Friday, January 28, 2011

Italy Cruises Top 10 Ports of Call and Italy Cruise Shore Excursions

Italy cruises from Rome and Venice cruise around Italy to the Eastern Mediterranean with ports of call in Athens, Croatia, the Dalmatian Coast, Greek Isles, Turkey and even Egypt and Israel are often on the Eastern Mediterranean Italy cruise Itinerary. Italy cruises also cruise around the Western Mediterranean to France, Spain, Morocco, including ports of call in Barcelona, Valenica, Mallorca, the Italian Riviera , the French Riviera, the islands of Sicily, Corsica, Sardinia, and North Africa.

When considering a cruise from Rome or a cruise from Venice one should consider the shore excursions that each Italy cruise itinerary offers.  Cruising around Italy to the Eastern and Western Mediterranean is a delight and all the Mediterranean ports on a Italy cruise offer wonderful historic sights, culture and food. And many port cities are on the cutting edge of modern and contemporary design, all of which offers the Italy cruise tour traveler no shortage of history-themed and contemporary -themed shore excursions to choose from when on an Italy cruise.

Western civilization flourished on the shores of the Mediterranean so the ports of call on a Italy cruise are ports that have been welcoming visitors for thousands of years. It is lots of fun to arrive in the various Mediterranean ports because it affords a view of the city just like when the earliest cultures sailed around the Mediterranean trading spices, wine, herbs, and more.

We suggest that before or after an Italy cruise you do either an Italy pre cruise tour or Italy post cruise tour, or if your Italy cruise itinerary is a cruise from Rome to Venice or a cruise from Venice to Rome why not do both an Italy pre cruise tour and Italy post cruise tour in each city.

Below are our favorite ports of call for big ship Italy cruise itinerary. Smaller ships will fit into ports along the Dalmatian Coast, Italian Riviera and French Riviera that big ships will not.

Italy Cruise Top 10 Port of Call - Rome
A Rome pre cruise or Rome post cruise tour may be ranked top of the list of Mediterranean shore excursions. And as such, we suggest two nights or ideally four nights in Rome to get a taste of the eternal city.  There is so much to see and do in Rome that two nights will provide a nice overview and four nights will give you enough time to walk around the city taking in most of the sights. Of course, a lifetime in Rome may not be sufficient time for some Italy travelers but a Rome pre cruise tour or Rome post cruise tour is the next best thing to a lifetime in Rome.  After this Rome pre cruise tour and Rome post cruise tour you may want to plan a Italy vacation in the future. Or if you have time plan to spend a week or more in Rome - you'll never got bored in Rome.

When in Rome we suggest staying around the Piazza Navona and Campo de Fiori area in Rome's centro storico.  In this area you'll have access to Rome's fabulous sights including Piazza Navona, which is the center of Rome's centro storico and a must visit. With fountains by Bernini, caffes surrounding the piazza and some of Rome's most famous streets off of this piazza you will love this area. From Piazza Navona you may stroll less than 5 minutes to visit the Pantheon.  And from the Pantheon and Piazza Navona it is a 5 minute stroll to Campo de' Fiori. This golden triangle of Rome's centro storico is full of action. Around here there are plenty of place ot enjoy an espresso, a gelato, a pizza or a traditional Roman lunch or dinner. For shopping and restaurants a nice street to explore is Via del Governo Vecchio.

For a serene retreat, stroll the 148-acre Villa Borghese gardens, the second-largest public park in Rome. You’ll see sculptures by Gian Lorenzo Bernini, well-tended gardens and tranquil lakes. Within the park is the Galleria Borghese, an art museum featuring the works of Bernini, Michelangelo Merisi da Caravaggio, Tiziano Vecelli (Titian) and Raphael.

Italy Cruise Top 10 Port of Call - Venice

The Republic of Venice was a major maritime power during the Middle Ages and Renaissance, and a staging area for the Crusades and the Battle of Lepanto, as well as a very important center of commerce (especially silk, grain and spice trade) and art in the 13th century up to the end of the 17th century. This made Venice a wealthy city throughout most of its history. It is also known for its several important artistic movements, especially the Renaissance period. Venice has played an important role in the history of symphonic and operatic music, and it is the birthplace of Antonio Vivaldi. There is nor shortage of things to do in Venice for a few days during your Italy cruise and you may consider a stay in Venice on a Italy pre cruise tour or Italy post cruise tour.

