Tag Archives: Italy


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Carnival Cruise Ship to Undergo Major Overhaul

imageCarnival Cruise Lines has announced plans for the Carnival Destiny cruise ship to undergo an extensive dry dock in early 2013.   The Destiny was launched in 1996 as the world’s largest cruise ship carrying 2,642 passengers and began the current era of the mega ships.  The dry dock will last for 49 days and cost $155 million, radically transforming her into the Carnival Sunshine.

The Carnival Sunshine will receive the full Carnival Funship 2.0 experience, an additional 182 cabins, and the expansion of 2 decks completely transforming the layout of the ship.  Carnival President and CEO released the following statement,

Mediterranean cruise guide

imageMediterranean cruises are a wonderful way of taking in a number of fascinating sights with a minimum of hassle. Douglas Ward offers a complete guide to taking a Mediterranean cruise.

Mediterranean cruises can be rewarding in so many ways – culturally, educationally, visually, architecturally, and historically, as well as from a culinary viewpoint. The Mediterranean is the second most popular cruise region in the world, after the Caribbean. It is loosely divided into two cruising areas: the Western Mediterranean (typically including France, Spain, Portugal and Italy) and Eastern Mediterranean (countries east of Italy, such as Croatia, Greece and Turkey).

Hall of Fame, Watts Gallery, review


GF Watts’s penetrating portraits amounted to a panorama of Victorian society, says Richard Dorment .

It’s like an artistic form of multiple-personality disorder: the minute you think you have a handle on the work of the Victorian painter GF Watts, you find you didn’t know it at all. The painter of myths and allegories we saw in the Tate Gallery’s Symbolist exhibition is unrecognisable as the portrait painter we discovered at the National Portrait Gallery a few years later.

Ski: avalanche accidents increase following record snow levels

imagePeter Hardy reports on how the best snow cover in a generation in the Alps has led to a major increase in the number of deaths and injuries caused by avalanches.

A week after Prince John Friso, 43, was seriously injured by an avalanche after skiing in Lech, Austria, much of the country is buried under the deepest snow in memory, with up to six metres at high altitude in the Tirol and Voralberg regions.

In the past week alone, three people have died and seven escaped uninjured in six separate incidents in the country, caused by the latest in a long string of avalanches. This compares to only three deaths in Austria last year, thought due to the exceptionally light snow cover last season.

Venice: a new haven for overseas property investment

imageThe city of canals is again attracting wealthy investors. Caroline McGhie finds out why it is worth a punt.

In a troubled world, we gain solace from spiritual uplift and physical beauty. Few places have the ability to touch the heart and move minds like Venice. For decades it has been a place to visit rather than one in which to buy property, but gradually things are changing. British estate agents have developed connections there, and some big money is about to arrive. “Ocean’s nursling”, as Shelley described it, is becoming a connoisseur’s place to purchase.

Mediterranean Luxury Cruises – The Time Of Your Life

imageWith three continents and more than a dozen countries surrounding the Mediterranean Sea there is much to see and do here. A luxury Mediterranean cruise will see you visiting everything from romantic Islands to busy vibrant cities and towns.

Whether you take one of the smaller ships to a few of the smaller Islands or a luxury cruise liner around the Mediterranean you will not be disappointed. With countries such as France, Italy and the Greek Islands being in easy reach by sea you will be sure of a fun filled holiday that creates memories you will cherish forever  On a Mediterranean cruise you will be able to enjoy a vast multitude of different flavours, historical sights, cultures and cuisines and there will be something for even the fussiest guest on a Mediterranean cruise.

Fiat Panda review

imageThere’s a lot riding on Fiat’s new Panda, not least a battle of the tiddlers against the VW Up and Kia Picanto.

The phrase “Small cars, small profits” is the blunt retort credited to Edsel Ford when presented with the first proposals for the Fiesta. In the even more Lilliputian world of sub-B cars such as the Panda, or its new rivals Volkswagen’s Up or Kia’s Picanto, you need to get the production right or you can lose money on every car you sell.

Cruising Tips

imageEvery year more and more people discover why cruises are the ideal vacation. A cruise ship is basically your giant buffet of wonderful experiences, with a wide selection of cuisines and cultures, activities in the sun and spas to pamper your every indulgence, destinations to exotic locales and a million ways to relax. You can do it all or do absolutely nothing – the choice is yours!

Chart Your Course! Pick the Cruise That’s Right for You
Your first choice is the most enjoyable, for it allows your mind to wander around the globe and back again, revisiting every destination your dreams have ever taken you to. Where in the world do you want to go and for how long?

Why Hollywood needs more women in charge

imageDenise Ream, producer of Pixar’s Cars 2, talks about the increasing number of female big hitters in the film industry.

How important is it that more women are in positions like yours? And do you feel a responsibility to promote role models for girls?

