We are about to unveil a new website design

Salut to all!
Salut to all!

Just wanted to let you know that we are in the midst of revamping our site. We strive to give you an attractive site filled with as much info as we can fit in it. Many of us are looking at sites no longer on our desktops and laptops, but on our tablets and our smart phones. We decided it was (well over) time to make this a simpler user experience. Give us a few days to stretch out and test the waters. In fact, you may witness our site in various states of undress. We”ll be testing and tippy-toeing until we get it right.

If you have any requests/suggestions, feel free to contact us: frani@francescatravelcom

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A Passionate Heart for Italy

Buon Natale!  Ciao Ciao,

It has been said that one of my greatest passions is traveling to Italy, talking about Italy and loving all things Italian.  My Maternal heritage is Sicilian (my Dad was born in Budapest) so naturally I have a passionate heart!

The dramatic culture is so real in Italy.  What you see is what you get.  People taking their time through life – savoring every minute.  An afternoon siesta, a long family dinner, never rushed, an evening passeggiata ( take a walk).  And in between you have to fit in a light breakfast (pastry and espresso), gelato, wine, lunch, cappuccino, wine, and more dolce (dessert).

I love to visit the vineyards for a wine tastings but I equally  enjoy visiting a local Cantina or Wine Bar for wine tastings too!  I could take the Florence city walking tour over and over (so far, 11 times) and still learn something new!  We look so forward to an evening passeggiata in the evenings before turning in for the night.  (A habit that we have never brought home).  When we customize your trip to Italy, we really try to put you in the heart of the Italian culture.  We have an extensive database of activities, tours, vineyards, cafes & trattorias.

In the meantime, we will eat our Baci Choccolata from Perugia and have our morning roll with Nutella and enjoy our pasta!


Robert Browning

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Travel Friendly Ideas

Every now and then, I like to share our travel friendly ideas that we have enjoyed.  I have have never been reimbursed for the plug, I just think its a good travel necessity!  Visit www.scottevest.com.  This is a great travel site for techies.  They have wonderful travel attire for your IPhone & IPad.  Wayne & I have the travel vest.  Wayne also has the fleece jacket & Nikki has the trench coat.  They are so travel friendly.  Instead of a carry on, I put all my things in my vest.  They are fashion friendly too!


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Ciao Ciao a Tutti,

Doesn’t everyone love pizza?  In Charm City, we have Iggies, Matthews, DeSantis, DePasquales & Joe Square, among others. In Laurel, we love Pasta Plus (they have the best white pizza)!

Its hard not to notice that in Italy, everyone has their own plate. No Sharing. The Italians always eat a pizza in Italy with a fork & knife. It is considered rude to eat with your hands while dining out. There is no pepperoni pizza in Italy either! That’s an Italian American custom. There are so many customs that we have that is never actually done in Italy.

If you want to read a cute book, read Beppi Severgnini’s book “Ciao America”. It’s about an Italian who comes to America and is bewildered about how different the culture is in the U.S.A within the Italian American community!


Da Buffeletto
Pizzaria da Remo

Osteria del Gatto e la Volpe

Di Matteo
L’Antica Pizzeria Brandi


1/2 C. warm water
1 envelope rapid rise yeast
1 1/4 C. water at room temp.
2 TBSPS. extra virgin olive oil
4 C. bread flour
1 1/2 teasp. salt
* olive oil or non stick spray for mixing bowl. Nikki makes her dough in food processor & sprays the glass jar.

Knead the dough by hand & form into a non tacky dough ball, and cover with plastic wrap. let rise until double in size, approx. 1 1/2 – 2 hrs. Roll out and add your sauce, basil and buffelo mozzerella.  BUON APPETITO!


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Loving Florence…

Ciao Tutti,

I could go on and on about my favorite city in the world! Florence is so full of life, breath taking architecture, worldly art, stunning beauty, interesting people & fantastic food! Maybe that is why I feel like I belong there. There are so many things to do in and around the city. You can take an hour and a half bus or train ride to the nearest Tuscan town. You can get almost anywhere by bus or train within a few hours. The first thing that I do in Florence is take a walk to Piazza Navonna – start with an espresso, take in the vibe, have a Prosecco with a Dolce and enjoy what is happening around me. Just take in the moment. Breathe, smile and slowly enjoy the fact that I am in Florence, one of the most beautiful cities in the world!  Oh, I cannot wait to return…

We are all wanderers on this earth. Our hearts are full of wonder and our souls are deep with dreams…

Baci, Baci,

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