My Road Leads Back to Rome…


I was in Rome in spring and feel very fortunate (and very excited) to be returning again this fall.

If you read my previous post, you know that I’ll be in Puglia again…then I hope you will follow along as I revisit the Eternal City, Roma!

In spring I did a lot of walking and exploring, but, along with my incredible 5 Star Day with Baglioni Hotels , the highlights were my guided tours with Walks of Italy and Through Eternity!

My road leads back to Rome!

My road leads back to Rome!

I’m a firm believer in investing in quality tours. I did a lot of research to find the tours that offered what I wanted to see/do and were available on the dates I would be there. It had been a LONG time since I had been to Rome and I had never invested in tours…this time it was different and I’m so glad I did invest (and implore you to do the same!).

With Through Eternity, Caterina took us on a 4+ hour fascinating tour of the Sistine Chapel (with early entry–do it!), the Vatican Museum and St. Peters. So enriching and interesting…phenomenal!

Appreciating timeless beauty...

Appreciating timeless beauty…

On another day, I joined Walks of Italy for a tour of Ancient Rome including the Forum and the Colosseum with special access to the hypogeum and 3rd tier. This tour, with Jon, was equally fascinating and informative.

Touring the colossal Colosseum!

Touring the colossal Colosseum!

You can read guide books and study all about it (and I do!) but the real icing on the cake is to then take a tour and be walked through these sites with knowledgeable experts…fabulous!Spacer-LaDolceVitaSO, with that in mind, I am very VERY excited to be taking four (4) amazing tours in October!

As the guest, I will be enjoying, taking zillions of photos and sharing all about them during and after. Here’s what I will be doing!Victoria ebook wine & gelato

Walks of Italy
Rome Food Tour: Pizza-Making, Markets & Tastings   
The Trastevere neighborhood is famous for its food and uniqueness. We’ll enjoy 3-1/2 hrs of exploring, tasting & savoring the best it has to offer! Then pizza-making!


Eating Rome
Taste of Testaccio Food Tour
Si, another fantastic walking/eating tour in another fabulous neighborhood, Testaccio. 4 hours featuring nine authentic food stops with 12 delicious tastings! Buonissimo!


Now to give my spandex a break….

Tour of the Christian Churches and Basilicas of Rome
Have you ever walked into a church or basilica and wondered about the history and art? I have! And in this 3 hour walking tour we will visit and learn about: St. John in Lateran, the Baptistry of St. John, San Clemente Church and the underground, St. Peter’s in Chain (with Michelangelo’s famous statue), and, St. Mary Major.


Through Eternity
Capitoline Museums: The Wonders of Greco-Roman Art Capitoline Museum is home to many of the treasures of ancient Rome and I have wanted to visit it for ages. This 2 hour tour is a wish fulfilled!


I want to thank all of these amazing and generous tour companies in advance. I look forward to returning to and seeing more of Rome with you!

What more could a gal ask for, besides gelato and new shoes???


Posted in Inspired Travel, Italian Talks Articles, La Dolce Vita!, Rewarding Sightseeing, Rome, Solo Travel | Tagged , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Here I Go Again…!!! Italy Calls…

Let's Go to Italy Together!Cercare, gustare, amare la dolce vita…con passione!

Seeking, savoring, loving the sweet life…with passion!

Victoria -Vespa

The irresistible siren’s song of la dolce vita calls! And I answer! Why would I resist returning to Italy?? It’s my heart’s home after all…

First, back to the heel– Puglia –with another fun group! We’ll be “kicking up our heelZ” in the heel of Italy! I took my first group in spring and it was my first time there–it was absolutely favoloso!! (And if you don’t understand Italian, that means fabulous!!)

10 Fantastic days with Yle, Michele and Mamma Giulia at Masseria Provenzani !

Warm & welcoming...

Warm & welcoming…

I can’t wait to return to the exquisite “farmhouse” where we will enjoy cooking and eating organic and simply divine local regional cuisine together; wine and olive oil tasting with Valentino and Donato; touring  medieval cities and seaside towns of the Salento area; visiting local artisans...

Maybe you’ve never heard of Puglia or the Salento area? I can guarantee that you will!

Food & Wine, NY Times, Huffington Post, Lonely Planet and Conde Nast–to name a few–have all touted Puglia as the next place to go! And the only way to go is to come with us! Si???

