A Curiosity Quest Challenge

I have to admit I found the above photo online but how appropriate could it be since I am now in Italy on a curiosity quest of my own.  I hope to be able to put into practice the 7 behaviors that we have previously identified.

So here is what I am on a quest for:

       8. Find a New Product in a Local Market ( Not a Souvenir)  What is it used for?

I will be escorting a small group on the following carefully designed custom itinerary. Italy is a specialty destination for me so I was honored to be asked to “guide” these travelers.

Monday, September 19   Welcome to Italy
After your arrival in Venice, you will be met by our representative and transferred in a comfortable mini-bus to Verona, home of Romeo and Juliet and one of Italy’s most charming and elegant cities. Check into your charming 4 star hotel in the city center. The afternoon is at leisure.

Tuesday, September 20   Verona
Admire the most famous highlights of the center of Verona, a town rich in history, art and architecture. You will see the Arena, a legacy of the Roman period, completed around 30 AD, the Ponte Pietra, built in the 1st century BC, the Gavi Arch and the Roman Porta dei Borsari. Then visit the famous Piazza delle Erbe, Piazza dei Signori and Piazza Brà and Juliet’s house. Afternoon is at leisure to enjoy this charming city. Your Welcome to Italy dinner is at one of Verona’s delicious restaurants.

Wednesday, September 21   A Memorable Day
Breakfast is at the hotel followed by an excursion to the Villa della Torre Allegrini. You will first visit the Villa. Completed around 1560, the Villa della Torre offers visitors an extraordinary architectural environment: the peristyle or inner courtyard; the fish pond designed by Michele Sammicheli, the ‘Monster’ fireplaces and the Grotto, a place of mystery and imagination. After this visit, you will begin your private cooking class, conducted by the villa’s Chef Albert Masotti, in the kitchen of this magnificent villa followed by lunch and wine tasting in the Hall of Mirrors.

Thursday, September 22    A Dolomites Day Trip  This is where I am as you read the postcard
Breakfast is at the hotel. Then you transfer to the train station for a 90 minute scenic ride to Bolzano, the capital of the South Tyrol and a picturesque city set amidst rolling hills and mountains. Your English speaking guide will give you a short visit of the city before taking the Riten Railway, a 100 year old electric train, to Collalbo, a charming village high in the Renon Plateau. You will have time for lunch and a stroll to enjoy the unspoiled mountain scenery before returning to Bolzano and your return to Verona by train.

Friday, September23   Verona to Stresa via Bergamo. 
After breakfast in hotel, you will leave for Bergamo for a tour, lunch and a visit to the special Palazzo Moroni, built from 1646 to 1666.  It is stupendous…it’s interior of frescoes, its façade as well as its extensive and panoramic garden. It is a very special private visit that you will never forget! NY Times called it one of Italy’s best!!  After lunch on your own in the old town of Bergamo, you will continue your drive to Stresa for check in at your  luxurious lakeside hotel with beautiful gardens facing Lake Maggiore.

Saturday September 24   An Excursion to the Borromean Islands.  
After breakfast you will leave in a private boat with a special English speaking guide for a tour of the Borromean islands. First stop is the Isola Bella, the sight of the baroque Palazzo Borromeo, belonging to the noble Borromeo family since the 17th century. Prince Charles and Princess Diana stayed here during their Italian visit. Then visit the Isola Madre, with its splendid garden of flowers and rare and exotic plants. Your last island is the Isola Pescatori (fisherman’s village) for a delicious lakeside lunch. Return to Stresa in afternoon.

Sunday, September 25   Villa Panza
After breakfast you depart in the morning for a visit, with a special guide, to the famous Villa Panza, world renown for its fine collection of contemporary art. Count Panza was the first European to collect American contemporary post war art. Lunch is included at the Ristorante Luce in the Villa Panza, one of Italy’s finest restaurants. You will return to Stresa after lunch for the rest of the day to enjoy as you please.

Monday, September 26   Lake Orta
This morning you depart for Lake Orta, considered the most romantic and bewitching of the lakes. Visit San Giulio, the lake’s principal village lined with charming houses and restaurants.   A small boat will take you to San Giulio Island, founded by San Giulio in 400 a.d, whose main attraction is the Basilica of San Giulio, now a Benedictine Monastery. You will have lunch on your own and the rest of day is free to enjoy this charming lakeside town.

Tuesday, September 27   Stresa to Milan  It’s Fashion Week!
Depart in the morning for Milan and check in at  your centrally located 4* hotel.  In the afternoon you will tour some of Milan’s highlights. Stroll the streets of Milan with our professional guide and discover how business and history blend together in one of Europe’s most important commercial centers. The Piazza del Duomo with its extraordinary cathedral dating to 1386 is adjacent to the Galleria Vittorio Emanuele, one of the most beautiful covered shopping galleries in Europe. Begun in 1865, it was the first of its kind to make use of an iron and glass structure.  The evening is at leisure.

Wednesday, September 28   Milan
After breakfast, we will visit La Scala Opera House, and then travel to the Church of Santa Maria Della Grazie for a reserved viewing of Leonardo da Vinci’s incomparable Last Supper. Your afternoon is at leisure. How about a stroll through the fashion district to catch a glimpse of the beautiful people?  Later, you will have an early evening rooftop tour of Milan from the roof of the Duomo offering us unforgettable views of the city. From there, you will walk to your Farewell to Italy dinner in one of Milan’s famous restaurants.

Thursday, September 29   Milan to your Home City
Breakfast at the hotel and then depart for Malpensa for your flights home.

So while I will be technically “working”, (going to Italy is work?), I will be on my own quest for the above curiosity behaviors.  I look forward to sharing them in my next postcard.

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