Buenos Aires

Buenos Aires

DE 42 | Buenos Aires


For those who want to immerse their business travel into colorful dances, historic culture, and exquisite wine, there’s no better place than the Paris of South America: Buenos Aires. Emmy-winning host and dancer Mickela Mallozzi shares her experiences with milongas, which is more about connecting with people than just dancing tango. Meanwhile, Juan Melo Pacheco explores the Argentinian hospitality they take pride in at The Faena Hotel, making it an excellent event destination for any purpose. For their destination favorites, Andy McNeill and Todd Bludworth look at everything Buenos Aires has to offer by going beyond the wine tastings and tango dancing.

Andy McNeill and Todd Bludworth are travel and hospitality entrepreneurs and owners of the global meetings organization, American Meetings, Inc. From sourcing hotels in Buenos Aires to corporate event management around the world, their team selects corporate event venues and meeting planners for a wide array of enterprise business clients, providing ideas for convention themes and strategies for running global meetings and events. Learn more at www.americanmeetings.com.

Watch the episode here:

Buenos Aires

Emmy-Winning Host and Dancer Mickela Mallozzi Shares Tips To Tango and Experience Argentinian Hospitality with the Faena Hotel

Buenos Aires is considered as the Paris of South America, drawing influences from France, Italy, and Spain to create its colorful history and culture. It is known for its unique love for tango and exquisite Malbec wine. Andy McNeill and Todd Bludworth explore these amazing things and more, highlighting the incomparable beauty of Buenos Aires.

Mickela Mallozzi, Emmy-Winning Host And Dancer 

It cannot be denied that Mickela Mallozzi produced a great show in the form of Bare Feet, a travel series about dance all over the world. It ranks fifth behind shows with way bigger productions and budgets, such as Stanley Tucci’s Searching for Italy and Taste the Nation with Padma Lakshmi.

Mickela credits the strong edge of their show over others to her nature of seeing dance as a universal language instead of just an art form. She doesn’t care so much about her looks or if she’s making a lot of misstep, but uses dance as a way to connect with others and share a personal moment.

With this mindset, Mickela found the milongas of Buenos Aires a really fitting social event for her. It is a tango dance party, where conversations between locals and tourists happen not through words but by the body movements of dancing.

Lots of places where you can attend milongas have appeared throughout Argentina, with some embracing more modern approaches. Mickela still recommends tourists and first-timers to try tango in its traditional form first to fully appreciate the incredible experience it has to offer.

Mickela’s Top Picks On Where To Find Traditional Milonga

  • La Glorieta
  • La Catedral Club
  • Milonga Zona Tango

Andy and Todd’s Destination Favorites

  1. Watching a tango show at El Cabaret
  2. Joining a Malbec wine tasting session
  3. Booking private guided tours of polo stables
  4. Seeing world-class ballet, choir, and orchestra at Teatro Colón
  5. Grabbing a coffee at Café Tortoni, Buenos Aries’ oldest café
  6. Strolling through the colorful streets of Palermo Soho
  7. Attending International Circus and Tango Festivals
  8. Riding a hydrofoil from Buenos Aries to Uruguay
  9. Visiting Casa Rosada
  10. Reflecting in the Recoleta Cemetery

Juan Melo Pacheco, Group Sales Manager at The Faena Hotel

Those looking for a high level of Argentinian hospitality embedded in local history and deep cultural values should definitely visit The Faena Hotel. This five-star building is something tourists must not miss, especially those who want to enjoy an authentic Buenos Aires lifestyle.

According to its Group Sales Manager, Juan Melo Pacheco, it was originally a British-style warehouse converted into a sophisticated building many people know and love today. They also chose red as the color of their brand, symbolizing the passion they uphold in delivering top-notch accommodation that cannot be found anywhere else.

The Faena Hotel’s Dining Options

  • El Mercado, a typical Argentinian restaurant
  • Bistro Sur, an Argentinian food place with modern twists

Juan also presents their wine and cheese tasting experience for VIP guests. It is only available to a select few, offering the best drinks to complete everyone’s stay. They also hold tango shows in the hotel as their most recognized piece of entertainment complete with five-star luxury dining services.

