Virtuoso Traveler - June/July 2012 - (Page 4)
VIP : WHY DO IT YOURSELF?
John Fornengo, a successful business owner and single father from Chicago, and his three children, ages 12, 14, and 16
How one Virtuoso travel advisor turned a father’s send-off for his Europe-bound son into an unforgettable family vacation.
Mr. Fornengo wanted to create a multi-stop, European vacation around sending off his middle child to summer camp in Crans Montana, Switzerland. He also wanted to visit Stupinigi Palace, along with his family’s hometown near Turin, Italy, where luxury options are limited. “My client appreciates the finer things in life and is raising his children to appreciate culture, history, and adventure,” says Shawna Huffman Owen, a Chicago-based travel advisor. Fornengo adds: “I am a busy man. Given the rich tapestry of choices Europe offers, and being able to go anywhere, makes it hard to choose.”
“At first we looked at including destinations such as Venice and St. Moritz, as both were of interest to the children,” says Owen. “But after a lot of collaboration and consideration, we felt it was more important for the family to spend quality time in each location than to speed through their trip. This allowed the Fornengos to soak up the culture of each destination, and to make the most of their days in an unstructured way . . . such as playing doubles tennis daily, and waterskiing on Lake Como.”
A 13-night journey between Milan and Geneva, accompanied throughout by a local English-speaking chauffeur and guide. Having only one guide was essential, Owen notes, for maintaining consistency. The custom-designed itinerary included multiple-night stays in Portofino, Lake Como, and Crans Montana. The family had ample room in two-bedroom suites at such esteemed properties as Hotel Splendido, Villa d’Este, and Beau Rivage. Owen was also able to secure a luxury villa property near Turin and Stupinigi. “The Fornengos felt right at home.”
“Shawna was marvelous at keeping me focused,” says Fornengo. “We kept making decisions on what would make this trip simple and carefree. Logistically, I thought very little about it; I simply enjoyed myself and my children. Isn’t that how life should be?”
Ph ot og
rap h by Genivs Loci
V i r T u o S o T r aV E L E r
From left: Lunch is served at Hotel Splendido, Stupinigi Palace, an aerial view of Villa d’Este, and the Fornengo family.
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