Countdown to Bon Voyage & Bonjour, Bordeaux!

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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”!

Spacer-LaDolceVita Continue reading

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

♦ San Ysidro Ranch: 5 Stars in My Backyard! ♦

When I was approached by Forbes Travel Guide to visit and write a review of the San Ysidro Ranch in Montecito, I didn’t hesitate! Even though I only live a few miles away, I hadn’t been to the property since its major renovation and the opportunity to enjoy a private tour was irresistible. After all, who could resist a behind-the-scenes peek at one of Santa Barbara’s most legendary and acclaimed getaways? Not I!  San Ysidro Ranch

Discreetly tucked away in an exclusive residential neighborhood of Montecito, from the moment you arrive at San Ysidro Ranch and enter the olive-tree lined drive awash in aromatic lavender, you know that you’re someplace special

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“Make Room for Daddy”

Father, Daddy, Dad, Papa, Pop…Sunday is HIS Day!

Photo - Victoria De Maio

Daddy’s Little Girl

“They say that from the instant he lays eyes on her, a father adores his daughter. Whoever she grows up to be, she is always to him that little girl in pigtails. She makes him feel like Christmas. In exchange, he makes a secret promise not to see the awkwardness of her teenage years, the mistakes she makes or the secrets she keeps.”

– Unknown

The dominant role and influence of the “father figure” throughout human history is undeniable.  But it’s the influence of our own father, as with our own mother, that is indelibly and forever impressed in our heart, isn’t it?

Since celebrating Mother’s Day became so successful, it seemed logical that having a national Father’s Day would be a natural and perfect complement, but getting it to be a permanent national holiday was no slam dunk!

Sonora Louise Smart Dodd is credited as being the “Mother of Father’s Day”.  Hearing of  Anna Jarvis’ success with Mother’s Day, in 1910 she initiated her campaign to celebrate Father’s Day in honor of her widower father, a Civil War vet, who raised six children single handed. She encouraged the local pastor to give a sermon honoring fathers and her efforts resulted in Washington State celebrating the nation’s first statewide Father’s Day on June 19, 1910.

In 1916, President Woodrow Wilson went to Spokane to speak in a Father’s Day celebration and hoped to make it official as he had with Mother’s Day in 1914, but was unsuccessful. Congress continued to resist and there were even efforts to eliminate both Mother’s and Father’s Day in favor of a Parents’ Day. The celebration sputtered until Dodd renewed her efforts and resumed promoting the celebration. She cleverly enlisted the support of trade groups that would benefit from a national holiday (e.g., companies that would make presents for fathers). There was some criticism that the efforts were for purely commercial purposes, but the trade groups persisted. However, it would still take several more decades to make it a permanent national holiday.

Photo by Victoria De Maio

Sweet memories of my Father…

In 1966, President Lyndon B. Johnson issued the first presidential proclamation honoring fathers, designating the third Sunday in June as Father’s Day. Sonora did live to see it signed into law in 1972 by President Richard Nixon and was honored as the founder of Father’s Day at the 1974 World’s Fair Expo in Spokane, WA and died four years later at the age of 96.

Today, Father’s Day, known as “International Men’s Day” in some countries, is celebrated on various dates all over the world. It is estimated that Americans spend over a billion dollars on Father’s Day gifts.

Why not take a real family vacation? Explore your roots together on a multi-generational trip.

Send Me a Postcard!Send Me a Postcard!

What is your fondest memory of your Father? Please share below…

 

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♥ Traveling Like a Local with Locals in Puglia (Part 2) ♥

Let's Go to Italy Together!Kicking Up Our Heelz Together in Puglia… Again!

Traveling Like a Local with Locals! Part 2!

More...La Dolce Vita Salento Style! ♥

Let's Go to Italy Together!

