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Saturday, 02 July 2011 09:53


I was in Milano recently and was very impressed with the city. It had been a number of years since I had last visited and I was pleasantly surprised.  There were a lot more trees than I remembered – large oaks lining the streets and many beautiful buildings in the city center.  The avenue for shopping  was very impressive. After travelling to the other major cities in Italy I was amazing in comparison at the size , the incredible design of the shopfronts and the spaciousness. Milan grows on you. It is not a charming city but a city of style – I would call Milano a designer woman as it is the city of haute couture in Italy. -  Be seen and be queen!!

Friday, 27 May 2011 19:13


Every day this week we have been featuring one of our Small Group Tours and Packages.

Our final tour for this week is one for our foodie clients - a CALABRIAN CULINARY TOUR.

Are you looking for a culinary tour with a difference? Have you already done Tuscany and Umbria? Now it's time to head South and join this 10-day tour to experience the wonderful cuisine and culture of Calabria. The tour includes cooking classes with a renowned chef, festivals, visits to local markets and producers, tours of cultural and historical sights.

Think red onions from Tropea, chilli peppers from Diamante, fresh anchovies, spicy sausage and citrons from the Riviera dei Cedri!

September departure.

See our Calabrian Culinary Tour for more information.

For information on our other cultural tours, visit our Cultural Tours in Italy page or click Tours and Packages in our main menu.

Thursday, 26 May 2011 18:02


Every day this week we are featuring one of our Small Group Tours and Packages.

Today's tour is for our time-constrained clients wanting to sample the best that Italy has to offer - an ITALIAN HIGHLIGHTS TOUR.

Traversing the country from Rome to Venice, this small-group 16 night tour takes you to some of Italy's most beautiful destinations.

You will be picked up at Rome airport (there is also a 3-night pre tour Rome option) and taken to Arezzo in Tuscany for the first 2 nights of the tour, then you will head to medieval Umbria, renaissance Florence, the walled-city of Lucca, the beautiful villages of the Cinque Terre and Portofino, the gastronomic towns of Emilia-Romagna, and then on to Venice for your final evenings.

Festivals, concerts, art, history, food and wine, culture - this tour has it all. It's perfect for first-time visitors to Italy or people wishing to join a small group tour (perhaps you are traveling alone to Italy?).

September departure.

Whilst the itinerary is full, a few key destinations are used as a base - you are not changing hotels every night.

See our Italian Highlights Tour for more information.

For information on our other cultural tours, visit our Cultural Tours in Italy page or click Tours and Packages in our main menu.

Thursday, 12 May 2011 15:25

On Learning to Speak Italian

I took the train up to Florence for the weekend to meet one of my good Australian friends, who had just arrived in Italy for the first time. It was wonderful to speak English again and so great to laugh and joke in our way with our sayings where we only have to look at one another and both get the joke! When learning and speaking another language, it is really hard to express your humour as you never quite get the words right and it does not sound funny to the natives so I am often laughing to myself and I cannot share it as humour needs precise words to be comical and if you are not a native this is quite difficult....



Hang your heads in shame!  

I have travelled in many third world countries and I never have seen anything like this.  The wind last night blew the meters high mountains of rubbish out of their piles on the street corners and all over the countryside and streets. Everywhere is covered with stinking, composting litter. 

I feel so sorry for the lovely people down here. They need to stage a revolution like Egypt and get rid of their dictator Berlusconi. You have taken away the people’s pride, no jobs for their young and now their city is piled high with rubbish. What respect you have for your people? What love do you have for your people?  
All I can say - is hang your heads in shame.  Absolutely.... Absolutely disgusting. I have no more words to describe it. I am in shock.

Wednesday, 04 May 2011 23:01

Food Simple and Pure in Italy

The sea is incredibly beautiful today. What I love about the spring in Italy is that the air is so soft – dolce. What I love about living in small villages anywhere in the world is that people have time to talk. Italians particularly love to talk, in fact you cannot shut them up!   Sometimes when Pepe (my local fruit man) and I are having conversation for example about the local dialects in Pozzuoli, he has the amazing ability to bring everyone else into the conversation.  Soon everyone has joined and announced their opinion on the subject!!.......

Saturday, 30 April 2011 16:47

Motorbiking on Amalfi Coast Italy

In fabulous Positano, Amalfi Coast, a village built on the edge of the mountain leading down to the sea. Here there are a thousand steps to go anywhere and views to die for. It is an amazing little place and I think everyone should go to the Amalfi coast at least once in their lifetime. The smallness of the towns here adds to the community feeling. Everyone is packed in together squashed between the mountain and the sea. I tell you to stay here in the summer would be one of the most fabulous weeks that you could ever have. It has it all- Views, mountains, sea beaches, great food, great walks.....I would love to bring my family here in the summer for the month.

I went riding on a motorbike with the lovely Rosella from Amalfi town who was showing me the some more fabulous apartments for Passion for Italy. An experience which was simply - one of the most fabulous I have ever had!!

Monday, 25 April 2011 20:52


In Italy never expect to get to an appointment on time. It is the unexpected chaos that ensures that Italians are always late. The other side of the coin is that they put themselves first which is both a good thing and bad. Good for their life but bad for services.  If it is coffee time and you have lined up in a queue at the bank..... Down comes the sportello – window and the bank man goes off to have morning tea leaving you standing there for another half an hour.   "Please can you serve me first before you go"!!  With a wave of the hand off he goes and you have to decide to wait or come back another day.  Never go into a bank close to closing time or lunch time. As they say here – buonanotte!!......
Monday, 25 April 2011 20:35


Easter here is only a one day holiday on Easter Monday, which is unusual really being such a big Catholic country. However they make the most of the ceremonies playing the masses and processions over the loud speakers. Holy Thursday (Giovedi Santo) there was a mass where everyone donated a pot of wheat to fill the church to ensure a good harvest for the following year.

Thursday, 21 April 2011 15:58


I always encourage my clients travelling in Italy to eat at the local restaurants where there are lots of local Italians and no tourists. However this means venturing into waters unknown where there could be a few surprises. There might be a waiter who can speak English and translate for you but it is a bit scary I must say when you do not recognize anything written on the menu. Lurking in that nice tranquil water might be a shark!! (By the way an Italian told me only today that the only sharks in Italy are the men and yes this is true too!!)......

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