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Giancarlo Fadin

Encino, California Travel Agent

An Insider’s View of Italy

I grew up in Italy, but my deeper knowledge of the country came in the years after I had moved to the United States and was working for Alitalia. During the 18 years I worked for them, I traveled to all areas of Italy to develop travel programs, work with special interest groups and plan incentive trips. During those years, I made connections with the major players in the tourism industry and got to know the special attractions and activities offered in each city and region.

When I left Alitalia to open my own travel agency, I remained focused on Italy and was ranked the top agency in the Los Angeles area and number three in the United States for sending people to Italy. I planned a lot of trips for incentives and business groups attending trade shows, which provided me with lots of experience in finding the best ways to travel within Italy as well as special places to stay, dine and play around the country.

If you are looking for a special place for an event or party, I can suggest a wide range of impressive castles. Some are quite grand and can seat hundreds of people for a wedding or special event, and most have been converted into hotels, so you and your guests can enjoy an evening of fun and not worry about getting back to your hotel to sleep. And whether your event is a small, intimate group or a large gathering, I can suggest special touches such as bringing in local musicians and dancers and hiring local caters who serve regional cuisine dressed in typical costumes.

Most tourists are drawn to the same handful of famous spots: Rome, Venice, Florence, Lake Como, Cinque Terre, and Amalfi Coast. But Italy has equally wonderful places that have the added advantage of being a bit off-the-beaten-track and less crowded. For example, Hollywood A-list stars make Lake Como feel glamorous, but Lake Garda, the largest lake in the country, is equally beautiful. It also has the ruins of an ancient Roman spa whose natural mineral waters are still thought to have healing powers, and historic sites including Isola del Garda, an island where St. Francis of Assisi founded a monastery.

Similarly, Alpe di Siusi in the Dolomite Mountains (also known as the Tyrolean Alps) offers more than 175 kilometers of ski slopes served by 80 cable cars so you can ski village to village. Wait times at the lifts are almost always negligible and the area is very family friendly. In summer, you can explore the Alpine terrain on well-marked e-bike and hiking trails. And there are some wonderful mountain resorts and spas.

Whatever your interest or budget, whether you are traveling on your own or with a group, I can show you Italy with an insider’s perspective and ensure you get the best experiences at the best prices.

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