Italy Travel Guide
Over in fair Verona, one of the most famous literary tourist sites is about to make it rain. Sadly the cash flow is only going their way as Verona is considering charging a few Euros to view the balcony and courtyard of "Romeo and Juliet," even if it isn't the real thing (because it's fictional).
Verona played home to the star-crossed lovers of Shakespeare's play, and it's said that certain families in the city's history were the inspiration for Shakespeare's play.
Just when you thought ever-bankrupt Italian airline Alitalia was a last-choice option for crossing the Atlantic, they go and do something cool like debut a renovated lounge with all new bells and whistles.
The "Dolce Vita" lounge, located within Terminal 1 at Rome's Fiumicino Airport welcomes those flying Alitalia in Magnifica class, Business, Ottima or Comfort, plus those holding elite SkyTeam status. Alitalia has a total of 15 lounges, but this is the largest and thus, the flagship. Believe it or not, it only took them two months to complete the renovation, to reopen in early March.
So, let's get down to the good stuff! The Dolce Vita lounge now boasts a bunch of "Made in Italy" features, like furniture from B&B Italia, coffee by Illy, catering by Eataly, a wall mosaic by Bisazza, and Prandina lighting. "The Pilot Bar" serves up the aforementioned Illy and Eataly yummies, and the areas for work and relaxation will delight those with eyes for design. Still, we can't help but be most psyched for a massive new toy installed in the lounge: a Boeing 737 flight simulator!
Shopping Travel / Souvenirs / What Everyone's Buying / Rome Travel / Italy Travel / Religion Travel / → All Tags
Welcome to "What Everyone's Buying," a new series on souvenirs, wherein we investigate what tourist trinkets are the hottest selling in hotspots around the world.
How could a simple black & white calendar, with the simple name "Calendario Romano" cause such a titter among tourists? Simpleby borrowing the pin-up concept and applying it to handsome Roman Catholic priests.
Spend enough time in Rome and you'll begin to notice they're everywherethe fathers in their conservative black vestmentshaving un caffe e cornetto next to you in the morning, or petting a cat on a windowsill. The calendar selects 12 (having a chiseled jawline is more qualification than being actually ordained) and photographs them in innocent occupation, though their eyes betray less than innocent thoughts. Preview all 12 months on the back of each calendar.
St. Paul's Outside the Walls, a basilica you should probably check out
It's a crazy time in the Catholic Church right now. There are two popes! It's almost Easter! Spring Break means Catholic school kids are misbehaving!
WIth all the hubbub surround the Vatican of late, maybe it's time to go old school and score you some Indulgences, AKA "Get Out of Hell Free" cards. Indulgences were once granted by the Catholic Church for good deeds done and acts of humility, but eventually they became a commodity sold or gifted to those held in favor by a corrupt church, centuries ago. If you've seen The Borgias, then you have some idea of what we're talking about. Indulgences technically don't exist anymore, but they sorta still do.
In any case, there are a few ways of going about earning indulgences, if you're into that. One is to climb the steps of the Scala Santa on your knees and reciting the correct prayers, the Scala Santa being a marble staircase supposedly brought to Rome from Jerusalem, where it was the stairs on which Jesus met Pontius Pilate.
Another way of earning an indulgence is to visit Rome and make a pilgrimage to each of the four "major basilicas," all which happen to be within a quick walk or subway ride of each other in la città eterna.
The third season of Ricky Gervais' An Idiot Abroad is already airing in the UK, but here in the US we have to wait until January 19th to see Karl Pilkington's latest on-the-road antics.
For the show's third installment, which consists of a mere three episodes, Karl doesn't suffer alone. Ricky has sent along his pal and Life's Too Short star Warwick Davis. The pair follow in the footsteps of Marco Polo, traveling from Italy to China, for the shortened season.
Hertz / Rental Cars / Cars / Tech Travel / Travel Tech / Italy Travel / WiFi / → All Tags
Italy has a lot of good stuff we don’t have here at home, but the thing we’re missing most here—besides an abundance of gelato—is WiFi in our rental cars.
