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New Tours Forming for 2017

We are now forming our Treasures of Italy  tours for 2017! These tours are:

1.  Florence & Tuscany with a "one hotel;" stay in Florence and visits to Siena, San Gimigniano, Lucca, Pisa, Montalcino, and Montecatini;

2.  Venice & the Northern Lakes of Italy:  Our Venice & Northern Lakes Tour also includes stays in Venice and the beautiful Lakeside Town of Stresa, on Lago Maggiore with visits to Lake Como, Bellagio, Milan (with visit to DaVinci's Masterpiece, "The Last Supper")  and  the beautiful city of Verona.

3.  Sorrento (Part I) & Rome:  The Amalfi Cost, Isle of Capri, Pompeii, Vatican City's Museum, Sistine Chapel, & St. Peter's Basilica and the monuments of Rome;

4. Sorrento (Part II) & Naples: Sorrento,  Positano on the Amalfi Coast, Paestum, Herculaneum, Island of Ischia, and the Archeological  Museum and Historic Center of Naples.

5.  Splendors of Sicily:  Catania, Taormina, Messina, Syracusa, Nota, The Godfather Tour, and more!

The tours include air fares, air taxes and fuel surcharges,  hotels, most meals, professional guide services,  a pre-departure "Meet & Greet" Orientation & Festa Italiana" and a carefully customized and organized itinerary with fun-filled visits to the most interesting and well-known places within each tour. The tours are particularly well-suited for groups seeking to benefit  non-profit organizations, civic associations such as Museums;  Hospice &  Health Care facilities;  Animal Shelters; school or college reunions, and many other civic or social groups or for those simply wishing to experience Italy and to meet and travel with other similarly minded adventurers. 

Contact us for specific no obligation details and please be sure to register for our Newsletter and/or email me at: a.amaral@italianwineservices.com.

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Gelato? Delizioso!!

Gelato is sometimes referred to as "Italian Ice Cream" but that description falls far short of this uniquely Italian gastronomical treasure! There are two types of Gelato:  Artigianale  and Industriale and both types have its devotees. 

Gelato Artigianale is seemingly the most preferred as it is made from fresh ingredients of milk, cream, and eggs as well as those associated with the rich plethora of natural flavors for near-immediate enjoyment by the consumer.  Gelato Industriale is more of a mass-produced creation of powdered milk, fruit juice concentrates,  and other additives for flavor, color, stability,  and aromatic qualities.  It is made and packaged much sooner than consumption.

For those of my readers who have traveled with me to Sorrento, a highlight of the visit is to the Gelateria Bougainvillea (bougainvillea.it) on the famed Corso Italia, the main street of Sorrento (between the Piazza Tasso and in the direction of the Hospital) where authentic Gelato Artigianale is made on the premises and can be enjoyed with two other uniquely Italian inventions:  the ice cream cone and the "Passeggiata"  or the evening stroll in or about the Piazza.  Don't miss this cultural and gastronomical experience while in Sorrento!

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Studying Italian in Italy!

The Italian language is said to be one of the most studied languages in the world.  The reasons for its popularity are varied, but among them are its tonal and romantic appeal as well as its importance to world literature and world history.    Approximately 250 million people in the world are said to speak Italian and are connected to culture with its study in the United States and abroad increasing each year.

There are many language schools in Italy catering to foreign students wishing to study the Italian language. These schools offer courses for every ability from the newest beginner to the accomplished speaker utilizing effective methods of instruction and provide a wonderful "total immersion" experience in Italian language as well as Italian Culture.

Particularly noteworthy in my experience is the Sant' Anna Institute - Sorrento Lingue located in the idyllic town of Sorrento in the Province of Naples and in close proximity to Positano and the famed Amalfi Coast, Isle of Capri, Isle of Ischia, Pompeii, Paestum, and many other wonders of the Sorrentine Pennisula and the region of Compania. Founded in 1998 by Dr. Cristiana Panicco who continues as its President and Director, the school is affiliated with universities and colleges in the United States for "Study Abroad" programs, Adult "50 +" programs,  and also serves as a certifying teaching authority for teachers of Italian as well as other languages.  

The School hosts students of every age from around the world and offers a magnificent experience in the learning of Italian and Italian culture.   I return periodically to continue my immersion in the Italian language and highly recommend it for a thorough and fulfilling experience.  For more information, go to www.santannainstitute.com and/or write to Olga Stinga, Director, at santannainstitute.com

 

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Wine in Italy: History, Art, & Legend

Wine in Italy is far more than the squeezing of grapes!  It is truly an art with its canvas being the fertile hillsides upon which vines are carefully cultivated and their grapes grown and harvested. Blended with art are history and tradition.

While the image of barefoot peasant women stomping on grapes has long been dispatched, many winemakers still adhere to the time-honored tradition of carefully handpicking the grapes to prevent damage which can be caused by modern machinery during the critical and festive period in Autumn known as the Vendemmia or harvesting of the grapes.  

After the pressing, fermentation, and aging for requisite periods for each wine, the celebratory festa of Vin'ovello (Vino + Novello) or "New Wine" begins with gatherings in the local piazzas (town squares) where the young wine of one year aging is opened and tasted after generous amounts of the older and more matured or aged wines along with chestnuts and other foods are consumed and music enjoyed by the piazza party-goers.

The revelry connected with the festive nature of wine enjoyment is associated with Bacchus, the mythical Roman god of wine who is often depicted with vines and grape leaves and characterized as a raucous party-goer! 

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