Perhaps it is that our children are in a Waldorf school, where seasons are celebrated so regularly. Perhaps it is that I am at our market every single day I am in Rome so can see the nuances of change : a pear variety disappears to be replaced by another, the porcini mushrooms finish, the first artichokes arrive.
This client, a grandmother, guides her two grandchildren to olive trees that are about to be picked.
The two generations helped to hand gather olives and then watched oil being made.
When I review your surveys the first issue I consider is: “when exactly will you be traveling ?” With my enthusiasm for seasons, I worked into many of your November travels, for example, tastings of new oil in central Italy. One of the several olive oil estates we send you to, in Umbria, organizes a special day for children, where they pick the olives and, with help, “make” the oil for that day.
Is there a seasonal festival or special event that you will enjoy that we should build your itinerary around ? For example, by reordering a family’s destinations, they were able to partake in one of our single favorite annual events, Bravio delle Botti, an historic competition in Tuscany. Members of this hill town’s eight districts compete by rolling barrels — each weighing 175 pounds — in an uphill race through town lasting just over a mile. Participants are in costume.
This is not a tourist event, but strongly felt and celebrated, much as is Gubbio’s Festa de’Ceri, another event we work into your itineraries whenever we can. The Feast of the Black Celery is something very few clients have heard of, but every one of you whom we have sent there has loved it. The wondrous Transumanza we have already confirmed for next year, and we are excited that several of you are equally excited to join in too.
There is a fairy book town in the Abruzzo we often suggest for a two or three-day getaway during winter for those who come to Rome.
Not a tourist will share with you the sight, or the great charm, landscape, the four quite divine restaurants — and excellent skiing. We know the right season for this town — and when you want to avoid it too. As for Venice’s Carnival, it is important to go in the right season, and to avoid the wrong one. (For both locations, prices are much lower at the times we recommend too.)
We keep many calendars of events, Italy wide, and consult them every time we plan for you. Warm thermal baths, a seasonal specialty ? An Insider’s Italy favorite (in fact we will be in one this weekend.)
Traditional music on traditional instruments ? Another field that we track carefully.
A rose festival ? We delighted many travelers this year by ordering their travels to include the traditionally loveliest days for Rome’s arcadian Rose Festival.