"I Carry Inside My Heart All the Places I Have Been"
It all started with a backpack, a sleeping bag, a Eurail pass and a well read copy of Let's Go Europe. From that very first college trip, I was hooked on travel. So many incredible countries to see, each with its own unique culture, food, wine and people.
Over the years, I've returned to visit Europe many times. (But this time with a rolling suitcase and hotel reservations.) Israel and the islands of the Caribbean are waiting for repeat trips. And every year, I add another state or two to my list that I've visited in the U.S. There are so many more cities, countries and islands to explore!
But for me, Italy was truly magical and a place that would change my life forever.
I started Ortensia Blu in 2011 importing non perishable food products to the U.S, including extra virgin olive oil from Lake Garda. Hand painted ceramics from Umbria and table linens from Tuscany followed. Traveling to Italy on buying and exploring trips became a regular and normal part of my life. I went off the beaten path, seeking out special experiences.
Along the way I'd include a visit someplace else - Germany, France, Austria, Portugal, England and a few other countries. Friends and family wanted to travel with me and share the experience. And friends of friends and family asked for recommendations and advice on what they should see and do, especially in Italy.