The Heart and Soul of Italy

Carol Atkins has been traveling the globe for much of her life. She loves of all types of travel adventures including island hopping, hiking, cruising and being lazy on the beach :). She loved every minute of her tour of Italy which she writes about here and can’t wait to go back! Follow her on twitter @atkins_carol

My friend Janie and I had often spoken about visiting Italy – really experience it – for years. We finally decided to take the plunge and chose a luxury tour of Italy that would give us that “once in a lifetime” adventure we were looking for. The trip was exquisite, and the following experiences we encountered really stood out:

Tour Rome by Car

Janie and I had a blast being chauffeured around Rome in a vintage Fiat 500. We saw all of the sights including the Coliseum and the Vatican, and more ornate buildings and fountains than I could count. There really is no better way to see Rome!

Alpine train ride

We rode the ”little blue train” from Stresa to Locarno to enjoy Alpine scenery, watching out the window in amazement as the train chugged past quaint scenes of dense forest, deep ravines, meadows blanketed with flowers, and pretty little villages tucked into the hillside.

Gondola ride through Venice

Not only were we treated to ride aboard an Italian gondola, we visited a factory where these quintessential Venetian boats are constructed. Each gondola is made up of 280 intricate parts pieced together from 8 different kinds of wood into a complicated, yet romantically eye-pleasing design.

Wine tasting

In both Valpolicella and Chianti we were treated to wine tastings. First we were offered a sip of Recioto, a tasty, sweet red wine that has been produced since ancient Roman times, and quickly followed by various other blends and varietals that had us almost feeling like true wine connoisseurs.

Driving a Ferrari.

Our visit to the production line at the Lamborghini factory and a tour of the Ferrari Museum to see vintage designs were certainly highlights of our trip, but nothing could compare to the experience of climbing into a Ferrari next to a Formula One race car driver for a lap around the track!

Janie and I agree that our experiences in Italy were everything we could ever have dreamed they would be. This is one trip we’ll be talking about for a very long time to come.

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