Italy Cruise Top 10 Port of Call - Naples Italy Italy Cruise Shore Excursion
A Italy cruise to Naples offers so much that if the cruise ship is in Naples for one day you must choose between the sights and natural beauty of the Amalfi Coast and Capri, visiting Pompeii, or exploring the hustle and bustle of Naples.  Regardless of the itinerary you choose you will not be disappointed around Naples, Sorrento and the Amalfui Coast thus we rank it #1 on our list of top Italy cruise shore excursions.

When visiting Naples and Amalfi Coast consider the following shore excursions:
  • Naples Archaeology Museum 
  • Spaccanapoli and Via Gregoria Armena
  • Pompeii
  • Capri
  • Sorrento and the Amalfi Coast

Naples shore excursion secret tip: visit the ancient mansions in Stabiae for an authentic look at how the ancient Roman plutocrats lived.

Italy Cruise Top 10 Port of Call - Athens, Greece Italy Cruise Shore Excursion

This ancient city can be noisy and full of traffic congestion and provides too much hustle and bustle for some. Escape it all with a pleasing stroll up to the Acropolis, which offers a spectacular view over the city and the Mediterranean. Archaeological remains there include the Parthenon, the Erechtheum and the Temple of Athena Nike.

 Italy Cruise Top 10 Port of Call - Barcelona, Spain Italy Cruise Shore Excursion

The architect Antoni Gaudi left his mark across Barcelona. His most famous work is the enormous yet unfinished church of the Sagrada Família, which has been under construction since 1882. Art lovers can also explore the whimsical Park Güell, a garden complex with architectural elements designed by Gaudi. Check out the multicolored mosaic dragon fountain at the main entrance. He also built Casa Milà, a residential building with an amorphous shape based on an art style called biomorphism. 

Italy Cruise Top 10 Port of Call - Istanbul, Turkey Italy Cruise Shore Excursion

Istanbul is also a megacity, as well as the cultural, economic, and financial center of Turkey. It is the largest city in Turkey and 5th largest city proper in the world with a population of 12.8 million, also making it the largest metropolitan city proper in Europe and the second largest metropolitan area in Europe by population. It is located on the Bosphorus Strait and encompasses the natural harbor known as the Golden Horn, in the northwest of the country. It extends both on both the European (Thrace) and on the Asian (Anatolia) sides of the Bosphorus, and is thereby the only metropolis in the world that is situated on two continents. During its long history, Istanbul had previously served as the capital of the Roman Empire (330–c.395), Byzantine Empire (c.395–1204 & 1261–1453), the Latin Empire (1204–1261), and the Ottoman Empire (1453–1922). Thereafter, the new Republic of Turkey, moved their capital to Ankara during the Turkish War of Independence.

Italy Cruise Top 10 Port of Call - Alexandria, Egypt Italy Cruise Shore Excursion

In ancient times, Alexandria was one of the most famous cities in the world. It was founded around a small pharaonic town c. 331 BC by Alexander the Great. It remained Egypt's capital for nearly a thousand years, until the Muslim conquest of Egypt in AD 641, when a new capital was founded at Fustat (Fustat was later absorbed into Cairo). Alexandria was known because of its Lighthouse of Alexandria (Pharos), one of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World; its library (the largest library in the ancient world); and the Catacombs of Kom el Shoqafa, one of the Seven Wonders of the Middle Ages. Ongoing maritime archaeology in the harbor of Alexandria, which began in 1994, is revealing details of Alexandria both before the arrival of Alexander, when a city named Rhacotis existed there, and during the Ptolemaic dynasty.

Italy Cruise Top 10 Port of Call - Greek Isles

The Greek Islands are a collection of over 6,000 islands and islets that belong to Greece. Only 227 of the islands are inhabited, and only 78 of those have more than 100 inhabitants.  The largest Greek island by area is Crete, located at the southern edge of the Aegean Sea. The second largest island is Euboea, which is separated from the mainland by the 60m-wide Euripus Strait, and is administered as part of the central Greece periphery. After the third and fourth largest Greek Islands, Lesbos and Rhodes, the rest of the islands are two-thirds of the area of Rhodes, or smaller.

