Slow Travel Tours and the Bonding of Friendships
Watching Perfect Strangers Become Perfect Friends on a Slow Travel Tour
As this year’s tours come to an end, I find myself looking back at all the “Slow Travelers” that came to enjoy Italy and all this country has to offer through Village Vacations in Italy in Umbria and Tuscany. I’ve watched them forge friendships as they visited different villages.
They loved the gorgeous hand-painted plates by designer Domanzzini in Deruta. Yes, they all joined the clean plate club…not a tidbit left!
I’ve seen their faces in awe looking at the Duomo in Orvieto as the sunlight hit the façade and the frescoes inside.
The laughter and joy from stomping grapes during the Vendemmia, Lucille Ball Style, which is the only way to do it. They came in full costume ready to totally immerse themselves in the experience, and they had a “Ball”.
Cooking classes with Simona Fabrizio of Sagraincasa in Allerona. They loved the “Garden to Table” experience picking fresh vegetables and herbs from her garden then back in the kitchen to make fresh pasta, an incredible sauce, and tiramisu for dessert. Afterward, sitting on her veranda enjoying the fruits of their much-loved labor, they enjoyed the view of the Umbrian countryside and of course, the wine was flowing.
There was a lot of sipping and shopping! Many cappuccinos, Aperol Spritzs, Proseccos, and wine were drunk along the way depending on the time of day of course!
They bought cashmere sweaters, wraps and scarfs, handmade leather goods, handcrafted jewelry in Cortona from Del Brenna, hand-painted ceramic pottery from Tassi and Antica Fornace in Deruta, with its Etruscan Kiln that was found tearing down a wall, and of course, wine to ship home from local vineyards where they enjoyed wine tastings. They took a ferry ride over to Isola Maggiore from Passignano on Lago Trasimeno, they visited museums about the Etruscans and Roman Civilization in the surrounding areas. They visited the Basilica of St Frances and the church of St Clara in Assisi and were told the story of their devotion to God.
They took many pictures of all kinds of things. The scenery, doors, windows, flowers, food, churches, nuns, people, and of each other. Not letting a moment slip out of reach. They have their memories forever now and many have made promises to return soon.
Even with Covid lingering on, our tours survived without a hitch. Everyone was vaccinated and had their CDC cards ready to present whenever needed. We all had our assortment of different colored masks and by the end of the tour, I saw many wearing masks with the Italian flag and colors. Some were even “trading masks” like baseball cards!! I laughed so hard I was crying over this. I guess you had to be there, but you get the picture.
As this year ends, I am looking forward to next year and hope that you will join us on a true one-of-a-kind experience in Umbria and Tuscany. Where you are never alone unless you want to be. Where you will meet new friends and enjoy Slow Traveling, Unpack Once Tours.
Ci vediamo presto,
Nedra Marie Bottieri
|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.