Virtual European Experiences – Travel from Home!

Our “Virtual European Experiences” enable you to “travel from home” until we can travel to Europe again. Thanks so much to everyone who participated in one of programs in 2020. We’re looking forward to continuing our virtual travels in January and February 2021, beginning on January 7.

Virtual European Experiences

What is a Virtual European Experience?

Kathy’s recent post on the Slow Travel Tours blog gives you more insight into our Virtual European Experiences, including comments from several participants: An Autumn of Traveling Virtually

Virtual European Experiences help you learn more about an area or culture, offer you a look at a place you might want to visit in the future, or bring back memories of a special place you’ve already enjoyed.

Each session lasts about an hour, including a short introduction, a 40-45 minute program, a question-and-answer session, and a short wrapup. Sessions are always at 2:00 pm EDT/EST (east coast USA). Click here to find out what time this is in your location.

Anyone is welcome to join us– you just need to register in advance.

We hold our virtual experiences on Zoom, involving many of our trip co-leaders, partners and friends in Europe. These are “webinars,” where you can see and hear the moderator and presenter(s) and their slides, photos and video. But you won’t be on camera and your microphone won’t be activated. You can submit written questions in a special Q&A window. For anyone who is new to Zoom, you’ll need to register for a free Zoom account to participate.

If you’re interested in a program and can’t attend the “live” session, please register anyway! You’ll receive a link to the recording a few days later.

Kathy Wood will lead some sessions and will moderate the other sessions. For Virtual Experiences led by others, we’re asking participants to consider making a small optional donation of $10 – $20 if you can. All donations will go to our guest presenters. You can make your donation through any of our payment options. We’ll also share this information during each session.

Virtual European Experiences – January / February 2021

See the details of of our January / February 2021 programs below and click the link at the bottom of the description to register. If you have any questions, please email us. We can include a max of 100 people in the live program, so be sure to register soon if there’s a program that interests you. We’d love to have you join us!

Thursday, January 7
2:00 pm EST
Jim NilsenMagrit Nilsen
Colors of Europe: Location & Tech Tips for Stunning Travel Photography
Leaders - Jim and Magrit Nilsen

Travel with award-winning photographers Jim and Magrit Nilsen to some of their favorite locations in Europe. Jim and Magrit will share beautiful images from nine different locations in Italy, France, The Netherlands, Portugal, Slovenia, and Croatia. This virtual experience also includes photography tech tips for anybody who would like to create stunning photographs on their next trip.

Suggested donation for the leaders: $10 - $20

Register for "Colors of Europe: Location & Tech Tips for Stunning Travel Photography" here.
Thursday, January 14
2:00 pm EST
Carol Jackson
The Home Front: Chipping Campden in World War II, 1939-45
Leader - Carol Jackson

Step back in time to Chipping Campden during the World War II, a very difficult period throughout Great Britain. In this program, local resident and historian Carol Jackson discusses life in the Cotswold village of Chipping Campden during those war years. How were the village and the people impacted? How were shortages and rationing handled? Who did the important work in this agricultural area when so many men were serving in the military? We’ll also learn about temporary residents in the area: soldiers, evacuees, prisoners of war, and even American GIs.

Suggested donation for the leader: $10 - $20

Register for "The Home Front: Chipping Campden in World War II" here.
Monday, January 18
2:00 pm EST
Kathy Wood
Getting to Know... The Chianti Experience
Leader - Kathy Wood

Beautiful countryside, warm and welcoming people, excellent food and wine… and so much more! Who wouldn’t love to spend a week in Chianti?! In this session European Experiences founder Kathy Wood will introduce the Chianti region of Tuscany and the village of Castellina in Chianti where this Experience week is based. She'll talk about the special people and places that make this a unique and memorable experience, and she’ll also discuss practical information about this trip. A panel of European Experiences travelers will share some of their experiences and help answer questions. This overview is intended for travelers who haven't participated in The Chianti Experience.

No donation for this session

Register for "Getting to Know... The Chianti Experience" here.
Thursday, January 21
2:00 pm EST
Jennifer DugdaleMathilde Ploix
A Taste of Mediterranean Provence
Leaders - Jennifer Dugdale and Mathilde Ploix

Our good friend in Provence Jennifer Dugdale is joined by Mathilde Ploix, owner of the cooking school “L’Atelier Cuisine de Mathilde.” Together, they will take you on a virtual tour to the fisherman’s village of Cassis. You’ll discover the tallest sea cliffs in Europe, the special white wine of the region, and a colorful port.

The duo will then head back to Mathilde’s kitchen, where they will demonstrate a Provençal recipe of local fish and iconic vegetable Ratatouille. It might be cold outside, but this session will leave you feeling sunny and happy after escaping to the Mediterranean Sea. Recipes will be provided afterwards.

