Tuesday, February 26, 2013

No Solo Supplement: Italy, photo evenet

--                               [Calling all Photographers:

                         A Creative Break in Puglia, Italy

Take a photography holiday in Puglia and capture the images of our traditional villages and scenic roads off the tourist trail, vineyards, old palaces, farmers on their estates, seaside villages, the countryside and the people of this part of Italy that is less traveled.

Experienced photographers and non-professional photographers will find Puglia an incredible place.  Puglia has spectacular landscapes and natural light, not to mention the beauty of old farmhouses and country houses with their Mediterranean colors (in the Salento style), baroque details and local villagers, pizzica dancers, intimate details and so much more.   

Become a photographer and capture the genuine beauty of Puglia through its most hidden and unconventional landscapes and settings.    Our local experts will enable you to take unique pictures and meet inspiring local people: they will concentrate on your particular interests. Prior to your visit we will ask questions to better understand your photo style and expectations, in order to provide you with the very best settings. Each holiday is custom tailored with dedication and focuses on photography.     Yltour knows the best locations but also restaurants where you can taste the delicious local food and wine.

<!--[if !vml]-->Our accommodations are off the beaten-path places:  dimore (old houses), farmhouses, villas fully equipped.  We use an air conditioned van or private cars to arrive at our shooting locations and               meals are taken in top places. 
Partners, who are not photographers, can join other interesting activities:   cooking classes, a wine tour, a bike tour or simply relax by.
Discover and capture the Puglia we love.
This unique opportunity is limited to small groups to insure individual attention.

 A minimum number of four bookings are required to run this tour.
Cost:   1,500 euros       Special price for bookings prior to March    30, 2013.

Creative Break Includes:
•             7 nights in exclusive properties, breakfast included
•             5 lunches with wine: at local trattorias and private family farmhouses
•             5 dinners with wine
•             2 cooking classes
•             2 wine tastings at top producers and 1 vineyard tour
•             olive farm visit with olive oil tasting and tour of the olive groves
•             a special visit to a private farm with a demonstration on the making of ricotta, a cheese tasting
•             visit to an open air market
•             photo tour of historic Lecce, Gallipoli, Otranto, Itria Valley
•             morning photography unique experiences
•             air-conditioned deluxe motor coach
•             a few surprises, as the occasion allows

Not included:
•             airfare
•             meals not listed on the itinerary                                                                     
•             optional trip insurance
•             items of a personal nature, laundry, telephone charges
•             passport fees
This tour is available in June and November
Email us: info@yltourcongressi.com     ask for promo price listed on solomaturetravel.com                                                                               

Turn your next vacation in to a travel adventure.....


Friday, February 22, 2013

Rome Solo over Christmass

5 or my 15  Impressions from my Solo Christmas trip to Rome:    part of a guest post I did for BrowsingRome.com

Although I travel solo to Italy every year and try to stay as long as possible I have never been Home To Italy during the winter.   Usually by November I head back to the southern part of the USA to wait out the ice and cold across the Northern Hemisphere.
My December trip was devoted entirely to finding what xmas traditions Italians practice that Italian Americans also observe.    Therefore my visit did not include museums this year or monuments but rather the seasonal foods, street festivals and markets where Italians were enjoying the holidays. 

This theme proved to be perfect.     It was easy to do a visual inspection of holiday decorations as I progressed from Zurich to Como and down to Rome, but also the tourists were minimal, locals were more available to chat and the topic of Natale was universal to all.   
Rome Solo"

1.      Street lighting:    In every town and city I visited the streets were blazing with Christmas lights.  No plastic snowmen, candy canes or Rudolf but street after street had displays of white lights.  Each street was different.   Some designs, such as the ‘jellyfish look’ were very unique.   I could not find anyone to ask if each neighborhood decides what lights they used nor do I think that question ever came up!
2.       The Christmas Markets

I left the USA with a list of markets that would be featured in each of the towns I planned to visit.

Apparently an outside Christmas market can be found in most Italian towns.   In Florence it was a German market, in Prato they had a Chocolate fair.   Rome has a huge market in Piazza Narvone that goes on for weeks.   I visited several times to try to see everything.
In addition to the stands offering sweets and snacks the popular items were something like an over sized donut and crepes filled with Nutella.    I enjoyed watching children eating cotton candy for the first time and learning how to eat it.   

Since an outdoor market is a perfect location for a solo traveler to spend time, observe, interact and not become the object of everyone’s attention I found lots to keep me interested and except for the biting cold, would have stayed longer.


Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Rome: Art on the streest of Rome

"The act of painting is catching a fleeting moment in time, never to be repeated."   Kelly Medford

Kelly Medford - Biography

I’m a young painter, and until recently only painted landscapes. Last year I completed a 100 day project to challenge and grow myself and my work, to explore what it is I have to say in paint. I also traveled to Alaska, Florida, South Carolina and several other places painting before moving to Rome, Italy this fall.

The warm light of Rome and it's vast layers of history compel me to carry my easel with me everywhere I go. I stop to paint the light hitting a building, a square or the remnants of a Roman aqueduct running through busy traffic. The possibilities are endless and I'm not only excited, but honored to have the opportunity to paint the streets and life of Rome.

Thank you for your interest in my work and for taking the time to visit the site.

