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Rivers of Wine Cruise on the Columbia and Snake River

Space is filling fast – please do not delay contacting me if you would like to join us on this wonderful Wine Cruise. We have extended our exclusive $350 per cabin discount until May 31st!   
No passports required! This is Wine Cruising USA style on the beautiful Columbia and Snake Rivers tracing the footprints of Lewis & Clarke and visiting fabulous wineries in Oregon and Washington State!

The wine country in Oregon and Washington is situated on the same parallel as Burgundy and Bordeaux in France. The climate, soil and long growing season (April to October) make this part of the Northwest a great host for grape vines. The countryside is varied, ranging from the arid, golden hillsides of eastern Washington to the lush, moisture-rich slopes of Oregon. Winemaking there has surged in the last decade, with 850 wineries in Washington and nearly 700 in Oregon — many of them boutique operations producing award-winning wines. Oregon is known for its pinot noir and pinot gris while Washington is associated with big reds like cabernet sauvignon and syrah and whites such as riesling and chardonnay.
Won’t you join us for this fantastic voyage next October. Space is extremely limited on this small ship so please contact me as soon as possible to secure your cabin.

Venenice Lagoon and Po River Family Cruise with Uniworld

 

           

Just back from a wonderful adventure in Venice with my 6-year old granddaughter on an amazing Uniworld Family Cruise on board the beautiful River Countess. For those of you who did not follow along on my Facebook posts, here is a brief synopsis of a week full of surprises.

After resting up at the exquisite Londra Palace hotel, we boarded the lovely River Countess at the Port of Venice for a week of incredible discoveries in and around the magical city of Venice.

Along with visiting several of the Venice highlights, including an exclusive after-hours visit to the basilica, and a visit to the Rialto Market with the chef, we and the children were treated to such cultural delights as mussel fishing and dining at a fisherman’s shack on stilts in the lagoon, historical Bologna and a pasta making class, pizza making and visits to the beautiful lagoon islands. River Countess set up a special room on board for the kids complete with legos, all kinds of crafting activities and a playstation with video games. They all had a wonderful time together and dined with each other at a special kids table in the dining room where the waiters (probably all missing their own children back home) all showered them with attention. Guests on board without children all marveled at how well behaved they were and well organized by the special Children’s hosts on the ship.

   

On the island of Torcello while the adults enjoyed a visit to view the amazing mosaics in the church, the kids went on a treasure hunt and climbed the bell tower. In colorful Burano, we dined on fresh calamari and shopped for treasures. And while the adults enjoyed a special wine tasting at a gorgeous vineyard on Mazzorbo, the kids honed their rowing skills on a canal in the Lagoon. Visits to the local market in Chioggia, time at the beach and bike rides, rounded out a week filled with activities. For the older children and adults, excursions to Padua, Ravenna and Verona were also offered. All around fun time for all!!

           

I highly recommend this amazing itierary for all ages. It is an incredible way to see Venice and so much more. Uniworld thought of every little detail to keep clients of all ages happy at all times.

For families with children young and old, this is a fantastic vacation opportunity you may never have considered. Dedicated family cruises are offered on several of their River Cruise itineraries. Ask me about the perfect one for you.

Postcards from La Champagne and Paris


I have just returned from an incredible trip to the amazing region of LaChampagne in France followed by 5 wonderful days in beautiful, sunny Paris.

