There are so many things I’m missing in Italy and can’t wait to get back to.
Most importantly,I miss my family and the wonderful friends I have made.
I miss cappuccino running through my body in the morning… it’s just not the same here in the states because I don’t have the ambiance of sitting in the neighborhood café and seeing everyone coming and going, getting ready for the day.
I miss the numerous ciaos and kisses on both cheeks.
I miss seeing the women of my village carrying their market bags to collect what they will make for lunch and or dinner at our local market. This is a daily ritual as we Italian’s love fresh ingredients.
I miss strolling through the streets in villages and the outdoor markets. I LOVE outdoor markets. So much to choose from… fresh veggies, kitchen items, plants, flowers, summer dresses, and tops, you name it and they have it. The men are always in their “area” waiting together, chatting, and solving all the problems of the world while their wives shop.
I miss taking long rides on the country roads of Umbria and Tuscany and stopping at my favorite cheese shop on the way to Pienza for fresh Pecorino or my favorite antique yard or Mercato Usato, used market, in search of something I must have for my house. Oh, how I miss my house! Even though I am trying to be a minimalist I love the hunt. I’m sure many of you can relate to this. Oh, the hunt!
A Light at the End of the Tunnel
Things are changing in Italy, just as they are here in the States, and soon we will be back in Italy. Italy has her arms open wide waiting for us. The rules are being relaxed and Italians can travel to other regions within their own color code. Families and friends are being reunited. Cafés and restaurants are offering outdoor seating.
Slowly, things are returning to normal, and airlines are offering “Covid Free Flights” which means you must be tested and have a negative result before and after your flight. Check your airline for full details and information. The rules are changing daily!
What I Love About My Tours
I love seeing the look on your faces when you arrive at your accommodation, whether it’s a villa, a house, or an apartment. I let you settle in “nest and nap” before we meet for an Aperitivo before your dinner. The next day we head off with your private driver, who will take you to a different village or town each day.
A vineyard tour is a top priority and such a treat as you learn about the vineyard’s heritage and history. The tour is followed by a wine tasting with bruschetta and cheese among the hills of Umbria. You can even enjoy an electric bicycle tour through the vineyard if your heart desires.
Another day we might head up to Tuscany for a very relaxing day where you will literally feel your body melt into the warm thermal mineral baths. Yes, you have gone to heaven with fantastic views of the Tuscany countryside! Treat yourself to a massage, facial, or whatever is on the menu of treatments.
The next day we head over to Deruta where ceramic pottery is made. You will see the process from beginning to end. Make sure you save room in your luggage for your newly found treasures and souvenirs with vibrant colors.
Come the last two weeks of September and turn into Lucille Ball as you “Stomp Grapes” with your feet! There is a prerequisite for this activity… you MUST wear an outfit to go with the theme of looking just like “Lucy.” Yes, you will laugh so much your face will hurt the next day. After all this fun we head over to Panicle where we will walk into a restaurant in full costume. The locals get such a kick out of this spectacle and celebration of the Vendemia, the grape harvest.
If fall is your favorite time of year you can join in the Olive Harvest one day. We will pick for a few hours, have a bountiful lunch with the locals and then proceed to the pressing plant in Frantoio, where we’ll watch as the olives get processed into liquid gold. Your taste buds will be dancing with joy as they experience the flavor of extra-extra virgin olive oil right off the press on toasted bruschetta slathered with fresh oil. I’m drooling just thinking about it! Olive Harvest takes place around the last two weeks of October and into November.
Take a cooking class with my favorite chef where you will learn the secrets of Italian cooking– which, by the way, are very simple. Afterward, you will dine on a terrace with a fantastic view, eating everything you prepared with glasses of wine flowing. This is so enjoyable and another unforgettable experience.
There is so much to see and do and my goal is for you to truly have the time of your life in my area in Italy. Your tour will take you on the “Roads Less Traveled” to mingle with the locals as much as possible and really experience what it is like to live like a local. This makes my heart sing with pride and joy as I show you Italian culture, food, wine, and much more. Come spend a week or two with Village Vacations in Italy and I guarantee you a vacation where you will make wonderful unforgettable memories and want to return for more.
|Former flight attendant Nedra Bottieri made a life-changing trip to Italy twenty years ago to re-discover her family heritage. Now with dual citizenship, she has a second home in Umbria. |
Through her company, Village Vacations in Italy, she organizes and hosts small group tours based in small villages in Umbria and Tuscany, normally customized tours for private groups. Groups have included yoga workshops, writing workshops, and groups of family and friends. Nedra draws on her extensive experience and relationships to plan special accommodations and activities to meet each group’s needs and dreams. Experience “La Dolce Vita” in Italy!
To learn more about her tours, see www.villagevacationsinitaly.com
Slow Travel Tours is an affiliation of small-group tour operators who offer personalized trips in Italy, France and other European countries.