A Picture is Worth a Thousand Words – Autumn in Italy

The Amalfi Coast of Italy Delectable Destinations Carol KetelsonAutumn in Italy. It truly is one of my most favorite times of the year to visit this exceptional place.  I just returned from another outstanding culinary trip to Italy where I took new guests, hungry for adventure, to the rolling hills of Tuscany and the breathtaking beauty of the Amalfi Coast.  For days we indulged our senses as we embraced everything that Italy has to offer, and as always, I came home with a camera full of images that brings this trip back to life for me. This photo diary captures the true essence of what an Italian culinary adventure embodies: Beauty and culture, food and wine, and most importantly, friendships that will last a lifetime. My most recent journey is detailed below.

Beautiful Landscapes

The Amalfi Coast of Italy Delectable Destinations Carol Ketelson
The Amalfi Coast of Italy offers some of the most breathtaking views in the entire world. From Sorrento to Amalfi, up through the winding roads that lead to the hidden gem that is Ravello, Amalfi’s beauty resonates with visitors long after their trips have ended. Even though I’ve traveled to this region many times, each visit still feels like my first yet always familiar.  The colorful rooftops that blanket the cliffside, feeding into the sprawling blue sea, is a living piece of art, ready to be framed. The Amalfi Coast should be on everyone’s bucket list.
View of Impruneta Tuscany Italy Delectable Destinations Carol Ketelson
The rolling hills of Tuscany create a cozy welcome for visitors. This outstanding landscape features magnificent vistas of rustic farmhouses, colorful vineyards, and endless charm. The perpetual relaxed atmosphere created by the Tuscan countryside is shaped by this region’s glorious weather, sunsets, beauty, and charm.

Charming Culture

Duomo di Sant'Andrea Apostolo Amalfi Italy DelectableDestinations Carol Ketelson
Majestic cathedrals and churches are the centerpiece in each Italian town.  In fact, most of the roads eventually lead you to one of these exceptional architectural wonders. Dating back hundreds of years and offering visitors a small glimpse of true Italian tradition, these historical monuments represent the epitome of Italian culture.

Local Harvests

Homegrown Olives of the Amalfi Coast Italy DelectableDestinations Carol Ketelson
Olives and olive oil are Italian staples. From the north to the south, olive farming is considered a treasured trade as farmers spend delicate hours harvesting olives using both traditional and modern techniques. Producing some of the most flavorful and scrumptious olives on the globe, one visit to a local grove will make you appreciate how these specialties are planted, grown, and harvested. Most visitors will agree, that the effort put into each bottle of olive oil is priceless, and the taste like nothing you will find on a grocery store shelf.
Grapes ready for harvesting from a vineyard on the Amalfi Coast Italy DelectableDestinations Carol Ketelson
Spectacular vineyards can be found throughout Italy. The best way to sample great Italian wines is to tour one of the many vineyards throughout the region. Guided wine tours and tastings allows guests the opportunity to learn how different varieties of grapes are cultivated, the wine making techniques and traditions. You will leave with a new appreciation for Italian wines.

Authentic Cuisine

Gnocchi Amalfi Coast Italy DelectableDestinations Carol Ketelson
You don’t have to be labeled a foodie to appreciate the exceptional foods that are prepared in Italy. From northern towns to the southern coast, and miles and miles in between, authentic dishes of meats, pastas, vegetables, and breads are prepared using local, homegrown ingredients, and traditional recipes.

Mamma Agata and her daughter, Chiara, from the famous Mamma Agata Cooking School on the Amalfi Coast DelectableDestinations Carol Ketelson
It’s one thing to taste the flavors that create spectacular Italian meals, but it is truly another unforgettable experience to be in the kitchen preparing these specialties. During each of my culinary trips, we spend time in the kitchen with some of the most amazing chefs, learning their secret recipes and authentic tricks of the trade. The Mamma Agata Cooking School in Ravello is a cooking experience that takes place right in the Agata family home. Mamma Agata, and her daughter Chiara show their signature dish, Eggplant Parmigiana during my latest trip to their cooking school.
plate of spaghetti of the farmer Mamma Agata Amalfi Coast DelectableDestinations Carol Ketelson
The explosive, rich tastes behind Italian cuisine offers visitors with one of the most uniquely authentic culinary experiences on the globe. Fresh pastas, made from scratch, are a staple in most Italian kitchens.

Exceptional Wines

wine at lunch la vita bella Amalfi Coast DelectableDestinations Carol Ketelson
Rich colors, memorable bouquets, and tantalizing tastes–these are the descriptions given to many of Italy’s locally produced wines. Visitors who travel to Italy immerse themselves into delectable wine tastings and wine selections like no other. Simply said, Italians spend a great deal of effort producing their wines, and then working to pair them with the right cuisine to create an unforgettable culinary experience.

Sweet Treats

gelato Amalfi Coast DelectableDestinations Carol Ketelson
Gelato is the Italian word for ice cream, and for first time visitors to Italy, the experience of an authentic “gelateria” will awaken your taste buds. The Italians know ice cream, and these tantalizing and beautifully displayed presentations of gelato, overflowing with gorgeous color and flavor, will make it difficult to have just one. It is why on every trip I make, I encourage my guests to try different flavors!
Mamma Agata's famous Italian lemon cake Amalfi Coast DelectableDestinations Carol Ketelson
Mamma Agata’s famous Italian lemon cake-made with real lemons and a heart full of love.

Exceptional Lodging

Villa San Cosma Ravello Amalfi Coast DelectableDestinations Carol Ketelson
To suit every taste, there are exceptional lodging retreats throughout Italy. One of my favorite places to stay in Ravello is at the Villa San Cosma nestled high on a hilltop overlooking the Mediterranean . This particular villa offers beautiful accommodations  for guests with outstanding service and treasured views.

Treasured Friends & Wonderful Memories

Villa Cimbrone Gardens Ravello Amalfi Coast Delectable Destinations Carol Ketelson
New friends during our most recent trip to the Amalfi Coast and Tuscany, Italy (October 2012)

Girls Getaway Amalfi Coast Delectable Destinations Carol KetelsonThis most recent Delectable Destination fulfilled many dreams for my guests and offered them a true culinary adventure and memories that will be treasured forever. I am looking forward to my next journey in May 2013.  If you are interested in joining me on an upcoming trip, I welcome you to look at my 2013 itineraries for more information.

Carol Ketelson is the owner and operator of Delectable Destinations LLC. Dedicated to planning, co-ordinating and curating customized group tours to hand-picked destinations. As an experienced travel planner, Carol’s customized itineraries, specialized tours and off-the-beaten-path experiences create memorable journeys for her small groups of singles, couples, divorced, widowed and solo travelers seeking exceptional trips into the culture and cuisine of destinations around the world. Spring and Fall bookings invite travelers to taste delectable local cuisine, culturally rich traditions and mesmerizing sights. For over 10 years, Carol’s tours have captured the true essence of Tuscany, the Amalfi Coast, Puglia, Spain, Ireland and India.

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