Archive for February, 2013

February 27, 2013

Cruise the Baltics in June

Join us on the Azamara Quest for a cruise visiting Denmark, Finland, Sweden, Estonia, Germany, and Russia. Best to reserve your stateroom for this 11 night sailing from Stockholm to Copenhagen soon.
Contact me for more details.


February 22, 2013

San Carlo Opera House

photo4The Real Teatro di San Carlo is the oldest continuously active venue for public opera in Europe, opening decades before both the Milanese La Scala and Venetian La Fenice theaters. San Carlo was built by the Bourbon king, Charles III, and takes its name from the fact that it opened on November 4, 1737, the feast day of the saint the king was named for. San Carlo has always been what they called in the days of vaudeville a “tough house”. in 1901, local critics panned their own hometown boy, Enrico Caruso, so severely that he took himself to America, never to sing in Naples again.
I recently was treated to box seats for an opera performance at the San Carlo and it most certainly was a memorable evening. The ushers were clothed in fun attire made of all buttons, ribbons, or keys…a delightful contrast to the classic gilded red and gold theatre itself.
Though the opera season in Italy does not run year around, often a ballet or musical performance can be enjoyed in the off season.

February 5, 2013

Fascinating Naples

Castel del' Ovo view from room balcony at Hotel Santa LuciaNaples, Napoli in Italian, is the third most-populated city in Italy and the biggest city in Southern Italy. Its close proximity to many interesting sites, such as Pompeii and the Bay of Naples, makes it a good base for exploring the area. Naples is a lively and vibrant city, full of wonderful historical and artistic treasures and narrow, winding streets with small shops, making it worth at least a few days visit.

During my late January visit to Italy, I was priviledged to be one of ten American guests invited to partake in a 4 day educational program highlighting the history, arts, culture, and cuisine of Naples. It had been many years since I had visited Naples with locals and I was rewarded with a renewed enthusiasm for this magical city that is rich in history, traditions, art and breathtaking views, not to mention the culinary highlights. Mayor Luigi de Magistris and Antonella Di Nocera, head of Tourism and Culture, and her welcoming staff prepared an incredible ‘Grand Tour of Naples’ for us and personally joined in on much of the agenda.

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