Where it all began
In some ways we can say Lake Como Food Tours began in a lively garden in Lecco with children playing. Two friends and mums started sharing their passion for travels and for Lake Como. Elena often hosted friends from abroad and Laura enjoyed helping her out organizing special trips and unique experiences for them – that was 2013.
They soon realized there was a substantial demand for this kind of experiential tourism, which, coupled with food tourism, could be the right key for a new way of helping guests experience Lake Como. Lecco Food Tours was established, soon replaced by Lake Como Food Tours, later, Experience Italy Tours was founded as a partnership to operate the tours under the brand of Lake Como Food Tours. Laura Lanfranchi came on board to help as a technical manager.
A lot has happened since then: Elena left to follow her dreams and Laura took over the helm leading the business to flourish and reach new levels.
Founder, Laura Sanvito, is a true native of Lake Como, she was born and grew up in the area and has been living in the city of Lecco on the eastern shore for almost 20 years now. Like many locals of the area, she got to know the charms and hidden gems of all the lakeside towns and villages.
Laura grew up in a house where cooking and tasting was a daily experience. Her mother Maria Rosa baked a cake every single time she got stressed, being a working mother in the seventies – she baked a lot! And Laura and her friends tasted and learned.
Her father was determined that she also learn about her Sardinian heritage, so as school ended in June, Laura was sent to spend 3 months at her grandmother’s on the paradise island of La Maddalena in the Costa Smeralda region where Laura learned the art of making fresh pasta, breads and pastries.
It was the women in her family who helped her fall in love with Italian culinary culture.
Having spent many years of her life working in finance both in Milan and abroad, a profession which she still enjoys, she decided to follow her dreams. She and her husband moved back to her hometown of Lecco and started a family. She wanted her children to grow up among the beauty and nature of the beautiful Lake Como region.
Lecco is just one of the many cities in the region where one can take advantage of its small dimensions, its “town life” and close relationships. It’s a place where people don’t just live in the surrounding environment, they live it by skiing or hiking in the nearby mountains or enjoying the wonderful lake views.
We Want To Be Your Italian Connection
Above: Some members of our transportation and guide team
Laura’s passion for Lake Como and for food and cooking was so strong, she felt the only way to express it was to share it.
With a team of experts and professional local guides, Lake Como Food Tours was established and has been sharing the beauty of Lake Como and its surrounding areas to people from all over the world since 2014.
Laura says, “Enjoying food for me is a wonderful way to be with people, sharing the flavors, the tastes – this is what we want to offer guests with our tours.”
Our mission is to continually seek out and share unique quality experiences at Lake Como and surrounding areas. We are passionate about food and strive to become experts at making people feel at home in each neighborhood they explore. We seek out small, hidden spots, excellent restaurants, off-the beaten path locations with the aim to help guests “live” Lake Como. We are committed to offering a top level of service and assistance to each guest we come in touch with.
Meet The Team
Laura Lanfranchi, Director
Born in Lecco, Laura Lanfranchi grew up in a family where travel and tourism were the main topics talked about around the family dinner table. Her entire family worked in the family travel agency, which was the first one ever established in Lecco, founded in 1972! Needless to say, it became the most well-known and trusted travel agency of the area. After getting her degree, it was only natural that Laura join the family business.
After her father’s passing, she decided to sell her beloved agency and dedicate herself full time to taking care of her children and husband… she would have never thought she’d go back to the “never forgotten” world of travel.
In August 2016, she accepted the role of Director with Experience Italy Tours, promising: “Dedicating myself to food and tours around our beautiful lake is what I really want to do now. We are a great team and most important we love what we do!”
Federica, Operations, Como
Federica’s family tree is well rooted in Como. She is one of the real locals you could meet visiting the area: she knows all the region; from Como to the lake and the surrounding mountains. She’s been working at the Tourist Information Board in Como for 2 years now, where the knowledge of the territory is a must, making her the right person to fill you in on the secrets and non-touristy spots to explore! She adores the Lake Como area for its magnificent landscape and charming villas. As an athlete and avid hiker and mountain biker, she especially loves the surrounding mountains.
Enrica (Kika), Operations, Bellagio
Since she was born, Enrica has always been involved in welcoming and hosting guests: from her parent’s hotel in Rome to her husband’s hotel in Bellagio. She moved from Rome to Bellagio to study and after her PHD degree and a job as a researcher at University, she moved back to her first love, making tourists feel at home!
For several years she was the chief Director of operations in a luxury travel agency in Bellagio, after which she decided to take a break, dedicating her energy and attention to her family and her two lovely girls.
The time has come for her to go back to her passion and we are so happy she has joined Lake Como Food Tours!
Cristina, Accounting, Lecco
For several years Cristina has been an accountantin the travel industry and other sectors. In 2019 she joined the team in the key role of keeping track of the company’s viability, effectiveness and success.
Creating Value Through Relationships
The people working with us are a group of passionate, professional, and certified guides with years of tour leading experience.
Each of our professional guides will bring something special to your culinary adventure, they are extremely proud to share their knowledge and discoveries with you.
The main element that makes our tours so great is that we work very closely and have a real personal relationship with each and every shop and restaurant on each of our tours. Our business is based on respect for these establishments and their staff, respect for the neighborhoods we tour in and respect and appreciation for the town of Lecco. Since we seek out the ‘best of the best’ in each neighborhood, it is then our pleasure to support these local businesses and mostly, it is our joy to share them with you. In a world where small businesses are finding it difficult to survive against the large distribution supermarkets, we think it is fundamental to maintain what we consider an important part of our heritage.