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  • Writer's pictureLoreal Gonzalez- Palmieri

Jet Lag, Wine Tastings, and Unveiling Favorites: My Italian Adventures and Tour Highlights

This blog post is going to be all about me – the one who's happily married to the incredible Giovanni. He's the superstar, and I'm more of a behind-the-scenes kind of person. Gio is undoubtedly the people person, and I've just returned from spending a month in Tampa, Florida, with my family during the holidays. It was an amazing time, soaking in the love of family and friends in my hometown. Now, I'm back in Lucca, dealing with some serious jet lag. Despite that, it feels fantastic to be back home and dive back into the groove of things. I genuinely missed Gio and, of course, my little Lola, my fur baby.


While in Tampa and now here in Lucca, I've noticed a significant uptick in work. Pre-Covid, the tourist season usually came to a halt over the winter months, with a lull from November to March. However, Covid changed everything, halting everything for a good two years. Now, tourism is back with a vengeance, and I'm not complaining. The not-so-busy tourist season has picked up, and even though we're not booked every day, we're definitely working.


It's the end of January, marking the planning season. Everyone is gearing up for their Italian vacations. I appreciate the planners – those who plan ahead ensure their trips go smoothly. I might be biased, but I believe my husband is one of the best in his job. If you get him as your driver, I can almost guarantee you're going to have a fantastic time. Of course, all our drivers are awesome. With an American work ethic, I expect everyone to be on the same page.


Our tours are customizable, and I want to share my favorites with you. You know how parents say they don't play favorites? Well, I do have my favorites – wine tastings are at the top of the list. It's hands down the best recommendation. Why? Because you have your own designated driver, and nothing beats sipping wine while gazing at the vineyards against the backdrop of rolling Tuscan hills. Having been to hundreds of wine tastings, that view never gets old for me.


Next on my favorites list is Volterra, a city that offers a unique blend of Roman and Etruscan history, not to mention the stunning alabaster. If you want to bring home an amazing piece of Italy, head to Volterra and grab something alabaster.


Finally, there's a place not on our website yet, but it will be soon – the Ferrari Museum and Motor Valley close to Modena. Ladies, if you have kids (especially boys) or just want to compromise with your husband while you indulge in shopping and wine tastings, give him a day at Motor Valley. Trust me; it's awesome! Even if you're not a car enthusiast, the place is spectacular. You get to experience the glorious quartet: Ferrari, Ducati, Lamborghini, and Maserati! Motor Valley might be a bit farther from Lucca or Florence than our usual tours, but it's a must-see. Consider it more of an experience, something you need to witness if you or someone you know loves cars or simply loves speed!


So, those are my top three places. Maybe my next blog post will be about my favorite city in Italy, and believe it or not, it's not in Tuscany. Those who know me might already have an idea, but until next time, I'll keep you guessing.


-Loreal

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