Buon Natale (e Felice Anno Nuovo)!
This has been quite a year! Like all of you, we were grounded in 2020 and, for the first time in over a decade, were not able to visit our beloved Bel Paese. The freeze on travel affected our business, of course, but it also temporarily robbed us of one of our greatest joys and forced us to look for other ways to channel our passion for Italy and all things Italian. As we settle in for a quiet holiday at home, we are celebrating the many things this year has given us rather than focusing on what it has taken away.
We are happy to report that we are in good health, as are our families, and we continue to dream about trips to come. If anything, 2020 has reminded us that the time we have together is precious so we shouldn’t put off that ski holiday, sister getaway, or even gastro blowout with a dear friend. As soon as it’s wheels up, we’ll be spending quality travel time with the people who are important to us.
Though we’ve missed catching up with our Italy guides in person this year, their dedication to sharing this country’s unique culture and history hasn’t waned and we were thrilled to be able to travel virtually to cities like Rome, Florence, Venice, and even ancient Pompeii with them this past fall. Many of you wrote us to share your fond memories of tours taken over the years with these same guides, which was such a pleasure to hear!
Rapidly depleting Italian pantry staples inspired us to launch Cantina Direct, our online gourmet shop for delicacies like extra-virgin olive oil from Casa Gola, food boxes from Florence, and - coming soon - the best Parmigiano Reggiano cheese. Orders poured in over the first few weeks after our launch, and the opportunity to connect traditional local producers with foodies across the Atlantic was deeply rewarding.
Though 2020 was a year of uncertainty and the next few months pose new challenges, we feel fortunate that our far-flung network of friends and family, clients, guides, and colleagues made our world seem much less small during these hard COVID times. Though we hope to be able reconnect next year, we’d like to take a moment to send our warmest wishes to you and your loved ones for a safe and happy 2021!
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2020 Wendy Perrin WOW List — Trusted Travel Expert for Italy and Switzerland
Condé Nast Traveler Magazine
Top Travel Specialist for Italy since 2006