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Let's Go to Italy Together!

♥ I LOVE Florence!! ♥

Ah, Cradle of the Renaissance…you are inspiration! I never tire of your breathtaking beauty… You will always hold a special place in my heart.

Florence - Ponte Vecchio View

Reflecting on the iconic Ponte Vecchio…

And this visit made all the more special…

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♥ Italy Redux: Postcard from Venice! ♥

Let's Go to Italy Together!

♥ I LOVE Venice!! ♥

Ah, la Serenissima…you are magical! I’ve been longing to return and succumb, once more to your charms. No matter the weather, the crowds, the naysayers…whatever… You will always hold a special place in my heart.

Photo: Victoria De Maio

My never ending romance with Venezia…

Won’t you stroll through enchanting Venice with me? And, I want to share why this visit was all the more special…

Footnote: My visit ended just days before the horrific acqua alta. Venice, as always, has and will endure…

Continue reading

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Let's Go to Italy Together!♥ We LOVE Sicily!! ♥

We – my seven guests and I – started our adventure Siciliana in Palermo, Sicily’s capital and Italy’s 2018 Capital of Culture. We have been enjoying every moment of our immersion in all things Sicilian!

Won’t you join us as we experience Seductive Sicily?!

Join us as we explore Palermo, Monreale, Segesta, Erice, Cefalu… and then on to the Valley of the Temples and then on to the Val di Noto…with a few delicious stops along the way! (603) 605-2224

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◊ Back…In Search of Salvo in Sicily! (Montalbano, Of Course!) ◊

Let's Go to Italy Together!

♥ It’s no mystery that I LOVE Montalbano, Sicily, and All Things Sicilian! ♥

Won’t you join me as I go BACK on the trail of the elusive Inspector Montalbano…

Yes, in a few days, I’m returning (with friends) in search of Salvo in Sicily!

Here’s what happened on my last quest!

It’s no mystery that I am and have been an avid fan of Andrea Camilleri’s engaging Sicilian inspector, Commissario Montalbano, since 2007. Then, while visiting Siracusa (Sicily) with a small group, my friend and tour guide pointed out his books as we passed a bookstore window. She asked if I had read the bestsellers and, unfamiliar, I took note and so began my journey with Salvo et al.

Photo: Victoria De Maio

Hooked from the first page…

I was immediately hooked, proceeded to devour every one of the bestselling Montalbano detective novels and haven’t missed one since… Continue reading

Posted in Come to Italy with Victoria!, Design YOUR Dream Trip to Italy, 401-553-1285, Italian Culture, biconcave, Italy Travel Tips, Italy Trip & Tour Design, Made in Italy!, Only in Sicily, (620) 233-3851, Sicily, Val di Noto, Victoria's Travel TipZ Italian Style | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Comments Off on ◊ Back…In Search of Salvo in Sicily! (Montalbano, Of Course!) ◊

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♦ ♦ ♦

 Italy Redux: ”Worth Seeing More Than Once…”

What is it about some books, movies, places… that compel us to return, to repeat, to revisit? What makes them “worth seeing more than once”?

Drawn back...why?

Why do we yearn to return to some places?

Why do we return to some places? What pulls us back? What tugs at our heart strings, almost eliciting a sense of longing…homesickness?

A wish to recapture something? An emotion evoked? A memory? Maybe even a sense of “knowing”, familiarity or connection on some inexplicable level…

Perhaps something resonates, touches a cord, invites us to return, to linger a little longer?

There doesn’t really need to be “a reason”, does there? Perhaps just trying to put it into words dilutes the magic and mystery of its allure?   Continue reading

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♦ Why Should You Use a Travel Professional? ♦

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You’re ready to plan your vacation! You’ve saved your hard earned $$$ and you have taken time off from your work. You want to make plans and memories!

Doesn’t it make sense to invest wisely…with a professional!

If you need your car worked on, if you have a toothache, if you need legal advice, medical attention or to get your taxes done… whatever, you call a professional!

tips etc signpostBecause they ARE professionals!  They know their business, just as a mechanic knows your car and a dentist knows about dental care! They, too, are experts at what they do…

“Like any professional advisor, they know more than you do.”

So, why then would you depend on the advice or opinions of total strangers for travel advice? It doesn’t even make good sense! 3373749237

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♦ New! “Italy with Victoria” Travel Talks ♦

Let's Go to Italy Together!♦ Let me bring Italy to YOU with my “Italy with Victoria” Travel Talks! ♦

Victoria - title photo1For the past few months I’ve had the pleasure of  presenting travel talks based on my extensive travels in Italy.

