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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.

Regent Voyager Mediterranean Cruise October 23-November 2nd

 
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It is lovely to visit the Mediterranean late in the season when the weather is usually wonderful, there are less crowds everywhere and between summer and the holidays, it is just a nice time to travel. And it is especially lovely to do so on an exquisite luxury ship. Arriving in Rome for two leisurely days in one of our very favorite cities, gave us time to rest up and lose the jet lag before boarding the beautiful Regent Voyager just out of dry dock with a major refurbishment which made her look brand new.

This is a small ship by today’s standards accommodating just 700 passengers in elegant veranda suites of varying sizes. We splurged on a huge Seven Seas suite with 1-1/2 bathrooms and a butler which was pure heaven for our 10-day voyage. The ship is small enough to be intimate and have no crowded spaces or lines anywhere, ever, yet large enough to have various dining and entertainment venues to please everyone.  A lovely touch is Regent’s “block party”, right after muster the first afternoon, all passengers were invited out into their hallways and asked to bring a glass from their bar. And there waiting to greet us were waiters with canapés and bottles of champagne as we greeted our new neighbors and the officers who passed by to greet us.

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Throughout the cruise all the staff were amazingly courteous and efficient, not one staff member ever passed us in the halls without smiling and saying “good morning, afternoon, evening”. We all swore the butlers had hidden cameras in the suites as they appeared out of nowhere with our evening hors d’oeuvres the minute we stepped in!  The food in all the restaurants on board was exceptional at all times as were the free-flowing wines offered throughout the journey. The ship also boasts a magnificent Canyon Ranch Spa for those wishing even more pampering.

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Our journey through the Mediterranean and Aegean seas took us from Rome to Monte Carlo, on to Pisa and Lucca, Sorrento, Taormina, Sicily for wine tasting at a vineyard on the side of Mt. Etna; Corfu, Greece; Kotor, Montenegro – indisputably everyone’s favorite; Dubrovnik, Croatia and back to Italy for visits to Ancona and Venice. It was a dream itinerary revisiting many favorite spots and discovering new ones. The dawn arrival at St. Mark’s Square had everyone up on deck to witness this amazing scene …. One which may not be possible much longer as Venetians are trying to ban the cruise ships passing that way anymore.

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We have been fortunate to travel in Europe by ship from Lisbon to Istanbul over the years visiting just about every port along the way and we never tire of this incredibly civilized and comfortable way to see the world. Try it, we guarantee you will like it!

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Off to sail on the RSSC Voyager

Packing now to leave in a few days to host over 100 Virtuoso Voyager Club clients on a marvelous voyage from Rome to Venice on the beautiful Regent Seven Seas Voyager. All our guests will be comfortably accommodated in their luxurious suites with verandas, many with the additional luxury of Butler service.
I will keep you updated on our adventures as we sail the Mediterranean and Adriatic on this exciting itinerary.

 

Seven Seas Voyager

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

Top 10 European Rail Journeys

A&K Destination management company
Top European Rail JourneysRomantic, comfortable and sublimely picturesque, rail travel is one of Europe’s great pleasures.

It is also a fast and relaxing way to combine destinations to create your perfect itinerary.

Meanwhile our outstanding Concierge Rail Service ensures your travel between destinations with the ease and comfort you have come to expect from an us.

For inspiration, take a look at our top 10 European rail journeys.

Top 10 European Rail Journeys

1.    Zermatt to St Moritz
2.    Moscow to Vladivostok
3.    Zurich to Milan
4.    Paris to Barcelona
5.    Amsterdam to Germany
6.    Budapest to Vienna to Prague
7.    London to Edinburgh
8.    Verona to Munich
9.    Santiago di Compostela to León
10.  Fort William to Mallaig

Should you wish to incoroparte any of these fantastic journeys into a European adventure we would love to hear from you.

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.

Unforgettable Events

Tauck
Tauck Events
 

What happens when you combine Tauck’s 87+ years of travel expertise
with once-in-a-lifetime, history-making experiences?

Unforgettable Events, Impossible to Replicate, Uniquely Tauck – Filling Fast

Imagine making it possible for you… to dine in an exclusive art-filled gallery in the Vatican Museums traditionally reserved for heads of state or church officials… or ring in the New Year with a gala dinner in the ballroom of a famous star-studded Hollywood hotel that annually hosts the glamorous Golden Globe Awards… or listen to a keynote address by The Civil War filmmaker Ken Burns during a cocktail reception and a private after-hours tour of the National Archives in Washington, DC…

You can do this and more by booking a Tauck Event where once-in-a-lifetime experiences make Tauck Events, including the Celebration of RosesRoman Holiday and The Civil War Event, one-of-a-kind anywhere in the world.

Unique travel experiences based in one destination and built around cultural, historical or sports-oriented themes, Tauck Events showcase what Tauck does best – offering authentic, theme-driven experiences that inspire learning and create an emotional connection with the topic and destination. Small group sightseeing tracks – featuring Tauck’s uncommon access to places and experiences you can’t have on your own, behind-the-scenes insights from noted experts, and personalized service by Tauck Directors – are highlighted with extraordinary gala evening events in places not privately accessible to the public – and virtually impossible to replicate.

Limited space is still available, but is filling fast. Book today!

