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Are you REAL ID ready?

  • October 1, 2019

Starting a year from today, October 1, 2020, your traditional drivers license will no longer be acceptable identification to get through domestic airport security. Travelers will be required to show REAL ID identification or an acceptable alternate at airport security (Passports are an acceptable alternate). What is REAL ID? The REAL ID Act was passed by congress back in 2005 and it has taken the government almost 15 years to…

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Tours Travel

A Ruby Gem

  • September 11, 2019
Red Wine

One of the many reasons Fall is a great time to visit Tuscany is for the grape harvest. By this time the weather has cooled a bit, the tourists have thinned out and the countryside colors have awakened. September is the month of the grape harvest and there are many celebrations dedicated to it. I have been lucky enough to be in Tuscany for the grape harvest! It’s so exciting…

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Tours Travel

Does Italy have the best wine?

  • August 30, 2019
Does Italy have the best wine?

Every wine lover has their favorite wine, region or even grape. Here at Ultimate Italy Tours we may be a bit biased, we think all things Italian are the greatest! But don’t just take our word for it – lastminute.com ranked Italy Wine #1 in a recent survey. One of the reasons Italy finished with the top score was it’s WINE TASTING EXPERIENCES. They have 993 to choose from, more…

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Tours Travel

Overtourism is real!

  • August 30, 2019
Don't get lost in the crowd

By now you may have heard the term “overtourism” (ie. cruise ships crashing in Venice). Basically it is just a case of numbers; too many people in a particular place at a particular time. This can have a bad effect not only on the tourist, but on the community they are visiting. It can be stressful and deteriorate the experience for everyone. Travel is something I want to continue to…

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Tours Travel

Urban Hiking Tuscan Style

  • July 26, 2019

While on a recent trip in Tuscany, some friends asked if I wanted to join them on a “walk” from Florence up to the beautiful Tuscan town of Impruneta. Of course! How could I pass up an opportunity to be guided by experts through areas overflowing with so much beauty and history? It turned out to be a sunny, warm Spring day. We started in downtown Florence, walked along the…

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Travel

Market Hopping

  • May 27, 2019
Italian Market tomatoes

Spring is prime time for checking out food markets in Italy! The grey of winter slowly bows out while the bright, sunny colors of spring are competing for prime spots at local markets. People come with empty baskets on a mission to leave with them spilling over for the walk home. These are the markets you can’t help but photograph. I enjoy these markets not only for their beauty, but…

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Tours Travel

The Art of the Aperitivo

  • April 27, 2019
Negroni

You may have heard of the Italian tradition of the aperitivo, but what is it? I recently went on an “Aperitivo Tour” while in Florence to gain some insight and get a real Florentine perspective on what it means. You could compare it to the American Happy Hour but that would be selling it short. It is a tradition observed all around Italy that serves as an “opener” to your…

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Travel

Luxury Shopping Anyone?

  • April 15, 2019
Moncler

Luxury Outlet Mall may not be the first thing that comes to mind when you visit Tuscany, however with an education in fashion design and a love of shopping, how could I resist? I first came across The Mall a few years ago, it’s located in Leccio (about 40 minutes outside Florence). At that time it was truly an outlet of luxury brands – you had to dig through a…

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Travel

Making Friends Along the Way

  • April 9, 2019
musician

Do you ever return from a trip and think to yourself how it was so much more than you expected? Not necessarily because the hotel was clean or the view was great but because of the people you meet and spend time with. One of the things I enjoy most about traveling is meeting people and making new friends. It’s true wherever I go, whether I’m overseas or only a…

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Travel

Trip Planning

  • February 27, 2019
trip planning/bellaviatours

Are you a fan of trip planning? I personally love to plan but it can also be overwhelming and a lot of work: What cities to visit? How much time to spend in each location? Public transportation or car rental? Hotels Tickets to museums or events Where to eat? What will the weather be like? How to pack? The great news is that if you want to plan your trip…

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