Get a Refund for a Cancelled Flight Ticket - Not Just a Voucher.

How to Win a Credit Card Chargeback Dispute. 

Complete Details & Sample Letter for a Refund on a Non-Refundable Ticket, Seat & Baggage Charges. 

Should I Accept a Voucher for Future Flights?   Is it Too Late for a Refund on a Flight Cancelled Due to Covid-19?

Refund by credit card chargeback dispute for cancelled flight
Seinfeld: "You see, you know how to 'take' the reservation, you just don't know how to 'hold' the reservation.
And that's really the most important part of the reservation: the holding. Anybody can just take them."

Fed up with an airline like Delta, Air Canada, Jet Blue, Southwest, Lufthansa or TAP Air Portugal for refusing to give you a refund?  This article gives specific details on how you can get a refund on a non-refundable airline ticket after the flight was canceled - even those caused by the Covid-19 virus epidemic. It is done by using your legal right to dispute the credit card charges - also known as a chargeback of the credit card charges. It doesn't matter if it's Chase, Capital One, or Bank of America, they all must help you.

Do not accept a voucher for future flights. Some reasons why: ✦You are entitled to a refund, dammit. ✦The airline will make you agree that the voucher is a substitute for a refund, limiting your future rights. ✦The voucher will have a time limit and possibly fees and added conditions. ✦The airline may not be in business or offer the same destinations or class of service when you want to use it. ✦Why trust an entity that won't adhere to it's own Terms of Carriage? Fool me once....

Our case involved a Visa credit card from a US bank and began with a US to EU flight. However since the procedures and the governing rules are based on credit card 'Core Rules', this information will be very useful for other jurisdictions, for Mastercard & American Express, and for other types of credit card disputes.

Be aware - disputing a credit card charge is not an exact science - the card issuers have a lot of latitude in this process. Our approach might not be best for you and the rules may change, so do additional research to maximize your chances.  Note: When we say document some action, we mean getting something factual to prove your point- like an email printout, a screenshot of a relevant web page, a letter, or even your detailed notes with specific dates and times and the names of the person you spoke with.

Below we give the important key points to make and to document in disputing a credit card charge, also known as a chargeback of a credit card purchase. At the end of the article, to get you started there's a notated sample letter adapted from a letter we used with success, though keep in mind there are no guarantees when used with a different credit card company or with different circumstances.

The chain of logic that we believe will lock in your right to a chargeback follows. Your claim will be strongest if you document each point.  Then we give additional informational comments and the sample letter.

A New Plague Returns to A Hilltop Town in Italy

Extraordinary Measures in a Historic Ligurian Town. 
After 307 years the town's patron saint is asked - again - for help.

Ameglia a Hill town in Liguria, Italy
Historic Ameglia - hill town of Liguria - ruled in turn by Ligurians, Romans, Byzantines, Franks, Lombards, Genovese & more.                              

When Covid-19 hits your city, will you be 'warmly invited' to stay home? A daily life news item from the 1,000+ year old town of Ameglia (Liguria) now in lockdown from the threat of Coronavirus.

Municipality of Ameglia. Commercial entities, civil protection, and firefighters have collectively begun the start-up 'Vespa' Dotevè' to provide a grocery delivery service in the municipal area of ​​Ameglia, a service aimed at the elderly and people in conditions of fragility. Below are the participating businesses with their phone numbers. "It will be possible to turn to the merchant and the Civil Protection will act as a carrier between the business and your home," explained Mayor Andrea De Ranieri, who warmly invited all the Amelese citizens to stay at home.

This morning the first civil complaints were also filed in the Ameglia municipality for those who left their abode without a valid reason: "Townspeople just can't complete a downloaded self-certification and go wherever they want - said the mayor on Facebook - You have to stay home! Citizens can move only for work, necessity, health. At the time of a police check they will make you declare and sign why you are moving. Once this is done, the patrol checks (for example by calling the company, calling your doctor, etc.). If they discover that your declared purpose is not true, you get two civil citations: one for the violation of the coronavirus public health ordinance (art. 650 CP) and the other for false declarations (art. 495 CP). I make this clarification because many think that there are no controls or that self authorization is enough, it is not so. Shop only in your own town and for essential items! Shop for need, not shopping for pleasure! One person per family. If you are 3 in the car and you are going shopping, you'll be cited. "

Meanwhile, the heraldic flag of the municipality was brought to the ancient parish church in the center of Ameglia. "I renewed the vows of the ancients and asked our patron San Pasquale to keep us from contagion (the plague) again as in 1713, for that is why we celebrate him every May 17." explained the mayor.