Sorting through and selecting from my thousands of photos, my goal has been to create informative, interesting, and engaging presentations.

 It is truly an honor and pleasure for me to share my passion and love for the places I’ve visited and the people I’ve met along the way… 6012015048

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“What time is it where you are?
Tryin’ to figure out the time zones makin’ me crazy
You say good morning
When it’s midnight
Going out of my head
 I wake up to your sunset
And it’s driving me mad
 And my heart, heart, heart is so jet lagged”

Adapted from “Jet Lag” –  Lyrics by Martin, Petersen, Bouvier, Comeau & Sipe

♦ ♦ ♦

That about sums up jet lagwell, maybe…actually jet lag is defined as: “a condition marked by fatigue, insomnia, and irritability that is caused by air travel through changing time zones.”

Photo Victoria De Maio

Sound familiar? Well, I’ll bet you didn’t know that  it even has a fancy medical name. So, if you really want to impress your friends (or just scare them) tell them you had desynchronosis on your last trip!

In not-so-simple medical jargon, desynchronosis is defined as “a physiological condition which results from alterations to the body’s circadian rhythms resulting from rapid long-distance transmeridian (east–west or west–east) travel on a (typically jet) aircraft. It is classified as one of the circadian rhythm sleep disorders.”

Whew…well, nice to know it wasn’t all just my imagination but for the sake of simplicity, I’ll just be referring to it as jet lag here!

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Those Post Vacay Blues: Symptoms & Cure

♦ Those Post-Vacay Blues ♦

I Don’t Want to Say Goodbye to Summer, Do YOU??

Time was when summer was vacation time. And for many, it certainly still is…but, today, many of us travel year round.

However, that “Post-Vacay” let down is pretty much the same regardless of when you travel! 

How many of you remember…

I had a fabulous time…why am I feeling so blue?

“A Summer Song”

They say that all good things must end some day
Autumn leaves must fall
But don’t you know that it hurts me so
To say goodbye to you
Wish you didn’t have to go
No no no no…

And when the rain
Beats against my window pane
I’ll think of summer days again…

– Sung by Chad and Jeremy, Lyrics by Metcalfe, Noble & Stuart

We grew up looking forward to summer and summer vacation, those “lazy hazy crazy days”… No school, no work, only the promise of sunshine, sunburns and swimming pools, popsicles and play time, BBQ’s and family trips. Didn’t we all wish that  “summer could always be here”?

However, as August rolled around we knew that summer was almost over…Yep, all good things must end and even now, although many of us often vacation during other times of the year, we can still feel that same sense of longing for those carefree days to last a little longer. We don’t want to say goodbye…

All too often we return from that long awaited vacation and, after all of the planning and anticipation, now we only have memories (and maybe a huge credit card bill!) It’s no surprise and not unusual that we often feel deflated and blue. Our “real” life can seem a little vanilla and bland, and segueing back into our day-to-day routine can be downright depressing and difficult.

Sound familiar?  Yeah, me, too. I often return from a great trip and then wonder why I’m so down? Not all of it can be attributed to jet lag (or having to do umpteen loads of laundry and pay the bills), can it? A certain nostalgia and wistfulness, almost denial of coming back to the “real world” can set in.  Of course, if the trip wasn’t exactly all you planned or hoped for, that too can evoke a similar set of emotions, not to mention a sense of disappointment, and even frustration.

Well, the post-vacation blues are common and actually, pretty normal. There is even a “clinical” term for this condition:  post-vacation stress disorder or post-travel depression (PTD). So, after a vacation, if you’ve ever experienced:

  • Feeling tired or restless, difficult focusing or settling back into your routine
  • Increased or decreased appetite (for me, it’s always the former)
  • Feeling depressed, blue, sad, even teary

 Well tPhoto Victoria De Maiohen, you are experiencing post-vacation blues (also known as post-travel depression). So, what to do? Of course, if there’s a “condition”, there must be a “cure”.  Check out these 10 recommendations on wikiHow.

For me, I think it’s important to acknowledge that you will experience PTD to some degree after your trip. You may already do many of the suggestions they outline and you certainly don’t have to do them all. Pick and choose what works for you and give yourself the time and  space to “recover”… hopefully in time for your next vacation!

Send Me a Postcard!Send Me a Postcard! Please comment below.

Have you ever experienced post-vacation blues? What is your “cure”?

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