While I often get asked about a day trip to Reims from Paris (just one hour by train) to visit a champagne cellar, never have I been asked to design an itinerary around a week or so in this spectacular region totally void of tourists. If you have plans to return to France and enjoy a glass of bubbly, this region should be high on your list. With the 3 beautiful cities of Reims, Epernay and Troyes anchoring the area, miles and miles of scenic vineyards and countless, gorgeous stone villages interspersed, there is enough to see and do to keep you busy for days or even weeks. We even squeezed in a visit to Renoir’s House and Studio in Essoyes. Between our educational talks at the International Wine Tourism Conference, and the many visits to world-famous champagne houses such as Veuve Clicquot, Taittinger, Collet and Mercier along with several visits to small independent wineries producing amazing champagnes – some selling for just 15 Euros a bottle – we learned a wealth of facts and figures about this fabulous product. During our stay there, we sampled champagnes paired with all kinds of foods … with the exception of a very rare table wine called Rose de Riceys produced from only certain pinot noir grapes in one small village, the bubbly was served exclusively at every meal. Usually 5 different varieties with 5 different courses. Only very few producers make Rosé des Riceys wines, and in limited quantities, so they are very rarely seen outside France. Stretching from Reims in Marne due east of Paris south to the Aube and the border of Bourgnone (Burgundy), La Champagne covers a large and beautiful area of France that should definitely be on your must-see list!! With the help of all my new found friends in the area, we can design a fantastic itinerary for you!

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Following my week in LaChampagne, I traveled by train into Paris where I took time to explore in depth the areas of St. Germain de Pres and the Marais as well as visit some of the lesser known museums, such as the Musee de Cluny, L’Orangerie, and Musee Rodin which were all small and amazing. A visit to Monet’s house and Gardens in Giverny rewarded us with a blaze of color thanks to the incredibly warm weather. Finally a return to the summit of the Eiffel Tower after 45 years! Here despite having the required timed ticket entry, the lines for the elevators to reach the summit took over an hour … and then there are the lines to get down again. BUT I have discovered the secret sauce … how to get up the Eiffel Tower without waiting in the elevator lines! Ask me how for your next trip to Paris.

Stays in two of my favorite Left Bank Hotels, Relais Christine and L’Espirit St. Germain just made our visit very special.

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Definitely missing my glass of champagne today …….

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Culinary Cruise with Chef Jacques Pepin

Calling all foodies … don’t miss this opportunity to sail with celebrity chef, Jaques Pepin, on this wonderful itinerary through the Mediterranean from Lisbon to Rome … and then book the fabulous Culinary Creations experience in Rome following the Cruise. Enjoy special on board culinary presentations and excursions, great pricing and our group bonus of prepaid gratuities and $150 on board credit!! A Food lover’s dream … contact us for more details.Oceania-Jaques Pepin 2015-page-001

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Paris & Normandy - In Celebration of Wine

We have an exclusive extension of the early booking discount until August 31st, 2015. Also we are now able to give you $150 per person on board credit. COME AND JOIN US …. CAN YOU SAY “CHAMPAGNE!!”

Paris & Normandy (wine)_Largay Travel - Trisha Iannazzi VERSION 2-with Holly Howell bio_Page_1

 

 

Naples Pizza!

For those of you who may not read Saveur Magazine, here is an amazing and exclusive experience I designed for them in conjunction with this month’s issue featuring beautiful Naples and its incredible pizza. It is of course available to all of you. If you would like more details, please let me know.

 

SAVEUR

A WORLD-CLASS EXPERIENCE FOR THE SAVEUR READER
A gastronomic trip has been designed for travelers to see and
taste one of Italy’s greatest cities—Naples. Known as the famed
birthplace of pizza, its popularity is resurging in destinations
around the world. After this visit, you’ll be able to bring home the
real, everyday story of Napolitano pizza.
WITH A LOCAL GUIDE YOU’LL ENJOY
•  Authentic tastings throughout neighborhood eateries
•  An intimate pizza making lesson
Other exciting experiences include lunch at Don Alfonso
restaurant, one of Italy’s most prestigious restaurants, and a visit
to Le Peracciole Farm on the Amalfi coast.
BOOK NOW!  Offers are available for a limited time only.
Italy
Foodie: Trisha Iannazzi
Trisha Iannazzi
has traveled the world in
search of authentic and unique
experiences for her clients.
Iannazzi Enterprises
585.624.1285
Pizza
SAVEUR Travel Advisory Board
Virtuoso

Portugal-a wine lover's heaven

Any wine aficionado who has taken the trouble to explore the glorious wines of Portugal will be able to confirm that this small country, nestled up against its Iberian neighbour, Spain, can hold its own in the wine stakes with dignity and flair. Perhaps Portugal is a latecomer to internationally acclaimed wines in comparison to, say, France, but there can be no doubt in anyone’s mind that their superb viniculture is well up to the mark and deserves a closer look.

