While Travel Pauses, Francesco Reflects.

Around the world, travel has slowed and limitations on free movement have been imposed to stop the spread of COVID-19. For our global team of Experience Curators in particular, life has gotten increasingly quieter, providing us with meaningful time to reflect on what travel — and more specifically – what our regional locales really mean to us.

We’re starting this series in Italy, the current global heart of the pandemic, with our beloved Francesco, our Tuscany-based Experience Curator. From the Coliseum in Rome and the Piazza del Duomo in Florence, to Saint Marc’s Basilica in Venice and the beaches of Capri, Italians, a nation that finds comfort and the meaning of ‘La Dolce Vita’ in crowded cafes and bustling piazzas, have been forced to remain inside. Here is his new everyday life.

Francesco Barone

Tuscany Experience Curator

Salve from Tuscany!
My family and I are incredibly fortunate to be able to escape the city life of Florence and spend our lockdown in the tranquility of the Tuscan countryside at Cuvée’s Tuscan Farmhouse. Being hunkered down in the Chianti hills is rather different from our normal busy Florence life!

Here at the Farmhouse these days, I take care of the vegetable and herb garden, tend to the roosters and hens in the chicken coop, and lend extra special care of the Farmhouse landscape and lawn. My wife Laura (a teacher) helps me water the plants and the vegetable garden, prepares homemade pasta, desserts and cakes. And while it’s a more simplistic way of life, there’s been something extraordinarily gratifying about being outside under the Tuscan sun.

My son Niccolò is home from school and when he is not being homeschooled online, he is enjoying playing in the pool, using the gym, going for walks outside as a family and, of course, playing video games!

Here in Italy we are in a total lockdown; unable to leave our homes for anything but a trip to the store or to collect medicine. With so many loved ones across our beautiful country being impacted by this pandemic, it is hard to stay positive, but we have been checking in on friends and family daily via video conferencing. Technology has been our saving grace.

There is an air of eeriness over the Tuscan hills as we approach our ‘busy season.’ Our wineries and town centers, usually filled to the brim with tourists, are vacant ghost towns. But I know once this passes, we will welcome you all with open arms and a large glass of Chianti.

I miss organizing experiences with my guests this time of year. Springtime in Chianti is wonderful. The Jeep and Wine Safari Tours are the best opportunities to see the surrounding nature blossom and enjoy the first wine tastings outdoors under the pergolas.

In buona salute,