Virtuoso Life - May/June 2018 - 106
when driving through Tuscany with the extended family: Learn to
soothe the nervous nonne in the back seat.
The two grandmothers in this case are my mother and mother-inlaw, who have arrived in Italy with us to celebrate dual 80th birthdays. Our group of eight, in a convoy of three rented Fiats on the
motorway somewhere southwest of Siena, spans multiple generations, with my 13-year-old son obsessing over Google Translate on
one end and my 83-year-old father-in-law spouting World War II
trivia like a Jeopardy! champ on the other.
V I RT U O S O L I F E
In preparation, I've equipped myself with a handheld GPS unit to
stay on course, a meditation app to remain Zen, and, to reduce hiccups,
priceless guidance from San Francisco-based Virtuoso travel agency
owner Amie O'Shaughnessy, who specializes in family vacations.
"For multigenerational travel, Italy is the gift that keeps on giving," she assured me during our first planning call. "Everywhere you
go, you're likely to find an ancient tower to climb and gelato for the
kids, an idyllic café for the grandparents, and shopping and vino for
the younger grown-ups."
Of course, "grown-up" can be a relative term when traveling with,
you know, relatives.
"Watch the speed limit," my mother-in-law says as I exit toward
the medieval village of Paganico, where we've rented a villa for seven
nights in mid-June.