Articolo originale qui:  Citta della Spezia: Spesa a Domicilio

Go Fund Me page to help the Red Cross volunteers: Croce Rosso Ameglia

Google translation, edited for clarity.

Photo copyright by Mike Mazzaschi /  Non-commercial use allowed with attribution.

Cinque Terre's Path of Love is Reopening!

Italy's Famous Path - The Via Amore - will Reopen in 2023.

A Trail Especially Popular With Lovers, Families, Tourists with Mobility Issues. 

El Camino del Amor   Promenade de l'Amour   Weg der Liebe     爱的方式    愛の道     путь любви

Via dell'Amore and the Cinque Terre coast viewed toward Riomaggiore
Via dell'Amore and the Cinque Terre coast viewed toward Riomaggiore. The trail reopens in 2023. CC by Davide Bozzo.

Is the Via Amore open? Is the Via dell'Amore closed? When will the Via Amore reopen? Finally we know when (2023), but why has it been closed so long? Read on, love.

The appeal is immediate to the Cinque Terre attraction called Via dell'Amore (or Via Amore) since it translates so romantically to The Love Trail, The Lovers Walk or The Way of Love.  It's perhaps the most famous trail in Italy and known throughout the world - even though the distance is only one kilometer long and can easily be walked in 30 minutes. This great walkway is one of the reasons the Cinque Terre are a World Heritage Site.

     Essential Stories for a good Cinque Terre visit:
     Every Answer You Need for Your Cinque Terre Trip
     Cinque Terre - 16 Tips for Avoiding the Crowds
     Complete Cinque Terre Ferry Schedules
     See Also: ❇Our Cinque Terre Guide


The Via dell'Amore is the pedestrian path connecting the Cinque Terre villages of Riomaggiore and Manarola. It winds across the rocky face of steep seaside hills and provides panoramic views of the fabulous Cinque Terre coastline. It rises to an altitude of as much as 750 feet above the sea though it's not a steep or strenuous hike. Unfortunately, it has been closed since 2012 due to the risk of landslides. 

The 'Lovers' statue Cinque Terre on The Lovers Walk
The 'Lovers' symbol along The Lovers Walk with padlocks.
Via dell'Amore was an early victim of the viral lock mania.
                                                      CC by  Daniel Stockman
Origins and Closures. 
The walkway began as part of the railway tunnel construction in 1926-1928. It provided access for workers and materials. The explosives used in its construction were also stored along the path - away from the villages in what is now the Bar dell'Amore. Subsequently, the walkway provided the perfect setting for young Italian couples who sought privacy from the prying eyes of a small village - often leaving memorializing graffiti as proof of their fidelity.  In time a journalist who noticed all the amorous graffiti along the path coined the trail’s now-established name, Via dell’Amore.

A Lunch Visit to Chiavari - Our Favorite Ligurian City

Beautiful and Sophisticated - Visit Chiavari to Appreciate Liguria. 

Try Ligurian Specialties at Osteria Luchin - a Chiavari Insitution Since 1907.

Streets with colorful buildings & arcades in Chiavari, Liguria
Behind Piazza Mazzini, the streets become smaller as do the juxtapositions. These card players filled the street with shouts.

Chiavari couldn't be more peaceful. Although it was once a border city with mighty walls to protect against incursions by rivals such as Lavagna just across the Entella river, today it is unwalled and relaxed.  This part of Liguria has many slate quarries so a dark stone predominates, creating a comforting urban gravitas to complement the traditional warm Ligurian colors. Most of the beautiful streets have arcades supported on the street side by squat columns of diverse designs, and in the shadows of the arcades are specialty shops with elaborate old woodwork, bright pastry stores with mouth-watering window displays, and busy cafes with movie-set perfect patrons. On a recent Saturday morning the streets were filled with family after family shopping and doing errands, trailed by socializing pre-teens.

