These days my time largely being occupied by trip planning and itinerary maintenance, making sure my clients arrive where they are supposed to, when they are supposed to and that their experience in Italy is nothing short of exceptional. One of the trips that I am planning is my own. It is restorative to get back to Italy and experience it through all of my senses. My trip is purely business (I know, you really feel sorry for me) as I check out new places and find new experiences for my clients. But of course there will be time to visit some of the old haunts and catch up with friends. Here is what an Italian fall means to me. Maybe you can find a way to incorporate some of these things into our life this week.
Take Part in the Harvest - tis the season - first the grapes and then the olives. This is a joyous time in Italy as the farmers get ready to harvest two of Italy’s largest crops. In Tuscany it seems like everyone has a little plot of land where they are growing vines - they all seem to know the process of the grape harvest and wine production and produce enough to keep their family in table wine for a better part of the year. This year I am hoping to join in the harvest at one of the vineyards in Tuscany. Stay tuned for details. In the meantime, you can join the growing trend of people attending “Wine Camp”. I know that “camp” sounds scary and buggy but I think it would be great fun. Meet lots of people with a similar fondness for good wine and good food, work off all of the decadence by spending time harvesting grapes and be comforted by the fact that you will not have to sleep in a tent (all of these camps actually provide lodging in nice hotels). Wine camps have popped up all over Napa and Sonoma as well as in the North Fork of Long Island. You can also participate in the harvest for a day at many of the smaller local vineyards where you are often compensated with a lovely lunch including wine and great company.
SCARF TIME!!! - Any one who knows me knows about my love of scarves. I acquired my passion for neckwear while in Italy. Read about the importance of this item of clothing in this post from April. Now that the cooler weather is coming, it is time to pull down the boxes from the top of the closet and get ready to accessorize. I can’t wait!
Play Bocce - Summer vacation came and went all to fast but we are still trying to eke out every last drop of late summer sun by getting outside whenever we can. Bocce is a perfect after pre-dinner game that we enjoy playing as a family. In Italy the bocce courts that are found in any public park in any city seem to be for the exclusive use of the over 70 male crowd and only if your belt rests no less than two inches above your belly button. But it really is a fun game for anyone. Bonus: you don’t have to put your glass of wine down to play. How is that for some quality family time?!
Reconnect with Friends - There are so many people I am looking forward to catching up with when I am in Italy. Most of them are colleagues - guides, hoteliers, chefs, villa owners - who I work with on a regular basis but our long lasting working relationships have led to wonderful friendships. Though my trip is bound to be frantic, I am making appointments to meet up with several of my dear friends. Even if it is for a quick cappuccino or a late afternoon prosecco, I think it is so important to stop for a bit and catch up. That is equally true here in the US. Our lives get so chaotic and crazy, that we often don’t think we have time for such an indulgence. But the benefits are great and you will be more capable of facing your menacing to do list after a catch up with a good friend. Call someone today and make a date!
Fall is a great time to embrace la dolce vita - don't miss out. I would love to hear your favorite fall activity. Let me know in the comments below.