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Italy during the autumn months is a wonderful place to be. The rolling landscapes will be taking on the golden colors of fall, and the temperatures are dropping to a comfortable range compared to the heat of the summer months. Not to mention, food will also be in abundance as the harvest season arrives, and there will be a large number of food festivals happening within the country at this time. Also rather abundant in autumn in Italy are film festivals.

When it comes to film festivals, Italy is one place where you will find quite a few you can go to. The country hosts some of the biggest international film festivals in the world. Being able to attend one or more of these during the months of September to November is an experience you wouldn’t want to miss.

If you are into movies and would love to see some of the biggest stars in the industry converge in one of the many majestic cities of Italy, you should consider taking a vacation to these places when these film festivals are happening. Here are four of the more popular Italian Film Festivals that you should try to check out when you are in Italy in autumn:

Venice Film Festival

Probably the most popular film festival in all of Italy, and definitely the oldest film festival in the world, the Venice Film Festival is an annual event that happens early September. It is held on the island of Lido. This film festival started in the early 1930s and is considered one of the Big Three in Europe, alongside the ones held in Cannes and Berlin.

People who attend this festival can enjoy screenings of the entries at the historic Palazzo del Cinema and in other similar venues nearby. Some of the awards that entries can win at this festival include the Golden Lion award, Silver Lion Award, and the Grand Jury Prize, to name but a few. Some of the popular Hollywood movies that received the Golden Lion award include Brokeback Mountain, The Shape of Water, and Monsoon Wedding.

Rome Film Fest

This film festival, which happens every year in October, is a pretty young festival when compared with other popular film festivals in Italy. Held in Rome’s Auditorium Parco della Musica and organized by the Fondazione Cinema per Roma, this festival features 35 films that will vie for one or more of the many awards given here. The Festival Internazionale del Film di Roma is an event that began in 2006 and has since become one of the more important festivals for film in the world.

World-famous artists attend this festival every year, with Hollywood actors making their appearances being one of the highlights of this event. The awards that are handed out during this festival are all People’s Choice Awards for the different sections that this event has. There is the Cinema d’Oggi (films by successful directors), Gala (world premiere films), Mondo Genere (different genre films), Prospettive Italia (trendy Italian films), and Alice nella Citta (children’s films).

Torino Film Festival

Happening at the very end of the autumn season in Italy, this film festival takes place in the city of Turin, which is located west of the Po River. This international film festival was first introduced to the movie-going public in 1982 and is considered the second largest film festival in Italy, second only to the Venice Film Festival. This festival was put together to help an economically struggling Turin be recognized and to re-energize it both culturally and financially.

The festival has a few notable sections that include the Torino 35, which has feature films and documentaries, Festa Mobile, After Hours, and Onde, which are all non-competitive sections, and Italian Corti which is a short-film competition exclusively for Italian filmmakers. The awards that are presented at the end of the festival to the winning participants include Best Film Awards and Special Jury Awards for all competitive categories, and Best Actress, Best Actor, and Best Screenplay for the Torino 35 entries.

Milano Film Festival

Happening at the end of September to the start of October, this film festival happens in Lombardia, in Milan. The festival usually lasts 10 days, and features independent films, giving new filmmakers the kind of support they need to get noticed. This festival began in 1996 and has since grown to such a massive scale that it now attracts over 100,000 participants annually. Screenings for the films that make the cut usually happen in various parts of the city, with squares, plazas, art galleries, and museums becoming movie theaters for this event.

Awards are handed out every year to films that are adjudged Best Film, alongside awards for Best Actress, Best Actor, and Best Director. Since the festival is for independent films, you won’t find any big-name stars here during the event, unless of course if some Hollywood A-lister decided to lend their talent to an independent director or screenwriter that they wanted to help.

So cinema aficionados, grab your passports, tickets, and passes (and popcorn… possibly truffle-flavored…) and come over to Italy for these exciting film events!

The post Four Italian Film Festivals in Autumn You Shouldn’t Miss appeared first on Tour Italy Now.

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Traveling is a fun activity that not many people get to do as often as they want to. When people do get to travel, they end up stressed over a lot of things that they forget to bring or do. Traveling should be something you enjoy and not stress over, especially with such an activity happening only once in a while. This is why it is essential that you plan your trip before you even book your tickets for it.

Italy is a country that many tourists put on their bucket list, and this popular tourist destination is one that you should be able to savor and not rush through. This means you need to have an itinerary that suits your pace and what you want to experience. This also means having enough time to see, do, and taste everything that you want to in this majestic country, and getting there without too much hassle or worry.

Things to Know Before Traveling

Before you embark on such a journey, find out all you can about the places you want to visit in the country and list these down. Know what tourist sites you should visit and what you should not miss there. Technically, you cannot visit all the popular spots of Italy in just one trip, unless if you are planning on staying there for longer than a week. So you have to prioritize which parts of Italy you want to see on your first trip and plan the others for a second and third vacation.

