Who knew Perillo Tours, the 75 year old business started by “Mr. Italy” Himself, Mario Perillo, is a New Jersey company? Since 1945, three generations of the Perillo family have perfected the art of traveling to Italy and now, Mario’s son Steve is at the helm of the Woodcliff Lake company.

New Jerseyans have long been interested in travel to Italy. Perhaps even more than any other European destinations. I’ve always thought it’s because we have so many residents of Italian heritage here in New Jersey. But it could just be its legendary beauty, history and culinary bounty that make it one of the most popular foreign destinations for New Jersey residents. And so many of us have had to put off travel, especially to Europe.

People are waiting with bated breath to get back to traveling. This year, in light of that, according to a press release, Steve Perillo is announcing a new kind of Perillo tour: A Private escorted trip for groups starting at 12 people. With COVID 19 concerns in mind, as of 2021, 8 of Perillo Tours’ signature trips will be available for multigenerational and extended families, travel “pods” or groups of close friends to enjoy Italy from the comfort and safety of their own private coach with their own private driver and guide. This way, you’ll feel less vulnerable to COVID-19 exposure if you know the people you’re traveling with.

Pandemic or not, Italy will always be on NJ’s travel destination wish list. It may be time to start dreaming about (and planning) traveling again-especially to Italy. That’ll be the light at the end of a very long tunnel! Like most travel companies today, Perillo Tours for 2021 will offer a flexible booking policy. You can cancel for any reason up to 60 days prior to departure and receive a full refund.

As is usual with Perillo tours, there will be unique experiences offered that you won’t normally get if you book on your own, like olive oil and wine tasting in Tuscany, private boat rides around Capri, and parmigiano cheese sampling in Parma. These very special tours will begin booking this spring. Be still my heart!. Could traveling abroad be just around the corner? For more info check out the Perillo website.

The post above reflects the thoughts and observations of New Jersey 101.5 talk show host Judi Franco. Any opinions expressed are Judi's own.

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