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Easter in Italy | Print |  E-mail
Written by Larry Aiello   
Sunday, 17 April 2011 23:48

"Natale con i tuoi, Pasqua con chi vuoi" as the Italian proverb goes - "Christmas with your relatives, Easter with whomever you want". However, for all practical purposes, Easter is an important religous holiday in Italy, second to Christmas, with an important emphasis placed on spending time with family.  Easter celebrations will be prevalent all throughout the country with many local and holiday traditions. Lamb and eggs, along with seasonal vegetables, especially artichokes, will be popular dishes this time of year. Italian Easter Bread is also a popular item this time of year. You will also see colorful displays of chocolate eggs in many shop windows, but the tradition of the Easter Bunny in Italy is not widely practiced.

The following day is an official holiday in Italy, called "Lunedi' dell'Angelo" - or Angel's Monday, or also Pasquetta (little Easter).  This is a day many people will get out of the house to have a picnic or to gather with friends.  Since it is an official holiday in Italy, banks and many shops will be closed.

Buona Pascqua, or Happy Easter!

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Special promotion to Italy from Alitalia | Print |  E-mail
Written by Larry Aiello   
Friday, 15 April 2011 01:27

Alitalia, Italy's flagship airline, announced a special e-coupon offer earlier today:

Purchase your next ticket on and save with this exclusive e-coupon offer.

Take $200 off your next Business Class ticket purchase by entering promo code MAGNIFICA200 when prompted or save $50 on your next Economy Class ticket purchase by entering promo code CLASSICA50 when prompted.

The coupon codes are valid on purchases made through April 21, 2011 for travel through December 11, 2011.

This offer is valid on tickets purchased on’s US site for transatlantic itineraries from the US to Italy and Europe. Tickets must be purchased by April 21, 2011 for departures through December 11, 2011. The e-coupon discount is not valid on previous purchases or combinable with other e-coupon or promotional discounts of any kind. Airport taxes and government imposed fees, including the September 11th Security Fee of up to $10, are excluded from this discount.

Eurofly service, direct flights from JFK to PMO and NAP | Print |  E-mail
Written by Larry Aiello   
Wednesday, 13 April 2011 01:07

Eurofly Airlines, a division of Meridiana airlines, will begin their seasonal direct-flight service from New York's JFK airport to Palermo (PMO) and Naples (NAP).  According to their site, the service will run from June 2011 through September 2011.

This will be the only direct flight from JFK to Palermo or Naples, unless another carrier follows suit. 

In September 2009, I took the JFK to Palermo route, and here is my review of Eurofly Airlines.

Funny Italian comic strip with lesson | Print |  E-mail
Written by Larry Aiello   
Friday, 08 April 2011 01:15

Here is a funny Italian cartoon that illustrates the use of the Future Perfect tense in Italian, or the Futuro Anteriore.  It is a compound tense (2 verbs) that uses the verb essere or avere in the future simple, while the second verb is put in the past participle, and is mostly used in expressing chance.

The Italian comic strip roughly translates to:  You must have had an hallucination, flying saucers do not exist!

funny Italian comic strip illustrating the verb avere

Another example in using the future perfect tense would be:  "La macchina avra' avuto un problema" - The car might have had a problem.

13th annual Italian culture week, free museums | Print |  E-mail
Written by Larry Aiello   

The 13th edition of culture week (XIII Settimana della Cultura) will kick off in Italy from April 9th to the 17th.  During this time all Italian state museums and historical sites are open for free, they will waive their entrance fees.

This includes the following major attractions:

Florence - the Uffizi galleries, Bargello, Accademia, Pitti Palace
Rome – Colosseum tickets and Colosseum tours, Borghese Gallery, Rome Cards
Milan – Brera Gallery
Venice – Venice Academy

For many, you will still have to book a reservation, but the actual ticket price is free (gratis).  The event does not encompass church owned museums and property like the Vatican museum and the catacombs (Rome, Palermo).  Also of noteworthy exclusion is the Palazzo Ducale in Venice.  Guided tours and other excursions are also not covered.

Rome travel deals!
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Agriturismo in Italy

What is Agriturismo? In Italian, it is actually a combination of two words - Agricoltura and Turismo - agriculture and tourism.

It basically means spending your vacation on a farm.  It started becoming popular in the 1980s when many Italian farmers were looking for other ways to supplement their income. At an Italian agriturismo you will usually have the chance to experience the foods prepared from raw materials produced on the farm.  Some will allow their guests participate in the activities surrounding the farm such as wine-making, cheese-making, olive production, milking cows, etc.  It is usually a very rustic experience.  Agriturismo can be another option instead of a typical Italian vacation that involves Italian hotels.  Most of them are located in Tuscany, Umbria and Sicily.


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