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Category Archives: Italy News

Italy’s Favorite Car, The Fiat 500, Takes the U.S. by Storm

Here are five things you need to know about the Fiat 500. Introduced in 2007, it’s making a big splash in car circles. It’s a riff on the Fiat 600, like the one in the above illustration, that was popular in the 1950s. 1. A special Gucci edition will be unveiled during New York’s Fashion week September. For details, click HERE. 2. People are so nuts about this car, there’s a forum devoted to this model alone. 3. There are Fiat clubs all over the U.S. There’s something about the Fiat that makes its owners proud, passionate. Look for local chapters on Facebook and Twitter. 4. There is an informative online magazine devoted to all things Fiat 500. It’s a bit technical, but it will keep you on top of Fiat news and happenings if you read it. 5. You can rent a Fiat in the U.S., at least in [...]

The Jersey Shore Does Florence, We Hope You Do Too…

So the Jersey Shore does Florence! We thought we’d let the Jersey Shore Season Four get off the ground before commenting on what it’s like seeing this group on the ultimate Italy vacation. As it turns out, last week’s season debut got the highest ratings ever. We know part of the reason is that the show was shot in Florence, one of the most beautiful cities in the most beautiful country in the world! If you missed the season premiere, here’s an Episode One recap from Rolling Stone Magazine. We note that the group got lost in Florence, something that would not happen if they were on an escorted tour with Tour Italy Now, tee hee! If you’re watching the show, you won’t get to see all that much of Florence, it’s a backdrop to be sure, but remember last spring the mayor of Florence banned Jersey Shore from taping [...]

It’s Official! Italy is the Top Travel Choice of Americans!

Even though this comes as no surprise, we wanted to trumpet this news with the Tour Italy Now community: According to a new survey, a trip to Italy remains choice #1 for Americans! This finding is from Harris Survey, one of the top pollings firms in the world, and is based on interviews with 2,183 Americans age 18 and over. Italy tops the list, with Great Britain, Australia, Ireland and France rounding out the top five. Italy is the top travel choice of americans! What’s fascinating, at least to yours truly and we hope to you, too, is that Italy has held the top first or second spot going back to 2000, with a dip to third place in 2002. In the late 1990s, Italy placed fourth, which is hardly shabby. But this past decade has been great for Italy. We called Harris to get a sense of the numbers, [...]

Venice “Guest” Tax Goes Into Effect Next Month

We wanted to let the Tour Italy Now community know that Venice has added a new tax for hotel guests. The Venice tax was approved by the City Council of Venice in late June, it goes into effect on August 23. As we told you in this blog post, Rome and Florence introduced “bed” taxes as well earlier this summer. They all work a bit differently, in that the rates are not uniform among the three cities, so if you are on an Italy tour, or in the midst of any Italy travel that takes you to Venice, Rome or Florence, make sure you understand the distinctions. Inquire at check in as to the amount and whether guests are required to pay in cash! Of course if you are on a Tour Italy Now escorted Italy tour, your guide will guide you on all! According to one of Tour Italy [...]

Anthony Robbins Coming to Rimini Italy!

Tour Italy Now wants to share an exciting opportunity with the community: World-renowned success coach Anthony Robbins will be giving his “Unleash the Power Within” course in Rimini this September, and you can get tickets directly through Tour Italy Now! Robbins, who has over 30 years experience coaching leaders, businessmen and world-class athletes such as Bill Clinton, Quincy Jones and Serena Williams, will give his sensational achievement strategies from September 23rd – 26th. So not only can you visit Italy, you can make other dreams come true by attending a four-day seminar with Tony Robbins! His seminars sell out! Space is limited! If you’re interested, call Tour Italy Now at 800.955.4418. You’ve seen his books, you’ve seen him on TV, now’s your chance to see him live in Italy!

