Virtual Escape Series: Whet Your Appetite for Travel!

Bring Italy and Spain home with our virtual tours

In this time of physical distancing, social connection is more important than ever. So, we’ve put together a series of live video sessions to help connect you to some of our local friends in Spain and Italy. Recordings of past sessions are available below, and upcoming live sessions are listed as well.

The Virtual Escapes series brings the wonders of Italy and Spain's cities and regions into your living room. During this series, we will highlight some of the sites you have dreamed of visiting as well as some of the jewels found off the beaten path.

The Virtual Vineyard series puts the spotlight on wine, bringing the sumptuous flavors of Italy's finest wines into your home. During these informative and enjoyable sessions, you learn from a highly regarded sommelier about her preferred vintages in the various regions. You are invited to purchase one or more wines from a list provided to the session, so that you can participate in the tasting with the entire group. This series is truly a discovery of the senses.

For those of you that have traveled with us before, this will bring back memories. As we look forward to resuming travel, my hope is that these complimentary sessions will whet your appetite for a Spanish or an Italian adventure. I look forward to seeing you!

Madrid, Segovia, Toledo, Avila, Salamanca with Angela

I am from Madrid and have been working as a guide since 1995...time flies! I love being with people, speaking different languages and showing my amazing country. As a local guide I have specialized in Central Spain. That means Madrid and surroundings. Maybe this region is not as famous as others in Spain but, after 25 years working as a guide, all visitors have always been really impressed. Most of them told me that they didn't expect so many beautiful places with such a long history! I'll be glad to show you the city where I was born, its charming places, impressive Monuments, great Museums, delicious restaurants and from Madrid we'll travel to Segovia, Avila and Salamanca. I hope you will join this experience.

Chiara in Venice for Carnival Feb. 13, 2021

From the comfort of your home, be transported to Venice during Carnival, which is world famous for its elaborate masks. I am your host Audrey De Monte, and I invite you to join me on Zoom for a virtual walk of Venice with my guest, tour guide and fifth-generation Venetian Chiara. As a child, Chiara remembers walking St. Mark’s square holding her father’s hand. As locals Chiara and Audrey have seen a side of Venice that most tourists never get access to—the city without the throngs of people and the tourist traps.

Virtual Vineyard: The Art and Wines of Umbria & Tuscany

During the Art and Wines of Italy three-part series, published art scholar, local expert guide, level III sommelier, Susanna, will take us on a virtual journey to Tuscany, Umbria, Veneto, Friuli and Piemonte (Piedmont). From the comfort of our own homes, we will admire the landscapes, architecture and works of art while tasting wines from these regions.

This video is on the wines of Umbria and Tuscany and wines discussed and tasted are:

  • Tuscany Bolgheri (from Maremma) -Tuscany
  • Brunello di Montalcino – Tuscany
  • Sagrantino di Montefalco - Umbria
  • Grechetto - Umbria

Barcelona with Georgina

I live in Premià de Mar, located in El Maresme—a little region near Barcelona. I love traveling, visiting museums, drinking wine, taking pictures and drawing. I love my city and the surrounding region, and I would love to show you the famous places of Barcelona, such as the soaring architectural marvels, but also some hidden gems from outside the city. We will visit Barcelona, Maresme, Montserrat, Costa Brava and Tarragona.

Córdoba with Maria

I am a graduate in tourism, and my working life since 1993 has always been in tourism. In 1996, I began to work as an interpreter and tourist guide. 25 years later, I have had the joy of meeting people from all over the world and I still love what I do. Come on this virtual journey with me, and get to know the city where I was born—Córdoba, with its blend of Muslim and Christian influences, world-class artisans, and unsurpassed number of world heritage sites.

Virtual Vineyard: The Art and Wines of Veneto & Friuli

During the Art and Wines of Italy three-part series, published art scholar, local expert guide, level III sommelier, Susanna, will take us on a virtual journey to Tuscany, Umbria, Veneto, Friuli and Piemonte (Piedmont). From the comfort of our own homes, we will admire the landscapes, architecture and works of art while tasting wines from these regions.

This video is on the wines of Veneto and Friuli. Wines discussed and tasted are:

  • Vento Amarone - Veneto
  • Prosecco Conegliano Valdobbiadene - Veneto
  • Friulano – Friuli Venezia Giulia
  • Ribolla Gialla – Friuli Venezia Giulia

Peaceful and Picturesque Piedmont with Marco

Join Marco local expert guide and former tour manager, as he shares with you his passion for his region of Piedmont. 

