A Photo Tells a Thousand Words

A collection of our team's favorite travel quotes and photos from our very own travel experiences through Bella Italia.

Photo by jolie klein

Photo by jolie klein

"I haven't been everywhere yet...but it's on my list."

-Susan Sontag

"But that's the glory of foreign travel...I can't think of anything that excites a greater sense of childhood wonder than to be in a country where you are ignorant of almost everything. Suddenly you are five years old again. You can't read anything, you have only the most rudimentary sense of how things work, you can't even reliably cross the street without endangering your life. Your whole existence becomes a series of interesting guesses."

-Bill Bryson




"Travel is more than the seeing of sights; it is a change that goes on, deep and permanent, in the ideas of living."

-Miriam Beard

"Connection doesn't care about the laws of the land. Your soul will be pulled to the place it belongs. "


Photo by francesca panzariello

Photo by francesca panzariello

"Traveling leaves you speechless, then turns you into a storyteller."

-Ibn Battuta

"…and the lonely traveler is engulfed."

- Morrissey

PHOTO by kaitlyn showalter

PHOTO by kaitlyn showalter

“You have to find that place that brings out the human in you. The soul in you. The love in you.”

–R.M. Drake

"Traveling is like flirting with life. It's like, "I would stay and love you, but I have to go"

-Lisa Teran

PHOTo by kelsey gibson

PHOTo by kelsey gibson

"The purpose of life, after all, is to live it, to taste experience to the utmost, to reach out eagerly and without fear for the newer and richer experience"

    -Eleanor Roosevelt 

" There will be a few times in your life when all your instincts will tell you to do something, something that defies logic, upsets your plans, and may seem crazy to others. When that happens, you do it. Listen to your instincts and ignore everything else. Ignore logic, ignore the odds, ignore the complications, and just go for it."

    -Judith McNaught

Inspiration For Young Travelers

By Leora Kahn

It is officially the spring of 2016, which means that the most dreaded time of my life has finally snuck up on me: my college graduation. I know that I am supposed to be excited to enter the real world. I should be excited to finally be able to support myself financially and live wherever I want, with whomever I want. But if I am being honest, I am absolutely terrified! Let me tell you; the quarter life crisis exists. It is real and it is happening.

"The world is a HUGE place and my home life feels safe. My friends, family, and comfortable ways surround me, I feel at peace. However, it is time to face the music."



I am sure that many of you out there reading this have been through what I am going through, or are going through it right now. I want to share some of my favorite quotes that have encouraged me to leave the comfort of my home and follow my passion: travel. Fair warning- I am a huge advocate of Fernweh (an ache for distance places, a craving to travel). So let’s get started-

“And so the adventure begins…”

What adventure? Life. Life is one long adventure, and it is ours to do with as we choose.

“But we lean forward to the next crazy adventure beneath the skies.” –Jack Kerouac

Up until now, us twenty-somethings have had the good life. College can be stressful, but hindsight, it was all worth it. Our friends are always less than 10 minutes away and laughs are plentiful. Just because one chapter is closing, doesn’t mean that the book is over. There is so much more to see in this enormous world, and I’m determined to chase the sun.  

“You don’t have to have it all figured out to move forward.”

Take it from me- I don’t have a plan! But I have a dream. I know that I want to see what else the world has to show me beyond my comfort zone.

“The world is too big to stay in one place & life is too short to do just one thing.”

 There are over 7 BILLION people in this world, each with their own history, culture, and traditions. There is SO much to see and SO many people to learn from in this short life we are lucky enough to live.

“The trouble is, you think you have time.” –Buddha

When I tell people that I want to travel, I get one of two responses. I either get, “Oh yeah, maybe you can one day!” Or, “You are young, you should go now!” I prefer the later response, because it is true! We all think that we have time and procrastinate on our dreams to focus on reality. We focus on climbing the corporate ladder, starting a family, and planting roots. But we only have so much life to live, and I want to learn about all there is to see!

“You are what you settle for.” –Janis Joplin

Now that I am graduating from college, I have the option to begin my career wherever I choose. Most of my classmates are interviewing for corporate jobs at fortune 500 companies, and that is amazing! And honestly, I think that my dad would be a lot happier if I was one of those people. But I think that I have my whole life ahead of me to make a name for myself in the corporate world. I don’t want to settle. I want to learn from people I’ve never even met before in places I cannot pronounce. So, I encourage you all to not settle into society’s norms. Do what makes YOU happy.

