Returning to Life, Returning to Travel

After nearly a year of no travel, Americans are aching to experience the world. In fact, a recent survey found 38% of Americans would willingly give up sex for a year, 20% would dump their partner, and 25% would trade all their savings to travel again.

Hungry for normalcy and adventure, millions of pandemic-weary Americans are traveling vicariously through CNN’s series Stanley Tucci: Searching for Italy, jealously watching the beloved actor eat his way through the 20 Regions of this Mediterranean mecca of food, wine, and culture.

For those interested in planning their own Italian experience as the pandemic winds down and travel restarts, Pranzo’s own Stanley Tucci, Anthony DeFilippis, is excited to once again guide travelers searching for Italy on exclusive private and small-group tours. Thanks to COVID vaccines and the new digital health pass, travel should resume soon and Italians are ready to welcome Americans with open arms. The first Pranzo small group tour will happen October 2-9, with a culinary trip to the famed Amalfi Coast.

Stanley and Tony

Tony has a story curiously similar to Stanley Tucci’s. Both men’s ethnic background is Italian on both sides. Both have deep ancestral connections to Italy. Both were born in the early 1960s. Tony grew up in Stamford, Connecticut, just 18 miles from Tucci’s hometown of Katonah, New York. Tony has also traveled extensively within Italy and has explored every region.

To learn what makes each region distinct and understand its culture and unique treasures, Tony has made nearly 50 trips over the past 20 years to uncover local secrets in every season.

Like Mr. Tucci, going to Italy changed my life, and the result is Pranzo Tours. It began with a trip taken with my immediate family, all 20 of us, to celebrate my parents’ 50th wedding anniversary. We stayed in a quiet little town atop a mountain, surrounded by grapevines and tobacco fields. In the morning, we ate fresh eggs, collected from the chickens kept in the back yard. We dined in a medieval grotto with swords and shields covering the walls while our family shared meals cooked by the wonderful and gracious hosts. We met cousins I didn’t know I had and saw the actual house where my dad was born along the Tyrrhenian Sea.

Everything about my experience in Italy was magical. I was hooked and have traveled back three to four times each year for the past 16 years, searching for all that is Italy. I have only scratched the surface, and I want to share it with people through Pranzo Tours.