It’s February, and in Italy that means Carnevale. In our future dream life, we are not only going to Venice — one of the most famous Carnevale hot spots in the world — but we are going ALL OUT while we’re there. That means snagging tickets to Il Ballo del Doge, the most exclusive, fanciest masquerade ball in the world. Think Cirque du Soleil-style performers, mingling musicians, and THE most extra costumes on display. Of course, we’ll be showing up dressed to the nines ourselves, with a visit to Antonia Sautter’s atelier to choose from 1200 decadent period costumes. (And we’ll probably pick up a little something for every day too — her kimonos, and Venetian slippers are amaze.)


Italians might not be battling nor’easters over the winter months, but that doesn’t mean they don’t want to get cozy around this time of year. Nothing like getting your hibernation on in an actual cave, so we’re heading down to Matera, where you’ve never seen such fancy ones. One of our favorites is Sextantio Le Grotte della Civilta — located in Matera’s Sassi district, its rooms are carved right out of the rock, and the common area is an ancient church. How much do you want to curl up in one of these tonight? Matera is a stop on our Southern Italy tour, which will likely be on the calendar for next year. Send us an email and we’ll make sure you’re among the first to know when our 2023 dates are released.


Hearing from our readers! It’s also Valentine’s Day in February, and we want to know… what is the most romantic hotel you’ve ever stayed at in Italy? Or experience you’ve had? Or restaurant you tried? Italy screams romance at the top of her lungs, and we’re always looking for the next new find. Maybe we’ll even feature it in an upcoming newsletter.


Today we are saying ciao from Manarola! This just happens to be the view from our fave restaurant stops on our week-long signature Cinque Terre tour. Come live inside a postcard with us — we’ve got a couple of openings left on our May date, and we’d love to have you join us! (Here are 40 reasons you should.) Spring is so great in this part of the country. Send us an email for availability.



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With love + fresh pesto






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