“Stay close to what keeps you feeling alive.”

I am a firm believer in living an exciting lifestyle. If you do what you love, it won’t feel like work. If you love where you live, every day is an adventure. Travel often, and travel far. Life isn’t meant to be lived in one place!

 “Because in the end, you won’t remember the time you spent working in the office or mowing your lawn. Climb that goddamn mountain.” –Jack Kerouac

I idolize Mr. Kerouac. His cross-country adventures are legendary and inspiring. So take a page out of his book, climb that goddamn mountain!

“So this is the part where I’m supposed to tell you it’s not scary. Well it is. But fear is natural, fear is good- it just means you’re growing.”

Change is scary! Especially entering foreign cultures where norms, languages, and customs are unknown. But someone very wise once told me, you will never learn if you do not take that leap of faith outside your comfort zone. If it scares you, it may be a good thing to try.

“Live, travel, adventure, bless, & don’t be sorry.” –Jack Kerouac

Take that trip that you have been putting off. Get up, get out that door, and don’t be sorry!

“Life is short. If there was ever a moment to follow your passion and do something that matters to you, that moment is now.”

The moment is fleeting. Responsibilities will soon kick in and the opportunity to press pause on your life in order to tour Italy may not be realistic. Put your dreams into action today!

 “Don’t wait. Life goes faster than you think.”

I think you guys get what I am trying to say here.

“Don’t tell me how educated you are, tell me how far you have traveled.”

After studying abroad, it is safe to say I learned immensely more about my studies and myself then I could have EVER learned from a textbook. I am a huge supporter of studying abroad and learning about foreign cultures.

“Travel is the only thing you buy that makes you richer.”

Some may say I sound naïve, or unrealistic, or a dreamer. But ask adults their opinions on escaping reality! Some are stuck in their boring day to day average lives and encourage us to get out their and see the world. So save your money, don’t spend it on materialistic things.

“Life was meant for good friends and great adventure.”

Don’t embark on the journey alone! Sign up for group tours. Make friends, or bring old friends along! The more memories made, the better.

“Be in love with your life. Every minute of it.” –Jack Kerouac

Be happy! This is the most important factor. Take pictures, embrace the culture, retain as much as you can! Fall in love with the nomadic lifestyle.

“In the world through which I travel I am endlessly creating myself.”

Travel is one of the best ways to learn about yourself, and develop into the person who you truly want to be.

“Travel. Not to find yourself, but to remember who you’ve been all along.”

Sometimes, life can get in the way. Travelling is an amazing opportunity to clear your mind, and focus on what really matters to you!

“Traveling is like flirting with life. It’s like saying, ‘I would stay and love you, but I have to go; this is my station.’” –Lisa St. Aubin de Teran

Once you start to travel, you will never want to stop. Trust me.

“Once the travel bug bites, there is no known antidote, and I know that I shall be happily infected until the end of my life.” –Michael Palin

Like I said, the travel bug is contagious!!

“It’s a funny thing coming home. Nothing changes. Everything looks the same, feels the same. You realize what’s changed is you.” –F. Scott Fitzgerald

There is no better way to grow as an individual, than to travel. Learn about foreign cultures and people. Learn about their ways of life, and take their lessons home with you. You’ll be amazed.

“Don’t listen to what they say. GO SEE.”

Okay enough of me rambling on. Don’t just take my word for it, GO!! I hope that these quotes have inspired you to develop drapetomania (an overwhelming urge to run away).  Go see the world!

I am a huge believer in group tours run by people who know the business inside and out. Group trips are one of the best methods to see the world in a time effective and economically productive way. Which is why I am a HUGE fan of Travel Italian Style. Cassandra Santoro is one of the most reliable, hard working, driven, and culturally educated women I have ever had the pleasure to know.

So go out and see the world. Weekend trips, monthly trips, or semi-permanent trips!.

What are my post-grad plans? Honestly, I’m not exactly sure. All I know is that I am young, I am independent, and I am free. I am going to save up my money and follow my passions. I am going to explore the world, and I’m going to find myself. I highly encourage you all to do the same. And on that note,



"You may have the world if I may have Italy."


