♦ More Bordeaux…Merci, Uniworld ♦

♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦

OOOOlala!!

 Magnifique! Fantastique! Merveilleux! Délicieux!

The past weeks have been …practically indescribable! Starting with a visit to Sauternes…

Visiting biodynamic Chateau Guiraud for an informative tasting, then on to Chateau Royal de Cazeneuve where we are greeted by Queen Margot and Henri IV and treated to an exquisite lunch paired with Sauternes…

Chateau Guiraud

Chateau Royal de Cazeneuve

Sauternes wine pairing lunch

On to The port of Paulliac and the land of Medoc where we visit Le Chateau Du Tertre and learn about Merlot and Cabernet Sauvignon…

Le Chateau Du Tertre

On to Blaye Fortress and in the afternoon a special “rendezvous-vous chez Remy Martin cognac”…

Chez Remy Martin Cognac…

And there’s more! We must visit St. Emilion, oui? Picturesque, charming, and elegant…and, of course, a wine tour/tasting. 

We visit Chateau Soutard where it’s all about Merlot…

Strolling St. Emilion

Elegant wine shops…

Local charm

Chateau Soutard

We sail on to Libourne where we explore their local market- One of my very favorite things to do when I travel-and this one does not disappoint!

Market day in Libourne

And one more chateau this afternoon, Chateau Abzac, where we are greeted by Baron d’Anglade. The chateau husband and his family since 1796.

Baron d’Anglade welcomes us to Chateau d’Abzac

The last day is a  very special excursion to Arcachon and the extraordinary dunes of Pyla and then an extraordinary 5-star lunch!

♦ ♦ ♦

Exploring Bordeaux and this exquisite corner of France with Uniworld has been a dream fulfilled!

Fairytale châteaux, spectacular vistas of vineyards… Meeting and enjoying locals and all while being  luxuriously spoiled in every way imaginable – starting with my beautifully appointed stateroom and splendid amenities to the scrumptious and sumptuous culinary delights and a professional staff extraordinaire!!

OOOlala indeed! My adventure started as a solo but after 8 days I made so many lovely acquaintances and new friends! Perfect, oui?

All of this and more…Yes, much more!!! 

♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦

It’s time to leave Bordeaux but the memories are indelible. I will definitely be sharing much more about my unforgettable time here when I return home…but first, I’m off to Italy and back to Puglia where another fabulous time awaits…

♦ ♦ ♦

Truly, I wish you were here! Maybe 2018 will be the year?

Posted in Boomer Travel, Bordeaux, Food Tourism, France, Inspired Travel, Is a Cruise for You?, Rewarding Sightseeing, River Cruises, Solo Travel | Tagged , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

♦ Bonjour from Bordeaux! ♦

 ♦ ♦ ♦ All aboard! ♦ ♦ ♦

Oui, I’ve been on board the River Royale with Uniworld as we cruised from Bordeaux, France, along the Garonne, Dordodogne and Gironde for 8 glorious days…

Before the cruise I spent several days becoming acquainted with and exploring beautiful Bordeaux…

By foot, by open air bus, by bateau (boat), and more on foot…I found Bordeaux to be enchanting and alluring… 

Merci  to Alaïs and Bordeaux Tourism for their generous guidance and Bordeaux CityPass…

Thanks to their visionary major, Bordeaux has enhanced her image by creating attractive open spaces and a vibrant pedestrian-only historic center, improving public transportation, and accentuating her noble cultural heritage. 

 Join me on this visual feast (I promise to update with more detailed descriptions)…A foodie/wine walk, a visit to the spectacular Cite du Vin – Bordeaux’s state of the art wine museum – and sampling local specialties from oysters to caneles …and, of course, local fromage and vin! 

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Posted in Boomer Travel, Bordeaux, Food Tourism, France, Inspired Travel, Is a Cruise for You?, Rewarding Sightseeing, River Cruises, Solo Travel | Tagged , , , , , , , , | 4 Comments

♥NEW! Sweetheart Deals for Italy in 2018♥

Let's Go to Italy Together!♥ ANNOUNCING!! ♥

♥ Early Bird “Sweetheart Deals” for Italy in 2018 ♥

Puglia Italian Riviera Sicily  

It’s time to plan your amazing, fabulous, delicious, trip-of-a-lifetime trip to Italy! And I’m here to help! Partnering with local experts, we have created unique, boutique experiences designed to immerse you in the authentic, local lifestyle of each region.

Travel like a local with locals! Together we’ll enjoy traveling in small groups (never more than 12), private transportation, staying in luxury hotels in historical city centers and in picture-perfect accommodations in the countryside, sampling delicious traditional cuisine and wine, visiting picturesque towns, villages and archeological sites, cooking together, visiting and tasting in boutique wineries, meeting local artisans…and only the very best each region has to offer!

