Thursday, June 13, 2013

Greetings from the Rome Fiumicino Airport

Palos Verdes Peninsula HS made it to Italy

Just a quick note that Palos Verdes Peninsula HS Touring Choir landed safely in Italy and was greeted by Incantato Tour Manager Stefania La Rosa.

Wednesday, June 12, 2013

Safe travels to Italy - Incantato's Stefania welcomes you in Rome tomorrow

Dear Members of the 2013 Palos Verdes Peninsula HS Touring Choir to Italy,
the day of departure has arrived. Both our American and European team wish you a very safe journey from Los Angeles to Rome where Incantato Tour Manager Stefanie LaRosa will be welcoming the group at the airport.
Enjoy your time in Europe,
Your Incantato Tours Team 

Tuesday, June 11, 2013

Your Personal Incantato Weather Forecast for Rome, Pompeii and Naples

As the Palos Verdes Peninsula HS Performance Tour to Italy will start on Wednesday, June 12, 2013, Incantato Tours had a look at the weather forecast. 

On Thursday, June 13, 2013, Rome will welcome you with a sunny sky - no clouds. The highest temperature will be around 80° F and it looks like the weather will be the same in Pompeii and Naples.

Travel Tip: What to Pack?

Time goes by so fast and very soon you will arrive in beautiful Rome, Italy. You maybe started packing already or you thought about it but are not sure what to pack.
You are not alone with that problem - for most people, packing is the most difficult part of the journey. The solution for many is to just pack as much as you possibly can into your suitcase and backpack, but as a colleague explains it:

"You'll be thanking me later when you don't break your back 
from having to carry everything on your own. Don't do it!" 

Her advice: 

"Pack as lightly as you can. The best way to get it all to fit nicely into your suitcase is 
to fold it nicely and then roll it tightly. It can all fit into your bag like a puzzle." 

Keep in mind, however, that many cathedrals have a dress code and will not allow you to walk in if you are wearing only tank tops or shorts. A scarf is a good solution to this code. And shorts should always go to your knees (both for Ladies and Gents).
Incantato also plans a farewell dinner for the tour groups, so bring something comfortable and dressy.

Here are a few things that we think are essential to have to be comfortable with what the weather brings and with the weight of your bag - remember, we allow only one checked bag per person and a small carry-on such as a bag pack or small duffel.
Yes Ladies, you may have a small purse in addition, gents a camera case is fine too, but again, you will be the one carrying it all from the bus to the hotel and vice versa, so better test if you can move all your travel belongings without needing to make two trips or help from someone else. Here is a sample packing list (just a suggestion):
  • Rain jacket, maybe with fleece insert 
  • Umbrella 
  • An adapter plug/converter (if bringing electronic devices) 
  • Camera and batteries or charger with adapter 
  • At least two pair of jeans/pants, ladies may want to bring a couple skirts or dresses too 
  • One sweater or two 
  • Plenty of shirts, including a polo or two and at least two dress shirts (Europeans dress much more formal than Americans) 
  • Plenty of undergarments and socks for daily changes 
  • A watch, make-up and jewelry if applicable (carry on any valuables) 
  • Choir music and attire 
  • Don't forget shoes, we recommend a maximum of three pairs (tennis shoes, good everyday shoes, dress shoes). Bring nice concert shoes, but make sure that you will be able to walk long distances in them. Europeans do not wear flip flops other than to the pool or at the beach. 
  • Put all liquids that are in your carry-on into a zip-lock bag. And remember the 3-1-1 rules
  • All scissors, fingernail clippers, etc. are better packed in your check-in luggage along with liquids over 3 ounzes. Bring enough contact lense solution and prescription medication that you may need for the whole duration of the trip. If you forget anything there are plenty of shops where you can by shampoo, toothpaste, etc.
  • Carry emergency phone numbers in your wallet
  • And last but not least, but very important: Your passport! It is always a good idea to make copies of your passport and leave one at home and carry the other one with you separately from the original. 
HERE is a good and very funny example how you better not pack - thank you, Mr. Bean.

Friday, June 7, 2013

Sightseeing in Capri - Villa San Michele

Villa San Michele in Anacapri was the dream home of the Swedish physician, Axel Munthe.
His first visit in Capri was in 1885 and he fell immediately in love with the beautiful area. So he decided to built his house on the ruins of the Roman Emperor Tiberius's villa.

