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Luca was very gracious and very knowledgeable about the area, the history and gave us a tour that's hard to beat. His choices, such as the local agriturismo and the winery you visit, are proof of his incredible connection to this place and the amazing time we had during our day trip with him. I would HIGHLY recommend this trip if you love nature, food or wine or all three and want to learn. We're still talking about it, and really miss that blueberry grappa! Thank you Luca for a wonderful time, and we hope to see you again someday!
This tour was awesome and one of the best highlights of our trip to Italy. We took several other tours during our time in Italy, but none compared. Luca provided great communication from the moment the tour was booked. He provided details on what to expect and asked some questions about the guests in the party to help better plan for our arrival. We received train tickets via email a couple days prior to leaving for Italy. Luca met us at the train station and introduced himself to everyone in the family and off we went. We made a quick stop in an olive cooperative where we tasted some olive oil and saw how it was manufactured. We had a great lunch at a family run restaurant and farm. We opted for the Chef to provide a sampling of dishes family style verse picking individual plates. The meat plates, bread and 3 pastas were all very good. As a bonus Luca got us a behind the scenes experience where we met the chef and got to see the cheese and meat aging room, the wine production facilitates, and the kids or kids at heart got to visit with the farm animals. From there we had several additional stops before making it to a winery for a tour and tasting. Through out our tour Luca made us feel like family. We had lots of great conversations and he provided a wealth of information on the area and history. It was evident that Luca truly cares about his guests in how he does business even down to the small things like following up to ensure they get back to their hotels. My family and I would highly recommend this tour. Luca our family truly enjoyed and appreciated this experience. Thank you.
Luca was great from the beginning. Communicated well before the meeting and met us at our hotel to escort us to meet the others at the Central station. The Luca has a quiet way about him but very knowledgeable. We were taken to many sights and points of interest that was not in the description of the tour. Those places were amazing and very special, including the wine sampling, cheese factory and the most wonderful Italian lunch at a family owned restaurant. We loved the home-made food including the unusual pasta dishes. The service was wonderful and the ambience was simply quaint. Grazie Luca for you and your tour!
We took two tours of Lake Como . One by boat and one by land. Our land experience with Luca was a real charm. Not only did we tour with someone who knew the area but took us to those off the beaten path places. From the small towns to a hill top trattatoria,to an animal farm to a local festival. Luca provided a real insight to a beautiful area. He was funny, sincere and just a wealth of knowledge.
Grazie Luca for a very rewarding day.
Kathleen and Michael Sottile
What an exceptional treat for us to spend the day with Luca! From the beginning, shortly after booking, to the end of the day, where he purchased Gelato for us and walked us to the train platform, it felt as if we were being shown around the area by a friend we were visiting. Meaning, he hosted us rather than providing a tour service. He emailed right away after booking providing next step directions, did so again as the day approached, assuring we received our train boarding passes and understood directions, provided to the detail of letting us know the train doors can be tricky.
The pace felt leisurely, unhurried and while Luca taught us much about the beautiful area, there was never too much chatter. He answered questions as they arose and allowed the conversation to flow naturally as well as adding information as we drove through the country side and mountains. We covered a lot of ground in the 10 hours or so we spent with Luca and it was exceedingly pleasant and we were sorry to have to depart at the end of the day. We spent 2 weeks in Italy, on this trip and this was one of the highlights of many exceptional experiences.
Varenna was our first stop and where we departed the train. Utterly breathtaking! If we are blessed enough to vacation on Lake Como, this town would be our pick. It is small and lovely, a jewel.
Next, we visited the strategically placed Castello di Vezio, high upon the mountain overlooking Varenna with an unrivaled view of Lake Como and Varenna. It was built in the 11th and 12th centuries and shouldn't be missed when visiting this area.
We enjoyed lunch at La Romana in Traona, another, literally, picture perfect town, where we were served wonderful wine and a regional dish called Pizzicheria. A recipe I hope to replicate because the basic ingredients are few and simple, yet the dish is satisfying to the point it must be considered comfort food. The restaurant was charming, old and immaculate, owned by the 2nd generation who served us impeccably and with warmth. Again, we felt we were being hosted by friends.
We drove to Casa Vinicola Nera, one of the largest wine producers in the Valtellina wine region. We were met by the owner when we arrived and though he and his family own one of the largest wineries in the region, he greeted us warmly and there was no pretense. While we enjoyed tasting 4 different wines, he was there restocking and assuring everything was in place. This is another must visit for the region. The winery is beautiful with abundant seating both inside and outside both offering lovely views. We learned much about the wines of this region. When driving you will see the vinyard terraces lining one side of the valley only, you'll need to take the tour to find out why. The terraces are handmade over centuries, by small family owned grape producers. This must be one of the most strenuous places to harvest given the precipitous mountains. The wine produced in this region is the payoff from the hard labor invested as it is excellent!
If I were promoting this tour with Luca I would add the words VIP because that is how we felt on our visit.
Amazing!!! - We are a family of four and we wanted to have a special experience in beautiful Lake Como. Our tour guide was Luca and I can not say enough good things about him. He waited for us in the train station and took us around in a very comfortable car. He speaks several languages and made it easy for the whole family to understand. He was very pleasant, professional and accommodating. He even took us to a winery and wine tasting tour as well as taking us to a cheese, yogurt and butter factory. He went out of his way to ensure we had a great experience and the whole familly really apprecites the great job he did. We HIGHLY recommend him since he is very good and in the near future we plan to go back and attend another one of his tours.
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