Wondering what your next step should be? Then come meet our Founder & CEO Cassandra Santoro at the upcoming National Organization of Italian Women event on May 17th in Ciprani Wall Street in New York City!

Along side Cassandra will be 4 other travel & business guru's who have made a life by following their passion. Purchase one of the limited tickets here

Leora is the Public Relations and Marketing Coordinator for Travel Italian Style and is a Marketing student at James Madison University. In the spring of 2015, she was accepted to study business in Antwerp, Belgium, which allowed her to explore Europe and open her eyes to new opportunities and experiences. Needless to say, she is now consumed with a passion to travel! Leora loves to document her travel stories through all types of social media in order to share with everyone the happiness that accompanies exploration.  Leora spent time travelling through 11 countries during her time abroad, while Italy was hands down her favorite due to the blissful culture, beautiful scenery, and tasty food. She cannot wait to visit again soon!

"Always Remember Where You Come From"

My Sunday dinners as a kid were filled with pasta, the smell of fresh basil and smiles  from my 'nonno' and father as they were enjoying their evening espresso together. 

At that moment I had no idea there would only be a few more precious years to savor a moment such as this one. I never could of imagined that by the age of 19 I would of have lost them both to cancer.

Did you ever notice in life that we often think "it will never happen to me." It is SO crazy that we have this mentality.

This post is not intended to be depressing by any means but I did just want to start out by saying: I no longer believe this "it will never happen to me" theory. Instead I try to the best of my ability to live each day as it was my last! 

My family during my high school graduation

My family during my high school graduation

Today my father would of been turning another year older but just 56 years young. Unfortunately, cancer took his life in his early 40's.

The reason I am sharing this personal story is because the loss of my father brought me to life.


Sounds crazy, right? But really it has. His death inspired me to rediscover where I came from (my Italian heritage), where I am going (towards my dream no matter how may challenges come my way) and where I want to be (a business owner with a fulfilling happy life).

 The crazy part is I had no idea I would end up where I am today. After his death I began to travel. Which eventually led me to following my heart and intuition. Now here I am at Travel Italian Style.

The cool thing is he didn't just inspire me! My father Joey was an average guy who was into sports, weight lifting and music but actually he has had a lasting effect on others (whether he realized it or not). When I talk to his friends and family they remember him smiling even through difficult times, talking and joking with strangers and even discussing motivational speeches such as the ESPN video that we are sharing below by the legendary Italian-American Jimmy Valvano.

just a one summer after my high school graduation  I would enjoy my very last dance ever with my father. He passed away the following October

just a one summer after my high school graduation  I would enjoy my very last dance ever with my father. He passed away the following October

 Since you personally never got to meet my father, I thought to honor him today I would share this video. My hopes is that you too will be inspired!

I always loved this speech. Especially when Jimmy V shares what he believes are the 3 most important things we should do everyday & why we must know "where we started, where we are and where we want to be."

Sadly Jimmy Valvano passed away just a few short months after this ceremony. 

However, both him and my fathers legacy lives on! Today I will be saluting my father and Jimmy V for being a reminder to me and all of you to keep our dreams alive! 

 I am sure if you are reading this right now there is something that you have always wanted to do. Whether it be travel to Italy, start a business, study a language or maybe even skydive. Whatever it is, do it today! Honor your dreams and follow through with the commit. I am not saying it will be easy but it sure will be worth it.

I promise you will be truly amazed to see the outcome once you take that first step!

"How do you go from where you are to where you want to be. I think you have to have an enthusiasm for life. You have to have a dream, a goal. And you have to be to willing to work for it."
-Jimmy Valvano
Mr. Joe Cool Santoro January 20th, 1960-October 25th, 2002

Mr. Joe Cool Santoro January 20th, 1960-October 25th, 2002

Meet Cassandra

Cassandra Santoro is the CEO and Founder of Travel Italian Style. As a personal trip planner and luxury small group tour operator, Cassandra is an expert in slow-travel and authentic and inspiring experiences throughout Italy. She also leads motivational talks and can most recently be found at
TEDx DHWBMannheim. Cassandra is currently writing her first book and lives between NY & Florence. Follow her adventures in Italy on Instagram.