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Making clients’ Italy dreams a reality


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Jamie Biesiada

Italy is again shaping up to be a top destination for advisors’ clients this year, and Kathy McCabe, host of “Dream of Italy” on PBS, is encouraging advisors to get those trips on the books now.

“I think as travel professionals, our public service announcement has to be: I’m sure you can pull something off last-minute, but it’s not going to be the ultimate trip that you want,” McCabe said.

She also has plenty of ideas for advisors when it comes to things to do and places to go in Italy to better spread tourism around.

“The thing about Italy is there are endless possibilities,” she said.

With such high demand for the country, McCabe said, the most popular spots like Venice, Florence and Rome are best visited in winter. September is still high season, she warned.

Boots on the ground

One of the best things an advisor could do is visit the country on their own trip (or on a fam) and make personal connections with on-the-ground operators.

“It’s not just about the celebrity chef,” she said. “There are world-class chefs all throughout Italy, but meeting the one in the trattoria in a little town and sending people there ….”

Advisors can also check out McCabe’s show and “Dream of Italy” publication for some ideas, she said. The third season of the show is currently airing on PBS, and the six-episode season is full of places to visit and things to do.

In the latest season of “Dream of Italy” on PBS, host Kathy McCabe details bringing her dog, Finney, to Italy.

In the latest season of “Dream of Italy” on PBS, host Kathy McCabe details bringing her dog, Finney, to Italy. Source: Kathy McCabe

Over the course of the season, McCabe travels everywhere from Tuscany to hear Andrea Bocelli sing, to the Royal Palace of Caserta that appeared in “Star Wars: Episode One — The Phantom Menace,” to Modena where she spends time with Michelin-star chef Massimo Bottura and his wife, Lara Gilmore.

McCabe even had the chance to bring her dog, Finney, before his death, and he is showcased in this season of the show. She’s put together some useful trips on traveling with a dog in Italy.

Along the way, she features several activities that could spark some fun ideas for advisors and their clients, from museums to Ferrari rides.

McCabe also pointed to one of her season’s sponsors, Italian Culinary Adventures; the company works with travel advisors.

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