Guide talks Italy

Carol Bonow has led small group tours around Europe for years. Last week, though, she got lost on the way to the Bedford Public Library.

But she just shrugged her shoulders in that continental way that seems to mean, "Who cares about such small things when life is full of glorious things."

Bonow, who lives in Milford, was in Bedford to talk about travel. But it wasn’t a typical travelog; it was a personal and entertaining talk on her life as a tour guide.

When Bonow was 22, she told the members of the Bedford Italian Club, she went on a tour and had such a terrible time, she told herself, "I will never let anyone I love travel like this."

Now she leads small group tours of Italy, France and Spain, sometimes with the help of what she calls "creative geniuses" – people who "give back to the world in a healing way" and believe that "beauty, art and laughter should be everyday affairs."

In Italy, there are three of them, including Mauro Stoppa, a chef who gives tours of Venice lagoon islands and the people who live on them.

And there is Dario Castagno, a Tuscan-raised wine expert and author of "Too Much Tuscan Sun," who helps Bonow lead tours of the Chianti region.

Closer to home is Boston’s Italian North End, where Bonow has persuaded Michele Topor, named by Travel & Leisure Magazine as one of the country’s top 10 tour guides, to give an all-day tour this fall.

"These three people believe in the healing power of community, of loving and respecting one another," Bonow told her audience, and they offer totally different travel experiences from the huge cruise ships that she says debase their destinations.

Bonow’s audience was surprised to learn that one of her New England day tours is in our backyard: a private tour of the home of Jon Brooks, a New Boston wood artist.

The library talk was illustrated with her own photos, including views of the "drop-dead beauty" of the Almafi Coast.

Bonow, who taught French for decades, including 15 years at High Mowing School in Wilton, sprinkles her speech with French phrases and talked about growing up in Philadelphia. She had a grandmother who was a French and Latin tutor to a Russian czar and after college worked at a Marriott Hotel – where she met future French President Valery Giscard d’Estaing – to earn money for travel.

Bonow referred briefly to the recent horrific events in France, and said she isn’t afraid to travel to Paris this September to celebrate her birthday.

"You have to believe in the goodness of people" she said.

Kathy Cleveland can be reached at 673-3100 or kcleveland@cabinet.com.

Guide talks Italy

Carol Bonow has led small group tours around Europe for years. Last week, though, she got lost on the way to the Bedford Public Library.

But she just shrugged her shoulders in that continental way that seems to mean, "Who cares about such small things when life is full of glorious things."

Bonow, who lives in Milford, was in Bedford to talk about travel. But it wasn’t a typical travelog; it was a personal and entertaining talk on her life as a tour guide.

When Bonow was 22, she told the members of the Bedford Italian Club, she went on a tour and had such a terrible time, she told herself, "I will never let anyone I love travel like this."

Now she leads small group tours of Italy, France and Spain, sometimes with the help of what she calls "creative geniuses" – people who "give back to the world in a healing way" and believe that "beauty, art and laughter should be everyday affairs."

In Italy, there are three of them, including Mauro Stoppa, a chef who gives tours of Venice lagoon islands and the people who live on them.

And there is Dario Castagno, a Tuscan-raised wine expert and author of "Too Much Tuscan Sun," who helps Bonow lead tours of the Chianti region.

Closer to home is Boston’s Italian North End, where Bonow has persuaded Michele Topor, named by Travel & Leisure Magazine as one of the country’s top 10 tour guides, to give an all-day tour this fall.

"These three people believe in the healing power of community, of loving and respecting one another," Bonow told her audience, and they offer totally different travel experiences from the huge cruise ships that she says debase their destinations.

Bonow’s audience was surprised to learn that one of her New England day tours is in our backyard: a private tour of the home of Jon Brooks, a New Boston wood artist.

The library talk was illustrated with her own photos, including views of the "drop-dead beauty" of the Almafi Coast.

Bonow, who taught French for decades, including 15 years at High Mowing School in Wilton, sprinkles her speech with French phrases and talked about growing up in Philadelphia. She had a grandmother who was a French and Latin tutor to a Russian czar and after college worked at a Marriott Hotel – where she met future French President Valery Giscard d’Estaing – to earn money for travel.

Bonow referred briefly to the recent horrific events in France, and said she isn’t afraid to travel to Paris this September to celebrate her birthday.

"You have to believe in the goodness of people" she said.

Kathy Cleveland can be reached at 673-3100 or kcleveland@cabinet.com.

Guide talks Italy

Carol Bonow has led small group tours around Europe for years. Last week, though, she got lost on the way to the Bedford Public Library.

But she just shrugged her shoulders in that continental way that seems to mean, "Who cares about such small things when life is full of glorious things."

Bonow, who lives in Milford, was in Bedford to talk about travel. But it wasn’t a typical travelog; it was a personal and entertaining talk on her life as a tour guide.

When Bonow was 22, she told the members of the Bedford Italian Club, she went on a tour and had such a terrible time, she told herself, "I will never let anyone I love travel like this."

Now she leads small group tours of Italy, France and Spain, sometimes with the help of what she calls "creative geniuses" – people who "give back to the world in a healing way" and believe that "beauty, art and laughter should be everyday affairs."

In Italy, there are three of them, including Mauro Stoppa, a chef who gives tours of Venice lagoon islands and the people who live on them.

And there is Dario Castagno, a Tuscan-raised wine expert and author of "Too Much Tuscan Sun," who helps Bonow lead tours of the Chianti region.

Closer to home is Boston’s Italian North End, where Bonow has persuaded Michele Topor, named by Travel & Leisure Magazine as one of the country’s top 10 tour guides, to give an all-day tour this fall.

"These three people believe in the healing power of community, of loving and respecting one another," Bonow told her audience, and they offer totally different travel experiences from the huge cruise ships that she says debase their destinations.

Bonow’s audience was surprised to learn that one of her New England day tours is in our backyard: a private tour of the home of Jon Brooks, a New Boston wood artist.

The library talk was illustrated with her own photos, including views of the "drop-dead beauty" of the Almafi Coast.

Bonow, who taught French for decades, including 15 years at High Mowing School in Wilton, sprinkles her speech with French phrases and talked about growing up in Philadelphia. She had a grandmother who was a French and Latin tutor to a Russian czar and after college worked at a Marriott Hotel – where she met future French President Valery Giscard d’Estaing – to earn money for travel.

Bonow referred briefly to the recent horrific events in France, and said she isn’t afraid to travel to Paris this September to celebrate her birthday.

"You have to believe in the goodness of people" she said.

Kathy Cleveland can be reached at 673-3100 or kcleveland@cabinet.com.