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The Top Place to Vacation in 2018

Ciao Bellas! Many of you may not know that I come from a long line of strong, self-made Italian women and I’m grateful to have the chance to share my Mom’s entrepreneurial story with you all, and hope that it serves as inspiration to chase your dreams and make them a reality.

Cicci Bella Tours

Author: Lydia Lucente

A little background…I grew up in a first-generation Italian family in New York. My father was raised in Staten Island and didn’t speak a word of English until he attended school. Both of my parents spoke Italian, but only used it when they didn’t want their five children to understand what they were saying. Brilliant for them, but it left us learning only a few curse words and nothing more! I’ve always wished that I learned how to speak Italian as a child, as it truly is an emblem of where I am from and what I believe in. To that end, I took it upon myself as a new empty nester to dive right in to an Italian language course! I studied and traveled for several years with my best friend, Batina, to really gain an understanding of the language, the people, the culture and the history. To say the least, I fell in LOVE with all things Italy, and seized the opportunity to start my own business: Cicci Bella Tours of Italy by Lydia!

Whether you are traveling with your BFFs to celebrate a milestone birthday or, just looking to enjoy fantastic food, culture, and wine, I think Cicci Bella offers a unique opportunity to check that once-in-a-lifetime Italy trip off your bucket list. I love helping people make that dream come true while doing what I love – sharing the wonderful Italian culture and history with them.

The best part about my tours is that they are in a private, small group setting. There are no big buses with loads of people or strict schedules, and I certainly don’t march around with an umbrella 😉 Instead, I plan tours that immerse you in the Italian culture.

I have three tours in my lineup so there is something for everyone. My first tour introduces you to the main historical sites in the great art cities and rolling hills of the picturesque Chianti Wine Region. The tour combines the artistic and historical greatness of Rome, Florence, Siena and Pisa with the scenery, food and wine of the beautiful Tuscan countryside.

For the “foodies”, I offer a luxurious touring and tasting of the best of Bella Italia including Aceto Balsamico, Culatello, Parmagiana Reggiano, Piacenza wines, Amarone, sparkling Franciacorta and various gourmet gems. We visit the most beautiful places in Northern Italy from Bologna to Ferrara to Tuscany. It includes lots of wine tastings and pairings and even a truffle hunt.

Lastly, you can start your vacation in scenic Lake Como enjoying the tranquility and beauty of the lake and its alpine surroundings. Traveling along the Italian Riviera to Santa Margherita and visiting the famous port city of Genoa on the way. Spending a day in the quaint fishing villages of Cinque Terre where you can walk part of the famous “Via Dell Amore” that connects them. We continue to the renaissance city of Florence, stopping in Pisa on the way, and end our tour in the eternal city of Rome.

Keep in mind, my tours can be tailored at the request of any guest. Even better, my experience ensures that you have nothing to worry about other than what wine to try next. I’m with my guests from the moment we leave the US, guiding them through all of the processes at the airport, finding our driver, getting to the hotels and the logistics of all the planned tours during their stay. I speak the language and know the customs of the Italian people so you never feel like a tourist in a foreign country. I also allow plenty of non-scheduled time to enjoy the areas you visit.

What can I say? Here I am! Thanks to the encouragement of my family and dearest friends, I’ve made my dream come true. I get to share my love of the Italian language, passion for the country, culture and everything “Italy” with the warmest, most wonderful people. Every group is a different adventure and I never stop learning or laughing and enjoying.


Would you like to learn more? You can start by visiting my website or contacting me @ciccibellatours@gmail.com.  Have you thought about traveling to Italy and just didn’t know how to get started? Maybe, you’re still trying to come up with that fabulous gift for your family? Call me, I’ll take good care of you. Just ask my kids!


Lydia Lucente



If you are looking to plan the trip of the century, or just want to give the perfect give to your loved one this holiday season, I promise you: You can not go wrong with my momma! Not to mention, Italy is the best place to travel in 2018!





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