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Schuss, Please ... on Italy's Alpine Slopes


California-based Carlucci's Italy has scheduled three 10-day ski trips to Cortina D'Ampesso, Italy, in January, and one seven-day ski trip to Courmayeur, Italy, in February.

Dates for the Cortina trips, which include a two-night excursion to Venice, are Jan. 8 to 18, Jan. 15 to 25 and Jan. 22 to Feb. 1.

Participants on the Cortina trip will have two nights to explore the historical city of Venice, stopping at such sites as the Rialto Bridge and the Doge's Palace. In Cortina, tour members stay seven nights in this resort town with plenty of ski runs, restaurants and shops. A six-day Dolomiti Ski Pass covers 683 miles of ski runs and 464 lift facilities.

Cost: $1,279 per person, double occupancy, including round-trip air fare from Los Angeles on Alitalia Airlines, round-trip transfers from airport to resorts, all hotels, continental or buffet breakfast daily, a six-day ski pass, guide assistance in Venice and Cortina, and taxes at hotels.

Dates for Courmayeur are Feb. 1 to 9. Courmayeur has a French flavor because it is located on the Italian side of Mt. Blanc. It is a charming, historical village with cobblestone streets and lots of shops and restaurants. Participants will have the opportunity to ski Chamonix, France, as well as other nearby French and Italian resorts.

Cost: $1,329 per person, double occupancy, including round-trip air fare from Los Angeles on Alitalia Airlines, round-trip transfer from airport to resort, six-day ski pass, hotel, continental breakfast and dinner daily, guide assistance in Courmayeur, service charges and taxes at hotel.

Contact: Carlucci's Italy, For the Adventurous Traveler, 27121 Arena Lane, Mission Viejo, CA 92691; telephone (714) 707-5824.

Guatemalan History

The Archaeological Conservancy is offering a tour to Guatemala Feb. 5 to 16 that focuses on its history. Participants will travel from Guatemala City to the Maya ruins in the Peten rain forest. The itinerary includes the ruins of Iximche, the capital city of the Cakchiquel Maya, the majestic temples of Uaxactun, the traditional market at Chichicastenango, the colonial island town of Flores in Lago Peten Itza, and the ruins of Tikal in the Peten rain forest. Accompanying the tour will be archeologist Peter Harrison, who has excavated at Tikal.

Cost: $2,195 per person, double occupancy, including hotels, tours and some meals. Air transportation costs to Guatemala City are not included. Contact: The Archaeological Conservancy, 5301 Central Ave. NE, Suite 1218, Albuquerque, NM 87108-1517; tel. (505) 266- 1540.

More Guatemala

Travelers seeking a challenging trip to explore new territory can join an adventure tour to Guatemala offered by the Natural History Museum of Los Angeles County, Nov. 4 to 18. This 15-day expedition will be led by Richard D. Hansen, an archeologist and lecturer who is the project director of the Regional Archaeological Investigation of the North Peten, a rugged region with superb Maya archeological sites.

Participants will helicopter into El Mirador, situated deep in the Peten rain forest to see the largest pyramids of the Maya world. El Mirador has been a focus of Hansen's excavation work over the past 17 years. Then a boat launch will carry travelers up jungle rivers to the seldom-visited sites of Seibal and Aguateca. Other destinations are Uaxactun, Tikal, Yaxha and Toposte. Guests also visit the new museum of Maya sculpture in Copan, Honduras, before the trip concludes in the colonial city of Antigua Guatemala.

Cost: $3,690 per person, double occupancy, including lodging, ground transportation, entrance fees, guide and most meals. Air fare is not included. Contact: Karen Hovanitz, Natural History Museum of Los Angeles County; tel. (213) 744-3350.

Monte Carlo Nights

Explore the best of the western Mediterranean on a cruise to Monte Carlo, Portugal, Italy and Spain that departs April 26.

First stop is Lisbon, with a two-night stay at the five-star Estoril Sol Resort on the Portuguese Riviera. The cruise is on Holland America's Maasdam, with ports including Tangier, Morocco; Barcelona, Spain; Livorno (for Florence) Italy; Tunis, Tunisia; Sardinia, Italy; and Malta, en route to Rome. Activities include an overnight on board while docked in Monte Carlo and scenic cruising past the Rock of Gibralter, the Straits of Messina, and Mt. Etna and Stromboli volcanoes. Following the cruise, passengers will spend two nights at a hotel in Rome before returning home on May 13.

Cost: from $3,695 per person, double occupancy for an inside double, and $3,995 per person for an outside double. The price includes air fare from Los Angeles, San Francisco or New York, and the stay in Lisbon and Rome, porterage and transfers.

Contact: Don Ton Travel Associates, Executive Guild E-1, 3151 Airway Ave., Costa Mesa, CA 92626-4620; tel. (714) 545-3737 or (800) 318-1818.

Painting in France

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