We only had two people reach out to us to interview initially to see who we wanted to assist us. The second one only responded once. Our travel 'guide' was terrific in answering all our questions and the pages of emails I sent for the past year. She was always available to help and I needed that. She also researched for me and let me be the control freak I am. We didn't talk on the phone but all through email. Sometimes people forget what is the norm for them is not for us and we appreciate that.
Different things about each place held special memories. The fact that we even got to go - not everyone can do a trip like this. Bellagio is stunning. The views are memorable, the cheese tasting was so much fun, hiking, the cooking class, listening to a great street singer in Florence, hearing by chance a choir practice in the evening in a church in Bellagio. Like Angels.
We started out in Milan, had a driver take us to Bellagio. The hotel was amazing. Amazing water view with balcony. Lots of steps and walking - be prepared for that. Easy to walk everywhere and take the Ferry.
Took the Bernia Express train to St. Moritz Switzerland - St. Moritz nice for the few hours, pretty lake but very expensive. The train ride magnificent. I have always wanted to go to Switzerland so it would be fun to go back.
Then to Portovene - Cinque Terre towns - if you stay in Portovene you can take the boat right over to the villages. That is the way to go - away from the crowds - lovely.
Then to Tuscany - had a driver take us to pick up a rental car (that part was not fun at the rental car company - the right hand did not know what they were doing at the airport) but it was nice having a car - we had another couple with us and figured things out as we went along. I had done research and asked our travel helper what we could reasonably do in the time period allowed. We hit about all of them. The cooking class amazing. We set that up ourselves - not to be missed. Cook and prepare a meal and then eat together.
Five days in Tuscany and off to Florence. Do not drive in Florence. We took the rental car back as soon as we found our hotel. Too many pedestrians and people in the streets. Crazy. Florence great for the history and would have liked to see more of that but there wasn't enough time. Too many people in lines. Volterra wonderful, Siena, Pienza, Umbria.
Would spend another day in Bellagio, (Como area) not go to Como itself. See a different Villa - relax more - you always go go go on these trips - now that we have the jest of how it works it would be much easier.
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