♥ Catching the Magic of the Italian Riviera! ♥

Let's Go to Italy Together!

Loving La Dolce Vita in Liguria!

It’s so fabulous to be back in Liguria in spring time! And joining me are five fabulous fun couples…

For the next half of our Ligurian experience, we go to Levanto…

On our way we stop for an espresso in Rapallo before our first stop, a visit to an ancient silk factory. Here, under the guidance of Magda, the Cordani family still produces velvet and silk fabrics on 18th century looms…

After a fascinating visit (and a little shopping ), we head for Chiavari. After a walking tour we visit another local artisan, Franco Casoni, well known for his wood carving we each receive our own wooden stamp used to make The typical local pasta called “corzetti”. 

Mine has my name in Italian, Vittoria, and a map of Italy…

Our next accommodation is in Levanto. Here we will stay in an idyllic setting at Villa Nova, a family owned and managed agriturismo.

Our first evening, we enjoy a lovely aperitivi on the covered patio savoring the local antipasti, excellent wines and spectacular view…

Levanto is the perfect home base for the next few days. 

Our first outing is to Cinque Terre. We enjoyed the villages of  Manarola, Vernazza, and Monterosso. 

We climb up up up by bus for a very special wine tasting and”light lunch” of homemade antipasti, two pastas and anchovies- delicioso! Grazie Luciano and Mamma!

Our last excursion is to charming Portovenere where we can stroll the narrow medieval passages, enjoy lunch, shopping and a gelato before returning to Villa Nova.

Already it is our last day together and we will have a very special afternoon cooking Ligurian cuisine together with Ermanno and his wife, Clara, at their restaurant in Levanto, L’Articiocca (Artichoke).

We have enjoyed a fabulous, authentic immersion into the Ligurian culture and cuisine. Wouldn’t you love to join me and my BeautifuLiguria partners next time??!!

Let's Go to Italy Together!

Join Us in Fall – Catch the Magic of the Italian Riviera !!!

October 6 – 15, 2017

Space is Limited!

Why Liguria? Check out: “Only in Liguria…”

Let's Go to Italy Together!

◊ 2017 Doesn’t Work? 2018 Tour Dates Coming in June! ◊

Let’s return together! 

◊ Custom private tours and dates available! ◊

Let's Go to Italy Together!

Send Me a Postcard!Questions? Comments? Send Me a Postcard!

Just comment below – I love to hear from you!

Posted in Boomer Travel, Cinque Terre, Come to Italy with Victoria!, Design YOUR Dream Trip to Italy, Food Tourism, Genoa, Is a Tour for You?, Italian Culture, Italian Riviera, Italian Style, Italy Travel Tips, La Dolce Vita!, Liguria, Liguria 2017, Solo Travel, Victoria's Travel TipZ Italian Style | Tagged , , , , , , , , , | Comments Off on ♥ Catching the Magic of the Italian Riviera! ♥

◊ Coming Attractions from Victoria ◊

Let's Go to Italy Together!A quick sneak peek at what you’ll be seeing on PostcardZ from Victoria over the next weeks and beyond…

√ BaVictoria -Vespa copy for site iconck to Italia – I’m heading back to Italy next week to join my expert travel partners and co-lead tours in the Italian Riviera and Puglia. Joining me will be a private group of five fun couples and then another fun group of lovely ladies…

I’ll be sharing here and on social media (links below and on the upper right of the sidebar).

Don’t you wish you were joining us? Me, too!

√ My “roots in the boot”: I’ll be sharing more about my very special and emotional experience of returning to the birthplaces of the Italian grandparents last fall…

√ Did you know that Italian Americans were the object of racial prejudice and even interred during World War II? I didn’t either but now I’m reading and learning more and will be sharing about this “secret” story…V apron - small no Lulu

In June I will be announcing my 2018 Italy tour dates for the Italian Riviera, Puglia, and Sicily! Fabulous itineraries – unique, authentic & affordable!

√ OOOOOlala! France is on my radar in September – chateaux and vineyards with Uniworld Boutique River Cruises. Doesn’t that sound divine? Stay tuned…

What’s on YOUR “bucket list”? Portugal and Spain (and of course, more Italy) are on mine… Please share yours!

