Friday, November 12, 2010

Welcome to Italy!

Italy is located partly on the European Continent and partly on the Italian Peninsula in Southern Europe and on the two largest islands in the Mediterranean Sea, Sicily and Sardinia. Italy shares its northern, Alpine boundary with France, Switzerland, Austria and Slovenia. The independent states of San Marino and the Vatican City are enclaves within the Italian Peninsula, and Campione d'Italia is an Italian exclave in Switzerland. The territory of Italy covers 301,338 km² and is influenced by a temperate seasonal climate. With 60.2 million inhabitants, it is the sixth most populous country in Europe, and the twenty-third most populous in the world.
The land known as Italy today has been the cradle of European cultures and peoples, such as the Etruscans and the Romans. Italy's capital, Rome, was for centuries the political centre of Western civilisation, as the capital of the Roman Empire. After its decline, Italy would endure numerous invasions by foreign peoples, from Germanic tribes such as the Lombards and Ostrogoths, to the Normans and later, the Byzantines, among others. Centuries later, Italy would become the birthplace of the Renaissance, an immensely fruitful intellectual movement that would prove to be integral in shaping the subsequent course of European thought.
Through much of its post-Roman history, Italy was fragmented into numerous kingdoms and city-states (such as the Kingdom of Sardinia, the Kingdom of the Two Sicilies and the Duchy of Milan), but was unified in 1861, a tumultuous period in history known as the "Risorgimento". In the late 19th century, through World War I, and to World War II, Italy possessed a colonial empire, which extended its rule to Libya, Eritrea, Italian Somaliland, Ethiopia, Albania, Rhodes, the Dodecanese and a concession in Tianjin, China.
Modern Italy is a democratic republic and the world's eighteenth most developed country, with the eighth or tenth highest quality of life index rating in the world. It is a founding member of what is now the European Union and North Atlantic Treaty Organization. Italy is also a member of the G8 and G20. It is a member state of the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development, the World Trade Organization, the Council of Europe, and the Western European Union as well. The country's European political, social and economic influence make it a major regional power, alongside the United Kingdom, France, Germany, and Russia, and Italy has been classified in a study, measuring hard power, as being the eleventh greatest worldwide national power. The country has a high public education level, high labor force, is a globalised nation, and also has 2009's sixth best international reputation. Italy also has the world's nineteenth highest life expectancy, and the world's second best healthcare system. It is the world's fifth most visited country, with over 43.7 million international arrivals, and boasts a long tradition and several achievements in the arts, science and technology, including the world's highest number of UNESCO World Heritage Sites to date.

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Home away from home: Villa Vecchia, Rome

The St. Bonaventure's College Performance Tour will spend the night of April 16 at the Villa Vecchia Hotel, Rome. The hotel is surrounded by a park which features a swimming pool and a terrace with views of the city and the Roman Castles. All 92 rooms in this four star hotel offer air conditioning, satellite television, direct line telephone, wireless internet connection, electronic safe for valuables, and hair dryers.

Home away from home: Hotel Capannelle, Rome

The Saint Bonaventure's College Performance Tour will stay at the Hotel Capanelle, Rome, from April 10 through 12, 2011.
The Hotel Capannelle Roma sits approximately 5.5 miles from the center of Rome and a 25 minute drive from Vatican City. From the hotel, guests can view the ancient “Villa dei Quintili” and the Roman Aqueducts. The hotel offers continental breakfast each morning, and the on-site Marco Polo Restaurant is open for lunch and dinner, serving a range of regional and international dinners in an informal atmosphere. The Hotel Capannelle’s 252 guest rooms come equipped with air conditioning, direct-dial telephone, blackout curtains, desk, safe, satellite television, wireless internet connection, and an en suite bathroom with shower/tub combination and hairdryer. Recent reviews compliment the hotel’s cleanliness and comfort as well as their helpful staff. 

Home away from home for the Performance Tour: Amici di San Francesco, Maiori

The Saint Bonaventure's College Performance Tour will stay at the Amici di San Francesco, April 13 through 16, 2011. 
The Religious House of Hospitality, "Amici di San Francesco," is located in Maiori along the Amalfi coast, known for its historical, artistic and cultural heritage. The house is annexed to both the 15th century convent and famous church of Saint Francis. The Amici di San Francesco’s prime location places it near the Sorrento Peninsula, the archeological sites of Pompeii and Herculaneum, and the island of Capri.
The standard multi-bedded guest rooms come equipped with television, telephone, and mini-refrigerator. The grounds also offer a public library, a small theater, lemon garden, and private beach. The on-site kitchen also offers guests traditional Neapolitan cuisine prepared with local ingredients.  

Home away from home for the Shadow Tour: Reginna Palace Hotel, Maiori

The Saint Bonaventure's College Shadow Tour will stay at Maiori's Reginna Palace Hotel from Wednesday, April 13 through Saturday, April 16, 2011. The four star Reginna Palace Hotel is located in the heart of Maiori, along a private beach, with a beautiful view of the bay. The hotel offers comfortable guest rooms, two convenient lifts, and a restaurant. A large Mediterranean garden with tropical vegetation awaits the guests outside. Amenities featured in guestrooms include air conditioning, televisions, telephones, and wireless internet connection. Bathrooms feature shower and tub combinations, bidets and hair dryers. The hotel recently underwent extensive renovations, completed in 2008. Recent reviews of the Reginna Palace Hotel praise the cleanliness, comfort and location, and especially the kind and helpful staff.

Your performance tour travel route through Italy