Italy Cruise Top 10 Port of Call - Dubrovnik Croatia

The prosperity of the city of Dubrovnik has always been based on maritime trade. In the Middle Ages, as the Republic of Ragusa, also known as the fifth Maritime Republic (together with Amalfi, Pisa, Genoa and Venice), it became the only eastern Adriatic city-state to rival Venice. Supported by its wealth and skilled diplomacy, the city achieved a remarkable level of development, particularly during the 15th and 16th centuries. Although demilitarised in the 1970s with the intent of forever protecting it from war devastation, in 1991, after the breakup of Yugoslavia, it was besieged by Serb-Montenegrin forces for 7 months and heavily damaged by shelling.

Italy Cruise Top 10 Port of Call - Messina Sicily

Founded by Greek colonists in the 8th century BC, Messina was originally called Zancle, from the Greek meaning "scythe" because of the shape of its natural harbor (though a legend attributes the name to King Zanclus). A comune of its province, located at the southern entrance of the Strait of Messina, is to this day called 'Scaletta Zanclea'. In the early 5th century BC, Anaxilas of Rhegium renamed it Messene in honor of the Greek city Messene. The city was sacked in 397 BC by the Carthaginians and then reconquered by Dionysius I of Syracuse.

Italy Cruise Top 10 Port of Call - Izmir Turkey

The city is one of the oldest settlements of the Mediterranean basin, dating to 7000 B.C.  The Greek settlement in Old Smyrna is attested by the presence of pottery dating from about 1000 BC onwards and the most ancient ruins preserved to our day date back to 725-700 BC.

To find the best Italy travel deals visit

Thinking of visiting Southern Italy.  Visit Italian Tourism Amalfi Coast vacation packages for the lowest prices on Amalfi Coast holidays.

For more about Italy vacations visit - if you prefer independent Italy vacations click here.  For guided Italy tours click here. Italian Tourism also offers Italy cruise tours, which include a cruise from Italy and an Italy land tour all in one low price.

For a cruise around Italy click here be sure to visit Rome cruise 2014 and Venice cruise 2014.  Italian Tourism Italy pre cruise tours and Italy post cruise tours include Italy port transfers and hotels at greatly reduced rates so you may travel around Italy before or after your Italy cruise.

Italy Cruise guarantees the lowest rate on all cruises from Italy and shore excursions during your Italy cruiseItaly cruise will always beat or meet the best rates, even beating the prices cruise lines rates if you shop direct. And we offer friendly service by an Italy cruise expert to guide you on a Italy cruise.  So before you buy direct, shop around then contact Italy Cruise for your next cruise from Italy.

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Thursday, January 27, 2011

Rome Walking Tours: Via del Governo Vecchio

Rome's Via del Governo Vecchio is five blocks in old Rome centro storico that runs like a artery connecting the Rome walker to key veins for exploration. Via del Governo Vecchio gets its name from Palazzo Nardini, constructed between 1473 and 1478 by Cardinal Nardini, governor of the city of Rome under Pope Paul IV, the building was originally called called "Palazzo del Governo." Palazzo Nardini stands at No. 39 Via del Governo Vecchio. Across the street from the Palazzo del Governo or Palazzo Nardini you'll find architecture on the buildings from 118 - 123 representing 15th, 16th, and 17th centuries.

When walking this street you'll often hear desperate travelers looking for a specific address, such as a hip boutique or famous pizza spot, exclaim "che confusione!" as they loook for an address. This confusion is caused by the street numbers continuing consecutively by side, from Piazza d'Orologio on the left side toward Piazza di Pasquino, where they then continue on the other side numbered consecutively back to the beginning in Piazza d'Orologio. So unlike typical street numbers with odds and evens on opposing sides, Via del Governo Vecchio is numbered successively, with the numbers counting up on left and down on right - working opposite one another on each side as you walk. The beginning of Via del Governo Vecchio you'll find the first number and last number across from one another.

