Virtual European Experiences – Travel from Home!

Our “Virtual European Experiences” enable you to “travel from home” until we can travel to Europe again. We began this project in late September 2020 and hosted 21 programs through the end of February 2021. Thanks so much to everyone who has joined us! We’re looking forward to continuing our virtual travels in March, April and May 2021, beginning on March 18.

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. 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.

A virtual European Experience with our friends Christine and Anne-Gaëlle in Alsace

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

Anyone is welcome to join us– you just need to register in advance. 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 – March / April / May 2021

See the details of our March, April and May 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 if there’s a program that especially interests you, be sure to be on time! (But if you miss the program, you’ll receive a link to the recording later.) We’d love to have you join us!

Thursday, March 18
2:00 pm EDT
Arianna Cini
Welcoming Spring in Chianti
Leader - Arianna Cini

Spring is in the air in Chianti! We’ll again join our good friend and Chianti native Arianna Cini to explore Chianti virtually in a new season, as the hills come back to life after the winter months. In springtime we’ll discover the freshest cheese, the sweetest honey, and other delicious seasonal recipes, flowers and traditions. Arianna and her husband Alessio are co-leaders with Kathy of our Chianti Experience week in Tuscany.

Suggested donation for the leader: $10 - $20

Register for "Welcoming Spring in Chianti" here.
Thursday, March 25
2:00 pm EDT
Charley Wood
A Deeper Wine Appreciation
Leader - Charley Wood

What’s really behind that glass of wine? European Experiences co-founder Charley Wood has enjoyed and studied wine for over 50 years. When he began spending considerable time in Europe hosting European Experiences groups and developing friendships with winemakers, he gained a much deeper appreciation of wine and the traditions of different wine regions. Charley will share how travel enriched his lifelong interest in wine. He’ll discuss key differences between the wines of the Luberon, Chianti, and Alsace, drawing on insights from his winemaking friends. (We hope to have a few guest appearances.) And an added plus: Charley will offer tips for ordering and buying wine while traveling in Europe.

Register for "A Deeper Wine Appreciation" here. No donation for this session.
Thursday, April 1
2:00 pm EDT
Carol JacksonGeorge EgglestoneVin Kelly
Escape to Chipping Campden
Leaders - Carol Jackson, George Egglestone, Vin Kelly

Many people dream of leaving city or suburban life to move to the countryside or a small town. And the thought of moving to a quaint, historic town or village in England is specially appealing. A popular daily program on British television “Escape to the Country” has explored this idea for almost 20 years!

Our three friends Carol, George and Vin have all lived that dream, retiring and moving with their spouses to the beautiful and historic Cotswolds town of Chipping Campden, home base for our Cotswolds Experience week. All three bought character homes on the High Street and became involved in a variety of activities in the local community. They’ll each share their stories and introduce us to their homes in this special look at year-round life in Chipping Campden.

Suggested donations for the leaders: $10 - $20

Register for "Escape to Chipping Campden" here.
Thursday, April 8
2:00 pm EDT
Kathy WoodJennifer DugdaleCarolyn Ray
European Travel for Women
Leaders - Kathy Wood, Jennifer Dugdale and Carolyn Ray

Europe (including the UK) is the most popular international travel destination for women—and for many great reasons! Spectacular scenery; history, art and architecture; museums and cultural activities; artisans and shopping; outstanding food and wine. You can enjoy cities or the countryside, mountains and the coast. You can choose between 44 sovereign nations with distinct national and regional cultures, most offering excellent public transportation and support systems for women travelers.

Women of all ages enjoy Europe. They may travel solo, with a spouse or partner, or with one or more friends or family members. And women can enjoy Europe in many different ways: an independent trip, a small group tour, a larger group tour, a river cruise, a hiking trip. Some women travel fast and cover a lot in a short time, while others travel more slowly and base in a location for one week or more.

In this special Virtual European Experience, we’ll explore European Travel for Women. From Provence, tourism professional Jennifer Dugdale will discuss the magic of an all-women small group tour. Journeywoman Publisher and Editor-in-Chief Carolyn Ray joins us from Toronto will talk about solo travel in Europe for women. European Experiences founder Kathy Wood will share some personal experiences traveling solo and with other women, as well as experiences with over 550 women who have traveled with European Experiences over the past 15 years. Kathy will be joined by a panel of women travelers.

Register for "European Travel for Women" here. No donations for this session.
Thursday, April 15
2:00 pm EDT
Mathilde Ploix
Farmers Markets in Provence
Leader - Mathilde Ploix

Join Mathilde Ploix, passionate foodie expert, on a virtual tour of the colorful Aix-en-Provence farmer’s market and its 700-year-old square. We’ll discover the French lifestyle of daily food shopping, enjoy the ambiance, and meet local producers. The emphasis will be on seasonal eating and you will learn about the iconic products of all Southern French markets, including goat cheeses, lavender, herbes de Provence, and olives. In Spring the market will be overflowing with both green and white asparagus and beautiful strawberries. With your virtual basket full of fresh produce, we’ll then head back to Mathilde's cooking school, where she will demonstrate, live from her kitchen, a seasonal recipe that you will be able to prepare for yourself at home.

A native of Paris, Mathilde now happily makes her home in beautiful Aix-en-Provence, where she runs a cooking school and offers gourmet experiences and food walking tours of Aix.