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Celebration of Roses
Celebration of Roses,
featuring a gala New Years
Eve Party in Beverly Hills,
Grandstand Seats at the Rose
Parade and optional tickets to
the Rose Bowl

Dec 9, 2012 – Jan 2, 2013
4 nights, priced from $3790
per person, double

Roman Holiday
Roman Holiday,
highlighted by Taucks private
dinner in the Vatican Museums,
visits inside private palaces and
cocktails and dinner in Ancient
Rome at Cinecitt Studios

October 25 – 30, 2012
5 nights, priced from $4,990
per person, double

The Tauck Civil War Event
The Tauck Civil War Event,
featuring an evening with
Ken Burns at the National
Archives, and a lecture by
historian Harold Holzer at the
National Building Museum

October 14 – 18, 2012
4 nights, priced from $3,990
per person, double

CALL US TODAY FOR MORE INFORMATION ON THESE UNFORGETTABLE EVENTS OR ANY OTHER OF TAUCK’S AMAZING ADVENTURES.
Tauck World Discovery Tauck Small Ship Cruising Tauck Riverboat Cruising
Tauck Bridges Tauck Events Tauck Culturious

Enjoy a Summer Festival in Italia!

 

Ciao amici.
With the coming of Easter, Italy begins to wake up. People stroll about in the piazza (town square) and streets and you can just about hear the joy as the sun warms things up and makes everyone giddy and social. Springtime is also the beginning of the festivals, concerts and sagre throughout Italy. We would like to introduce you to a few of Italy’s finer festivals in Umbria and Tuscany.

First, a quick glossary to the Italian terms:

  • The Italian word for festival or performance is manifestazione and the posters you see about town for concerts or shows are called manifesti – a “manifestation” of some cultural event in the arts or music.
  • festa on the other hand is usually intended for a holiday or birthday or party. It has many meanings and there are many feste in Italy.
  • sagra (plural = sagre) is also a festival but is usually intended for a feast of some sort. A sagra is a traditional or popular festival with a market celebrating a specific food.

Here are a few of our tops picks for this summer: 

Umbria Jazz

This is one of Italy’s hottest jazz and music festivals with international musicians and celebrated artists coming to perform in Umbria’s capital city of Perugia in the month of July. Umbria Jazz had its first performance on August 23, 1973 at the outside park in Piediluco, a small town on the lake above Terni in southern Umbria. This year the festival takes place from July 6-15 ending with a performance by Sting at the San Giuliana arena.

Il Palio di Sienna

Il Palio is a horse race held annually every July 2nd and August 16th in Siena’s main square, il Campo. The fun part of the Palio is not so much the race but the pre-Palio festivities during the four days prior to each event. The participating contrade (neighborhoods) have their taverns open to the public for dinners of traditional Tuscan fare served in historic costume. There are practice races in the Campo during the day. So, even if you decide not to take part in the actual race day with 30,000 other spectators, you can still get a feel for the passion and tradition that is the Palio.

Infiorate di Spello

The Corpus Domini flower festival in Spello is a Catholic religious holiday on the 9th Sunday after Easter where people celebrate by designing stunning flower carpets to line the streets of this Roman town. This has become a competitive event with various organizations and groups vying for first price in artistic composition and design. Each year there is a religious theme given to the competing groups and they then have to create a design and execute the final product using only flowers and their pedals, stems and leaves.

La Gaita di Bevagna

One of Umbria’s favorite medieval festivals is celebrated annually at the end of June. Bevagna, an antique Roman town in the flatlands between Montefalco and Foligno in Umbria was divided into four neighborhoods in the Middle Ages that governed the town and administered the economic and social aspects. Today, Bevagna hosts a re-enactment of those years between 1250 and 1350. For 10 days Bevagna takes a leap back in time and completely transforms itself into the Medieval village it was during those years.

So now that Easter is closely approaching it is time to call us and book a week in Italy. Once you have decided what week or weeks best suits you the next question to ask is “What manifestazione or sagra or festa is happening that week in Italy? Sign me up!!”

VILLAS AND GARDENS OF TUSCANY

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VILLAS AND GARDENS OF TUSCANY WITH VILLA LA MASSA
From April 13th to April 19th and from September 10th  to September 16th 2012

 

After the successful editions of last year, Villa La Massa invites you again on a fascinating journey through the grand Villas and Gardens of Tuscany.

During the 6 days program, the dynamic Armand de Foucault, a Frenchman specialized in History of Gardens, will be your host as you tour magnificent estates to learn of the raison d’êtrebehind their lush landscaping as well as the history of the art, architecture and the place that surrounds them.

For more details and booking please contact Trisha at IANNAZZI ENTERPRISES
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For the Love of Piedmont

Spread the love this Valentine’s week by sharing your love of food and robust wines.

If you have a penchant for Piedmont cuisine and like to get bold with a Barolo, then our Chef on Wheels tour will certainly whet your appetite and quench your thirst for adventure.

That’s right, we are teaming up again with Josh and Jen Ziskin of La Morra Restaurant for a bike tour and culinary exploration of Piedmont. Home of Barolo wines, the Alba Truffle festival an the birthplace of the Slow Food movement, Piedmont is not only one of the world’s most alluring gastronomic destinations, but it’s vine glad ridges and hilltop villages make it a premier cycling destination as well.

This year’s tour will run from October 14-19… just in time to watch the leaves change in the vineyards, taste the freshly-harvested Nebbiolo grapes and visit the world-famous white truffle festival in Alba. The ultimate pairing!

If you are interesting in finding out how to share the love with this exciting tour, please call IANNAZZI ENTERPRISES at 585-624-1285