The Smart Traveler

August 05, 2007

GADGETS: Foreign phone calls

The new National Geographic Talk Abroad Travel Phone lets users receive incoming phone calls without charge in 65 countries, including all of Europe. Rates begin at 90 cents a minute for outgoing calls in Europe, according to Cellular Abroad, the company that is distributing and servicing the phone. The phone, which has the National Geographic name and logo on it, works on a pre paid plan, so users do not have to sign a contract. It can be rented starting at $49 a week and purchased for $199.

THE NEW YORK TIMES

ITALY: Past meets present

Tourists can now buy tickets to the Colosseum on the Intern et and avoid long queues at the ancient Roman arena recently named one of the new Seven Wonders of the World. The online booking system allows visitors to pick a spot on a guided tour in their preferred language, giving them access to the first-cen tury arena and its temporary exhibitions, as well as the nearby Palatine Hill. The $17 tickets must be collected at a Colosseum counter dedicated to Internet bookings, said Manuela Collelli of the Pierreci company, which operates the box office for the monument. Soon, the Web site will let tourists print the tick ets, allowing them to go straight to the entrance, she said. Bookings can be made at pierreci.it or ticketclic.it.

ASSOCIATED PRESS

10 FOR THE ROAD: Dangerous rural roads

Rural roads can be as lethal as they are lovely. The states with the highest proportion of total traffic fatalities on rural roads, from a University of Minnesota study: 1. Maine (92 percent) 2. North Dakota (90 percent) 3. South Dakota (89 percent) 4. Iowa (88 percent) (tie) Vermont (88 percent) 6. Montana (86 percent) 7. Wyoming (84 percent) 8. South Carolina (83 percent) 9. Mississippi (82 percent) 10. Arkansas (81 percent)

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