Wednesday, June 18, 2014

Incantato Tours proudly presents the Phoenix Girls Chorus in Rieti, Italy

Incantato Tours is very proud to announce that the Phoenix Girls Chorus is going to perform on Saturday, June 21, 2014 at 7:00 pm at the famous Festa Europea della Musica in Rieti, Italy. 
The newspapers and local blogs in Rieti start to announce the choir's participation and we are sure they are as excited as we are to see their performance. To have a look at the original article in Italian, please have a look here.
For live coverage and information, please have a look at our Facebook page.

Tuesday, June 17, 2014

Incantato Tours wishes Safe Travels!

Benvenuti in Italia! 

The Phoenix Girls Chorus under the direction of Ms. Danya Tiller is going to leave Phoenix, AZ at 7:40 pm today for their overnight flight to Europe. As of now, their flight is on time and is estimated to depart Phoenix as scheduled.
Incantato Tours Italia tour manager Stefania LaRosa is going to welcome the travelers in the eternal city of Rome. They will spend their first night away from home at the 4-star Villa Irlanda Hotel in Gaeta.

More pictures and updates about the choir and its 2014 Italy Performance Tour can be found on their blog, but also on our Facebook page.

Friday, June 13, 2014

Fête de la Musique - There is music in the air

The Fête de la Musique – the European and worldwide Music Day – is an annual festival held on 21 June, the start of summer. It transforms cities around the globe into theatres of enchantment and magical sounds.
It sounds simple. All the events are free and open to the public. All musicians waive their fee and all the concerts take place in unusual venues – mostly outdoors. Everyone is welcome at the Fête de la Musique or Festa della Musica how the Italians say.
That this formula would grow into a worldwide movement that reaches out to millions of people every year must have been beyond the wildest dreams of former French Culture Minister Jack Lang, who organised the first Fête de la Musique in Paris in 1982.
The seed was sown and now the event unites people in over 340 towns and cities worldwide, 60 of them in Europe.
There's nothing that can not be heard. Bands, orchestras, choirs, soloists and DJs perform music of every genre. One other thing remains the same - the Fête de la Musique is a non-profit, non-commercial event. Like everything at the Fête de la Musique, it is about friendship, joy, respect and in short, humanity in music.

Festa della Musica in Rieti celebrates its 14th anniversary this year. Concerts will be held in following locations:
Auditorium dei Poveri, Auditorium Varrone, Piazza S. Rufo, LungoVelino, Piazza Cavour, Via Paolessi, Largo S. Giorgio, Via Terenzio Varrone and Piazza Beata Colomba.

Concerts on Friday, June 20, 2014 all free of admission:
  9:00 pm  - M* Eleonora Podaliri Vulpiani and students of the Conservatory concert at Auditorium Varro
10:00 pm - Joy Stick concert at Long Velino Café
10:30 pm - Duo Voce and piano Maria Rosaria De Rossi and Paolo Panicon concert at Be'er Sheva, via delle Stelle

Concerts on Saturday, June 21, 2014 all free of admission:
  7:00 pm - Phoenix Girls Chorus Cantabile concert at Largo San Giorgio Rigodon Café 
  7:30 pm - Insidious Trap concert at Via Paolessi at Café Luwak
  9:00 pm - Mononoke concert at Auditorium dei Poveri
  9:15 pm - THE KEY 9 concert at S. Rufo Square
10:15 pm - RITMIX concert at S. Rufo Square (free admission)
10:15 pm - Alessio Guadagnoli concert at piazza Cavour at the Grand Café La Lira
10:45 pm - Casale 136-Negramaro Tributo concert at Club Café Bonobo
11:15 pm - Depero DJ Set at via Terenzio Varrone

Concerts on Sunday, Jun 22, 2014 all free of admission:
  9:00 pm - Parole e Musica with Musì Duo-Sandro Sacco (flute) & Paolo Paniconi (piano) concert at Auditorium Varrone
10:00 pm - Postal Docs concert at Cafe LungoVelino

Monday, June 2, 2014

A Delicious Culinary Introduction to Italy

Dear PGC Travelers,

Since the tour starts in two weeks, Incantato Tours wants to share a delicious typical Roman recipe with you for traditional Spaghetti alla Carbonara. Feel free to try it at home with family and friends and enjoy it. There are so many more delicious food finds you are going to make in Italy during your 2014 Italy Performance Tour.

