Saturday, November 29, 2008
Wednesday, November 26, 2008
Tuesday, November 18, 2008
Click on this link to read our latest press release!
This press release announces the new "Postcards from Italy" tour that we are launching for 2009.
Monday, November 17, 2008
Tramonto a Roma - Roman Sunset - December 2005
In December 2005, I had the opportunity to travel with my boss to Italy to attend a research conference in Genoa, and she and I decided to extend our trip into a week's vacation. I studied Italian intensively for 3 weeks prior to the trip and tried to speak as much Italian as I could during the trip. I used to be fluent in French, so it wasn't as hard as it might otherwise have been :-) Trying to connect with the locals in their native language really enhanced my overall experience. I could tell that they were touched by my efforts (and amused at my mistakes!). After our conference in Genoa, we hopped on a train and headed "solo andata" (one-way) to Pisa before proceeding to Rome. Whereas others had told me that Pisa was 'boring' or a 'let-down' or 'not worth seeing,' I found it breathtaking and exhilerating. We rounded the corner in the cab at night, on a full moon, to have the Leaning Tower come into view right in front of us. I was moved to tears. The next morning, we climbed the steps, the worn, marble steps once walked by Galileo, to the very top for a spectacular view of the city and the mountains to the northeast. What part of that was 'boring' or 'not worth seeing?' Here we are at the top of the Leaning Tower:
Pisa is also where I first heard about and experienced a wonderful Tuscan treat - vin santo with cantuccini. Vin santo is a sweet dessert wine made from dried grapes, and it is enjoyed by dunking cantucci, or cantuccini (small cookies, or biscotti) into the glass. Certainly not 'boring!'
Then we traveled to Rome. I am not a city person, per se. I generally prefer being in the woods and the mountains, away from the crowds. However, there was something so remarkable about the ancient history of Rome that I felt myself wanting to stay, and wanting to try living there for a while. We hired a guide and explored the Forum, Trevi Fountain, Piazza Navona, and the Vatican Museums and Sistine Chapel. That evening, we enjoyed an incredibly delicious feast at Il Giardino, a restaurant right near our Hotel, the Antica Roma, specializing in Sardinian food. I made the grave error (!) of telling the waiter how much I was enjoying the Sicilian food - oh Mamma Mia, not a good mistake to make! He feigned terrible indignation, and then kindly explained my 'faux pas.' :-) We also did a fair amount of shopping and found a terrific shop selling our new favorite - limoncello! Here is my boss trying to decide which bottle(s) of limoncello to buy!
La Contadina Travels and Tours, the company I work for
La Contadina ad on Slow Travel website
Italian Club of Salt Lake
The ICSL also offers wonderful Italian language classes in a fun and comfortable setting at Raw Bean Cafe', at 611 South West Temple (great access off I-15). I'm the coordinator of the classes as well as a student, and believe me, the classes are great!