As Governor Phil Murphy steps up his pleas to mask up and get vaccinated and warns of kids dying from COVID infections, he is leaving the state for vacation.

"I'm no different than any other family," Murphy said, "After this past 17 months, just having a few days together is something I think all of us want to do with family."

The difference is that Murphy will be staying at his multi-million dollar palatial estate in Italy. The property, officially named La dolce vita, includes three houses, horse stables, tennis court and pool. It is valued at over $7.3 million.

At his COVID briefing Monday, Murphy confirmed he is flying out of New Jersey tonight to spend 10 days with his family at the posh estate just North of Rome. The governor claims he will remain in touch, saying, "I will never be more than a call or text away." Lt. Governor Sheila Oliver will be acting governor while Murphy is away.

Murphy's trip comes as the U.S. State Department urges Americans to reconsider travel to Italy. COVID transmission in Italy is classified by the CDC as "high." From the CDC website: "Because of the current situation in Italy, all travelers may be at risk for getting and spreading COVID-19 variants."

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The CDC also recommends all travelers to Italy be fully vaccinated. The governor and First Lady Tammy Murphy received their first doses of vaccine last April. It is unknown if his children and extended family members are vaccinated.

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