Mary Ann's Blog

As Summer Fades, Travel Awaits

Where is summer going?

My husband Guy always says that after 4th of July, summer is over. It sure doesn't feel like it in this hot and sultry weather, but sure enough if you’ve been to the mall lately or your favorite department store, the mannequins in the store windows are all wearing nor’easter winter weather clothes!

It doesn't help that things have been so busy lately.  Between filming next season's episodes of Ciao Italia and all of my usual summer responsibilities, I haven't had a chance to catch my breath.  This is my first blog post since July 1st!

So all of this talk about summer ending got me thinking about my upcoming trip to Italy in September.

This year we are heading to the Piedmont region in northwestern Italy with the folks from Under the Italian Sun. This majestic mountain area is responsible for all kinds of hearty foods, like Scaloppine Val D'Aostana (Veal Scallops with Prosciutto and Fontina), great white truffles, fabulous cheeses, buckwheat pasta, rice dishes, and of course classic wines and breathtaking views. Piemonte means foot of the mountains so we’ll have our walking shoes on for those hilly climbs.

Click here for more info about my trip to Piedmont.   

Each year I take a group to a different region of Italy and last year it was Sicily, the land of my grandparents on my father’s side. I still remember getting off the plane in Punta Raisi airport outside of Palermo and waiting and waiting for my luggage to come off the belt, which of course it never did. Three days of promises later by the hotel staff that my luggage was coming any moment and it finally did arrive and it taught me a good lesson: do not leave home without a small carry-on bag with at least three days worth of clothing just in case.

I’ll drag my suitcase up from the basement this week and just keep it open on the floor in my bedroom. I have plenty of time to pack, but as I think of things I want to take, I can throw them in the suitcase now. Italians always look chic so I’ll want to take one or two nice dresses and some scarves; they are famous for knowing how to get the most out of a scarf!

Here are ten things that should be in your carry-on travel bag too:

  1. simple language phrase book,
  2. notebook to record any favorite memories,
  3. extra battery for your phone, computer, etc,
  4. rain poncho,
  5. small flashlight,
  6. slippers,
  7. important phone numbers for emergencies,
  8. several zip lock bags,
  9. hand sanitizer,
  10. a couple of washcloths.

Check out the Ciao Italia Travel page on our website.

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