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Italy, Spring, and First Love


Robert Browning wrote, Open my heart, and you will see graved inside of it, “Italy.”

Italy has always held a special place in my heart, too. My Italian grandfather charmed me as a child with his music and storytelling. And I studied law there for a summer thirty years ago – weeks that forever altered me and the course of my life. An Italian duke invited me on a date. I experienced the Palio in Siena. I had a memorable love affair with a man (not the duke) and started a longer-lasting love affair with yoga. And, I was always delighted when I was mistaken for a native Italian. 

Italy is renowned for its rich cultural heritage, stunning landscapes, delectable cuisine, and passionate people. For many – including me stessa – Italy holds a special allure associated with romance, poetry, art, and beauty. The country’s picturesque cities like Venice, Florence, and Rome are famous for their romantic ambiance, historic architecture, and charming streets. 

Italy is so popular that other parts of Italy beyond that “triumvirate” are attracting tourists and hospitality development. I’ve sent clients to smaller towns such as Bologna, Parma, Lucca, Verona, and Padua. And I can’t wait to send clients to the small cities on the (amazingly-named) Bay of Poets, such as La Spezia. 

Regions such as the Dolomites, Puglia (also known as Apulia), Calabria, and Sardinia are also growing in popularity. Because prices for hotel rooms along Lake Como have risen so high, I am recommending the equally beautiful Lakes Garda and Orta to my clients. 

Obviously, I’m not alone in my love for Italy, and American Airlines knows this too, which is why just the other day, American Airlines unveiled its schedule, officially commencing operations on its largest-ever number of routes to Italy in the company’s 97-year history with 11 daily flights connecting the U.S. with Italy this summer. 

Yes, you read that correctly. If you thought Italy was overrun the last two summers, 2024 is shaping up to be the most popular yet.

Whether it’s a romantic getaway or a solo adventure, Italy has something to offer for everyone, making it a dream destination for many travelers.

And I am excited to share with you that I will be in Italy for over a month starting March 10th for two important industry meetings. DUCO Italy 2024 serves as a pivotal forum for networking, collaboration, and innovation in navigating the evolving landscape of Italian tourism. Held in Milan this year, I could not be more excited to be accepted to attend this premier industry meeting. 

Then, I will also attend Travelux 2024, NEBE’s premier event, which offers a platform for learning, sharing, and exploring today’s top trends, notably sustainability and wellbeing. This year, they will even have Wellness Rooms to showcase product presentations and treatments for the first time. Held in Venice, I’m very much looking forward to the focus on wellness and sustainability at this meeting. 

I’ve also been invited to experience other properties and to do site inspections while I’m in Italy. Below are just a few of the places I’m headed to in a few short weeks! I’m still figuring out where I’m staying in Venice for Easter and where I’m spending my last five days, so be sure to follow me on Instagram for all the details and tours. 

Let me conclude by noting, I’m most eager for the opportunity to connect with the people I am going to meet. Relationships are the bedrock of all that I do and all that I can accomplish on behalf of my clients. We are both more human and more humane than our computer counterparts, and that’s why I invest the time that I do in getting to know not just these destinations and hotels but the very wonderful and dedicated people who own and operate them. And who serve my clientele.

Six Senses Rome

Located in Rome’s historic center, this boutique hotel boasts 95 rooms and suites blending modern luxury with Italian charm. Unique features include a rooftop terrace with panoramic views, a holistic spa offering wellness programs, and farm-to-table dining experiences showcasing regional ingredients.

Palazzo Portinari Salviati in Florence

Nestled in the heart of Florence, this intimate hotel offers 20 elegant suites adorned with Renaissance artwork. This former palace was the home of Dante’s literary muse Beatrice! Highlights include private guided tours of nearby museums, exclusive access to hidden gardens, and personalized cooking classes led by renowned chefs, immersing guests in Florentine culture.

Palace Merano

Situated in Merano, Italy, this opulent retreat features 98 luxurious suites overlooking the Alps. This is the original medical spa where Henri Chenot pioneered his renowned method, fusing Traditional Chinese Medicine with cutting-edge technology and a holistic approach to cleansing the body and rejuvenating the mind thoroughly. Original features include a comprehensive medical spa offering personalized health programs, a thermal pool with healing waters, and gourmet dining showcasing locally sourced ingredients, providing a holistic wellness experience.

Hotel Principe di Savoia in Milan

A landmark in Milan, this grand hotel offers 301 rooms and suites exuding classic Italian elegance. Part of the renowned Dorchester Collection that also includes the Beverly Hills Hotel, the Park Land, and the Hôtel Plaza Athénée (of Sex and the City fame), Hotel Principe di Savoia is the magnificent grande dame of Milan. Figuratively, if not literally, this hotel serves as the gravitational center around which Milan revolves. All paths converge towards the Principe, solidifying its status as an iconic institution. Unique amenities include a rooftop spa with panoramic views of the city, a Michelin-starred restaurant serving innovative Italian cuisine, and personalized shopping experiences with a private stylist.

Lefay Resort & SPA Lago di Garda

Set on the shores of Lake Garda, this eco-friendly resort boasts 93 suites surrounded by lush gardens and olive groves. Original features include a holistic spa offering traditional Chinese medicine treatments, organic cuisine sourced from the resort’s garden, and panoramic infinity pools overlooking the lake. Situated across 27 acres of natural parkland boasting scenic views of the lake, olive groves, and forest, this spa resort impresses with its expansive and breathtaking modern design. Discovering the five distinct types of saunas offered here is just the beginning, as the Lefay program seamlessly blends traditional Chinese medicine with modern Western science tailored to each guest. Beginning with an “energy interview,” the program includes treatments such as moxibustion, hydro-aromatherapy, qi gong, meridian stretching, and phytotherapy, ensuring a personalized and rejuvenating experience.

I hope these recommendations inspire you to embark on your own romantic getaway in Italy.

If any of these destinations pique your interest or if you’d like to discuss your travel plans further, feel free to reach out to me to schedule a complimentary call!

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