Travel Planning with an Italian Twist

May 17, 2016

For the last few weeks I have been putting the final touches on 3 different travel adventures. All of them, including ME, are traveling in June. Sometimes I get a bit confused as I make the plans.

The first group is a family of 15 people. The grandmother is taking the extended family to meet their relatives in Abruzzo. It will be the first trip to Italy for all except the Nonna  (grandmother). She has her hands full on this journey. She wants the family to experience the highlights of Italy (Rome, Florence and Venice) plus spend 3 nights in Abruzzo where they will meet the family and explore the surroundings.


They invited all their family members to a luncheon at their hotel. This is the first time I have planned such an event in Italy. We wanted to respect the traditions of the family by featuring local wines and specialties. It is a delicate balance when you want to welcome them all with love at the table. You cannot do to little or too much.  I hope we have it right.

With fifteen people it is difficult to expect anyone to host you in their home. They hope to have caffe’ e dolci (espresso and sweets) outside when they visit the cousins. I hope their visit will be as worthwhile as the Ricci group last year at this time. It was wonderful!

The second group is a couple I know very well. This will be their first trip to Italy and to meet the family, our family. This couple is composed of my brother and sister-in-law.  I am so excited to take them to meet our family in Paterno di Avezzano in Abruzzo and in Fragneto L’Abate in the Benevento area of Campania. I will travel with the for the 1st 8 nights. We start in Sorrento, giving them a soft landing in Italy. From there they can explore the Amalfi Coast, Pompeii and more. And Sorrento is wonderful.

Then it is on to Fragneto L’Abate and the Ricci side of the family. I can’t wait until they see our home town and the house Grandpa Ricci lived in.  And our cugini are so beautiful and kind.

Next, after a peaceful and gentle start we hit Rome. Seeing them experience the Eternal City will be a joy to me. I was so excited I wanted them to see everything in a few days. They had to remind me that they did not need to see every, single piece of art in the city. I over-planned for them. I had to cut back.

Besides all of Rome, we have cousins in Rome too. I am still arranging when we will see them. They are some of the first relatives I met on my first visit in 1971. The photo below is of these relatives and the others from last year’s visit.


After Rome we are on to Abruzzo where my mother’s side of the family came from. We have 3 lines of relatives there too. It is another beautiful town and more warm and wonderful family to embrace. I know they will love the family.

Next, these two are off on their own. They have a car for Cinque Terre and Tuscany and will probably take a train to Venice. It will be wonderful for them to experience that part of their trip without big sister.

I have hotels and apartments rented for all these people and for me. Sometimes I have to double check the files to remember who is where. Speaking of that, where am I going?

First, before the two groups arrive in Italy, I will explore Milano, Parma and Modena and end my northern jaunt in Udine, the Home of The WineFathers, my wine relatives. I will then fly to Rome and meet the first group. I want to make sure they arrive at their apartment in Rome and can grocery shop. Next I flit off to Florence. I cannot miss Florence on my journey.

After leaving my family I have 8 nights unplanned right now. I hope to explore some different areas where I could live next year. I want to see Tellaro, that gorgeous town. And maybe somewhere in Campania like Gaeta and Formia.  Should I check out Puglia?  Readers please give me some ideas. NO SNOW please. Give me the beach and a good train station and I will be happy.


I have been so busy with my customers that I haven’t finished my plan. I may just wing it. Anyone want to meet me along the way?

Italia, ci vediamo presto! Italy, see you soon!

Ciao for now!

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