√ More Travel TipZ! I’ve started drafting my second travel tips book! I’m so excited and I know you’ll love it! You have read Victoria’s Travel TipZ Italian Style, haven’t you??

copyright 2016√ Just for YOU! Remember…we can customize YOUR dream trip to Italy AND I can help you with cruises, travel insurance, all-inclusive vacations, and more...

√ Si, there is space on the fall tours to the Italian Riviera and Puglia! Registration cut-offs soon! What ARE you waiting for???

√ Follow along and get my e-newzletter, too! Promise not to overload you with a bunch of junk – just fabulous articles and updates! You can Subscribe/Follow on the links in the sidebar or send me an email and I’ll get you started!  (And please share with your besties!) Next issue? Publishing on Wednesday, May 3rd!

√ Have I told you lately how much I appreciate your support and feedback? Well, I do! Please feel free to…

Send Me a Postcard!

Send Me a Postcard! Comment Below or

Send Me a Private Message!

I love to hear from YOU!

Posted in Come to Italy with Victoria!, Design YOUR Dream Trip to Italy, France, Italy Travel Tips, Liguria, Liguria 2017, Puglia, Puglia 2017, River Cruises, Roots in the Boot, Sicily, Sicily 2018, Solo Travel, Travel Planning, Travel TipZ, Victoria's Travel TipZ Italian Style | Tagged , , , , , , , , , | 4 Comments

♦ Only in Sicily… ♦

Let's Go to Italy Together!Surrounded by water, Sicily is the largest island in the Mediterranean and, along with her surrounding islands, Regione Siciliana is the largest region of Italy.Sicily map

As with every island, Sicily is defined by her relationship to the sea and how it has defined and shaped her history and character. With the Mar Mediterraneo (Mediterranean Sea) to the south and southwest, Mar Ionio (Ionian Sea) to the east, and Mar Tirreno (Tyrrhenian Sea) to the north, she is simultaneously protected and vulnerable.

“My favorite scent memory is the scent of the Sicilian sea!”
– Domenico DolcePhoto: Victoria De Maio

Let's Go to Italy Together!Rich in contrasts, with its magnificent seascapes, rich and bounteous farmlands, and rugged mountainous interior, Sicily is unique, enigmatic, and seductive.

Photo: Victoria De Maio

A land like no other…

Sicilians are distinctly and stubbornly Sicilian! Separated from the toe of Calabria and mainland of Italy, across the Straits of Messina by only 3 km, it may as well be a thousand! Sicilians consider themselves Sicilians first, Italians second. And to this day, 70% of Sicilians speak Sicilian, not Italian.

‘Sicily has suffered 13 dominations from which she has taken both the best and the worst. The sequence of different cultures has made Sicily a fascinating place, quite unlike any other.”
– Andrea Camilleri

And unlike any other, only in Sicily… Continue reading

Posted in Boomer Travel, Come to Italy with Victoria!, Design YOUR Dream Trip to Italy, Food Tourism, Inspired Travel, Italian Culture, Italian Style, Italy Travel Tips, Palermo, Rewarding Sightseeing, Roots in the Boot, Sicily, Sicily 2018, Siracusa, Solo Travel, Taormina, Val di Noto | Tagged , , , , , , , , , | 3 Comments

♦ Only in Liguria… ♦

Let's Go to Italy Together!“Liguria is the only region in Italy that is entirely framed by natural borders: the mountains in the north form a gigantic amphitheatre facing the marine stage to the south.”
– Martina Kolb
(“On the Ligurian Edge” from Nietzsche, Freud, Benn and the Azure Spell of Liguria)

Let's Go to Italy Together!


(Map courtesy of Traditional Prints & Posters)

One of Italy’s smallest regions, Liguria shares borders with Tuscany and Emilia-Romagna to the east, Piedmonte to the north and France (Provence-Alpes-Côte d’Azur) to the west.It’s this very geography and terrain – steep, remote and compact – that has shaped and defined Liguria’s history and character. Unlike many other regions that were invaded and captured, her natural borders have kept her relatively protected and, to some extent, isolated.

Photo by Victoria De Maio

Liguria, between land and sea…

Not as famous as many of her neighbors, Liguria is rich with treasures waiting to be explored and enjoyed, for only in Liguria will you find…

Continue reading

Posted in Boomer Travel, Cinque Terre, Come to Italy with Victoria!, Genoa, Italian Culture, Italian Riviera, Italy Travel Tips, Liguria, Liguria 2017, Rewarding Sightseeing, Solo Travel, Travel Planning | Tagged , , , , , , , , , | 5 Comments

♦ Only in Puglia… ♦

Let's Go to Italy Together!“There is no way to talk about this land without being aware one is in a legendary place.”

