“Eataly” in Chicago!

August 19th, 2015 by Tina Weiss | Posted in Italy

Intriguing Travels

Eataly - Chicago

Eataly – Chicago

Hello Everyone!

If you are ever in the Chicago area be sure to add “Eataly” to your list of must visits.  No, it is not a museum.  Yes, there are plenty of those to visit in Chicago Land as well.  It is a food lovers haven!  It is also a marketplace for the budding chef, seasoned cook or anyone outside or in between that description!

When our oldest lived in Chicago before moving to New York City, we had the pleasure of driving up to the windy city with some frequency.

Quick Trivia Question – Why is Chicago called the “Windy City?”  It doesn’t have to do with the weather conditions.  It has to do with the bloviating politicians that Chicago was known for.  Not much has changed for politicians around the country if you know what I mean 🙂

Back to our visit.  One of our favorite moments of the trip  was when we decided to make dinner at her apartment.  We knew exactly where to shop!  Be warned – this is not shopping, this is an outing.  It is a cultural,social, downright fun experience.  We began our excursion with a late lunch. Eataly boasts 23 eateries on site.  7 are sit down.  My mouth is watering thinking about the carved roast beef sandwich on Italian Bread(of course).  It was the simplest yet most delectable sandwich I think I ever had.

IMG_3321As we stood at one of the high top tables literally licking our fingers clean, we discussed the meal that we had planned back at the apartment. Every option was at our finger tips. We decided that this experience should be accompanied by a glass of fine wine 🙂  We purchased wine by the glass and proceeded to walk around the entire venue sipping on wine while we picked fresh garlic, carrots, onion, tomato, arugula…

Next we moved over to the cheese and chose a pungent Parmigiano-Reggiano to grate over the carefully selected cut of beef and strips of pancetta that was to become the main ingredients of our Bolognese Sauce.   We also became a little overwhelmed with the variety of freshly made pasta options but finally decided on some type of thick, flat linguini noodle.

We finished at the bakery which we found by following the open hearth smell of freshly baked yeast and the resulting crusty creations.  Gluten Free palates beware – there didn’t appear to be options for you!

Eataly opened in Chicago in 2013.  It is co-owned by Chef/Author Mario Batali and restaurateur, wine maker, TV personality & author, Joe Bastianich.   The whole concept emulates an Italian marketplace.  The only thing missing is the outdoors.  We were there in the middle of  a frigid Chicago winter.  We spent hours exploring the treasures of our Italian marketplace.  Did I mention on the way to the bread we were a little distracted by the sign for Gelato?

Eataly can be experienced in Italy and Tokyo, We were happy to discover that Eataly is also in New York City which just happens to be where our daughter lives now 🙂

Indulgent indeed!



If this stateside experience causes you to dream about a trip to Europe, feel free to contact Tina at tweiss@intriguetravel.com or 317-660-2080.

Positano, Italy

July 8th, 2015 by Tina Weiss | Posted in Italy

Intriguing Travels

No Trespassing Sign PondHello Everyone,

Have you ever seen something so clearly yet somehow it becomes completely out of reach.  Not because you can’t touch or see it, but because something within you prevents you from attaining what is otherwise utterly attainable.  The only obstacle is yourself.

I thought about this as I was taking an early morning walk with Chloe.

The water looked so beautiful and then I came across the sign.   I wondered how many times we put up signs in our own minds.  “Stop,”  “Do Not Enter,” ” Warning,”  “No Trespassing.” “Beware of Dog.”  What fears are preventing you from experiencing all the wonderful things in life that you dream about.  Think about what sign starts flashing in your mind when you make your next excuse why you can’t do something.  Then maybe after you think about it, do it anyway.  Look how beautiful the other side can be.



Positano McKenziesIf you are planning on going to Rome, a trip to the Almalfi Coast might round it out very nicely!  Naples, Sorrento, Capri, Almalfi, Positano Pompei are all areas that would be worth exploring.   If you are going in the summer months, you’ll want to stay in Positano!  From here, you can visit other areas.

Positano is nestled in the cliffs above the sea.  It is quaint and paints a vivid picture of vertical backdrops speckled with the inviting colors of Mediterranean homes, shops and hotels.   Positano’s fate has gone from riches to rags and back again.  This little village has endured a Tsunami as well as an invasion in its checkered past.  It was once a major trading post, then became a tiny fishing village.  New road development eventually opened Positano up to a special type of tourist.  The likes of John Steinbeck, Elizabeth Taylor and Picasso made this a favorite destination.Positano McKenzies flowers

Today, Positano remains a lovely and well traveled tourist destination.  During the summer months, there are daily ferry rides from Positano to the Island Of Capri.  It takes about 40 minutes.  Capri is both rugged in its landscape and upscale with its beaches and shops.  Travelers flock to see the Blue Grotto which can get pretty busy.  There are also other options to see the magic and beauty of the grottos.

Positano, CapriPompeii is about a 45 minute car ride from Positano.  If you do not have a car, you can take a bus to Sorrento and then be transported to Pompeii.  I like to arrange for a car to pick up clients from their hotel.   As you may know, especially after the movie was made, Pompeii is a historic town that was frozen in time.  A blanket of ash fell over its citizens in 79 AD as the nearby volcano, Mt. Vesuvius erupted.  It is now an archaeological site.  Pompeii has been preserved and gives us a vivid snapshot of what Roman life was during the period.  Virtually all aspects of life during this time were preserved as well, revealing an incredible amount of information regarding Roman Civilization at the time.  Furniture, jewelry, bakeries, luxury villas, humble dwellings and gardens were all solidified by this ash substance that quickly hardened.

Happy Clients!

Happy Clients!

If this is your last stop while visiting Italy, Naples airport is about an hour and a half away.  There is so much to do, you might want to spend your entire stay in the region.  Last month, I had the pleasure of sending clients to Positano for the last leg of their trip.  Here’s what they had to say,  “We just loved the uniqueness of the landscape with the Italian buildings built into the cliffs. Every view was beautiful and colorful.   It was also a great way to unwind after a lot of sightseeing and end our trip feeling relaxed… Also lemons as big as my head!”

Feel free to contact Tina at tweiss@intriguetravel.com or 317-660-2080 for help planning your next trip!