Spaghetti alla Carbonara
(serves 4-6)
  • Ingredients:
  • 1 pound dry spaghetti
  • 4 fresh large eggs
  • 8 ounces guanciale, pancetta or slab bacon, cubed 
  • 1/2 cup freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano
  • 1/2 cup freshly grated Pecorino
  • Freshly cracked black pepper
  • Sea salt
1. Bring about 6 quarts of generously salted water (it should taste like the ocean) to a boil, add the spaghetti and cook for 8-10 minutes or until al dente.

2. While the pasta is cooking, heat a large skillet over medium heat. Add the guanciale and sauté for about 3 minutes, or until the meat is crispy and golden and has rendered its fat. Turn off the heat.

3. In a small bowl whisk the eggs and the cheeses until well-combined.

4. When the pasta is done, reserve 1/2 cup of the water, then drain.

5. Return the guanciale pan to medium heat, and add half of the reserved pasta water to the pan. Toss in the spaghetti and agitate the pan over the heat for a few seconds until the bubbling subsides. Much of the water will evaporate

6. Remove the pan from the heat and add the egg mixture and stirring quickly until the eggs thicken. The residual heat will cook the eggs but work quickly to prevent the eggs from scrambling. If the sauce seems too thick, thin it out with a little bit more of the reserved pasta water.

7. Season liberally with freshly cracked black pepper.

8. Divide the pasta into bowls and serve immediately.

Recipe and photo courtesy of

Learning Italian with Incantato Tours

For a lot of people Italian is the most beautiful living language there is. Every word ends in a vowel and it practically begs to be stuck into a romantic sonnet. The sound is just so melodic and soothing.

Since the Phoenix Girls Chorus is going to embark on their 2014 Italy Performance Tour with Incantato Tours, we thought knowing some Italian vocabulary for their free time when they are without their tour guide might be a good idea.

Please find below some common greetings:
  • Buongiorno! (bwohn-johr-noh) = Hello! and Good morning!
  • Arrivederci! (ahr-ree-veh-dehr-chee) = Goodbye! 
  • Ciao! (chou) = Hello! and Good-bye! 
  • Buonasera! (bwoh-nah-seh-rah) = Good afternoon! Good evening!
  • Buonanotte! (bwoh-nah-noht-teh) = Good night!
  • Come si chiama? (koh-meh see kyah-mah) = What is your name?
  • Mi chiamo…(mee kyah-moh) = My name is...
  • Come sta? (koh-meh stah) = How are you?) 
  • Bene, grazie. (beh-neh grah-tsee-eh) = Fine, thank you.

Courtesy is important no matter what country you are in. Use these courtesy phrases below when speaking in Italian so you can be considerate and polite:
  • Per favore (pehr fah-voh-reh) = Please
  • Grazie (grah-tsee-eh) = Thank you
  • Prego! (preh-goh) = You're welcome/ by all means/ after you
  • Mi dispiace (mee dees-pyah-cheh) = I'm sorry
  • Mi scusi (mee skooh-zee) = Excuse me (formal)
  • Scusi, un informazione, per favore. (skooh-zee oohn-een-fohr-mats-yoh-neh pehr fah-voh-reh) = Excuse me, I need some information, please.
  • Permesso? (pehr-mehs-soh) = Excuse me — when walking through a crowded train compartment/ "May I come in?" when crossing the threshold of someone's house
  • Sì (see) = Yes
  • No (noh) = No
To communicate in Italian and to travel with ease, there are practical questions in Italian that you'll use daily and it comes handy to know:
  • Chi? (kee) = Who?
  • Cosa? (koh-sah) = What?
  • Quando? (kwahn-doh) = When?
  • Dove? (doh-veh) = Where?
  • Perché? (pehr-keh) = Why?
  • Come? (koh-meh) = How?
  • Quanto? (kwanh-toh) = How much?
  • Dov'è la stazione? (doh-veh lah stah-tsyoh-neh) = Where is the station?
  • Scusi, dov'è il bagno? (skooh-zee doh-veh eel bahn-yoh) = Where is the bathroom?
  • Come si arriva in...? (koh-meh see ahr-ree-vah een pyahts-sah dehl-lah reh-pooh-blee-kah) = How do you get to...?
  • Parla inglese? (pahr-lah een-gleh-zeh) (Do you speak English?)