– Roberto CotraneoPhoto Victoria De Maio

Despite her rich centuries old history and diverse cultural heritage (including being conquered and occupied or settled by Saracens, Byzantines, Normans, the Kingdom of Sicily, the Kingdom of Naples, the Hohenstaufens, the Spanish and the French and let’s not forget the coastal occupations by the Turks and the Venetians), Puglia has remained relatively unknown and undiscovered by the travel community at large…until now… Continue reading

Posted in Boomer Travel, Come to Italy with Victoria!, Inspired Travel, Italian Culture, Italy Travel Tips, Lecce, Made in Puglia!, Ostuni, Otranto, Polignano a Mare, Puglia, Puglia 2017, Rewarding Sightseeing, Salento Style, Solo Travel, Trani, Travel TipZ, Trulli of Itria Valley, Victoria's Travel TipZ Italian Style | Tagged , , , , , , | 2 Comments

♥ Tire of Taormina? Never! ♥

Let's Go to Italy Together!Taormina is a picturesque hill town hugging the rugged eastern coastline of Sicily. With its steep, narrow passageways and breathtaking vistas, for me, it’s pure magic…

Taormina (Photo: Victoria De Maio)

The first time I woke up in Taormina, it was almost exactly 10 years ago and my first time visiting Sicily. Having landed in Catania the night before and, although my introduction was cloaked in darkness, I do remember that, despite my jet lag and fatigue from the long flight, I was immediately captivated… Continue reading

Posted in #2SicilianGals, Boomer Travel, Come to Italy with Victoria!, Inspired Travel, Italian Culture, Italy Travel Tips, My Italian Journey, Rewarding Sightseeing, Sicily, Sicily 2018, Solo Travel, Taormina, Travel TipZ, Victoria's Travel TipZ Italian Style | Tagged , , , , , , , , , | 4 Comments

Feeling a Bit Fool-ish Today? A Tidbit about April Fool’s…

 I thought you might enjoy this Tidbit I shared a few years back…

Thank you for joining me this morning!  Tidbit is defined as a morsel, snack, bite, treat, a small taste of something…a tiny little bit of information revealed…

**  Travel TidBitZ  for April 1st **

Feeling a Bit Fool-ish Today?

“Fool” is a noun (a simpleton, a dolt, a nincompoop), a verb (to trick, cheat, dupe) and an adjective (foolish, silly, goofy). Well, no one wants to be, do or appear foolish, but it certainly happens to the best of us, and not just on April Fool’s Day!

And, how did all of this foolishness start anyway?

Photo Credit: Museum of Hoaxes

Who knew? 20th Century French sent fish cards to their loved ones, as fish symbolized love and friendship.

Here’s one theory…April Fool’s Day has a long and involved history dating back to the middle ages and revolved around exactly when the first day of the calendar year  was actually celebrated. The Julian Calendar (established by Julius Caesar in 46 B.C.) made January 1 the first day of the year, but  several countries didn’t agree so by the middle ages the first day of the year was, well,  all over the calendar! Very confusing.

In the 16th century, the French decided to come on board and change their calendar from the end of March to January 1st as well. But those who refused to change had jokes and pranks played on them. A popular prank was to stick a paper fish to their backs (go figure!) – this prank, called Poisson d”Avril or April Fish, is still the French term for April Fools and, theoretically, a tradition was born.

Over the centuries the “tradition” of playing pranks and jokes has spread to many countries and are sometimes played on a mega-level. I can’t resist sharing one classic – the great 1957 Swiss Spaghetti Harvest hoax:

On April 1, 1957 the BBC broadcasted a three-minute segment about a bumper spaghetti harvest in southern Switzerland. The success of the crop was attributed both to an unusually mild winter and to the “‘virtual disappearance of the spaghetti weevil.’”

Yes, come people believed it: “Many called the BBC wanting to know how they could grow their own spaghetti tree. To this the BBC diplomatically replied, ‘place a sprig of spaghetti in a tin of tomato sauce and hope for the best.’”

