A couple of days ago I received an email from my friend Cathy Fleming about the latest trips her travel company Viaggi di Gusto is offering. She dreamed big when she created the idea for this business, and I’m dreaming big about the group of memoir writers I might someday pull together to travel to Italy with Cathy.
Our dreams began a little over a decade ago. We’d known each other since the mid 1980s when she came to work for me at my graphic design firm. She was already an Italophile then, having done a semester abroad and stayed on a while. I came to Italophilia later, first with my Rotary Group Study Exchange experience but more so during a dream vacation in 1997.
Fast-forward to early 2002. Cathy and I had kept in touch through our many changes, and now we both found ourselves pondering new business directions. We partnered to support each other in the search. Many were the cafe lattes over which we discussed possible business models we could undertake, together or apart. The upshot? I began my personal history practice, and she started taking small groups to Italy.
She began with places she knew well, reconnecting with old friends and building new strategic relationships along the way. Every trip included an emphasis on cuisine, a passion of Cathy’s, and one of the reasons she chose the name “Viaggi di Gusto” — which translates as “travels with taste.” Over time she has expanded her knowledge and connections. During the Great Recession booking travelers wasn’t easy, but she hung in there, and now takes groups all over Italy plus arranges travel experiences for individuals and corporate groups.
Today Cathy is off with a group to “BEST PLACES: ROME, CINQUE TERRE, TUSCANY & UMBRIA.” All places I would drop everything and return to in a minute, if current commitments only allowed it.
I invite you to visit Cathy’s website and dream about the trip you could take… or WE could.
What if we formed a group of memoirists with a fondness for travel, and allowed Cathy to build our dream trip? Picture yourself spending mornings writing, followed by afternoons of “turismo”? Back at the villa in the evening around a fireplace, deepening friendships and knowledge of the writing craft?
Let’s get started! Send me an email describing YOUR dream writing workshop in Italy.
Oh, and that header photo on this blog? That’s laundry on the lines in Vernazza, in the Cinque Terre.