Another side of Italy

Not long ago, she called Italy home, moving there after college to work. Turney had first visited as a freshman, and she experienced something of a culture shock in a country of millions where she knew no one.

"I had never even taken public transportation," she said with a laugh.

Turney's time in Italy was heavily influenced by two families in Florence with whom she lived. They didn't speak English, so she was able to immerse herself in the language.

That wasn't the only step she took to get a taste of Italy beyond the usual tourist stops. She mingled with the local people as much as she could, loving the leisurely tempo of everyday life.

"It was such a departure from the life I had known," she said. "They really emphasize the importance of slowing things down and spending time with friends and family."

Turney cherishes the time she spent in Italy, but she also missed friends and family back home, especially when a lot of her friends were getting married and marking other milestones and she was a continent away.

So, Turney eventually came back to the States. But the pull of Italy was still strong, resulting in the creation of her business, liveit-italy.com. She sometimes travels to Italy with her clients, and she sometimes sends them with another leader. A more recent option has Turney creating itineraries for travelers who go it alone.

A typical Turney tour might visit the central market in Florence, with plenty of time built in to browse and talk to the vendors. There will be a stop at a private villa for a cooking class, and meals at "more authentic restaurants."

"I try to slow things down so people can just sit and enjoy a glass of wine and watch the world go by," she said.

After all, those are some of her fondest memories. She's thrilled to share them not only through her business, but through events like Italy Day.

"I feel very strongly about showing people that side of Italy that I want them to see," she said.

The museum will host Italy Day from 1 to 3:30 p.m. Admission is $5 for the public and free for museum members. For more information, visit www.dancemuseum.org.""

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