Via del Governo Vecchio begins in the Piazza d'Orologio, named after the Borromini designed corner clock tower. As you walk look out for the 16th century fresco on 104, which shows the buildings owner dictating to his secretary, a sure sign some things never change. Another illustration that some things never change is the building plaque on the corner of Vicolo dell Cancelleria from 1755 that reads, "By order of the District President it is forbidden to throw any garbage whatsoever into this alley, as prescribed by public proclamation October 23, 1755."

Piazza di Pasquino is the end of Via del Governo Vecchio where you'll find the statue of Pasquino, Rome's first talking talking statue named after a tailor named Pasquino who was the first to post his current affairs witty commentary onto this sculpture shorty after its installation here in 1501. Pasquino the tailor was privy to behind the scenes Rome and Vatican gossip given his position as tailor to the Vatican. His commentary stuck to the statue led to its nickname, "Rome's talking statue." The sculpture itself is from the 3rd century B.C., and is thought to represent the torso and head of Menelaus, king of Sparta and husband of Helen of Troy. Bernini described Pasquino "the finest of all antique sculptures." The English word pasquinade, which means a piece of satire, is derived from this statue.

Click for Rome walking map of Via del Governo Vecchio including shopping boutiques and places to eat.

For more about traveling to Rome click Rome holidays and Rome cruise. If you'll be on a cruise around Italy be sure to visit Italian Tourism Rome hotels for the best prices on a Rome hotel.  Also be sure to check our Italy pre cruise tour and Italy post cruise tour in Rome.

View Rome: Via del Governo Vecchio in a larger map

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Sunday, January 23, 2011

Italy Travel Tip - Traveling to Calabria

Italy travel to Calabria - San Demetrio Corone

If you intend to experience real Italian culture, then you must visit San Demetrio Corone, a small village located in the region of Calabria, south Italy.

I definitely suggest taking a coach bus that takes you directly from Rome to San Demetrio Corone. Don't take the train because San Demetrio doesn't have a train station and the closest one is located 45 minutes away.

During my summer study abroad program in San Demetrio Corone, Calabria, I made the biggest mistake to take the train from Rome to get there. Although Italy train travel is very efficient among cities and in northern Italy, traveling Italy to Calabria is a different story. After an 8 hr. train ride and a 45 min. drive...I just couldn't take it anymore, all I wanted was to get there.

Nevertheless my experience in Calabria was unforgettable, and a once in a lifetime opportunity!

Find out more about Calabria on

To find the best Italy travel deals visit Italian Tourism and Italy Cruise.

Thinking of visiting Southern Italy.  Visit Italian Tourism Amalfi Coast vacation packages for the lowest prices on Amalfi Coast holidays.

For more about Italy vacations visit Italian Tourism for authentic Italy travel packages and Italy tour packages. Italian Tourism also offers Italy cruise tours, which includes a cruise from Italy and an Italy tour all in one low price.

For a cruise around Italy be sure to visit for Rome cruise 2011 and Venice cruise 2011Italian Tourism Italy pre cruise tours and Italy post cruise tours include Italy port transfers and hotels at greatly reduced rates so you may travel around Italy before or after your Italy cruise.

Italy Cruise guarantees the lowest rate on all cruises from ItalyItaly cruise will even beat the best rates the cruise lines offer if you shop directly.  So before you go direct, shop around then contact Italy Cruise for your next cruise from Italy.

Adolfo F.

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Monday, January 17, 2011

Authentic Pesto Sauce - International Day of Italian Cuisine January 17, 2011

Authentic Pesto Sauce from Liguria
Today is the 4th Annual International Day of Italian Cuisine.  To honor the date Genovese pesto was chosen as the official dish of the IDIC 2011, a worldwide celebration of authentic Italian food.

Pesto sauce of Genoa Italy, in the region of Italy is made with 7 ingredients: PDO Genovese basil, garlic, olive oil Riviera Ligure PDO, salt, pine nuts, pecorino and grana padano cheese. Pesto, an oily green sauce beloved by Italian food fans the world over may also soon have its own certification. Italy's Liguria region is seeking a European Union "STG" (Guaranteed Traditional Speciality) mark for pesto meeting strict criteria for genuine, Ligurian ingredients.

