Villa Views from the Waterside on Lake Como (Part Three)

Villa Views from the Waterside on Lake Como (Part Three)

While preparing for my trip to Travelux 2018, I was given several options for excursions during my time at Lake Como. Despite flirting with the option of driving a red Ferrari, or a cooking class with a famed chef at Villa d'este, I chose the boat ride around the shores of Lake Como. My decision was easy when I thought about capturing images of the stunning views of villages, villas and the natural beauty around Lago di Como.  This classically beautiful Villa Balbiano, above, is where our final event for Travelux 2018 was held. 

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A Sunny Visit to the City of Flowers, San Remo, on the Italian Riviera (Part One)

A Sunny Visit to the City of Flowers, San Remo, on the Italian Riviera (Part One)

The first stop on my trip to Italy was an invitation to the Royal Hotel San Remo on the Italian Riviera, just 10 miles east of the French border in west Liguria.  Following a red-eye flight from San Francisco, I arrived at the airport in Nice, France, and was driven to the elegant and classic  Royal Hotel San Remo. I was introduced to my luxurious suite and joined the formal dinner in progress where I met a wonderful group of fellow travelers from the luxury travel industry.

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A Postcard from Italy! xx, Curated Travel

A Postcard from Italy! xx, Curated Travel

 Ciao!! I have just arrived home from my 10-day luxury travel event in Northern Italy. My jet-lagged brain is a kaleidoscope of brilliant colors, scintillating views, the sparkle of chandeliers, prosecco toasts, and the delectable flavors of Northern Italian cuisine.  Here is a peek of just a few of the experiences I enjoyed during this memorable experience Italian style. 

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A Sunny Afternoon at the Parisian Flea Market - Porte Vanves

A Sunny Afternoon at the Parisian Flea Market - Porte Vanves

Paris is adorned with a number of colorful flea markets or brocantes as they are often called. On our first trip to Paris, in 2003, Scott and I spent an afternoon at the famed Clignancourt flea market, also known as the Marché aux Puces de St-Ouen, and thought to be the largest flea market in the world.  We shipped home a small container filled to the brim with chandeliers, sconces, trays, perfume bottles, prints and charms from Paris long ago.

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A Parisian Apartment Style Brunch

A Parisian Apartment Style Brunch

One of the most alluring reasons to stay in a Parisian apartment while visiting Paris is savoring a taste of the French way of life. With a boulangerie, fruit market, grocery, patisserie, butcher and international market on nearly every block, it’s easy to gather the freshest, tastiest ingredients each day to create memorable bites.

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Our Stay in a Romantic Parisian Apartment

Our Stay in a Romantic Parisian Apartment

With sparkling crystal chandeliers, vintage velvet couches, luxurious linens, time-worn books, a pastel collection of vintage plates, whimsical accents like a jaunty top hat, and a touch of animal print, the details of this apartment are charming. The skeleton wall, meticulously restored, is a nod to the early history of this charming space.

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An Afternoon in Picturesque Varenna on the Shores of Lake Como, Italy

An Afternoon in Picturesque Varenna on the Shores of Lake Como, Italy

There are places you stumble upon while traveling that simply need no explanation. On a hazy summer afternoon, we arrived by boat, from Bellagio. Between flashes of sunlight, bursts of showers, and a moody mist that wound around our afternoon, we experienced Varenna, on the shores of Lake Como. These images speak for themselves. Click on the gallery to open a slide show of charming Varenna.

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An Afternoon in Beguiling Bellagio on Lake Como

An Afternoon in Beguiling Bellagio on Lake Como

One afternoon Scott and I pointed our rented Peugeot northeast, from our villa in Lezzeno, to beautiful Bellagio for the afternoon. Known for grand hotels, elegant villas, voluptuous flower boxes and stunning views from the steep staircases of the city center. Bellagio is beguiling.

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Our Lakeside Stay at a Villa in Lezzeno, at Lake Como, Italy

Our Lakeside Stay at a Villa in Lezzeno, at Lake Como, Italy

If the Amalfi Coast is shimmering pastels and Siena is rich, brushstrokes in oils, then Lake Como is bathed in watercolors mingling shadows with light. The views of mountain, sky and water are made chameleon by the microclimates in the Lombardy region of the Italian Alps. From sunny and brilliant to dark and stormy, punctuated with raindrops, no wonder this moody vista is considered magical to those who visit.

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Our Stay in a Luminous Apartment in Centro Storico of Siena, Italy

Our Stay in a Luminous Apartment in Centro Storico of Siena, Italy

Thick stone walls create a sense of velvety silence and the stone stairway, leading up to the second-floor apartment, is worn with footsteps of the ages.

There are so many options of where to stay while traveling that it makes the decision all the more challenging, but also intriguing. I love to pour over the images and descriptions of each destination under consideration; our trip to Italy was no different. After months of flirting with various lodging ideas - a villa in the countryside perhaps - we happened upon a charming apartment in the historic city center of Siena. The second-floor apartment is housed in a former monastery and it looked like the right place for us.

As with most of our travels, Scott and I crafted what we wanted our experience to be in Siena. We wanted an authentic, medieval city living situation in the heart of the city.

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