I’m so excited to be returning to this unique and very special region of Italy. I can’t wait to see the friends I made in spring and to revisit Lecce, Otranto, Gallipolli, Ostuni and Alberobello, to name a few of the friendly, interesting, and historically fascinating places we will enjoy together.

I Wish You Were Coming, Too, Don’t YOU??

Here’s a sneak preview! Maybe next spring or fall, YOU will be here with me? I hope you will say “Si”!

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For now, please follow us on Facebook , Twitter, Instagram or Pinterest? I’ll be sharing a lot more when I get back…

Let's Go to Italy Together!

Posted in Gallipoli, Grotto Zinzulusa, Italy with Victoria!, La Dolce Vita!, Lecce, Made in Puglia!, Ostuni, Otranto, Puglia, Puglia 2015, Rewarding Sightseeing, Trulli of Itria Valley | Tagged , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Tis the Season…to Travel!

 When is the best time to travel? Well, like anything else, it’s a matter of opinion. Certainly, there are many factors to consider. Spring and fall, which are often referred to as the “shoulder” or “off” seasons, are typically considered the best option and we’re advised to avoid “high season”. However, that may or may not be true or possible for you…

Let’s talk about why and, depending on your circumstances, what the upsides and downsides of shoulder and high seasons are…then decide for yourself!

When IS the Best Time to Travel?

travel tidbitzSend Me a Postcard! Please Share, Just Comment Below!

When Do YOU Prefer to Travel? Why? 

Posted in Rewarding Sightseeing, The Best Time to Travel, Travel Planning, Travel TipZ | Tagged , , , , | 2 Comments

Let’s Go to Italy – TOGETHER!

 Let's Go to Italy Together!Kick Up Your HeelZ in Puglia!

Lose Your Heart in Umbria!

La Dolce Vita is Waiting for YOU!

Don’t tell me why you can’t, tell me why you are ready to say, “Si!!” to Coming to Italy with ME!

Let's Go to Italy Together!Stay in ONE fabulous family-owned and run accommodation, enjoy delicious regional cuisine and wines, visit local medieval cities and hill towns with expert local tour leaders. Meet artisans and experience the authentic, local life…all in a small group and at a comfortable pace. (And did I mention affordable!!)

 Whether you’re a foodie, a wine lover, an art or history buff or Italophile…or just love to travel, this unique, boutique experience is perfect for YOU!

Come with friends or make new ones, ideal for solos, siblings, and couples…

Let's Go to Italy Together!



Spaces STILL Available for September 19th departure – contact Victoria today!


Click for Itinerary & Registration Details AND

“Early Bird” Specials!

PUGLIA Spring 2015 – Register Now & $ave!

UMBRIA Fall 2015

(Puglia Fall 2015 Itinerary & Registration Details Available 9/1/14)

Let's Go to Italy Together!Read about & see the fabulous time we had in Puglia this spring!

Posted in Is a Tour for You?, Italy with Victoria!, Puglia, Puglia 2014, Puglia 2015, Solo Travel, Travel TipZ, Umbria, Umbria 2015 | Tagged , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

New! Oh, Give Me a Farm Where the Buffalo…

Visiting A Buffalo Farm in Italy

Do you love cheese? Do you love mozzarella cheese? Ricotta cheese? And have you had the exquisite pleasure of eating fresh buffalo mozzarella and ricotta cheese? I’m talking 12 hours from milking to plate!

No? Well, after you read about my visit to a buffalo farm in Campania, Italy, where mozzarella di latte di bufala is the specialty, you’ll be ready to pack your bags!

Let’s visit together, shall we?

Spotlight on: A Buffalo Farm in Campania

Buffalo Farm - buffalo


Posted in Amalfi Coast, Eco-Tourism, Food Tourism, Gelato, Inspired Travel, Rewarding Sightseeing | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

I Just Had a Fabulous Vacation…So, Why Am I So BLUE??

You’re just back from a fabulous vacation! You had a great time…all the planning and expense was worth it – it was fun, rewarding, memorable, and everything you hoped it would be…Then why the heck are you so blue??? Maybe even downright depressed??

Has this every happened to you? Sure, there’s the laundry, the bills, the mail, the empty frig, jet lag, and the “oh god I have to go back  to work on Monday” stuff, but it’s something else and despite the fact that you’re glad to sleep in your own bed and your pets are thrilled to see you, there can definitely still be a real letdown…a real case of the blues!

