At least I don’t have to go thru O’Hare

By Valerie Quintanilla

And so it begins…

The beauty of reward travel: Denver to Dallas > Dallas to Frankfurt > Frankfurt to Roma

Not ideal, but at least I don’t have to fly thru O’Hare.

I’ve got quite the line up for this year’s trek. And, this year I’m not going solo. At the end of my Italy trip last year Lisa and I met at the executive lounge at the Rome Cavellari. She’s into cooking, I’m all about wine and we’re both Hilton loyalists — a match made in heaven! Dreams of Italy kept us in touch on Facebook and next thing I knew, I had a travel pal and we had a travel plan.

After much planning, numerous cyber squeals of glee and many Hilton bookings and cancellations we finalized our agenda:

Day 1: Arrive in Rome, meet at the Hilton Rome Airport bar for a quick snack and a toast to our adventures, then it’s off to Bari — the heel of the boot.

Day 2 to 5: Leave Bari for more southern action in Lecce where we hunker down for three nights. A wine tour for me, a cooking class for her and lots of exploring. I’m hoping to find a good hike. Suggestions – Anyone? Anyone?

Day 5 to 6: Leave Lecce early and make our way to Sorrento. The afternoon will be spent in Positano, then an evening cooking class.

Day 6 to 8: We drive north to Florence. Lisa found a wine cave in Greve-in-Chianti that samples of 140 wines – I’m going to have some purple lips when the day is thru! As luck has it, there is also a Chianti Classico wine festival in the village, so we’re going to take in an authentic Italian festival!

Day 8 to 10: We head into the heart of Tuscany, making a lunch wine pairing stop at a little winery en route to San Gimignano. We’ll stay at a farm house where we’ll also take a cooking class.

Day 10 to 13: PIEMONTE!! We’ll cruise up the mountains to hang out with the King and Queen of wine from our little rental house. I have two full days of wine tours planned.

Day 13 to 14: A night in Bologna, then an early start so I can catch my flight home (Rome to Dulles > Dulles to Denver — see, much better!)

The adventure is on! Cin Cin!

– Posted using BlogPress from my iPad

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