 I asked Kelly this week, how many people in Rome stop and stare or chat with her while she paints.  

 "It depends where I am. In the more residential areas of the city sometimes people just look but don't dare stop to talk and other times people want to talk a lot, I never know what's going to happen, that's definitely post of the fun and adventure of painting out in the street. Yesterday while painting the red house no one stopped to talk, but people really stared, I just get used to it, it's fun!"


Monday, February 18, 2013

Italy for Solo Travelers

Do you love to travel?

Is Italy one of your favorite destinations?

Interested in being more than a tourist?


Think about joining one of these adventures while traveling in Italy....  meet Kelly Medford, American artist living in Rome.

I met Kelly on my December trip to Rome and she graciously agreed to let me follow her while she painted  in the  streets of Rome.  Thanks to a post by BrowrowsingRome.com http://www.browsingrome.com/    I learned that Kelly was doing a 120 project:   a painting a day.  
Thinking, if she can paint an entire picture in ONE day, I can do a blog a day on my 30 day trip.
Well that didn't happen and I am still writing about the adventures I had on my Solo Christmas trip to Italy.....

Kelly  just sent me a list of all the workshops she will be doing this year.    Reading the list brings out the artist in me even though I only express myself with photos......I think a workshop with Kelly would make a difference.     Below is a brief outline on events a Solo Traveler will enjoy.    One of the BEST talents Kelly possesses is her open mind.   She had never met me before, nor do I think she knew I was twice her age but she treated me as a 'real person' and shared her idea and philosopy on paining in Rome.   She was kind to answer the endless questions a non resident asks without laughing or judgins.     Thank you Kelly.

It shall be difficult to selct which class to take.......

Art of the Painted Sketch: August 21-28, 2013
Umbria, Italy

Join us for a week of sun, wine, Italian home cooking and painting in a in a restored villa tucked away in the wooded hills of Umbria.

In this intimate and relaxed setting you will gain a new ease and confidence in capturing  the light and feel of a place by learning the Art of the Painted Sketch

Your instructor, an American painter who has been living and painting in Italy for the past 9 years, will guide you effortlessly through the process.

Not just for painters, this setting is the perfect getaway for non painting partners.       Complete with swimming pool, 80 acres of grounds and close to several small Italian villages, this is the perfect chance to relax and enjoy an authentic Italian holiday.


• Cost for single participant in private room is £985 or $1,530.
• A non-refundable deposit of 25% is required upon registration with full payment due June 26
• All art materials, meals, airport transfers and local transport during the course is included in your tuition/ just bring yourself and be ready to relax and paint!
    *Cancellation policy details can be found by clicking here
To learn more about our hosts at Arte Umbria go to www.arteumbria.com

To learn more about your instructor Kelly Medford click here
To register and join us  click here

The Light and Life of Venice: October 12-20, 2013
Venice, Italy

Spend 10 days in Italy's most magical and mysterious floating city, Venice. We will stalk the streets, alleys and canals with our easels to capture the most intimate and fleeting views of the city.

Venice is full of light, color, gondolas, open piazzas and intimate hidden places. To capture them in paint is exciting, fun and the chance of a lifetime.

This workshop will be filled with adventure, exploration and give you a new confidence to capture the life around you quickly en plein air.
You will learn to capture fleeting light quickly in paint and have a wide range of completed paintings or studies that you can work from and take back to the studio. This experience, through guided instruction, will grow your speed and confidence no matter your skill level.

With 10 days we will have time to enjoy  the local wine, food and scenery as well as paint in 2 daily sessions with time for breaks. We will also have a day painting in the unique local fisherman's Burano island to capture local life there.

All levels and mediums are encouraged to join us as well as non painting partners. We will be staying as locals in furnished apartments in the heart of the city.

Working as a team, Helen Beacham will be instructing all levels in both drawing and watercolors, while Kelly will be working with painters in oil and acrylics.

Saturday, February 9, 2013

Solo Travelers: would you be interested in a creative break



If you enjoy traveling, learning, meeting the locals and immersing yourself in a culture than you need to know about a special series of programs offered by yltour.com in Italy!


Yle Sambati will be offering a great assortment of 'adventures' that solo travelers can enjoy.


Check back soon to hear about her photography, cooking or wine events! 



Monday, February 4, 2013

Worry about traveling solo?

I have traveled solo for the past 15+ years from necessity and then from the sheer joy of doing whatever I wish.

Many other solo travelers write about adventures they take in countries I have to search a map to find.  I stopped reading many of their posts and books since it only made me think I was too timid, shy and had no sense of adventure on the trips I undertake.

But I just read the very sad tale of a solo traveler to Turkey.
American's death in Turkey puts spotlight on solo travel

As countries are crossed off my list of places to visit, because of wars, political unrest or their attitude towards woman, must I now cross Turkey off the list too?

Last year I read about a company in the USA that (for a fee) would keep track of you when you are traveling on a date or just off on your own.    Unfortunately they do not work outside the USA.

What precautions do you take when you solo travel?     Telling your hotel where you are going is useless.   I have left notes in my room but in many countries the staff does not read English.  
Does the American consulate have a system to track us?   They wouldn't let me the embassy in Rome or the consulate in Florence,  and I believe my taxes pay the rent on those buildings.