We have reached the point in staying at home when we are really missing travel. To get the experience of traveling at home and fighting back boredom, this week Kim and Tamara interview two tour operators and a winery owner about the virtual experiences they offer.
Angelo from LivItaly shares the innovative and engaging ways his tour guides are sharing their subject matter expertise (and humor!), while Rachel from Devour Tours talks about her company’s free and paid cooking demonstrations and classes. And we chat wine and virtual wine tasting with Chris from Benziger Family Winery.
ON THE PODCAST
00:30 – Sponsor – Comrad Socks
00:50 – Talking with Kim and Tamara
08:20 – Talking with Angelo from LivItaly
11:35 – LivTalks
20:50 – Where Angelo is heading first
23:30 – Talking with Rachel from Devour Tours
30:50 – What’s going on in Spain
32:15 – Where Rachel is heading first
33:33 – Talking with Chris from Benziger Family Winery
37:47 – Wine Wednesday
40:10 – Private Happy Hour
43:50 – Where Chris is heading first
45:17 – Up next for Vacation Mavens
ABOUT OUR SPONSOR
This episode is sponsored by Comrad Socks. Comrad compression socks are an essential no serious traveler should board a flight without — at least on LA-NY or transoceanic segments — and makes a major difference in how your legs and feet feel during the flight, upon arrival, and the next day. Their aim is to make the best, most stylish, comfortable version of what’s traditionally been a boring but useful product—and that’s why travel customers that already know and wear compression are getting excited about. Receive 20% off your first using discount code VACATIONMAVENS.
ABOUT ANGELO CAROTENUTO FROM LIVTOURS
Angelo Carotenuto is born in Italy from an American mother and a Neapolitan father. After attending public Italian school up until the age of 18, he moved to the United States of America to attend Occidental College in Los Angeles. He pursued his BA in acting and also studied at the London Dramatic Arts perfectioning his art. He often loved to take his friends and family members around, proud of his cultural heritage and at ease in front of crowds.
Angelo worked for companies of all sorts of shape and form, creating an outstanding CV and receiving thousands of 5-star reviews on TripAdvisor and other social channels. He then realized that there was a niche of tourism that needed more attention. A segment of people that were actually looking for authentic emotions and that valued their dream of coming to Italy as extraordinary and needed to pursue every aspect they had ever dreamt of: food, wine, art, culture, soccer, fashion, ferrari, etc. He then founded LivItaly Tours with the intent of creating services that matched people’s dreams of Italy and that allowed them to authentically experience all of them, however and whenever they wanted, a la carte, throughout their vacation.
Along with this, knowing that nobody dreamt about following a flag, in large groups, and having dirty headsets in their ears, he decided that even the most traditional of tours, needed to be an experience and opted to cap small group tours at max 6 people and offer private tours, all at competitive pricing.
The mixture of the two ingredients: the quality of the tours and the variety of the offer, made LivItaly a leader in the Italian industry. With the help of Kristin, his wife, they brought LivItaly to be recognized internationally and partner and collaborate with the most infallible businesses of the world.
LivItaly’s wide range of offers also include truly fantastic family tours and activities in almost every corner of the peninsula. Activities dedicated to provide entertainment to all family members, give the parents the ability to trust and relax while touring and making sure children go back with fond memories of their time in Italy.
After years of providing excellent service to clients in Italy, LivItaly recently expanded to Paris, London, and Spain under the LivTours umbrella.
The LivTours team has recently revealed LivTalks, a series of online events that bring the world to “visitors”, even when we can’t travel. Each session lasts approximately 45 minus and starts with an interactive and entertaining discussion between Angelo and a local guide, followed by questions and answered.
Upcoming topics include:
- Best moments in Italian soccer
- Ostia, the cradle of an empire
- World War II: Facism, Jewish Persecution, and how Italians saved them
- Climbing the Dome of St. Peters from home
- Michelangelo and the ceiling of the Sistine Chapel
ABOUT RACHEL SCHNEIDMILL FROM DEVOUR TOURS
Originally from New York, Rachel also called Washington DC her home for eight years where she worked in marketing roles across a variety of industries before moving to Spain two years ago. She has a serious (but fun!) interest in wine and is currently enrolled in the Spanish Wine Scholar program.
Rachel has been working at Devour Tours for the last eight months and loves everything about her company; from its mission to help connect local culture to tourists, to the amazing group of people who work there. Devour Tours is based in Madrid and operates across eight cities in Europe, offering food and wine tours that represent each city.
Devour Tours offers a number of different free and paid Online Experiences from Facebook Live cooking sessions to virtual cooking classes. Devour Tours has also put together a virtual Cookbook from their favorite guides.
Upcoming online experiences include:
- Pair wine and cheese like a Parisian
- Cook pasta like a Roman
- Discover England’s history through 10 dishes
- Cook a Medieval recipe
- Discover Portugal’s history through 10 dishes
ABOUT CHRIS BENZIGER FROM BENZIGER FAMILY WINERY
Still in high school when the Benziger family moved from White Plains, Chris finished his senior year in wine country. He went on to earn a degree in marketing from the University of San Francisco while spending summers, weekends and every spare moment working at the winery. He officially joined the Benziger Family Winery in 1993 as a Brand Manager. In addition to sales responsibilities, Chris also oversees the home ranch and its many farm related duties, i.e. shepherding the Benziger flock of sheep and cows, tending to the estate vegetable and fruit trees, and producing the Biodynamic preparations for all our vineyards. Chris feels that the only way to communicate the quality of the wines he promotes is by having the soil from the vineyard in which he’s endorsing under his nails. The best impression a winemaker can leave on his wines are his footprints in the vineyards.
Since visitors can come to the winery right now, Benziger and their sister winery, Imagery Winery, have introduced Wine Wednesdays every Wednesday on Instagram Live at 4pm PDT. Join in to learn or taste along by getting your wine for Wine Wednesdays from Benziger.
Upcoming Wine Tastings include the following:
ALSO MENTIONED ON THE PODCAST
- Tamara’s article on Virtual Cooking Classes on her Your Time to Fly website
- Tamara’s article on Virtual Wine Tasting at Home
- Kim’s article on Wine Tasting at Home
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