Lille, Genoa set for Cultural Capital spotlight

wo cities -- Lille, France and Genoa, Italy -- are sharing the EU Cultural Capital mantle this year.

Lille and Genoa are honoring baroque painter Peter Paul Rubens with landmark exhibitions at the Palais des Beaux-Arts de Lille (until June 14) and at the Palazzo Ducale (through July 11), respectively.

The two cities, like previous cultural capitals, are offering hundreds of events and art exhibits throughout 2004 -- many at new, renovated or otherwise altered venues, such as the Lille Flandres train station, which artist Patrick Jouin has bathed in pink, filtered light.

Genoa, for its part, has refashioned the storied Via Garibaldi into a "museum street" and has undertaken renovation of some 100 other sites.

For more information on venues, events and travel deals, visit or and or

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The Discover Norway marketing alliance of Scandinavian Airlines, Norwegian Coastal Voyage (NCV) and Innovation Norway -- Tourism is promoting discounted, "no-frills" cruise vacations from NCV.

The three air-inclusive itineraries -- priced at up to 33% less than NCV independent vacations -- cost from $1,620 to $3,585 per person for 10 to 15 days of travel and include fjord cruises along the Norwegian coast on smaller, older vessels.

NCV is paying commissions of 10% and up. For details, call (800) 323-7436 or visit

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New digs fit for a king opened in the heart of southwest England's Dartmoor National Park last week with the debut of Bovey Castle, the newest member of the De Savary Hotels group.

The $50 million property has 65 guest units -- including three suites and a two-bedroom castle lodge -- a health spa, a movie theater and an indoor swimming pool.

Room rates start at $260 per night, double; suites range from $800 to $2,500. De Savary Hotels pays 10% commission on Bovey Castle stays. For more information, call (011) 44-164 744-5016 or visit

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American Airlines is encouraging summer travel to France with discount fares for World War II veterans and their contemporaries to commemorate the 60th anniversary of the D-Day invasion.

The roundtrip fares are available to passengers born before Jan. 1, 1930, and must be purchased by April 15 for departures June 1 to Aug. 31, with all travel completed by Sept. 15. D-Day fares to France are priced at $504 roundtrip for travel from the eastern U.S., $604 from the Midwest and $704 from the West Coast.

To book, call (800) 433-1790 and refer to STAARfile 2664AZ.

To contact reporter Kenneth Kiesnoski, send e-mail to [email protected].

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