Mazzini speaks still on Piazza Mazzini in Chiavari, Liguria.
Mazzini speaks still in Chiavari, Liguria.
On the central Piazza Mazzini, the outdoor market was in full swing, as it is every morning. The huge assortment of colorful vegetables took up most of the space, but the cheese stands did their best to match the array, and the truck with roast meats added that great aroma to the market vibe.

The buildings around the piazza are a triumph of Ligurian variety. A bold gold building with dramatic window surrounds is next to a centuries old stained stucco building in need of attention, next to a vivid display of trompe l'oeil on a rose colored field..

On the west side is the white mass of the Palazzo di Giustizia. It's tempting to assume it's of ancient medieval origin, but it's from only 1886 in a style called Tuscan Gothic, which we presume is a disguised Italian slur.

A little further west towards the ocean is the Basilica cathedral of Nostra Signora dell'Orto. A very large church, it's not old by Italian measure but pretty interesting. It's origin is the 17th century, but it was refashioned in 1907. This influence provided an art nouveau feeling in the graceful golden embellishment inside.  In one chapel near the alter, there are works by Anton Maria Maragliano of Genoa, one of Liguria's most famous and original sculptors who worked wood in a style all his own.

Trompe l'oeil building facade on Piazza Mazzini in Chiavari, Liguria
Trompe l'oeil building facade on Piazza Mazzini in Chiavari, where the building diversity magically creates a unified city.

Osteria Luchin in Chiavari, Liguria.
Osteria Luchin in Chiavari, Liguria.
When the streets mysteriously become less busy, it means Italy is calling you to lunch. We once again chose a Chiavari institution with good food and an irresistible panache. Osteria Luchin was founded in 1907 and it's still going strong. It's popular because there's something for everyone, a really good variety, all at an affordable rate.  Passing through the doors will feel like passing back through time. It's busy and bustling with long tables used family style.

Menu Notes: many of the daily unique dishes are listed on chalk boards outside, and there's no information inside, so either have a look before you go in, or just wander back out and take your time.  Also. while they have an English language menu, it's not quite the same as the Italian menu, so if you can muddle through in Italian you'll have more choice.

The farinata oven is one of the reasons that Luchin is famous - the chickpea pancake is baked in very heavy pans so that the top gets brown and crispy while the bottom stays creamy and smooth.  We sat near the oven and could watch the whole thing - it's an art to balance the pan, shift it, keep the fire just right.  Lots of people got the farinata as an appetizer, it looked wonderful.

Italian City & Town Guidebooks Reviewed 2020 - Rome, Florence, Venice & More.

What are the Best Travel Guidebooks for Italian Cities & Towns? 

Which Guidebook is Better? Rick Steves, Lonely Planet, DK Eyewitness or Frommer? 

Old Italy Guidebook, The Spell of Southern Shores Caroline Atwater Mason, 1914.
1914 Ms. Mason began in Liguria and visited
Portofino: 'the quaintest fishing village under
the sky'.Cinque Terre was not yet famous.

Let's start off on the right foot: there are no best travel guidebooks. All have strengths and weaknesses, and all travelers have different approaches and needs. We have recently finished our independent review of almost all the popular Italy travel guidebooks. We give you our recommendation along with enough description help you decide if it fits your needs.

We cover everything you need in three articles:

⬥Guidebooks for Italian Cities & Towns (This Article)
⬩Rome ⬩Florence ⬩Venice ⬩Cinque Terre ⬩Naples

⬥Guidebooks for Italy (click)
⬩All of Italy ⬩Best of Italy ⬩Southern Italy
+ Italy Guidebook Series - The Publishers Reviewed
     ⬩Rick Steves ⬩Lonely Planet ⬩Rough Guides
     ⬩DK Eyewitness ⬩Fodor's ⬩Frommer

⬥Guidebooks for Italian Regions (click)
⬩Amalfi Coast ⬩Cinque Terre ⬩Italian Lakes ⬩Liguria, ⬩Puglia ⬩Sardinia ⬩Sicily ⬩Tuscany

Guidebooks for Italy's Regions Reviewed 2020 - Cinque Terre, Tuscany, Sicily & More.