Andrea Bocelli in New York City in September

Attention: Andrea Bocelli in New York City in September! We wanted to remind those in the Tour Italy Now community that international opera sensation Andrea Bocelli will be appearing in a free concert in Central Park, New York City, this September 15. Tickets are free. To be in the running to obtain tickets, sign up at the Andrea Bocelli Central Park website. Remember, as we’ve told you here and here, this amazing concert, with the New York Philharmonic, conducted by Alan Gilbert, will be in great demand and there will probably be more people who want to attend than ticket availability. But if you are so inclined, if you live in the New York City area or plan to be there in mid-September, give it a try! And check out the terrific video of Andrea Bocelli on the website! If you can’t make the concert, it will be taped and [...]

The New Hotel “Bed” Tax: Yes in Florence, Not Yet in Venice

We wanted to update Tour Italy Now readers with the latest on the so-called bed tax that goes into effect in Florence on July 1. The tax is pegged to a hotel’s star rating, one euro per star. The math is simple enough. Two nights in a four-star hotel in Florence will include a tax of eight euro per person. (2 nights X 4 starts X 2 people = 16 euros! And we must point out that it’s more a guest tax than a bed tax!) But pray tell just how will the bed tax in Florence work? Confusion abounds on that point! As Tour Italy Now understands it, the tax will be collected either at check-in or check-out in cash. Yes, cash. We also understand that the tax will be levied on travelers who paid in advance for their hotels, but that point is not perfectly clear. Bottom line: [...]

Italy Is The Most Beautiful Country in the World!

Perhaps you have asked yourself this question. We know the answer: a resounding, heartfelt “yes!” Of course, we are not the only ones who believe that Italy is the most beautiful country in the world. Year after year, Italy is judged one of the top places in the world to visit, according to the World Tourism Organization. It consistently ranks in the top five countries that Americans visit in the U.S. Commerce Department’s outbound tourism statistics. And, with 47 altogether, Italy leads the world — yes, the entire world! in UNESCO Heritage Sites, places of significant cultural or natural importance. Just this week, UNESCO (the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization) named the Longobards, seven clusters of buildings, including fortresses, churches and monastries throughout Italy, built by the Lombards in 6th to 8th centuries. According to UNESCO — and this gets a bit scholarly, but please persevere — these [...]

La Notte Rosa Along the Italian Adriatic Riviera

La Notte Rosse (which translates to Pink Night) is a 24 hour event held on the Adriatic Rivera in Emilia Romagna. It is is scheduled for July 5, 2013. Billed as the New Years Eve of the summer, the entire stretch of the Adriatic coast from Comacchio to Cattolica is bathed in pink for 24 festive hours of fun, music and frivolity. It can best be described as New Orleans Mardi Gras meets Brazilian Carnival. Much of the celebrations are centered in Rimini. Rimini is a summer hotspot for beach, sun and nightlife. The Marina Centro, which centuries ago served as a fishermen’s market, is now the towns lively evening heart. Rimini is also the birthplace of eccentric and iconic Italian filmmaker Federico Fellini and home of the prestigious, Liberty style, Grand Hotel. Fellini, probably best know for his Neo-realist masterpiece, La Dolce Vita, featured the Grand Hotel in several [...]

Venice and Florence Join Rome With New Bed Hotel Tax

Head’s Up: Rome With New Bed Hotel Tax! Florence and Venice are following Rome’s lead and will start levying visitor taxes on hotel guests starting July 1. Rome introduced the so-called “bed” or “accommodation” tax this past January 1; it applies to all guests, business and leisure travelers, Italians and non-Italians. Tour Italy Now is endeavoring to get accurate details as to how the tax will be implemented. Based on numerous press accounts, we’re confident to assert that the tax will not be identically levied in all three cities. In Rome, each visitor at a 4- or 5-star hotel will be charged a 3 euros, while each visitor at a 1-, 2- or 3-star hotel or at a B&B or an apartment rental will be charged 2 euros apiece. The Florence and Venice “bed” tax, at least during the high season, is pegged to the hotel’s star rating, with 5 [...]