Thursday, March 20, 2014

Two meals and two movies - Welcome aboard SWISS

The Mayfield Senior School is about to take off for their Italy Arts Immersion Tour 2014 with Incantato Concert Tours. Their overnight flight with SWISS will depart today at 8:25 pm from Los Angeles (LAX) and our team wishes them safe travels and a great time in beautiful Italy.

While we recommend that you do get some sleep on the transatlantic overnight flight, you are in for several treats such as hot towels before landing, tasting of different high quality cheeses of Switzerland, in particular the Tête de Moine, Le Gruyère and Appenzeller, at least two warm meals (either vegetarian or meat) served with salad and dessert plus two or more recently released films. Enjoy Oscar winning movies such as Frozen, Gravity or Blue Jasmine on your flight.

For more information on the on-board experience and other news about the airline, visit the SWISS' website.

Friday, March 14, 2014

Learning Italian with Incantato Concert Tours

Italian is one of the most beautiful languages in the world. You may already know that Italian is the first language in which opera singers learn to sing?
It is also an incredibly fun language to speak, full of expressive hand gestures and colorful phrases. Italian words can be rather long (and so poetic), but here is a helpful tip for pronouncing them: most of the time, stress falls on the second-to-last syllable. So “Venezia” is “Ve-NE-zia”; “castello” is “cas-TELL-o”.

Let's start with a few common phrases:
  • Buongiorno - Good morning. Usually said until 4pm. (bwon gee-orno)
  • Buona sera - Good evening. Usually said after 4pm. (bwon-uh say-ruh)
  • Buona notte - Good night. Only used to say goodbye, it is usually said before parting ways after 10pm, or before going to sleep. (bwon-uh no-te)
  • Ciao - Hello or goodbye. A very informal but common greeting.  (chow)
  • Arrivederci - A formal way to say goodbye. Literally means “until we see each other again.” (ah-ree-vay-der-chee)

Other common Italian phrases
  • Per favore - Please 
  • Grazie: Thank you. You may also hear “grazie mille” (literally “a thousand thanks”) to mean many thanks. (grah-tseeay)
  • Prego: You’re welcome (pray-go)
  • Mi chiamo…: My name is… You may also say “Sono….”
  • Non parlo italiano: I don’t speak Italian
  • Parla inglese?: Do you speak English? This is the formal version, but you can also ask parli inglese? if you’d like to be informal.
  • Sì: Yes. Other popular affirmations: va bene (fine), okay. 
  • No: No
  • Dove: Where. You may ask “Dov’è (street or landmark)…?” for directions.
  • Chi: Who
  • Quando: When
  • Cosa: What
  • Perché: Why
  • Excuse me - Mi Scusi (mee skoo-zee)
  • How are you? - Come sta? (koh-may stah)
  • My name is - Mi chiamo (mee kee-ah-mo)
  • What is your name? Come si chiama? (koh-meh see kee-ah-mah)

The Mayfield Senior School departure date gets closer and closer...

Time goes by so fast and today in exactly one week Mayfield Senior School is going to arrive in Italy and meet up with their tour manager Stefania for their Arts Immersion Tour. They will check-in and enjoy their first Italian dinner at their first home away from home Hotel Cavour in beautiful Rieti.

Incantato Concert Tours is very excited for our first group this year to embark to one of our most favorite destinations - Italy. The region of Lazio where Rieti and Rome are located is famous for dishes such as Spaghetti alla Carbonara, Burschetta or Perciatelli all'Amatriciana. What about cooking one of these delicious dishes for your family and friends at home before you leave, as a food introduction to your upcoming MSS Arts Immersion Tour? Buon appetito!

Click here to see the recipe for a delicious, spicy pasta called Perciatelli all'Amatriciana.

Thursday, March 13, 2014

Mayfield Senior School performs at Saint Peter's Basilica on March 27, 2014 at 5:00pm

Now if that is not the best way to start "dreaming" about the Mayfield Senior Arts Immersion Tour 2014, by knowing already that the choir will be performing mass in the most important Catholic cathedral on March 27, 2014 at 5:00pm?

The Papal Basilica of Saint Peter is located within the Vatican City. St. Peter's Basilica has the largest interior of any Christian church in the world, holding 60,000 people. It is the symbolic "Mother church" of the Catholic Church and is regarded as one of the holiest Christian sites. It has been described as "holding a unique position in the Christian world" and as "the greatest of all churches of Christendom".

In Catholic tradition, it is the burial site of its namesake Saint Peter, who was one of the twelve apostles of Jesus and, according to tradition, first Bishop of Rome and therefore first in the line of the papal succession. Tradition and some historical evidence hold that Saint Peter's tomb is directly below the altar of the basilica. For this reason, many Popes have been interred at St Peter's since the Early Christian period. There has been a church on this site since the 4th century. Construction of the present basilica, over the old Constantinian basilica, began on April 18, 1506 and was completed on November 18, 1626.
St. Peter's is famous as a place of pilgrimage, for its liturgical functions and for its historical associations. It is associated with the papacy, with the Counter-reformation and with numerous artists, most significantly Michelangelo di Lodovico Buonarroti Simoni (1475-1564), an Italian Renaissance painter, sculptor, architect, poet, and engineer. Michelangelo took over a building site at which four piers, enormous beyond any constructed since the days of Ancient Rome, were rising behind the remaining nave of the old basilica. He also inherited the numerous schemes designed and redesigned by some of the greatest architectural and engineering brains of the 16th century. Incidentally there are over 100 tombs within St. Peter's Basilica, many located in the Vatican grotto, beneath the Basilica. These include 91 popes, St. Ignatius of Antioch, Holy Roman Emperor Otto II, and the composer Giovanni Pierluigi da Palestrina. Exiled Catholic British royalty James Francis Edward Stuart and his two sons, Charles Edward Stuart and Henry Benedict Stuart, are buried here, having been granted asylum by Pope Clement XI. The most recent interment was Pope John Paul II, on April 8, 2005.