Although Italian beaches are small and overcrowded in July and August when all Italians are vacation, they are safe and well kept. The Foundation for Environmental Education has already inspected Italy’s beaches before the upcoming summer 2008 season. A total of 104 coastal destinations and 56 Italian tourism landings have been awarded a blue flag by the organization this year indicating maximum cleanliness. The greatest number of flags for 2008 were awarded to Tuscany on the west coast and the Le Marche region south of Ravenna and Milano Maritima, with 15 blue flags, followed by Liguria 14, Abruzzo 13 and Campania 11. At the bottom of the list are Friuli Venezia Giulia, Molise and Sardinia with two flags each. The best advice though is to visit the beaches in September when the crowds disappear but the weather is still hot and the seawater pleasantly warm
The main theme of the famous Ravenna Music Festival in 2008 is women figures in myth and art. The festival opens with La Traviata, the story one of the most beloved woman figures in opera history. Verdi’s opera will be staged by Cristina Mazzavillani Muti, light designer Vincent Longuemare and conducor Patrick Fournillier. The feminine accent of the Festival theme will be complemented by a series of five “portraits”, especially commissioned to five among the most interesting Italian artists, Romagna, Ermanna Montanari, Elena Bucci, Daniela Piccari, Luisa Cottifogli. The “visions” of Cristina Mazzavillani Muti, a dreamlike encounter between Norma and Medea, gives new life to a series of exceptional women, from Rosvita, a ‘playwriting’ nun of year 1000, to Anita Garibaldi, the Heroine of the Two Worlds. All this within the extraordinary setting of the 15th century Venetian fort of Rocca Brancaleone as a new venue. And more will follow, either borrowed from ancient myth or present-day stages: Salomé to Juliette Greco.
The symphonic selection of the festival offerings is especially rich, with a repertoire ranging from Beethoven to contemporary composer Giovanni Sollima in the interpretation of world-renowned orchestras, the Bolshoi, the Maggio Musicale Fiorentino or the Orchestre Nationale de France. Conductors like Yuri Temirkanov, Kurt Masur and Riccardo Muti enhence the musical experience. Also worth-mentioning are the solo role Chiara Muti will play in Sollima’s new composition, inspired by the the Byzantine world, and the great French actor Gérard Depardieu, in the role of Berlioz’s Lélio. The residing festival orchestra, the “Luigi Cherubini” Youth Orchestra, founded by Riccardo Muti will play the leading role in a concert entirely dedicated to Cole Porter and the jazz age. The Ravenna Music Festival tour packages are available to book.
Eurofly Meridiana, the Milan-based discounted airline will restart its operations on May 11th, for the third consecutive year, on its Bologna-New York routing three times per week. The airline will depart from Bologna, the city of medieval skyscrapers and the capital of Emilia Romagna on Wednesdays, Fridays and Sundays from May to November. For passengers coming from the United States, the company plans to extend the flight to Pescara, Bari and Lamezia Terme, dedicated to Ethnic and leisure traffic to the seaside resorts of the Adriatic. To underline the connection between the Region and the USA, the airline is organising two educational tours for US journalists over the next few weeks.
Meridiana offers additional good connections to different cities in Europe as well as Sharm el seikh at the Red Sea in Egypt