Tour Highlights: September 2014
My second Cimino Tour this past fall was with ten wonderful people. We met a couple of times prior to the trip to discuss everyone's desires for their experience. Top picks were a cooking class, boat ride along the Italian Riviera and a day trip to another area. We also had plenty of time for hiking, leisurely meals and wine tasting. The cooking class menu included: stuffed swordfish, vegetable torte, pesto pasta & tiramisu. Everyone received their own apron and we enjoyed our lunch overlooking the sea following the class. I do think I need to emphasize the concept of SLOW DINING in Italy. Service is not rushed as in many American restaurants and the check is not presented until requested. The Italian way to unwind and connect is to luxuriate over wine and conversation at the table. We took the train one day to Genoa for a walking tour with a native Genovese, had lunch and visited Palazzo Ducale to see an amazing exhibit of Frida Kahlo & Diego Rivera's work. The grapes were hanging heavy on the vines in Cinque Terre and locals were in full harvest mode. We had a visit to a very small production vineyard in Vernazza for a tasting of several of their wines. The forecast called for some rain during our tour, but instead, every day was gorgeous sunshine and comfortable temps for hiking. I swam in the sea every day. When asked about the water temperature, I respond as a Nebraska girl "refreshing". One of the other highlights on our boat tour with a local fisherman whose family ties go back 1500 years in the village, was anchoring in a cove on our private tour and toasting guest Tam with prosecco as we floated in the sea! I make sure each guest is taken care of and I enjoy arranging the details. I had a surprise for my guests on this tour and hope to have more for each group. I leave room on our schedule for "piccole cose" little things. Discoveries that can only happen when you have time and space for the magical moments to occur. My friendships with local Italians add to the experience as we have opportunities to visit with them and hear their stories.This tour is for the traveler who likes physical activity, may have been to Europe before, but wants to go deeper, enjoys food, wine, conversation and learning the about the Italian culture in a small fishing village.