So, What’s the Deal With Alitalia?

In case you haven’t seen the headlines, Alitalia, Italy’s national airline, may not exist after this week. The troubled airline has long been looking for a buyer. But, says PM Silvio Berlusconi, “buyers are not queueing up for Alitalia.”

To learn more about this drama, check out one of the latest reports from Reuters. You can also find a surprisingly lengthy explanation of the company’s financial crisis on Wikipedia.

In the meantime, if you’ve already booked a flight with Alitalia for later this year, the Wall Street Journal’s Middle Seat Terminal Blog has a step-by-step checklist for what to do if the airline goes belly-up.

Italy Article Round-Up

Time again to see what Italy travel articles have come out for fall.

New York Times
Cave Crusaders in Matera (examines a new boutique hotel in Matera, Basilicata)

The Telegraph (U.K.)
Tuscany: Driving the Italian Dream
Timed to Perfection (Visiting Italy during the “shoulder season”)
Orvieto: The Perfect Break
Discreet Charm in Northern Italy (Bolzano)

Sydney Morning Herald
Position of Strength (about Italy’s highest fort, Rocca Colascio, in L’Aquila, Abruzzo)
The Vesuvius Keeper (Pompeii)

The Independent (U.K.)
Italy: Spirit of Palladio (Vicenza)

The Guardian (U.K.)
10 Things to See in Venice (about the Venice Biennale of Architecture)

The Boston Globe
Sampling the Motherland (a culinary expedition through Sicily)

Dallas Morning News
Fast Cars, Haute Food in Northern Italy

A 360-Degree Spin Around Italy

Do you ever feel like you don’t get the whole picture when reading about Italy in guidebooks or on blogs? There are now a couple of websites that go one better than the usual two-dimensional picture.

Expat Peter Ryder, a resident of Sardinia, has two websites that can give you a better picture of the island – www.360sardinia.net and www.360alghero.net. In addition to providing information on where to stay, where to eat, etc., these two sites provide 360° looks at some of the beaches, marinas, and piazze of Sardinia.

Similarly, there’s a newish website called 360travelguide.com that features, according to a press release, the “world’s largest free access panoramic image library.”  For Italy, they offer virtual tours from Amalfi to Verona, as well as user reviews and travel blogs. There’s also an ongoing competition for users who provide reviews to win an iPhone. Ooops…gotta go write a review now…:-)

See Italian Cities in 3-D

This tip comes from Google Earth’s Lat Long Blog, which reports that Italy is one of several European countries to be included in Google Cities in 3D Program. It’s not immediately apparent if any Italian cities have completed the 3D task, though here are models of some buildings and piazze in Florence in the Google 3D warehouse.

Indeed, we’re excited about the tourism potential of the Google Earth tool. Just think – soon you’ll be able to “walk” the streets of Florence from your desktop or reminisce about the routes you followed while on vacation in Rome. Stay tuned to Google Earth for more info.

Getting the Italy Travel Answers You Need

Will a trip to Italy in August be miserable? Should I reserve tickets in advance to view Michelangelo’s David in Florence? These are just a few of the questions posed on a recent post from Fodor’s Travel Wire titled Planning a Trip to Italy: 20 Common Questions. For the post, Fodor’s mined their popular Europe travel forum for questions and answers. And, it got us to thinking – what other Italy travel forums are out there?

So, here is a short list of some of the web’s best Italy and Europe travel forums. Of course, you can also look to Italofile for up-to-date Italy travel info and tips. We hope to provide you our own forums soon.

Italy Travel Forums