We were scheduled to go to Costa Rica this past January; however, a dysautonomia diagnosis last year was the convincing wake-up call that my body’s aversion to heat was going to override my heart’s love for tropical environments.  Thirty years of trying to fit that square peg in a round hole was only getting worse.

Back to the drawing board with Overseas Adventure Travel (OAT), we decided to switch over to a cool-weather trip to Italy, during a not-too-hot-not-too-cold time period.  We had visited the Calabria region in 2019, and we wanted to see more of Italy.  Past cruise ship stops to the country while “working” as a guest lecturer aboard Princess Cruises with my mom had given me just enough of a taste of the Tuscany region that I knew I wanted to return.  Thankfully, Bruce wanted to see more of Italy, too.  While we were at it, we thought we would add on the pre-extension trip to Bologna and Parma.

Although we had done excellent small group tours with Vantage Travel and Odysseys Unlimited, this particular itinerary with Overseas Adventure Travel sounded great, and the company was highly recommended by several neighbors and friends.  Besides, of the three companies, OAT’s tours have the smallest group size at 16 maximum.

As it turned out, there were six of us on the pre-extension and fifteen on the base trip.  Fortunately, it was a fantastic group!  We all got along, and everybody was on time, all the time.  Our tour leaders even congratulated us on being such a great group to lead!

In the following days (more like weeks…), I will share our experiences and my photography of what turned out to be a perfect 21-day trip through the Emilia-Romagna, Toscana, and Umbria regions.  We saw and learned so much! In addition to the history, we learned how mosaics are made and restored; and, how Carrara marble is extracted and worked.  We also learned how pasta, parmesan cheese, balsamic vinegar, olive oil, wine, goat cheese, prosciutto, Parma ham, and chocolate are all made; and, we went on a truffle hunt in the mountains. We sampled it all—and, a lot of it!  The food was delizioso!

Please join me on our Italian adventure.  Add your e-mail to “Sign me up!” and you will be notified each time I post.  (You can always unsubscribe later.) Grazie!

(For all pictures, click on the image to see full screen view.)

On our way to Italy!

Meanwhile, I will leave you today with a few scenes around Piazza Santo Stefano, the main square in Bologna and Basilica Santo Stefano:

Basilica of Santo Stefano, a complex of religious edifices
The Church of Holy Sepulchre dates back to the 5th century and was rebuilt in the 11th century by Benedictine monks following a Hungarian invasion.

Finally, we couldn’t complete our first day in Italy without a gelato. Oscar, our tour leader, sent us to his favorite place in town, a popular place!

That’s Bruce!
And, this is Oscar giving us a briefing on tomorrow’s events. (More on Oscar to come!)

6 thoughts on “ITALY #1:  BEGINNING IN BOLOGNA

  1. Hi kids Happy as always to travel with you(even vicariously) We are going to Italy (Sisely, Lipari & Malta ending in Lake Como)in the fall. Our first trip since Covid. Going with Vantage on their small new ship. Glad your ok ♡ Frannie

    On Sun, Apr 23, 2023, 10:36 AM Elaine-iaK’s Travels: A Traveler’s Tales of


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