I do feel a responsibility. I was very pleased with Holly Shiftwell, the Emily Mortimer character in Cars 2, who originally had a much smaller role in the film. Due to Emily’s performance and the intelligence that she brought to the role, Holly ended up becoming a major character in the film.

5 travel scams to avoid

As travel is getting more and more popular, scams related to travel are also getting increasingly widespread. Even the most seasoned traveler can fall pray to a wily scammer, because just as travelers get creative when it comes to their trips, so do scammers and their attempts to leech some money off you.


Picking a naive tourist’s pockets is small fry compared to some rip-offs that have been heard of nowadays. So here are 5 travel scams to avoid in some of the most popular travel destinations in the world.
Orlando, USA

Unfortunately hotels around Disney World are not protected against identity theft, and some scammers deviously capitalized on tourists’ craving for pizza. Pizza menu were slipped under doors, guests would call and order, but their credit card numbers were not used to pay for pizza, but for identity theft. Of course, this kind of scam can happen anywhere, because scammers can rely on the fact that tourists (and often, locals too) don’t know that much about local businesses.

Degas: the ascetic with an eye for the ladies

Degas had a unique genius for capturing the female form in motion. On the ever of a major new exhibition, Mark Hudson looks at the most enigmatic of the Impressionists.


Beyond the opulent facade of the Paris Opera, and the marbled entrance halls and salons, there is a warren of bleak corridors connecting the offices, rehearsal rooms and costume-makers’ workshops.

In the centre of this area, right behind the stage itself, lies a gilded chamber quite as splendid as anything in the theatre’s public areas: the so-called Foyer de la Danse. It was here, in the 19th century, that the abonnés, rich and powerful men whose status as “subscribers” gave them access to every area of the theatre, would come after performances to meet the dancers and proposition them.

Food and wine: guide to good eating abroad

Heading to the Continent on holiday? You are probably looking forward to some delicious food. But how do you find it? Andrew Purvis has some tips.


Eating well is one of the great pleasures of travel. Often, it is emotive and sensuous – the thing we remember most about a holiday: a delicious breakfast of fresh cornetto and cappuccino in Tuscany; a fragrant lunch of red tomatoes, chalk-white cheese, black olives, cucumber and a boiled egg on a sunny terrace in Bodrum; the briny indulgence of ozone-fresh fruits de mer eaten at a beachfront table in Nice with the setting sun in your eyes, salt in the air and a chilled glass in your hand. We like to feel that we are relishing a cuisine which is rooted into a different landscape, climate and tradition.

Spain holiday savings: how to cut costs

Annie Bennett continues our series with advice on how to cut costs on a Spanish holiday.


I had lunch under the trees in one of Madrid’s most historic squares today. A big bowl of gazpacho, followed by strips of tender Ibérico ham with a salad, then chocolate ice cream. That little lot, along with a glass of chilled white wine, and an iced coffee, came to €13 (£11.50).

The set lunch, menú del dia, has always been a great bargain in Spain, but never more so than now, when prices generally have risen and both locals and visitors are feeling the pinch. Here are some more ideas on how to save money this summer.

Alpine refuges: high times in the Italian mountains

Clare Mann tours Italy’s isolated – and occasionally very cold – mountain refuges.


Why would you want to sleep in a refuge in winter?” asked Brigitte, a friend from Chamonix. “In the summer, when I go mountaineering, is bad enough. You won’t sleep a wink at the altitudes. There are horrible smells and noises, and everyone drinks to blot out the experience.”

This didn’t bode well, as we were to spend three nights in the Aosta Valley from Cervinia to Alagna, then four nights in the Dolomites, staying in mountain refuges around Cortina. From Turin we took a taxi to Cervinia. There, my husband, Edward, and I met Poldo from Guide Monterosa, who had touring skis, boots and rucksacks waiting for us at the ski lift.

Republican art rules OK


The royal wedding will showcase Westminster Abbey, but it is under republics, not monarchies, that artists flourish the most The cultural heritage of the British monarchy is about to go on display all over the world as screens glow with the architectural and sculptural grandeur of Westminster Abbey. Founded in the 10th century, loaded with new marvels down the ages of which the most sublime is surely the chapel of Henry VII with its filigree fan vaulting, this royal abbey church is the best example anyone could ever adduce to support the contention that British culture is profoundly beholden to and involved in the regal tradition.

Bernardo Bertolucci: ‘I thought my film-making was over’

‘For the last two or three years, I’d been thinking I wouldn’t be able to do any more movies,’ says Bernardo Bertolucci Photo: AGF s.r.l. / Rex Features
By David Gritten 5:00PM BST 14 Apr 2011

He is 71 now, and has received more than his share of critical and public praise since he shot his first film, The Grim Reaper, half a century ago. But the rush to honour the great Italian director Bernardo Bertolucci is currently more urgent than ever before.

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