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Tuesday, March 07, 2006

Bed and Breakfast in Italy: how to choose

If you are supposed to know exactly what to expect from a Hotel, it is not always easy to predict what you are going to get in case you are willing to book a bed and breakfast in Italy.

If with hotels the universal rating system (stars) should work properly, with other types of accommodations such as bed and breakfast, independent apartments, guest houses and country inns, the situation is quite different. In these cases you have to trust what you see and what you read.

Serious innkeepers and companies promoting these types of accommodation should be as transparent as possible. You should be able to know exactly the location (the use of an interactive map surely helps), you should be able to see as many rooms pictures as possible, a broad description and a list of facilities/amenities available at the accommodation.

What about reviews? Are they candid? I must confess that many times a review or a guest comment could be more misleading than a bad picture. How you know about other people standards and requirements? Maybe they were on a budget and for them a shared bathroom was more than ok, and they were extremely happy just for the fact that have spent 5 euros less than in another accommodation.

What makes you referent more reliable is when they offer the possibility to talk with somebody: if you are booking a bed and breakfast and you are thousands miles away, the best and most relaxing thing is to know that you have somebody to talk to and to interact with, somebody who is able to answer your questions and clarify every single doubt. Even if by e-mail or by phone you should be able to deal with humans and not with automatic systems.

Find an Italy accommodation website which deal mainly with bed and breakfast and which is listing not all of them. Choose a website with a few selected accommodation and look for pictures, maps, descriptions and read as much as possible…. And then, talk (by e-mail of phone) with somebody.

Gianluca Martini
Founder of Italia Lodging – Charming small accommodation in Italy

Monday, March 06, 2006

Ravello Music Festival

Each year, without fail, music lovers have heated discussions about the legitimacy of open air concerts, interspersed as they are by sounds and noises extraneous to the music. But, for the concerts in Villa Rufolo, the complete pleasure for the ears and for the eyes wins over the sceptics, since any imperfection for the first is amply compensated by the magnificence offered to the second. As Gore Vidal delicately noted "often, when the orchestra plays Wagner, the full moon rises from the mountains towards the east, its form racalling a dragon with its head gently reclined on the beach, while the smaller birds of Ravello, musically well-educated after all these years, sing counterpoint in the dark pines on high".

In over half century the stage boldly projecting towards the sea has hosted a variety of great orchestras like the Dresden Staatskapelle and the Munchner Philharmoniker, the Royal Philharmonic and the London Symphony Orchestra, the Kirov Theatre of Leningrad and the Gewandhaus of Leipzig, the Orchestra Nazionale della Rai and that of Maggio Musicale, the Orchestre National de France and the London Philharmonia; chamber groups like the Chamber Orchestra of Europe and the Camerata Academica del Mozarteum, the Trio di Trieste and the Quartetto Italiano; conductors likeAshkenazy, Barbirolli, Chung, Davis, Fruhbeck de Burgos, Gerviev, Jarvi, Maazel, von Matacic, Mehta, Pretre, Sanzogno, Scherchen, Semkow, Sinopoli, Spivakov, Tate, Termirkanov and Tilson-Thomas; soloists like Argerich, Asciolla, Campanella, Canino, Cascioli, Cassado, Chang, Ciccolini, Kempff, Lupu, Rampal, Rostropovich, Ughi and Weissenberg and jazz players like Caine and Hancock; not forgetting singers of the calibre of Behrens, Christoff, Cura, Domingo, Jerusalem, Raimondi, Salminen and Urmana.

On his arrival at Villa Rufolo in 1880, Richard Wagner found both inspiration for the scenography of Act 2 of Parsifal and ideas for improving the whole musical architecture of his ultimate masterpiece. The orchestral concerts that have been held in the Villa for over 50 years are a worthy tribute to this inspiration. Giuseppe Verdi was another guest at Villa Rufolo; Grieg stayed in the Albergo Toro; outstanding conductors and performers – from Bruno Walter to Toscanini, Stokowski to Kempff, Bernstein to Penderecki, Prêtre to Maazel – have all stayed and made music here. The musical vocation remains at the heart of the intense cultural life in Ravello: the "Scuola di perfezionamento musicale" directed by Michele Campanella, the Ravello Concert Society directed by Pasquale Palumbo, the "Concerts at midnight" organised with Alessio Vlad as artistic advisor, the world-famous concerts of the Villa Rufolo Music Festival organised under the guidance of Roman Vlad, and the “Città di Ravello” Orchestra managed by Elio Macinante, have all been responsible for emotional highlights in each summer season.

Ravello Festival Box Office

Ravello, Via Roma 10-12
Tel e fax +39 089 858422
mailto:info@ravellofestival.com
Open:- until June18th from Monday to Friday: 3pm-8pm- from 18 June to 18 September everyday: 10am-8pm On performance days the Box Office stays open until doors are closed.
Box office on lineTickets can be bought on line from https://www.universalticket.it/RavelloFestival2005.htm

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Italia Lodging Amalfi Coast is a website which promotes accommodation in the Amalfi Coast and in particular bed and breakfasts Amalfi Coast, apartments Amalfi Coast, hotels Amalfi Coast - all the accommodation listed on this website are part of Italia Lodging? Charming Accommodation in Italy a trade mark of Ulisse 2000 S.r.l.
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