Leaving On A Jet Plane

I’m from the generation that remembers the song “Leaving on a Jet Plane” written by John Denver in 1966. My favorite version of it is when Peter, Paul, and Mary recorded it in 1967 and made the song famous in 1969. Here’s a copy of it on YouTube: Leaving On A Jet Plane

 The first lines of the song are “All my bags are packed, I’m ready to go,” and I am!  Yes, the trip is finally here. The European adventure is about to start!

Hubby and I try to make an international journey about every other year while we still can as we know our days are on the short list physically and financially. But let’s put that aside, and look forward to the next 3+ weeks of fun and amusement. And we’re taking you along!

Our first week will be spent in Italy.

We arrive in Milan and then check into a villa (yes I said villa!) in Lake Como. Antimo (our travel consultant of Voomago) has arranged this week in Italy so I don’t know all the specifics as he handles everything for us and does such a wonderful job. I leave it in his hands and just drink wine, eat pasta, and enjoy the scenery. Our villa is somewhere in this area. 

A day trip and lunch in Bellagio is planned one day. Then we pick up friends from Southern California who will be joining us for the next few days in Italy. What fun!


The following day we visit Milan properly, visiting the cathedral, the Last Supper, and lunching somewhere wonderful. I’ve heard all the people in Milan are tall and thin. I’ll definitely be out of place with my Southern Italian shortness and plumpness about me. Maybe that is why I have avoided visiting Milan all these years? Well, at least I have my 100% Italianess!!

On to Lake Como. I actually have a tapestry in my living room very similar to this image. I’m sure George and Amal would invite us for lunch if they are in town but their busy schedule may prevent that from happening. I’ll keep you up-to-date. LOL. Weather permitting, it should be a beautiful day for sightseeing. 

Is this not the cutest picture postcard town? Barolo is where our cooking class and wine tasting adventure will take place. Funny story, in Costco magazine there is an article about a winemaker in Barolo named Valentina Abbona. They are a sixth generation winery and their words to live by “Wine is not only the result of the fermentation of the grapes; wine is emotion, is poetry, is, indeed, art.” I fell in love with this winery. So I asked Antimo if we would be anywhere near the winery Antiche Cantine dei Marchesi di Barolo – wouldn’t it be fun to stop in. He said, “Oh I know the family, that IS the winery we are going to for tasting.” Of course, we are! Leave it to Antimo to surprise us with that. 

That evening we will be doing our passeggiata (Italian evening stroll) and enjoying the sunset in La Morra. The Italians like to take an evening walk before dinner. You see crowds of people walking in the big cities, and small groups even in the smaller towns in the early evening. It’s very common to see people walk around town before going home and making dinner. Often old men sit on benches and gossip, old ladies look out windows onto the squares or piazzas and call out to people or their families. It is amazing to experience.

Visiting the Grinzane Cavour Castle will be one of the last stops on this Italian adventure before we head to the city Alba. I don’t know much about this medieval castle, not sure if it worth bringing my tiara or not. hmmmmm.


Cherasco is a town where we will be having a chocolate experience and lunch. Oh goody! Looking forward to both of those!


Alba is known for its white truffles, the Alba Cathedral, with a bell tower that has spectacular city views (I imagine we might be climbing up it if we have the energy) and in a nearby church of San Giovanni Battista, there are artworks from the 14th century onward. So there’s a lot to see and do here. 

This will be a great week for sure!

After our week in Italy, Antimo will drop us off at the Milan airport and we’ll be landing in Manchester, England for the next part of our European Adventure. Later weeks take us to Edinburgh, Scotland, and Conwy, Wales. The remainder of the itinerary will be posted as we go along. 

Be sure to check the blog for daily travel journal posts and pictures!




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