By Cacinda Maloney
I thought I would let you guys in on a little preview of my upcoming travels. I am getting ready for a whirlwind trip to Italy and Ireland, countries I have been to before, but honestly they are two of my favorite … and ones I always look forward to going back to.
It all started out when I was going to a travel conference in Dublin, Ireland, called TBEX (Travel Bloggers Exchange), which this will be my 3rd TBEX to attend.
From that, I decided to tack on or string together a few of the other opportunities I have received as a travel writer/blogger and enjoy a little extra time in Italy (my all time favorite country in the world).
"Italy is a dream that keeps returning for the rest of your life." Poet Anna Akhmatova
And don’t forget that I am getting there using my frequent flyer miles!
First, I will fly into Genoa, Italy.
I loved it the last time I visited it and this time I am sure will be no exception. I got lucky and will be staying at the #1 TripAdvisor Rated hotel in all of Genoa, the Best Western City Hotel . I have been here before, as they hosted the final party for the TBE (Travel Bloggers Elevator) an Italian travel blogger conference when I was there last year. They were gracious enough at that time to give us private tours of their amazing suites, with their very own panoramic terrace and the best view of the city hands down. The place is upbeat, modern and located in the heart of downtown. It s a rare gem, with 5 star boutique service and is THE place to stay when you arrive in Genova. They are into indulging our five senses and dare I say, they do it amazingly well! One of which is taste, so I will be dining at their lovely LaRune restaurant. I will tell you more later about this fabulous find!
From there, I am meeting fellow writer/travel blogger Anna Merulla of Beautiful Liguria, for what is going to be a good time of catching up while walking the cities of Genoa and Boccadasse, the fisherman village close by.
My travel partner for this trip will also be none other than my fellow #Bloghouse roommate Megan Smith of MeganoTravels.com, she will join me for a bit on her whirlwind trip around Europe.
We will then travel by train to one of the most stunningly amazing places in the world, Portofino. If you haven’t been there, you are missing out. We will be staying at the luxurious Hotel Splendido. I have written about this place before, but hopefully, I will get the grand tour and bring back even more hidden gems, as it is spectacular!
Next, we will hop the train to Milan and move on to Bologna where our fellow Italian travel writer/blogger of 21Grammy, Alessandra Catania will pick us up and take us to our amazing castle in Bertinoro for the Bounvivere Blog Tour. This week will engage our senses with promises of a private sitting with chef Carlo Cracco, one of the most famous chefs in Italy. I had to look him up and wow! What an amazing career he has had, but I especially liked his cover of Vanity Fair and GQ magazine, we are in for quite a treat!
As well as a personal trainer at the Technogym, beauty treatments at Castrocaro Hotsprings, and grape harvesting! I have been informed to bring a dress as we will participate in a gala and shoes for stomping grapes, so they have quite the week planned for us! My fellow travel bloggers on this trip will be Alicia Bea, Alessandra Catania, Lanora Mueller, Penny Sadler, Megan Smith and Catherine Sweeney.
From there, I will stop off by train to my beloved Venice. I can never resist her. So close, I just had to spend only one night there, but hopefully I will enjoy the “Hidden Venice Photography Tour” by Viator and stay in an amazing GoWithOh apartment in Castello.
Then it is off on Aer Lingus to Dublin for 2 days of TBEX conferences and my stay at the HRS Cassidy’s Hotel. TBEX will have parties and events nonstop and it will be good to meet old friends, make new ones and intermingle with brands and industry people.
Afterward, I will be going on a tour of Ireland, where I will finally get to kiss the Blarney Stone!
(I was there before, but my husband thought it was too cheesy to even stop by, and I will let you know if he is right or not!) I am taking the Atlantic Way Southwest Tour with TBEX where we will go to Killarney, The Ring of Kerry, the Skellig Islands, Portmagee, Dingle, and Cork.
Whew! I am excited and exhausted all at the same time!
Disclosure: This trip is courtesy of all the companies listed: Best Western City Hotel – Genoa, Hotel Splendido, Municipalities of Forli-Cesena,Italy; Viator, GoWithOh, Hrs, Cassidy Hotel and Tourism Ireland.