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Travel to Italy Tip #5 | Support smaller family run businesses

Le marche italy

Now that’s what I call a Bed and Breakfast!

I talked in previous posts about finding a home base and staying there for an extended period of time and also the benefits of traveling to a lesser known area.  Tip #5 brings both of those pieces of advice together to help save you money yet keep your experience amazing.

5. Stay in smaller, family run accommodations

This is something I live by.  I support these places 100%.  Smaller doesn’t mean less, in fact it is usually the opposite.  There is a ton of love put into accommodations run by families and that is reflected in the way guests are treated.  Plus, Italian families are struggling to make ends meet just like us.  I like to know that my money is helping to support them in their passion, not just being funnelled into some big corporation.

Dinner at our agriturismo

So how do you find these places?  I start by looking for Bed & Breakfast’s (B&B’s) and agriturismos.  A B&B normally doesn’t have many rooms and these rooms can occasionally be a part of the owners’ home.  The hosts are more readily available and looking forward to answering your questions, helping with your plans plus giving great advice for the area.  An agriturismo is a working farm that also accommodates guests.  Many of these places have an option for meals in addition to breakfast.  Being on a farm doesn’t mean you are surrounded by barnyards.  Most have beautiful grounds complete with olive groves and vineyards.

I have put together all of my favorite resources here to help you get started.  TripAdvisor is a great site.  Real reviews from real travelers along with average prices to help you with your budget.  Just remember to take everything said with a grain of salt.  Sometimes the happy travelers aren’t always the ones writing the reviews.  I also use SlowTrav as a place to get ideas as their travel philosophy is much like mine.

Find a smaller accommodation and you won’t be sorry.  You may even find you have become a part of their family.

Italy Le Marche

Instant Italian family

I love feedback, leave me comments!

copyright 2014  Andi Brown, Once in a Lifetime Travel

Travel to Italy Tip #5 | Support smaller family run businesses

Le marche italy

Now that’s what I call a Bed and Breakfast!

A series posted last year, but the information is priceless!

I talked in previous posts about finding a home base and staying there for an extended period of time and also the benefits of traveling to a lesser known area.  Tip #5 brings both of those pieces of advice together to help save you money yet keep your experience amazing.

5. Stay in smaller, family run accommodations

This is something I live by.  I support these places 100%.  Smaller doesn’t mean less, in fact it is usually the opposite.  There is a ton of love put into accommodations run by families and that is reflected in the way guests are treated.  Plus, Italian families are struggling to make ends meet just like us.  I like to know that my money is helping to support them in their passion, not just being funnelled into some big corporation.

Dinner at our agriturismo

So how do you find these places?  I start by looking for Bed & Breakfast’s (B&B’s) and agriturismos.  A B&B normally doesn’t have many rooms and these rooms can occasionally be a part of the owners’ home.  The hosts are more readily available and looking forward to answering your questions, helping with your plans plus giving great advice for the area.  An agriturismo is a working farm that also accommodates guests.  Many of these places have an option for meals in addition to breakfast.  Being on a farm doesn’t mean you are surrounded by barnyards.  Most have beautiful grounds complete with olive groves and vineyards.

I have put together all of my favorite resources here to help you get started.  TripAdvisor is a great site.  Real reviews from real travelers along with average prices to help you with your budget.  Just remember to take everything said with a grain of salt.  Sometimes the happy travelers aren’t always the ones writing the reviews.  I also use SlowTrav as a place to get ideas as their travel philosophy is much like mine.

Find a smaller accommodation and you won’t be sorry.  You may even find you have become a part of their family.

Italy Le Marche

Instant Italian family

I love feedback, so leave me comments!

copyright 2012  Andi Brown, Once in a Lifetime Travel

Best places to homebase in Italy with a rental car

I’m switching gears now and will be talking about the places I stay when I have a rental car and the ability to get out into the harder to reach areas.  If you missed my favorite cities to home base in using public transportation click here and here.

Le Marche

I specifically stay near the small hill town of Monterubbiano at my favorite B&B called the Vento di Rose.  I love this area for several reasons.  The first is that you will be hard pressed to find a bus load of tourists pouring in and out of these little towns.  The feeling while visiting this area is completely authentic.  I also love the fact that the sea is just a matter of minutes away so you can also experience a varied holiday.

Le marche

Ascoli Piceno in Le Marche

FURORE

The Amalfi Coast is beautiful but it is a crowded place, especially in the summer months.  I prefer to stay in Furore and explore the coast in the opposite direction as most tourists.  There is a lovely hotel here called Fico d’India with a most gracious named Pino.  Tell him I said hi!

furore italy amalfi coast

 

To be continued…….

