July 13, 2015
When I was a teenager I read a statistic that stuck with me. Half of all Americans never travel beyond 50 miles from their home. NEVER. Granted this was in the early 70’s. Still it was shocking to me.
I was fortunate to begin traveling at a very young age. My grandmother Amelia took me on my first trip to see her sister Santa in Canada when I was only 4 years old. Santa and her family lived in Sault Ste. Marie, Ontario in a city with so very many Italians that I felt like I was at home all the time. Growing up in Minnesota, I had never really felt that way. Visiting Ontario demonstrated how life was full of surprises.
I caught the travel bug by the time I was five years old when my grandmother and uncle took me to Los Angeles. My Italian family in Los Angeles included Uncle Leo, the conductor of the Burbank Youth Symphony. I love music and he played music for me before we attended his concert. Next I saw the ocean. Wow, I fell in love with it. Disneyland had just opened and I experienced the joy of that adventure. I felt so lucky and knew that travel would always be a huge part of my life.
In 1971, with $200 and a round trip ticket I took off for Europe. I got a job and stayed for nearly a year.
All my travel was unscripted. I met my cousin Maureen in Rome and, together, we visited our Italian famiglia from Paterno di Avezzano, Abruzzo. From the very first day I arrived in Roma, I knew life would never be the same. The city was incredible, beyond anything I could have imagined. And la famigliawelcomed us like prodigal sons coming home. I was so moved by the experience of meeting my unknown cousins that even then I wanted to share this experience with other Italian-Americans like me.
My travels across the Atlantic have taken me from Denmark to Greece, to Turkey and to Egypt. But always my heart returns to Italy.
I have always traveled my own way in Europe. I love discovering great hotels, unusual locations and all the beautiful people. I know how to plan a trip while leaving each day open for the unexpected.
My goal is to help you experience the Real Italy as I have experienced it: the way that fits me, not a general group tour. I have fashioned a process to help you do it your way too.
My promise to you: I can help you discover your Italian Soul through traveling your way in Italy just like I did. Andiamo! Let’s go!
Ciao for now.
Ciao for now!
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