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Train Travel

Firefighters in Italy | Print |  E-mail
Written by Larry Aiello   

There was a special that just aired on RAI television, Italy's main television network, about the brave firefighters in Italy.  Many modern-day firefighting techniques go back to the days of ancient Rome.

Here is an interesting fact:  The number of fire-related deaths per million in Italy is 2, well below the European average of 7 to 8.

Pictured below is the "Vigili del Fuco" or a firefighter's vehicle.  The Italian phone number 115 is the phone number to dial (similar to 911 in the United States) for fire-related emergencies.  Hopefully you will never have to dial that number if you should ever visit Italy for vacation.  Let's take our hats off to the brave firefighters in Italy for the excellent job that they do each and every day.

picture of Italian firefighter car

Time Change for Italy | Print |  E-mail
Written by Larry Aiello   
Saturday, 12 March 2011 00:00
Time change in Italy

Daylight Savings time will begin in most of the United States and Canada on March 13th (2AM).  Please adjust your clocks forward by 1 hour.

In Italy (along with the United Kingdom), Daylight Savings time will start on March 27th (2AM). 

Therefore, for the next two weeks, Italy will be now 5 hours ahead of New York time, and 8 hours ahead of San Francisco.

Last Updated on Monday, 14 March 2011 21:12
Ivrea Carnevale coming soon! | Print |  E-mail
Written by Larry Aiello   
Monday, 28 February 2011 23:57

The annual food-fight, orange festival, Carnevale di Ivrea is scheduled to start this Saturday.  Below is a video of the annual tradition:

Click here if you can not view the video.

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Skiing on Mount Etna | Print |  E-mail
Written by Larry Aiello   
Friday, 11 February 2011 02:47

Skiing on Mt. Etna, Sicily

December 15, 2010 - March 15, 2011 (Every year)
Approximate dates

What can be better than skiing on the beautiful snow-capped slopes of Mt. Etna, and seeing burning lava? Yes, Mt. Etna, one of the world's most active volcanoes, is also a popular ski resort. Mt. Etna is easily reached from Catania and Taormina.

Here are some phone numbers for Mt. Etna lift companies:

Contact Details
Lift companies: SITAS (south), S.T.E.L (north)

Phone:+39 095 914 141 (Sitas)
Phone:+39 095 643 814 (S.T.E.L)

Of course, keep in mind Mt. Etna is an active volcano, so skiing is post-poned when there are eruptions.

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Legend of San Valentino | Print |  E-mail
Written by Larry Aiello   
Sunday, 06 February 2011 14:18
rosafrescaOne of the many myths of the origins of St. Valentine’s Day can be traced back to a priest that lived in the 3rd century Rome that was beheaded for trying to spread love throughout the land. 

At the time, Rome was ruled by Emperor Claudius II.   The Emperor’s army was losing many unpopular wars and battles.   Many of the soldiers did not want to fight in these wars.   They wanted to stay at home with their wives and families. 

The Emperor then thought that if he outlawed marriages, that the soldiers would then want to fight in his wars.   However, St. Valentine did not agree with the Emperor nor his law, and secretly married many young couples.   But one day, St. Valentine’s luck ran out, and was caught and imprisoned by one of the Emperor’s soldiers. 

And while he was in jail, he would receive notes, flowers and gifts from those that believed in love and believed in his message.   He was also visited regularly by the daughter of one of the prison guards. 

But on February 14, 269 A.D., St. Valentine was beheaded for disobeying the Emperor and died a martyr.   His final message was a note to the prison guard’s daughter saying “from your Valentine”.   Later, in the year 496 Pope Gelasius I declared February 14 to be St. Valentine’s Day. 

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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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