I have organized and conducted tours that researched and united long lost family members in Italy. Some tours catered to special interests e.g. golf, WWII historical sites, culinary experience, shopping, specific art and history, wine tasting, hiking, and religious centers.
Past Adventures - 12 Day Excursions
Spain and Portugal
This two week tour started in Lisbon. Three days in this city allowed time to absorb the great maritime history of the country, the soul music of Portugal, great cuisine, and a day trip to the royal fairyland castle in Sintra. Our visit to Spain began in Madrid. Three nights made time for the Prado and a day trip to Toledo. We continued to Cordoba and Sevilla by high speed train. The Alhambra in Granada was our next stop followed by Barcelona. Three night stays in hotels was a much appreciated factor.
A Taste of Italy
This has been the most popular tour for Avanti tours Inc. In addition to our signature itinerary which includes Rome, Sorrento, Capri, Siena, Florence, the hill towns of Tuscany, and Venice, we have added Assisi in past years. Angels and Demons fans enjoyed "spelunking" the Scavi excavations in the Vatican and taking a short respite from their Roman holiday in the tranquil Vatican Gardens. From marveling at the Tuscan vistas from our villa at the foot of San Gimignano, to lingering over Limoncello in Capri, to dining and conversing with the locals in an authentic family restaurant in Trastevere, to partaking in an unforgettable food and wine extravaganza at the world famous Villa Banfi, we have truly experienced "La Dolce Vita". Frances Mayes, eat your heart out!
Austria & Northern Italy - An Alpine Adventure
This tour featured Vienna, ( we strudeled our way across the city) Salzburg, Cortina d'Ampezzo, Venice, and Lake Como. We didn't think that anything could beat the charm of Austria until we reached the spectacular Dolomites that towered over our suites in Cortina. We witnessed the fluid art of glassblowing in Murano and dined in the company of gondoliers in Venice. Finally - Lake Como - what a way to end a vacation! Pristine waters, snow-capped Alps, and lakeside rooms were hard to beat!
Italy - Canals, Lakes and Sea
This tour was our most intimate ( 15 people ) which enabled us to have much more flexibility, a relaxed pace, and a family style camaraderie. With the support of a 2nd time traveler and driver, we rented two 9 passenger vans and " left the driving to us." With two-way radio we traversed Italy without mishap and in record time - which gave us more time to enjoy our pre-selected destinations. The itinerary included Rome, Orvieto, Tuscany, Cinque Terre, Lake Como, and Venice.
A Culinary Tour of Italy
This tour was designed for travelers who would enjoy exploring, learning, and tasting the cuisine of the regions of Liguria (Cinque Terre), Emilia Romagna, Umbria, and Tuscany. We visited some of the best wineries and kitchens in Italy. The tour also featured demonstrations and hands-on experience. No cooking experience was required, just appreciation of good food, wine, and company
Paris, Normandy, and Loire Valley
A premier tour for 2005. Our travel took us to Monet's home, Giverny, then on to Normandy and the historical battlefields, cemeteries, and museums of the WWII allied invasion. The Loire Valley features beautiful chateaux and gardens, such as Chambord. Four days in Paris gave us ample opportunity to take in the history, great cuisine - and fantastic bakeries.
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