 "My house must be open to the sun, to the wind, 
and the voice of the sea, just like a Greek temple, 
and light, light, light everywhere!"
(Axel Munthe)

The result was a building articulated on various levels, 327 meters above sea level: the study is on the first floor, the loggia crosses pergolas and columns to reach a circular viewpoint which looks out across the beautiful Bay of Naples

In Villa San Michele a number of ancient artifacts are displayed - mostly objects found by Munthe himself in Capri, Anacapri and elsewhere. Some were donated by one of his friends.

According to Munthe, most of the finds were bought under unusual circumstances. In his book, for example, is the fantastic account of how the head of Medusa appeared to the physician as if it had been a cameo on the seabed. Besides the head of Medusa, considerable objects are the tavolo cosmatesco (a table built following the style of the Cosmati) the marble bust of Emperor Tiberius and the Egyptian sphinx, which gazes out over the whole Island of Capri.

Examples of Roman sculptures are mostly funerary monuments and fragments of sarcophagi, that cannot possibly date back to the imperial villa.

In the garden you can see a series of typically Mediterranean plants, as well as plants coming from other latitudes. From the colonnade you enjoy an extraordinary view of the Gulf of Naples. Do not miss the whole view of the garden, the architectural structure and the artistic collection.

The physician described the construction of the villa also in his bestselling "The Story of San Michele", published in 1929, which has been translated into 45 languages.

With the exception of a few sporadic absences, Munthe lived on Capri for more than 56 years. His love of the island coincided with the growing popularity of Capri and the arrival of rich and famous travelers from all over the world. Today his villa is, together with the Grotta Azzurra, the most visited place on the whole of Capri.

Munthe shared his love of music, animals, and nature with the Swedish queen, Victoria, who spent long periods of her life on Capri for health reasons.
Axel Munthe's concern for the birds on the island, which were shot in disastrous numbers, led him to acquire the rights to the Barbarossa Mountain in order to create a sanctuary for migrating birds.

Here you will find an inspiring video about Villa San Michele.

Villa San Michele Museum

How to get here: from Capri take the bus to Anacapri. Get off at Piazza Vittoria (the main stop), walk up the steps opposite the bus stop and continue along the little lane to the left.
Opening hours: the museum is open 7 days a week, all year round, from 09:00 am until an hour before sunset.
Ticket: 6 EUR

Pictures and information are taken from and

Saturday, May 18, 2013

Updated itinerary with performances - Incantato Tours welcomes the Palos Verdes Peninsula HS Touring Choir to Italy

Day 1, Wednesday, June 12, 2013
Overnight flight to Italy

Day 2, Thursday, June 13, 2013
Benvenuti in bella Italia!
Upon arrival in Rome, meet your Incanato Tour Manager and bus driver. Transfer to Hotel Liola near Montecassino for a traditional Italian welcome dinner. Check into hotel for overnight.

Day 3, Friday, June 14, 2013
Visit Pompeii & explore Naples
Spend the morning visiting the ancient site of Pompeii. After a recital in this historic venue, transfer to Naples for check-in at the Royal Continental overlooking the marina and Fortress, dinner and overnight.

Day 4, Saturday, June 15
, 2013
Capri Excursion 
The island of Capri is one of the highlights when visiting the Naples area. Enjoy an excursion as you take a boat to the Marina Grande, Capri’s main harbor. After exploring the enchanting and picturesque island made of limestone rock, return to Naples in the late afternoon for a traditional pizza dinner and overnight.

Day 5, Sunday, June 16
, 2013
Via Montecassino (Recital) to Rome
Bid farewell to the Coast as you journey to Italy‘s exciting capital city. Em-route, stop at Montecassino Abbey. Perched on a mountain top, this working monastery was founded by Saint Benedict in 529, making it one of Europe’s oldest monasteries. Enjoy a sightseeing tour upon arrival, then sing in the Abbey. Countryside picknick lunch afterwards. Continue to Rome for sightseeing  including entrance to the Coliseum and Roman Forum. Dinner and overnight in Rome at H10 Hotel Roma Citta.

Day 6, Monday, June 17
, 2013
Vatican Visit & Highlight performance followed by Baroque Rome
Start the day with a guided tour of the Vatican Museums and Sistine Chapel followed by a visit to St. Peter‘s Basilica where the choir is singing for Mass at noon at the Altar of San Giuseppe. Thereafter, transfer to Rome‘s city center for a walking tour of the beautiful Baroque Squares (Piazza Navona, Trevi Fountain, Spanish Steps and Pantheon).Traditional Roman dinner and overnight in Rome. 

