Monday, May 2, 2016

Kathy in Northern Italy

I just returned from an incredible trip to Northern Italy where I, along with a small group of other Virtuoso travel advisors, visited various sites, vineyards, and properties in Milan, Lake Como, Lake Iseo, Lake Garda, and Verona. It was such an enjoyable trip that allowed us to experience firsthand all of the wonderful amenities and opportunities these great destinations have to offer so we can better assist our clients when giving them recommendations.

Mandarin Oriental, Milan
We began our trip in Milan at the Mandarin Oriental. I couldn’t have asked for a more restful and pleasant hotel experience. The Mandarin met and exceeded all of my expectations! The rooms are large and comfortable. The hotel exudes the atmosphere of peacefulness and restfulness in a quiet little area in Milan. Their spa is amazing!

While in Milan, our Virtuoso onsite and sponsor of this trip, an IDI tour guide took us on a walking tour of Milan—including the best shopping areas and great restaurants. After touring the city, our group visited the church of Santa Maria delle Grazie to see the celebrated masterpiece “Last Supper” by Leonardo da Vinci.

Grand Hotel Tremezzo
Our next destination was Lake Como, where we stayed at the Grand Hotel Tremezzo right by the lake. This is a landmark hotel for the discerning traveler. With just 92 rooms and suites, the palace is a 5-star Grand Hotel located in a 19th century Italian Liberty style Palazzo famous for its bold architecture and refined interior design. More than just a prestigious hotel, the Grand Tremezzo embodies the authentic Italian tradition. If you're a breakfast lover, you absolutely need to try the breakfast buffet here. It was one of the best I've had in my life! A must do in Lake Como is a boat tour of the lake. A Sanders Travel Advisor like myself can schedule a private boat tour for you and your family.  

Villa d’Este
A former 16th-century residence of European aristocrats, Villa d'Este has welcomed guests with its gracious brand of hospitality since 1873. Visitors are treated to a celebrated standard of service, including top-rated rooms, amenities and cuisine. This lakeside villa is set in a picturesque park, a place that has won the hearts of travelers for generations. Fun fact: George Clooney owns a villa here and is a member of their private sports club and restaurant, making Villa d'Este a prime property to do some “George spotting."

L’Albereta Relais & Chateaux
Next, we went over to the Lombardy region in Erbusco, Italy to stay at L’Albereta Relais & Chateaux. This luxury hotel is a popular Spa & Wellness destination for Europeans because of its two incredible spas. In addition to their relaxing spas, L’Albereta also has an impressive tennis court and fitness center staffed with personal trainers and an onsite doctor who can work with you to create a personal diet regime. L'Albereta is also popular because of its convenient location less than a half of a mile from Erbusco’s center, and 3 miles from Borgonato-Adro Train Station. The hotel offers a complementary bike rental service so you can take advantage of the proximity and beautiful weather. L’Albereta is complete with a fine dining restaurant specializing in Italian cuisine, as well as a fully stocked bar and a terrace with stunning views of Erbusco.

While we were at this property, the travel advisors and I went on a Franciacorta wine tour. This tour takes you to the kingdom of wine, the sparkling land of bubbles. Here, grapes give life to high-quality wines, among them being the world-renowned and highly acclaimed Franciacorta D.O.C.G.

Lefay Resort & Spa Lago di Garda
After the wine tour, we checked out of L’Albereta and headed to the Lake Garda region to visit the Lefay Resort & Spa Lago di Garda, where we enjoyed a light lunch on the outdoor terrace overlooking the lake. It was the perfect setting to have lunch and appreciate the beauty of the surrounding area. The Lefay Resort is situated in the stunning “Riviera dei Limoni” on the West Coast of Lake Garda, half way between Milan and Venice. This picturesque resort rests within 20 ares of gentle hills and natural terraces with a sharp drop down to the lake. Each one of the resort’s suites has a stunning lake view. At Lefay Spa, guest can choose from a wide selection of the best international cosmetics and unique treatments.

Due Torri Hotel, Verona
We finished our trip with a 2-night stay in Verona, at the Due Torri Hotel. This fabulous hotel is located in the city center within walking distance to all of the most noteworthy sites of Verona. Verona has an arena made famous for its famous Romeo and Juliet balcony that is still used today as a music and opera venue. The street entrance to this balcony is now covered in graffiti love notes.

I feel so fortunate to have had the opportunity to stay at some of the most beautiful resorts in all of Northern Italy. I had such an incredible time explore and experiencing Italy and I hope to go again some day. If you have any questions about my trip or want to travel to Italy sometime soon, email me at or contact your Sanders Travel Advisor. I would love to give you more insight and help create the trip of a lifetime!