You also need to learn about bus and train schedules, where to buy tickets, museum schedules, what to bring, what not to bring, how much money to have on hand, and other important stuff. You also need to know about the common mistakes that people make when they go on vacation to Italy and how to avoid doing these. You should also find out about the weather, what clothes to wear, how to get around, and where to stay.

Where to Go

You need to know where to start your journey, which city or town is next, and so on. You can start in Venice and work your way down to Rome via Florence, then Tuscany, followed by the Amalfi Coast, then on to Rome. Word of advice though: Don’t try to squeeze in too many places in one go since it will dilute the experience due to all the rushing around you will do because of too many places to go and too many things to see.

  • Prioritize according to popularity – If you only have a week to visit the country, prioritize the cities that are more popular such as Rome, Venice, and Milan. If you don’t want to spend too much time on the road or in the air moving from one city to another, choose cities that are close to each other and don’t require you to spend too much time in transit so you don’t spend most of your vacation time in airports, trains, and buses.
  • Plan according to your desired activity – You can also plan your visit around what you want to do or see. If you are aiming to see the popular sights, then you need to include these in your itinerary. If you are aiming to simply chill by the beach and enjoy the culture, you can choose the places in Italy that can help you achieve such a goal for your trip.
When to Go

It is also important that you know what time of the year it is best for you to visit the country according to what you want to do. Here are some ideas that you might want to wrap your head around.

  • Go during off-peak months – If you want to save money on your trip, try to find out when the off-peak seasons are so you can book cheaper flights, cheaper hotels, and not have to worry about large crowds. Of course, if you are to go to Italy during the off-season, which is between April and June, or September and November, expect rainy or cold weather. This is why most tourists come to the country from July to September when the weather is perfectly warm.
How Long to Stay

Another consideration you need to make when you plan a trip to Italy is how many days (or weeks) you are planning on staying. This will help you determine which parts of the country you can visit and how many places you can add to your itinerary. You will need to take into consideration your budget, how much vacation time you have, and how much time it will take for you to enjoy each destination you are planning on visiting.

When you find that planning a trip to Italy seems rather daunting, it might be a good idea for you to plan your trip with the help of an expert. It can also help if you have a vacation guide and travel checklist to consult with before your trip and while you are there.

If you want a hassle-free vacation that you can adjust to your whims, you should consider a customized tour that is handled for you by someone who knows Italy very well, and can suggest great places to go and amazing things to do without giving you the undue stress that sometimes comes with planning a trip as monumental as one that takes you to Italy.

The post How to Plan Your Travel to Italy appeared first on Tour Italy Now.

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With winter just around the corner, people are already breaking out their skiing gear and taking a look at some of their favorite places to hit the slopes. Italy is blessed with an impressive ski range, with the central core of the Dolomites taking the spotlight. In addition, the in-resort costs here are much more affordable compared to other resorts around Europe. And while Italy has many rival skiing destinations, it has a much more laid back atmosphere that many skiers – both casual and advanced – certainly appreciate.

In today’s video, we’ll be taking a look at what we consider as five of the best skiing destinations around Italy.

Top 5 Skiing Locations in Italy - YouTube

Skiing is truly a great way to enjoy the upcoming winter season. Whether you’re in it for the thrilling vertical slopes or just want to find a nice winter getaway with your family, Italy definitely has much to offer to skiers of all types.

Learn More About Skiing in Italy

When it comes to skiing, people tend to look for destinations in the Swiss and French Alps, without realizing that these are actually neighbors of the Dolomites, which is a mountain range located in northeastern Italy. These mountain ranges become winter wonderlands and the prime destinations for those who love skiing from November to April. This means that if you are planning a vacation in Italy sometime between these months, you should check out these 5 skiing destinations.

Passo Tonale – Called Tonale Pass in English, this high mountain pass is one of the best places to go if you are just beginning to learn how to ski. Located in the Province of Brescia, this ski resort is considered one of the most reasonably priced around. The costs for food, drinks, equipment, lift passes, and even ski instruction here are lower than any other in the area.

It is also one of the few Italian ski resorts that is sure to have snow from as early as October to as late as June, giving skiers lots of time to choose when to come here. If you are with beginners but want to try more challenging slopes, you can simply hop on a lift and head to nearby Temu and Ponte di Legno, which are great for more advanced skiers.

Corvara – For more intermediate slopes and a more sophisticated skiing adventure, Corvara is where you should go. Located in South Tyrol, in northern Italy, this ski resort is actually a small settlement with a little over 1,500 residents living here all-year-round. Also called Alta Badia by ski enthusiasts and residents alike, Corvara is where you can find great restaurants, luxury hotels, and majestic views.

If you want to see the Dolomites in a vibrant pink hue, wait for sunset and you will be rewarded with such a spectacular panorama that is breathtaking. As for the skiing, the slopes here are challenging for more advanced skiers and are pretty extensive, with 1220 km of tracks for you to enjoy.

Alagna – Located in the Province of Vercelli, the small commune of Alagna Valesia in the Valesia Alps is one of the most challenging ski resorts in Italy. The village is quaint with its stone church, wooden farmhouses, and old-fashioned way of life. People here rarely stay up after dinner, which means you will not find any semblance of nightlife in the area.

