Archive for Italy
If you are reading this, you probably haven’t tied the knot yet or you have very recently gotten married. You are still in seventh heaven and are probably still euphoric. We congratulate you on finding the right person to spend the rest of your life with. Still, if you want to make your honeymoon trip to Italy extra special and extra memorable, you need to be very clear as to what you want.
The worst thing you can do is to plan your trip using standard commercial Italian travel tour packages. If you do this, you pretty much drain a lot of the romantic potential of your trip. Sure, Italy is historically known as a great romantic destination. After all, this is the same country where both the sleepy, hauntingly romantic canals and gondolas of Venice and the tragic star-crossed scene of Romeo and Juliet, Verona, are located. But if you were to merely use typical travel tour package itineraries, you miss out on layering on a extra level of mystery, romance, and delight to your trip. Keep the following tips in mind when planning your Italian honeymoon.
Explore off-the-beaten track destinations
Sure, just the mere selection of Italy as your honeymoon destination is enough to guarantee at least some truly romantic and memorable moments on your special trip. But given the fact that most people want to only go to one honeymoon trip in their lives, notwithstanding golden anniversary honeymoon trips, do you really want your honeymoon trip to consist of hitting the same trails and destinations as any other packaged Italy vacation tour? By going to off-the-beaten-track destinations, you avoid the maddening crowd and ‘tourist’ feel of many standard commercial travel packages to Italy. With specialized cherry-picked honeymoon destinations, you are sure to savor the quaint, intimate, ‘just for us’ feel many of Italy’s less-publicized towns and travel destinations offer. You want your travel destination to lend as much romantic ambiance to your trip as possible. Sadly, getting on and off a bus trudging with vacation tour groups waving plastic flags and sporting a sticker on your chest probably rubs some of the romantic firepower of your special trip off.
Plan your itinerary around your personalities
You may be into art. Your partner might be into the sampling and exploring the distinctly Italian mystique of wine. You both might be into spicy seafood dishes. Whatever your particular personality combination and personal tastes, planning your itinerary around your personalities goes a long way in creating a trip that is truly personal and truly memorable. Instead of you spending your precious time around the schedule and economics-based selections of your travel tour company, your own special travel itinerary delivers Italy’s charms, with all its history, mystery, glamor, and culinary firepower, on your own terms.
Select travel destinations based on romantic possibilities
From Romeo and Juliet’s Verona to the misty romantic air of Venice’s grand canals, Italy packs more than its fair share of romantic ambiance. In fact, many parts of the country seem like they came out of a romance novel. That’s how in tune some of Italy’s travel destinations are with romantic moods. Sit down with your travel agent and go through the long list of Italy’s famous romantic spots and cross reference them with the considerations raised above.
CHIANTI COOKING & TUSCANY SPA RETREAT 25 Sep 2008
October 5 – 12, 2008, Women-only Tour to Tuscany! Jan Acorn, owner of Gateway Destinations, had the pleasure of leading a small group of ladies into the heart of Tuscany, Italy for eight days in October. We began with a guided walking tour of Florence, a delicious welcome dinner at a local trattoria to get to know each other, and spent the next morning exploring on our own before venturing into the countryside for the rest of the week. Our countryside adventure began in the Chianti region during the bustling grape harvest season and included cooking classes, wine tasting, an introduction to olive oil, market visit, tour of Meleto Castle and much more! Our journey continued further south where we shopped and explored Siena and numerous charming villages, picked chestnuts and wild porcini mushrooms, enjoyed lunch in an authentic country kitchen, and picnicked in picturesque Pienza – all while residing at a luxurious thermal spa resort. Read more about some of the highlights of this women’s journey.
Two delicious evenings were spent in authentic country kitchens as our guests learned to cook treasured Italian family recipes with the Tuscan Mamas. Located in the heart of Tuscany, this cooking school resides in the beautiful forested hills of the Chianti region. From stuffed zucchini flowers, risotto with local fresh mushrooms, to gelato with fresh citrus and limoncello liqueur to name some of the dishes, our dinners were heavenly and fun to prepare. Join us in 2009 as we return for more cooking in this beautiful region of Italy!
Thermal Spa Indulgence in Italy
Our 8-day escorted women’s tour to Italy in October was rounded out by spending several relaxing days at Adler Thermae, a beautiful 5-star natural thermal spa resort in southern Tuscany. Overlooking an expansive valley filled with Cyprus trees, vineyards and olive orchards and located on a picturesque hillside in the tiny village of Bagno Vignoni, this resort has it all. It is blessed with non-odorous thermal water and unbelievable views. The rooms are spacious, well-appointed and all have views of the outdoor pools and valley below. The food and service are great, and the spa includes an array of fitness classes, exercise equipment and a wide variety of spa treatments. There are even bicycles available to tour the countryside.
Local Life in Tuscany’s Val d’Orcia
Aah…the simple pleasures of life lived as a local under the Tuscan sun! Our guide introduced our small group of ladies to authentic country life in this region. We started the morning by picking and sorting chestnuts as well as harvesting wild porcini mushrooms (a rare find), then visited the home of his mother in Castledelpiano. We enjoyed homemade polenta made with chestnut flour, our fresh mushrooms and other tasty regional food, while enjoying young wine made by his brother that morning. All in all, a perfect expression of la dolce vita!