The seven ingredients of true pesto are all native to the liguria region.  PDO stands for Protected Designation of Origin, a European certification the Liguria region has already secured for locally produced basil and extra-virgin olive oil.

"With the STG designation we want to protect the seven ingredients of true pesto: PDO Genovese basil, garlic, olive oil Riviera Ligure PDO, salt, pine nuts, pecorino and grana padano cheese," said agricultural councilor Giovanni Barbagallo. "Defending the traditional pesto recipe from imitations is a priority for Liguria."

"We want to unite the name of Liguria with the territory's quality products, like pesto, as a fundamental strategy for tourism development through Ligurian culinary specialties," declared Genoa's tourism councilor Angelo Berlangieri.

The word "pesto" comes from "pestare", or to crush with a pestle and mortar, a reference to the original method for creating the Genovese sauce. Hence pesto is also known as "battuto genovese" or Genovese mince or mash. The pasta condiment was still rare in the days of legendary Genovese explorer Christopher Colombus, but had become well established by the 19th century.

IDIC's Pesto Day is officially sponsored by the Liguria Region, Grana Padano cheese, Genova Pasta and a consortium of olive oil makers, among others.

Over 2,000 participating restaurants in roughly 40 countries will honor real Genovese pesto January 17, and will even see pesto-based Ligurian specialties served on 14 ships of the Italian cruise company Costa Crociere. So get out and visit your local Italian restuarant for authentic pesto. And if you are lucky enough to be cruising with Costa this week, well buon appetito!

For more on authentic Italian food visit WebVisionItaly's Italian Cooking shows, including a video of how to make pesto sauce.

For more about cruises around Italy including Costa cruise itinerary click Italy cruises. To visit Cinque Terre, Genoa and other Ligurian destination click Italian Tourism Italy travel packages for independent Italy travel deals or click Italy tour packages for guided tours of Italy.

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Sunday, January 16, 2011

Italy Travel Arts Guide - Guide for Italy Cruise Shore Excursions and Italy Tours

The following is a city-by-city guide to some of Italy's art exhibitions happening January, February March Winter and Spring 2011. If you are on an Italy tour, Italy cruise or traveling in Italy you may want to add one of these Italy art exhibits to your Italy travel itinerary or Italy shore excursion.

ALBA - Fondazione Ferrero: Giorgio Morandi, The Essence of Landscape; 70 works; until January 16.

BARLETTA - Palazza Marra: Giuseppe De Nittis, 43 engravings; until January 16.

FLORENCE - Palazzo Vecchio: For The Love of God, Damien Hirst's famous diamond-encrusted skull in only third outing since creation in 2007; until May 1.

- Palazzo Strozzi: 'Bronzino, Painter and Poet at the Medici Court'; 90 works in world's first monographic show; to January 23.

- Palazzo Pitti: Vinum Nostrum. The Art, Science and Myths of Wine in Civilisation; from prehistoric winegrowing to Dionysus cult, Etruscan, Roman use; show features oldest surviving wine container, on loan from Georgia; until April 30.

GENOA - Palazzo Ducale: 'Mediterranean, From Courbet to Monet and Matisse'; 80 mostly Impressionist works including Renoir, Cezanne, Van Gogh, Munch; until May 1.

MILAN - Palazzo Reale: 'Salvador Dali', The Dream Draws Near'; 50 works, until January 30.

- Museo Poldi Pezzoli: Sandro Botticelli, all of his works in Lombardy museums brought together for first time; until February 28.

PADUA - Palazzo Zabarella: "From Canova to Modigliani, the Face of the 19th Century"; 100 portraits and sculptures; until February 27.

PASSARIANO (UDINE) - Villa Manin: 'Edvard Munch and the Spirit of the North'; 122 works; until March 6.

REGGIO EMILIA - city centre: 150 huge Italian flags marking 150th anniversary of Italian unity; until June 2.

