Review By Erin D - Erie, CO - USA (November 2011)
An unforgettable, incomparable vacation experience.
I read about how we'd be made to feel like family on our trip, and I didn't truly understand it until I experienced it firsthand.
|Written By:||Erin D|
|Location:||Erie - CO - USA|
|Review Source:||Trip Advisor|
|Type of Traveler:||Couple|
|Itinerary:||Soriano - Tuscan & Umbrian Sun|
My husband and I visited with several other couples from my family in September. The two months since our return has given me the perspective to truly reflect on what a unique and extraordinary experience Culture Discovery provides.
I read about how we'd be made to feel like family on our trip, and I didn't truly understand it until I experienced it firsthand. Believe me, it isn't just clever marketing. We were welcomed into the home of Michael and Paola (the main villa where all the cooking classes took place) and were made to feel completely comfortable and welcomed by sincere and warm Italian hospitality. Culture Discovery’s open-door, family-style approach of “the more the merrier” made a significant impression on me, and is something I’m making a concerted effort to replicate in our home and lives back in the States.
The CD staff is an international motley crew and is simply outstanding. The genuine passion and authenticity that they each impart made the trip even more unforgettable.
Our favorite part of the trip was by far the time spent at the villa during the cooking classes. I love to cook, and my husband just loves to eat; we were both more than pleased. The setting in the villa was comfortable and not overly structured. I’d compare it to the feeling of preparing big holiday meals with your own family – snacking, drinking wine and laughing along the way. I have already used many of the recipes we learned back home, to great results!
We also loved the day trips, and found learning more about the history of Italy and the region really enhanced our trip. You don’t have to participate in all of the excursions, but you definitely should to get the most value out of the trip. A word to the wise: if your vacations typically revolve around relaxing and lounging beachside (ours usually do, my husband is from Maui) this trip will exhaust you. This is fine, because you’ll be amazed by how much you can pack in to one week, but be ready for it.
One other lesson we learned: do plan to pack enough for an entire week. CD materials will tell you not to. You should still pack as lightly as possible, but do not plan to be able to do laundry. Some of the village homes have washing machines, but others don’t. Ours didn’t, and we opted to use the local laundry service in town, which turned out to be very expensive. Not a big deal, but good to know.
You will be absolutely blown away by the amount of food and wine you consume during the week. We were worried that the “all inclusive” title wouldn’t truly turn out that way, especially with booze, but boy were we wrong. We ate and drank ourselves silly – and every last bite and drop was delicious.
I have recommended this trip and Culture Discovery to countless people since our return, and already look back on it with such nostalgia that I know I’ll simply have to return for another visit with them at some point – perhaps in one of their new locations as they expand.
|Sample Photo from this Itinerary|