Favorite Restaurant: This has to go to Fattoria La Tagliata perched on the cliffs overlooking Positano on the Amalfi Coast in Italy. Farm to table meals come family-style directly from Mamma's kitchen to your table. It really is the best restaurant that we enjoy on every small group tour to Southern Italy.
Favorite Big City: You would think it would be Paris, but Vienna gets the edge here. So many great museums, it's easy to get around, plenty of entertainment options, the shopping is plentiful. Hotels are top-notch and the food is outstanding. The Christmas Markets (there are over 40 of them in Vienna) are our favorite time to visit Vienna where we take our small groups to Austria and Germany.
Favorite Hotel: How about a hotel overlooking the Bay of Naples with a stunning view of Mt Vesuvius? That would be the Grand Hotel Excelsior Vittoria in Sorrento, Italy. It is a 5-star hotel on about 5 acres of property high atop the bay. Breakfast is outstanding, the rooms are comfortable and stylish. We have stayed here a few times on our small group tours to Italy.
Favorite Museum: There are lots of them but The Professor enjoys the Utah Beach Museum in Normandy. On our small group tours to the Normandy Invasion Beaches we always get a private tour from the museum docent and private access to bunkers and early, private access to the museum.
Favorite Train Ride: This is a difficult one because there are so many good ones. On top of the list as the favorite Traveling Professor train ride is the one in the Scottish Highlands from Inverness to Kyle of Lochalsh on our way to visit the Isle of Skye. The scenery across the highlands and along the sea is absolutely stunning and we do it on each and every Traveling Professor small group tour to Scotland.
Favorite Ferry Ride: This is another tough one. But when we take our small group tour to Peru and Machu Picchu, we always finish up with a trip to the Amazon. We are ferried down the Rio Madre De Dios in a large motorized canoe, deep into the Amazon. Along the way we see plenty of wildlife. One highlight was our when I first spotted a flock of condors hovering over a group of wild pigs crossing the river being chased by crocodiles. Fascinating!
Favorite Place for a Hot Dog: They love their hotdogs in Northern Europe (Denmark, Norway, and Iceland). There are a lot of places to choose from for a great hotdog including the famed Bæjarins Beztu Pylsur in Reykjavik, Iceland. But a few years ago on a small group tour to Norway, The Professor found the legendary Trekroneren in Bergen, Norway.
Favorite Cocktail: This has to be an Italian Negroni served on Piazza della Repubblica in Florence, Italy. If you cannot find The Professor in Florence when taking a small group tour to Italy, just go to Piazza della Repubblica and you will probably spot him here.
Favorite Tomato Soup: On our small group tour to Iceland and the Northern Lights, we stop for lunch on the tour of the Golden Circle for lunch. We always manage to get to Restaurant Friðheimar for lunch. Even in the middle of winter they are cultivating hydroponically grown tomatoes. The soup is out of this world served with hearty bread.
Favorite Scenic Drive: If you can do it during low-season, the drive from Ravello back to Sorrento is the best scenic drive. High cliffs, winding roads, great photo ops, and a great lunch stop at Fattoria La Tagliata make this the highlight of a small group tour to Italy.