Still undiscovered by the vast majority of travelers, Piedmont (Piemonte in Italian) is often referred to as “Tuscany without the tourists,” with its undulating hills striped with vineyards bearing more than a passing resemblance to its famous southern counterpart.  Yet, here, the rhythms of Italian life, uninterrupted by tour buses, can be found everywhere—from the corner bar where locals grab their thrice-daily café and the festivals that almost always revolve around food and wine.

Whether you’re interested in sniffing out the famed white truffles, sipping Moscato during the autumn harvest, sampling bold Barbaresco wines and creamy goat cheese from the rolling hills, or admiring the historic royal mansions dotting the countryside, Piedmont offers all that and more.

Upcoming Virtual Escapes

March 05, 2021

Virtual Vineyard: The Art and Wines of Piemonte (Piedmont)

TIME: 4PM EST, 1PM PST

Bring the sumptuous flavors of Europe’s finest wines into your own home with the complimentary Virtual Vineyard series. During the Art and Wines of Italy three-part series, published art scholar Susanna will take us on a virtual journey to Tuscany, Umbria, Veneto, Friuli and Piemonte (Piedmont). This session is on the wines and art of Piedmont. From the comfort of our own homes, we will admire the landscapes, architecture and works of art while tasting wines from the region of Piedmont (Piemonte).

To fully participate, please purchase one or more of the following wines from your local wine store any time before each session is scheduled to begin:

  • Barolo
  • Barbera
  • Barbaresco
  • Dolcetto

March 06, 2021

Virtual Escape to Piedmont, Italy, with Donatella

TIME: 1:00PM PST, 4PM EST

If you’ve already fallen in love with the Piedmont region and want to know more, or you were intrigued by Turin as you watched the 2006 Olympics, or if you just love to learn, this session is for you! I am your host Audrey De Monte, and I invite you to join me on Zoom as we discover the breadth of sites and experiences that await in the city of Turin, and its surroundings.

As you may know, I always work hard to find locals to lead these presentations, and this time is no exception. My guest Donatella lives in Turin, where she works as a tour guide and a personal travel planner. Donatella’s favorite part of her job is when her guests go back to their countries with a little piece of Italy in their hearts and in their minds.

Turin is the fourth largest city in Italy, and the capital of the Piedmont region in northwest Italy. Turin is famous for its art, cuisine, wine and natural beauty. The former capital of Italy, Turin’s Royal Residences are now World Heritage sites, while the Egyptian Museum is the second in the world after Cairo. If you prefer to observe history outside of a museum, just walk the streets of the villages outside of Turin and you can see evidence from the Celts and Romans who lived in this area. Barolo and Barbaresco, which are probably the best Italian red wines, are produced in the “Langa” area just an hour from Turin. Finally, we’ll virtually “taste” some chocolate together, because Turin is the capital of Gianduia Chocolate.

Please feel free to invite any family or friends who might be interested in falling in love at first sight—or first taste—with Turin and the Piedmont region!

March 12, 2021

Virtual Escape to Granada, Spain, with Rosa

TIME: 12:00PM PST, 3:00PM EST

Have the winter blues? An escape to the sunny, balmy air of Southern Spain is exactly what you need! In this Virtual Escape session, we journey together to the city of Granada—all from the comfort of our own homes. As always, I am your host Audrey De Monte, and I invite you to join me on Zoom as we make our getaway to the temperate cultural mosaic that is Granada. Our local guide Rosa is excited to share with us the fascinating story of her home city.

Nestled at the foot of the Sierra Nevada mountains, and about an hour’s drive inland from the Mediterranean coastline, Granada is a truly unique city with a storied past. In this session, Rosa will provide us with a historical lesson about the city, so that when we look at contemporary images, we can understand that we are seeing a confluence of the essences of many different groups, traditions and cultures over centuries have shaped Granada as it exists today. Everything from monuments, to landscapes, religions, and even ways of cooking and behaving point to the long and amazing history of the Granadinos’ forefathers. It is impossible to talk about “foreigners” in Granada without remembering that everybody is a foreigner depending on the moment of the history we are in. The beauty of a city like Granada is that everyone can feel that they belong and find something that speaks to them.

Please feel free to invite any history buffs, culture lovers and travel fans to this informative and fascinating session on Granada’s storied past.

March 19, 2021

Virtual Escape to Sevilla, Spain, with Marta

TIME: 3:00PM EST, 1:00PM PST

If you only know about Seville from the Rossini opera The Barber of Seville, you are missing out! In this Virtual Escape session, we uncover the rich monuments, traditions and artistic heritage that await us in the city that is undoubtedly the cultural capital of the South of Spain. As always, I am your host Audrey De Monte, and I invite you to join me and our local guide Marta on Zoom.

