Italy

When Air Dolomiti canceled Stefano Alberti’s recent flight from Florence to Munich because one of its planes broke down, he potentially faced what to many American travelers would be a tall obstacle: a language barrier.

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Today our first article to ponder is fun. It is a look at what not to do in Italy, a land of legendary excesses. We then look at how to save money by combining airline tickets on your own (or together with a travel agent) and some of the pitfalls of these money-saving maneuvers. Finally, the history of a remote privately-owned bridge connecting West Virginia and Maryland gives us pause — the crush of bureaucracy even in the remote hollows and rivers is amazing.

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These Sunday Musings range from a survey that claims conventions and trade shows breed bad behavior to a video about Chinese bullfighting. And, finally, a look at a remarkable building — the Pantheon in Rome.

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Judith Abramson’s western Mediterranean cruise on the Oceania Marina last April did not end well. After a sudden illness, the ship’s doctor decided she needed to go to the hospital, and she was unceremoniously disembarked in Naples, Italy, under less than ideal circumstances, she says.

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Cruise ship critics in Venice try to limit tourists, Boeing orders inspections of Dreamliners, Private airport screeners may be coming back

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Chip & pin credit card problems, travel outlook strong for rest of 2011, fly between two cities in two hours through space

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Too many churches – not enough time. While I haven’t actually researched the figures, after more than two weeks in Venice I’d be willing to wager that Venice probably has more churches per square kilometer than any other city in Europe, including Rome.

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This is my fifth or sixth, maybe eighth, Venice Biennale. I have been coming sporadically for decades, since I was in high school and spending my summers teaching swimming at Lake Garda as part of a camp counselor job I had for several summers.

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These are three videos that capture the Venice that I love. They show the majestic buildings, the everyday life, the tattered posters, night, day, vaporetti, gondole, crowds and silent canals.

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A tale of two Venices

by Charlie Leocha on August 7, 2011

I’ve been in Venice for about four days now, enough to feel like an entitled local. Already, I have begun to define “my Venice” from “tourist Venice.” That is, the beautiful, tranquil, Venice where one can hear the small wavelets lapping at the sides of gondolas and the crowded, tour group packed Venice where “Joanie, Hank, Honey, Walter, come look at this!” drowns out the other city noises.

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