Ted and Margaret Ricks, Untourists of the Week, join up with their "Roman son"

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1. Tell us a little bit about your most recent Untour.

My wife, Margaret, and I spent a glorious and unhurried week in Tuscany staying in an apartment on a farm with views of the rolling countryside dotted with terracotta roofed homes, olive orchards, and vineyards with carpets of wild mustard and red poppies. We did drive and take the train to Siena and Florence to see those historic towns, piazzas, museums, and cathedrals, but we most enjoyed visiting the local towns of Montalcino, Monetepulciano, Lucignano, and Buonconvento to shop, eat, and just to stroll the streets and alleys.

We learned quickly that you will never outdrive Italians on the byways and highways for not matter how fast you go, they will pass you often and quickly and so we let them. We spent a week in Tuscany and then drove to Rome to meet our son, Jim, who, as an artist, became our docent for a week. Rome was incredible, a living museum where there are churches on every block, a Bernini fountain seemingly everywhere, and enough Roman history to satisfy any historian in you.

We loved learning from Untours about the “slow food” restaurants in Rome and took advantage of as many as we could find; also, the bargain of the week was the on/off bus/metro tickets that we used daily to get around the city as driving would be more than entertaining. We intend to return to Rome as you can not possibly see it in a week.

S. Quattro—where they stayed in Rome

2. Why did you choose to go there?

Margaret, Jim, and I have never been to Tuscany or Rome and had heard so much about those places from family and friends plus our own interest in Renaissance/Baroque art, architecture, and historic Italy.

3. What is your favorite Untours memory?

Leisurely meals in San Giovanni d’Asso’s la Laconda del Castillo, or Roman “slow food” cafes/restaurants along with driving the Tuscan countryside and walking the streets of Rome. Probably the top of our list would be the art and history of Rome.

4. How is taking an Untour different from other ways of travelling?

Not having to worry about the lodgings and transportation with the freedom to plan your day, sleep in, linger over coffee, take naps, and late night walks while feeling part of the community where you are staying. No schedules, planned tours, hotel rooms, and over crowded restaurants.

5. If you could describe an Untour in just three words, what would they be?

Leisurely, comfortable, and stress-free

6. Have you heard of our trailblazing Untours Foundation? What do you think of a company whose profits have gone to create jobs among vulnerable populations through loans to pioneering, green businesses?

Terrific…we believe in “hand ups and not hand outs” as well as green businesses…so bravissimo!

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