If you had a great time, then how is that possible? I used to think it was just me…until I discovered that it’s a real phenomenon and you certainly are not alone……  It’s called the post-vacation blues! No, really, I’m not making it up! It’s even got a clinical name…

We know the cause, so what are the symptoms and what’s the cure??? Find out how to beat those blues:

Post-Vacay Blues!

Read about it, then please share what works for you! (Mine is to plan the next trip!)

Posted in The Savvy Traveler, Travel PointerZ, Travel TipZ | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment

SideTripZ: Let’s Take a Walk, Shall We?

Today’s SideTripZ is a personal observation. An observation about a fairly simple subject…taking a walk. Or is it that simple? Taking a walk can be incredibly pleasurable and rewarding or it can simply be a way to get from here to there...which is it for you?

* * *

“I am alarmed when it happens that I have walked a mile into the woods bodily, without getting there in spirit.”
― Henry David Thoreau, Walking

Growing up in California, I’m used to a “car culture” i.e., pretty much getting in your car to get anywhere. However, as a child growing up in a (then) small town,  even though we had a car, my mother didn’t drive so we often walked together. Sometimes my dad would pick us up from the market or downtown but we often walked there and to my aunt’s house which was fairly close.

Sometimes we all went somewhere together and when she and my aunt walked arm in arm laughing and sharing, it was an intimacy I didn’t understand or really appreciate until I went to Italy many years later…and certainly an intimacy that isn’t possible in an automobile…but I digress…a little…

Over the years, I’ve noticed the trend and tendency to multitask while doing just about everything has also invaded the wonderful world of walking, just walking for the sake of walking. Even walking needs to be slotted into our busy lives and has to have a “purpose” , a “goal”. And now, it’s all-too-common to see walkers (as well as bikers and drivers!) wearing earphones and listening to something or other…

Personally, I’ve never been a fan of earphones since I don’t like sticking things in my ears.  I like to hear the wind, the waves, the birds, and even my own thoughts… not to mention that I don’t think it’s particularly safe or smart to block out any/all external noise. But it’s also a bit disconcerting because, it’s been shown that the brain simply cannot pay attention to or do two things at once effectively. So, something is going to be compromised or lost… hmmm…

Stop and smell the roses!

Stop and smell the roses!

Are we losing the capacity to just be present and enjoy all of the beauty and sensations around us as we are experiencing it? And, what has this got to do with traveling anyway?

Well, as far as I’m concerned, everything! One of the greatest benefits of walking is that you can stop, pause, look up, look around, and take in your surroundings …at your leisure

By allowing ourselves the luxury of lingering, perhaps even taking a seat and merely observing, enjoying, and appreciating this very moment… we are literally taking the time to stop and smell the roses:

“The walking of which I speak has nothing in it akin to taking exercise, as it is called, as the sick take medicine at stated hours …but it is itself the enterprise and adventure of the day.”
― Henry David Thoreau, Walking

One of the many reasons that I love traveling is the fact that I do  a lot of walking.  When I travel I tap back into what it means to take a walk, to stroll, saunter, even wander…Not just walking to get from Point A to Point B, but allowing the time and space to enjoy the journey getting there, even when I get lost, to just take it all in…to chance upon and discover gems and details that would otherwise go unnoticed.

Sit, enjoy a caffe and your surroundings...

Sit, enjoy a caffe and your surroundings…

However, along with not paying attention while walking I have noticed, with increasing (and alarming) frequency, travelers of all ages and nationalities walking through the streets or sitting in outdoor cafés just about everywhere absolutely fixated on their smartphones, iPads, etc. and barely paying attention to anything else! What’s interesting is when you see people traveling together and everyone is on their smartphone and no one is engaging with each other much less with their surroundings!

My question to them is: Why did you come to (fill in the name of a city) when you’re spending half  (or more!) of your time texting and telling everyone what you’re doing instead of just doing it???

Oh, don’t get me wrong – I’m all over social media, etc., too. As a blogger, writer, etc. I’m just as afflicted but I do save it until I get back to my room and, hopefully, have a WiFi connection and a little time to catch up…

But when I’m out and about, it’s all about being connected to where I am, as Thoreau says, physically and spiritually, when the walk itself is the adventure…how delightful is that?

