Tag Archives | summer

What’s On in Italy: August 2008

Lots of summer festivals are winding up this month. Then, after Ferragosto on August 15, most Italians head for the hills…or the beach. Stay tuned for a full slate of fall events beginning next month.

Puccini Festival. This festival in Torre del Lago (near Lucca, Tuscany) is a must for opera buffs. It runs through August 23.

A Palio or Two. If you are unable to make it to the second installment (August 16) of this year’s Palio in Siena, check out the Race of the Terzieri in Citta delle Pieve, Umbria, from August 13-24.

Tuscan Sun Festival. Does Frances Mayes hear the sound “ca-ching” every time this arts festival takes place in Cortona? Anyhow, it runs through August 10.

Art in Rome. There are plenty of opportunities to cool off indoors at Rome’s many art exhibits in August: The Renaissance of the Arts from Donatello to Perugino at Museo del Corso (through Sept. 7); 15th Rome Quadriennale at the Palazzo delle Esposizioni, which showcases 100 contemporary Italian artists and highlights the sculptures of Luciano Fabro (through Sept. 14); City Life 1930-2007 at the Museo di Roma Palazzo Braschi is a collection of 200 photos of Rome street life through the years (through Sept. 21); Coreggio and the Artists of Ancient Times is a comparative study of Coreggio paintings and the artists from ancient times at the Galleria Borghese (though Sept. 14); Vietnam photographs from Italian photographer Ennio Iacobucci at the Museo di Roma in Trastevere (through Sept. 14); and many, many more exhibitions.

Summer 2008 Cell Phone Deal

Gone are the days when you needed a gettone, or token, to make a phone call in Italy. In fact, Italians have been using cell phones since way before they became “necessities” for Americans.

Thanks to locked phones, roaming restrictions, and myriad other technological and corporate roadblocks, it has always been hard – and outrageously expensive – to use an American cell phone abroad. But this summer, TravelCell, an international cell phone service and rental company, is making it easier for travelers to Italy and a 150 other countries by offering free incoming calls and 50% off cell phone rental fees.

Another feature that we like is that TravelCell offers permanent international numbers for frequent travelers. So if you’re going back and forth to Rome for business – and, who isn’t? – this could be a reasonable way for family and business associates to stay in touch.

And, just so it doesn’t seem like we’re playing cell phone favorites, we should mention a couple of cell phone companies that we recommend in the Unofficial Guide to Central Italy. Check out companies cellularabroad.com and telestial.com, for their latest rates and deals.

What’s On in Italy: July 2008

As we noted today in an earlier post, tomorrow, July 2, will be the first of this year’s Palio races in Siena. But, that’s not all that’s happening in Italy this month. Here’s the rundown:

Music and Performance Festivals: Roma Estate 2008 continues with various music, comedy, and sports events. Throughout July, Rome will also hold the Rome Jazz Festival in Villa Celimontana, the Parco della Musica, and the Casa del Jazz. Meanwhile, the Spoleto Festival will end on July 13 with a performance by the London Symphony Orchestra. As we mentioned last month, you won’t want to miss the Verona Opera Festival. But, if you’re in Le Marche – Macerata, to be exact – consider a visit to the Sferisterio, Macerata’s grand outdoor arena, which will put on its own opera festival from July 24 through August 12. Even more opera is available for your enjoyment at the annual Puccini Festival in Torre del Lago, Tuscany. Modern music fans will be headed to Livorno July 16-19 for the Italia Wave Love Festival. This year’s festival will feature an impressive lineup, including The Raveonettes, The Verve, Gnarls Barkley, The Chemical Brothers, and dozens of other acts from Italy, Europe, and as far flung as Ethiopia and Brazil. Jazz enthusiasts will want to check out Pistoia Blues Festival, which will celebrate the 40th anniversary of Jimi Hendrix’s first album.

AltaRoma – High Fashion in Rome: From July 6-10 at Rome’s National Museum of 21st Century Art (MAXXI), lucky visitors will get to watch gorgeous models walk the runways in the latest haute couture creations.

Christmas in July: Snowboarding in July? In Italy, it is possible at the Big A Snow and Skateboard Camp in Val Senales near Bolzano through July 19. Park entry will be free until then, and the camp will give snow and skateboarders a chance to perfect their craft and mingle with Italian pro riders.

Art Shows: Palermo will feature a large retrospective of 50 years of Spanish art at its exhibit España 1957-2007. Among the many works will be those by Dali, Miro, and Picasso. In Florence, curators at the Palazzo Strozzi have tried to uncover the mysteries behind Impressionist paintings with Painting Light: The Hidden Techniques of the Impressionists, which begins on July 11. Through the end of August, the Palazzo Medici-Riccardi, also in Florence, has Leonardo and Raphael, For Example, an exhibit featuring sketches and drawings from the masters’ studios.

Be sure to click on our Tourism Boards page and check out other local happenings throughout Italy.

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