RIMINI - Castel Sismondo: The Marvellous Years: Impressionism; 100 works from international museums including Monet and Pissarro, Sisley and Degas, Bazille and Renoir, Cezanne and Guillaumin, Morisot and Fantin-Latour, Gauguin and Van Gogh; until March 27.

- same venue: Caravaggio's first religious painting, The Ecstasy of St Francis, back in Italy for first time in 25 years from Wadsworth Museum, Hartford, as well as several contemporaries; until March 27.

ROME - Scuderie del Quirinale: '1861: The Painters of the Risorgimento', war scenes, Garibaldi's Red Shirts, leaders' portraits; to January 16.

- Vittoriano: 'Vincent Van Gogh, Timeless Landscape, Modern City'; 110 masterpieces in first major Rome show in 22 years; until January 30.

- Musei Capitolini: Leonardo da Vinci's Portrait of a Musician (1490), loaned by Milan's Biblioteca Ambrosiana for first time ever; until February 27.

- Museo Fondazione Roma: Rome and the Ancient World, more than 140 paintings, sculptures, other works including loans from Prado, Louvre, Hermitage, Victoria and Albert Museum showing how classical works fired the imagination of 18th-century Rome; until March 6.

- Palazzo Venezia: The Two Empires, The Eagle and the Dragon; more than 400 works on Roman (up to Trajan) and Chinese (Qin and Han) empires, spanning second century BC to fourth century AD; marks Year of Chinese Culture in Italy and is paired with other exhibit at Roman Forum; until February 6.

- Palazzo delle Esposizioni: The City of the Gods, 450 artefacts from ancient Mexican site of Teotihuacan (2nd-century BC to 5th-century AD), once the largest city in pre-Columbian Americas; until February 27.

- Galleria Borghese: Lucas Cranach the Elder, The Other Renaissance; 45 works from major international museums; until February 13.

- Chiostro del Bramante: Greats from the Veneto, 15th- 18th Century; Bellini, Lotto, Titian, Veronese, Tiepolo, Canaletto; 80 works from Accademia Carrara in Bergamo; until January 30.

SAN MARINO - Palazzo Sums: 25 Impressionist works including Monet, Cezanne and Renoir; until March 27, in tandem with Rimini show.

TRIESTE - Castello di Miramare: Giorgio De Chirico, 70 paintings and 20 sketches; until February 27.

TURIN - Palazzo Reale, Palazzo Chiablese, Castello di Racconigi: "Vittorio Emanuele II: The Gentleman King"; new documents, pictures on life of Italy's first post-unification king; until March 13.

VENICE - Palazzo Grimani: Hieronymous Bosch, Vision of the afterlife (1500-1503), Triptych of Saint Liberata (1505) and Triptych of the Hermits (1510); until March 20.

Click Italy tour packages for guided tours of Italy or click Italy travel packages for independent Italy travel deals.  For Mediterranean cruises to Italy ports call and for cruises from Italy click Italy cruises.

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Friday, January 14, 2011

Italy Travel Agent Sells More Than Best Italy Tour Packages

While growing up in Providence, Rhode Island, in a family of proud Americans I was
introduced to the Italian culture and Italy from my family, having one great-grandmother from Ischia, a great-grandfather from Roccamonfino, a grandfather from Naples, a grandmother Mimi from Abruzzo, and another grandmother Mina from Rome.

Justin Del Sesto at a Prosciutto di Parma factory
As a child I was given the best of Italian culture, which included waking weekend mornings to an opera filled home with the smell of garlic and onions on the stove ready for the tomatoes wafting through the halls. Our family culture also included learning to play piano and cello with Mina, Mimi teaching me to recite poetry, learning to play baseball and golf from my grandfather who also spoke five languages, going with my dad every Sunday to buy fresh ravioli, meat and freshly baked bread, with one extra loaf to eat on the way home as our little secret, then learning to cook every Sunday afternoon from Mimi, Mina and my Mom before sitting down at the extended dining room table for long and delicious lunches around which I learned about art, literature, poetry, politics and the world.
Ron Del Sesto and Andrea Bocelli

It was on my first Italy tour with my dad, who is also an Italian diplomat, that I knew I wanted to pursue a career in Italy travel. We are not only proud Americans but we are also Italians - dual passport-holding citizens of both the USA and Italy (I am also a resident of Argentina and hold a Mercosur passport).

