Contrary to singer-songwriter John Denver’s monumental 1970 folk-country-pop ballad Take Me Home, Country Roads, about the little winding roads he travelled, I’m asking some other off-the-beaten-path byways to not take me home, but, rather, take me along.
Let me explain.
For the next eight days I’ll be traveling in style as a guest of Insight Vacations, a global business-class travel company, to sample a portion of one of its premium escorted “Country Roads” itineraries here in Bella Italia.
As part of a group of international media selected for this familiarization trip, I’ll experience first-hand Insight’s off-the-beaten path tour of central Italy’s Umbria and Tuscany regions, along with Rome and Venice.
We start out in the Eternal City and the Vatican and end up in La Serenissima. Along the way, our business class-style motor coach will stop in Orvieto, Perugia, Assisi, Spello, Cortona, Fonterutoli — in the heart Chianti wine country — San Gimignano, and the Ferrari Museum in Maranello.
According to the invitation, I’ll be under the watchful eye of a dedicated, professional tour director-slash-storyteller host and local expert art history guides; I’ll have VIP FastTrack to all of the sights; I’ll stay at some of Insight’s Signature and Gold-level hotels, including a 17th century Tuscan villa-estate; I’ll savor extraordinary regional cuisine prepared by master chefs and paired with exquisite wines; and, I’ll toast the end of the tour by sipping a Bellini, the stylish aperitivo created at American author-journalist Ernest Hemingway’s favorite Venetian watering hole: Harry’s Bar.
Like a multi-course Italian dinner feast, be on the lookout for a series of dispatches as I dish out my observations of traveling some of those “Country Roads” of central Italy in style aboard an Insight Vacations executive motorcoach.
Can I get a BUON VIAGGIO?
©The Palladian Traveler | ©Tom Palladio Images
Wow Tom, good on you, enjoy!
Thanks, Midlife. The trip is now over and I’m hard at work cracking out the stories. I hope you’ll virtually tag along with me.
Buon viaggio Tom! Have a wonderful trip and give magical Cortona a big wave from me as you pass through. Enjoy every moment. Look forward to the blogs. O
She was magical. Thanks!
Congrats! You will love it, We have travelled Insights in Ireland, France and this year Italy! Can’t say enough about what a great job they do. Hope your tour director is ” Mama’ (Unfortunately I can’t remember her name because she wanted us to call her Mama). She is fabulous!! We were on the Grand Italy and Sicily Tour, but have enjoyed their Country Roads tours in other countries. Look forward to reading about your adventure and seeing your photos.
Janice — You had 17 days, I’ll have 8, sans the lakes and Sicily.
Lucky you, Tom. We travelled with Insight when we did our tour of Italy a couple of years ago. It was so wonderful, with 5 star hotels all the way and such a professional and knowledgeable tour host. You couldn’t be in better hands for the next while. 🙂
Thanks, Sylvia. It was wonderful. Now I’ve got to get to work with some articles to pay back that complimentary seat on the journey.
Tom, what a terrific opportunity: Can we meet at Harry’s Bar? The entire trip sounds fabulous.
Harry’s Bar was a huge disappointment; otherwise, the trip was terrific.
What fun! Look forward to reading your posts…
Can’t wait to hear your reports. They couldn’t have picked a better person. Enjoy!
My thoughts exactly. 🙂
Buon viaggio! Can’t wait to “go along” with you.
You’re now free to move around the motorcoach. Four stories published with more on the way. Thanks!
A quick note to let you know that there will not be a challenge next Monday due to the U.S. Thanksgiving holiday. See you on 02 December for the next challenge: Nature. Have a glorious and relaxing Thanksgiving (that is, I “assume” you do some kind of salute to the most lovely of American holidays.).
Duly noted. No T’day lunch-dinner for me, but I will dine out Thursday night for a special wine tasting dinner in a local enoteca. If I don’t consume too much I just might blog about it.
Well, I’m sure that you can celebrate the joy of life in Europe, especially your adopted Italian city.
Enjoy your trip and I am sure we can look forward to detailed posts of your experiences!
You certainly can. Several articles have already been published. Thanks!