Bella For Life!
by Tyrenna D. Tolbert

So, I decided I needed to change some things in my life and travel. I figured that I would be happy to go solo or with some old women with big hair and cats on there shirts to enjoy Italy. However, I instead found A little hesitant to be locked into brown girls only, I searched and Googled for other travel groups. But, every single time I came back to this BlackGirlTravel site. I watched videos on the site repeatedly. They made me happy. What is this Bella business?

I was on the case. I emailed the site and got a response back very quickly. Okay so far so good. Nevertheless, I being a savvy city girl didn't trust sending my money out so quickly. I asked all the questions and she gave me the answers. Some person name Fleace. What kind of name is that I thought? Shrugging shoulders, I hunted to see if it was a scam. I checked for anything bad while still singing the tune from the site.

After a thorough search along with a few more emails and conversations with Fleace I parted with my money. Why in the heck does this cost so much I thought as I counted out my hard-earned dollars? I breathed and said just do it. It looks fun and I needed the break. I waited with baited breath to know my money reached Fleace and for some sort of validation that BlackGirlTravel was legitimate.

I got the email invite to join a facebook group. Bellas! Ahh that is what I am... a Bella. Okay I check out the facebook pages of the other ladies attending. I read the postings and I am starting to get excited. Just a little, I had to be cool about it.

Fleace (Queen Bella) sent out specific information on the trip.

Sheesh, this is allot to read I thought but I had to experience it all. I appreciated her for allowing me to prepare appropriately. Hell, I would not have even know to do most of this stuff. I don't think the senior group would have been on Segways, Vespas or and the in Ice bar. I am intrigued about packing for 10 days in 1 suitcase (yes, 1) and becoming a Bella.

My Vespa Tour

Ice Bar

The day before my flight, I exchanged my USD for some EURO. I almost passed out dead in the booth. The Euro is so much stronger than the dollar. I now understand why the trip seemed expensive, it was the dang Euro. All of our tour expenses are paid in euro not dollars. I had to have a glass of wine to recover from seeing $800 just gone away as I gave the agent $2000.00 and they gave me back 1200 Euro. What the hell? Still I wasn't discouraged. The wine helped!

I get on the plane and make it to Rome, the eternal city. After a short cab ride, I arrive where me and nine others will live as Bellas on our Roman holiday. My arrival was a little later than the other ladies but everyone is happy to see me. I see a terracotta curly haired statuesque woman with a huge smile and energy of a full-blown five-alarm fire. She welcomes me as if I was a close friend. I look at the ladies buzzing around her all excited. I forget I am tired. I am now a Bella!

We follow Queen Bella aka Fleace' aka Bella Five Alarm. I also called her Five Alarm, because she is alway moving as if there is five alarm fire somewhere with her name on it. Like a local guide, she made sure we saw every major site and some we never heard of before. Handpicked for the tour, we all got along well. No cat fights, no side-glances. Did I mention that no one can join a BlackGirlTravel.con tour without a phone interview with Fleace. Yes, you read correctly, you must be approved. There is nothing ramdom about the tours not even the people on them.

We ate amazing food and drank great wines. We partied quietly and loudly. We learned makeup tips and fitness, about shopping and how to pick good Italian shoes and men. Fleace is an Avatar I suspected.. she can't be real to have this formula of success down to a science.

I was exhausted. Did Queen Bella Five Alarm eat? As she maneuvered through the city, all I could see is the back of her terracotta hair while people admired her as she parted crowds for her Bellas. This is very cool I thought. I found my second third and fourth wind to keep up. Bella Five Star stayed pleasant. I learned how to survive with the Queen Bella as I didn't have the energy she did.

Happy Hour on the Tiber River

Keeping up with 5 Alarm at the colosseum

She cared for each of us conscious of different personalities and levels of interest. I was Mac gruff the crime dog trying to find out how she does it. I stopped trying after the second day. I will share my survival tips to keep up with Queen Bella Five Alarm and to enjoy yourself. It was an amazing trip, well worth the money and then some. I am glad she saved me from traveling alone or with a bunch of grandies, missing out on all the fun of traveling with a group of like minded Black women. I have met great friends and learn how to walk faster ... even in heels. I am empowered with knowledge about maneuvering comfortably around the magnificent city called Roma. I learned eye make up tips and laugh my butt off to tears. Warning, please keep the pistachios away from her though. She will munch on them through the night... until dawn. Maybe they are the source of her super powers! :)

All the Bellas ready for a night on the town.

To survive Italy with Queen Bella here are my top ten tips:

10. Get B12 Vitamin shots to keep up with Bella Five Alarm

9. Stretch your muscles. She will walk you to death. Everyone lost weight on our tour.

8. Sleep when you can! I often nodded off on buses, trains, and at the table to power down before the next adventure.

7. Eat a big meal in the morning and carry snacks. She will eventually feed you. We have things to see and places to go first.

6. Realize in Italy your American curling irons have only two settings cold and fire breathing dragon. Even the adapters get extremely hot.

5. Wear a wide heels or wedges. Wearing stilettos take work and balance on cobblestone. Whatever you wear, make sure there are clouds or padding inside them. I just got the feeling back in the balls of my feet.

4. Practice walking fast NOW! Queen Bella Five will make sure you see many sights and God before he closes up for the day. You will shop until you pass out and eventually ... maybe eat.

3. Leave your attitude at home. You have arrived in a beautiful city, there is no place like Rome.

2. Sleep is optional and can be done on your flight home.

1. Be fabulous, you don't have any other choice when traveling with Fleace and Above all else enjoy yourself!

Watch Videos from the Tour

Watch me learn to ride a Segway!

About Tyrenna D. Tolbert

Author of the sexy murder mysteries Who's Got Skills and Who's Got Skills 2, Tyrenna has a Bachelor's of Science Degree from New York Institute of Technology in Business Economics. She attended University of Maryland College in Adelphi, Maryland and attained a Master's Degree in Business Administration. As a New Yorker at heart. She has lived in the Bronx, Brooklyn and Queens. She has relocated to White Plains, Maryland with more novels to come. To learn more about Tyrenna, visit

To view more pictures and videos or for information on joining our all female tours to Italy and other destinations visit

©Copyright 2006 -2011, Inc. All rights reserved.
Duplication of any portion of this content is expressly forbidden.

Please forward this to all your fun loving friends!

Not Your Grandmother's Tours!"


Contact us for more information on sending e-blasts about your business, event or services to thousands of local Blackweekly members. Please note that we are very selective about the content we send our members and reserve the right to refuse email requests that do not fit our established guidelines.

If this email was forwarded by a friend, why not join Blackweekly and receive your own e-vites to private parties and special events.

To start receiving your e-vites, simply enter your e-mail address below!

Don't forget to check out our on-line calendar for a listing of local events targeted to a mature progressive clientele.