I’m obsessed with feedback, let me know what you think.

Love it??  Pass it on!

Copyright 2012   Andi Brown,  Once in a Lifetime Travel

Featured Photo Friday | Why I Love B&Bs

Vento di Rose

I’m obsessed with feedback, let me know what you think.

Love it??  Pass it on!

Copyright 2012   Andi Brown,  Once in a Lifetime Travel

Travel to Italy Tip #5 | Support smaller family run businesses

Le marche italy

Now that's what I call a Bed and Breakfast!

I talked in previous posts about finding a home base and staying there for an extended period of time and also the benefits of traveling to a lesser known area.  Tip #5 brings both of those pieces of advice together to help save you money yet keep your experience amazing.

5. Stay in smaller, family run accommodations

This is something I live by.  I support these places 100%.  Smaller doesn’t mean less, in fact it is usually the opposite.  There is a ton of love put into accommodations run by families and that is reflected in the way guests are treated.  Plus, Italian families are struggling to make ends meet just like us.  I like to know that my money is helping to support them in their passion, not just being funnelled into some big corporation.

Dinner at our agriturismo

So how do you find these places?  I start by looking for Bed & Breakfast’s (B&B’s) and agriturismos.  A B&B normally doesn’t have many rooms and these rooms can occasionally be a part of the owners’ home.  The hosts are more readily available and looking forward to answering your questions, helping with your plans plus giving great advice for the area.  An agriturismo is a working farm that also accommodates guests.  Many of these places have an option for meals in addition to breakfast.  Being on a farm doesn’t mean you are surrounded by barnyards.  Most have beautiful grounds complete with olive groves and vineyards.

I have put together all of my favorite resources here to help you get started.  TripAdvisor is a great site.  Real reviews from real travelers along with average prices to help you with your budget.  Just remember to take everything said with a grain of salt.  Sometimes the happy travelers aren’t always the ones writing the reviews.  I also use SlowTrav as a place to get ideas as their travel philosophy is much like mine.

Find a smaller accommodation and you won’t be sorry.  You may even find you have become a part of their family.

Italy Le Marche

Instant Italian family

I love feedback, so leave me comments!

copyright 2012  Andi Brown, Once in a Lifetime Travel

My ABC’s of Travel

ABCs of Travel

I found this on another blog and thought it would be fun to re-post with my own answers.  Feel free to do the same! Travel Consultant

A: Age you went on your first international trip:

I was 14 and went on a mission with my church youth group to an orphange in Tijuana

B: Best (foreign) beer you’ve had and where:

That’s not really a fair question at all.  Guinness in Ireland probably tops the list.  MacFarlands in Italy was memorable.

C: Cuisine (favorite):

Italian of course.  Followed closely by Indian and Thai.

market

D: Destinations, favorite, least favorite and why:

Italy is my favorite for obvious reasons with Ireland being a close second.

Least favorite was the Bahamas (I know, I can’t believe I’m saying it) but that doesn’t mean I hated it, just not somewhere I want to go back.

E: Event you experienced abroad that made you say “wow”:

In 1991 I was 17 miles from the epicenter of a 7.4 earthquake in Costa Rica.  My friends and I spent the next week trying to survive and make our way back to the capital city in time for our flight home.  That of course is a whole other story!

F: Favorite mode of transportation:

Train. Unless I’m in a car on the autostrada.

G: Greatest feeling while traveling:

When I first get off the plane at my destination.  All the hours of planning and the weeks of anticipation that lead up to that moment.

H: Hottest place you’ve traveled to:

Madrid during a heat wave in a hostel with no a/c.

I: Incredible service you’ve experienced and where:

Locanda Orseolo in Venice, Vento di Rose in Monterubbiano and this little B&B/restaurant/pub/farm on the Dingle Peninsula in Ireland.

J: Journey that took the longest:

My flight to and from Paraguay where I lived for a summer.  Over 24 hours on planes, buses and in the back of a pick-up truck.

K: Keepsake from your travels:

I found a necklace in a second-hand store in Cortona.  It is a simple silver necklace with a green stone and a great story….if only I understood what the woman was telling me.

L: Let-down sight, why and where:

Valencia, Spain.  The beaches were dirty and not at all what we expected.  Probably didn’t help that I had one of my top three worst hang overs on arrival.

M: Moment where you fell in love with travel:

Easy.  Looking into the eyes of the orphans when I was 14.  Hook.  Line.  Sinker.

N: Nicest hotel you’ve stayed in:

A castle in Germany on the Rhine river.  We were in the turret and had a 12 course dinner that night.

