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Archive for June, 2008

Kranz Scarf Photo TransferAuthor and quit teacher Mary Ellen Kranz is leading Italian Inspirations: Blending Photos with Fabric to Orvieto September 28 – October 4, 2008. Mary Ellen, a master at manipulating digital photos and putting them on fabric, will help participants capture and save memories of this trip with photos on fabric. There will be several projects including a silk scarf purchased in Orvieto on to which will go a photo. Pictured here are examples of these scarves. Each picture is one she took in Italy and put on an Italian scarf. Cool huh?

Well guess what? The same week as this trip Orvieto is holding its annual Orvieto With Taste, a week of great food. It is an absolute shame not to take advantage of the festivities. The highlight of the week is a movable feast: an afternoon visiting 4 historic sites at which are four different food and wine offerings. The first provides appetizers, the second a chickpea and chestnut soup, the third the famous Chianina beef with a polenta spelt, and the last a chocolate tort. All the wine is from the Orvieto region including both white and red.

Only problem is the highlight day is the day the group is scheduled to leave. So we are adding a day and a ticket to the Walk of Taste as it is called all at no cost. Contact us if you would like to go – time is running out! Our e-mail is info@AdventuresInItaly.net and phone is 803.233.3164.

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Arthur Brooks has written a book called Gross National Happiness which echoes what I have been saying for years in speeches – not because I am so smart, but because I have been following these trends for some time. Awareness of the trends, plus my own belief that there had to be more, are partly to blame for me quitting a “normal” job. Working for someone else and the insane hours demanded of people today makes it awfully hard to have the time to be happy. So now I’m on my own – well with Kristi. The statistics are interesting stuff.

  • Mexicans have average purchasing power about one third that of France. Yet 63% say they are very happy or completely happy as opposed to 35% in France.
  • A British think tank did a study of the happiness of 180 nations. Happiest was Vanuatu in the south Pacific. Highest industrialized nation was Italy at 37. The U.S. was 152.
  • People in the U.S. at all income levels say they would need 40% more income to be happy, even though we abandon 120,000 storage units full of all the stuff we buy monthly.
  • Houses are more than twice the size they were in 1950 despite the fact families are smaller – we’ve tripled the per person space in a house.
  • We have more cars than licensed drivers.

One of the reasons Kristi and I lead trips to Italy is because in one short week our folks get a taste of what happiness is. It is so powerful. Seeing people on the street interacting, everyone participating in the evening passeggiata – the community walk, the lively conversations over meals, the complete attention one pays to another all drive home that happiness comes from our social network of friends and family. (Of course, you have to have time to see each other!) Being a witness to this, participating in it, having the awareness heightened by the art related course that drives observation – simply wakes our folks up. They come home wanting to make change. We love our weeks opening people’s eyes and having them go home renewed and determined to live better.

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We lead Adventures in Italy trips because they inspire and renew. Italy, it seems, has had this effect for millennia. “Make haste slowly” was Caesar Augusta’s admonition 2000 years ago. It’s apt advice in our hectic world today. How did he know? Inspiration from Italy’s deep past!

Make Haste Slowly, the blog, is inspired by Italy and hopes to inspire a fuller, deeper, richer, slower, quieter, saner life amongst all the din and speed of our modern world. Too, it is a place to  keep up with Adventures in Italy journeys and developments.

Visit our web site to see our line up of trips and the fabulous teachers leading our trips. You can sign up for a newsletter, published 2-4 times a year on the site.

I am reading Dawna Markova’s “I Will Not Die an Unlived Life” at the moment. It will provide inspiration and grist for this blog at least for a while. With a name like that it should!

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