Born and raised in Seville, Marta will share with us some of the most fascinating tidbits about her home city. A licensed tour guide with a passion for history, Marta has spent this pandemic year building her own YouTube channel called Toursevilla.

To whet your appetite, let’s try a game… Can you tell which of these facts is true, and which one is a lie?

  • Seville was said to be founded by Hercules, the hero of Greek Myth.
  • Seville is the birthplace of Flamenco dancing and tapas.
  • Seville is famous for its elaborate Easter festivals.
  • Seville is the only river port in Spain.
  • Ferdinand Magellan began his circumnavigation of the globe in Seville.
  • Seville’s motto is a secret code.
  • The hottest temperature ever recorded in Europe was in Seville.

If you guessed that they are all true, you’re right! And there’s so much more to learn about—from the three UNESCO world heritage sites in the city, to the two football clubs, to the world’s first green energy tower.

You can go watch Lawrence of Arabia (1962) to catch fleeting glimpses of Seville’s astounding architecture and scenery, or, better yet, just attend our session and bring all your questions for Marta. Please feel free to share this event with your friends and family. The more, the merrier!

March 27, 2021

Off the beaten path Veneto region with Chiara

TIME: 12:00PM EST, 09:00 AM PST

I am your host Audrey De Monte and I invite you to join me on Zoom for a virtual tour of the Veneto region with Chiara. If you attended the Virtual Escape session about the Carnival of Venice, you already know that Chiara was born and raised in Venice. She is always happy to share with us insiders’ tips to discovering the best parts of her home region.

Although Venice is a particularly bright jewel in Italy’s crown, it sometimes overshadows the region of Veneto in our minds. Chiara is eager to share with us what lies beyond the romantic canals of Venice, from the soaring peaks of the Dolomites, to the opulent Venetian Villas dating from the 15th to 18th centuries, to the balcony where Juliet is said to have addressed her ill-fated love Romeo.

As you look at the sublime images Chiara has curated, she will tell you everything you need to know about the regions and sites, with insider tips from a local’s perspective. The presentation will begin with a general overview of the region and then focus on its geographic areas:

  • the coast
  • the hills and borghi around the provinces of Venice, Verona, Treviso
  • the mountainside
  • the villas

Please note: we will not focus on wineries this time. If you’d like to explore wines and even participate in a tasting from the comfort of your home, please consider attending the Virtual Vineyards series.

Please feel free to invite any family or friends who might be interested in picking up some insider tips on the Veneto region!

Virtual Tour Testimonials

Your zoom wine tastings has been like opening the windows on a warm spring day, chasing the last remnants of winter away. You are bringing spring air into our lives as we are like shut-ins with this covid. Audrey, I want you to know the impact you are making with these zoom calls. Walking down a wine isle at the store will never be the same for us ladies! It is an adventure! Learning more about Italy increases my resolve to go back, and I would want it to be with you. I have been drinking Chianti wines for some time since we toured Italy with you a number of years ago. That trip was so memorable for us.

Thank you Audrey for the great job you did for us. We have such beautiful fond memories of you taking us to all the places you did. Greg remembers too, and we often speak of the times we had with you and the other ten guests. You have made such an impact on our lives. And now, these zoom calls, are like sitting at the kitchen table with an old friend. It was so good to see you Audrey.  You have not aged one year!

Thank you,

Lesia McQuade

Thank you for setting up and hosting this event, walking around Venice with Chiara. It was very enjoyable and well worth waking up early to see Venice. Chiara was fantastic! Please pass on my thanks to her. If she represents the tour guides that we'll be using during our Italy trip then I know Sue and I will be in great hands.

I look forward to the next event,

Kevin and Sue Allen

Audrey, that was so fun and so needed, especially when we’re (in Ontario) under a “stay-at-home” order. It was so lovely to see you and to dream of places we can travel together when things improve. Thank you so much!!

Looking forward to our next wine tasting!!!

Kelly and Dave Wawrychuck

It was fun seeing you again today looking just like you did 6 years ago when we had that lovely tour with you. My cousins and I often reminisce about it. Don and I enjoyed the wine class today and are registered for the next ones so thank you so much. Don is the wine affectionato and thinks it’s really fun to buy suggested wines and try them!

I love the slides of beautiful Italy!

Sue and Don Bell

 

Sign up for our Newsletter

Sign up for my monthly newsletter showcasing featured tours, new itineraries, expert travel advice and inspiration.  You will receive my insider tips for bringing your wine home.

Contact

Travels with Audrey LLC
Audrey De Monte

+1.720.339.2364 (USA)
+1.805.430.8112 (Fax)
+39.331.416.4316 (Italy)

9249 S Broadway
UNIT 200 #209
Highlands Ranch, CO 80129