What are the Best Travel Guidebooks for Italian Regions?

Which Guidebook is Better for Driving Through Tuscany or the Italian Lakes?  

Early Italy Guidebook 'The Spell of Southern Shores' 1914
1914 Ms. Mason began in Liguria and visited
Portofino: 'the quaintest fishing village under
the sky'.Cinque Terre was not yet famous.

Let's start off on the right foot: there are no best travel guidebooks. All have strengths and weaknesses, and all travelers have different approaches and needs. We have recently finished our independent review of almost all the popular Italy travel guidebooks. We give you our recommendation along with enough description help you decide if it fits your needs.

We cover everything you need in three articles:

⬥Guidebooks for Italian Regions (This Article)
⬩Amalfi Coast ⬩Cinque Terre ⬩Italian Lakes ⬩Liguria, ⬩Puglia ⬩Sardinia ⬩Sicily ⬩Tuscany

⬥Guidebooks for Italian Cities & Towns (click)
⬩Rome ⬩Florence ⬩Venice ⬩Cinque Terre ⬩Naples

⬥Guidebooks for Italy (click)
⬩All of Italy  ⬩Best of Italy   ⬩Southern Italy
+Publishers of Italy Guidebook Series Reviewed
⬩Rick Steves ⬩Lonely Planet ⬩Rough Guides
⬩DK Eyewitness ⬩Fodor's ⬩Frommer's

Best Italy Guidebooks 2020 Reviewed - Advice on Choosing & Planning.

What's the Top Italy Travel Guidebook for Rome, Florence & Venice? 

Which Is Recommended? Rick Steves Italy guidebook or Lonely Planet Italy guidebook? 

Early Italy Guidebook 'The Spell of Southern Shores' 1914
1914 Ms. Mason began in Liguria and visited
Portofino: 'the quaintest fishing village under
the sky'.Cinque Terre was not yet famous.
Let's start off on the right foot: there are no best travel guidebooks. All have strengths and weaknesses, and all travelers have different approaches and needs. We have recently completed our independent review of almost all the popular Italy travel guidebooks. We give you our recommendation along with enough description help you decide if it fits your needs.

We cover everything you need in three articles:

⬥Guidebooks for Italy (This Article)
⬩All of Italy  ⬩Best of Italy   ⬩Southern Italy
+Publishers of Italy Guidebook Series Reviewed
⬩Rick Steves ⬩Lonely Planet ⬩Rough Guides
⬩DK Eyewitness ⬩Fodor's ⬩Frommer's

⬥Guidebooks for Italian Cities & Towns (Click)
⬩Rome ⬩Florence ⬩Venice ⬩Cinque Terre ⬩Naples

⬥Guidebooks for Italian Regions (Click)
⬩Amalfi Coast ⬩Cinque Terre ⬩Italian Lakes ⬩Liguria, ⬩Puglia ⬩Sardinia ⬩Sicily ⬩Tuscany

▸Guidebooks in each category are in order of preference.▸All books have Paperback and Kindle editions.
▸ On Amazon UK the Kindle editions may be in the Kindle store.
▸See Who Are The Reviewers below to read about the criteria of the reviewers.

About our Links. We don't write for money, however, links to products and services we recommend often are Affiliate links where we receive a small commission from a purchase. Clicking on them doesn't affect the price offered.  As Amazon Associates we may earn such a commission on qualifying purchases via Amazon links.  See also About Us & Disclosures below and in the sidebar.

⬥Italy - Entire Country - The Best Guidebooks

No guidebook fully covers all of Italy. If you are traveling away from the major tourist centers, use the Amazon 'Look Inside' feature to see the Table of Contents or Index to make sure your areas is covered.
Early Italy Guidebook 'The Spell of Sicily' 1922
1922 Monroe had a special perspective on
Sicily. A Stanford-educated Professor of
Psychology, he wrote 5 books on Europe.

