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Rundown for the Week of July 18, 2003

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The Timelessness and Crisis of Venice

Venice: It's a city that you feel like you know, even if you've never been. It's easy to picture the palaces, the gondolas on the Grand Canal and the ornate churches. Venice was founded nearly 1,500 years ago on a bunch of mudflats in the middle of a lagoon, and it's still facing challenges today.

Reporters Dmae Roberts and Megan Williams went to Venice recently and offer us two different stories: one on the timelessness of the Piazza San Marco, even when it's deluged with tourists; the other on a plan to literally part the Venice Lagoon from the outlying sea with 300-ton steel barriers to end the devastating floods that submerge Piazza San Marcos and threaten the entire city.

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Postcard of Piazza San Marco by Dmae Roberts

Additional support for this story comes from the public radio Web site HearingVoices.com and from the Corporation for Public Broadcasting.

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The Moses Project by Megan Williams

For more about the Moses Project
www.guardian.co.uk: article - " Venice turns to Moses to halt floods " (Guardian Unlimited)
news.bbc.co.uk: article - "Venice launches anti-flood project" (BBC News)
www.savevenice.org: nonprofit Save Venice Inc.
www.sciam.com: article - "Saving Venice An ambitious plan seeks to prevent a modern Atlantis" (ScientificAmerican.com)

Venice restaurant picks
Want to know the top 5 places to eat the best pasta? We asked Ruth Reichl, editor-in-chief for "Gourmet Magazine," for her recommendations. "Of all the cities in Italy, this is the hardest place to find good restaurants," says Reichl. "That's because it has only 70,000 residents -- and millions of tourists. These are the places I like best:"

Ristorante Da Ivo - Ramo dei Fuseri 1809 - San Marco - Tel. 528-5004
-Very small, quite romantic, terrific food.

Al Covo - Campiello dlla Pescaria 3968 - Castello - Tel. 522-3812
-Really good food, but the owner is married to an American, so it attracts a huge American following. This has never been a plus with me, but may be to others.

Osteria alle Testiere - Calle del Mondo Novo Castello 5801 - Tel. 522-7220
-Very small -- it only seats 22 -- and has no menu. You just eat whatever they happen to be serving. Mostly fish.

Corte Sconta - Calle del Pestrin 3886 - Castello - Tel. 522-7024
-Quite touristy, but terrific seafood -- and they just keep bringing it until you can't eat any more.

Antiche Locanda Montin - Fomdamenta Eremite 1147 - Dorsoduro - Tel. 522-7151
-Very old, nice food, pretty garden in back.

Caffé Flroian - Piazza San Marco
-Ancient and gorgeous, and always filled with tourists, this is still the place to come for espresso or hot chocolate, or just to sit and enjoy being in the city.

Ruth Reichl is the author of two books, "Comfort Me with Apples: More Adventures at the Table" and "Tender at the Bone: Growing Up at the Table."

Fly Fishing, an epic journey with author James Prosek

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Fishing trips are a big summer pastime, but here's a man who has taken both traveling and fishing to nth degree. James Prosek's new book "Fly-Fishing the 41st: Around the World on the 41st Parallel" exemplifies this type of journey. James circumnavigated the world along the 41st parallel starting at his home in Easton, Conn., and ending, well, at his home in Easton, Conn. He went trout fishing along the way, mixing in with locals on the rivers and painting watercolors of the scenes as he went. His travels took him through France, Austria, Turkey, Armenia, Kyrgyzstan, Mongolia, Russia and Japan.

Prosek in print
"Fly-Fishing the 41st : Around the World on the 41st Parallel" by James Prosek.
"Trout: An Illustrated History" by James Prosek.
"Fly Fishing Is Spoken Here: The Most Prominent Anglers in the World Talk Tactics, Strategies, and Attitudes" by Stephen Sloan (author), James Prosek (illustrator).
"Early Love and Brook Trout" by James Prosek.

All books are available for purchase on Amazon.com.
Your purchase helps support The Savvy Traveler.

Travels with Mom by Larry Massett

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The warm summer months are a time of travel for many families. But as the years go by, the members of our families get older and the way we relate to, and interact with, them changes. It can be difficult witnessing the aging process when it comes to our own parents. One of our most thoughtful contributors Larry Massett discovered this on a trip with his elderly mother, a Southern lady with an eye for travel. But he realized that, after all these years, we can still be surprised by the people we thought we knew best.