The second half of our unique experience is in Lecce, the Baroque crown jewel of the Salento…

Puglia - Lecce Collage After settling in to our luxury accommodation in Lecce’s historical center, we set out to explore with our expert local guide. On foot is the perfect way to enjoy this spectacular city…

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Posted in Boomer Travel, Come to Italy with Victoria!, Design YOUR Dream Trip to Italy, Eco-Tourism, Food Tourism, Gallipoli, Inspired Travel, Is a Tour for You?, Italian Culture, La Dolce Vita!, Lecce, Otranto, Polignano a Mare, Puglia, Puglia 2017, Puglia 2018, Rewarding Sightseeing, Salento Style, Solo Travel, Trulli of Itria Valley, Victoria's Travel TipZ Italian Style | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

♥ Traveling Like a Local with Locals in Puglia (Part 1) ♥

Let's Go to Italy Together!Kicking Up Our Heelz Together in Puglia… Again!

Traveling Like a Local with Locals!

♥ La Dolce Vita Salento Style! ♥

It’s so fabulous to be back in Puglia in spring time! It’s hard to believe that this is trip and tour #6! Every visit is as spectacular as the previousalways more to see and experience- and all of this is made all the more special because I partner/collaborate with local experts. Ylenia and Michele of YLTourPR and I have been a team for three fabulous years.

♥ Now returning is like returning home…

Let's Go to Italy Together!

Our 10 day immersion begins with a warm welcome to the beautiful Masseria that will be our home for the first half of our experience…Puglia spring 2017Let's Go to Italy Together! Our first day is a visit to a family owned and managed organic olive tree farm for a tour and tasting…Puglia spring 2017 And, that evening we learn how to make local specialties, taralli and orecchiette with Ylenia, Mamma Anna and Mamma Angelina…Puglia spring 2017Puglia spring 2017

Let's Go to Italy Together! The next day, our first excursion takes us to the Itria Valley. First, Baroque gem Martina Franca for a Sunday stroll and visit to its stunning Ducale PalacePuglia spring 2017Puglia spring 2017

Puglia spring 2017 Then Ostuni, “the white city” with its stunning panoramic view of the valley and Adriatic…Puglia spring 2017Let's Go to Italy Together! The next day we go off the beaten track to take a guided walk in Cavallino, one of hundreds of untouched local villages of the Salento rich in history and treasures…Puglia spring 2017

Puglia spring 2017 Nearby we are privileged to visit the studio of Renzo, a renowned master sculptor of local pietra leccese stone…Puglia spring 2017Puglia spring 2017 After our fascinating visit with Renzo, it’s time for lunch and we are guests at a local agriturismo.

Dating from the 16th century, we are treated to homemade rolls baked in a wood burning oven along with delectable local specialties including the pasta we helped to make.Puglia spring 2017 The piece de resistance is the cherry torte/cake. Cherries are in season and there are 2500 trees here! Even a homemade cherry liqueur! Delizioso!! Then, a little wine tasting and we’re ready to return to Lecce to rest before still another delectable evening repast…

Let's Go to Italy Together!

Our fourth day takes us to the Baroque crown jewel of the Salento, Lecce. We’ll make Lecce our home base for the next five days of our exploration and immersion into Puglia.   We’ll explore the land of the trulli, Alberobello, Polignano a Mare, Otranto, Gallipoli, Galatina and more…not to mention the exquisite cuisine and wine of the region. ♦

Let's Go to Italy Together!

I’ll be sharing hundreds more photos but I would rather be sharing the real thing…la dolce vita Salento-style…with You!!!

Join Us in Fall for Olive Harvest and SO Much MORE!!!

September 22 – October 1, 2017

Space is Limited! Only 2 Rooms Left!

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

Let's Go to Italy Together!◊ 2017 Doesn’t Work? 2018 Tour Dates Coming in June! ◊

(Custom dates & private itineraries 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, Come to Italy with Victoria!, Inspired Travel, Is a Tour for You?, Italian Culture, Italian Style, Italy Travel Tips, La Dolce Vita!, Lecce, Made in Puglia!, Meet Local Artisans, Ostuni, Otranto, Polignano a Mare, Puglia, Puglia 2017, Rewarding Sightseeing, Salento Style, Solo Travel, Trulli of Itria Valley, Victoria's Travel TipZ Italian Style | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment