NEW YORK -- Several new developments distinguish Italian tourism
• Rome got its first new major music venue in decades with the
debut of the $140 million, 592,000-square-foot Auditorium Parco
della Musica, or Music Park Auditorium, in the exclusive
The auditorium and park complex -- which took seven years to
construct -- consists of three domed concert-hall venues of varying
sizes around a 3,000-seat, open-air theater space known as the
A small, 700-seat hall hosts chamber music groups and plays; a
1,200-seat hall stages orchestral performances and ballets; and the
largest, 2,800-seat hall hosts symphonies.
In addition, some 430,000 square feet of new garden and public
space was constructed. The cavea, gardens and foyer of the complex
are open to the general public on Saturdays from 1 p.m. to 10 p.m.,
and Sundays from 10 a.m. to 10 p.m.
For an entrance fee of about $7.25, visitors can view two
on-site exhibitions, including a photo essay on the construction of
the complex, while guided tours of the concert halls are available
for about an additional $1.80.
For performance information, visit www.musicaperroma.it, which features an online
ticketing function. The auditorium also can be contacted directly
at (011) 39-068 069-2492 or (011) 39-06 487-2310, or by e-mail at
[email protected]. Tickets also can be purchased
on site at the auditorium at Via de Coubertin 15.
• Elsewhere in Rome, lightning severely damaged the
1,700-year-old Axum Obelisk, knocking hunks of stone from the
The obelisk -- moved to Rome from Ethiopia by Benito Mussolini
during World War II -- stands next to the United Nations' Food and
Agriculture Organization headquarters at the Piazza de Porta
• Farther north, the Italian Riviera town of Alassio becomes a
"holiday village" this summer, with daily entertainment and
sporting events scheduled for the city center and local beaches
from June 15 to Sept. 15.
Admission, set at about 90 cents, also entitles visitors to
discounts in shops, restaurants and hotels, as well as at the
nearby Genoa Aquarium; proceeds go to local charities.
A hospitality center in the town square of Piazza della Liberta
will coordinate activities, organize gastronomy tours and keep
visitors up to date on "village" events.
For more information, contact the Italian Government Tourist
Board at (212) 245-5618 or at www.italiantourism.com.