Sometimes, planning is hard. There’s a long learning curve, and tedious research. You spend a lot of time second guessing your decisions, and worrying about your choices.
Wouldn’t it be nice to have a Fairygodmother…
Well. You do.
Imagine, a worry-free trip to Italy. A ‘set it and forget it’ vacation.
You arrive at the airport in Rome. It’s been a long flight, probably overnight. You get off the plane, pulling or carrying your personal items. You stop in the ladies room to restore your personal comfort and wash your hands and face. Just that cool water on your face is enough to reset your anticipation!
Follow the signs through Customs for US Citizens (where all they really want is to see your passport) and poof, you’re here. There’s a long walk to baggage claim. Knowing it takes a while to offload luggage, you stop at the bancomat (ATM) and use the debit card you cleverly brought with you, to get a few euros for pocket change during your stay. Making your way to the baggage claim kiosk, looking for your flight number posted over it, you spot your suitcase. Directly behind you are frosted glass doors with Uscito/Exit marked above them. Passing through, you are outside in Rome! You catch your breath, look right and left and realize there is a row of nicely dressed drivers standing behind a rope, holding signs with names on them. Oh hey, there’s your name! You movie star, you. You make eye contact, and your driver smiles at you and you nod. Moments later, you are following along while he rolls your suitcase off to your car. You climb in the back and text your Fairygodmother. “On my way!”
An hour later, your driver pulls up in front of your boutique hotel, and takes your suitcase out of the trunk. Your Fairygodmother is waiting at the front door, to get you settled into what will be your home for the next amazing week. (And it really is a week. You depart from America on Day 0 and fly out of Rome on Day 8.)
In the next seven days, you will visit the Vatican Museums, the Sistine Chapel, the Borghese Gardens and Gallery, the Pantheon, Piazza Navona, Campo di Fiori and the Jewish Ghetto, Teatro Marcello and wander the tiny streets of the Trastavere. You’ll tour ancient Rome via golf cart (the Coliseum, the Roman Forum, and Circus Maximus). You’ll take a day trip by train to the hill town of Orvieto in Umbria. You’ll have a traditional dinner in a Roman home. You’ll be treated to local Roman foods and learn Italian traditions, delight in more art than you thought humanly possible, practice a little of the beautiful Italian language, meet some wonderful people, enjoy the wines and cheeses of the region, and get in your steps, haha. You will take a million pictures and make as many memories.
The pace is active, but not strenuous, and leisure is part of each day.
You don’t have to worry about expenses – everything except your flight and incidentals is included. Your package includes all hotel, transportation, meals, and admissions. You can relax, if you are traveling solo, because you will not be alone (that’s what Fairygodmothers are for) or you can save a few dollars if you bring a friend and share a room. You don’t have to worry about being lost in the crowd, because this Fairygodmother limits groups to a maximum of six travelers.
This trip is a great choice for first timers to Italy, and also for those who’ve been before but want a deeper dive.
I offer a similar itinerary for Florence, or a two week Rome/Florence/Venice/Rome experience. There’s also a villa in the tiny corner of Lazio/Umbria/Tuscany we can talk about, if you have a few people interested.
And you don’t have to keep scrolling: for 2024 (and likely 2025 unless something weird happens) the week is $5500/double occupancy, or if you prefer $6900/solo. I am not a travel agent, and as such I do not book air travel, but as your tour operator (Fairygodmother, personal concierge, trip organizer, choose your favorite), everything else is handled from the moment you arrive until the moment you depart.
I’m Sandee Wright, aka your Fairygodmother. Over the past dozen years of travel, I’ve made reference to my ‘Magic Wine Glass’ a thousand times. So often, when I have a picture taken in Italy, there is a wine glass in it. So, I say it magically appeared there, and poof: the Magic Wine Glass was born. When I started casting around for a name for the tour company, it was pointed out that I actually already had one. You’ll doubtless have your own magically appearing wine glass (or espresso cup) in your own pictures.
I’ve been taking women on trips since I put together my first girlfriends cruise vacation in the 1990s. It’s always fallen to me -happily- to create the plan, the spreadsheet, do the research, choose the hotels and verify the train or boat schedules, figure out what was available and what was necessary, to make each trip a success. I really enjoy this part of travel, so it was never a hardship, but it is extraordinarily time consuming. Then I go on trips and find interesting things that I go home and read about because, it’s SO much more interesting when you’re looking at a fountain, to know a little about the sculptor who dreamed it up, the meaning behind the work, and the political intrigue that went into its creation. It’s the little things that give depth and breadth to a travel experience. (If you’re in the Jewish Quarter in Rome, look down. The little brass markers set into the cobblestones are engraved with the names and dates of the people taken during the Holocaust. If you’re in Florence, look for tiny doors set into the walls of the manor houses – the great families sold wine through those doors. If you’re in Bologna, you can stand inside the theater of anatomy in the oldest medical school in the world, built in 1100ad, and if you know where to look, you can visit Descartes’ classroom! As you cross the bridge from historic Rome to the Trastevere, you’ll see Tiber Island. The hospital there was built in the sixteenth century, and is used to resolve many an argument -if you can respond with, “I was born on Tiber Island,” you win, by default. Note: Tiber is Tevere in Italian and Trastevere refers to ‘across the river’ and although more gentrified today, it has long been the less-touristy more-residential end of the historic region of Rome. So. Interesting stuff like that.)
I take great pleasure in finding tiny out of the way restaurants where you won’t find a lot of English spoken, but you’ll see regular working people having their lunch. Out of the way things, like the tiny Leonardo DaVinci museums in Florence, where craftsmen have created Da Vinci’s machines based on his plans… or the customs confiscation museum in Rome, where the constantly evolving display makes me laugh. I enjoy finding craftsmen you can watch creating their works, whether it’s leather goods in Florence or a Roman cabinet maker, a man who re-canes chairs, an olive oil or cheese maker, a truffle hunter, a potter on the Amalfi coast, or woodcarver in the Tuscan countryside. Or the man creating the inlaid marble table pictured -phenomenal! I encourage you to explore fresh markets and fish markets, and to allow yourself to be astounded at the variety of foods and fishes you’ve never seen. I encourage you to taste new dishes, and savor Italian wine pairings. Try something new. Learn something new. Experience something new. Be a traveler with me, instead of a tourist. Come along, and have your own magical travel adventure.
Magic Wine Glass Tours
Rome or Florence, One Week
$5500/double occupancy, or if you prefer $6900/solo.
Includes ground transportation, lodging and meals, entertainment, and daily escort
Does not include air fare, but even if you came empty handed, you’d still eat well, drink lovely Italian wines and coffees, and have a great time. I’ve tried to include all that sort of expense, to that end, to keep your planning utterly simplified. Leave it to me. That’s the best part of having your own Fairygodmother.