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My First Postcard From Italy…

Carol at Mamma Agata's Cooking SchoolNew website, new company name, first blog…what better way to begin than with a little story about Italy and how this journey all began and the special people I have met along the way.

If you would have asked me years ago my opinion on the best travel destinations in the world, I cannot guarantee that I would have said Italy. That all changed in a mere second when I made my very first trip to Italy more than 12 years ago.  It was a trip that I took for business, and one that I wasn’t actually supposed to be on. Ah…Destiny! I had always wanted to go to Italy, but I really didn’t know what to expect. One thing I knew for sure, is that I would enjoy some good pasta, which by the way is my favorite food.  I distinctively remember how I felt the first time I stepped foot in Ravello and how taken back I was by the beauty that surrounded me. I called and spoke to my husband a few times during the week I was in Ravello and expressed my newfound love with this paradise and no matter what, he had to come back with me to visit one day. When the trip ended, I remember not wanting to leave and during the plane ride home, kept dreaming of and remembering what I had just left behind. I kept telling myself I would do whatever it took to return. Four short months later, we did just that.

I rank Italy as one of the best travel destinations in the world. A view of the Amalfi Coast from Ravello Italy I never imaged that one day I would be organizing dream vacations and bringing people time and time again to this beautiful gem in the world. With every visit I make and reaction I receive from my guests, I know in my heart this is what I was destined to do.

Italy just does this to you. It changes your soul. There are so many places to visit in Italy, the beauty mesmerizes you and makes you feel like nothing else in the world matters. The food and wine are equally spectacular.  I have always loved to cook, but Italy truly brings out the inner chef within me.  Today, my Italian vacations always include a culinary adventure.

Lunch table setting at Mamma Agata's Cooking School on the Amalfi CoastOne of the most incredible experiences was when one of my guests, Marcella, a true lover of everything Italian, was on one of my organized trips to Ravello and the Amalfi Coast. She decided to start an amazing project months before the departure for her dream vacation to Italy.  Marcella began a journey to cook every one of Mamma Agata’s recipes from Mamma Agata’s cookbook. Every week, on a Friday, she would shop, cook and invite a few friends over to taste the wonderful food. I had the opportunity to enjoy one of those yummy dinners as well!

On Marcella’s blog, http://www.eataliangirl.com/, which by the way is a wonderful blog, she writes,

“In March of 2010, bright-eyed and bushy tailed, I started the ‘Agata and Me’ project.  I was heading to Italy to write about a culinary tour that featured  meeting world famous Mamma Agata.  In wanting to get to know her a little better prior to the big meeting, I decided to cook all the recipes in her new cookbook and blog about the experience (www.agataandme.com).  The concept, although borrowed from the Julie & Julia story, took on a life of its own and before I knew it, it became a journey of self-discovery for me.  The blog and the many taste testing dinners were outstanding successes, and I enjoyed every moment of it. “

I could not have imaged a more wonderful gift then when we arrived in beautiful Ravello

Marcella with Mamma Agata

and into the exceptional home of Mamma Agata. When Marcella and Mamma met for the first time, my heart filled with joy.  I instantly became so grateful for the unique experiences just like this one and for all of the friends I have made along the way that come into my life and share these one-of-a-kind experiences.

While I rank Ravello as one of the best travel destinations in the world to visit, the truth, is that the world is my oyster. There is so much still left to discover.  So this incredible journey, that I’m excited to share here on my own blog, continues…

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