First, I want to thank all of our loyal GVI followers for coming back, again and again, but I also want to thank the more recent people who have discovered that our Grand Voyage is a trip worth taking together.
Mille grazie a tutti!
Together, we are on a Voyage of Italian history, lifestyle, art, music, heritage, architecture, and cuisine. Whether you've ever been to Italy, are planning a trip soon or just want to live the simple, beautiful life as they enjoy in la Bel Paese, we are so happy you've chosen to take this Voyage with us.
I want you all to know that this is has also been a wonderful learning experience for our little famiglia... learning about the technology of running a successful blog is daunting at times. Even our son, Lucas has learned so much that he has even started blogs of his own and in reality, when I have a tech problem, he is my little troubleshooter, often knowing commands that I haven't used yet. He edited his first newsletter starting in kindergarten and I still consider him as our "contributing editor".
Lisa is also involved, and even though she has a demanding full time corporate job, she is heavily devoted to the recipes and story ideas we come up with. We are still learning the Italian language and are already considering our options for yet another Voyage to Italy... Christmas in Florence... to Corleone, Sicily to discover Lisa's roots? It's strange that since I've researched so much about Italy, at times it feels like I've already been somewhere that I haven't. There is so much to learn about Italy and la Bella Vita. I feel blessed to have discovered so much about Italy--and myself.
There has been tremendous growth for GVI... going from a few hundred views a week when we first started planing our own Voyage throughout Italy in 2014, to hovering around a million page views a year. Between 15-20,000 people read our blog each and every month! We now have thousands of posts of a wide variety of subjects posted on GVI, and every week we post more and more.
We have many plans for the future of GVI, one of which is our structure. You might have already noticed that we are reorganizing our pages (check out the menu bar across the top of the page) and are re-publishing, editing and updating all of our posts and moving them to the new categories of pages. Navigating and finding what you need will get easier and easier as we move forward with this task.
We are also planning so much more as we grow: additional guest contributors covering various subjects such as moving to and living in Italy, traveling in Italy; posts covering Extreme Italian Adventures; more Off the Tourist Path articles; Speaking of Italy, Italian Language Lessons; Fornello Recipe Videos; and even interviews of famous and influential Italians. And of course, there will always be beautiful photos...
But to do this, we need your support. As you might have noticed, we have started placing ads on our pages... we have become a member of Amazon Associates. We will place links to Amazon products either in sidebar ads or as links within the content of our articles. We make a pledge to never promote products that we don't believe in or that don't relate to the interests of Grand Voyage Italy's readers. We will never suggest products that we haven't researched thoroughly, and in many cases we will recommend products that we have actually used or owned. Remember who is our blog mascot: La Bocca della Verità, the Mouth of Truth. We will always strive to live up to this truthful philosophy.
We only ask that if you see something that we've recommended that you might consider purchasing, please add it to your Amazon cart directly after clicking on the link. If you do this, you will have 89 days to make your decision on whether to purchase the item or not. In this way, GVI can earn a nominal (small, often very small) commission on any sale we've helped with.
The more we grow, the more features we can add to our Voyage.
Once again, grazie for supporting us and don't forget to tell all your friends about us.
All our love and respect,
P.S. I'd love to hear your thoughts on this. Please... we love comments! Ciao.
Check out this fantastic article by Veronica Di Grigoli on The Dangerously Truthful Diary of a Sicilian Housewife blog that I came across. It profiles a wonderful Easter festival in Sicily where a fantasy village is built out of bamboo and artistic panels and decorations all made out of bread. Well worth a look! Loads of great photos...
Loafing around in Sicily’s Gingerbread Village
The people of San Biagio Platano, a village in south-western Sicily, have celebrated Easter every year since the 1700’s by decorating their streets with arches and towers made of bread. The entire community spends three months turning the place into a gingerbread village… yet Hansel and Gretel never come!
Click HERE to read the entire article...
Sister Candida Bellotti was born the third daughter of ten to a humble family on February 1907, in the romantic city of Verona. This gives her the honor of being the oldest nun in Italy, at 110 years old, yet more proof that the Italian lifestyle affords amazing longevity. (Read: Why Are There So Many People in Italy Over 100 Years Old?)
She was celebrated by the Vatican this week: "To the Reverend Sister Candida Bellotti, Minister of the Sick, which with gratitude to God, celebrates her one hundred and tenth birthday, the Holy Father, Pope Francis, spiritually participates in the common joy for your happy occasion, and conveys his congratulations and warm wishes."