We members of Slow Travel Tours always hope to have an impact on our guests. We want them to enjoy themselves, but we also hope they’ll learn something new. It might be a deeper appreciation of a different way of life, maybe through coming into closer contact with the warm and welcoming people we introduce them to.
Perhaps it will be a sense of the depth of history and how it’s entwined in modern life.
Or the special qualities of the landscape and light of the place.
My tours focus on food. In Italy probably the most important activity in people’s lives is cooking and enjoying a meal with family and friends.
My guests come to understand this through visits to family farms and tiny producers.
Shopping at farmers’ markets and small groceries is more a social interaction than a financial one.
We share meals with families in their homes. Sometimes these experiences are life-changing, like what happened to Janet after coming on my Tastes & Textiles tour in September.
“You have ruined me!!! When I came home there was nothing in the house except some frozen dinners. Thinking to stay with the Italian I chose a chicken fettuccine. The company is a reputable company. I took three bites and decided that it was not suitable for human consumption!!
“My neighbor buys inexpensive tortillas. Last night he asked why I wasn’t eating them. I told him that if I was going to spend money on something I was going to put in my body, it was going to be good quality and taste good! Today I bought handmade tortillas!!
“This is just the tip of the iceberg as far as my food stories go. I provided breakfast and lunch for 13 women for four days—all fresh and much from the Italian deli. They asked if I cooked gourmet meals all the time?!
“I wasn’t going back to food as usual. Today I am making my first batch of homemade yogurt. I bought Carol [another guest on the tour] an espresso machine for Christmas.
“The company I used to travel with my students has a slogan: “Travel Changes Lives!” Boy is that ever true!! And thank you for that!!”
Who knows how your life might change when you travel slow.
Erica Jarman invites you on inspiring culinary tours of life behind the scenes that you won't find in any guidebook — get to know the food artisans and craftspeople of Tuscany, Emilia-Romagna, Piedmont and Liguria. Come join me and my Italian friends and dip into a lifestyle where lunch is more important than business. Find out more at Sapori e Saperi Adventures and follow Erica’s own adventures on her blog.
Slow Travel Tours is an affiliation of small-group tour operators who offer personalized trips in Italy, France and other European countries.