♦ 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?





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🍷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

International Women’s Day is March 8th! #BeBoldforChange

Spacer-LaDolceVita~ March 8th ~


International Women’s Day!iwd_square

I have to repeat my sentiment from 2013, 2014, 2015 and 2016!

Of course, I may be slightly prejudiced but I think every day should be women’s day and the fact that there is still an issue of women’s rights rankles me, but I certainly support anything that brings attention to work that needs to be done.Spacer-LaDolceVita

The 2017 Theme is: #BeBoldforChange

“Call on the masses or call on yourself to help to help forge a better working world – a more inclusive, gender world.”

Worldwide, women continue to contribute to social, economic, cultural and political achievement.

And we have much to celebrate today. But progress towards gender parity has slowed in many places.

The World Economic Forum predicted in 2014 that it would take until 2095 to achieve global gender parity. Then one year later in 2015, they estimated that a slowdown in the already glacial pace of progress meant the gender gap wouldn’t close entirely until 2133 and in 2016 the prediction is 2186!

Spacer-LaDolceVitaWhy the Color Purple??

From 1908, the Women’s Social and Political Union (WSPU) in Great Britain adopted the color scheme of purple, white and green to symbolize the plight of the Suffragettes. Purple symbolized justice and dignity – two values strongly associated with women’s equality. The three colors were used for banners, flags, rosettes and badges to show solidarity.paintitpurple_iwd

From the International Women’s Day site:

“Over time and distance, the equal rights of women have progressed. We celebrate the achievements of women while remaining vigilant and tenacious for further sustainable change. There is global momentum for championing women’s equality.

Each year around the world, International Women’s Day (IWD) is celebrated on March 8. Thousands of events occur not just on this day but throughout March to mark the economic, political and social achievements of women. Organizations, governments, charities, educational institutions, women’s groups, corporations and the media celebrate the day. Many groups around the world choose different themes each year relevant to global and local gender issues.”

Whether you are participating in any of the world wide activities or not, surely there’s time for a special nod of gratitude and acknowledgement of the women in your life? Spacer-LaDolceVita

(All International Women’s Day Graphics Courtesy IWD website.)

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♦ An Elegant Afternoon in Florence ♦

Let's Go to Italy Together!♥ La Dolce Vita Visits “a Noble Palazzo in the Heart of Florence” ♥

Ah, Florence! There is just so much to see and experience in this iconic and magnificent city…

There so much to see that, in a short visit, it’s easy to miss many of the architectural gems. Spectacular edifices that were once elegant palazzi are government or financial institutions, museums, apartments, hotels, and the like. Although the exteriors may be somewhat unassuming, upon entering there is much more than meets the eye.Photo Victoria De Maio

As is often the case, there is a rich and fascinating history behind these façades. This is most surely the case with the Relais Santa Croce – one of the jewels in the crown of Baglioni Hotels’  luxurious properties… Continue reading

Posted in Come to Italy with Victoria!, Florence, Food Tourism, Italian Culture, Italian Style, Italian Talks Articles, Italy Travel Tips, Travel TipZ, Tuscany | Tagged , , , , , , , | 8 Comments

🍷MORE Italian Wine Trail Tales…Piedmont with Penny🍷

🍷 Piedmont is a region that is VERY high on my bucket list. Today Penny guides us through the renowned Langhe, Roero and Moferrato wine areas…

Let's Go to Italy Together!

🍷Getting Lost in the Hills of Piedmont…

Snow-capped mountains and rolling green hills are lined with row after row of vineyards.  Castles stand sentinel on the hilltops, it feels a bit like being in a landscape from a medieval adventure novel.

🍷This is Italy’s largest wine region, located at the foot of the Alps in the region aptly named, Piedmont…

The Hillsides of Langhe (Photo: Penny Sadler)

The Hillsides of Langhe (Photo: Penny Sadler)

Continue reading

Posted in Come to Italy with Victoria!, Eco-Tourism, Food Tourism, Inspired Travel, Italian Culture, Italian Style, Italian Wine Trails & Tales, Italy Travel Tips, Made in Italy!, Meet Local Artisans, Piedmont | Tagged , , , , , | 5 Comments

♦ Sicily’s White Gold or “Pass the Salt”! ♦

Let's Go to Italy Together!♦ “The Salt Road” – Via del Sale ♦

The Via del Sale extends from Trapani to the Stagnone Lagoon to Marsala, including the island of Mòzia. Stagnone Lagoon is the largest lagoon on Sicily’s western coastline and when you reach Núbia and Saline dello Stagnone, you are greeted by a unique vista of salt-pans and ancient windmills…Photo Victoria De Maio Continue reading

Posted in Come to Italy with Victoria!, Design YOUR Dream Trip to Italy, Inspired Travel, Italian Culture, Italy Travel Tips, Made in Italy!, Rewarding Sightseeing, Sicily, Travel Planning, Travel TipZ, Victoria's Travel TipZ Italian Style | Tagged , , , , , , , , | 4 Comments