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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

TRAVEL TIPS :Andiamo! Best Time To Travel Is Now

When in Rome, do as the Romans do. In the summer that means take a siesta from noon to 4 p.m. to escape the heat. But with such a prolonged rest period, there's too little time left to appreciate the city's architectural and artistic treasures. So if you want to do serious sight-seeing in Italy, go now. In May, the average temperature is around 25 to 30 degrees Celsius in Rome and in the northern cities, and the number of tourists is generally smaller.

Many Moscow travel agencies offer trips to Rome, Venice or Florence. Other cities may be included, with some trips focusing on the north (Milan, Verona, Genoa, Bologna, San Marino) and others on the south (Naples, Pompei, Capri). Transportation between the cities is by bus.

Lodging is typically in a three-or four-star hotel.

For a one-week group tour, expect to pay at least $670, which includes airfare, lodging, medical insurance and two meals (breakfast and dinner). For Russian citizens, the visa fee is $40.

Moskovskoe Gorodskoye Buro Puteshestvy offers weekend trips to Rome or Milan from Thursday to Sunday and to Venice from Wednesday to Sunday. The packages include flights on Aeroflot, breakfast, medical insurance and hotel accommodations. Prices start at $555 for Rome, $519 for Milan and $777 for Venice. Tel. 232-1871.

If prefer to make your own travel plans instead, Aeroflot directly flies to Milan, Rome and Venice for $270 round trip.

Alitalia flies directly to Milan for $400 and to Venice, Rome, Turin and Naples via Milan.

An interesting time to be in Venice is during the Vogalonga race on May 9. Started in the early 1970s, the race is now an international event and draws more than 3,000 competitors.

Although the race was originally for the caorlina with six oars, these days any kind of rowing craft will do. The showpieces of wealthy local rowing clubs, however, are always among the boats that take part in the event. These, like the vipera and pupparini, are handcrafted antiques with up to 18 oars. British students in straw boaters, Germans in canoes and Chinese with their dragon boats all travel to Venice to compete.

If you have a boat, you can take part in the race by paying a $9 registration fee. Fax your application to (39-041) 520-0771 or call (39-041) 521-0544. Or just watch the race from San Marco Square.