Reflecting on Slow

With the new year just two days away, we are just coming off the Christmas season, where we send Christmas greetings to all those who have traveled with us over the years. It prompts responses from many of our travelers. One in particular stood out this year.

In 2010 Mamta Mangaldas and her father traveled with us, taking a painting workshop – two delightful people. Because they are from India they lent an even more international aspect to this particular trip to Italy. (France and Canada were also represented in this group.)

Mamta’s 2010 group’s first day painting

Mamta had been in touch with us earlier this year as she was needing information from us for an article she was writing for National Geographic Traveler Magazine – the India version. So it was with great delight that we received, in response to our Christmas greeting, a copy of the article she had written, published in the November 2012 issue. The article was full of her beautiful paintings from the trip, but it was the following few sentences near the end of the article that struck home:

“My sketching trip to Orvieto changed the way I travel. I decided that less is more and that slow is better. Now, I carry my sketch-book and paints everywhere. It gives me an excuse to stop rushing, sit down and stare. Once I have drawn an object or a scene—I have really seen it and it is embedded forever in my mind. It does not matter how artless the sketch is. I have learnt that the value is in the process of sketching not in the end result. The journey is even more important than the destination.”

Drawing in Orvieto

There is no question in my mind that traveling slow has many benefits. But it is always nice to hear from those who travel with us of its impact, and to know that introducing them to slow travel has changed how they travel. And so we look forward to our 11th year of leading slow trips to Italy, with high hopes of it being as beneficial to this year’s particpants as it was to Mamta.


Kristi and Bill Steiner began leading “learning vacations” to Orvieto, Italy in 2003. Through Adventures in Italy they provide a cultural immersion experience. Many trips include the pursuit of some kind of creative work that complements and reinforces exploration of Italy’s culture. Relationships built over the years enable Kristi and Bill to provide experiences that a typical visitor to Orvieto never gets.

Trips are held in May and September/October every year. Their Discover Orvieto and Taste of Orvieto trips are available to groups any time of the year.

Learn more about Kristi and Bill’s trips. Stay abreast of Adventures in Italy developments, and follow Bill’s musings about travel and Italy on his blog Make Haste Slowly. View Bill’s photos of Italy, Orvieto, and other memorable places at, and follow him on Instagram.

Slow Travel Tours is an affiliation of small-group tour operators who offer personalized trips in Italy, France and other European countries.

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