Italy Lonely Planet 2020 (Amazon US)  (Amazon UK) (Amazon UK Kindle)
Order or Pre-order the 2020 Edition now with the Links above.
US edition releases Feb. 1,  UK releases Feb. 14.
Color  1024 pages    27 oz.   Feb. 2020 (next edition Feb. 2022)
Approachable and fairly thorough with straight ahead writing. The comprehensive coverage of Italy's 20 regions has good clear maps interspersed in the articles and it includes more out of the way sights. The 2020 edition comes with a new feature - a map of Rome accommodations organized by neighborhood. The guide's index can be somewhat spotty.

Italy Rick Steves 2020  (Amazon US) (Amazon UK)
Mostly B/W     1244 pages      21 oz.     2020
Complete info on the frequently visited sites in Italy presented in an effective format. The writing imparts a feeling because the places are actually selected by RS himself. Includes excellent maps, suggested itineraries, good info on opening hours, fees, etc. They don't include many of the less traveled places.  No coverage on Sicily, Sardinia, or Puglia (Apulia).

Dining with Artusi - Where Italian Cookbooks Began.

Enjoy The Original Artusi Recipes from 'The Art of Eating Well'. 

Visit the Restaurant or Fabulous Festival Dedicated to Artusi in his Emilia-Romagna Hometown. 

The Founder of Italian Cooking with 'L'arte di Mangiar Bene' Becomes Real for Food Lovers.

In a country of epic heroes, grand empires, and daring military conquests one of my very favorite famous people is a mild mannered retired silk merchant who enjoyed eating the local dishes when he traveled around Italy in the 1800's.

Why is he of any note? Because he is Pellegrino Artusi - the author of  'Science in the Kitchen and the Art of Eating Well' (La Scienza in cucina e l'Arte di mangiar bene).  Today anyone with a word processor and access to the internet can be a culinary author - I'm guilty myself. But in Artusi's day it was a new concept, and although to the modern reader the recipes sometimes appear a bit vague (a pinch of salt, cook until done) they were marvels of precision in their day.

Not only that, he was so committed to his endeavor that when publishers rejected his book, he self-published the work. One of the best-selling non-fiction books in Italian history - in 1891.

And today in his hometown, there's a restaurant that offers dishes made from his original recipes, as well as a large festival dedicated to Pellegrino Artusi.

Pellegrino Artusi's 1846 Papal State passport from Pope Pius IX
Artusi's 1846 passport from Pope Pius IX was
required to travel the Italian peninsula even
from the Papal State to the Duchy of Tuscany!

Artusi oversaw the recipes, while his cook and butler, Marietta Sabatini and Francesco Ruffili, measured, recorded, tested, tasted, tweaked, and refined. Not only was the approach new, the timing for a national cuisine was perfect: Italy had been fully unified only in 1871, and 20 years later his book was on sale to the first truly Italian generation. Making Italy into a unified nation was a long process that continues to this day. To form a modern republic from the individualistic dominions that had occupied the Italian peninsula for centuries presented some serious assimilation issues.

Recognizing dishes from any region other than Tuscany as Italian was radically inclusive. Recipes from Piemonte, Liguria, Calabria, even Sardinia and Sicily were included in a book about Italian food! Artusi is widely recognized as one of the important cultural unifying forces in changing Italy from an area of fiefdoms and regions into a national entity. He wrote engagingly and fluently in the new “Italian” language, was elegant and polished and comprehensible, and he interspersed his recipes with anecdotes and reflections to make the book enjoyable reading.

Rocca Albornoziana  fortress of Forlimpopoli, Emilia-Romagna.
The Rocca Albornoziana  in the center of Forlimpopoli, Emilia-Romagna.
The 14th Century fortress is surrounded by the Artusi Festa each June.
Artusi was born in 1820, when the world was very different. His hometown, Forlimpopoli, was close to Bologna, and after a prosperous and comfortable childhood he spent a lot of time in Bologna, socializing with the students at the University and enjoying life. So far, so good, but in 1851 there was a famous bandit called “ Il Passatore”, The Smuggler, who terrorized the wealthy. The Smuggler came to Forlimpopoli with his band of thugs and raided the local theatre on the night of a popular play. He held the audience hostage until they paid up, then released them slowly, and his men attacked and raped some of the young women. Artusi's sister Gertrude was among the victims of the vicious attack, and never recovered; she was institutionalized for life. The times were violent, disorderly, dangerous, and it was no coincidence that the next year the family moved to Firenze.