During COVID times, we have been reaching for inspirational travel ideas to make us dream and plan our trips as soon as it becomes safe to explore again. We are also getting creative with borrowing some ideas from our past adventures and applying them when possible to our social-distancing-appropriate getaways. I wanted to share my best memories of her Tuscan past trip as well as some tips for getaways during COVID times. 

In Florence

1. What made Italian trip so special? 

As soon as we landed in Milano, it was apparent that this would be an unforgettable adventure. Italy is quite exceptional for its cusine, but I never knew the story behind the brand let alone had the opportunity to see it in person. 
Once I arrived in Florence, the real magic began. We got to experience the soul of the region – we visited Florence, enjoyed the most spectacular gelato I have ever tasted, dined on traditional Italian food, and took a trip to see the famous Tuscan sunflower fields as well as the Cypress tree trail where the famous Gladiator movie was filmed. 

2.  What are some of my favorite summer memories ?

One of my favorite summer memories was visiting the Villa Panna. Besides the obvious breathtaking landscapes that surrounded it, the inside of the villa was an equivalent of going back in time to experience the most special italian decor as well as get a glimpse inside the Tuscan life as it once was. The home dates back to the Renaissance and once belonged to the Medici Family. What was exceptionally impressive for me is the serenity that surrounded the villa (it even has a little praying room that was used only by the Medici Family as a private church). 

While enjoying the sunset in Florence.

3.  What are some tips that I can offer for making the most of summer 2020 even during COVID times?

While in quarantine, I am always thinking of new ways in which I can develop creative “escape” projects even while indoors. Although we may not be physically allowed to escape, this does not prevent us from wandering in our minds. These days I am writing and organizing my past travel photos.  I am also reading books that I always wanted to check out in the past but never seemed to get around to. 
Another discovery has been local hiking trails. I look for places to visit where there are no crowds. I like to listen to podcasts while hiking or just be present while listening to the sound of nature. It is such a luxury for me to disconnect in this way as before COVID I was usually always on the go either traveling or working in the office. Today, I am taking time to appreciate the beauty that is surrounding me and learning how to be present.  

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