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  • Nine Women in a Van! (part 1)

    May 31, 2016

    The Italian countryside with nine women in a van!  Nightmare or dream vacation?  Lucky for me, this tour turned out to be a dream vacation for me!  First, I found a comfortable, art filled, state of the art villa in a tiny village outside of Orvieto.  Villa Tripoli is located on beautiful acres of rolling hills with a private drive far from the road and other neighbors.  Except for the possibility of wild boar (just keep the gate closed when leaving, the owner prompted), privacy and an idyllic setting welcomed us. http://www.villatripoli.com

     

    A view from the garden

    A view from the garden

     

    This eclectic group of women, including a young Smith College student, thrown together for a week, were kind, considerate and accommodating with one another.  The tiny, winding roads in Italy can wreak havoc on stomachs and there were times when tummies in the way back of the van were churning, so measures were taken to move people around or get more air.  I heard no complaints and much appreciation for the daily activities I had planned.  We had some wonderful meals out and a couple of dinners at home after long days of exploring the area.  Simona of www.sagraincasa.com entertained us while feeding us a scrumptious meal made with things from her organic farm.  She paired the wines perfectly, too, as she is a sommelier as well as a chef!

     

    Dinner on the portico

    Dinner on the portico

     

    Dinner out at Locanda Rosatti http://www.locandarosati is always special.  Giampiero, the owner, invites not only outside guests to his table like our group, but also the people staying at the inn.  His chef, Nicola, is brilliant in the kitchen and Giampiero is the perfect host for this family style meal, making sure everyone feels welcomed and well fed!  The large plates of homemade pasta and local produce and meats just keep coming until we say “stop”!  Then, of course, there is the dessert, grappa and limoncello before we can leave for home.  It’s a true experience of Italian hospitality.

     

    Dinner with Giampiero

    Dinner with Giampiero

     

    We didn’t just eat and drink great wines on this trip.  There were many other experiences, too.  A trip to Deruta which will be featured in another blog; two very different wine tastings; shopping frenzies in Orvieto and beyond!  And did I mention Luigi, a local man who rents out cars and vans?  So, more to come as this was a very fulfilling travel adventure.

    Ciao,

    Cheryl

  • News!

    April 26, 2014

    Hello travelers!  It’s hard for me to believe but it’s almost May!  Time to plan for our next round of tours in the fall. If your life is anything thing like ours it is filled with many different interests and activities.  Yes, we love our travel and various tours but when home we have a ... Read more
  • Buongiorno! Ciao!

    April 1, 2014

    Greetings on this wonderful springtime morning!  What do you love most about this time of year?  For many, it is a peek at the budding of greenery through the snow, signaling an end to “endless winter”.  To others it is the chance to get back into the ocean as it warms up. For me it is ... Read more
  • Happy New Year, 2014!

    January 6, 2014

    2014 marks our 15th year of officially making two trips annually, with guests, to the central regions of Italy.  And we are still as excited about traveling there as the first time we experienced these very special places.  Along the way there have  been a few changes in the way we travel but we are ... Read more
  • End of Year Discount for 2014 Tours!

    November 23, 2013

    Well, here we are again, coming to another end of a year.  The holidays are upon us which brings to mind special gifts for loved ones to show our love and appreciation. To facilitate your gifting we are offering a discount of $250 on all of our 2014 tours, if you register with a deposit ... Read more
  • Wine & Food in Umbria

    October 16, 2013

    We spent a day with Gusto Umbrian Wine Tours (http://gustowinetours.com) and this was our first stop. It was a farm that produced not only Sagrantino wine (FANTASTIC!) but also raised its own pigs for salumi and prosciutto. Local cheeses were added as were home made biscuits and bread. This farm was considered a small wine ... Read more
  • Name Your Price Tour!

    September 6, 2013

    We are launching a new idea and you can be part of it!  Watch for an opportunity to offer the tour price you think is fair and we will consider it.  If you value the style of slow travel in a small group, visiting the Italian countryside, but you would like a guide rather than ... Read more
  • Just back from annual spring trip 2013!

    June 3, 2013

    May was a challenging weather month in Italy but we thoroughly enjoyed our month long visit there, this year. We tried a few new things this time, like a day out in the Lake Bracciano area with a horse and buggy ride ala our friend Jackie. Horse and carriage is actually considered a sport in ... Read more
  • Unknown spots we enjoy in Italy

    April 11, 2013

    Of course, we have shared some of our most loved places to explore in Italy, like Orvieto, Bagnoregio and Viterbo. However, fortunately for all of us, our list of small towns and villages that are quiet, un-touristed and interesting, just keeps growing. Here are a few of our favorites. Lujnano in Teverina, is set on ... Read more
  • My Italian Villa, Chapter Three

    January 24, 2013

    OK, six months passes and I return to Italy for vacation, tour leading and to finish the sale of a lovely piece of agricultural property in Bagnoregio.  If you recall, I had completed the first step in the process of the sale by paying a deposit of half the amount of the agreed upon price.  ... Read more
  • My Italian Villa, Chapter Five

    January 24, 2013

    It occurs to me that this tale may not be finished before the end of the year!  In fact, even if I choose to end it on this blog, there are still ongoing subtexts that I am working  on.  But then, since this is all taking place in Italy, it’s no surprise that the story ... Read more