Tuscan Adventures begins in only two weeks. Our tour takes us to Florence and then onto small villages in western and southern Tuscany. Scenes of grape orchards, vintners, olive oil producers, and historical architecture await us. Our common thread is the love of culture and its people. Looking ahead there are new vistas to share. Another location will be added to the lineup for 2014. After my research trip in November, you will read about Puglia, the region that occupies the heel of Italy. It is the land of Greeks and Federico II who came close to unifying Italy in the 1200's. Just think we could be speaking Sicilian Italian instead of Tuscan Italian had he succeeded. This territory is dotted with numerous castles built by Federico and his family. In addition the Romanesque architecture prevails and is complemented by a Baroque style all its own. Churches are intact and unchanged since the 1100's. Look for more details in upcoming Bollettino's.
The Grand Tour continues to be the “go to” tour for first time visitors to Italy. We visit the three art centers of Rome, Florence and Venice. Yes, we do the “must see” attractions. In addition, Gina’s Italy adds a special flare with unique visits to artisan laboratories, behind the scene looks at frescoes, and an opportunity to see artwork in their original placement. With only 8 participants each tour takes on the personality of each traveler. Everyone receives personal attention from Gina from the day he or she signs on for the tour. With Gina present and involved each traveler enjoys full days of direction and attention. We begin April 22nd in Rome and complete our travels on May 2nd in Venice.
Tours are planned through 2014. We have the Grand Tour in April. The Circle of Friends in mid-May follows an itinerary from Florence to a medieval festival in western Tuscany to a vintner’s B&B in the region of Lazio to an exciting finish in Rome, the Eternal City. Always designed for 8 participants, the tours come alive with traveler input and excitement. Puglia offers two itineraries in September and October. More details will be coming at our next Bollettino. Puglia has a long lasting Greek influence and glorious architecture seen in castles and churches plus the enigmatic Trulli (conical shaped roofs). If you are curious, this ancient land awaits your visit. Tuscan Adventures is on the calendar for October 13, 2014. Fall is the perfect time for autumn colors. The oranges and yellows are vibrant as the grapevines become laden with grapes ready for harvest. Hearty soups appear on menus all through Tuscany. It is the season of grape festivals and newly baked breads filled with sweet grapes. It is a photographer’s delight. Waiting lists are available for all tours. Sign up early and save your space.
Turnaround time for orders will be tight this fall. Give it some thought and think of gift giving throughout the year. What better gift keeps giving than an exceptional organic oil made of hand-picked olives pressed and delivered within four hours of harvest. Very few oil producers can make this claim. The proof is in the tasting. Since orders are made once a year, plan ahead. Orders include the gift size of 250ml, a 500ml bottle, the money saving liter(1000ml) bottle and super saving sizes of three and five liter tins. Hopefully Euro exchange will remain predictable through the end of the year. If so, we will continue to keep our pricing the same as the past five years. I will send out a Bullet Bollettino the first week of November. The November announcement will be the only reminder for this year’s order. Talk to friends and family and combine orders for better deals.
Social media grows and more activity moves in that direction. Gina’s Italy has a FaceBook page https://www.facebook.com/ginasitaly. If you have not “Liked” my page, I invite you to do so. I will be posting photos from the Tuscany trip that begins soon. It would be great to share the experiences with you.
In addition Gina’s Italy has an insert on Yelp. Through this site former travelers can post comments on past experiences. I welcome additions and stories. Also I invite you to read comments and find out what people are saying. http://www.yelp.com/biz/ginas-italy-bend
When traveling abroad vendors or hoteliers offer to charge a credit card in US Dollars rather than in Euro. Be aware. When the vendor charges in US Dollars the amount charged automatically increases the charge by 3%. Anyone in possession of a zero charge card for foreign transactions will forgo the perk and pay the 3%. At this writing one Euro costs 1.35 dollars.
I have enjoyed sharing updates and news on Gina’s Italy with you. Thank you for your attention. If you are considering travel to Italy in the near future, I hope you contact Gina’s Italy and plan a memorable experience. Gina’s Italy specializes in small group travel. Plan a unique trip with family and friends. Contact Gina for a personalized and customized tour all your own. For independent travelers I do offer consult services. For a small fee you can take advantage of my years of experience and research to plan your special trip.
Until the Bollettino in November I wish you Buone Cose (take care),
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