We are a fun group of serious travelers intent on digging deeper into a city, country, museum and culture.
We research, visit, question, sample, sort through, meet, and make contacts to gain in-depth knowledge and first hand experience.
What we offer: we’ve been there and done that. If it is not a fantastic experience, we will not be bringing it to you!!
All our trips are exceptional, memorable, and unique. You’ll never forget your experience!
So the question really ought to be “Why Not Us?”
Scroll down for a little more about us and really why we are the organizers for you!!
Having lived in Washington, DC for over 35 years, I first visited Italy in 2012. A month visit, to an Italian Language School in Le Marche. Nervous, not knowing what to expect, I just thought I’d get to see a bit of Italy, inexpensively, even if I did not know what they were saying! Turns out that the language stuck a little. More importantly, my curiosity, admiration, and love of this luscious, culturally rich, birthplace of my nonni (grandparents) grabbed me, engulfed me, and cast an intriguing spell on me. I spent 23 months over the next 6 years exploring Italy-Sardinia, Sicily, Le Marche, Lazio, Tuscany, Umbria, Lucca, Piedmont, Ascoli-Piceno, Puglia, Basilicata, Veneto, the Lakes and of course all the major cities. Having driven about 20k miles per year, I get it and want to share it with you. We bought a home, built in 1541, part of a medieval palazzo, in one of these little medieval towns in 2017 and will likely retire here someday. Having traveled the world over the past 40 years, it’s about time I make it a full commitment and share it. The smaller, almost unknown towns are rich- locals, history, food, culture, wine, oil-and somewhat undiscovered. We bring a lifetime of experience, unmatched curiosity, and a sincere desire to share some of the best experiences you may ever participate in. I’ve focused on Italy for now, to help revitalize the local economies and highlight these hidden gems. However, I think our groups, intimate (no more than 18), can discover other quaint, unique, and, as yet, un-tourist-overun- regions and villages throughout old Europe in the not too distant future.
A partner for over 23 years, Dallas is the slower, take it in, enjoy the wine kind of host! Dallas is attuned to the needs of all guests, having traveled extensively over the last several decades! His background in languages helps in so many unexpected ways! A resident of Washington, DC for more than two decades, Dallas has traveled the world with a curiosity and ability to absorb a culture effectively, enthusiastically and with purpose. Always one to enjoy a glass (or bottle) of good wine, Dallas has recently taken pasta making and general Italian Cooking to new levels and is always happy to share some of that with you! Constantly researching and up for an adventure, Dallas is the perfect partner to stroll along this wonderful road with us…
Judy Gula - Founder/Owner Artistic Artifacts
Judy Vincentz Gula has been working in fiber since elementary school. Since middle school, she has been a weaver, a spinner, a dyer, and a collector. Later, she studied fashion design at Radford University, earning degrees in fashion design and business marketing. Judy now enjoys merging all that she has learned from her many interests and channeling that into making art quilts and samples for her shop, Artistic Artifacts.
Italian Cultural Tours has a special relationship with Artistic Artifacts and Judy Gula. We produce joint personalized excursions for her clients, with an authentic medieval Italian experience combined with specialized instruction by Judy and other guest instructors. Our personal friendship dates more than 35 years and we look forward to working together for the next 35!!
AND HERE IS THE REAL DEAL:
We strive to give you an experience, unlike any other, to places very few have the time to visit. You will live in a medieval village for a few days, a week or months if you like. Your “room” is not typical-It could be the one bedroom apartment on via del Fiore; a floor in the hotel in Farnese; an airbnb in Grotte di Castro. We’ll keep the groups housed close together. We work and produce excursions to tour local attractions: wineries, museums, spas, beaches, mountains, factories, vineyards, shopping, swimming, boating. Rich in historical content, we hire local guides, interpreters, drivers. We utilize our tried and tested favorite restaurants, wine tasting venues, theatres, museums with local expertise. We have affiliations with local and internationally known hiking, boating, yoga, craft, cooking, art and language guides and instructors. Every day we’re adding new affiliations and uploading more information to our website. Accommodations range from camping on Lago di Bolsena or Argentario, to 5 star luxury resorts and thermal spas. We make every effort to accommodate your desires, requests, interests and preferences, all while maintaining reasonable and competitively affordable pricing. We want you to experience the trip of a lifetime, without breaking the bank! We assure your safety, along with detailed instruction, guidance and planning. You will not need to worry at all as we make the experience as smooth as possible through frequent and clear communication and instruction. You will always know what we’re doing, where we’re going, and how it will work out. We know how stressful foreign travel can be and we will do the worrying for you and ensure a stress free experience-from touchdown at the airport to departure with a satisfying smile on your face!! Small touches, attention to detail, friendly and accommodating staff and affiliations make all the difference between a vacation and a trip of a lifetime! CONTACT US to chat about your dream holiday today!!!