I know so many of you watch the TV series Dream of Italy as inspiration for your own travels. You can easily recreate some of my experiences in the show with help of one of our Season 2 sponsors, Weekend in Italy.
Based in Italy and in business since 1995, they specialize in exploring the way I do, being in touch with fun, food, culture and, of course, the people of Italy. Whether it’s a relaxed day in the countryside or a busy day in Florence, Rome, Venice or any of the art cities you can dream trip on their website, www.weekendinitaly.com.
Venice – In my Venice episode, we are delightfully greeted by an 8th generation gondolier who has spent the last 27 years, loving his job. So, get romantic on a gondola ride with music and the serenity of the canals. A magical and unforgettable Venetian evening. Another way to appreciate Venice in all her glory is a dinner cruise on the Galleon, under the stars with incredible Italian food and wine. Oh, la la!
As if we weren’t already mesmerized by this enchanting city, we also meet Marisa who is an incredibly talented bead stringer Many Venetian women historically contribute to the household income by stringing and selling beautiful beaded jewelry and beads.
A bit off the beaten path are Murano, Burano, and Torcello the islands that tell the story of Venice and its origins. This half-day trip includes the Island of San Giorgio Maggiore, the S. Elena Gardens and the Lido famous for its refreshing, sandy beaches. In Murano, you will find gorgeous glassware galore!
Florence – My Florence episode focuses on the Duomo’s restoration and Marcello, a stonemason dedicated to his craft. This tour will take you behind the scenes to witness the work of the team that keeps the cathedral in top shape. My visit to the Advancing Women’s Artist Foundation introduces Sister Plautilla Nelli the only female interpreter of the The Last Supper painting. Her rendition is an incredible 21 feet long!
We also meet a wine-making family that dates to the late 1300s and is the second oldest winery in the world. Today it is managed by women, whose ancestors can be linked to the Medici family. If wine excites you, the Tuscan wine trail is a can’t miss opportunity. Back in the city, walking tours of Florence are a good way to soak up its culture of art and cuisine.