A warm welcome to all of the members of our Aroma Tours Newsletter in over 30 countries around the world.
Our Aroma Tours adventures are now complete for 2016 and Robbi and I are very grateful to have shared so many wonderful and inspiring moments in the company of delightful like minded people from around the world, with new friendships made and old ones rekindled.
We are now greatly enjoying our time at home in Provincial Victoria watching spring unfold and catching up with family and friends.
Already our thoughts are turning to the upcoming tour season in 2017 which is continuing to astound and delight us with all of our tours now at least half filled and several already down to the last few places!
As always it is our returning guests and their friends who are leading this fabulous response.
Robbi and I hope to have the pleasure of welcoming you next year to share a delightful and delicious journey with us in some of the beautiful places that we love.
We have recently updated our Aroma Tours website to bring it in line with current best practices and to create a more modern, mobile friendly, look and feel as well as provide constant secure browsing while you are connected to our site.
One of the best ways to enjoy the spirit of our Aroma Tours adventures is by taking a peek at a few of the 1000's of photos we have taken during our 2016 travels.
We also invite you to enjoy some of our other lovely photos via our Photo Gallery Page
Robbi and I have a very strong connection with the Haute Provence region of southern France.
It is where our Aroma Tours began in earnest over 2 decades ago and to this day we consider it our second home.
Some of the people who inhabit these hills cloaked in glorious fields of lavender, number amongst our dearest friends and we have many wonderful stories to share of our adventures in this beautiful region with our Aroma Travellers each year.
We have danced late into the night at country weddings were we are the only non-French guests, watched children grow from babies to young adults, witnessed triumph and tragedy and felt our hearts sing at the glory of huge fields of vibrant purple lavender, undulating in the wind.
To stand in such a field, inhaling the glorious scent with the sound of thousands of bees busily gathering nectar ringing in your ears, is to be in love with life.
This is our heart-land, blessed with aromatic plants, truffles and beautiful perched villages, all overseen by the majesty of the iconic Mt Ventoux.
We will always have Provence, it is in our blood and we hope to share our love of this glorious region with you.
Bookings for our 2017 season are continuing wonderfully well with all of our tours now at least half full and several down to the last few places, mainly due to our return travellers and their friends making their plans well ahead of time.
The current booking status at the time of this newsletter is:-
|2017 Tour Season|
|Flavours of Spain||22 - 29 May 2017||3 vacancies|
|Spanish Gastronomic Pilgrimage||29 May - 5 June 2017||2 vacancies|
|Heart of Provence||12 - 19 June 2017||7 vacancies|
|Essential Provence||19 - 26 June 2017||7 vacancies|
|Aromas of Provence||30 June - 7 July 2017||6 vacancies|
|Provence Aromatherapy Retreat||7 - 14 July 2017||9 vacancies|
|Aromas of Tuscany||5 - 12 September 2017||7 vacancies|
|Flavours of Italy||12 - 19 September 2017||7 vacancies|
|Bali Women's Retreat||2 - 9 September 2017||9 vacancies|
|Bali Women's Retreat||11 - 18 September 2017||2 vacancies|
As well as couples and friends travelling together, we are regularly joined by solo travellers - mostly women, who appreciate being able to journey with liked minded people from around the world, without the need to do all the planning and take on the daunting task of touring by themselves.
Joining one of our small group tours is easy and we have already made all of the arrangements on your behalf to ensure that you have a delightful, stress-free holiday with the focus on having fun.
Having a ready-made group of friends to travel with, and us to take wonderful care of you is the way to go!
We have carefully crafted off-the-beaten-path itineraries that are the perfect balance of structure, experiences, details and free time to enjoy in your own way.
There have been a significant number of guests over the years who and have joined us multiple times, some of whom have become dear friends.
Giacamo Puccini is renowned as Italy's most famous opera composer.
We visit his birth place of Lucca during our Flavours of Italy Tour and enjoy the wonderful experience of listening to brilliant young singers performing arias from several of his operas including "La Boheme", "Edgar", "Tosca" et al.
It is always a spine tingling experience which sends our spirits soaring especially when we hear a glorious soprano voice performing his most famous aria - "Mio Bambino Caro".
Each year we follow up this special event with a fine meal in a glorious restaurant which usually includes animated conversation about the earlier performances.
Of the man himself:-
Giacomo Antonio Domenico Michele Secondo Maria Puccini was born in Lucca, Tuscany on 22nd December 1858 into a family with five generations of musical history behind them. It was natural then that as a young man he took the position of church organist and choir master in Lucca. However, it was after witnessing a performance of Verdi's "Aida" in Pisa that he became inspired to become an opera composer.
At the age of 21 he enrolled in the Milan Conservatory and in the same year composed the "Messa" based on elements of the Catholic mass and gave glimpses of his great talent for writing beautiful, poignant melodies and constructing fine orchestrations.
Puccini's first published opera "Edgar" was not a great success, however, with his third opera "Manon Lescault" published in 1893 he achieved international fame and sufficient income to achieve an independent life.
Puccini spent most of his time in Torre del Lago fifteen miles from Lucca and by 1900 he had constructed a villa on the lake where he wrote some of his most memorable works including: "Manon Lescaut", "La Bohème" ( arguably today's most popular opera ), "Tosca" and "Madama Butterfly".
Whilst following his passion for driving fast cars, Puccini was nearly killed in a major accident in 1903 and after 1904, his compositions became less frequent.
Those that followed were:- "La Fanciulla del West" in 1910 and "La Rondine" in 1917 and in 1918 he premiered "Il Trittico" composed of three one-act operas: "Il Tabarro" (a horrific episode), "Suor Angelica" (a sentimental tragedy) and "Gianni Schicchi" (a comedy). Of the three, "Gianni Schicchi" has remained the most popular, containing the popular aria "O Mio Babbino Caro".
An habitual cigar smoker, Puccini eventually contracted throat cancer and died on November 29, 1924 in Brussels. News of his death reached New York during a performance of "La Bohème", where the opera was immediately stopped, and the orchestra played Chopin's Funeral March for the stunned audience.
"Turandot", his final opera, was left unfinished, and the last two scenes were completed with some controversy by Franco Alfano.
Robbi and I look forward to welcoming you to one of our delightful tours or retreats in the near future as we continue moving towards our retirement in the next few years.
As always if you have any questions or if you would like us to assist you personally with advice about your travel arrangements or with any other details please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org
Jim and Robbi