From the title of my first book, Memoirs of a Solo Traveler – My Love Affair with Italy, many of you know that I travel solo to Italy and I enjoy the experience. I value the freedom that comes with traveling alone.
I believe that traveling solo can be very empowering, especially for women. The unique thing about solo travel is knowing that you are the one who has to make things happen. While that choice is yours, so is the responsibility and yours alone. I often meet up with friends for a day or two, which is great.
However, I decided to make a change this spring and join Victoria De Maio on her Puglia Experience, and I’m so glad I did. I had a fantastic time and did much more than I would have done alone. It was so much more than I expected, and I’d recommend it highly to anyone, whether you are a new traveler or a seasoned traveler.
1. Staying in one place, a masseria, for 10 days… and not having to unpack every few days. I liked that idea. From the masseria we take excursions to other Puglia towns, and participate in cooking classes, wine tastings, and more.
2. Everything is included in the price. All the meals, all the wine, all the excursions, cooking classes, wine tastings, and transportation.
Especially in Puglia, without a car, it is costly to get around when you are traveling solo. I have previously hired a driver in Puglia for half a day and I remember what I paid, so I knew that this was really a great value for the money.
These two reasons were actually enough for me, although there are many more reasons I’d recommend this small group experience. All I had to do was to see all the photos Victoria posted from last year’s trip and I was hooked. I wanted to go to those places in Puglia that I hadn’t been to before, as well as revisit those that I had seen.
I can say without a doubt that one of the best parts of going to Puglia with Victoria was feeling the camaraderie not only with the others in the group, but also with our drivers and guides, and all the local people with whom Victoria has established relationships. It is hard to describe but there was definitely the feel of being part of a family.
I knew from Victoria’s writing that she has the same kind of passion for Italy as I have, and now that I have met her and traveled with her, I realize that it’s that passion that makes her small group experiences so special.