When Karen Herbst started The International Kitchen in 1994, the Food Network had just launched and the concept of a “cooking vacation” was quite new. But with a background in travel to Italy and France, and a passion for food and travel, Karen saw what a special experience a culinary trip could be. After all, there’s no better way to experience a culture than through its food — and cooking with the locals!
While today we offer hundreds of trips around the world, Karen’s first love will always be for Italy and France, and that’s why, in 2017, her Travels with Karen trips go to both those countries. Here’s a few of the many highlights from these one-time only Women Only Week trips.
Travels with Karen: Awesome Amalfi Coast
After more than 100 trips to Italy alone, Karen continues to rank the Amalfi Coast high on her favorite places list. And it’s not hard to see why: from the water, spectacular cliffs, and vistas of the Medterranean Sea, to the delicious cuisine and charm of the locals, there’s something magical about this part of the country.
Guests will also be staying at one of Karen’s favorite properties, the charming and elegant boutique Hotel Oasi Olimpia, which was recently featured, along with The International Kitchen, on NBC Extra’s Mansions and Millionaires.
While your days on the Amalfi Coast will include some exploring of the seaside towns and the enchanting island of Capri; cooking in the spacious teaching kitchen of the hotel; and participating in a fabulous wine tasting under the shadow of Mount Vesuvius, you’ll also have time to enjoy the hotel’s amenities, including the swimming pool and meals outside under the wisteria-covered pergola.
This Awesome Amalfi Coast itinerary is available only October 3-9, 2017.
Travels with Karen: Vibrant Venice and the Veneto
While Venice is regaled again and again for its beauty — with its canals, piazzas, and art — the surrounding area is not nearly as well known by visitors. But with the lush natural landscapes and mountain peaks, as well as the famous wines, the Veneto is worthy of exploring. With Karen by your side, start your tour in the sophisticated city of Verona.
When you’re not exploring the historic city streets of Verona — and discovering the history of Romeo and Juliet, balcony and all — venture out into the beautiful countryside. You’ll visit local towns, like Padua, Vicenza, and Asolo, which have inspired artists and writers for generations. In addition to two hands-on cooking classes too, discover one of the coveted wines of Italy: Valpolicella.
After your tour of this beautiful and diverse area, end your tour in the magical city of Venice, where you’ll have a guided tour but also time to explore the canals and streets on your own as well.
This Venice and the Veneto itinerary is available only 10-16, 2017.
But what of France you might be wondering? Karen’s 2017 trip to Provence is already sold out!
Whichever Travels with Karen Women Only Week you choose, you’ll make memories to last a lifetime in a destination that’s close to Karen’s heart. So whether you’re traveling alone, or with your friends, you’ll be in for a wonderful treat.
By Liz Hall
Sign up to receive our newsletter, which includes travel tips, recipes, promotions, and information on our best culinary vacations.