Friday, July 8, 2011

Italy the Travelife way, Sep 17 - 25

Gastronomic Tour of Northern Italy
with Margarita Fores & Christine Cunanan

Discover the best of Italian cuisine with
Gaita Fores, the Philippines' top Italy expert
and tour Italy the Travelife way

From US$3790*

Sep 17-25, 2011
8 nights/ 9 days
Milan, Bologna, Parma, Modena, Genoa, Turin & Portofino**

Visit the Shroud of Turin
Shop in Milan's Vittorio Emmanuel
Indulge in the gastronomic delights of Bologna
Sample produce at some of Northern Italy's best food outlets
Bargain-hunt at one of Italy's best outlet malls
Get a chance to visit beautiful Portofino**

Gastronomic Tour of Northern Italy
with Margarita Fores & Christine Cunanan
Sep 17-25, 2011

Quality hotels
Buffet breakfasts
Most dinners and lunches at great local restaurants
Exclusive Bicerin tasting in Torino
Exclusive Parma ham and Parmigiano Reggiano tastings in Parma
Guided city tours of Milan, Bologna and Torino
Shopping excursions to
famous food outlets in Milan, Bologna, and Torino

* * *

*Economy class, twin-sharing basis;
*Airport taxes not included
*Business class upgrades possible for extra fee
**Optional daytour to Portofino is available

* * *

For reservations & more information
call Rachel or Bernice at Travelife Magazine
Tel 813-8400/ 892-2620

Note: Before payment, prices may change without prior notice

Gastronomic Tour of Northern Italy
with Margarita Fores & Christine Cunanan:


We don't plan tours very often. But when we do, you can be assured it's a very special Travelife trip -- the kind of tour that we'd create for ourselves. And we're the kind of people who actually don't go on tours, so we know exactly what we don't want on a tour. And that's lousy hotels in the middle of nowhere, early morning starts that leave you breathless in the bus at 7 am, cheap nondescript food, and schedules that are too hectic that you don't even have time for an espresso in the piazza. You know what I mean about packaged tours.


Now think about the opposite of all those things I've just mentioned. And that's what this Travelife Gastronomic Tour of Northern Italy is all about. Great hotels that rate well on Trip Advisor (yes, we all use this site...), delicious buffet breakfasts, a relatively relaxed schedule, tours full of insider knowledge on where to go and what to buy, and pretty good meals. And, yes, we definitely need ample time and opportunities for shopping -- for buying the best food pasalubong in Italy, hunting for bargains at the outlet mall, and going to the key places to sample and buy excellent ham, wines and cheeses. Best of all, you'll have tour companions you can get along with and have fun with.


Oops. Actually, that's not the best part. The best part is the fact that super chef and foremost Italian food authority Margarita Fores will be joining the group and leading this tour. So you'll have the best guide you can have, showing you where to taste and get the best foods. In fact, when Gaita and I were planning the trip (very excitedly, by the way), she insisted on including Torino and Bologna, saying that foodies simply had to visit these two places.


I've been to Bologna a couple of times, by the way, and it's just wonderful. It's a small and very walkable city, and this is where I found the best ice cream in the world. I can't wait to show this place to you. On my last trip to Bologna, I think I went here every single day.

We'll also have lots of special foodie opportunities -- like visiting a great parmesan cheese factory so that you understand just how important it is to choose the high-quality version over the cheap supermarket version; and also doing some wine and cheese tastings.


So this will be a trip done the Travelife way. Not cheap and not over the top either. But great value for the kind of tour you'll be getting, and the insider knowledge you'll have access to. Plus the opportunity to travel with a bunch of really fun and like-minded people. Our previous tours to Turkey and other places were really fun, so I'm guessing this Italy tour will be the same -- if not even better! (We're organizing a Turkey Deluxe tour from October 27-Nov 3 if you're interested...)


By the way, I just had a look at the preliminary reservation list, and about 70% of the people on it already traveled with us to Turkey on previous Travelife Amazing Turkey Tours. That's a stamp of approval, if I ever saw one -- the fact that so many people are willing to travel on another Travelife tour so soon.

Another interesting tidbit about our previous Travelife tours is that so many of them knew each other, or knew of each other, or knew a relative or friend. It was two degrees of separation when they met at the airport, even if they didn't really know anyone else going on the trip until the day of departure.


So if you've always wanted to do Italy, or if you've been to Italy before but always wanted to do a foodie version, this is the chance. What better way to discover more about Italy than in the company of the beautiful, talented, energetic and super-friendly Gaita Fores? It's not easy getting schedules together for Gaita and myself, but we found this week together in September that we were both free, so we said "Let's go!"

And, by the way, putting together a quality tour for a reasonable price -- particularly with the rising euro and skyrocketing cost of living in Europe -- is so not easy. Anyone can give you a tour for slightly cheaper, but it certainly won't be done in this special Travelife way. So I can assure you that this is definitely a labor of love. Don't miss this.


Call 8138400/ 8922620 or email to put yourself on the preliminary list because the list is just getting longer even before final details are out. We've been known to work out a few miracles in cases where the tour was already full and some people really wanted to go. So do let us know if you'd like to join us for a trip of a lifetime to Northern Italy.

PS: Mark your calendars for September 8, for Travelife Italy Night with Margarita Fores at Whitespace. This will be another amazing evening to remember.


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