A BVT Client Perspective: Italy and Croatia in Style!
We have been fortunate to have created multiple trips for VIP client, Ryan and his wonderful family, over the past 13 years. His love for Italy is contagious, but we finally got him to “leave the boat” and try out a new Mediterranean/Adriatic adventure in Croatia. Her his his first-hand experience in both countries this year:
Why did you choose Italy/Croatia?
I chose Italy because every time I go I fall more and more in love with the country. From the food to the kindness of the people to the gorgeous Mediterranean and incredible architecture. The pastoral landscapes. The country is loaded with so many different beauties and they’re all manageable distances from each other. Venice is so different from Florence which is so different from Amalfi which is so different from Lake Como and yet they’re all attainable within the same trip.
I chose Croatia because I had heard such great things from so many people who had visited recently and I was dying to check it out, and of course Megan and her team convinced me! And it was AMAZING.
What were your expectations for this trip?
My expectations for Italy were the combination of outstanding cuisine, relaxation, sea, wine and fun excursions which BellaVita once again delivered!
My expectation for Croatia was a lot of seafood, a gorgeous relaxing time on the sea, exploring the architectural magic of Dubrovnik & and underrated wine region! All Proved true and wonderful.
What was your favorite destination and why?
My favorite destination ended up being Portofino. We were there in September and it wasn’t too crowded. The water was spectacular. And the views were magical. It was the perfect romantic spot to spend time with my girlfriend.
Favorite accommodation and why?
I loved them all, but the Belmond Splendido in Portofino went beyond my expectations. This hotel setting is spectacular, service sensational, the views are breathtaking, and the food was so terrific. The eggplant parmigiana was best I’ve ever had.
Favorite tour/excursion and why?
I truly enjoyed every single excursion I did between both trips.
My favorite excursion on my trip with my girlfriend Andrea was in Florence: our market tour and cooking class. Our chef was an outstanding, and such a good teacher. The wine pairings were awesome. It was such a fun informative class in a gorgeous kitchen and following a lovely walk from the market. It was a perfect morning and an absolutely delicious lunch.
With my boys in Croatia my favorite excursion was our private boat tour. There were so many magical islands to explore around Dubrovnik. And the water was so pristine. It was perfect to go swimming.
What did you think of the food (and wine)?
The food and the wine everywhere was brilliant. I think the food in Florence was probably the best. The wine in Montepulciano and Brunello was amazing. We were there during the harvest too which was so cool to see.
The wine in Croatia was outstanding. I had no idea! Our visit to Milos was amazing! What an awesome winery. I’m still enjoying it at home.
I think one thing to be careful of food wise in Dubrovnik & also Positano now is avoiding touristy places. There are some very popular outstanding restaurants worth going to but there are also a few places that might be recommended by the concierge but are a bit too touristy. Trust the Bella Vita’s food list over the concierge when it comes to Dubrovnik.
Anything you would do differently?
Besides tripling the time of my trip because I love it so much (!), the one thing Is consider changing would be spending a night in Montenegro on that excursion. Budva seems pretty darn cool, inexpensive and it’s quite the amount of time in the car from Dubrovnik, so I’d consider spending a night to break it up and more fully explore it.
Your overall feeling of working with Bella Vita?
It is impossible for me to overstate just how fondly I feel about Bella Vita. I can’t imagine booking a Mediterranean vacation without them. They have delivered absolutely magical, perfectly curated trips over and over again. It’s to the point that my friends all now want Bella Vita to design everything in their lives – haha! Every time Bella Vita steers me in certain direction, even if it’s different than an initial thought from me, they steer me right! They know best. If you want to enjoy the secrets luxury & culture of these beautiful countries in first-class yet warm fashion and with the ability to turn your mind off and just enjoy, then Bella Vita is for YOU.
Any additional comments?
I’d just add the drivers and your guides Bella Vita deals with are all first rate. It significantly enhances the experience & you end up making great friends on these trips with your guides!
***Thank you Ryan as always for your support! It is always a pleasure to work with you! – the BVT team