O: Obsession—what are you obsessed with taking pictures of while traveling?:

LOLs.  That’s right.  I stalk little old ladies (and men).  I am also obsessed with taking a picture of the view from the windows of every place I stay.

P: Passport stamps, how many and from where?

I would have more, but they don’t stamp between countries in Europe anymore.  So countries visited??  17

Q: Quirkiest attraction you’ve visited and where:

The baths in Budapest.  I was given a ‘robe’ that either covered the top or the bottom but not both.  I soon realized it didn’t matter anyway.  I was given a massage by a burly woman smoking a cigarette who give my ass a slap when she was done.

R: Recommended sight, event or experience:

A family style dinner anywhere.  I’ve enjoyed the experience in Italy many, many times but have also dined this way in Ireland, Germany and France.  No better way to meet people and experience the real deal.

I also had the chance to make my own pottery at a studio in Le Marche.  See my article here.

S: Splurge; something you have no problem forking over money for while traveling:

My Italian leather purse from a little shop in Orvieto.

T: Touristy thing you’ve done:

The classic gondola ride.

U: Unforgettable travel memory:

Spending over a month in Italy traveling with my daughter and meeting my parenting.

V: Visas, how many and for where?

None.

W: Wine, best glass of wine while traveling and where?

A glass of Brunello at a little wine shop in Cortona

X: eXcellent view and from where?:

Vernazza in the Cinque Terre.  Read more here about their recovery from the flood and mudslide that buried the town October 25th 2011

Y: Years spent traveling?:

Since I was 14, so 23 and a half.

Z: Zealous sports fans and where?:

Soccer, anyway in Europe but I experienced it personally in Italy.

Copyright 2012   Andi Brown,  Once in a Lifetime Travel

My Special Places: Vento di Rose

Italian B&B in Monterubbiano

Emanuela and Emidio, Owners of Vento di Rose

Every month or so I will be featuring one of my favorite places, guides or experiences on a separate tab (see above). I hope you enjoy!

I am always striving to find unique and out of the way experiences for my clients. A few years ago I stumbled upon an enchanting B&B that exceeded my expectations in every way.

Tucked away in the beautiful but rarely visited area of the Marche, you will find yourself miles away from any other tourists and completely immersed in the authentic Italy.
Surrounded on all sides by quaint hilltop villages is the Vento di Rose, run lovingly by Emanuela and Emidio.

On my arrival after a long drive from Rome, I was met at the door with a flourish of kisses, a bottle of wine and a light snack. How refreshing to enjoy the scenery with a glass in hand. The property is set half way up a hill giving you great views from their patio. In the spring and fall you will be surrounded by the color and scent of her numerous roses which overflow from every possible corner.

They have converted their home into a small three room B&B, but don’t
let the amount of rooms fool you. Each is tastefully decorated in a different
theme with impeccable attention to detail. Finding a comfortable bed in Italy
can be a challenge, but I had no problem sleeping here and looked forward to
crawling into bed each night.

B&B monterubbiano

Morning breakfast on the patio overlooking the hillside.

Breakfast was my only reason for leaving that bed each morning. In a country that survives on cappuccini and skimpy croissants, the food here is one of a kind. I will never forget the first morning sitting down to an immaculately set table, rose petals scattered across the cloth.

Emanuela and Emidio arrived with plate after plate of food. Each time they left
I was certain that was the end, only to have them appear with yet another dish.
I was overwhelmed at the amount and variety. Everything they served was
homemade, fresh and of the highest quality. There were regional cheeses,
sausages and meats; fresh bread, pastries, baked vegetables, fruit preserves,
fresh juices….I could go on and on. We were never able to finish everything
and they would neatly wrap our leftovers so that we could graze again at lunch
time.

But what truly makes a stay here exceptional is the personal attention from
Emanuela and Emidio. They are able to provide excellent information about the
surrounding area, set up reservations for dinners and activities, and even
personally escort you to out of the way locations to avoid getting lost. Nothing
is impossible. She was able to arrange a visit to the oldest pottery studio in
the area and we were given the chance to throw clay on one of the wheels, an
experience that I will never forget. We wanted a traditional dining experience,
and the next thing I knew we were sitting elbow to elbow with Italians at a long
wooden table in an ancient village passing around chunks of cheese. They have an
uncanny knack for always being available without giving their guests a sense of
intrusiveness. And now they are providing a fantastic and FREE evening cooking lesson for my clients.

You arrive a guest at Vento di Rose but leave a good friend. I found myself
wishing I was staying longer as I grudgingly packed my bags into the car and
sadly drove away.

Website

http://www.ventodirose.it/

Location
Monterubbiano in the Marche region

copyright 2011 Andi Brown Once in a Lifetime Travel

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