Monthly Archives: April 2018

Day 5/10: Amalfi Lovely Ladies: Cooking Italian -Tempo in cucina!

D ay 5: Monday, April 30             Cooking Class 

The sun was shining brilliantly at 10:00 AM, as we arrived at Ida’s Villa, a lovely traditional Amalfi Coast home. We quickly enjoyed a light breakfast in the beautifully appointed gardens, consisting of Almond Water, Coffee and cake, before donning our aprons, and getting ready to make our authentic Italian Lunch.

Enjoying the morning sunshine in the Ida Villa Garden





Our most enthusiastic Teacher aide!

Our cooking instructors for the day, were Marida and Roberta and a Darling little Helper, Charley’s Grand Daughter. They taught us how to prepare 3 dished: 1. Stuffed pasta with 3 cheeses: Ricotta, Mozzarella and Parmesan, cooked in home made Tomato Sauce. 2.  Herbed,baked Potatoes and 3. A Desert: Lemon Tiramisu.

Ready for Action:

The Lunch Dishes were based on perfect seasonal ingredients using the chef’s family recipes, and fresh herbs from the garden, including Basil, Oregano and Rosemary.

As we left the dishes to bake for 1 hour, we went  in to visit the family wine cellar where Charley ( the Wine maker himself) treated us to tastings of his Vintages: White Wine (named after his wife, IDA); red wine (named Charley) and a blend of Red (Charley’s Blend), that contained grapes with a Strawberry flavor! 

Tasting Ida : Their White Wine. Named after Charley’s wife.

Charley’s Red: His signature Wine,

A gift of Canadian Ice Wine from Niagara: WHo knew: That was his favourite??







After this, we Enjoyed the fruits of our labour:  lunch under the pergola, consisting of Fresh Salad, baked Cheese Pasta, Meatballs & Potatoes and Lemon Tiramsu.  All accompanied by Charley and Ida’s pleasant wines.

The time of Reckoning is now! How will it taste?  We left feeling very sated. We thanked our Gracious hosts  and headed back to our hotel for some much needed down time. Our previous 2 days, were very full, touring Capri, on Saturday and 3 Amalfi towns on Sunday!  Read about these in separate blogs, for Day 3/10 and Day 4/10, respectively

Tiramisu Desert, the lemon Zest was so tasty in the cream sauce

Starters: Tomato and Cucumber salads, and Fried Zuccini flowers.

Our individual Stuffed Pasta, was incredibly delicious!

Meat Balls and Herbed Potatoes.

Day 1/10: Amalfi Ladies Arrival in Sorrento- April 26, 2018

Day1: Thursday, April 26th 2018: The Gang’s All Here!
The Amalfi Ladies (15 + Tour Host, Rowena) have safely arrived in Sorrento, Italy! There have journeyed from  many parts of Canada,  to participate in this Women’s Travel Network (WTN) & WWQuest Tour, thru the beautiful Amalfi Coast.
We celebrated the start with our welcome dinner this evening, in the dining room of the Grand Vesuvio Hotel. Due to one  too many flight delays, we were a bit tired for any formal introductions. However, after a good night’s sleep we will be ready to hit the road with our local Guide in the morning. Sorrento, here we come! Stay tuned .

You couldn’t tell that these ladies had only arrived, a few minutes ago at our hotel, some of them travelling over 19 hours to get here!

These were the luckier ladies who had arrived somewhat earlier, so they had time to get dressed for dinner; and were definitely, more relaxed!

Location: Grand Hotel Vesuvio

Tips for tipping….

by Debbie Ross, founder of the Womens Travel Network

TIPS FOR TIPPING: When is it appropriate to acknowledge services rendered? And how much?  

To tip or not to trip. That is often the question when travelling, where customs in far-flung destinations may vary from norms at home, or in new and uncertain situations. When to offer a gratuity, to whom and most important how much.
In which currency to tip…..  
It’s always best to tip in local currency; however, in many places, such as the Caribbean, Vietnam or India, U.S. dollars acre acceptable and often welcomed.  But bills, never coins unless the local currency.
The ethics of tipping…...
For the most part, tipping is always welcome – especially for services rendered. While tipping a porter is obvious, tipping a local who led you to somewhere you needed to go or a local whose photograph you took would be a kind gesture. However, local guides will often caution against simply giving money for nothing, especially to children.
When, and when not to tip……..
For all those rules and etiquette, tipping of  course is optional and the amount is discretionary. Exceptional service sometimes warrants a larger reward while overtly bad service requires nothing. But, no matter how much you leave, don’t forget those two magic words “Thank you”
Who to tip and how much.
Amounts vary widely according to destination and quality of service. Here is a general guideline that will work wherever you travels take you.
  • Porter: $1-3 per bag
  • Wheelchair attendants: $3-5
  • Shuttle driver: $1-3


  • Bell boy: $2 for first bag, $1 additional
  • Housekeepers: $2-5 per day depending on how messy year are: note the staff may change from day to day so daily gratuities are best
  • Concierge: 10% of activity fee arranged up to $20 for standard requests


  • Taxi: 10-20% of fare, or modest round-up
  • Uber: not required, but suggested for outstanding service


  • serving staff: 10-20%


  • Guides: $10-20 per person per day: 10-15% of the cost of a day tour
  • Drivers: $5-10 per person per day


  • Once the bane of cruises – who, how much, how many?
    Tips can now be prepaid and included in the overall price.
    If not, the cruise line will provide a suggested guideline.

Spa Services

  • 10-20% of treatment cost