All the car connection magic comes from the folks over at Hertz and their rental car empire. It’s called Hertz Mobile WiFi, and it’s a little pocket-sized thing that’s offered up to rental car customers in collaboration with Wind Mobile. Basically it sounds like a mobile hotspot that goes right in your car and gives you all-the-time access to the internet no matter how many wrong turns you take or exits you miss.
One of the reasons travelers and tourists flock to Italy each and every year is for the food. Obviously there’s pizza, pasta, and plenty of other warm and savory dishes, but when it comes to dessert there’s really only option on our menu—gelato. Thankfully there’s now a shrine dedicated to the cousin of ice cream, just one of Italy’s national treasures.
The Carpigiani Gelato Museum is now open for business. Exhibits reveal the history of gelato, like from where it came and how it got to where it is today. There’s over 10,000 images showing the evolution and history, and there's even twenty different original machines. Tools of the trade, videos, and other multimedia displays round out the offerings, so you’re definitely getting the full gelato experience.
Illegal snacking in Piazza Navona
What's the Italian for "no snacking?"
We have no idea, but travelers are about to find out as Rome has enacted a new law banning the activity of eating snack foods within the historic center city.
Chow down on some cioccolato in vicino of the cobblestoned streets and you'll be liable to pay a fine, which ranges from €25 to €500, though what exactly you'd have to do to warrant the €500 penalty is not stated (perhaps pour a banana split on Neptune in the Fontana di Trevi and then lick it off?!)
It's a law that specifically targets careless tourists, and Telegraph UK explains where you'll have to keep that gelato gluttony in check:
You’d think that with heightened security around the globe that it would be somewhat tricky just to stroll aboard an airplane dressed up like a pilot. Well we guess it’s not that challenging to do so, as it looks like someone just got away with an act straight out of Catch Me If You Can.
Over the weekend, a man in a pilot's uniform was arrested while innocently sipping coffee at Italy's Turin Airport. His not-so-innocent previous adventures included riding up front in the cockpit jumpseat of an Air Dolomiti flight, after passing as a legitimate pilot to both security screeners and apparently the cabin crew. Forged identity cards and a snazzy uniform were a couple of his keys to success, but after a run-in with local law enforcement it appears that the party is over.
Kitty cats. They rule the internet and, whether we realize it or not, pretty much the world too. Ever noticed how cats sometimes stake out the coolest spots in a city? This new featureTravel Catfocuses on exactly that. Submit a photo to be featured by tweeting or Instagramming it to us (details below).
Travel Cat spotted near: Lake Como, Italy.
This week's Travel Cat is from Jaunted twitter friend @musciobros, who says of this ginger cutie:
"Here's an orange cat I found on a tiny street in Nesso, Lake Como, Italy. Lo sono un gatto splendido!"
Travel Snapshot / Italy Travel / Police / Crime / → All Tags
Don’t worry—we didn’t get arrested or anything, but we did think this teensy Citroën police car was pretty darn unique when we spotted outside the Vatican's Piazza San Pietro. We just wonder where the bad guys—or general troublemakers—sit when the officers decide to take the perpetrators back to the station.
Anyway, we did notice several different kinds of law enforcement—again, no fault of our own—when traveling around Italy. So we thought we’d share a quick recap of our internet research, just in case you wondered the same thing on your next trip to Rome, Venice, Florence, or Naples.
Airline News / Alitalia / Italy Travel / Rome Travel / FCO / Milan Travel / MXP / Business Class Travel / Premium Economy / Economy Class Travel / Airline Lounges / → All Tags
Lots of new changes coming to Alitalia over the next few months. From a full fleet renewal, more transparent fares on their most popular flights, and even a very generous offering for their passengers from young to older. In true Italian fashion, they have named their newest classes of services super romantic names.
In the past 3 years, the Italian airline has spent a considerable amount of time, not to mention, euros, on creating a more pleasurable experience for all of their passengers. In a quest to fly the youngest fleet in the world, they have bought new planes and refreshed existing planes. By the beginning of next year, the entire fleet will be an average of about 6 years old.