Prime Minister Romano Prodi & Ron Del Sesto
Arriving in Rome on my first Italy tour 30 years ago I followed my dad around Italy like a little duck.  Our family Italy tour started in Rome, where we strolled slowly through the streets of Rome's centro storico as if we had lived there for a lifetime. Zig-zagging our way through the ancient streets, just when I thought we were lost out came a story for what seemed every ancient cobblestone as we made our way to one hidden sight after the next, the Rome walking tour only pausing along the way when we stopped for an espresso, a new scarf, or a plate of pasta at a Roman trattoria on some tiny street where everyone was a local, and where we would meet family that still lives in Rome for a 3 hour lunch.

Getting Ready for a Tour of Tuscany
 I knew then I wanted to learn the streets, sights and stories as well as he. I knew that I wanted to bring others to Italy to experience a unique authentic insider's view of Italy. From Michelangelo's facade on Palazzo Spada to Borromini's trick hallway inside Palazzo Spada, just off the Campo de' Fiori, to the stories of Via Giulia, to the false dome inside Sant'Ignazio, to Chiesa di San Pietro and Bramante's Tempietto a perfect example of Renaissance Classic revival and High Renaissance architecture in Rome, to Bernini's and the Pope's Rome I wanted to learn the stories and share the stories with others on an Italy tour. 

I returned to Italy dozens of times since that first Rome holiday, experiencing every month and every season
Italian Tourism Cinque Terre Boat Tour

of the year, the smells. skies, and the seasonal menus, enjoying Piazza Navona at Christmas time and in July for the fashion shows, while taking cover from the rain and the sun inside the Pantheon while also seeing how the weather in Rome changes the hole in the center of its dome and learning how it inspired Brunellschi's Florence Duomo, eating lots of Gelato and taking many espresso searching for the best while enjoying the present, always visiting Pasquino on Via del Governo Vecchio for a reminder that politics and leaks are as old as people, insiders, and society. I've visited Cinque Terre in the pouring rain and the blazing sun, which weather paints a unique picture both beautiful in their own way. I knew that since my first tour of Italy Rome was a city I had to return and also would love to share its Italy's inside secrets, its gems, with others. But I also knew that although Rome had enough sights for a lifetime Italy is a country full of destinations to share with other travelers.

Dad doing interview for
I felt that others traveling to Italy would appreciate the enriched experience with unique local experiences our Italy travel agency would provide. And I felt that including the vast hidden treasures to off the beaten track destinations away from Rome's crowds is something people would value on an Italy tour.  So, we've designed our Italy tours to provide freedom and flexibility because to experience Italy properly it must be done slowly otherwise a traveler will miss the authentic Italian experience. Whether it is a 7 day tour or a 10 day Italy tour or three weeks on a grand Italy tour, Italian Tourism Italy tours are not a sprint through Italy. Our Italy tours are focused on sharing Italy so our travelers experience the sights of Italy and feel la dolce vita.

Planning an Italy vacation is an investment of time and money.  When you plan your Italy vacation or Italy
Justin Del Sesto filming interview for
cruise with Italian Tourism you have access to a family owned and operated Italy travel agency that will help you maximize your investment and protect your investment in your Italy vacation.  With Italian Tourism you have access to Italy travel agents that know Italy from the inside and know how to plan an Italy tour so that your Italy vacation gives you an authentic unique insider's view of Italy. Italian Tourism will guide you to visit Italy's hidden treasures to off the beaten track destinations away from crowds. You will experience Italy from the inside, taking away an enriched experience with unique local authentic experiences.  That is our promise and that is why when you contact Italian Tourism 305.914.0220 or by email (travel at italiantourism dot us) you are contacting an Italy travel agency that sells more than Italy cruises and Italy tour packages.

