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Another side of Italy

Ashley Turney wants to share with people the Italy she knows and loves.

Turney, a Saratoga Springs native, lived and worked in Italy for about five years. She was enamored with the slow pace of life, with the way people would stretch their meals for four or five hours, soaking in the time with friends and family.

When Turney moved back to the States, she knew she still wanted Italy to be part of her life. So she launched a company that designs private itineraries and tours of Italy, and on Sunday, March 27, she'll be at the National Museum of Dance and Hall of Fame in Saratoga Springs for Italy Day.

The festival is the fourth in a series linked to the museum's exhibit, Postage Paid: Dance Around the World. Sue Edwards, the museum's programming director, said she slated the Italy program for late March because the vibrant country seemed like a good transition to spring.

The "Postage Paid" exhibit, which has been up for about a year and will run through Thanksgiving, features postage stamps from around the world, along with clothing, flags and other slices of life from numerous countries. Although the stamps emphasize dance, the exhibit is much deeper than that, as are the festivals.

"This is a cultural family day," Edwards said.

The schedule includes:

Speaker Giuseppe Faustini, who teaches Italian at Skidmore College.

A cooking demonstration by Fabrizio Bazzani, executive chef at Chianti II Ristorante.

The Arthur Murray Tarantella Dance Team.

Children's activities, dance and art in the Alfred Z. Solomon Children's Wing.

Speaker Father Neil Draves, a third-generation Saratogian. He will recount the region's Italian neighborhoods, businesses and restaurants.

"I've known him all my life," Edwards said. "His stories will be fabulous."

As for Turney, she's coming from her home in Connecticut to take part in the event.

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