The Magic of Learning in Orvieto

Posted by Bill Steiner – Adventures in Italy

Ode is an alternative magazine that we enjoy. Their  August, 2009 issue is all about laughter. There is lots of good information in it, but there was one thing that struck me since it relates to our Adventures in Italy trips, and, I think, to any of the Slow Travel Tour group’s trips.

We do two kinds of trips. One is strictly cultural exploration: food, wine, coffee, customs, olive oil, Orvieto history, etc. The other trips are what we call creative exploration. With the latter, we engage top notch teachers, usually in some kind of creative endeavor. Regardless of which is chosen, culture (which we do on all the trips) or creative exploration, there is a learning element that is part of each trip.

So what struck me about this issue of Ode was an article on laughter and it’s impact on learning.

Having fun learning

In it the author, Jos Houben of the Jacques Lecoq International Theater School in Paris, describes the times when people learn quickly and easily. He says, “Without exception, people said they were on holiday, in love or otherwise having a great time. In other words they were doing something that made them smile. This is why children learn so quickly. They engage with the world through curiosity and play. They learn to walk and talk without having to take an exam.”

Well, this sounds a lot like our trips! People traveling with us:

  • Are on vacation – or holiday, as others in the world say
  • Are having a great time
  • Are with us because they are curious
  • Are truly playing
  • Don’t have to take exams!!!

So while we can argue that our trips are a great holiday and fun, we can also say that people traveling with us learn more quickly and easily. In fact, the learning is fun and not a chore. Isn’t that how it should be?

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Kristi and Bill Steiner

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 Girlfriend Getaway 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.

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