Meet Our Team: Allison; How to Nurture Your Passion for Italy During These Trying Times
|Hello, my name is Allison Spiegel and I am a Travel Designer with Passion for Italy Travel in the New York office.
As we all navigate these difficult days, it is more important than ever to nurture our passions in life, and even discover new ones.
While we cannot travel to our beloved Italy right now, we can continue to connect with others about our mutual passion for the country we all love so. For me, that includes connecting on social media with other Italy lovers who share photos, videos and favorite stories about Italy.
I thought I might share with you all how my love for all things Italian turned into a career opportunity that I have come to cherish.
I fell in love with Italy on my honeymoon and I fell hard for many of the reasons we are all so moved by this country – its people, food, culture, history and those endless, dream-like vistas of land and sea.
But for me, it was something more. It was, in simple terms, how I feel when I am there: lighter, energized, inspired, but mostly as if I had found another place in the world that embraces me in its arms and feels like home.
Several years ago, my husband and I finished up a trip in Puglia. what a magical region of meandering olive groves, turquoise waters, plates of orecchiette pasta and white washed villages. It was a dream trip, and as we rolled down the runway in Brindisi to head home, tears sprung to my eyes.
My heart actually hurt that we were leaving my beloved Italy. And my husband said to me “you plan the most amazing trips, you should figure out a way to parlay this into something so that you can share it with others.”
Once we were home and back to the grind of day to day life, my mind constantly searched for a reason to think about Italy. And my husband’s words stuck with me.
So I started to research travel agencies for Italian travel. Passion For Italy Travel came right up, and after an initial email with director and fellow Italy lover Gemma Green Close, the rest as they say is history.
Over the past two years, it has been a true joy to work with people who love Italy as much as I do. We work remotely (from Italy and around the globe) and our virtual meetings sometimes feel like a girls‘ night out as we share bits and pieces we have learned throughout our Italian travel adventures.
Some of my colleagues live in Italy and impart unique perspectives on Italian culture and day to day life that I soak up like a sponge. And it is so fun when we meet in person in Italy and experience it together.
Last summer Gemma and I met in Naples the morning I landed on an overnight flight from NY. We met at Café Gambrinus the famous coffee house in the center of Naples right next to the Royal Palace and the Piazza del Plebiscito. Opened in 1890, it has served as a cultural hub entertaining the likes of Jean Paul Satre, Oscar Wilde and Ernest Hemingway.
We enjoyed a café and sfogliatella pastry in the salon while we caught up and soaked in the history and the moment. And it is moments like these when working with my colleagues doesn’t feel like work at all.
Whether it is a new hotel supplier we visited or a great new restaurant we found off some beaten path, sharing our love and knowledge of Italy with each other and with our clients helps nurture my passion for Italy.
As I sign off from my very first podcast, we hope you stay safe and healthy. And we hope you will continue to nurture your passions, which help feed our souls and fill our hearts with the hope for a better tomorrow and a time when we can all return to beautiful Italy once again.