COMMENTS FROM OUR TRAVELERS

Pictures from our Abruzzo Tours
     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!

YEAR 2003  |   2008...  |   2007...  |   2006...  |   2005...  |   2004...  |   2002...  |   2001...  |   2000...


     "Dear Heart of Italy Tours:

     What wonderful memories I have of my recent Food and Wine Tour with you and the Abruzzo World Club. Thank you so much for putting together such a perfect experience for my first trip to Abruzzo. For me it was the trip of a lifetime and a dream come true. Each village we visited provided a special connection to the history and culture of this special part of Italy. Though I have toured other areas of Italy on different occasions, nothing compared with this tour-your personal attention to detail whether concerning our hotel accommodations, the special regional menus you selected, or the villages and restaurants we visited-all contributed to an enjoyable worry-free experience.
Guistina at a Montepulciano winery      Participating in the evening "passeggiatta" on several occasions in L'Aquila where we stayed gave me a real feel of the energy of the Italian culture and the beauty of the people of this region. I am proud to be a part of this heritage.
      As you know, it all started with my interest in genealogy and in seeking your help in researching my father's family roots in Collecorvino. Little did I know that you would actually locate a cousin, and that you would be successful in arranging a meeting between us during the tour. That, of course, has to be the highlight of a trip full of special memories. Thank you for being available to accompany me to their home and for being my interpreter.
      As I browse through my pictures, I am even more appreciative of the detailed background and historical information you prepared in anticipation of each day's itinerary. It has helped me identify some of the special, incredibly beautiful sights we saw each day.
     Some of my younger cousins have shown such enthusiasm after hearing of my experiences that I wouldn't be surprised if they decided to take a similar trip in a few years. I will surely encourage them to do so. As for me, I am looking forward to making a return trip someday. Sincerely,

October 2003
Guistina Stoddart
San Diego, CA, U.S.A.



     "Ciao Abruzzo World Club,

     Congratulations on a successful Abruzzo Food and Wine Tour. Jane and I want to thank you and the team for the wonderful experience that we had in touring Abruzzo and sampling the food and wine of the region. Norbert with a new Abruzzese friend...Your selection of places to visit and choice of restaurants provided us with a once-in-a-lifetime experience. We had heard that Abruzzo was beautiful and now we know that this is true - from the mountains of the Gran Sasso and the Majella to the Adriatic Sea and all of the valleys and villages in between.
      The opportunity for us to visit my family's ancestral village of Pescocostanzo was the highlight of the tour. To walk the same streets as my father, uncles, aunts, and grandparents and to attend Mass in their church was a lifetime thrill.
      The kind considerations and courtesies extended to us by you and your staff members made the tours comfortable and enjoyable. Your plan to stay in one hotel and take day trips relieved us of the chores of unpacking and repacking when changing hotels.
      We learned that there is more to Italy than Rome, Florence, Venice, the Amalfi Coast, etc. A tour of Abruzzo is rewarding, especially for those with Abruzzese heritage.
     We are already talking about our next visit.
     Mille grazie.

October 2003
Norbert and Jane DiGiacomo
Aberdeen, Maryland U.S.A.
Email Norbert!



     "Dear amici:

     Our two-week August tour of Abruzzo was simply fantastic! This was our seventh trip to Italy and this trip was probably our best ever. We've been to Rome, Naples, Sorrento, Capri, the Amalfi coast, Florence, Venice, Milan and places in between several times but never before to Abruzzo. The mountains, the valleys, the landscapes, the food, the wine, the people, the villages -- all were so memorable that Adele and I dream about you and Abruzzo every night since we've been home!
Victor and Adele at the 35-people family reunion in Pescara     Of course, our time with my mother's relatives in L'Aquila and my father's relatives in Pescara will be in our memories for a very long time. The genealogy research that you did for us for both sides of my family was a big help, to our relatives there as well as to us.
     You added so much to the enjoyment of our time in Pescara by being with us to drive, translate, take photos, make arrangements, and the many other little things you did for us that made things go smoothly. The festa that our relatives had there for us on our last night with 35 people there was awesome! We can't thank you enough for all of your help. And the day you took us to Assisi, a sacred place, and the Marmore Falls, a spectacular sight, was a wonderful day.
     You could not have done more in taking us on enjoyable daily tours of the Abruzzo countryside to visit places like Scanno, Sulmona, Atri, Castelli and the L'Aquila surroundings. We especially enjoyed the pranzo with Lidia and Dante at their restaurant in Atri. We would love to go back there again some time. Our thanks to both of you for everything you did to make our tour so pleasant. And it was nice having dinner and meeting your family and Diana and Don one evening!
     I was impressed with the integrity, care and thoughtfulness that you all displayed. I would recommend a "Heart of Italy" tour to people who want to get a different look at Italy, particularly if they want to visit relatives there that they have not met before. You helped me find mine!"

August 2003
Vic and Adele Liberi
Sarasota, Florida, U.S.A.
Email Victor!



     "Dear Abruzzo World Club,

Ed and Kathy in Tivoli, Rome     Thank you and your very much for an absolutely wonderful Heart of Italy tour. My wife and I were very pleased with the quality of the restaurants and the variety of sites that we visited.
      The food was always excellent ! We most appreciated the genuine kindness and consideration of your team, everyone was so knowledgeable and always eager to help.....we really felt like family. We hope to see you again for another tour soon. Please say 'ciao' to everyone for us."

July 2003
Ed & Kathy D'Angelo
Clearwater, Florida, U.S.A.
Email Ed!



Charles & Eleanor with the group in Stiffe, photo F. De Stephanis     "Dear team,

     Thank you for a wonderful trip. We loved our tour of Abruzzo. San Gabriele is a beautiful area, the Gran Sasso is breath taking. The small town of Pescocostanzo is magnificient. L'Aquila with its Basilica of San Bernardino and the Church Santa Maria Collemaggio and its fortress and fountains is a wonderful place to stay and visit. The food was something special. We want to thank you for making it all possible."

July 2003
Charles & Eleanor Porrini
West Chester, Pa, U.S.A.



     "Hi,

Angelo at the Marmore Waterfalls, UmbriaWhere do I begin? My visit to Italy was incredible! I thoroughly enjoyed seeing Rome with you. Actually seeing the Coliseum and the forum gives one a profound sense of history. Setting foot on a Roman Road that has survived for 2000 years allows one to be part of the experience that is Rome. I still vividly remember the eclectic mix of the ancient, the old and the new buildings in the city. I would not be forgiven if I failed to brag on the exquisite food and the belle ragazze!
     Abruzzo was a separate but equally special journey for me. The small beautiful villages with the classic medieval origins were beautiful. The national parks, such as Abruzzo, Gran Sasso and Maiella are perfect back drops for the towns. it is easy to imagine the regret that the emigrants felt leaving such a beautiful place. You truly live in a paradise.
     I enjoyed going to Assisi with you to see the tomb of St. Francis and the Basilica. The frescoes were worthy of a visit in themselves. Silvi had a small town charm and an inviting view. Perhaps the highlight of my vacation was going to Gamberale to the village where my father's people lived. This small medieval village situated at the edge of Maiella was the perfect place to relax and spend some time. One has to wonder why my grandparents ever left?
     My time was all too short and I need to visit again. However next time I will bring my wife, children and grandson. My thanks to you for a truly incredible time. You not only treat guests as royalty, you make them feel like family!"

June 2003
Angelo Sciulli
South Carolina, U.S.A.
Email Angelo!
Website: www.scnature.com
Newspaper article about Angelo's trip on: 'Il Messaggero'