Register by February 14th and $ave!!Italy with Victoria 2018

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Posted in Boomer Travel, Come to Italy with Victoria!, Inspired Travel, Is a Tour for You?, Italian Culture, Italian Riviera, Italian Style, Italy Travel Tips, La Dolce Vita!, Liguria, Liguria 2018, Puglia, Puglia 2018, Sicily, Sicily 2018, Solo Travel, Travel Planning | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , | Comments Off on ♥NEW! Sweetheart Deals for Italy in 2018♥

♥ Countdown to Buon Giorno, Italy! (Again!) ♥

Let's Go to Italy Together!Who said 13 isn’t a lucky number? In September, after my time in Bordeaux, France,  I will be on my way to my beloved Italy for the 13th time and, for the 7th time, to the region of Puglia.…

Photos: Victoria De Maio

Returning to Puglia…

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Posted in Boomer Travel, Come to Italy with Victoria!, Inspired Travel, Is a Tour for You?, Italian Culture, Italy Travel Tips, La Dolce Vita!, Puglia, Puglia 2018, Rewarding Sightseeing, Salento Style, Solo Travel, Travel TipZ, Victoria's Travel TipZ Italian Style | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Countdown to Bon Voyage & Bonjour, Bordeaux!

♦  ♦  ♦  ♦  ♦ 

It’s almost time… in a few weeks I’ll be heading to Bordeaux, France for the first time!

Uniworld Tickets - Bordeaux

I’ve got my tickets to cruise!

♦ I’m thrilled about this opportunity to experience Bordeaux with its spectacular historic sites, cuisine, wine, châteaux, vineyards…and eagerly anticipating embarking (literally & figuratively) on this new adventure solo… Continue reading

Posted in Boomer Travel, Bordeaux, Food Tourism, France, Inspired Travel, Is a Cruise for You?, Rewarding Sightseeing, River Cruises, Solo Travel, Travel Planning | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , | 4 Comments

Spanish Garden Inn: My Heavenly Stay-cation in the Heart of Santa Barbara

Let's Go to Italy Together!You can live in a place and drive by a place for virtually years and never think twice about it, never really pay attention…until you get a request and opportunity to take a closer look…

Spanish Garden Inn - Santa Barbara

My Santa Barbara Stay-Cation

When opportunity came and I was asked by The Telegraph London to write a review of the Spanish Garden Inn here in Santa Barbara, I was immediately delighted! And, this review would require an overnight stay (oh, darn!)…Spanish Garden Inn - Santa Barbara Continue reading

Posted in Hotel Reviews, Inspired Travel, Liguria 2018, Local Travel, Stay-Cations, Travel TipZ | Tagged , , , , , , , | 4 Comments

♦ Floating in Luxury with Uniworld…♦

Ooolala! In a few short weeks I’ll be arriving in Bordeaux, France, for the very first time. I simply cannot believe that it has been eight (8) years since my last visit to France…mon Dieu, where does the time go?

Now, after months of anticipation, I am truly delighted- sur la lune (over the moon) – to be returning in September…and to be returning for another Uniworld Boutique River Cruise! Having cruised with Uniworld before I know what to expect!…

Uniworld - River Royale

Floating in luxury on the River Royale (Photo Courtesy of Uniworld Boutique River Cruises)

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Posted in Boomer Travel, Bordeaux, Food Tourism, France, Inspired Travel, Local Travel, Rewarding Sightseeing, River Cruises, Solo Travel, Travel TipZ | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Romeo Viganotti: A Sweet Legacy in Genoa

Spacer-LaDolceVitaBelieve it or not, there are actually people who don’t like chocolate!? Really?! Well, you can bet that I am NOT one of those people…and, thank goodness, I’m not allergic to it either!

Romeo Viganotti, Genoa

Made in Italy! (Photo credit: Romeo Viganotti)

So, when I was in Genoa in May and my friend and tour partner, Emanuela of BeautifuLiguria, asked if I would like to visit a very special chocolate shop, of course, I said “si”!

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Posted in Boomer Travel, Come to Italy with Victoria!, Eco-Tourism, Food Tourism, Genoa, Italian Culture, Italy Travel Tips, Liguria, Made in Italy!, Meet Local Artisans, Rewarding Sightseeing, Travel TipZ, Victoria's Travel TipZ Italian Style | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , | Comments Off on Romeo Viganotti: A Sweet Legacy in Genoa

♦Let’s Go Shopping at a Supermercato in Italy♦

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A Foodie I’m Not But…

Although I don’t consider myself a foodie (and certainly wouldn’t call myself a cook!), there’s no question that I love food and love to eat.  If you’ve followed along with me on my travels, you know that I also love to share photos of local markets and fare, and the people who grow, harvest, catch and/or prepare it.

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Posted in Come to Italy with Victoria!, Food Tourism, Inspired Travel, Italian Culture, Italian Style, Local Travel, Made in Italy!, Meet Local Artisans, Puglia, Travel TipZ, Victoria's Travel TipZ Italian Style | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , | 10 Comments

♦Sicily’s Remarkable Roman Villa del Casale♦

Let's Go to Italy Together!Villa del Casale, protected by UNESCO in 1997, is considered to be one of, if not, the best preserved villas from anywhere in the Roman Empire.

Built in the early 4th century, the magnificent Roman Villa is located 3 km outside the town of Piazza Armerina in SicilySicily: Roman Villa del Casale

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Posted in Boomer Travel, Come to Italy with Victoria!, Is a Tour for You?, Italian Culture, Italy Travel Tips, Rewarding Sightseeing, Sicily, Sicily 2018, Siracusa, Solo Travel, Taormina, Travel TipZ, Victoria's Travel TipZ Italian Style | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments