Pricey ITG,

I’m again from a dreamy week and a half in Italy with my finest pal, Kristina. Actually, I want you may have been there. The excellent news is that each my dairy-induced breakouts and tendency to say “grazie mille” on the finish of each dialog have now pale. The unhealthy information is that the one whirlwind Italian romance I skilled was with Olio e Osso No. 5, and I used to be the clingy associate.

We began our journey in Bellagio (in all probability named after the lodge in Vegas), and stayed in an Airbnb that fulfilled our solely requirement (having a terrace). I misplaced observe of the times as a result of every one went precisely like this: morning gelato, lovely villa tour, pasta for lunch, terrace studying, dinner pasta, night gelato. And repeat. It was a life-style absolutely well worth the lactose drugs I needed to carry in my bag. If you happen to’re solely right here for a day, take the ferry to Lenno and go to Villa del Balbianello—it’s so intricate, stuffed with historical past, and can make you are feeling such as you’re in a Taylor Swift music video.

After Bellagio we re-packed our “Warning: Heavy”-tagged baggage and drove an hour to our subsequent cease, Villa d’Este. I may (and infrequently do) spend hours on thesaurus.com, however I nonetheless wouldn’t be capable of discover the phrases to explain this place. It’s ethereal and alluring and, had there not been different individuals there, I might have spent my days working across the grounds in an enormous ball robe. As a result of there have been different individuals there, I sprawled out on a lounge chair by the lake, studying The Value of Dwelling and growing a dependency on lemon soda, as an alternative. Not a foul plan B. What I beloved most about our time at Villa d’Este was that we spent our days in simply Supergoop sunscreen, some Boy Forehead, and tinted lip balm… However as soon as 7 PM hit, we grew to become our personal glam workforce to prepare for a 9 o’clock dinner. Discovering the proper playlist (should embody “Excellent Day” by Hoku), attempting a brand new make-up look on a whim, reaching for micellar water to wipe it off minutes after, asking your pal in the event that they occurred to deliver the eyelash roller you managed to neglect… It made me really feel sixteen once more. I actually missed the efficiency of Getting Prepared™.

After a fast argument over whether or not we should always give up our jobs and keep at Villa d’Este eternally, we reluctantly re-re-packed and headed to the ultimate leg of our journey. Right here’s what they inform you about staying in a 14th century castle-turned-bed-and-breakfast: it’s magical and exquisite and feels straight out of a dream. True! Right here’s what they don’t inform you: it will get extremely popular within the summertime, there are just a few too many creepy work, and there’s no filtration system within the pool so swim caps are obligatory. I didn’t embody a photograph of me sporting my swim cap right here, for everybody’s profit. However, we had a good time. There was extra balcony studying (Thanks for Ready by Doree Shafrir this time) and frolicking in clothes—excellent actions in my e-book.

With a giant hug (I’m a Most cancers!) and a final minute provide to revisit the quit-our-jobs-and-stay-here-forever plan, Kristina and I mentioned our goodbyes at Milan Linate Airport. She went off to Croatia and I returned to Paris to complete off my European summer season and spend yet another paycheck at Citypharma. Any solutions on what I can purchase?

Grazie mille!

—Bianca Garcia

Photographs by way of the writer

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