Summer on the West Coast

The weather is still perfect, even if many things have changed. You’ll want to check ahead to see where beaches are open, but just about any spot along the West Coast has vistas that will take your breath away.

Although we can’t travel to Italy right now, we can go to California. With its Mediterranean climate, great wines, mountains and endless coastline, it’s basically the Italy of America.

Starting from the south and working up the coast, you first encounter the Mexican-influenced culture and laid-back California vibes of San Diego. In a matter of minutes you can go from the beach to lush gardens to desert. On the way to Los Angeles, you can head inland to the resorts of the Palm Springs area, where a dip in the pool on a hot day makes everything right. Right now you have to get takeout (or sit outdoors at select places), but you can still eat your way through L.A. with food from just about every culture on Earth.

You can also use the nation’s second largest city as a base to escape into nature with an autumn expedition through the Channel Islands with Lindblad Expeditions. Channel Islands is one of a whopping nine national parks to be explored in the Golden State. Back on the mainland, there’s a lot of territory to cover between Southern California and the Bay Area, but every inch of it is gorgeous. Hug the coast, and you get the beauty of Santa Barbara—a key stop on Backroads’ fall West Coast Beaches & California Cool itinerary—and Big Sur, where the Post Ranch Inn is ready to welcome guests. Inland, you have the majesty of Sequoia and Yosemite national parks.

Once you reach the Bay Area, you’ll find a center of tech, history and culture that give way to the wine paradise of the Napa and Sonoma Valleys. For a socially distanced stay just outside San Francisco, Cavallo Point in Sausalito is right across the Golden Gate Bridge, and there’s an array of Virtuoso-preferred hotels in the heart of wine country. From there, the Pacific Coast Highway leads up to Oregon with Point Reyes National Seashore, Redwoods National Park and a relaxing stay at The Inn at Newport Ranch to guide the way.

Oregon’s tall firs and picturesque Cannon Beach make for one of the prettiest drives in the country, while the Willamette Valley wine scene, Mt. Hood and Multnomah Falls draw visitors to the Portland area. Follow the Columbia River up to Astoria, which you can do on UnCruise Adventures and American Queen Steamboat Company river cruises, and you’ll follow the path of Lewis & Clark while enjoying some of the fine craft beers the West Coast offers.

Just across the river you’ll enter Washington, where the natural paradise of the Olympic Peninsula and San Juan Islands surround Seattle, one of America’s most spectacular cities. The Emerald City boasts four Virtuoso-preferred hotels and some of the best views you’ll find anywhere. Sadly, you can’t cross over to Canada just now but there’s plenty of America to rediscover on your tour of the West Coast.

Contact Stefany at: and or to plan yours.

Caribbean Calling: Q&A with Karen Bull, Founder of Island Luxe Resorts

Are you longing for a fun-in-the-sun getaway? If so, you will want to watch this video to learn more about these amazing properties in the Caribbean!

Here I am with Karen Bull, Founder of Island Luxe Resorts and otherwise known as the “Queen of the Caribbean!” She tells us why and we go over many of the fabulous properties with personalities and the awards they have received that she represents such as; Bucuti &Tara in Aruba, The Tryall Club in Jamaica, Secret Bay in Dominica, Jade Mountain, Anse Chastanet and Cap Maison in St. Lucia, Baoase in Curacao, Blue Waters in Antigua, The Reefs in Bermuda and Nisbet in Nevis. We also share why we loved our stay at Rock Cottage at Blue Waters Resort and Spa.

Stay tuned for our next video on Ghana Island she represents in the British Virgin Islands. For any questions on these properties, email Stefany at: or With passion and adventure, Stefany

Italian Lesson #6 The Verb Essere- To Be

Ciao a tutti!

This lesson is on the verb Essere (To Be), which is one of the staple verbs that is used often in the Italian language.

If you would like us to go over any specific words and or phrases in a video, feel free to email them to Stefany at: and or at:

Other Italian lessons can be found here:

Alla prossima,

Daniele and Stefany

Q&A with Steve Lassman, Vice President, Villas of Distinction

Would you like to stay in a luxury villa with your own private staff-chef, butler and laundress with your loved ones overlooking a mountainous coastline? If so, I will work with Villas of Distinction, one of our preferred travel partners, to find the right spot and home for you.

Here I am with Steve Lassman, Vice President of Villas of Distinction. Villas of Distinctions has villas in over 50 destinations around the world and they inspect each villa they offer, which is great. We speak about how the villa business is these days, safety measures they are taking post Covid-19, destinations that are in demand right now and some of the amazing experiences we can put together to make unforgettable memories. For any questions, and or if you would like to plan your villa stay, contact Stefany at and or

With passion and adventure,


Ranches around the U.S.

We’ve always been drawn to the cowboy life. Big sky, wide open spaces, fresh air, the crackle of a campfire. You can spend all day out in nature and all night gazing up at the stars. It’s always been a break from the hustle and bustle of everyday life. Now our lives have a different rhythm, but the desire to escape is more powerful than ever. These ranches across the U.S. provide a slice of the simple life.


Big Sky Country is teeming with mountains, rivers and all sorts of natural beauty. It’s also home to a trio of Virtuoso-preferred ranches: The Resort at Paws Up, Triple Creek Ranch and The Ranch at Rock Creek. Not only are these resorts full of activities, they can serve as your gateways to Glacier and Yellowstone national parks. Keeping your distance is no trouble with standalone homes, cottages and glamping tents with the comforts of home. Unlike frontier days, though, you’ll be able to enjoy gourmet meals with great wine pairings after a long day on the range.


On the edge of Grand Teton National Park, Amangani offers stunning views of the Snake River valley and spacious suites and homes to provide a base for wildlife exploration in Grand Teton and Yellowstone. On the Signature Wildlife Tour, you’ll have the chance to spot bald eagles, moose, elk and bison. Across the state, the Brush Creek Luxury Ranch Collection offers authentic experiences at what a working cattle ranch turned eco and wellness resort with ATV adventures, rock climbing and aerial adventures to go along with the award-winning spa and yoga program.


It’s not just a winter ski paradise. Your favorite ski resorts such as The Little Nell in Aspen and the Sebastian in Vail show off the grandeur of the Rockies in summertime, too. When they’re not blanketed in snow, the mountains make for prime hiking, with wildflowers in bloom and gorgeous changing leaves in the fall. In the western part of the state, Gateway Canyons Resort and Dunton Hot Springs have modern takes on the cowboy experience, with restored log cabins and 4-wheeler excursions going in hand in hand. Gateway Canyons is offering a fourth night free promotion for select dates, and a dip in natural hot springs at Dunton is the height of relaxation.

The Southwest

From the Lodge at Blue Sky in Park City to Amangiri on the Arizona border, Utah is an outdoor wonderland boasting five national parks and limitless adventure. The Lodge at Blue Sky features spacious suites in the main lodge, Earth suites built into a lush hillside with living grass roofs and freestanding one-bedroom Creek Houses. Amangiri’s Camp Sarika tented pavilions are the perfect combination of privacy and amenities, at just a few minutes’ trek from the main lodge. The canyon walls surrounding the resort and even reaching it to the main pool create a scene like no other. A quartet of luxury eco reserves spanning a million acres, the Ted Turner Reserves in New Mexico feature a ghost town, hot springs, roaming bison and just about every activity under the sun with a focus on sustainability. Arizona’s Miraval, Canyon Ranch, Enchantment Resort and L’Auberge de Sedona combine the great outdoors with the best in spa and wellness treatments. The cowboys of old never had it so good.