Escape Artists

I’m back!

Escape Artists have been all over Italy for the past couple of months!   Sometimes, I have to research a particular province or region, which means I have to leave my husband at home, and travel to Italy.   I knew very little about Friuli Venezia Giulia (FVG) in the northeastern portion of Italy, bordering Austria and Slovenia.  One thing I did know is the region is famous for Prosecco and Pinot Grigio.   In September, FVG welcomed more than 140 travel professionals and journalists from all over the world to take part in the fourth edition of BUY Friuli Venezia Giulia workshop and educational tour.

A coastline littered with castles. A coastline littered with castles.

Flavors and scents among villas, castles and gentle hills.

These workshops provide travel professionals with the opportunity to experience the region and see what the Italians want to show off.   They don’t necessarily take us to the most famous sites that you’ve read about in Rick Steves.  They show us something else, always even more wonderful!

Some highlights include the great pleasure of sipping a 2010 Ribolla Gialla with Roberto Felluga, one of the most celebrated wine markers in FVG.  Then, of course, lunchtime at the agriturismo Il Roncal.  The architecture here is beautiful and strongly Venetian in style.  We also saw some fabulous villas that are available for all sorts of occasions. You should have seen my suite with this view of the port of Trieste at the Savoia Excelsior Palace!

Savoia Excelsior Palace overlooking the port of Trieste Savoia Excelsior Palace overlooking the port of Trieste

We spent the afternoon overlooking the Adriatic Sea, eating typical local food, drinking Vitovska (a wine only produced in this area), and watching the wine maker Benjamin Zidarich while he matched his wines with our tastings at Trieste’s unique limestone plateau, Carso.

Zidarich certainly knows about a room with a view! Zidarich certainly knows about a room with a view!

Tricolor Arrows, the Italian acrobatic demonstration team

How do the Italians welcome the world?  With a Gala Dinner hosted by the team of the Freece Tricolori, held at Rivolto Airport (UD)!   Rivolto is the headquarters for the 313th Aerobatic Training Squadron and houses the illustrious MP339 PAN aircraft which has serviced the team since 1961.

They are famous worldwide for quality acrobatic flying, their commitment, passion and team spirit.  These guys fly all over Europe, proudly displaying the Italian flag throughout the skies of the world.   Sitting at my table was Captain Fabio Martin, a 12 year veteran and the pilot of the Pony 8.  I felt like I was part of a fairytale, with a handsome Italian pilot declaring his love of country, his plane, and his princess, Laura.

So, as you can tell, I have been busy exploring and relishing each Italian moment with which I have been blessed.  I know I’ve been absent, but I hope this goes to show you how much there still is to learn and do, and why I love my job!

Zidarich's wine made with Vitovska grapes Zidarich’s wine made with Vitovska grapes

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