Are you familiar with this...?

by Sunni Chapman

It’s hard to believe November is already upon us. Autumn is harvest time in Italy — when sun-soaked grapes are picked at the vineyards. In the Italian countryside, you'll see farmers gathering olives to make extra virgin oil. And, in Italy’s historic towns, the tourist crowds have begun to thin.

Fall is also when See Italy shares our favorite undiscovered gems with select agents. Two weeks ago, we explored Umbria on our first fall educational trip. This week, we’re unearthing the majesty of Puglia—the heel of the Italian boot. So far, we’ve:

· strolled past the crystal blue Mediterranean

· relished hand-made orecchiette in local trattorias

· enjoyed an impromptu folk concert outside of Matera

· sipped red, white and rosato wines at family-run wineries

We make a point NOT to call our trips “FAMs.” In industry lingo, FAM means “familiarizing trip.” Hotels often host these to promote their properties. They're packed with site visits – herding you from one room to the next. I'll be honest: our agent trips won't “familiarize” you with Italy. Instead, we treat you like part of our extended Italian famiglia.

We craft each journey so that you can experience Italy like our high-end client might— wowed, not familiarized. Participants in our trips enjoy the following perks: 

· 4*, 5* and boutique accommodations

· Private, local guides throughout the trip

· Meals & wine in Italian-approved eateries

· Immersive experiences – like, cooking with grandma

· No fee for traveling on your own (you get a room to yourself)

You'll taste wine at vineyards’ private tasting rooms. You’ll hunt for truffles in the countryside or set sail with a local ship captain. You'll slumber in the comfort of your own deluxe room.

When I escorted our agent trip to Puglia last fall, we made lunch with a group of local grandmothers. Patiently, they taught us recipes they’d mastered in their own nonnas' kitchens. We baked fresh focaccia. We made pasta by hand. And, naturally, we enjoyed a glass (or two) of Southern Italian wine. ((You’ll find a recipe from our class at the bottom of this e-mail, so keep reading to the end)).

The food we were served was sublime. But, when I think back on that day, what I remember most clearly is feeling a bond with our cooks. Despite differences in language and culture, we all came together around a shared table. We told family stories. We laughed together. We weren’t tourists… but part of their family.

In spring 2018, we’ll visit the following Italian destinations with our agents: SICILY (3/11 – 3/20) and LAKE COMO / LAKE MAGGIORE (4/8 – 4/15). Our first Tuscany trip sold out, so we’re thrilled to announce a second trip through TUSCANY (10/29 - 11/5)!

Would you prefer to be ‘familiar’ with Italy or to relish the country for yourself? We’d love to help you discover the Italy clients crave. Apply today to see Italy with us: These trips fill up months in advance, so apply here before your spot is gone.

Ciao, ciao!

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