As the weather in Italy slowly (it's been a hard spring this year) turns warm and hospitable, we focus on the new, fresh, and welcomingly warm parts of the country this April.

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This month in Joyce's Little Black Book (our newly renamed and redesigned newsletter), we celebrate Carnival - one of the bright spots of a cold northern Italian winter - with a look at the craftsmen who still handcraft costumes for Venice's lavish balls.

If you're wondering how to get in on the action next year, check out our guide to full-service vs. self-service travel planning to see how to start booking your Italian getaway.

Here's what else you missed:

    • Feature Article: Via Emilia
      We continue our feature focus on Roman roads with the Via Emilia, the perfect route through Italy's most famous culinary attractions. Check out the notes from my little black book for my (top secret!) favorite picks along the way.
    • February Holidays: Italy's Other Carnivals
      Yes, it does seem like Venice is the only carnival around, but there are actually many large (and in some ways, more enjoyable) festivals around the country. We detail two top picks in the newsletter.
    • News This Month: Award-Winning Italian Film Comes to America
      One of the most talked about films in Italian cinema last year is now opening in the U.S.
    • February Recipe: Frappe
      Not a Starbucks Frappe! Though just as sweet. These sugar-dusted, fried knots are a favorite belly warmer during the carnival season.
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