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Established in 2004

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Message from Sheila de Vries, Owner of Painting in Italy to guests travelling alone.

"People travel on their own for all sorts of reasons.  Some people enjoy the experience of meeting new people but others might consider it a daunting difficult concept.  Our aim is for our guests from day one to feel looked after, relaxed and happy integrating with people they've never met before or meeting up with people they've met in previous years.  By the end of the week members of the group are always firm friends.  One of the things that I am particular proud of and gives me a lot of pleasure is when someone comes on one of our holidays travelling alone for the first time following a berievement or separation.  Arriving looking very nervous and uncertain, guests are introduced to other group members (glass of chilled prosecco helps) and by the end of the week those guests look, relaxed and happy having benefitted from a dose of vitamin D (sunshine) and having enjoyed the week more than they thought possible.  It is the solo gentlemen guests that give me the most satisfaction as I think they find it more difficult than the ladies embarking on a holiday alone.  It is usually the woman in a relationship that organises the social side of life.  I have had many letters from guests expressing their gratitude for showing them that holidays alone can be enjoyed "thank you for showing me there is a life ahead afterall" and from family members "thank you - life for my father really is starting at 70".  All very dramatic I know but finding yourself alone after many years REALLY is dramatic.  Being alone shouldn't mean the end of pleasureable holidays.  Because of the personal contact each guest has with me from the beginning all decisions such as flights can be made together and as the holidays are completely organised, transport, hotel, food, excursions etc. at no point are guests left to their own devices, unless they want to be of course.   Not all of our guests come on the holiday alone, although a high proportion do, we also have couples coming together to enjoy different activities.

Once there was only "Under 30s Holidays" now there are an enormous amount of people searching on Google "Holidays for over 50s", Holidays for over 60s" and "Holidays for over 70s".  Thank goodness for the internet!

I hope I have reassured those that are embarking on their first holiday alone.  I assure you it won't be your last".