Our goal is to visit Italy to watch the Serie A in action

My brother and I would like to travel to Italy, and while there would like to attend a football match. Are there any British operators doing weekend tours, and what kind of price can we expect?

Ian Solari


The Travel Editor replies: Liaisons Abroad (tel: 0171-376 4020) can arrange football breaks to a number of destinations in Italy. They are also the appointed sales office for the San Siro Stadium (the main stadium for and home of both Milan and Internazionale). As next season's football programme and hotel rates will not be decided until the end of August, they cannot yet provide exact prices. However, a three-night break in a three-star hotel in the centre of Milan, with breakfast, transfers and two tickets to a premier league game would be around pounds 420 for two people. Flights are not included but you can fly return to Milan with Alitalia (tel: 0171-602 7111) from pounds 119 plus pounds 20 tax.

Italiatour (tel: 0171-605 7500) has holidays to Rome, Milan and Turin. As with the above example, this year's prices are not yet finalised but a two-night break in a three-star hotel in Rome with breakfast, return flights and a match ticket would be around pounds 390 per person.

Filter out the good water purifiers from the bad ones

How effective are water purifiers? Are there any tried and tested brands that come out better than others? And can they be used on any type of water from tap to lake, regardless of country?

James Mooney


Dr Larry Goodyer replies: There are a number of portable water filters, available mostly through camping and travel shops. The price ranges from about pounds 20 to more than pounds 100, so you want to choose your system carefully. Go to a shop that has a good range and can offer expert assistance.

It is important to choose those that deal with giardia and viruses as well as bacteria. How much water can they purify before the cartridge needs replacing? How quickly can they filter water? Some can take ages just to produce a single cup; others require energetic pumping. Can they deal with dirty water? If you take muddy water out of a stream some filters will clog fairly quickly. On these points the PreMac purifiers come out the most reliable. In practice, however, it is not really acceptable to take out and use such a device to purify a jug of water offered in a restaurant.

The best way to treat water is to boil it for five minutes. Most people rely on bottled water and other drinks, chemical water purifying tablets being reserved for occasional use. Filters do not impart a taste to the water, although it helps to add neutralising tablets.

Dr Larry Goodyer is a lecturer in clinical pharmacy at King's College, London. Contact the Nomad Travel Health Helpline (tel: 0891 633 414; calls cost 60p per minute).


Last week the surname of the writer of the article "Trapped in a truck in Africa" (page 7) was incorrectly spelt. The correct spelling should have been Caroline Sylge. We apologise for the error.