Other stories produced by Larry Massett
"A Long Day on the Road": Nov 1, 2002
"Eyes of Sibiu": June 13, 2003
"Streetside Drama": June 7, 2002

Music with Bob Duskis, Susheela Raman & The Detroit Experiment

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Bob Duskis, co-founder of Six Degrees Records in San Francisco, is our world music guide. This week, he joins us with sounds from India and Detroit: Susheela Raman explores the Indian immigrant experience and The Detroit Experiment ambitiously tries to document the musical mood of an entire city, Detroit.

Click here for more info. about the artists

Music from this segment available at the Public Radio MusicSource:
Susheela Raman
songs: "Sarasa" & "Save Me"; release: Love Trap (Narada World)
The Detroit Experiment
songs: "Space Odyssey " & "Revelation"; release: The Detroit Experiment (Ropeadope / Atlantic)
(Your purchase helps support The Savvy Traveler)

Additional artists information
www.ropeadope.com: Label Web site for The Detroit Experiment
www.narada.com: Label Web site for Susheela Raman

Sound Travels Summer in Seattle

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On "Sound Travels," where we travel with just our ears as our guide, we're continuing with our summer series of audio adventures: We've asked producers and sound artists to give us tours of their hometowns. This week, Robert Millis takes us to the city that deified coffee, and then got us all hooked; a place where people regularly travel by car, bus, bike and boat; a part of the country so misty and rainy that meteorologists invent new weather phenomenon. Grab a seat: We're going to Seattle.

Recent Sound Travels
"Summer in Chicago"; "Summer in San Francisco"; "Indian Wedding"; "The Call Of The Wild Orcas"; "One Man Banda, Paris Metro"; "Lava Flow, Hawaii's Big Island"; "Cicadas, dogs and frogs, Southeast Asia"; "Camel Races in Mali, West Africa"

Traveler's Aid Vulture Tourism

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"Vulture Tourism" means traveling to places that have recently suffered some kind of devastating hardship: an economic disaster, civil war or a freakish viral outbreak. So, why would you go to a place like this? Why else? Because it's cheap! Host Diana Nyad talks with vulture tourism expert Kim Clark of "U.S. News & World Report" about what makes a good vulture tourism destination, safety concerns, and how the locals feel about vulture tourism.

Web resources
www.oanda.com: Oanda, for a currency converter and tracker
www.economist.com : The Economist's Big Mac index to find out where the dollar is strongest over the long term
www.franklintempleton.com: Some vulture investor sites, like Mark Mobius' commentaries
www.youregoingwhere.com : advice on cheap, off-the-beaten track destinations, including interviews and tips from vulture capitalists, advice from gurus like Don George and Arthur Frommer, etc.
www.traveltimeny.com : the agency that specializes in travel to Croatia.

Deal of the Week Escape to Tuscany

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Our Travel-Expert-in-Residence, Rudy Maxa, calls in from picture-perfect Tuscany with two deals on impeccable 4-star-quality hotels that will refresh your faith in the pristine beauty of the Italian countryside.

Hotel #1: Casa Cornacchi is a restored stone country villa where the last hills of Chianti meet the Arno River Valley; where the celebrated vineyards meet the unspoiled forest spotted with hidden hamlets and castles. This is the place seasoned travelers regard as the secret heart of Tuscany, and the perfect place to enjoy and savor endless glasses of Chianti.

Hotel #2: The Castelletto di Montebenichi is a 4-star hotel located in a small village on a hill at the southeastern border of the Chianti, in the very heart of Tuscany. Surrounded by its beautiful natural environment, the castle overlooks the Valdambra valley, which has preserved its historic integrity and beauty. The peaceful and productive landscape is scattered with woods, vineyards, olive groves, villages and castles. At nearly every turn in the road, there is a splendid panoramic view.

SO, WHAT'S THE DEAL? Tell the hotels Rudy sent ya, and they'll knock 10% off the price.

NOTE: You cannot bring kids under 14 to the Castelleto di Montebenichi, as they could put a mean dent in the idyllic 4-star ambiance.

Deal info.
Casa Cornacchi: www.cornacchi.com
Castelletto de Montebenichi: www.castelletto.it

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