As the weather heats up, our thoughts turn inevitably to travel. In an ideal world, who would be your preferred companion as as you gleefully trek to some of the most glamorous destinations on the planet?
We have a few candidates up our sleeve — although they inarguably err on the side of the aspirational. (Unless you happen to have contact info for Pietro Boselli. Do you?)
From the gorgeous canals of Venice, Italy to the timeless beauty of Rio di Janeiro, here are four spots we’re hoping to visit this summer — and the four handsome men we’d like to invite along.
1. Pietro Boselli at The Gritti Hotel in Venice, Italy
We have dreams. Some of them are recurring dreams. And most of those recurring dreams include us gliding through the Grand Canal thoroughfare of Venice, Italy — armed with just a fresh platter of mozzarella and muscular physique model/math wizard Pietro Boselli.
Freshly tanned and clad in only a black Speedo, Boselli gleefully rows us past the Piazza San Marco. “God, it’s so gorgeous, isn’t it, Pietro…? LOL.”
“Let me pour you another glass of Barbaresco,” he says crisply, the sinuous swell of his arms making it impossible to soak in the Goge’s Palace and The Baroque Ca’ Rezzonico.
“Thx,” we fondly reply.
Then, he nonchalantly hands us some brushetta and a Frufru pizza from Rossopomodoro. (Where did he get it…?)
The crust is crisp and delicious, if somewhat on the thin side.
“Mmm, Filetti di pomodori Antichi di Napoli!” we exclaim in perfect Italian. “Caro, caro…! Mio Pietro…?”
Later that night, we shack up in The Gritti Palace, a 15th-century palazzo situated on one of the most luscious spots on the Grand Canal.
“Look there — it’s the Salute church!” Boselli exclaims, as we gaze imperiously out the window, taking in the hypnotic waters of the Santa Maria della Salute.
Then, one thing leads to another, and we get into a highly flirty food-fight. Oops — looks like we got squid-ink pasta from Dal Moro’s Fresh Pasta To Go all over the freshly-cleaned sheets. (Sorry, Gritti.)
“You’ve gotten Alfredo and Arrabiata all over my new Speedo!” Boselli says. “Guess I’ll have to pull them off my powerfully athletic legs with the full force of my impossibly well-proportioned biceps…”
Then the alarm goes off.
2. Franco Noriega at the Belmond Hotel Monasterio in Cusco, Peru
Pietro is our Monday night fantasia — but on Tuesdays, our dreams belong to Peruvian chef and model Franco Noriega. In our dream, we always seem to be vacationing at the same luxe spot: the Belmond Hotel Monasterio in Peru, situated beside the raucous Cusco central square and a former monastery dating back to 1592. What would Freud say?
“Why do you always insist that we come here?” we ask Noriega incredulously. He can be such a creature of habit sometimes and it’s just like, Really?
His brow beaded with sweat, he carries our suitcases up the stairs that lead to the restaurants, boutique rooms, suites.
“Because it’s the perfect way to discover Cusco’s vibrant scene,” Noriega stammers nervously.
He made it through customs wearing only a 2-Xist essential Y-back thong because he likes the tan-lines, btw.
“There’s so much for us to explore,” he implores, trying to cut through our icy repose. “Old architecture and new, bustling marketplaces, incredible galleries and restaurants serving ‘new Andean’ cuisine, which I simply adore.”
Noriega can always read our subtle signals when we’re feeling tense and brittle. After he drops my trundle of suitcases in our well-appointed sleeping chamber, he directs us to the Andean Bath Butler service and massage room.
It’s a wonderful time, but even as Noreiga and I share a tender kiss, there’s a problem: our thoughts are only of Pietro, even while we kiss. Is Pietro becoming more than just our Monday night travel-centric fantasy?
We wake up screaming.
3. Model John Mgbemema at The Blowfish Hotel in Nigeria
Though he now calls Atlanta, Georgia his home, African dreamboat John Mgbemena originally hails from West Africa — Nigeria, to be more specific. And that’s where we wind up in our lusty Wednesday night fantasy frolic: getting away from it all at the upscale Blowfish Hotel.
“I don’t know what it is about The Blowfish that speaks to me,” Mgbemena says as we stare transfixed at his pillowy lips. “I just feel like I’m at home here. Maybe it’s some sort of past-life connection…?”
He’s doing a few sit-ups in the Blowfish lobby, clad in his favorite Gregg Homme ribbed g-string.
“Well, The Blowfish has got everything,” we say. “It’s less a hotel and more like an oasis of comfort and relaxation.”
“For me, I think it’s the menu,” Mgbemena says. “I’m particularly fond of La Classica Caprese, those vine-riped tomatoes layered with hand-pulled buffalo mozzarella and drizzled with pesto olive oil dressing.”
“Those are pretty good.”
Located right in the heart of Victoria Island, the hotel features every amenity you could possibly hope for — including an immense swimming pool, state-of-the-art gym facilities, and plush down comforters and pillows.
There’s no way you could be unhappy here — unless you’re coming to the realization that you were taking Franco Noriega for granted. What is it that makes you close your heart in fear? Is it because you’re fundamentally frightened of how much he means to you? Why do we always push away the things we most desire?
You promise to apologize when you see him in your dreams next Tuesday.
4. Tim Williams, The trivago Guy
“I can tell you’ve got a lot on your mind,” says The trivago Guy. “And I don’t even need to know what it is. But I need you to know that I’m here for you through thick and thin, and want nothing less than for you to be the best possible version of yourself. No, don’t speak… and don’t you dare take off that blindfold.”
How we’ve missed The trivago Guy. We dream of him every Friday — TGIF. That voice. Those grizzled good looks. He’s so worldly — and so otherworldly, like an alien from Planet Handsome Person — and he strikes that perfect balance between sex and sophistication. We’re way into him. Monogamously.
“Okay, you can take the blindfold off now.”
So we do, and we’re in gorgeous Rio — shacked up at the Américas Copacabana, a mere 7-minute walk from Copacabana Beach. A stone’s throw from Sugarloaf Mountain, the modern high-rise hotel features panoramic city views from the terrace, and a mind-melting luxurious pool, sauna, and bar.
Is this true happiness? Enjoying a finger of Johnnie Walker Black Label in the hotel bar, we look longingly into those oceanic eyes and realize our hearts are true when it comes to The trivago Guy. Sorry, Pietro. Apologies, Mgbemena. Whatevs, Noriega. The heart wants what the heart wants. And our hearts want free, easy to use access to insane discounts on over a million hotels around the world.
To us, that’s a dream come true.