A Word From the Operations Department

We periodically get emails and web form submissions that go something like “we’ll be in Venice next Monday, what does your service cost?”

Yikes.  Not generally going to be cost effective for us to help these folks.  Our value proposition is strong and I price check us regularly against the competition and find that we’re very, very cost effective for what we do, but what we do is by design a niche market play:  our job is providing an inclusive service that offers a competitive bottom-line figure for everything (hotels, trains, water taxis, museum and historical site admission fees, the tours with Doug, shuttles, taxis as required, etc, and flights if you want us to book those for you as a value-added service).


The short version:  we want you to have a relaxing, enjoyable, deep-immersion experience that affords a memorable emotional connection to Italy and its culture where you don’t have to worry about getting lost, missing something, wasting time in the wrong line, paying for hidden fees you didn’t expect, and so forth.  Our goal is to provide a well planned and inclusive service, and as such we’re not much help to the last second folks looking for a Hail Mary pass for a tour solution next week.  We’ll try to help everyone!  But help us help you–plan your trip months or years in advance, not a week.

Grazie mille!

Risotto con Funghi Porcini

Risotto con Funghi Porcini

When you have a two and a one year old, having a dish that you know finicky eaters will chow down on is key. And it’s pretty rare that my little ones turn their noses up at risotto.

I start with garlic in olive oil and butter with some diced shallot. After the arborio is warmed up and glistening, I cook in a shot of sherry, some porcini mushrooms, and this time I also added some roasted squash. Lots of broth, a fistful of romano once it’s cooked, and half an hour of stirring later, I have a simple but incredibly savory dish that the kids can’t get enough of.

Nothing cuter than a 1 year old with risotto all over his face grinning :).

As good as this is, one of the perks of Doug Sassi’s tours is finding a lot of risotto that blows mine out of the water. Much to learn I still have.