Naples Boats and Ferries

Speed Boat transportation started again for the season between between the Gulf of Naples and the Gulf of Salerno. The service is known as Metro del Mare. Rapid sea connections will be provided between 24 ports of the Campania coast,reaching a total of nine lines in 2008. The MM2 and MM3 lines will be running between Naples to Salerno, stopping at some of the ports of the Sorrento and Amalfi coast. The monohull and catamaran hydrofoils will be equipped this year with onboard bar services, and announcements will be made to passengers in Italian and English to indicate the next docking port. Brief tourism information will also be provided. An information call centre, info-points at the stops and on mobile phones, will further enhance the offer. Some of the Sea Metro Lines are complemented by road transportation services that make it possible, with one ticket, to take mini-excursions to the archaeological sites of Pompeii, Herculaneum and Paestum, as well as to Mount Vesuvius. During the summertime shows at Villa Favorita in Herculaneum night time service will also be offered. Good news for tourists of limited budgets.

Siena Tuscany Farms in Trouble?

The popular holiday farms sector in the beautiful Province of Siena is experiencing a negative trend of decreased overnight stays. According to the estimates the decrease in overnights from 2007 to 2008 varies between 15 and 30%. Full occupancy is not expected during the upcoming long weekends of the summer and fall season. Up to now bookings have been around 60% of capacity. The trend among both foreign and Italian tourists is to stay for 2 or less nights as opposed to previous years when visitors usually stayed for at least a week. The clientele is changing due to the increased services of many European discounted airlines catering to travelers with preference for short European vacations. According to latest farm house holiday statistics, 20% of visitors are driving vacationers from the USA, 20% from Scandinavian countries, 20% from Belgium, and 10% from Germany, Holland and Great Britain. The remaining 30 percent represents domestic visitors. “Those farm houses that continue to prosper are the ones with loyal customers, thanks to their greater services and higher quality” commented Enrica Bartolini, Chairwoman of Agriturist Siena. Does this mean we can expect price reductions for 2009?

Andrea Palladio Anniversary

The Province of Vicenza is celebrating Andrea Palladio’s 500th year anniversary with guided visits to the major works of the great renaissance architect. It is an initiative that is being brought back for the 500th anniversary of the birth of the architect from Vicenza. Tours are organized every weekend between April 26th and November 2nd to teach visitors about the most influential person in Western architecture and to introduce more than 400 villas conceived and inspired by the artist in both Vicenza and the surrounding towns. It will also be possible to visit the underground areas of Palazzo Thiene in the historic town of Vicenza