COMMENTS FROM OUR TRAVELERS
By courtesy of our travelers, following you can read just a few of the many thank-you notes they sent after tours with us, since we started in the year 2000. To all of of our friends, our warm thoughts always go, and... can't wait to meet you again!
"Dear Heart of Italy tours,
We've returned home but left part of our hearts in Abruzzo. My Mother (who will be 85 this week), my Sister and I loved every minute of the days we spent there. The custom tour you arranged for us was AMAZING. The beautiful mountain villages, the history we learned, the excellent food, the artisans and their shops, along with your incredible kindness, patience and caring, all combined to give us a lifetime of memories and a fantastic vacation.
Thanks also for your genealogy research in the town of Alfedena where my Grandmother lived. Standing in front of the home where she was born over 100 years ago and walking on the streets she walked was the highlight of our trip to Italy. We learned so much about her family and now we also know the name of her Grandparents.
Without your help, we wouldn't have been able to visit my Grandfather's village of Campoli Appennino and certainly wouldn't have been able to communicate with the people we met there.
Our custom tour was a wonderful, wonderful experience - we appreciate all you did for us. We always felt safe and well taken care of. When I dream, I'm still in Abruzzo.
Thank You for everything you did to make this our trip of a lifetime!"
I just want you to know how very much I enjoyed the trip and tour with you. This was such a special, special experience. I have never felt so at home and so connected to any place I have traveled and that is because you all kept us focused on our Abruzzese heritage.
I never knew that the Abruzzo was so beautiful, so filled with the beauty of nature and the depth of culture, history and religion that you showed us. I am so sad that my father and his family only knew Guardiagrele during a time when there was so little in their lives that limited their ability to travel from town to town or even to the sea. And I am sad he never returned to see the change in the countryside and in the prosperity of the Abruzzese people. I am so pleased to know these things for him and for my sisters. I will always treasure every moment of this trip with all my heart.
I have been telling my family here in New York about the care you took in planning each day for us. The magic began from the moment we all sat down together on the first day to discuss and amend the itinerary, to customize it to our needs. Each day was rich, full and different. The mountain towns of Scanno, Castelli, and Pescocostanzo were magnificent and the blessing of the sheep at Campo Imperatore is a memory I will never forget.
Wonderful as all these experience were-I will always treasure most my day in Guardiagrele with you, our time in the municipal records finding birth and death certificates, our time in the Costume Museum, our time at the cemetery finding my great-grandmother's grave, you reconstructing the family tree and her subsequent research in Chieti, finding the street where my father lived, and attending Mass in the Church where the family was baptized, married, and laid to rest. These are priceless moments that I never thought I would experience. Thank you, thank you, thank you.
Throughout the two weeks I took some time to study the Abruzzese character. I learned that the Abruzzese favor a quiet and simple life, that family, culture, history and religion are very important, that hard work is a way of life, and good, simple food and wine that is fresh and well-made is a reward and a joy.
Forte et gentile is indeed the motto of the Abruzzese and I think this says a great deal about these strong and kind people from the mountain and the sea. It certainly characterizes my family and the way we have lived our lives. I hope to return to Abruzzi say some day. I feel I have a new home".
We are still making the adjustment from the wonderful days spent in Abruzzo back to our side of the world. I find myself looking up at the hillsides here expecting to see a castle or a sighting tower but of course, here there is only the hill as if something is missing. It was a very moving experience to be transported to my roots and I cannot thank you enough for your guidance through such a beautiful, unspoiled part of the world. We will send pictures when we get them developed. I just wanted to make a quick connection right now to let you know we are still very much in Abruzzo, if only in our minds".
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