Wine is produced throughout Portugal from the Minho region down to the south coast of the Algarve; each region has its own distinctive identity, although perhaps the northern and central regions are the better known and appreciated.

The Origin of Port Wine

Wine Tourism Portugal iwinetc

With a wine trade going back hundreds of years, perhaps the best known of Portugal’s wines has to be Port. Produced in the Upper Douro region of Northern Portugal (which was incidentally the very first wine region in the world to be demarcated) and taken by boat down the Douro River to the coast, this classic, fortified wine was the subject of the first European trade agreement, made between England and Portugal, and became known as Port wine from the connection with Oporto, which was the shipping harbour through which Port was exported to England and later the rest of the world. Port is still one of the most popular drinks, particularly to round off a good meal to perfection, and whether you are on board a cruise ship or tucked away in a gourmet restaurant anywhere in the world, it is a given that you will be able to enjoy a glass or two of this sweet wine.

Vinho Verde – New Vintage Wines

Vinho Verde (green wine) is the Portuguese equivalent to Beaujolais Nouveau and is equally palatable, being available anywhere in Portugal throughout the year. Casal Garcia is perhaps one of the more popular of the vinho verdes, produced by Quinta de Aveleda although Quinta de Azevedo is equally palatable. For the avoidance of any confusion, Portuguese Vinho Verde refers to wine that is less than one year old and may be red, white or rose. By far the best known is the white, but the red is perhaps superior in taste should your personal preference be for reds.

What to Choose

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With so many great wines produced throughout Portugal it would be difficult to definitely state that one region is better than another. However, if you want a good run for your money, the Lisbon region is excellent for whites and a good Bucelas is hard to beat, closely matched by Colares. For a red wine drinker who enjoys a world class wine with a sophisticated bouquet and medium to heavy tannin, Bairrada wines would have to come somewhere at the top of the wine list with Dao a close second. These are definitely wines to store as they will improve with age – if you can resist popping the cork that is.

Of course it would be impossible to sample everything on offer and there are limits to how much you can do during the course of a holiday. One way of maximizing your time in Portugal and enjoying the widest range of wines is to take a food and wine tour or cruise. There are quite a few advantages to choosing to have a gastronomic adventure, apart from the obvious plus of having the luxury of drinking without any driving. On a wine and food cruise, for example, you will be able to visit a number of different regions with an experienced and knowledgeable tour guide who will be able to give you a real insight into the local viniculture. Your tour will include visits to vineyards which you may not ordinarily be able to gain access to; pre-arranged wine tastings will enable you to sample the best of what is available and a broader range of wines than you would have the pleasure of trying on your own. Your wine and food cruise organizer will almost certainly be able to offer you advantageous memberships to wine clubs back home; and last but certainly not least, you will be able to enjoy world class cuisine which will undoubtedly complement the fine wines served with your meals. You can combine this with learning something of the culture and getting to grips with how to prepare some of the local cuisine through the cookery courses and tasting sessions which will form part of the tour. As the Portuguese would say: bom apetite e saúde!

By WINEPLEASURES | Published: APRIL 25, 2013

Umbria

Umbria, in the heart of Italy, is set like the centre stone on a beautiful ring. This region has long been known as the “Green Heart of Italy”, a flourishing oasis of woods and expanses of fields awash with the gleaming and marvellous colors of the various seasons, symbolising all that is genuine and natural in this practically untouched countryside. Enclosed by the perfect frame of the Apennines, the Umbrian land lends visitors the rare sensation of protection and the freedom to travel its highways and byways far from the hectic day-to-day life of the cities. The series of towns, villages and castles that literally climb the rolling hills grant glimpses of rare harmony, peace and enticing relaxation.  Umbria is crossed by valleys full of vegetation and protected oases, such as Valtiberina, Valle Umbra and the most intriguing of the three, Valnerina, which has remained almost completely intact and where nature is free to express itself to its full. The air of this region is cool and pleasant all year round thanks to the lakes, Trasimeno and Piediluco, and the rivers, Tevere, Nera and Clitunno. Visitors to Umbria can’t help but lose themselves in the sweetness of the air, the friendliness and hospitality of the people, and the marvel of the places that appear right before their eyes.