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Thursday, January 6, 2011

Trento Italy Art Travel - Modigliani Scultptures Brought Together in Trento

Trento Italy travelers will be lucky enough to have the opportunity to see the sculptures by Amedeo Modigliani that remain today in museums around the world united by the Trento and Rovereto Museum of Modern and Contemporary Art (MART) for the first show of its kind since the Italian artist's death in 1920. The exhibit near the northern city of Trento, outside Venice, which runs until March 27, displays about a third of his known sculptural works, featuring loans from museums such as Washington's National Gallery of Art, London's Tate and the Pompidou Centre in Paris.

Modigliani, born in Livorno in 1884 in the Italian port city of Livorno, famous for its canals on Tuscany's coast known by Italy cruise travelers for its Italy cruise port, where Italy cruise shore excursions typically visit Florence and Pisa, is far better known for his portrait paintings, which are identifiable by their mask-like, asymmetrical faces and elongated form. For a brief interval though, from 1911 to 1913, Modigliani dedicated himself entirely to sculpture.

In 1909, Modigliani returned home from Paris to Livorno. Modigliani was sickly and tired from his wild lifestyle. Soon he was back in Paris, this time renting a studio in Montparnasse. He originally saw himself as a sculptor rather than a painter, and was encouraged to continue after Paul Guillaume, an ambitious young art dealer, took an interest in his work and introduced him to sculptor Constantin Brâncuşi.

Although a series of Modigliani's sculptures were exhibited in the Salon d'Automne of 1912, by 1914 he abandoned sculpting and focused solely on his painting, a move precipitated by the difficulty in acquiring sculptural materials due to the outbreak of World War I, and by Modigliani's physical debilitation.

MART museum curators argue his sculptures represent an under-recognized, seminal period of artistic development, when Modigliani evolved beyond the post-impressionism of his early work to the distinct expressionism that characterized his pieces after 1913. The exhibit features a series of elongated stone heads that bear a striking resemblance to archaic, oriental and tribal art in their simple, highly stylized form. The curators, who worked for six years on the exhibit, verified through extensive research that Modigliani completed 28 sculptures, three more than previously ascribed to him. The show also strives to reconstruct Modigliani's life and influences, retracing the marks of critics, collectors and other artists as well as cultural fashions of his time. Drawings, paintings and sculptures place Modigliani's heads in context, such as an early version of Constantin Brancusi's sculpture The Kiss, oriental sculptures of gods from the seventh and eighth centuries, and a 15th-century marble bust of Battista Sforza by Francesco Laurana, which Modigliani used as a model. Modigliani's portrait of Pablo Picasso, completed in 1915, is also on display, as is a nude by Picasso from 1907.

In life, Modigliani exhibited his sculptures only once, selecting a group of seven heads for the Salon d'Automne of 1912.

To many, Modigliani came to represent the tragic figure of the Bohemian artist. His life inspired nine novels, a play, a documentary and three feature films. Although he frequented the artistic avante-gard in Paris, where he lived from 1906 to 1920, Modigliani developed a style entirely his own, never falling in step with Fauvism or Cubism.

Modigliani, Picasso & Salmon
Friends who posed for Modigliani's characteristic portrait paintings include Picasso, Jean Cocteau and Diego Rivera, although Modigliani's reputation as a major artist soared only after his premature death from tubercular meningitis at the age of 36. Prey to self-destructive indulgences in hashish and alcohol, Modigliani was as well known during his life for erratic behavior as he was for his talent. He died destitute, when his young lover, Jeanne Heburterne, was nine months pregnant with their second child. Two days after his death, she plunged from a fifth-storey window, killing herself and their unborn child. During his career, Modigliani only pulled off a single one-man show, which was shut down for obscenity shortly after opening, as it featured a number of nudes. A Modigliani nude fetched $42.7 million (42.7 million euros) at auction last November in New York City, setting a new price record for his work. Other Modigliani paintings have recently sold for tens of millions of dollars.

The MART exhibit represents the first major effort to rehabilitate Modigliani's sculptural work since four high school students and a dockworker dumped fake Modigliani heads in a Livornese canal in 1984. The falsified sculptures were found by workers dredging for lost work by the artist, who was rumored to have tossed away pieces in a moment of despair. Art critics who embraced the discoveries saw their reputations dented when the hoax was revealed, and Modigliani's sculptures have suffered a dearth of attention since.

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