Suggested donation for the leaders: $10 - $20

Register for "A Taste of Mediterranean Provence" here.
Thursday, January 28
2:00 pm EST
Arianna Cini
The Living Crafts: Discovering Unique Artisans and Ancient Traditions in Chianti
Leader - Arianna Cini

Chianti native Arianna will take us on a fascinating virtual experience to visit local artisan producers and discover their ancient traditions. We’re looking forward to visiting virtually with our friend Nora at her cashmere goat farm in Radda and getting to know these other artisans. In this virtual experience, you'll learn about Nora's finest Cashmere and loveliest goats, the colorful world of iris, and the ancient traditions of basket and loom weaving. Meet three incredible and inspiring women who will share fascinating stories and unique pieces of art. Andiamo!

Arianna and her husband Alessio are Kathy's co-leaders for The Chianti Experience.

Suggested donation for the leader: $10 - $20

Register for "The Living Crafts: Discovering Unique Artisans and Ancient Traditions in Chianti" here.
Thursday, February 4
2:00 pm EST
Kathy Wood
Planning Your European Vacation
Leader - Kathy Wood

There’s so much to consider when beginning to organize a European vacation! Where and when should you go? How should you organize your itinerary? Travel independently or join a group? Hotel, B&B or rental? Rental car or public transportation? How much to budget? We’ll discuss how to make these important decisions and the pros and cons of various options.

European Experiences founder Kathy Wood has traveled extensively in Europe for almost 30 years, making 55+ trips across the Atlantic. She’ll be joined by a panel of travelers who will also share their tips. (This session will focus on the initial planning for a European trip; a second program in March will focus on practical issues while traveling.)

No donation for this session

Register for "Planning Your European Vacation" here.
Thursday, February 11
2:00 pm EST
Anne-Gaelle Butterlin
Alsatian Heritage and Traditions in Kientzheim
Leader - Anne-Gaëlle Butterlin

Meet our good friends in Alsace: the Butterlins (grandparents Michel and Christine, son David and his wife Anne-Gaëlle, and teenage granddaughter Tania). The family shares a large home inside the walls of the wine village of Kientzheim, in the house Christine’s family has owned for at least five generations. Our Alsace Experience groups usually enjoy a special evening at their home.

In this virtual experience Anne-Gaëlle will share the family’s passions for woodworking, needlecraft, decoration, antique furniture, cooking, and hospitality. (We’re especially looking forward to learning how to make a tarte flambée!) She’ll also introduce us to the beautiful village of Kientzheim nestled in the foothills of the Vosges mountains and surrounded by vineyards.

Suggested donation for the leader: $10 - $20

Register for "Alsatian Heritage and Traditions in Kientzheim" here.
Thursday, February 18
2:00 pm EST
Annamaria ChironeTommaso Perrone
Tastes of Puglia
Leaders - Anna Maria Chirone and Tommaso Perrone

Anna Maria will take us into the heart of Apulian cuisine and show us how to make magic with humble ingredients in local styles. She is a cooking teacher, local home chef, and cookbook author. In 2014 Anna Maria opened her cooking school in Lecce, deep in Italy’s heel. She encouraged travelers to embrace traditionally marginalized local food and master the recipes of the remarkably resourceful local fare, which lies far at the other end of the culinary spectrum from haute cuisine.

Tommaso will be Anna Maria’s special assistant and help her live demonstration take center stage. A native of Puglia, Tommaso is the co-leader for our Puglia Experience trip, and Anna Maria will teach our cooking class during the week.

Suggested donation for the leaders: $10 - $20

Register for "Tastes of Puglia" here.
Monday, February 22
2:00 pm EST
Getting to Know... The Cotswolds Experience
Leader - Kathy Wood

Picture this: rolling hills, gentle streams, grazing sheep, picturesque villages of honey-colored limestone, gardens overflowing with color. This special place in the English countryside is the Cotswolds, an area of outstanding natural beauty less than two hours from London.

In this session Kathy Wood will introduce the Cotswolds and the village of Chipping Campden where our Experience trip is based. She’ll share highlights of the area and our week and will also share practical information. A special Cotswolds Walking Week is planned for 2022, and she’ll give a short overview of that week. A panel of European Experiences travelers will share some of their experiences in the Cotswolds and help answer questions. This overview is intended for travelers who haven't participated in The Cotswolds Experience.

No donation for this session

Register for "Getting to Know... The Cotswolds Experience" here.
Thursday, February 25
2:00 pm EST
Jennifer Dugdale
Getting Your Daily Bread... (and Cake!) in France
Leader - Jennifer Dugdale

With a bakery on every corner, France is certainly known as the capital of the baguette. And those pastries! Even just looking through the window of a French Patisserie, you absorb calories. But fresh bread and exquisite cakes are part of the daily diet in this food-oriented country. Jennifer Dugdale, our friend in Provence, will guide you on a virtual tour to some of her local bakeries and pastry shops. You’ll learn how the government ensures baguettes for all, the daily rhythm of a bakery, and the rigorous training of a Maître Patissier (Master Pastry Chef). And after all that, we dare to say, you’ll be craving some delicious bread, a luscious cake… or both!

Originally from California, Jennifer settled with her young family in Provence in 2004 and now lives in Aix-en-Provence. She developed the leading gourmet walking tour of Aix and has also developed and led small group tours in France. Jennifer is now working with European Experiences to develop new Experience trips.

Suggested donation for the leader: $10 - $20

Register for "Getting Your Daily Bread" here.