Must-See Locations Near The Faena Hotel

  • Puerto Madero. It is great for long walks and early morning bike rides. It also has two miles of well-known restaurants, giving tourists a chance to have a mesmerizing food trip.
  • San Telmo, one of the oldest neighborhoods in town. It served as the hometown of immigrants at the beginning of the 19th century before spreading into the Argentine territory. Tons of flea markets can be found here on the weekends, with couples making the streets lovelier with tango dancing.
  • Boca Juniors Field, home to one of the biggest soccer teams in Argentina. Here, you can play or watch games with family and friends.

About Mickela Mallozi

Mickela Mallozzi is the four-time Emmy® Award-winning Host and Executive Producer of Bare Feet with Mickela Mallozzi, a travel series highlighting the diversity of dance that airs on PBS stations nationwide and on Amazon Prime Video globally.

A professional dancer and trained musician, Mickela decided to start a journey around the world, taking her camera with her to follow dance in the lives of everyday people wherever she went. From re-discovering her family’s heritage in Southern Italy to dancing tango on the main stage in Buenos Aires, the series covers Mickela’s adventures as she experiences the world, one dance at a time.

She has been featured in The New York Times, O Magazine, AFAR Media, Travel Channel, Dance Magazine, Forbes, National Geographic, Condé Nast Traveler, and more, and she has performed on various television shows including Sesame Street and The Doctor Oz Show. Mickela has learned over 65 dances in over 33 countries in the past decade since she started Bare Feet in 2010.

About Juan Melo Pacheco

Juan was born and raised in Buenos Aires, Argentina; he is a results-oriented sales manager with Bachelor’s degree in Marketing and Associate’s degree in Hotel Management.

Juan has been working in the industry for 17 years and specifically in group sales for 11 years, only in luxury tier properties. He has expertise in almost any sort of groups, ranging from leisure tours to high scale incentives; from worldwide renowned artists to official state visits of a king and from a local corporate meeting to a multinational company CEO visit.

Juan has a profound interest in technology and its application in the business world. He normally tells his co-workers to call him before contacting the IT guy (and he won’t ask if they rebooted the pc!). In his spare time, he enjoys video gaming, motorcycle riding, movies or ‘binge-watching’ a new TV series. And a gathering for a nice Argentine barbecue with friends is a must from time to time.

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DE 25 | Tuscany

With its picturesque scale, architecture, wine, and Renaissance museums, there is a reason why Tuscany keeps people coming back for fabulous corporate meetings and much more. In this episode, Andy McNeill and Todd Bludworth introduce us to the author of the bestselling book turned movie, Under the Tuscan Sun, Frances Mayes, who shares her life-changing experience in Tuscany that inspired her memoir and some of her activities in daily life. Taking us beyond the region, she then shares her new book, Always Italy, a travel guide to all 20 regions in Italy. Without missing the best part of the trip, Andy and Todd then sit down with Federico Cerelli, a teacher for Italy’s National Organization of Wine Tasters, who takes us to learn the art of winemaking—from how best to test it to which ones to try.

Andy McNeill and Todd Bludworth are travel and hospitality entrepreneurs and owners of the global meetings organization, American Meetings, Inc. From sourcing venues in Tuscany, to corporate event management around the world, their team selects corporate event venues and meeting planners for a wide array of enterprise business clients, providing ideas for convention themes and strategies for running global meetings and events. Learn more at www.americanmeetings.com.

Watch the episode here:


Author Of “Under The Tuscan Sun” Frances Mayes Offers An Exclusive Italy Travel Guide, And Learn The Art Of Winemaking With Federico Cerelli

A picturesque region people just can’t help falling in love with, it is no wonder why many always go back to Tuscany. From its rich history and architecture to the food, it is simply a great travel destination that offers everything to all kinds of travelers. Andy McNeill and Todd Bludworth guide us to this great Italian region with no less than the very people who know it like the back of their hands.

First up, they sit down with the bestselling author of the book turned movie, Under the Tuscan Sun, Frances Mayes. Here, she first tells us the story and the life she lived that inspired her memoir. She also talks about her latest partnership with National Geographic and her new book, Always Italy—a travel guide that covers all 20 regions in Italy.

