You know there’s nothing I wouldn’t do for you.  Because so many of my tour clients want to go… your wish is my command.  I’m sacrificing my month of April in Florence.  While there I’ll be meeting, greeting, drinking, eating and eyeing all the delights of Tuscany that I possibly can for you, and your upcoming visit to Italy.

My friend Marlene told me about this fabulous language school in Italy.  She’s been going for years and I never asked about the details.  Well, last month we were on the phone and I finally did ask her.  What she told me was amazing and I guess, sort of changed the course of my business.  I’ve long been wanting to learn Italian and expand to Italy but it just wasn’t happening.  I thought that when I was going to marry and settle down with my French Prince Charming last year in Provence that I’d finally have the time to learn Italy better. When I got ghosted by said prince at the Marseille airport last June, my master plan of Italy expansion turned to dust.  But when Marlene opened the door to the Instituto in Florence, well everything came together.  So I geared up to leave California for my spring season in Provence a month earlier, found a sitter for the dog, a killer airline ticket on Norwegian Air (thanks, again, Marlene!) and voila, I’ll very soon be on my way to l’Italia.

I’ve started the packing.  There will be less jewelry, less shoes, perfume, and certainly less cute clothes.  Chalk it up to the practical side that middle age seems to nurture.  The additional 15 pounds of winter girth have also dampened my enthusiasm for self-adornment. And my focus is now markedly less on “meeting someone.”  Since that last painful relationship end, my focus has shifted more to what I already have, and less on what I want.  Want as in don’t-have.  This doesn’t mean I’d turn down the attentions of a cute Italian man (have you ever kissed an Italian?? I have…it’s better than chocolate gelato), but I’m not exactly looking, either.

I was telling my new neighbor friend, Cynthia, about my spring plans.  She told me how much she loved Italy and loathed Italian men.  Wow – that’s a first.  But after she told me about all the ass-grabbing I knew exactly what she was talking about.  Surely at my age, I’m exempt from that?  “No,” said she. “You’re a beautiful woman and if they see what they like, they’ll grab for it.”  Well thanks very much for the compliment but, hmmm.  Really?  While I doubt that’s going to happen, I know that if it did, I would not react well.  I think bug spray would be appropriate in such a situation.  When I told this to my pal Isabelle, she told me of a friend who has the total opposite estimation of Italian men.  Her friend waxes poetic about how Italians know how to appreciate a woman’s beauty and are not afraid to express it.  Well, actually I know exactly what that is, too.  That’s the vibe in Provence and one of the things I love about it there.  Attunement to beauty and uncomplicated expression of emotion.  There’s a kind of pureness of being there that beams straight into my soul.

Que sera, right?  That’s what April’s going to be.  An experiment.  I know so little of where I’m going and it’s amazing to think it will be my surroundings and my experience in just a few short days.

Tours in Tuscany may be starting as soon as Fall 2017, but I won’t know for another few weeks.  Stay tuned here or on my Facebook page for the latest news.

Arrivederci! Next post from the other side!