No Jersey Shore for Murphy as he jets off to Italian villa
It looks like Gov. Phil Murphy and his family won't be vacationing down the shore this summer, or anywhere in New Jersey.
The governor and his family are off to his multimillion dollar villa in Italy for the next 14-days.
His official schedule lists Murphy away on "personal travel," but his office confirmed to NJ.com that the family left Tuesday for la dolce vita, the posh estate Murphy bought in 2004 for $7.3 million.
The 23-room mansion is on a gated property north of Rome in a town called Parrano.
Often called Italy's "green heart," Parrano is a medieval town known for rolling green hills and very little population.
The villa estate features a horse stable, pool and tennis court.
In 2018, the UK's Daily Mail tracked down the Murphy estate and posted photos of the property.
Murphy took criticism for jetting off to his villa for 10-days at the height of the COVID pandemic and at a time when the U.S. State Department was urging Americans not to travel to Italy.
New Jersey taxpayers will not have to pay the governor's travel costs, but will foot the bill for Murphy's security detail, including airfare, lodging and meal expenses.
The governor has a shore home in Middletown and access to a state-owned beach house at Island Beach State Park.
Controversy over the state-owned property erupted after former Gov. Chris Christie and his family used the house during a government shutdown that closed Island Beach State Park to the public. Photos of Christie sitting on the beach have become the backdrop for countless memes.
Ever since, there have been calls for the state to close the house, sell it, or rent it out to the public.
Murphy will return to the U.S. on July 14 to attend the National Governor's Association meeting in Maine, and then return to Italy until July 20.
Eric Scott is the senior political director and anchor for New Jersey 101.5. You can reach him at email@example.com
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