THE ULTIMATE ITALIAN PAIRING: A COMBINATION ROMAN HOLIDAY AND ANCIENT TUSCAN EXPERIENCE
-Tuscany’s Terme di Saturnia Spa & Golf Resort and Rome’s Hotel Majestic partner to offer a value-added package celebrating the age-old “Via Clodia” passage connecting Rome and the Tuscan Maremma-
SATURNIA, ITALY –Maybe the ancient Romans had it right all along? Dating back to the Etruscan period, ancient Romans took in the abundance of riches of the “Eternal City” and then traveled just north of the city to find true peacefulness in the greener pastures of Tuscany along the ancient passage of “Via Clodia,” a path connecting Rome and the Tuscan Maremma town of Saturnia. For the first time, two of the Italy’s leading hotels, Tuscany’s Terme di Saturnia Spa & Golf Resort and Rome’s Hotel Majestic invite modern travelers to follow in the ancient Roman’s holiday with the unique “Via Clodia” package, which offers a 15 percent savings off standard rates. The offer invites travelers to experience the history, excitement and culture of Rome without missing the beauty, ancient ruins and world-renowned thermal spas of the Tuscan Maremma. Available during one of year’s most pleasurable periods, offering mild temperatures, small crowds and affordable airfare, the four-night package is valid August26-December 26, 2012 and rates start at €554 per room, per night. Additional nights can be added to either property. To book, visit www.termedisaturnia.com or +39 0564 600111.
E - The Environmental Magazine
Dear EarthTalk: I imagine you’ve been down this road before, but what’s hot in the green-friendly sunscreen department nowadays? -- Elaine Mayer, Ocean City, MD
Most of us assume that all we need do to prevent sunburns and skin cancer from exposure to the sun is to slather on any of the widely available sunscreens on the market today. But the non-profit Environmental Working Group (EWG) points out that this may not be the case, and that consumers should be careful about which sunscreens they trust for themselves and, even more important, for their kids.
According to EWG, some researchers have detected an increased risk of melanoma skin cancer among sunscreen users. “No one knows the cause, but scientists speculate that sunscreen users stay out in the sun longer and absorb more radiation overall,” reports EWG. Scientists also suspect, says EWG, that free radicals, which get released as sunscreen chemicals break down in sunlight, may be playing a role.
Most sunscreens screen out some of the ultraviolet B (UVB) rays from the sun that lead to visible sun burns, but many do not protect against the potentially more damaging ultraviolet A (UVA) rays that penetrate deeper into the skin and may facilitate the development of skin cancer later on, regardless of how high a Sunburn Protection Factor (SPF) the sunscreen may have. Also, EWG warns that many common sunscreen ingredients generate free radicals that can damage the body’s DNA and skin cells, accelerating skin aging and potentially causing skin cancer in the process.
But just because some sunscreens can’t be trusted and overexposure to the sun is unhealthy doesn’t mean staying indoors all the time is a viable solution. Getting some sun is good for you, as the body converts it to Vitamin D, an essential nutrient that facilitates good health and prevents a wide range of diseases.
So what’s a sun lover to do? The International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) recommends wearing protective clothing, seeking shade, and timing outdoor play to avoid peak sun. IARC adds that sunscreen still has a place in our lives to augment these other sun exposure minimization tactics.
But which sunscreens do live up to EWG’s stringent standards? The major choice is between chemical sunscreens that break down quickly, penetrate deep into the skin and may disrupt the body’s hormone system, and mineral varieties that can contain potentially irritating and damaging nano-scale particles.
According to EWG, mineral sunscreens are the better choice, as they protect against both UVB and UVA rays, remain effective longer and don’t contain as many dangerous substances. Some leading mineral-based options come from Alba Botanica, Beyond Coastal, ECO Logical Skin Care, Karen’s Botanicals, Kiss My Face, Poofy Organics and Solar Sense, among others.
For those who don’t like mineral based sunscreens, which can be chalky and leave a white film until washed off, EWG recommends sunscreens with avobenzone (three percent for the best UVA protection) and without the notorious hormone disrupter oxybenzone. Some leading non-mineral choices are available from manufacturers including Bull Frog, Ocean Potion, Sunbow and Vichy.
CONTACTS: EWG’s Sunscreens 2012, breakingnews.ewg.org/2012sunscreen/; IARC, www.iarc.fr.