Our time in France had come to an unfortunate end, however we had an excellent excuse for leaving — we were headed to Italy! From Aix en Provence we drove several hours even further south to Nice. I might not have had any time to explore the city, but I certainly left with an unforgettable souvenir.
From Nice we flew to Rome and were immediately greeted by our animated Italian Travel Director Marco. We were now beginning an abbreviated version of Trafalgar Tours’ Flavor of Italy program, which for us would include time in Tuscany, Florence, and Rome. If you are searching for the very best of what Italy has to offer, then this is the guided vacation for you. I decided to give my arm some rest and put down my DSLR for the day, thus all of the photos in this post are from my iPhone.
Our first stop on the four hour road trip to Tuscany was at a petrol station. Except, it was not just a regular petrol station, it was as if we had walked into heaven on earth. Who knew that Italian “pit stops” were actually the place to be? There was a café with the most delicious cappuccinos and espressos (remember to never drink a cappuccino after 11AM when in Italy), there was a restaurant that served authentic Italian cuisine handmade by local grandmothers, and there were chocolate bars half the size of my body for only a couple of Euros.
After an hour in the road-side Paradise, it was time for us to finish our journey for the day. I definitely could have used an afternoon slumber, but the beauty of the Italian countryside captivated my attention and I soon found myself lost in thought. I am not often presented with the luxury of time to simply ponder life and my surroundings, thus I cherished every sacred second.
One thought that kept crossing my mind was my connection to Italy. I am half-Italian, hence the last name Perullo. It is the part of my heritage that I feel the closest too, yet surprisingly know very little about. I have only been to Italy once before this trip and my Italian grandparents passed away when I was young. Nonetheless, despite my cultural ignorance, I feel the passionate Italian blood running deep within my veins and I desire to connect even more with my roots.
Eventually, we arrived at Villa Il Poggiale, our home for the next two days. Because evening had befallen, it was impossible to see the true magnificence of the villa and her grounds, but there was one thing that we could definitely see and that was their illuminating chandelier, which is the first thing to welcome guests upon entering. Oh, how wonderful it was to be back in Italy again!
For more attractions in Italy and France, you can visit OverseasAttractions.com.