Hey, you can’t fool meI  know spaghetti doesn’t grow on trees, but I would guess that we’ve all said or done some pretty foolish things in our day? C’mon, admit it – one of those oh-no, uh-oh, expletive-deleted moments when you’ve unwittingly said or done something inappropriate, made a major booboo?

And when we travel, it can be a virtual minefield of potential foolish faux pas (missteps)!  How to sidestep them, so they don’t blow up in your face? Here’s help!

 Watch Your Step! 10 Faux Pas that Can Trip You Up!

Send Me a Postcard

Send Me a Postcard! Just “click” on the stamp or comment below!

Have you ever been fooled or committed a foolish faux pas? Care to share?





Posted in Travel SmartZ, Travel TidBitZ, Watch Your Step! 10 Faux Pas that Can Trip You Up! | Tagged , , , , | Comments Off on Feeling a Bit Fool-ish Today? A Tidbit about April Fool’s…

🍷MORE Italian Wine Trail Tales with Wine Friends, Victoria & Samuele!🍷

Let's Go to Italy Together!🍷I’m concluding the second series of the Italian Wine Trails & Tales with my own tale about meeting my wine friend, Samuele Bianchi…a very special meeting for a very special reason. Let me explain…

Let's Go to Italy Together!

🍷A Winemaker Near Lucca, Tuscany…

Sometime last spring I learned about an innovative and entrepreneurial venture, The Winefathers. My interest was peaked when my fellow Italophile, blogger, and amica, Marilyn Ricci shared so enthusiastically about her visit with her Wine Friends in Basilicata. I read about their project supporting artisanal winemakers in Italy and was immediately compelled to get involved and support them in some way…

Photo Victoria De Maio

Samuele: hard work + big passion

Continue reading

Posted in Come to Italy with Victoria!, Eco-Tourism, Food Tourism, Italian Culture, Italian Style, Italian Wine Trails & Tales, Lucca, Made in Italy!, Meet Local Artisans, Roots in the Boot, Travel TipZ, Tuscany, Victoria's Travel TipZ Italian Style | Tagged , , , , , , , , | 8 Comments

♥ La Dolce Vita Meets La Joie de Vivre! ♥

Let's Go to Italy Together!♥ Can a passionate Italophile find la dolce vita in France? ♥

Si! I’m delighted to announce that I fully intend to explore that possibility and find out firsthand in September!

Not only am I delighted that I will doing my “research” visiting beautiful Bordeaux, a UNESCO World Heritage Site but, I will be doing so as the guest of Uniworld Boutique River Cruises!

Oui! Cruising the iconic rivers of southwestern France, visiting fabulous the châteaux and vineyards and enjoying the hospitality of an exceptional award-winning river cruise line!

Uniworld - River Royale

I can’t wait to be back on board the River Royale! (Photo Courtesy of Uniworld Boutique River Cruises)

Trust me, it hasn’t been easy to contain my excitement and to keep this under wraps. Needless to say, I am absolutely thrilled and honored!

Let's Go to Italy Together! Continue reading

Posted in Boomer Travel, Bordeaux, France, Inspired Travel, Is a Cruise for You?, La Dolce Vita!, Rewarding Sightseeing, River Cruises, Solo Travel, Travel Planning, Travel TipZ | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , | 6 Comments

🍷MORE Italian Wine Trail Tales…with Tom!🍷

🍷 Tom’s blog is replete with tempting tales along the Italian Wine Trail! I have asked him to share about the Salento sub-region of Puglia, his new home in Italy, and a favorite region of mine…won’t you join us?Let's Go to Italy Together!

Savoring the Salento

In a previous life, back when I punched the clock and earned a bi-monthly paycheck, I used to travel frequently on business, departing my home up in the Veneto for the sun-drenched Salento, the Greek-influenced area within Italy’s lengthy Puglia region down in the southeastern corner of La Penisola. And, with each passing visit it became just a bit more difficult for me to close the briefcase and return home…

Puglia's Salento (Photo: Tom Weber)

Puglia’s Salento (Photo: Tom Weber)

Continue reading

Posted in Come to Italy with Victoria!, Food Tourism, Inspired Travel, Italian Culture, Italian Style, Italian Wine Trails & Tales, Italy Travel Tips, Made in Puglia!, Puglia, Puglia 2017 | Tagged , , , , , , , , | 6 Comments