My Surprise Holiday: The Italian Alps

I turned 25 a few weeks ago and to celebrate, my amazing boyfriend Dougie whisked me away. We started this tradition last year – he took me to the wonderful, unique Church Spa as a surprise, and I took him for a weekend of activities down in London. This year, he seriously upped his game and took me away to Italy, and I mean it when I say that I had NO IDEA where we were going until we got to the airport. Nice work, but even nicer when we actually got there and I was stunned. Wow, just wow!

Italy is hands down my favorite European country that I’ve visited. What’s not to love? Beautiful scenery, food, language people and DID I MENTION FOOD?!


Really though, I adore it, and I was not-so-secretly pleased when I found out he’d picked this wonderful nation for me to spend my birthday.

We flew into Bergamo Airport from London Stansted, our closest airport. When we landed, we hired a car, and I still very much had ZERO clue what we were doing there. It all soon became clear as we arrived in a beautiful, snowy mountain town called Presolana in Lombardia (or Lombardy to the non-native speakers!). It’s about an hour from the airport, and I seriously recommend the drive.


Despite the snow on the mountains, everywhere else was pretty much clear, meaning there was a breath-taking backdrop, but no dangerous roads and a fair bit of sun. Perfect! When we got to the hotel I was even more impressed – it was a gorgeous, very personal four star place called the Grand Hotel Presolana. You can read more about it in a whole separate post!

Over the course of the three days of our visit, the staff made the hotel a home. We were treated to a delicious four course, authentic meal – mine was even complimentary – and they went out of their way with my boyfriend to make our stay special. There was breakfast in bed overlooking the mountains, rose petals and candles at the dinner table and other activities, as well as expert, friendly staff no matter where we turned. It was a real find (he discovered it on Secret Escapes!).


We made use of the amazing spa, and my boyfriend even got us a couple’s massage. It was so awesome!


Plus, we even visited the local mountain range where we rented a sledge and had a day of fun and giggles. The best way to mark the passing of time is to regress to childhood a little, duh!

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It’s hard to pinpoint a ‘best bit’, but if I had to, I’d say it was probably our trip to Bergamo to visit my second Michelin Star restaurant called Roof Garden. A restaurant in Italy is always the best of the best anyway, but add a Michelin Star into the mix and you’re really talking. Again, this was TOTALLY unexpected! I took Dougie to Dinner By Heston last year, but this even outdid that. Possibly the best meal of my entire life!


The weekend went by too quickly for my liking, but I can honestly say it was one of the best of my existence. Who knows? Perhaps someday I’ll move out there. One thing I do know is that my boyfriend’s a keeper! The perfect person to enjoy a perfect weekend with!

What’s the best surprise you’ve ever had? xx