This is where you go if you want to push yourself when it comes to skiing since it is where you will get one of the most challenging tracks in the country. While blessed with only 15km of pistes, Alagna is still one of the best ski areas in the country, particularly for those who are looking for something that will push their skiing limits. Word of advice – if you are new to the place, it is best to hire a mountain guide to help you safely explore the mountain’s terrain.

Cervinia –Formerly known as Breuil, the ski resort of Cervinia is found in what is more popularly known worldwide as the Matterhorn, or the Monte Cervino. This is an Italian mountain range that has around 160 kilometers of pistes and some of the highest peaks around. The skiing season here stretches from November to May, giving you enough time to choose when to come over for a ski holiday.

Skiers here range in skill from beginner to intermediate, with a few slopes that may be worth exploring for those who want to test their skill. There are many great hotels and restaurants here, which make it a great choice for those who are looking to make their ski trip into a multi-faceted vacation.

Cortina d’Ampezzo – This ski resort in the Province of Belluno is considered one of the most sophisticated ski resorts in the country. Part of the Dolomite Superski area, the resort was the site for the 1956 Winter Olympics, with some of the facilities still existing albeit unused in the area. The pistes in the Cortina are ideal for intermediate to expert skiers, with some snowboarders enjoying these challenging tracks as well.

It is also a great place for those who want to combine night-clubbing with their love of skiing since Cortina is a party place at night, with a few nightclubs, highly-priced wine bars and restaurants for you to explore. It is also a great place to find unique antiques and fashionable apparel, which are available in the many shops that line the town’s main street.

This presentation is also available on Slideshare!

The post Top 5 Skiing Locations in Italy appeared first on Tour Italy Now.

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There are only a handful of films that can rightfully consider themselves to be an enduring classic, and The Godfather is one of them. Directed by Francis Ford Coppola and released in 1972, it starred big name actors such as Marlon Brando, Al Pacino, James Caan and Robert Duvall. It had the honor of being the highest grossing picture ever made, for a time, and won three Academy Awards. It remains, unanimously, one of the greatest American movies of all time.

In today’s video we’ll be talking about some of the most famous tourist sites around Sicily tied to The Godfather movie series.

Sicily in the Eyes of the Godfather - YouTube

As iconic movie settings go, Sicily has definitely left its mark on Hollywood’s cinematic landscape. With its rich culture and beautiful backdrops, it’s no wonder why it made the perfect home for The Godfather movies.

If you are a huge fan of the Godfather Trilogy, then maybe a trip to the places where the movie was filmed is one vacation you should take. Step into the world of the Corleones as you take in the sights, sounds, and flavors of the two towns that were used in the movie to show the early life of Vito in Corleone, Sicily. While the characters in the book and the movie are fictional, the town is still notorious for the real Mafia bosses that originated from there, with the fictional Corleone family putting the town on the map, so to speak.

Before you plan a trip to the locations where the movie was filmed, it might be a good idea for you to watch it again, particularly the second installment of the trio, to prepare yourself for what you are about to experience. This way, you get to relive and relish the many amazing sights and locales where the actors in the movie and the characters they portrayed stood, drank, talked, and enjoyed themselves. You can even take pictures in the exact spots where scenes from the film were shot to give yourself souvenirs of your “The Godfather” inspired vacation.

Where to Go

There are a lot of places for you to visit when you are planning a Godfather-inspired vacation in Sicily. Here are some of them:

  • Bar Vitelli – For starters, you can visit the Bar Vitelli in Savoca where a lot of the movie’s more memorable scenes were shot. The look of the bar has been preserved and it still looks like the way it did when the movie was filmed here. It even has film memorabilia up on its walls to show people what made the bar famous, and for nostalgia and film buffs, the beaded curtains that you see in the film is still hanging from its doorway.
  • Church of Santa Lucia – Also in Savoca is the church where Michael Corleone married Apollonia, which is the Church of Santa Lucia. Walk from Bar Vitelli to the church and back to see what it was like for the wedding guests and the couple who were there on that fateful day.
  • Church of Sant’Agostino – Located in Forza d’ Agro, this is the second church to be featured in the movie and is where Vito Corleone is seen trying to escape to America. This church is also seen in a few other scenes, such as when Michael visits Sicily in the first Godfather movie.

You can also walk the streets of these towns to see the other places where the movie was filmed. There are even mementos that show you how much the movie has helped shape these towns into the tourist draws they are today. For example, in Savoca, you can see a sculpture depicting Coppola along the railings overlooking mountains and the sea. You might even meet one of the members of the cast, Antonella Savoca, who was the flower girl in the wedding scene and is still living in town as a businesswoman, running a guesthouse and a bar.

Experience and enjoy Sicily as if you were part of these iconic movies by traveling to these locales with an escorted tour or customize your own vacation to help you relive and savor all the memorable scenes that made this trilogy great.

This presentation is also available as a slide deck on Slideshare!

The post Sicily in the Eyes of the Godfather appeared first on Tour Italy Now.

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