It is pretty much a fact that when people think of traveling to Italy for the first time they think of three main cities; Rome, Florence and Venice. Those who travel during the right time of the year might also consider making their way to the Amalfi Coast during their introductory trip. No matter what, Rome is almost always at the top of everyone’s list.
I’m sure you’ve heard the saying that starts, “When in Rome…” Most people think that means that when they don’t know how to act they should mimic the actions of the people around them. I have a different take on that saying.
I have a long-held theory that for whatever reason when people visit Italy they begin to feel like they are Italian themselves. Maybe it’s the warmth of people they’ve met or the rich history everywhere they turn, but for whatever reason people begin to feel like they are part of the Italian family, especially when they are in Rome. Although I am not from Rome I have a special affection for that city and its people.
If you are a regular newsletter reader then you know that we moved to Sicily last September and we are spending this summer in San Diego. I have to admit I have been a little homesick since we left. Wouldn’t you know it though that just when I was starting to really miss my Italian family, the cosmos sent me an unexpected, but very much appreciated gift in the form of the first friendly match of the International Champions Cup soccer tournament.
The first game was held in San Diego on Wednesday and the part that made it an extra special gift was that it featured the A.S. Roma team taking on the Tottenham Hotspur F.C.
Let me tell you, nothing brings Italians together quicker and with more passion than soccer. Thanks to the timing and the team I’ve coined a new phrase, “When in San Diego…cheer for Roma!!!”
I even found a San Diego based fan club for the Roma team!
So, when do Italians really reunite? When the Italian soccer team plays and that’s it! OK, maybe when there is good food and wine on the table some reuniting will begin, but ultimately soccer makes us all stand up and cheer!
So, this week having the A.S. Roma team in San Diego I felt closer to Italy, closer to the aperitivos and closer to what makes me happy, the Italian warmth and way of life. Even though they lost, having them here lifted my spirits immensely.
2018 continues to be an amazing year and I have enjoyed numerous discoveries and gained new perspective and insight that has enhanced my expertise immeasurably for Sicily as well as the rest of Italy. If you have considered, even just a mid-summer daydream of a thought, of building your Italian travel expertise then you might want to join us on a path of discovery and understanding of why your clients will love you EVEN MORE because of us.
If so then come to Sicily with us next April and soon after you could receive email from your clients like Janine does – see our Italy Praises and Love section below.
Tan under the Tuscan sun or soak up Sicily’s shores. Summer is the ideal time to experience Italy. Not sure where to go? Explore 6 of our must-see summer escapes.
Charming Lake Como
Como is Italy's third largest lake — framed by lush green hills and snow-capped Alp peeks. Quaint towns teem like fish around the blue-green lake. Visitors might slumber like royalty in a sublime Grand Hotel. PRO TIP: Explore stunning noble villas along the lake, like the glorious Villa Melzi.
Otranto's Secret Shores
Otranto boasts a wopping 10 kilometers of sapphire-blue beaches. The city's old town features waterfront trattorias and a stroll-worthy seaside promenade. PRO TIP: Puglia's pristine beaches are best reached by boat! Discover Otranto’s secret coves on a private boat excursion.
Glorious Lake Garda
Lago di Garda is the Italy’s largest lake — encircled by fishing villages and luxe resorts. Garda is ideal for travelers seeking natural beauty (the water is really that blue!) paired with jaw-dropping accommodations. PRO TIP: Visitors can boat to the Island del Garda to drink in an epic 360-degree view.
Sicily's Scala dei Turchi
Sicily's Scala dei Turchi is unlike any beach in Italy — boasting wind-carved cliffs, baked white in the Sicilian sun. Beach lovers can bask here on the soft rocks before taking a cooling dip in calm, sky-blue coves. PRO TIP: Slumber in style in Agrigento, overlooking 2,500-year-old Greek temples.
Marvelous Marina di Camerota
Marina di Camerota wins awards each year for its peerless beaches — considered the most stunning in Italy. Visitors might cruise along the rocky coast or make wood-fired pizza with a local nonna (grandma). PRO TIP: The region's 700 square-miles of protected land ensure it will stay unspoiled.
