Archive for ‘Rental Homes’

December 13, 2013

Villa Rental in Italy!!

San Gimignano

Italy continues to be a favorite destination for Europe bound Americans. And why not? You will eat well, drink well (cafe & vino), enjoy beautiful panoramic views and scenery, inspirational architecture, historic sights, incredible museums, fashion, diverse culture, and welcoming locals. Living in a rental villa gives one the opportunity to live like a local, shop where the locals shop, and truly immerse yourself in the culture. Unpack once, cook when you like or enjoy the vast variety of local restaurants, have a chef come into your ‘home’ for a cooking lesson, and dine on the results. Day trip to surrounding towns, wineries, shops, and galleries on your own schedule or not.

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November 11, 2013

Sicily’s World-Class Resort – VERDURA

Verdura Golf and Spa Resort located on the scenic northwest coast of Sicily is an ideal destination to chill out from the the hustle bustle of Palermo. This low-rise Rocco Forte resort is on more than 500 acres with an extensive private beach. Most rooms have sea views, due to the low-rise buildings and expansive grounds. The resort boasts 45 holes of golf and I can attest to the fact that the course is championship quality, having recently played the North Course.
Dining options are plentiful and each offer a unique atmosphere with both indoor and al fresco options. The Verdura guest rooms are exceptionally large and all have either a balcony or terrace.
For the non-golfers, Verdura has a tennis center with 6 lighted courts, allowing night time play, an enormous infinity pool, an extensive spa with another swim pool, a series of thalasso treatment pools, a gym, and sauna. For the beach goers, all the chaises, umbrellas, towels, water sports equipment, and beach front restaurant make for an ideal day at the beach. Complimentary bicycles are all over the property, just waiting for guests to snag one for use during their stay, which I thought was a very nice touch.

To my surprise, there is a dedicated children’s center, proof that Verdura welcomes families.

Want a diversion, about 30 minutes south of Verdura is one of the best preserved Greek Temples in the world at Agrigento…The Valley of the Temples. Not to be missed is an excellent Archeological Museum, with well displayed artifacts found during the excavations.

After a few days at Verdura, one can drive along the southern coast to Siracusa, preferably with a few overnights inland and then up to Taormina before departing from Catania.

June 16, 2011

Cinque Terre

Le Cinque Terre  (the five lands) are a group of five picturesque villages along the coast surrounded by terraced vineyards, olive groves, and forests.  The villages can be reached on the train that runs between La Spezia and Genoa or by ferry from La Spezia, Portovenere, Levanto (the next village up the coast toward Genoa where there’s also a train station), as well as other Italian Riviera villages.

There are popular hiking trails between the villages as well as in the scenic hills above them.  One can easily blend one or two hikes between the villages with a few minute rail ride between others, hence have time enough to visit all of them in one day.

The Cinque Terre region is very popular with Americans and is crowded in summer. Spending the night in one of the villages is a good way to experience the charm without the huge crowds since the majority of visitors  only experience Cinque Terre as a ‘day trip’.   Lodging is very limited….but worthwhile if you can land a room, since evenings are quieter.  I strongly recommend that room reservations be secured many months in advance if you plan on overnighting in Cinque Terre.  Simple 3 star hotels, generally family owned and operated, will cost Euro160 per night for two in high season including breakfast.  For one of the few 4 star options requiring a  2-3 night minimum, add another Euro 100 per night.

The little bitty cove beaches are packed with sun bathers.  Umbrellas and chaise lounges are available for rent each day, but don’t expect much peace or quiet or private space, though it is festive and colorful.

All of the villages have shopping and dining options,   Monterosso al Mare being the  largest .. offers the most services for visitors, including a little nightlife in high season.  And Monterosso is accessible by car..though you will not want to explore Cinque Terre via car once you arrive.

Enjoy these charming fishing villages soon, as civilization is encroaching on these once very isolated hamlets.

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May 5, 2011

Invitation to Tuscany: Arancio, Greve, Chianti

“A Chianti farmhouse apartment warm in color and hospitality.”

Though the area and the wine known as Chianti is much beloved by the modern traveler, this is a land that has been producing for centuries. Il Casolare is one of the ancient farm buildings that, like Topsy, just grew, and grew until it became the sprawling farmhouse whose contours extend long and jut up and outward. Its present owners took it in gentle hand and with a joyful sense of color and generous hospitality have transformed it into three large houses, all under the same roof, but individual in style and each with its own view of the ancient landscape that surrounds it.

Country living in these houses is not rustic. The owners have preserved the terracotta floors and chestnut beamed ceilings and let an ancient layout rule the day, yet they have successfully mixed the antique furniture with bold warm colors, attractive fabrics and all the good-quality appliances a modern cook would want. Continue below to learn more about the property.

Property summary

  • Il Casolare Sleeps 8
  • 1 double, 1 twin, 2 twin or double bedrooms, 1 ensuite shower room, 2 bathrooms, 1 of which is ensuite
  • Location: Chianti
  • Rentals run: Saturday to Saturday

Estate summary

  • Estate: Il Casolare
  • Three stylish apartments
  • Entire estate accommodates 22

Properties on this estate

  • Gialla – Sleeps 6
  • Azzura – Sleep 8
  • Il Casolare – Sleeps 8

For a stress free journey allow me to take care of all your travel arrangements and to check availability of this estate contact me, Coleen Lamont.

503.546.1058 – direct
866.297.1058 – toll free
Email: CLamont@peaktravel.com

or email me using this online form.

Read on to learn more about the amenities available in this area, and at this property.

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April 13, 2011

Invitation to Tuscany: Campalfi, Stigliano, Siena

Campalfi, Stigliano, Siena

Three apartments in farm buildings.

Campalfi, set back from the river Merse by about 200 metres, is a group of ancient farm buildings that once had all the necessities for the self-contained life of a small community. It has been converted to provide seven spacious dwellings. There is a central open-sided courtyard entered through an archway, around which are arranged the apartments, and to one side of this is a large dining-room where the English-speaking owner, a renowned chef, serves wonderful meals every Saturday night and on alternate evenings. The old granary has made a delightful cottage with a patio and an outdoor oven; a large ground floor apartment for five people is at right angles to the granary; and on the ground floor below the old tower is a light and airy apartment for two people.

The conversions are a harmonious blend of ancient tradition and modern comforts. All the apartments have a quiet, cool and restrained atmosphere and make excellent use of attractive fabrics and materials including old terra cotta floors, and simple, traditional Tuscan furniture. The hand of the artist owner is seen in the soft colors that grace the apartment walls and in the blossoms that drape arch and pergola alike.

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April 7, 2011

Invitation to Tuscany: Le Murella, Zanego, Montemarcello

Le Murella, Zanego, Montemarcello

A beautiful house in a forested dell near the coast

Check availability or Make an enquiry

Le Murella is a recently restored house set in a national park crowning the hill of MonteMarcello, in a small dell surrounded by Holm oaks. Set in its own terraced garden, this house is in an ideal position for exploring the hill villages and coast of the Cinque Terre, Liguria and Northern Tuscany; it’s also the perfect place to return to after your travels and relax under the pergola with a glass of local white wine.

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