Why travel slow?

I asked one of my clients why she and her husband chose my small group tour ‘Autumn Harvest: Grain & Grape’ that takes place from 16–29 September this year. I’d like to share with you their reasons which validate beautifully the values at the heart of the Slow Travel Tours group.

“We liked the fact that it is at a slower pace than other food tours offered. I like that we won’t be moving around at a breakneck pace. I hear of so many people traveling around the country trying to see everything. There just isn’t time for that. I’d rather absorb the culture. A slow tour is the way to accomplish that. Staying in just three places in two weeks will allow us to learn more about the area.”

Mount Amiata in the Val d'Orcia, Tuscany

First landscape for six days: the Val d’Orcia…


…and its architecture


Second landscape for three days: Garfagnana…

Barga duomo and town below

…and its architecture

Rice harvest in the Lomellina

Third landscape for four days: rice country in Lomellina…

Fried frogs in Lomellina

…and its surprising cuisine

“We both love wine, and to see where and how it’s produced piqued our interest in your tour.”

Harvesting grapes

From harvesting grapes in the vineyard…

How grapes are pressed .

…to pressing the grapes with the winemaker and his son…

New Pinot Noir in barrel

…to the new wine in its barrel in the cellar…

Wine tasting with winemaker

…to tasting the wine in the winemaker’s home.

“I love to cook, my favorite cuisine is Italian.  I’m excited to see how Italian cooks cook.  I get to cook in wood fired ovens, one of the high points for me!”

Kneading bread with Paolo

Learning to make bread with Paolo the baker…

Second breakfast at baker's bar

…with time to relax and enjoy a second breakfast while your bread rises…

Time for conversation

…and time to get to know your fellow travellers…

Taking bread from wood-fired oven

…and finally the pleasure of taking your loaf from the wood-fired oven.

“You go more in depth than other tours.”

Cutting cheese curd at Vitelina's

Making cheese is more interesting than watching

“My grandfather’s (o.k., step-grandfather) family was from Potenza by Naples.  I know we won’t be there; but I feel like Papa’s history is my history.”

Village dinner at Casabasciana

Living history at a village dinner

“We live in the corn belt, so I imagine this is specific to us, but I look forward to seeing the farmer who raises primitive maize.  I look forward to corn that hasn’t been genetically modified.”


Meeting a farmer who cultivates primitive 8-row corn using his own seed

“I also love history.  We get to go to a water mill with you, an archaeologist.  What a great learning experience!  Not to mention all the history throughout the country.”

 Water mill grinding 8-row corn

Visit to a three-century-old water mill that grinds 8-row corn

“The size of the tour really drew us to it.  We won’t be fighting with a large group of people when we’re cooking and we’ll get more personal attention all the time.”

Cooking lesson with Italian mamma

Personal attention during a cooking lesson

Thank you, Victoria. I couldn’t have said it better myself!

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.
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2 Responses to Why travel slow?

  1. Debra Kolkka says:

    I think it is wonderful that more and more people are interested in spending time to really see and enjoy life in these areas instead of just rushing through.

  2. Heather Jarman says:

    You’re so right. When they slow down, they discover how much more enjoyment they get from their travels.

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