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Italy in springTake a spring break April 7-14 in southern Italy by visiting the Amalfi Coast, Positano, Ravello, the Isle of Capri, Sorrento, Salerno and Naples on a tour organized by ten&one travel agency and led by Graziella Sefcik.

As well as visiting the cities and seeing the beautiful coastline, highlights include visits to the Greek site of Pasteum, the 11th-century Duomo in Salerno and Pompeii.

The cost is $1,526 per person, double occupancy, and includes round-trip airfare between Frankfurt (or Munich) and Naples, security taxes, ticketing fees, hotel accommodations, breakfasts, dinners, welcome drink, luggage service, sightseeing programs, entrance fees (for Pompeii, Ercolano, Pasteum, National Museum), ferry crossing, bus transportation, airport transfer and folklore program with dinner.

Information is available at telephone (+49) (0) 89-2554-1919 (for the agency) or (+49) (0) 8231-2134 (for Graziella), or by e-mail at graziella@tenandone.com. The Web site is www.graziella-tours.com.

Musical toursAllegro Holidays offers unescorted tours for music lovers interested in operas and classical music concerts.

The “Passion of Opera in Paris” package is available through October. The price, per person, double occupancy, costs between 803 and 1,204 euros, depending on the hotel. It includes six nights’ accommodation, breakfasts, first-category ticket for any performance at the Opera Garnier or the Opera Bastille, city tour of Paris with visit to Notre Dame and the Louvre, and choice of a five-hour trip to Fountainebleau and Barbizon, Giverny (Monet’s garden), or Versailles.

The eight-day “The Music Enthusiast — Vienna and Salzburg” costs between 1,030 and 1,604 euros per person, double occupancy, depending on the hotel and season. It includes four nights’ accommodation in Vienna, breakfasts, tour of the city or a trip to the village of Mayerling, ticket to the State Opera, ticket to the Volks Opera, one Mozart or Operetta concert, coffee and cake at the Hotel Sacher and first-class rail ticket from Vienna to Salzburg.

The Salzburg portion includes three nights’ accommodation, breakfasts, city tour, 24-hour Salzburg Card with entrance to Mozart’s birthplace, one-way transfer from train station or airport to hotel, ticket to to one concert in the Mirabell Palace or the Salzburg fortress, half-day excursion to the Lake District and dinner at the K&K restaurant.

The company also advertises a variety of other tours on themes such as religion, archaeology, cooking and wine, cruises and spa holidays. Find details at www.allegroholidays.com.

French destinationsThe French Tourist Board has sent along a few tidbits for visitors to explore:

• Vulcania is a volcano theme park in the mountains of Auvergne. The 136-acre park is built in an extinct volcano, with two-thirds of the building underground. Visitors enter into the world of volcanoes and earth science via the Magma Explorer vessel and through a multimedia installation (which includes the biggest earthquake simulator in Europe). The cost is 19.50 euros for adults, 16 euros for children 6-16. Its Web site is www.vulcania.com.

• Garden lovers should check out the Château du Rivau medieval fortress near the medieval town of Chinon. They can walk through 12 newly created, romantic fairy-tale gardens with names such as the Enchanted Forest, the Flowery Meadow, the Lovers Wood, the Orchard of Paradise and the Secret Garden. Fairy-tale figures, including elves, giants and fairies, make up the landscape.

The chateau’s grounds also include the royal stables, famous for the quality of its battle horses, wine-tasting cellars and castle visits. The Web site is www.chateaudurivau.com.

• Five more Atelier de Chef (Chef’s Workshops) have opened in France: three in Paris (two in the Galleries Lafayette Haussmann and one in the Printemps department store), one in Bordeaux and one in Lyon.

The French cooking classes can range from a half-hour lunchtime lesson focusing on one dish for 15 euros, to a four-hour lesson on “La grande cuisine de saison” for 136 euros. Classes are scheduled at various times throughout the day.

Other lessons include wine tasting, cocktail creations and potato and corn recipes.

It’s best to reserve early as classes can fill quickly. Find details at www.atelierdeschefs.com.

Send announcements of tours or other special travel deals to travel@estripes.osd.mil.

Best BetsENGLAND: If you’re planning a year of exciting trips, get some ideas at the annual Daily Telegraph Adventure Show, starting Friday and running through the weekend at the Olympia in London. More than 250 adventure travel companies will feature the latest in trips from treks, safaris and white-water rafting to yoga retreats in India or quiet rests on the beach. Other highlights include a travel advice theatre; presentations on travel health and safety, travel photography and travel writing; a virtual adventure center; and a 30-foot ice-climbing wall. Tickets cost 8 pounds (about $16) for adults, 6 pounds for children 5-16. The show is open daily 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Find details at www.adventureshow.co.uk.

ITALY: Sculptors compete to see who can produce the best ice art in three days at Innichen’s annual Ice Sculpting Festival Wednesday through Friday and in San Vigilio Monday through Wednesday. The 10 teams can use only their tools and water to create imaginative pieces out of blocks of snow. The finished masterpieces will remain on display until they melt.

SWITZERLAND: Ice sculptors competing in Grindelwald’s annual six-day World Snow Festival starting Monday have a full week to create their works of ice art, sometimes even enlisting the help of visitors. This year’s theme is “Highs and Lows.” Find details at www.grindelwald.ch.

SCOTLAND: America has a strong representation at this year’s Celtic Connections traditional music festival in Glasgow, which begins Wednesday and runs until Feb. 4. Richie Havens, Mary Chapin Carpenter and Rosanne Cash are headliners, joining artists Béla Fleck and the Flecktones, Clannad, Odetta, John Martyn, Lunasa and others in 11 venues throughout the city to celebrate traditional music. Find details at www.celticconnections.com.

—Jayne Traendly


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