What an anxious time it has been; everyone has had to deal with a thousand problems, and a thousand complicated situations. But Italy is slowly and surely getting back on its feet, with all the difficulties that entails. And if there’s one thing Italians are not lacking, that is creativity – if circumstances change, we change with them, and invent new ways of making business work.
Villa Tre Angeli was affected by the crisis along with everyone else, the guests we were expecting this summer sadly saw their Italian holidays go up in smoke (but we are counting on seeing you all next year!), and Valerie and Giancarlo were not even sure they would be able to return to Italy at the beginning of the season. But return they did, first Giancarlo, who spent his initial fortnight in quarantine, and later Val, who obviously had to do the same. During her quarantine, spent in a separate appartment right next to the Villa, Val was lovingly spoiled by her hubby, who took it upon himself to prepare and cook all their meals, which they would then consume on the same portico, seated at two different tables…several feet away from each other!! That’s amore!
For a while there, they were not quite sure what to do with themselves, since normally at this time of the year, the Villa is chock full, with tours practically every day, and both of them running around like madmen! So they took things in their stride, grabbed the rare opportunity to spend some quality time together (that never happens in regular years!), and continued to promote business for the next season. In the meantime, the national holiday Ferragosto was nearing (August 15th), and all of a sudden, they found themselves with a full house! Mainly Italians, but also some Belgians who had already been guests here in previous years. It’s always very satisfying to see people come back! So that was a busy time, all beds occupied, and plenty of people to cater to. All was not lost!
This year many people gave up on holidays, whilst many others instead simply chose to spend theirs in Italy – undoubtedly an excellent decision, not only due to the circumstances, but also because our little boot can offer you anything, from historical cities to beautiful countryside, from rugged coast to peaceful lakes, from rolling hills to snowy mountains. But since some do not have the possibility of getting around, Valerie and Giancarlo put on their thinking caps, and came up with an idea; a day trip to Chiavari (the Italian Riviera), in the bigger bus in order to respect the distancing between passengers. Participants spend the day however they wish, then hop back on the bus for the ride home in the late afternoon – all for a very affordable price. The opportunity was immediately snapped up by lots of local folk, and in next to no time, the bus was full. Add to the fun of the outing a goofy comedian driving the bus (that’s our Giancarlo, known to everyone here as Manfro!), and there you have the perfectly enjoyable day with a laugh a minute included in the price!! There will no doubt be several repeats of the performance!
But then, thinking outside the box has always been a prerogative in this partnership. The very idea of organizing made-to-measure tours for American and English tourists, creating a niche activity, is just one example of this. Typical Italian cookery classes in a restaurant kitchen, full immersion Italian lessons whilst walking around town, and the creation of a podcast teaching basic vocabulary on Facebook are amongst some of the other pearls they have come up with – never a dull moment at Villa Tre Angeli.
We are feeling optimistic, and we hope that our positive outlook will bring about a change for the better. A popular Italian song recites “Io penso positivo perchè son vivo, perchè son vivo” (I think positive because I’m alive)…..That’s our story and we’re sticking to it!