Kathy and Walker B.

Lombardy Lake Como Balbianello Villa

" To Tommaso and the Staff of Trips 2 Italy,Our recent trip to Italy was fantastic. The Lake Como region is as beautiful as we imagined. On our boat trip we visited Tremezzo, where we spent time at Villa Carlotta in the spectacular gardens and toured the villa, followed by a visit to Bellagio, where we bought silk scarves from a local shop. While it was colder than we expected to start that morning, the afternoon sun warmed us and made for breathtaking views. We had the risotto and perch dish you mentioned in Como city - excellent! The trip on the Bernina Express and the return drive were spectacular also. The views were beyond our imagination. At the top of the mountains, it was actually snowing - a beautiful and pristine setting for two travelers from Houston who never get to see snow. After coffee in St. Moritz, we stopped for lunch in Chiavenna, and then a stop in Menaggio for gelato and a stroll around the village. Our time in Milan was too short to take in all that we saw. We enjoyed the bus tour, but had no opportunity to return to any of the places we saw, or explore further on our own. We did get a ride in the Maserati courtesy car to the Galleria. A beautiful way to see the streets and to arrive in style.Venice was such a beautiful Renaissance city. We loved wandering the narrow streets and browsing in the shops. The crowds in and around St. Mark's Square made the tour of the Duomo quite challenging although we did enjoy it. After losing sight of the guide twice, and having difficulty hearing her in the large group, we left the crowd behind to enjoy a delicious and leisurely lunch at a trattoria near the hotel. We loved the Bacari tour, as there were only 6 people plus 2 guides. The small bars we stopped at were interesting and unique; the wines and snacks were wonderful. It was the perfect size gathering for us and a perfect ending to the week's adventure. We tried both the sardines and the cod specialties of the region and thought they were both excellent. We do apologize for the missed train station in Venice. We saw no distinction in the names of train stations, and it took time to understand what we did wrong, and where we went wrong, then buy tickets and try (unsuccessfully, twice) to board a train back to Venice. We could only think, on arriving in Venice, that both of us must have fallen asleep and not noticed the difference in where we thought we were supposed to get off the train. By that day, we were fairly exhausted from the other days of long tours and travel. We are sorry for any inconvenience we caused. We did wave to the family in Colico, from the direction of Bellagio, and as we passed the signs on the way to Tirano. The hotels, and the staff at each of the hotels, were excellent. From 21st century to the 14th century, they were quite an experience; all were comfortable and accommodating. Our luggage did not make the connecting flight in Amsterdam, and arrived late afternoon on Monday, after our arrival on Sunday. While we missed having our warmer coats, it didn't stop us from quickly finding cappuccino and gelato in Como. The airline has been very prompt in responding to our claim for out of pocket expenses. We know with travel, these things can happen. It was a minor inconvenience, made better by a quick purchase of a couple of extra sweaters before going out on the Lake.Overall, our trip was fantastic, memorable and everything we wanted it to be. The down side is that now that we're home, there is no one to bring us cappuccino, and nothing to view except Houston traffic. After some time in the traffic, our thoughts will return to the idea of our next trip to Italy, and we will contact you again. Until then, we will continue to recommend your services to friends and family.Thank you very much for all you've done to create such a wonderful trip for us. Ciao! Kathy & Walker B. "