I’m thrilled to announce some exciting news –

I’m thrilled to announce some exciting news –

 Executive Travel last week finalized the acquisition of a stunning villa in Umbria, Italy, nestled within the historic medieval village of Montone, Italy. Villa Destino boasts six bedrooms and seven baths, offering unparalleled luxury and privacy for you, your family, and friends.  It’s the ideal retreat to serve as your base camp for an unforgettable journey across Italy. Be sure to visit www.VillaDestinoItaly.com to marvel at the breathtaking views of the Tiber River Valley.

Here are 7 observations from my week long trip to Umbria, Italy last week – I just returned from an amazing business trip to Italy last week. I had the most enjoyable time as I spent most of the week exploring the countryside towns in the central part of Italy in the area known as Umbria.

1. Umbria is the new hot spot in Italy – Umbria sits in an ideal spot to serve as a base to explore not only the key cities of Florence, Rome and Venice, but also the medieval towns of Sienna, Assisi, Perugia, Gubbio, Orvieto, and San Gimignano. Most people have heard of the famous region of Tuscany (next door neighbor to Umbria), however, Umbria is the new hot region in Italy as travelers  want to get away from the massive number of tourists in Tuscany and see the “real” Italy. Umbria is where you will find many Italians who don’t speak English. Restaurants are filled with locals. It is a laid back pace with no crowds, and low prices.

2. Driving in Italy is a breeze – With today’s GPS mapping, driving in Italy is very easy for most Americans. Most of the roads in Italy have good pavement and signage. The only time you might get confused is when you are driving in a historic city like Perugia or Assisi and the GPS takes you inside areas that are for tourist walking only. You should probably get an international driver’s license before you rent your car to be safe.

3. My kind of weather – February weather in Umbria can vary, but generally, temperatures remain cool with highs around 50°F and lows around 36°F. While Umbria (my basecamp for the week)  and other towns may experience occasional rainfall, the countryside retains its scenic charm.

4. Travel in the winter and early spring is refreshingly hassle free – People are discovering that travel to Italy during the “off season” can be the perfect time to explore without the mass of humanity of summer vacations. Restaurants are enjoyed with local families and roads are not clogged up. Even airports are easier to transit without the massive crowds.

5. Real Italian food and gastronomic delights – Umbria is renowned for its delicious cuisine, and February is an excellent time to indulge in hearty winter dishes. Sample local specialties such as truffles, cured meats, and hearty soups, paired with some real good regional wines. You will find lots of lamb plus pork and even some good steak. Italians also love to BBQ. Everyone knows they have great wine, however I found the best beer in the world, called Cocca Mia, at a small farm near Gubbio.

6. Scenic Landscapes of the “Green Heart” of Italy – Despite the winter season, Umbria’s countryside remains stunning, with green rolling hills, olive groves, and vineyards creating picturesque vistas. I love to take leisurely drives and hikes to appreciate the region’s natural beauty. This region is also a biker’s delight with the perfect topography for biking.

7. Amazing Hotel prices –  While some accommodations may have reduced availability or limited services during February, travelers can often find cozy hotels, agriturismi (farm stays), guesthouses and  villas with discounts of 50% to 75% off. Last week I was able to stay at a 5 star hotel named Brufani Palace Hotel in Perugia that offered prices that were 75% off the price that you would pay in the summer months. One more reason to travel to Italy in the winter months.

Finally, here is one of the best travel deals of the year – Southwest Airlines is offering an amazing deal. If you sign up for one of their Southwest credit cards they will offer you a free Companion Pass that allows you to buy one airline ticket and get a free companion ticket for a whole year. To earn the Companion Pass you have to sign up for the credit card, and spend $4,000 in the first three months. If you figure you take 8 trips a year and pay $500 for a ticket, the companion pass value would have a value of $4,000 annually. That is a great deal. CLICK HERE to find out more. 

Check out our Weekly Travel Alert Podcast – Did you know our Weekly Travel Alert Video Podcast is available on YouTube plus all your favorite podcast stations, SpotifyGoogle Podcast, Apple Podcast ? Each week we are adding new and upgraded features. Please jump on board. CLICK HERE to see the Weekly Travel Alert podcast that is hot off the presses.

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