In this track, you’ll receive a customized booklet of recipes - curated by Laura Grassi of Local Foods for different dishes you can make from locally sourced ingredients, and info on where to get them.  You'll also spend a day upping your mad cooking skills with a professional chef (and eating what you make), in a lush villa setting in San Martino (just outside Lucca).


What's the camera you use most on a daily basis?  Your iPhone, right? Amazingly, the cameras that come on our phones are better than what we were spending hundreds on a few years ago.  There are a few simple tweaks using the tools that are always available to you: composition and natural lighting.  With some professional guidance in these areas, you can take some pretty bomb diggity pics on the fly.  In this track, you’ll work with Filippo Brancoli Pantera and his partner at ThinkVisual Studio in Lucca.  Prior to the trip, you’ll receive a guide with 10 easy photography techniques you can try out while in Lucca, along with prompts of Filippo’s 50 favorite things to photograph.  While in Lucca, you’ll spend an entire day with the guys from ThinkVisual - photographing, learning, and then reviewing your work.

Note: if you have a really nice/professional camera and want to bring it, use it, and get pointers from Filippo, that's totally fine too.  Just keep in mind that this is an experience designed to be fun, low key, and and possible for just about anyone.  


In this track, you’ll receive a downloadable iTunes playlist of some of the best music Italy has to offer from pop to (of course) opera.  You'll also have an in-person Q&A session and listening party with David Adams - a retired opera teacher and lyric tenor who cut his Italian opera teeth at l’Accademia di Santa Cecilia in Rome and Opera Barga, and also with Breaking Italian owner Sara Danner Dukic (who formerly managed two performing arts festivals based in Italy).  They’ll answer all your burning questions on the ins and outs of putting on a show, what it takes to be a performer, and take you through some of Puccini’s best-loved arias.  You’ll also receive a self-catering guide for visiting Puccini’s home at Torre Del Lago, and other Puccini and Boccherini hotspots in Lucca and the surrounding area.

A few things to note:

You do NOT need to be a professional in any of these fields, or a lot of fancy equipment, to participate.  All you need is curiosity, a little bit of creativity, and the desire to try something new.  These are designed to engage and delight, no matter what your level of experience.

These educational components are intended to enhance your travel experience in a low-key, low-pressure way.  You'll receive a digital download of some sort to enjoy and use at your leisure during your trip, and then in addition to that you'll spend one day in depth on your given track (as outlined above).  Your other days with us will be scheduled with planned activities such as horseback riding, excursions to Florence, etc.  A sample itinerary is right here.