Suggested donation for the leader: $10 - $20

Register for "Farmers Markets in Provence" here.
Thursday, April 22
2:00 pm EDT
Kelly Wood
My Life in Paris Today
Leader - Kelly Wood

Kelly Wood made her first trip to Paris with her parents Kathy and Charley when she was 14 months old, beginning a lifetime of experiences traveling, living, studying and working in France and other European countries. Now a 4th year PhD candidate in Modern French and European History at New York University, she recently moved to Paris for a year for her dissertation research, her sixth—and longest-- extended stay in Paris. Kelly will share some of her early experiences in Europe and how they impacted her. She’ll introduce us to the 14th arrondissement in Paris, where she’s now living, including places of interest and lesser-known corners. Kelly also lived in this area when she studied abroad in Paris during her undergraduate years. It’s an interesting time to live and work in Paris, and Kelly will talk about some of the joys and challenges of day-to-day life in Paris today.

Suggested donations for the leader: $10 - $20

Register for "My Life in Paris Today" here.
Monday, April 26
2:00 pm EDT
Kathy Wood
Getting to Know... The Périgord Experience
Leader - Kathy Wood

There’s so much to experience in this remote and historic area of southwest France: two major rivers, more than 1000 castles, over 150 prehistoric sites and decorated caves, beautiful villages and towns, busy outdoor markets, lush gardens, and incredible natural beauty. There’s also so much to eat, since the Périgord is one of France’s major gastronomic regions. We’re looking forward to returning here with two groups in June 2022.

European Experiences founder Kathy Wood will introduce the Périgord (the historic name of the département of the Dordogne) and the village of Montignac on the Vézère River where our Experience week is based. She’ll share highlights of the area and our week and will also share practical information. A panel of European Experiences travelers will discuss some of their experiences in the Périgord and help answer questions. This overview is intended for travelers who haven't participated in The Périgord Experience.

Register for "Getting to Know... The Périgord Experience" here. No donation for this session.
Thursday, April 29
2:00 pm EDT
Jennifer Dugdale
Working up an Appetite – The French “Aperitif”
Leader - Jennifer Dugdale

Enjoy another look at traditions around food and drink in France with Jennifer Dugdale. An American expat who has lived in Aix-en-Provence for 15 years, Jennifer will lead several European Experiences trips beginning in 2022.

Pre-dinner drinks is “de rigueur” in France and plays a daily role in French life. Whether you’re at a restaurant or at home, the “aperitif” is the moment when all the day’s work ends and evening relaxation begins. Find out some of the ways pre-dinner drinks are presented in a local café or while dining out. An invitation to a friend’s “Apéro” can mean many things too. Jennifer will cover the various drinks usually offered, the nibbles that go with them, and a recipe or two will be provided afterwards. We hope you will be inspired to create your own aperitif “chez vous”; just remember to clink your glasses while saying “santé” like the French do, of course!

Suggested donation for the leader: $10 - $20

Register for "Working up an Appetite – The French Aperitif" here.
Monday, May 3
2:00 pm EDT
Getting to Know... The Cornwall Experience

Cornwall is a unique part of Great Britain with a unique climate and culture, very much impacted by its position on the narrow southwestern coast. The warm gulf stream currents bless the area with a semi-tropical climate. Cornwall is known for its spectacular coastline, quaint villages, prehistoric sites, mining history, and lush gardens… also for its outstanding farm and sea-to-table cuisine. Our 10-night trip also includes two nights on the Isles of Scilly, 25 miles off the coast of the mainland, maybe the most unique experiences on any of our trips. We’re offering this trip in April and September 2022.

In this session European Experiences founder Kathy Wood will introduce Cornwall, the village of Mousehole where we base for the first seven nights, and the Isles of Scilly. She’ll share highlights of the area and our trip and will also share practical information. A panel of European Experiences travelers will share some of their experiences in Cornwall and help answer questions. This overview is intended for travelers who haven't participated in The Cornwall Experience.

Register for "Getting to Know... The Cornwall Experience" here. No donation for this session.
Thursday, May 6
2:00 pm EDT
Stefania Balducci
Fresh, Seasonal and Local - Italian Cooking with Stefania
Leader - Stefania Balducci

Enjoy an hour in the kitchen with our good friend Stefania Balducci, a native of Assisi in Umbria, who has hosted cooking classes for our Chianti Experience groups since 2011. Her passion for cooking is rooted in the Italian tradition of cooking together with family in the home, helping her mother and grandmothers in the kitchen and learning their simple techniques for preparing fine and tasty meals. You’ll be inspired by the joy and passion Stefania brings to her kitchen. She always emphasizes the importance of using fresh, seasonal and local ingredients.

In this virtual experience she’ll prepare three traditional dishes typical in the regions of Tuscany, Umbria and Lazio at this time of year. Our menu will include panzanella (a salad made with stale bread); homemade ravioli filled with seasonal vegetables; and a moist cake made with fresh fruit. Recipes will be provided after the session.

Suggested donation for the leader: $10 - $20

Register for "Fresh, Seasonal and Local: Italian Cooking with Stefania" here.

You can watch any of our completed 2021 Virtual European Experiences on our private YouTube Channel.

Kathy’s post on the Slow Travel Tours blog gives you more insight into our Virtual European Experiences, including comments from several participants in our Fall 2020 programs: An Autumn of Traveling Virtually