    Sant'Agnese, one of the most beautiful churches in Rome and your concert venue on June 26, 2014 at 4:00 pm

    One thing the eternal city of Rome has plenty of are stunning churches, but Sant'Agnese is by far one the most breathtaking ones.  Its magnificence, the marble columns, statues of historical figures and the detailing of the walls and ceilings are impressive. No wonder it is one of the most photographed buildings on the busy Piazza Navona, was selected "Certificate of Excellence 2014" by tripadvisor and is your venue on Thursday, June 26, 2014 at 4:00 pm.

    Sant'Agnese in Agone is a beautiful 17th-century Baroque church in Rome, Italy. It faces onto the Piazza Navona, one of the main urban spaces in the historic center of Rome and the site where the Early Christian Saint Agnes was martyred in the ancient Stadium of Domitian.
    Its construction began in 1652 under the famous architect Girolamo Rainaldi and his son Carlo Rainaldi. After numerous quarrels, the other main architect involved was Francesco Borromini. The church was rebuilt in 1652 and intended to be a family chapel.

    Saint Agnes, whom the church is dedicated to, was buried in the catacombs at the present basilica of Sant'Agnese after her martyrdom in 304. She is one of the great Roman virgin martyrs.

    Homes away from home: The PGC Incantato Concert Tours Hotels in Gatea, Rieti, Florence and Rome

    The first home away from home for the 2014 PGC Italy Performance Tour from June 18 to June 20, 2014 will be 4-star Villa Irlanda Hotel in Gaeta, Italy, won the "Certificate of Excellence in 2013" awarded by Tripadvisor, located just a short walk away from the sea, overlooking the Gulf of Gaeta. 
    The villa is made up of 5 historical buildings, including a former convent and 2 swimming pools. The front desk is built among the walls of a Roman villa from the 1st century B.C. 
    In total there are 49 rooms on the property. The rooms are spacious with a classic décor with wooden furniture, some rooms offer great views of the property. There is free wifi and a satellite TV in each room, with air conditioning and in the bathrooms there is a hairdryer provided.

    The Relais Villa d’Assio located in Rieti, is set in a renovated 18th century villa, preserving its original features and surrounded by the ruins of the Roman Villa of Quinto Assio.
    It has 45 rooms divided into Standard, Superior and Junior Suite. All rooms are equipped with mini-bar,  tv set, hairdryer, safe and air conditioning.
    The hotel offers 2 restaurants and 2 congress halls, fully equipped with modern technological facilities and enjoys a convenient location near Rome, Perugia, Assisi, Todi and Spoleto.

    A 4-star hotel and also awarded by Tripadvisor the "Certificate of Excellence in 2013", Hotel 500 Firenze was originally built in the year 1500 as part of the hospital's orphanage and later became an elegant Villa. It will be the third hotel on their tour from June 23 to June 25, 2014. Through recent restoration work it has become a modern, lovely and pleasant place for people to come and stay at during their vacations in Tuscany. The rooms are equipped with free wifi, satellite TV and modern bathrooms. Just a short drive outside of the city, it is positioned on a beautiful property with an outdoor pool. There is a restaurant on site named 5%, with a great Florentine local cuisine. 

    Your last home away from home will be the H10 Roma Città Hotel, a 4-star hotel, located in the Marconi neighborhood just a short distance from the district of Trastevere. From June 25 to June June 28, 2014 you can enjoy amenities such as comfy beds, solarium, national and international newspaper, ice machines, laundry service and also a rooftop swimming pool. Another great perk is free wifi throughout the hotel - and even in high speed so you can upload all your pictures and videos. The hotel has 181 rooms, which are equipped with flat-screen LCD TV with international channels, smart temperature control, pillow top, MP3 (audio) and PC connection, safe box and professional hair dryer.