Hi, my name is Michael and I am 32 years old and have been fortunate enough to travel to numerous places around the world. Last summer, my fiancé and I had the opportunity to travel to Lake Como, Italy with guidance from Ben. Instead of staying at the tourist destination of Bellagio, Ben recommended a smaller city across the lake named Varenna, and even more specifically the small town of Fiumelatte. I cannot overstate how happy we were with this decision. Not only was it a great deal cheaper on everything from lodging to food and entertainment, but it provided a very authentic feeling and experience.
We flew into Milan which is the most convenient international airport to Lake Como. Ben provided us with extremely easy to follow directions to travel to Fiumelatte by train directly from the airport. Avoiding a rental car was a big money savor and avoided any risk of us getting lost in an unfamiliar country. Once we arrived in Fiumelatte, we went to the loft Ben coordinated for us that we rented from a private owner and got our first look at the breathtaking views from our large patio. We could not dream of better accommodations and it cost less than a petite hotel room that some of our friends stayed at nearby.
Ben also arranged numerous activities for us during the week we were there. My favorite evening was the night we took a boat tour around the lake and then ate at the restaurant on the only island on the lake. We got to visit George Clooney’s Villa and some scenic areas of the lake like a beautiful waterfall.
The restaurant was as authentic as could be. They served a family style dinner with the same menu that has been served since it opened decades ago. The owner hosts all the meals and ends each service with an Italian blessing while pouring ladles of fiery cognac. We also had the opportunity to tour Villa Balbianello which is the mansion where Star Wars was filmed. The pictures we took at Villa Balbianello hang in our kitchen so we see them daily. Fiumelatte had numerous restaurants that were delicious and very affordable. There were also numerous local artists that produced amazing pieces that left me wishing I brought a bigger suitcase.
This vacation ranks among the best vacations I have had the pleasure of taking and I look forward to going back again. Beyond the wonderful destination, one of my favorite aspects of the trip was how affordable it was once we got there. We spent a full week there filled with awesome adventures, food, and wine and spent less there than we did on the airfare to get to Milan (we flew from Dallas, TX). I should have had Ben help us with this part too!! Thanks Ben for an epic vacation that I can afford to repeat!