Sit, relax, just be...

Sit, relax, just be…

Recently while sitting in a lovely cafe in Florence’s Piazza della Signoria enjoying an aperitivo , I sat and watched the traditional Italian evening stroll, the passeggiatta.  It was absolutely charming and I became a bit wistful remembering my mother and aunt walking arm-in-arm…

As I watched young and old, couples, friends and families leisurely walking together at the end of the day for the sole pleasure of being together, and sharing the day, greeting friends, or perhaps just strolling in that sweet space of silent intimacy, I reminisced, smiled and joined them, if only in spirit.

* * *

travel tidbitzSend Me a Postcard! Just Comment Below!

Do you enjoy walking when you travel? What do you enjoy most about it?

Posted in Inspired Travel, La Dolce Vita!, Rewarding Sightseeing, SideTripZ, Travel TipZ | Tagged , , , , , | 12 Comments

In Case You Were Wondering…

 In case you were wondering where you can find me when I’m not writing, blogging, planning or leading a trip or tour to Italy or helping someone plan their next trip …

You will find me can here and on my new “Page”   (it’s under the ABOUT  tab above):

Where You Will Find Victoria

It includes links to my social media sites as well as YouTube videos, published articles and blog radio chats!

addtext_com_MTUxODU5NTk5OTk * * * NEW! * * *

Let me help YOU to save time, money and aggravation!

If you look on the right hand side of this page (same as the ad on the right), you’ll notice  that I now offer personal travel consulting services - expert advice at a reasonable rate!

* * * COMING! * * *

I’m hard at work on my first e-book!

Any guesses on the topic? Stay tuned for updates and some very special offers!

* * *

travel tidbitzSo, let’s stay in touch, shall we??

Send Me a Postcard!

What travel related topics would you like to hear about?

Please comment below! I love hearing from you!

* * *

Posted in Inspired Travel, Travel Planning, Travel TipZ | Tagged , , , , , , | 2 Comments

La Dolce Vita Meets the Queen of Radio!


You’re Invited to Join Us!

This Tuesday, July 22nd, I will be chatting with Joyce Barrie on her radio show, Joyce Barrie & Friends!

So, how did this come about and why me? Well, a darling couple registered for my spring “Let’s Kick Up Our HeelZ in Puglia” trip. It so happened that Pam and I went to high school together. In January we got together with some of the other fellow travelers and I met her husband, Rudy.

Rudy, Pam & I

Pam, Rudy & I in Italy

When we all reconnected in Puglia, and we truly had the time of our lives together! Rudy, being an entrepreneur, dynamite speaker, and frequent guest on her show, referred Joyce to me and me to her….Hence, the connection! And I have to say I am truly honored!

Joyce’s show is about sharing stories, experiences, and lessons that her audience, which is worldwide, will find of interest. We chatted and bounced ideas around then leaving it up to me to come up with a title and talking points.

So, what will we talk about? Well, the title is “Passion Purpose PiZazz!” and that’s really all I’m going to share right now – but I can say it will be a little about my personal path but mostly about what keeps me passionate and loving what I’m doing…

So, please tune in tomorrow (I need the moral support!):

Victoria Chats with the Queen of Radio:

Passion Purpose PiZazz!

Call in to listen on BlogRadio:

Tuesday, July 22nd

(917) 388-4530

8 a.m. PST

10 a.m CST

11 a.m. EST


And if you miss it, it will be archived (oh dear?!)


Posted in Grotto Zinzulusa, Inspired Travel, Italy with Victoria!, La Dolce Vita!, Puglia | Tagged , , , , , | 2 Comments

10 Reasons Why You Will LOVE Coming to Italy with Victoria! #10

Let's Go to Italy Together!

Join me & let's enjoy "la dolce vita" together!

10 Reasons Why You Will LOVE Coming to Italy 



Here’s #10 and it sums up all of them! The last and BEST reason of all…

 Let's Go to Italy Together!

Continue reading

Posted in Ciao Bella!, Inspired Travel, Italy with Victoria!, La Dolce Vita!, Lecce, Made in Puglia!, MIlestone Celebrations, My Trip PickZ, Ostuni, Otranto, Puglia 2014, Puglia 2015, Rewarding Sightseeing, Solo Travel, Travel Planning, Travel TipZ, Umbria 2015 | Tagged , , , , , | Leave a comment