July 7, 2020
We are often asked what our favorite destinations for the best cooking vacations are, and as I explained in our recent video (see below!), that…Read This Post
Once Karen Herbst, founder of The International Kitchen retired, she decided to travel not only for work but for pleasure as well. To that end, she planned an extended trip to Tuscany for summer, and invited our travelers to be part of it! They were able to spend a week with Karen exploring Florence, one of the most beloved cities in the world, and Tuscany – the Chianti region, Siena, San Gimignano, and more.
So what was the best part of traveling to Tuscany with Karen?
1. The Florence of the Florentines
Tuscany is such a big destination for us that we have an affiliate Florence office, staffed with people who were born and bred in Florence. They were able to show Karen and our travelers their Florence, the one of market lunches, interesting neighborhoods, and small local bakeries. It’s about as far from a generic bus tour as you can get: small, intimate, authentic.
2. Everything is taken care of.
Karen is a very experienced traveler, who has been to Italy many, many times. Don’t know how to get to the Galleria dell’Accademia to see Michelangelo’s David? Karen was able to take care of it. Don’t which wine to order in Chianti or how to have it shipped home? Karen was able to take care of it. Want to shop for designer shoes at the outlet mall? Karen was able to take care of it. Don’t like your room? Karen was able to take care of that too.
In short, everything is taken care of!
3. The food
On all of our culinary tours to Tuscany you will, quite simply, eat better than you ever have in your life. Whether it is the dining out in Florence or the Chianti region, the private dinner in the home of a Florentine chef, or a cooking class with one of our culinary instructors, you will enjoy meal after meal of incredible food and wine, each bite better than the last.
4. Great group dynamic
Part of the fun of traveling with Karen is always the group. It is a chance to meet other interesting women who like travel, good food, and lively company. Instead of wandering the streets on your own or dining solo at the hotel restaurant, meet like-minded women for a week of laughter and memories.
5. Hugh Hefner stories
No joke! Karen is a very funny woman, and she worked for many years as a research editor and event coordinator for Playboy Magazine; she has some great stories to tell, not only from those years, but also from her decades of travel. Our culinary travelers always love hearing about them!
By Peg Kern
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Originally published Dec. 14, 2015.