In just a few short weeks and over the month of September, 30 or so guests will arrive at Villa il Renaccio in Tuscany just outside of Certaldo. Equidistant between Florence and Siena sitting on a beautiful hill surrounded by vineyards and olive orchards. There will be days of trips into the Tuscan countryside to visit small farms and wineries of friends we've made over these many years. We will travel to the towns and cities; Florence, Siena, Pisa, Lucca, San Gimignano, Volterra, Pienza, Castellina, Montalcino, Certaldo Alto and even venture out of Tuscany for a day to Riomaggiore and Manarola in Cinque Terre and on our way home stop to see the Carrara Marble Quarry. We will see the art, we will taste the cuisine, we will drink the fine wines, we will meet the people up close and personal, we will sit in their homes and break bread with them over meals they will prepare, all with ingredients from their farms. We will experience the Italian culture the way I want my guests to experience it. I want them to see and live the Italy I see and love. And, I hope it allows them to reconnect with their purpose in life, the way it always does for me.
When in Italy I am quickly reminded of my purpose. Riding the trains I revel in gazing out the window, hoping to spot a vineyard, an ancient building, or a hill top town in the distance. As I take in the view, in between mountain passes, the cypresses, the fields of my favorite girasole, I feel a sense of rightness in my soul. Our trips are full of moments like that, moments of surrender and revelation.
Whether in Rome, walking the same streets St. Paul strolled, taking in the sights at sunset of the Colosseum, imagining what life must have been like for those living there two thousand years ago. We eat margherita pizza with a caprese salad by the Pantheon . . .
Or in Florence, eating chocolate and hazelnut gelato on the historic Ponte Vecchio and haggling with merchants at the San Lorenzo market, buying souvenirs and Christmas gifts for family. Eating a lunch of porchetta and pasta with a good Chianti, Brunello di Montalcino or Vino Nobile di Montepulciano . . .
Or in Venice navigating the city on the sea, riding the vaporetti, crossing the hundreds of cobblestone bridges to visit friends, stopping once again in the Basilica di Santa Maria Gloriosa dei Frari to see the Assumption of the Virgin high altar piece by Titian that I cannot ever get out of my head, and visiting with friends, laughing, eating, drinking . . .
It’s easy for us to get stuck in a rut and let our priorities fall out of order, to believe we live to work instead of the other way around. It’s tempting to get caught up in endless pursuits of celebrity and fame and trying to impress people. But none of those things satisfy. Because even when you do what you love, when you’re living your calling, you can’t forget that there’s always a greater why behind what you do. There has to be a life behind the work, something that’s bigger than you, a cause to guide you. And as we stroll the dimly-lit lanes of Italy, hand in hand with our hearts and stomachs full, I remember mine. And, I can hope our guests remember theirs.
Looking forward to seeing you at the villa soon. Remember, we travel not to escape life, but for life not to escape us.
Ciao famiglia e cari amici,
Villas of Italy specializes in all-inclusive superior villa vacations. We've designed our adventures so Italy can be experienced in intimate tour groups, Tourneo Custom air-conditioned vans, and one-of-a-kind Villa estates. Immerse yourself in Italy's picturesque towns and villages while enjoying exquisite cuisine, vibrant culture, and the spirit of Italy.
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Tony Moglia's grandparents immigrated from Italy in the early 1900's. He's a dual citizen who has traveled extensively throughout Italy for 40 years. He's happily married to a vibrant dancer who together have two children and three grandchildren. Tony has dreamed of Villas of Italy since his first trip to Italy, and now he shares his dream with you.