Slow Travel with Lisa : Go Local, Know Local

A little about professoressa Lisa

“For myself, each arrival on this shore is a rejoicing. And I wonder at the stroke of fortune that first
brought me here to live in intimacy with this civilized spirit
and to share its long adventure.”
- Shirley Hazzard


Buon giorno e benvenuti! 

I am Lisa Engelken, Founder of Slow Travel with Lisa. I am an Italian language instructor, translator and interpreter. At the urging of my students these 15 years, I began creating custom travel experiences to my beloved Italian region of Campania. 

In the spirit of the Slow Food Movement, my travel motto is "Go Local, Know Local."

My mission is to create relaxing and curious travel experiences that facilitate authentic connections with Italians and the Italian culture.

I invite you to take advantage of my 25-year relationship with Italy and travel with me in May 19-27, 2019 and September 22-30, 2019. 

May 19-27, 2019
(9 days)

Napoli + Flaming Fields and the magnificent Island of Ischia. 

I share what I love, and this itinerary will be very special for so many reasons.

Some of you may know that Ischia, is known as "the Green Island" for its spectacular plant life and food products. It is the largest of three islands located off the coast of Napoli, north of Capri. But did you know that it is the oldest of ancient Greek outposts, dating back as far as 1600-1800 BC?

I have arranged a real treat: I'm taking my guests to stay in my favorite place on the island, just named "Italy's Best Kept Secret" by National Geographic.

We will meet at our luxury, waterfront hotel in Napoli and for three days we will celebrate the city's 3000-year history, pizza and passione. While there we will explore the extraordinary Phlegraean Fields, so geologically unique as to have spawned the timeless tales of Homer and Virgil

Then, we cross the waters of the Mar Tirreno to spend five days on the Isle of Ischia.  Ischia is a "spa-lover's dream" renowned for its natural beauty, fertile soils, world class wines, resplendent beaches, restorative mineral spas, mud, natural hot springs and saunas.

I am living proof that speaking Italian can lead you to some the most magical and amazing travel experiences. To this end, I have crafted Italian lessons and activities designed to enhance your experience. Tours will be in English, but you will have plenty of opportunities to practice your italiano (whatever the level) should you wish. And don't forget, I will be there by your side to coach and interpret.

Then...back by popular demand, its


September 22-30, 2019

Napoli + the Amalfi Coast.

My trips are limited to 10 guests. Your deposit saves your spot. Don't wait to long! Contact me at


Since you will be traveling with me, I will let you know a bit more about myself.


My two passions are my professions: Music and All Things Italian. In fact, it was Music that led me to the lyrical beauty of the Bella Lingua. Being operatically trained, my first diction course for singers was the study of lyrical works in Italian. I was immediately smitten by the melodious language.

Fate's winds carried me to an Italian restaurant, run by a vibrant Neapolitan family. I experienced their passion for life in all its dimensions and flavors. I was hooked on Southern Italian culture!

I am grateful for having made that decision all those years ago, to study italiano and, in addition to my work in the theatre and in jazz, I am an Italian language instructor, interpreter and translator.

It has been an privilege to share the Bella Lingua with all of my students these past fifteen (and counting!) years- and to have been recognized by Italian Consulate General Lorenzo Ortona for my "eclectic and creative" teaching style.

"It's personal!"  What's different about my itineraries is that they are truly personal. I spend more than a year planning and traveling in Campania, collaborating with wonderful Italian friends, new and old to create unforgettable cultural experiences for you.   

My Italian friends will be a part of this unique experience that combines educational and physical activities.  A dream vacation that awakens the senses: rich in history, food, wine, colors, aromas, sounds, and breathtaking natural beauty.   

I am a traveler, not a tourist.  So, at last, I'm excited to share with you how I like how I like to travel:  exploring “must-see’s” and hidden gems. Experiencing the local life, meeting locals. Enjoying activities that are transformative and inspirational.

Go Local, Know Local: I will encourage you to communicate in italiano-- at whatever level. I will be there to coach and to interpret. I will also introduce you to some of my colorful and talented Neapolitan friends who deeply love their wondrous culture and history!

THE IDEA for Slow Travel with Lisa came about in two ways:      

  1. My wonderful Italian students who, over these past fifteen years have often returned from Italy saying  they would've liked to have met Italians and to have practiced their Italian language skills. Their desire for something more personal inspired me to create an itinerary that provides authentic opportunities to interact with "real, live Italians!"; and
  2. As a result of my all time favorite trips to Italy in August 2016, with my husband and his family. All’improvviso, I became Language Coach & Cultural Guide to a group of nine English-speaking travelers.  I was there at their sides, to teach, translate and interpret. I introduced them to my Italian friends and together we dined, went on excursions-- and laughed a lot!

    As a language educator, it was profoundly interesting to see how quickly my little group of non-speakers picked up Italian because a) they were highly motivated to communicate with my Italian friends and the wonderful caffè owners, people on buses, and b) were traveling with their own language coach.

    At the close of this slow travel experience, my U.K. mother-in-law marveled that, although she'd been to Italy many times, she had never before experienced Italy by dining, seeing sites, communicating with Italians.

    The connections made were real and the experience of facilitating communication between English and Italian speakers made my heart grow big! 

As I say above, space is limited to 10 lucky guests. You don’t have to speak Italian, but I ask that you come with a curiosity and interest in participating in authentic experience. 10 is the perfect number (and Dante said so, too!)        

Is this right for you? Yes, if you...

  • like the idea of not having to pack and unpack every other day! (We move lodging only once!) 
  • are someone who loves Italy, who may have already traveled to the Bel Paese, but is looking for an experience that is truly different, truly authentic
  • are curious and would enjoy meeting Italians, my friends and special guests 
  • are in pretty good shape, able to enjoy walking and a medium-level hike of up to 3-4 hours
  • are game to try to use whatever Italian you may know 
  • seek a genuine experience of Italy with an opportunity to slip into the "dolce far niente"  mentality
  • are excited to experience the impromptu magic that occurs while traveling, can improvise and relax ahhhhhhhhh.

    If this sounds like you, I warmly invite you to join us! Andiamo!

    Warmest regards,    
    prof.ssa Lisa 

Trips are limited to 10 guests. Don't wait to sign up.


MAY 19-27, 2019:  Mythic Meets the Medicinal  
Napoli + Flaming Fields + Mythic Isle of Ischia

Trip Price: $4,450  (Place deposit before 9/30/18 to save!)

SEPTEMBER 22-30, 2019: Four Star to Farm Stay:
Napoli + Amalfi Coast.

Contact us for updates + discounts!