Day 7, Tuesday, June 18
, 2013
Charming Perugia
Bid farewell to Rome as you transfer to the lively medieval walled hill town of Perugia, also known as the Green Heart of Italy. Upon arrival, enjoy an afternoon tour of the city with its people-filled squares and modern shops. Conclude the day witha dip into the pool and dinner at the hotel. Hotel Meridiana for overnight.

Day 8, Wednesday, June 19
, 2013
Assisi Excursion & Performances
The birthplace of St. Francis, Assisi is a medieval city built on a hill. Enjoy a half-day sightseeing tour of Assisi, which boasts sights such as the Basilica of San Francesco (recital confirmed), named a UNESCO world heritage site. Return to Perugia for dinner and overnight.

Day 9 - 10, Thursday, June 20 and Friday, June 21
, 2013
Rieti in-depth - Highlight Concert
Next and final stop is Rieti, in the heart of Italy and one of Incantato Tours‘ favorite small Italian town. On Thursday, the choir will be the featured guest singers for Mass at the Basilica of Sant‘ Agostino. On Friday, meet with students from a local school for an exchange, then prepare for one of the trip’s highlights as you will present a special  concert in the magnificent Teatro di Rieti at 6 pm. Overnight at Hotel Cavour.

Day 11, Saturday, June 22
, 2013
Return flight home
After an early breakfast, transfer to the airport for your journey back to the US.

Monday, March 25, 2013

Flight Schedule change for PVPHS group to Italy

Departure for Europe

Wednesday, June 12, 2013:
Air Berlin flight AB 7023 leaves Los Angeles (LAX) for Berlin-Tegel (TXL), Germany at now 02:55 pm local time, arrival in Europe is on Thursday, June 13th at 11:00 am local time. 
The group then connects from Berlin (TXL) with Air Berlin flight AB 8872 at 03:20 pm to Rome (FCO), Italy with an arrival time of 05:25 pm.

Return to the USA

Saturday, June 22, 2013:
Air Berlin flight AB 8841 departs Rome (FCO) at 10:05 am local time for Duesseldorf (DUS), Germany to arrive at 12:20 pm.
The group then connects from Duesseldorf (DUS) at 01:25 pm with Air Berlin flight AB 7430 to Los Angeles (LAX) with an arrival time of 04:15 pm local time in California on the same day.

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Rieti Hotel Cavour for June 20 and 21, 2013

The Palos Verdes Peninsula HS group will spend the final two nights of Thursday, June 20th and Friday, June 21th in Rieti, Italy at the 4-star Hotel Cavour.

This hotel is situated on the bank of the river Velino. Each of the 34 rooms have LCD satellite TV, safe, hair dryer, air conditioning and internet connection. The hotel also has a restaurant with panoramic view, breakfast room and a gym.

Monday, March 11, 2013

Home away from home while in Perugia, Hotel La Meridiana

Your home away from home while in Perugia on Tuesday, June 18 and Wednesday, June 19, 2013 is Hotel La Meridiana.

The hotel is a four star property and is surrounded by landscapes of Umbrian hills.

Each of the 96 rooms have wi-fi.  The hotel pool and solarium overlook a view of the citadel.

The onsite restaurant "Il Vespertino" offers local Umbrian culinary traditions that uses locally grown, organic ingredients.

Friday, March 8, 2013

Your Rome home away from home: Hotel H10 Roma Citta

Allow us to introduce another home away from home as we continue to share information about the PVPHS Performance Tour to Italy. Incantato Tours takes great pride in selecting nice and safe hotels in good locations for our traveling choirs and are very happy to present the new H10 Roma Città Hotel for your choir group's nights in Rome Sunday, June 16 and Monday, June 17, 2013.

This modern 4-star-hotel is located in the district of Trastevere in a safe location away from the bustle of the city, and features all amenities travelers enjoy including comfortable beds and also a rooftop swimming pool. Do not forget to bring your bathing suits!
Another great perk is free wifi throughout the hotel - and even in high speed so you can upload all pictures and videos. Other standard room amenities include flat-screen television, smart temperature control, safe box and hairdryer. Breakfast is fantastic here, too!