Many of you have come to my stress management classes and heard about the importance of self-care or feeding your spirit. I’ve come up with a way to help you do this. A way to bathe your soul in the sweet life, la dolce vita.
In 2007 my husband and I went to Italy to visit relatives and to enjoy the sights. Italy gave me far more than I imagined it would. I fell in love with the country, the food, the people, the sounds and the smells.
I remember sitting on a bench looking down at the sea and thinking about how much I wanted to share this place and what I was experiencing with people I cared about. I knew that someday Jim and I would come back and that we would bring others with us.
A few weeks ago I felt like it was time. So with the help of Brenda at Out of Here travel agency, we are going to Italy!!!! on May 21st of 2015.
This is more than just a tour of Italy. It is you Jim and I on an adventure.
Here’s what we have planned:
On May 21st we leave for Florence and arrive on the 22nd. We will be staying at the Hotel loggiato dei Serviti. This a beautiful place was a monastery and it still has that feeling of peace. This hotel is very close to the Piazza del Signora, the center of the old city.
Florence is the birth place of Michelangelo and the place where the Renaissance started and the dark ages ended. I can tell you that when you stand and look up at the statue of David in the Accademia your heart will sing.
There is so much to see, we will tour the Uffizi Gallery, the Duomo and a short distance behind the Uffizi Gallery is the Ponte Vecchio [old bridge] which houses jewelry stores from the 1600’s.
The bridge is a symbol of this big change in history and dates back to 1345 and has survived floods, wars and the bombings of WWII. We will cross the bridge and walk to the PITTI Palace and see the gardens looking over the Tuscan hills.
Of course we will go to Jim’s favorite places to eat. I also have planned that we will meet an English speaking storyteller that will take us on an evening ghost walk telling us stories and legends of Florence.
Then we will take the train to Pisa to see the tower and then on to the Cinque Terre National Park. The park became a World Heritage Site in 1997. In my opinion, it is quite possibly the most beautiful place on earth.
We will visit five tiny fishing villages that are lost in time. You can’t take vehicles to these villages but the train stops there and you can walk down into the village. There is also a path that you can hike between the villages. The path clings to the jagged cliffs that have grape vines cascading down, as you walk through olive groves.
Every one of your senses are awakened. You walk into a little village and the smells of Italy surround you as if you entered an Italian grocery store. Every where you look there is beauty and music.
We will stay and enjoy the park for a couple of days before we move on to Santa Margarita on the Ligurian Sea,where we will find a wonderful places to sit and look at the sea and have a meal of fresh fish. While here we can travel three miles to see Portofino, the resort that the rich and famous enjoy.
Next we are off to Rome, the center of the once powerful empire. We will stay in beautiful Hotel Twenty-One which is walking distance to St Peters Basilica. At the Basilica we will follow the old tradition and rub the foot of the bronze statue of St Peter.
Imagine seeing, in person, the Sistine Chapel which took Michelangelo four years to paint?
We will have a 8 hour tour of Rome and also an evening storyteller’s ghost walk.
You can put our hand in the mouth of truth [La Bocca della vento] made famous by Gregory Peck and Audrey Hepburn in Roman Holiday but remember if you tell a lie you will only pull back out a stump where your hand used to be.
Before we leave Rome, I believe we will want to visit the Trevi Fountain and throw a quarter over our shoulder. The legend is that if we do that we will return.
We will fly home on June 1st.
If we have 14 people join us on this adventure, it will cost $3699.00 from O’Hare Airport. That includes
- 3 nights lodging in Florence
- two nights in Vernazza [Cinque Terre]
- two nights in Ligure
- three nights in Rome
- three group dinners
- airport to hotel transfers
- and the tours
This fee is based on double occupancy. Single would be $4879.00. If you get your own flight, the tour would be $2399.00. Our travel agent Brenda did really good job with the arrangements for this tour. I checked with others and found them to cost $4000-6000 without the flight and some of the extras we will have.
If Italy is on your bucket list, if you are looking for an adventure, please contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org.