Posts tagged where to go in northern italy
James Bond's Italy: Lake Como

During my two week Northern Italy adventure, I spent several nights in Lake Como. This was easily one of my favorite places. I had the gist of Como... but wasn't aware I would fall in love with it so much!  Lake Como is known for classy, tasteful, European opulence, and majestic mountains along the Swiss Alps that plunge straight into the water. I was hoping I might spot some James Bond set locations, and if I was extra lucky, thought I might see the handsome, George Clooney gallivanting around. Well... my husband and I DID spot a villa from Casino Royale... and we did eat dinner at a couple restaurants George and Amal Clooney are known to hang out... but unfortunately no Ocean's Eleven sighting! If you're interested in the ins and outs from an American travel writer's perspective, click on this link.

After wandering around Como for a day or two... shopping, eating pasta and gelato, and seeing the sites like the Gothic Como Cathedral, my husband and I took a ferry to Bellagio, which is sometimes called Europe's prettiest town. We had lunch at an elegant outdoor eatery, Bilacus Ristorante, and explored the famous gardens of the Villa Melzi. Bellagio was incredible- but I must say the ferry ride out there was equally as tantalizing! We opted to take the slow ferry out, and the fast ferry back. This was a great way to see all the sites... including Casino Royale's, Villa del Balbianello! 

I would postitively recommend eating dinner, or at least having a cocktail, coffee, or tea at Villa d'Este. Sitting there having my tea (it would have been a dirty martini if I wasn't pregnant) I felt like a princess, merely by being there! Click on this link to see what I mean... and I need not say more! You also ought to consider dining at Il Gato Nero. This is another spot the Clooney's are known to frequent. I had the most delicious onion soup to start, followed by scallops with pine nut cream. The server brings your own personal bread basket with about a half dozen choices (fresh baked bread is my weakness... more than chocolate cake for sure!). Both culinary destinations are in Cernobbio. 

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Exploring Italy's Piedmont for a Lovely Wedding

During our recent trip to Northern Italy, my husband and I spent a weekend in the Piedmont region for a lovely wedding at Villa la Madonna. We stayed a few minutes drive away in a quaint little town called Bistagno and explored a couple little surrounding towns. My favorite place to explore was Alba. It is known for truffles, hazelnuts, wine, and dark chocolate. I would 100% recommend venturing away from the big cities when booking European holiday itineraries. There is such a warm and different feeling you get when the pace is slower and you get more of a chance to interact with locals. I hope you enjoy the pictures and video blogs.

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Milan Fashion Week, Gothic Duomo, Galleria Vittorio Emanuele, & Sforza Castle

If you're making the trip to Northern Italy, you MUST stop and see historical sites in Milan like the Gothic Duomo and shop in one of the world's first shopping malls (the glass topped Galleria Vittorio Emanuele), it was a real treat to be there during Milan Fashion Week! It brings an incredible buzz to the forward looking, business hub, and style center of Italy.

Walking through the fashion district during Milan Fashion Week made my days of people watching in New York City look like child's play. Seriously! I couldn't believe all the beautiful, stylish people walking around. I've never seen anything like it. I also spotted THE Cindy Crawford and her entourage. That was a good sighting! I also loved the opportunity to go visit the showroom of my favorite designer in the world, Chiara Boni La Petite Robe. I have been wearing her dresses for the last 6 years of my television career, but had never seen the dresses in person until they would get shipped to me directly in NYC. The ladies in the shop were so sweet and I picked up two dresses... one red with a cute slit and one white one with a cute ruffle around the neck. I kinda broke the bank but that was the only major shopping I did for the rest of the trip. ;-)

If you're looking for some restaurant recommendations... check out Caffe Zucca, Cracco, Paper Moon, or Antica Osteria del Ponte. One of my favorite memories from the few days my husband and I spent in Milan was coming up with our own outdoor workouts in Sforza Castle and Sempione Park. We were so blessed with amazing weather the whole trip. So lucky! I loved Milan and would recommend spending 2-3 nights there.

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