At Photography Travel Tours, we have 3 tours planned in Italy starting May 10 but because of COVID-19, it doesn’t look too promising.

We absolutely love Italy — the rolling hills, lovely medieval hill towns and cypresses of Tuscany, the colorful fishing villages of the Cinque Terre, the decaying charm of Venice and over-the-top color of Burano, and the awe-inspiring alpine landscape and architecture of the Dolomites. Like many of you, we are deeply saddened that most likely we won’t be able to visit one of the most beautiful countries in Europe and experience once again the warm and lively spirit of its people and culture.

We are hopeful that we can resume our Photography Travel Tours in Europe in the fall of this year if the dust has settled or in the spring of 2021 and are looking forward to returning to Bella Italia.

Here are a couple of paragraphs that caught our attention relating to the challenges Italians are experiencing right now and recommendations for a couple of books celebrating the appreciation we all share for Italy.

Fareed Zakaria on CNN writes:

How the Virus Has Changed One of the World’s Most Vibrant Societies

Renowned for its panache, Italian society has changed, Corriere della Sera columnist Beppe Severgnini writes in a New York Times op-ed, describing conditions in his town of Crema, 30 miles from Milan and 15 miles from the northern Italian towns originally locked down. “Everything is shut: no schools, no meetings, no parties, no movies, no plays, no sporting events. No bars and no restaurants. No shops open, except food stores and pharmacies,” Severgnini writes. Accustomed to greeting each other warmly, kissing and shaking hands, residents now give each other wide berths, and their movements are restricted.

“For us, life is food, wine, music, arts, design, landscape; the smell of the countryside; the warmth of one’s family, and the embrace of friends. Those involve our mouths, our noses, our ears, our eyes, our hands,” Severgnini writes. “Fear of Covid-19 forces us to repudiate those senses. It’s painful.”

Kathy McCabe of PBS and the Dream of Italy blog offers 2 book tips in celebration of Italy:

“We can consume Italy – media-wise – even when we can’t travel there. And there are so many amazing books about Italy to buy and support authors.

Return to Glow by Chandi Wyant. “By purchasing this book you’re not just feeding your dreams with an inspiring story, you’re supporting Chandi who as an independent tour guide in Florence, is obviously experiencing a difficult time.

“Frances Mayes has a STUNNING new book called Always Italy (how appropriate the title!) out at the end of this month.”

“The world is a book, and those who do not travel read only one page.” ~ Saint Augustine

Let’s hope that we all get to read the whole book again soon.

Be well and take good care of yourselves!

Jim + Magrit