoleon Bonaparte was about to be crowned King of Italy, he ordered the façade to be completed. Thanks to this order, within only seven years the Cathedral has its façade completed. As a form of thanks, a statue of Napoleon was placed at the top of one of the spires. Read more

Hotel Cipriani :: Venice, Italy

May 27, 2010 by  
Filed under Hotels

You awake to the sound of water gently lapping at the shore beneath your hotel. You hear the melodic sounds of song from gondoliers as they whisk gently by and then you savor the smells of ancient Venice. You are at the Hotel Cipriani! The Hotel Cipriani and Palazzo Vendramin in Venice is part of The Orient Express luxury line and lives up to its reputation for luxury in every sense of the word! The hotel is located on its own private island, Giudecca Island, and is only a motor launch ride of five minutes to St. Marks Square, the heart of Venice. Hotel Cipriani and Palazzo Vendramin is a world apart from other upscale vacation packages in that it offers a way of life! La Dolce Vita is that way of life and it is incorporated into every aspect of service to make your stay with them exemplary. Read more

Carnival of Venice :: Italy

January 25, 2010 by  
Filed under Festivals

First recorded in 1296, the Carnival of Venice is an amazingly beautiful celebration that takes place about two weeks before and runs through to Shrove Tuesday (the day before Ash Wednesday). Throughout the ages, the carnival has been canceled and revived multiple times including in 1797 when the Venetian Empire fell to Napoleon as well as in the 1930s when Mussolini banned the festivities. The current reincarnation of the carnival began in 1979 and by 1981-1984 it had hit its stride with hundreds of thousands of visitors attending the event. Read more

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