Here they come, they are landing in a country of warm people, tasty food and free thinkers. The palm trees are showing their majestic leave tops to the people in the plane and the flat land with white terrace roofs might give the impression that my travelers have taken the wrong plane to Africa, but not at all.
The participants to my trips are approaching the foamy coastline of the blue-green Adriatic Sea, where the waves make embroideries with the sky, the air is salty, where the summer heat is sultry and humid, women exude sexuality from every pores and well…the rest of the people are as laid back as in a tropical island.
They have landed in Puglia, a southern region in the East Coast of Italy and this is the view and the perception the participants to my trips will receive when they will land in Bari airport, the largest city in the South. My team and myself will greet them with smiles and a token, a copy of one of my books. You see, each trip will have a theme and will be based on each book I have written.
My second book – “Sins Of A Queen” – just to talk about one of the trips’ theme, gave me the inspiration to take my guests into a lavish living while they are in Italy and experience incredible treatments with the most natural products from this land of olives, fruits and grains. This trip will be called:
Let’s Travel Into The Sinful Luxury Of A Queen.
The Lungomare of Bari, a romantic promenade on the Adriatic Sea will be waiting for us to drive along in vintage cars, dressed in vintage clothes, while soaking the fresh sea salt air, enjoying the view and a “gelato affogato” (literally ice cream drowned in a secret spirit). The promenade stretches to Monopoli and Polignano, two quaint towns perched on the cliffs of the Adriatic Sea. We might reach them in vintage cars, or we might take a boat ride coast-to-coast ending for dinner in a fabulous restaurant built in the cave on the cliff. It will be magical!
Rudolph Valentino is on our route to the stalagmites and stalactites caves, thus we will stop in Castellaneta to visit the museum dedicated to the actor. Did you know Valentino was born in Hollywood as an actor, but his native town was Castellaneta, in Puglia? It was an agricultural and unknown town even to the rest of Italy. He died August 23, 1926 and only a few years ago, his town finally dedicated him a statue and a museum.
The Castle in Gioia del Colle will disclose us the intricate romance between Bianca Lancia and Emperor Frederick II, which as most passionate stories, ended up in a tragedy.
In between visits the most exquisite Baroque architecture, Valentino’s museum and other cultural events, I have planned some fun shopping in local markets for the latest fashion clothes/accessories, where my guests can buy affordable priced items. We will also visits to local artists’ shops, where they produce one-of-a-kind high-class handbags, gold jewelry, custom jewelry, or stunning glass lighting, furniture and home accessories. My function as a designer is also to show all the beauty Italian artists are still creating for the world.
Food and wine will also play a large role. Going to Puglia and not enjoying the earthy food, as locals do, would be a crime. It will not be a common restaurant eating, I have used my fantasy. We will have one dinner in dismissed wood barrels of wine, where you can still smell the wine must impregnated in the wood; on another day, an opera singer will delight our dinner; we might have a rustic picnic in the country with a donkey ride, or we might cook with a local chef in the kitchen of our farmhouse where we will stay.
How about a massage with the green gold of the land: olive oil?
My three trips’ aim is to inform and entertain and certainly allow the guests to relax while in Italy with unforgettable experiences. My trips will not be trips in a bus loaded with tourists, packing and unpacking every day and make stops to bathrooms. My goal along with my Italian team’s goal is to take care of our guests, giving them personal attention, while we are still together in a group setting. I want to disclose a side of Italy not known to tourists, show them the heart of Italian life, the immediacy of every day living with a lot of fantasy. The itinerary is outlined, the rooms, of course, will be reserved in advance, but the schedule will be free flowing, not a severe schedule to respect with a timetable. This is not a tour de force.
Our goal is to allow our guests to experience a wheel of emotions they don’t even know exist. We want them to never forget the warmth and hospitality of Puglia people and create a relationship with our travelers for the long haul.
Prices for all three trips, duration 10 days (including travel) and everything included, will range between $2200-3000, depending on the activities. Plane tickets and insurance are not included.
The other two trips will be called:
Let’s Travel Into The Colors Of Love (inspired by the book RED)
Explore the Elegant Simplicity Of Italy (inspired by the book A Return To Simplicity).
Please contact me directly at Valentinadesigns@comcast.net – or via Skype line: designsvalentina, I will answer all of your questions and will give you a list of activities scheduled during each trip. I will make many postings on my Facebook Pages and other social sites. Let’s get connected:
Just remember, this is not a tour de force, but a trip to realize how short life is and to learn how to enjoy it. This experience will change you.
Copyright © 2012 Valentina Cirasola, All Rights Reserved
Valentina Cirasola is a trained Interior Designer in business since 1990. Being Italian born and raised, Valentina’s design work has been influenced by Classicism and timeless style. She will create your everyday living with a certain luxury without taking away a comfortable living.
The latest addition to her design business is the organization of three trips a year to Italy based on her books, with the intention of showing Italy with the eyes of a designer born in those parts and not the commercial Italy of the mass tourism. Valentina will guide the tours through art, architecture, food, shopping and special adventures organized for people who want to live it up!