What an exceptional treat for us to spend the day with Luca! From the beginning, shortly after booking, to the end of the day, where he purchased Gelato for us and walked us to the train platform, it felt as if we were being shown around the area by a friend we were visiting. Meaning, he hosted us rather than providing a tour service. He emailed right away after booking providing next step directions, did so again as the day approached, assuring we received our train boarding passes and understood directions, provided to the detail of letting us know the train doors can be tricky. The pace felt leisurely, unhurried and while Luca taught us much about the beautiful area, there was never too much chatter. He answered questions as they arose and allowed the conversation to flow naturally as well as adding information as we drove through the country side and mountains. We covered a lot of ground in the 10 hours or so we spent with Luca and it was exceedingly pleasant and we were sorry to have to depart at the end of the day. We spent 2 weeks in Italy, on this trip and this was one of the highlights of many exceptional experiences. Varenna was our first stop and where we departed the train. Utterly breathtaking! If we are blessed enough to vacation on Lake Como, this town would be our pick. It is small and lovely, a jewel. Next, we visited the strategically placed Castello di Vezio, high upon the mountain overlooking Varenna with an unrivaled view of Lake Como and Varenna. It was built in the 11th and 12th centuries and shouldn't be missed when visiting this area. We enjoyed lunch at La Romana in Traona, another, literally, picture perfect town, where we were served wonderful wine and a regional dish called Pizzicheria. A recipe I hope to replicate because the basic ingredients are few and simple, yet the dish is satisfying to the point it must be considered comfort food. The restaurant was charming, old and immaculate, owned by the 2nd generation who served us impeccably and with warmth. Again, we felt we were being hosted by friends.We drove to Casa Vinicola Nera, one of the largest wine producers in the Valtellina wine region. We were met by the owner when we arrived and though he and his family own one of the largest wineries in the region, he greeted us warmly and there was no pretense. While we enjoyed tasting 4 different wines, he was there restocking and assuring everything was in place. This is another must visit for the region. The winery is beautiful with abundant seating both inside and outside both offering lovely views. We learned much about the wines of this region. When driving you will see the vinyard terraces lining one side of the valley only, you'll need to take the tour to find out why. The terraces are handmade over centuries, by small family owned grape producers. This must be one of the most strenuous places to harvest given the precipitous mountains. The wine produced in this region is the payoff from the hard labor invested as it is excellent!If I were promoting this tour with Luca I would add the words VIP because that is how we felt on our visit.Ciao!