Pictured above: Between tours in 2017 Lenore and Bob went to the birthplace of Bob’s great-grand-father. The picture is of his family still living in the homes his great-grandfather helped build. It was a 30th birthday party for Bob’s cousin Anna’s son. You see Bob on the right side of the table on his cousin Anna’s right, but Lenore to Anna’s left, is hidden behind the husband of another cousin.
The Mural on the top of the page is a hand painted tapestry Bob and Lenore picked up in Tuscany. We took a picture of it and gave it the sepia tone.
Since our first two tours to TUSCANY in 2011, we have traveled five more times to Italy and Sicily, each year with two 7-day tours. All twelve tours were in the month of October, which turns out to be one of the best travel months in Italy and Sicily. We simply picked October so we could pick olives and go to the olive mills to watch the EVOO being made. Naturally we invited our dinner guests the first year and it was so successful, now only our EVOO guests may come with us!
OCTOBER 8-14 2017 Southern Tour near the Bay of Naples
OCTOBER 15-21 2017 2017 Tuscany new
Soon we started ENCORE CLUB for all who have been here at least once, and that group has grown to about 1500 today. Some tour guests came for two tours the same year while others have returned to tour again another year. Many tag one or two more weeks onto their trip on either side of our tours.
Our director and guide has lived in Italy all of her life, though born in France, while her parents were there vacationing, and she arrived early. It must have been then that Paola Roselli got the travel bug. She studied languages and international travels in college and held a position as a tour guide for one of Italy’s biggest travel companies. But wait, she has an Oregon connection, too!
On one of her tours she met an Oregonian whom she subsequently married, and now lives in Portland between her tours in Italy. She presented herself to us in 2010, thinking with a name like EVOO, she needed to learn more about us. We were in our sixth year and we were ready to consider taking our guests to Italy. Paola was able to create our first tour with almost every aspect on our wish list. Her belief, like many Italians we have met, is that Italy is perfect the way it was, and that tourists deserve seeing the charm of the Italy she grew up in. This is to say that our tours focus on the back roads where we will meet Italian (and Sicilian) families and people who live traditionally and share their homes and businesses with a deep sense of pride. The government in Italy has embraced the concept of the Agriturismo to encourage the safe keeping of traditional agriculture and life style.
By now we have had many trips with Paola directing, all tailored for our guests; mostly food and wine centric, since so are we, and always include plenty of food and wine experiences, some hands-on. All but a few meals are included. Our goal is to lodge in one villa, Agriturismo, or hotel each tour, and then shuttle out for day trips in a very comfortable small bus, which in itself is interesting since the scenery is always beautiful and typically Paola gives a history lesson as we pass by deserving landmarks.
Interested in joining us? Send us email to the effect that you wish to tour with us and give us the year. Ore if we have space available in the current year, tell us which tour(s) you wish to join.