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Interesting Italy updates from Rick Steves

Interesting Italy updates from Rick Steves

Jan 17th, 2006, 05:52 AM
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Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 4,699
Interesting Italy updates from Rick Steves

From abcnews.com

If you’re heading south to Rome, you can avoid the longer-than-ever lines at the Colosseum by buying a combo-ticket at the nearby Palatine Hill. Nero’s Golden House, recently damaged by heavy rains, has closed and won’t reopen for at least two years.

In Tivoli, a medieval hill town just east of Rome, the 16th-century Villa d’Este has been restored and the villa’s much-loved fountains are in full spray.

While Venetians can’t stop Venice from sinking, they are raising the entire level of St. Mark’s Square. In a process that’s been carried out repeatedly over the centuries, they’re taking up the pavement stones, adding a layer of sand and then replacing the stones.

After waiting up to an hour to get into St. Mark’s Basilica, many tourists are turned away because they can’t bring bags into the church. The good news: After checking your bag at the nearby Ateneo di San Basso church, you can show the gatekeeper your bag-check tag to skip the line and go directly into St. Mark’s Basilica. Once inside the crowded interior, watch your valuables. This is the place you’re most likely to be pickpocketed in Venice.

The island of San Giorgio Maggiore, across the lagoon, has long lured tourists with tantalizing views of Venice from its church’s bell tower. Unfortunately, the tower will be closed through 2006. Catch your views from the bell tower on St. Mark’s Square instead.

In Milan, because of the hype surrounding Dan Brown’s blockbuster novel "The Da Vinci Code", you now need to reserve at least a month in advance to see Leonardo’s Last Supper. Also in Milan, the glorious facade of its cathedral will be covered with inglorious scaffolding through 2006 and the Duomo Museum will likely be closed for renovation through next year. Perhaps the most underrated sight in Milan, its Monumental Cemetery with evocative tombs dating from 1870 to 1930, is welcoming visitors.

Florence’s biggest sightseeing news is that tickets for entry to the Uffizi art gallery (known for Renaissance paintings) are now sold out up to a month in advance. Your best strategy is to get reservations for both the Uffizi and Accademia (home of Michelangelo’s David) as soon as you know when you’ll be in town. Hotels are accustomed to offering this service free to guests — just request it with your room reservation. You can also book tickets directly from the Uffizi by calling 011-39-055-294-883 from the United States. Night-owls take note: the Accademia will be open and free on Tuesdays in July and August from 7 p.m. to 10 p.m.

A new weekly magazine called The Florentine, geared for English-speaking tourists and expats, comes out on Thursdays and is free at tourist offices and hotels.

sandi_travelnut is offline  
Jan 17th, 2006, 06:09 AM
Join Date: Jan 2003
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Is this update from Rick Steves or ABC News?
BTilke is offline  
Jan 17th, 2006, 06:41 AM
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this is an update from Rick's "Europe thru the back door" that is now a regualr segment on ABCNews.com

sandi_travelnut is offline  
Jan 17th, 2006, 07:51 AM
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Thank you sandi! I just called to make my reservations for the Uffizi and the Accademia for next month. It was the easiest part of my trip plans! Calling directly took less than 3 minutes.
LCBoniti is offline  
Jan 17th, 2006, 09:25 AM
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Thanks, sandi. The information is very helpful.

Woody is offline  
Jan 17th, 2006, 09:26 AM
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Posts: 273
Here is the link for updates on the Rick Steve's website. It was very helpful for my upcoming trip to Paris.

nwtraveler is offline  
Jan 17th, 2006, 09:36 AM
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Posts: 137
Thanks for the info.
dewdrops is offline  

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