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March 02, 2018

Deb and Stephen's Trip of a Lifetime

Deb and Steven

Deb and Stephen Smith are the classic, quintessential Rhode Islanders. They love the Red Sox, they love their family, and they love to travel. They retired at the same time, Deb from her career as a geriatric social worker and Stephen from his life as a manufacturing engineer, and found themselves suddenly yearning to see more of the world. With their daughter grown and their dog and two cats being fairly low-maintenance roommates, they decided to satisfy their wanderlust and see more of the great wide world.

There are few things that can satisfy wanderlust like finding your trip of a lifetime. When Deb and Stephen decided to finally take their long-awaited trip, they looked for a tour with Collette that checked every box on their list. Italian Vistas was to be the tour to fulfill their travel dreams.

“We thought it would be nice to visit the country of our ancestors,” said Stephen. “We also knew about the ancient Roman history and the sights that we could see. And, of course, the promise of authentic Italian food.” They were drawn to Italy by their heritage, but also because of the history and rich culture.

The couple had traveled extensively in and out of the United States before this. They had ventured south of the border to Mexico, crossed the Caribbean Sea to St. Croix, and visited US hotspots like Florida, Washington D.C., and New York.

They were travel-savvy, but still stunned by what they saw in Italy. “I, particularly, was in awe with Venice,” said Deb. “It was intriguing that a prosperous civilization flourished on this floating city since 400 A.D. I also enjoyed the gondola ride through the canals.” Steven was struck by the beautiful sights, saying “the best was our view of the Italian Alps from the shore of the lake in Stresa.”

You can’t travel to Italy without talking about the food there. It’s not just a meal, it’s an experience. “There were many great meals, but the ones that I remember were at the stops that the bus made on the Autostrada when we were traveling between areas,” said Stephen. “Each one of these grilles featured local meats, cheeses, fruits, vegetables, and breads. That gave us a true flavor of the country.”

Did their trip of a lifetime deliver? “Yes, it did,” said Deb. “To date, I have many happy and fond memories of the people and places we visited in Italy.” Stephen had similar thoughts, saying “This tour was put together by the experts that obviously knew how to present a picture and experience of the area. Any time that we want to experience a place that is as rich and picturesque as Italy, we feel that this is the best way to do it.”

What was supposed to be a trip of a lifetime, however, just made them yearn to see even more sights across the globe. Deb and Stephen are planning on their next adventure in the spring, and have their sights set on Finland and the elusive Northern Lights. Deb is also an animal lover, so she would love the chance to meet the huskies who lead sleigh rides and see a reindeer or two, too.

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