While staying in Umbria, enjoy a great choice of six unique half-day tours in and around Perugia, created for you by the people that have always lived here, to show you the actual soul of one of the oldest cities of Italy.

“Perugia Unique Local Experiences” are much more than simple guided tours of the city, they are the best way to experience its culture and traditions, the way you like it…

One for each day of the week…

 

 

Monday: “Authentic Farms and Villages of Umbria”: Enjoy a visit to a beautiful farm in relaxing Italian countryside. The tour includes a “full tasting ” of local products (ham, salami, olive oil, cheese,bruschetta) and wine tasting.

Contact us for more details and fantastic options for the rest of the week!

Umbria – not to be missed on your next visit to Italy.

Last Chance to Experience the Douro with USD2000 Savings

This is a truly amazing itinerary. The scenery is breathtaking, the port visits are fabulous and it is absolutely one of the best trips I have ever taken. If you are a wine enthusiast it is a must-do. This is a fantastic offer. Don’t pass it up!

 

AmaWaterways - Leading The Way In River Cruising
Discover the Dramatic Douro
 Exceptional Savings on Summer Douro Cruises
Save up to $2,000 per stateroom
Cruises from $1,899 per person
AmaWaterways has two exciting river cruises debuting on Portugal’s Douro River in 2013. Experience one of Europe’s most unspoiled and undiscovered rivers on a journey filled with ancient monasteries, sleepy fishing villages, centuries-old wineries and vibrant cultural centers. With its ruggedly beautiful terrain and laboriously terraced hillsides, no wonder the locals boast, “God made the earth, but man made the Douro.”

ENTICING DOURO ENTICING DOURO
7-night roundtrip Porto cruise on the brand-new AmaVida
Optional 3 nights in Lisbon available for $690 per person
U.S. departure dates: August 2 and 9, 2013
Starting from $1,899 per person

OR $1,000 SAVINGS PER STATEROOM
U.S. departure date: July 5 and 26, 2013
Starting from $2,399 per person

PORT WINE & FLAMENCO PORT WINE & FLAMENCO
$1,000 SAVINGS PER STATEROOM
7-night cruise from Vega Terrón to Porto on the brand-new AmaVida
Optional 3 nights in Lisbon & 3 nights in Madrid
available for $1,380 per person
U.S. departure dates: July 12 & 19, 2013
Starting from $2,399 per person

Wine Cruise with Holly Howell

New World meets Old World! 

Holly Howell, Certified Sommelier through the Master Court of London and award-winning Finger Lakes wine writer, invites you to join her on a fun-filled, educational and very tasty wine tour of the Rhine River from Basel, Switzerland to Amsterdam. Traveling on the award winning AmaWaterways aboard the elegant AmaCello river ship you will see where it all started.

Riesling, Gewurztraminer, Pinot Gris, Gruner Veltliner, Lemberger, and Pinot Noir – all of the grapes that have found their niche in New York State originated right here in Europe.  As we travel down the magnificent Rhine… through Alsace, France and into the Rheingau of Germany… we will be sampling those mouthwatering Rhine wines alongside some of our Finger Lakes favorites.

A one-of-a-kind experience that will ultimately connect you to a unique part of our own local wine history.  Come along and enjoy the ride — with in-depth wine seminars, private wine tours, chef-inspired cuisine and the beauty of one of the most breathtaking waterways of Europe. November 15-22, 2013.

Enjoy our exclusive group benefits:

$250.00 per person discount on published rates

$100.00 per person on board credit

Contact us today for more details.