Monday, 15 December 2008

Italy boutique-style

Your FREE Travel Briefs – w/c December 15 2008. 


By John Crook 

Italy boutique-style

A three-week fully escorted tour of Italy with accommodation and touring in conjunction with mainly family-owned operations.  Rather than moving in and out of hotels each night, instead Carolinasusi  Italia Tours are based for a week at a time in three major centres, travelling out to iconic cities such as Florence, Assisi and Siena.  You will visit ceramic and leather artisans, chocolate and cheese makers, wine and olive oil producers, and still  have plenty of time for shopping and sightseeing.  Price starts from $6,975 per person, twin share and that includes pick-up at Rome airport on April 24 2009 or September 25 2009.  Get all the details by calling (07) 3396 8652 or visit  

Zuji – more than beans

Around 10,000  cans of baked beans have been responsible for travel savings.  Put simply, the bean counters  claim that their cans, which sold  for 10 cents each, helped keep grocery bills low, - meaning more dollars for on-line best deals. It is worth checking out the packages which are currently on offer, whether it be domestic or international flights and accommodation.   The beans may have been snapped up and now it's the travel options which are the big attraction.  Check  

Down a mine shaft

Sydney Tower is much more than just a big building.  It is now home to the OzTrek ride, a combination of Australia's largest motion cinema,  experiencing surround sound, 3D imagery and real-motion seating. It's a magic carpet ride across Australia, sweeping over Sydney Harbour, riding Tully rapids and travelling back in time to the Ballarat goldfields.  Then there's Skywalk,-not for the faint-hearted. Tickets to Sydney Tower start from $25 per adult, kids under 15, just $15. Tickets to the Devil's Mine ride are an additional $5 per person.  Costs more to do the SkyWalk. 

Italian cooking classes

Here's a chance to  cook Italian style, with the help of professional chef Claudio Piantini. 

It is a five-day Tuscan package priced from $3181 per person, twin share, with a minimum of two people.  That includes four nights accommodation, four breakfasts, three lunches and four dinners.  There are also three afternoon excursions.  Enjoy an early booking discount of $1,000 per couple for bookings made and paid in full before December 31 2008. Visit  

Strictly limited season

What has been billed as the best musical in a long time is about to excite  Melburnians who at this very moment are preparing to welcome Billy Elliot.   Based on the English miners' strike of the 1980's this wonderful stage production features the music of Elton John.   Billy Elliot is one of those rare productions which traverses all the moods from happiness to tears.  

It plays at Her Majesty's Theatre in Melbourne from December 31st for a strictly limited season   For bookings dial 1800 4 Billy. Travel agents throughout Australia have accommodation, travel and theatre packages. 

Chelsea Flower Show

Details of the 2009 Chelsea event have been released and there are some brilliant packages available, such as the May 8th departure with Jennifer Stackhouse.  Quality accommodation for the 17-day tour, priced from AUD$9,248 per person, based on double occupancy.  The price also includes return economy airfares to London (including taxes), daily English breakfasts, a first night dinner at every stopover, entrance tickets to the flower show and complimentary membership of the Royal Horticultural Society and the National Trust.  Visit or call  1300 884 891. 

Hail Roberta!

The Queensland Orchestra backs soul diva Roberta Flack at the Brisbane Entertainment Centre on Wednesday February 4 and again on Friday February 6 2009 for 'the voice of the century' Jose Carreras.  Tickets for Roberta's concert, from $85, peaking at $155, and for Senor Carreras from $100, peaking at $660.  Ticketing from or telephone 132 849.     Accommodation packages on offer at Emporium Hotel, check Other accommodation options by visiting  

* Please note conditions may apply to these packages  and prices are subject to change and availability.  This information is provided as a guide only.  Check with your travel agency.   Block out periods may apply.    Need a holiday ?  We're archived on 

Caption : A typical scene ion a typical day in Italy.