Lovely Lake Orta
Lake Orta is less crowded than its nearby sibling Lake Como. Stay in the adorable town of Orta San Giulio, located on the lake. Visitors might boat to the San Giulio Island – home to a 12th-century church. PRO TIP: Ideal for travelers looking for a get-away-from-it-all escape.
But, it's hard to inspire confidence when all you can say is “I've heard great things about this tour company.” Have you slumbered in their hotels? Have you experienced their guides? Have you vetted their on-the-ground staff?
If your answer's no, you're missing potential bookings. First-hand expertise nurtures trust in clients. And, trust is why clients turn to travel advisors in the first place. It's the difference between reading a restaurant menu and hearing a foodie friend rave about a meal there. Which would inspire you more to act?
In this age of internet bookings, you have to work extra hard to prove your worth to clients. It’s not enough to book flights any more. You’ve got to show travelers that you possess tools they just can't access on their own.
One amazing tool that more and more travel advisors rely on is the AXUS TRAVEL APP. This nifty app. helps you to easily share phone-friendly itineraries – including your own logo, up-to-the-second tour details, and mobile maps. Updates to the itinerary are automatically sent to your travelers' phone in real time — no matter where.
At See Italy, we always strive to enhance our collaboration with agents. So, we’re thrilled to announce that See Italytrips can be automatically imported into Axus! No more annoying copying-and-pasting.
We’d love to hear your input. Do you want to share mobile-friendly itineraries with your clients? Click below to tell us if you use (or plan to use) this cutting-edge tool:
Reread the subject line but change the voice in your head to sound like the booming and foreboding narrator in a blockbuster movie trailer, “Summer is coming for you and summer is coming for us too!” Kind of ominous don’t you think?
It makes sense though because summer can be adventurous, dramatic and action packed. Those of you with children can probably relate to my description, especially if I add that it is all wrapped up in the mystery and thrill of how to find time to take care of all of their free-time needs, which is 24/7, while working.
By the time this newsletter is published on Friday, I will be in transit, with our kids, to meet up with Michael in San Diego for the summer. My children are ecstatic for the adventure but they are also sad to leave their friends in Italy behind. Even though my wise- beyond-her-years, almost 7-year-old was crying about missing her friends, I reminded her that she was just as sad 10 months ago when we moved to Sicily, leaving the friends we will be seeing this week behind.
I explained to her that if she focused on the fact that she was going to be seeing these friends for the first time in almost a year, then she could ALSO look forward to returning to Sicily in the fall because she would be reunited with her Italian friends. I told her it was a matter of perspective, instead of focusing on something negative, it is much more uplifting to focus on the fact that no matter where she is going, her destination will bring her to friends she loves!
Being free and being a nomad sometimes is hard but at the same time it opens up our hearts to receive new people into our lives while still cherishing those who are already part of us. Talking about new people, we have lots of news to share with you soon. Stay tuned!!!
All of this is fun and exciting! Summer travel gives us opportunities to make new connections in the world, while we open doors to new adventures and even more experiences.
We are so strong in Italy because we have so many people spread around the country that we can say (in the booming movie narrator voice) See Italy Travel is like a giant, friendly and helpful octopus in the Mediterranean Sea. Although this imagery isn’t going to compel us to change our logo anytime soon, it does provide a visual to the fact that we have lots of connections throughout Italy that can make anything happen for our travelers. Even more importantly everyone on the team works together with the one common goal to provide the most amazing experience possible for every See Italy client.
Until next week when the adventure continues…
By the way, if you want to know more about our next educational/FAM trip to the south of Italyplease let me know, it is happening next year, April 1 – April 10th, 2019, and it will be EPIC!
We ONLY have 1 spot remaining on the 10/29 – 11/05 Tuscany educational trip. Don't MISS it because it will be SPECTACULAR!!!
This is an amazing opportunity and there is only ONE spot left. If you haven't seen the itinerary yet you can download it here.
If you are interested then please don't wait to reserve your seat. Start the process by clicking here.