Today we said goodbye to Milano and what an amazing time we all had while there. To keep with my new Italian morning ritual, I drank cappuccino and ate croissants while watching the commuters race through the piazza in front of the Duomo di Milano.
Departure was early this morning, so after sipping the last of the espresso foam from my cappuccino, I shuffled back to the hotel in an effort not be late for the bus. I’d like to say the three-hour bus ride to Arco was uneventful, but I’m beginning to realize you can’t do anything in Italy without romance and breathtaking beauty.
Arco is where the headquarters for Aquafil is located and the town itself is situated at the Northern most point of Lake Gardo. In addition to the sparkling water and adorable seaside villages we passed on excruciatingly winding roads and tunnels, LakeGardo is hugged on three sides by the Alps. As we drove up the west side of the lake, everyone snapped pictures of the mountains, villages and cliffs that surrounded the bus for the last leg of our journey. The roads were fairly narrow and like many experiences we’ve had in Italy with our giant tour bus, we narrowly escaped impact with oncoming trucks and cars through the tunnels. It all makes for a more exciting and authentic voyage.
After arriving in Arco we heard a presentation by Interface’s Executive Creative Director, Chip DeGrace. He discussed our ever-evolving relationship with companies aligned with our sustainable mission and most specifically the collaboration we have with Aquafil. The town of Arco was small, filled with traffic circles and a castle perched at the top of a steep cliff at the North end of town. We settled in for a “quick Italian” lunch after viewing some installations of our newest product launches.
We boarded our bus for a supposedly “less scenic” drive to Verona, but I was equally impressed by the scale and greenery of the Alps and avidly snapped pictures of hidden castles and rolling hills through the bus windows. We arrived in Verona late afternoon and after receiving our room assignments headed upstairs to change into more elegant attire for cocktails and dinner at the Bonazzi Villa in the hills overlooking Verona.
Describing the villa is nearly impossible with its unbelievable view of the city, impeccably manicured lawn, wine cellar and fresco-covered walls. Senor Carlo Bonazzi is the founder of Aquafil and his son Julio has now taken up the family business. I did my best to capture the magic of the villa and its surrounding landscape, but seeing was believing during last nights festivities.
Prosecco and vegetable tempura were served alongside freshly sliced meats and bread. We all wandered the gardens and rooms surrounding the house before dinner and eventually settled in for a three-course meal in the dining room. Delicious dishes one after another were placed on the tables, and wine that Senor Carlo makes himself flowed generously from the bottles to our glasses. Dessert included a lemon gelato with mint and raspberry garnish and small pieces of cake and fruit. I didn’t think it was possible to feel hungry again after dinner, but while writing this post I find myself craving the olive oil covered tortellini from our first dish all over again. It was such an exciting evening of mingling with the Bonazzi family and learning more about their rich history.
The evening concluded with cocktails on the veranda and dancing. Interface hosts and guests alike boogied to 80s montages and bass thumping discotheque beats until our feet were too tired to walk back to the bus.
Now that we’ve arrived back in the hotel, it’s time to head to bed. I’ll need my energy to tour Verona in the morning before leaving for Slovenia in the afternoon.
A gracious thank you goes out to the Bonazzi family and Aquafil on behalf of Interface and all of our guests, for opening their home to us for an unforgettable evening. Grazie!