Back in Tuscany, Frances reveals the whole secret of the region, taking us to back roads and small villages to discover it in a whole new way. She also names some of her favorite food and wine and some of the best seasons to go in each place. In her daily life, Frances shares what she typically does in the morning and what her writing process looks like. Her top must-see activities and must-visit places are:

  • The Piazza Life
  • Tuscan Sun Festival
  • The annual horse race (Palio di Siena)
  • San Gimignano

Moving us along to one of the top activities that no one should miss when in Italy, Andy and Todd then interview Federico Cerelli. Federico graduated in the year 2000 at the Università degli Studi di Firenze with a degree in Enology and Viticulture with a maximum score of 110/110. Since 2005 he has been a member of the official commission of DOCG Chamber of Commerce of Florence and Siena, and since 2008 he has been a teacher at ONAV classes in the Florence department (National Organization Wine Tasters).

  • With his years of experience in prestigious Italian wineries, Federico offers us some valuable wisdom to learn the art of winemaking.
  • On properly testing a wine, you must take note of the following:
  • Follow the suggestion in the back label of the bottle
  • For red wine, open at least an hour before drinking
  • For aged wines, melt the cork and check the cork
  • Check the color
  • Close your eyes and try to understand what you’re smelling
  • Put in your mouth and try to spread out the wine in all parts of the tongue

Check the after taste to measure the complexity of the wine and how long you feel its sensation in your mouth

Federico then recommends some of his favorite wine in Tuscany:

  • Sangiovese,  the King of Italian red wine
  • Chianti wine
  • Chianti Classico wine

What is more, Federico also gives us a tour around Castello di Gabbiano, showing us what they offer for all wine lovers who want to bask under the Tuscan sun along vineyards, great architecture, and good food. He then gives a brief overview of Florence. He says to visit in April to August, enjoy the medieval village around San Miniato al Monte, and visit the best cheese producers in the area.

Closing with their bucket-list, here are some of Andy and Todd’s must-see, must-taste, and must-do items that should make your Tuscany itinerary:

  • Florence’s rich fashion history
  • The Vasari Corridor and The Uffizi Gallery
  • The antique market at Arezzo Viera
  • Palio di Siena
  • Sicily, Sardinia, and Elba
  • San Miniato
  • Nessun Dorma Manarola: Cinque Terre
  • Piazza dei Miracoli
  • Chianti Classico

Follow along to this great episode as you take a stroll under the Tuscan sun with really great food and wine in your hands and just enjoy the piazza, Italy’s daily life!

About Frances Mayes

DE 25 | TuscanyFrances Mayes recently published “Always Italy,” which won the Lowell Thomas Award for best travel guide of 2020. Previous bestsellers include “See You in the Piazza,” “Under the Tuscan Sun,” “Bella Tuscany,” “Every Day in Tuscany” and “ Year in the World.” These books about travel, taking chances, and the “voluptuousness of Italian life” have been translated into 54 languages.

Mayes has written the memoir “Under Magnolia,” and the novels “Swan” and “Women in Sunlight. She and her husband divide their time between North Carolina and Cortona, Italy.

About Federico Cerelli

DE 25 | TuscanyFederico Cerelli graduated in the year 2000 at the Università Degli Studi di Firenze with a degree in Enology and Viticulture with a maximum score of 110/110. Since 2005 he is a member of the official commission of the DOCG Chamber of Commerce of Florence and Siena. In the year 2006 attended a master for “winemaking process and sensory analysis of high-quality red wines” at the Facultè d’oenologie, Universitè Victor Segalen Bordeaux 2. Since 2008 he is a teacher at ONAV classes in the Florence department (National Organization Wine Tasters).

Federico joined CDG in the year 2011 after 10 years of experience in prestigious Italian wineries with the responsibility and the supervision of important winemaking projects, especially in Tuscany and in the Chianti Classico wine region.

Federico brought his intense knowledge and passion to CDG; his continuous research for quality and innovation is a great asset for the winery.

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