Frequently Asked Questions:
What airport should I fly into? Milan Linate or Milan Malpensa.
What time should I arrive? You need to arrive NO LATER than 3:00 pm in Bellagio on the Retreat Start Day in order to check in and get situated before the 1st nights plans. Please try to arrive earlier if possible so you have time to check in and settle into your apartment. Normal check in at the apartments is 3pm. But I will say that if you can, it is BEST if you plan to get to Italy a day or two EARLIER so you can get used to the time change and be ready to go on Saturday. Most ladies have scheduled their flight into Milan to arrive a day (or 2 or more days) AHEAD of the retreat and then made plans to visit the sights around Milan or go to Switzerland or Tuscany for a couple days. REMEMBER that when booking your flight to Milan it is an overnight flight so you have to schedule the day you leave at LEAST a day earlier than the start of the retreat! TIP: There is a Sheraton hotel AT THE MALPENSA AIRPORT. This is the EASIEST and most convenient hotel if you need to stay a night or more in Milan before the retreat or afterward because it is actually connected to the airport!
How will I get to the hotel(s) in Bellagio? You have a FEW options:
With over 40 people arriving at different times, different days and different locations, it is now too difficult for me to coordinate everyone's arrival to Bellagio. Therefore, I have the following options below that I think are best.
Option One: I can have a private shuttle service that will coordinate up to 20 people to meet outside baggage claim at Malpensa Airport by Door 6, next to the Post Office. This is ONLY on the morning of the START DAY of the Creative Retreat. Wait times for this private van may vary depending on your arrival. This will be an extra charge of $100 per person if you decide on this option and it can only accommodate 20 people.
Option Two: Take a public taxi outside of baggage claim at either airport. You will tell them to take you to the Grand Hotel Villa Serbelloni in Bellagio on Lake Como and they will know where that is. It will be about a 1- 1/2 hour ride through Milan and then the lakeside and cost will depend on the driver. I highly suggest NOT getting into the taxi until AFTER you are agreed on a price! Pricing should be roughly 150-180 Euros and you can definitely negotiate with them.
Option 3: You can reserve a private car ahead of time with the concierge at the GHVS. Just email me ahead of time and I can schedule the pick-up with the concierge and let you know how much that would be. I think it is roughly 180- 250Euros and would be for you and/or your group at whatever time is convenient for you.
Option 4: You can take the train or use the bus service at the airport. If you are familiar with traveling through Europe, they take trains everywhere they go! There are usually trains connected to the airports or close by. This is obviously your least expensive option and if you need help, I can ask the concierge to plan out the time frames that fit with your schedule.
Option 5: If you are planning on traveling around Europe before the event then I suggest asking the hotel you are staying at before the event to help you coordinate getting to Bellagio. Hotel concierge's are a HUGE HELP and all speak English and are more than happy to coordinate your travel plans or any other details you need help with while traveling abroad, so use them as much as possible!
PLEASE NOTE: The drive to Bellagio is a gorgeous drive along the shores of Lake Como but is hilly and curvy so if you are prone to motion sickness I advise you to take Dramamine at least 30 minutes before you leave the airport.
Who will I be rooming with? Each apartment will accommodate 2 ladies with individual beds. If you would like to share with 3 or even 4 friends, there are a few larger apartments available and/or some of the apartments have a sofa sleeper for 3 people in a room. Please request this accommodation as soon as possible because these will fill up fast! There will be a slight discount if you want to share with more than 2 people to a room. Please let me know who you want to room with and every effort will be made to make that possible. There will be plenty of Retreat time together though and lots of free time to explore the many wonders of this region of Italy with your friends. Because this is a small and intimate event with only 40 people max, we will be spending time getting to know each person and I know we will all become like family by the end of the journey together! If for any reason you need to have a private accommodation, there will be a few private rooms available so please email me for further information and pricing.
What can I expect from the town of Bellagio, Italy? I can sum this up in one phrase:
"When in Rome, do as the Romans do..."
Italy is such an “iconic” place and we all hold special feelings or ideas of what Italy will be like for us. For me it is “Heaven on Earth” as I’ve said many times before. But with that said, I also live in the real world and want to make sure you all know that nowhere on earth IS perfect. This small town is very picturesque, has many beautiful pathways to enjoy and breathtaking vistas of one of the most gorgeous lakes in the World! But with that comes some hills, cobblestone streets, uneven paths, small cars going too fast and weather that is unpredictable. I don’t want to put a damper on this event, but I want to make everyone aware of what comes with this idyllic place. We are in a different country and we need to adapt to the way things are over in Italy. We can not go to Italy and expect it to be the United States. The internet is slower, they don't have cheeseburgers, they speak a different language and they don't have the same lifestyle we are used to.
If for health reasons you would have a difficult time walking up a somewhat steep pathway to the apartments several times a day, I would highly suggest you stay in the hotel next door, The Hotel Florence, which is actually closer to the area where we will be having all the events at the Grand Hotel Villa Serbelloni. This is on the lakefront, it’s on a flat street with lots of shopping and restaurants and will give you the best solution for the least amount of physical activity. The Grand Hotel Villa Serbelloni also has accommodations in their hotel and has elevators, but it is a much more costly suggestion than the hotel right next door. Please feel free to email me with any questions before you register so we can make sure you have the best accommodations to suit your needs. We want to make this an event that is “Heaven on Earth” for everyone!
What is the weather like on Lake Como, Italy Weather on Lake Como is beautiful just about all year round. The Summer is beautiful with temperatures in the high 70's F and 80's during the days to the low 60’s in the evenings. The Spring and Fall are in the High 60's and 70's during the day with lows in the high 50's at night. You will want to bring layers of clothes and comfortable walking shoes. The weather can vary from day to day, with rain possible at any time of year. Bring along an umbrella and some good walking shoes and pack as light as possible. There is a self serve laundry in town and I will acquaint everyone with the necessary stores in town on one of the first days walking tours.
What should I bring to this retreat? This list will be added when the Teachers provide the list of items for each class. I have asked the Teachers to provide as many items as possible so the students will only need to bring basic tools and supplies such as scissors, adhesives, etc. Please check back for this list as we get closer to the event.
Why is this Retreat non-refundable after a certain point? This is an amazing event that is being planned and we want everyone to enjoy it to the fullest! There will be over a years worth of time and money put into making this event successful by all the talented ladies who are planning an unforgettable event for you. There is a deposit at the time of sign up that we will not be able to refund you. We understand things come up though and something may happen to prevent you from attending, so there will be a grace period where you can transfer your registration to another person or you will be refunded the amount you have paid, minus the deposit amount. Unfortunately, the event venue, certain excursions, classes and special surprises that are planned well in advance do have specific deadlines and/or policies and therefore, after a certain point things are not refundable.
Why do I need Trip Insurance? It is highly recommended for each student to purchase trip insurance for this Retreat. We never know when unforeseen things happen and because this event is in a different country, it is a safety precaution that must not be overlooked. Please feel free to email if you would like information about Trip Insurance and where to purchase it.
Here are some helpful links to get more familiar with this beautiful region of Italy:
Please feel free to email me at any time at: email@example.com
"May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit." Romans 15:13