Happy 150th birthday, Italy!From March 17 to Nov. 20, Italy celebrates 150 years of unity with events centered in Turin (the unified country’s first capital) and the Piedmont region. “Esperienza Italia” will feature nine months of exhibitions and events focusing on the process of unification, how the Italian identity was created and the best features of the country itself. Many of Turin’s events will be held in the Officine Grandi Riparazioni, a former rail factory, and La Venaria Reale, a complex that includes the baroque Royal Palace, gardens and park.

Among the exhibition highlights are “L’Italia si specchia: 150 years of high fashion from the Unification to the present date,” “Leonardo: The genius, the legend” and “La bella Italia: Art and identity of the capital cities.”

Other events include concerts, international sporting events (including the annual Giro d’Italia cycling race) and a series of military parades.

For more details, go to

Edinburgh apartmentsThe Canon Court Apartments offer an alternative to hotel and bed-and-breakfast accommodations for those visiting Edinburgh, Scotland.

The one- and two-bedroom apartments are in the Canonmills area, about a mile from the city center. Among the amenities are a fully equipped kitchen with washing machine and microwave, 32-inch flat screen television, electric central heating, free Wi-Fi, baby equipment, sofa bed, once-a-week maid service, linen and towels and small electronics.

From January to June and October to December, a one-bedroom apartment (sleeps two) begins at 93 pounds (about $145) per night and a two-bedroom (sleeps four) begins at 112 pounds. In high season — July to September — and during holidays and events, the one-bedroom costs 112 pounds and the two-bedroom, 175 pounds. There is a minimum stay of two nights on weekends and five nights during August.

The company also has apartments located on the Edinburgh Waterfront and in Glasgow. Check out all the deals at

Football in DublinIt’s not until Sept. 1, 2012, but already travel agencies are putting together packages for the Emerald Isle Classic in Dublin with the Notre Dame Fighting Irish football team against the Navy Midshipmen.

Anthony Travel, the official travel partner for both schools, has organized several packages for those who want to see the game.

For example, the three-day Dublin package, for Aug. 31 to Sept. 3, begins at $1,475 per person, double occupancy. It includes priority seating at the game, an exclusive team party, three nights’ accommodations, breakfasts, airport transfer, bus transportation, commemorative souvenirs and travel assistance.

The company also offers multi-city tours that include the game. For example, the six-night Dublin-Galway trip begins at $1,935 per person, double occupancy. It includes the above, plus round-trip travel and lodging in Galway.

For details, go to

Celtic Tours also offers a package that includes tickets to the game. See its website,, to compare offers.

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