Posts tagged ‘journeys’

January 31, 2013

Dining with the Mayor of Rome

Dinner with the Mayor of RomeI just returned from a tourism symposium in Rome. The first evening, after a day packed with informative meetings, Mayor Gianni Alemanno of Rome hosted a gala dinner for about 60 of us. The event took place in the Palazzo Esposizioni Museum after hours, which meant we were treated to a private viewing of the ‘On the Silk Road’ exhibition.

Rome never fails to lift my spirits and make me feel priviledged to be there. To walk past ancient structures mingled with the new, the many beautiful piazza’s, fountains, and historic buildings and monuments in this very ‘lived in city’ is a joy.

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November 6, 2012

Visit Italy next year.

As the year is winding down, clients are beginning to think about next summer’s holiday.  I admit that I am biased, but I can promise, a visit to Italy would not disappoint anyone in the family.  So many opportunities present themselves that the only problem is narrowing down the itinerary.  Rome has enough to take in, that one could never go too frequently. Tuscany, whose heart is Florence is much the same way….just more easily accessible rural options. A favorite being the medieval hill town of Siena where many of the  buildings and art works date from about 1260-1348 when Siena was one of Europe’s wealthiest cities.  Highlights are the  unusual fan-shaped piazza where the palio horse race is run twice in the summer and its magnificent Gothic duomo.  Lucca is my favorite walled city, west of Florence and we have just added a lovely 3 bedroom rental apartment right in the historic center, ask me about it (invitationtotuscany.com).  Then there is Veneto..with Venice as the crown jewel, Piedmonte, the Lake District, on and on.

Have a look at this brief video – you may get inspired !

May 25, 2011

Italy’s Amalfi Coast

My first introduction to the Amalfi Coast was many years ago in the heart of the summer season…August, when many local Italians are on vacation as well.  The atmosphere in Positano, where I planted for 10 days, was vibrant and festive.  The Italians, always beautifully dressed were in brillant summer color attire with exquisitly handcrafted sandals, walking arm-in-arm talking in their animated way, warm and friendly … obviously delighted to be on holiday in this  beautiful setting blessed with endless days of brillant sunshine and bella vistas.

To this day, having revisited the Amalfi region many times, I still believe it to be the most beautiful coastline in the world.

Sorrento – Sorrento is well connected to all the attractions of the Amalfi Coast and the archaeological sites of Campania, a good place to make a base for your Amalfi Coast vacation. From Sorrento you can take the ferry to Capri, the slow Circumvesuviana train to Pompeii, Herculaneum, and Naples, and bus (or drive) to the Amalfi coast. You can also make frequent trips by hydrfoil from Sorrento to Capri, Naples, Ischia, Amalfi, and Positano.

Capri – Famous for the Blue Grotto, the small and charming island of Capri has but two towns, Capri and Anacapri. You can get each around on foot and take a bus between them. There are frequent boats from Sorrento and Naples.

Positano – Positano made the transition from sleepy fishing villages into one of Italy’s most popular resort towns.  Built into the steep seaside slope, it offers amazing views. It is most definitely more vibrant and fun in the peak summer season…with the many shops full of merchandise, the cafes and restaurants full of contented clients, and the primarily pedestrian streets bustling with tanned sandal-footed tourists.

Amalfi – Amalfi was a very powerful town and the first Sea Republic in Italy, later joined by Pisa, Venice and Genova. Amalfi is now a peaceful resort town with great views whose main historical sight is the Duomo (Cattedrale di Sant’Andrea) which has an interesting mix of Moorish and early Gothic influences.

Ravello – Perched on a ridge high above Amalfi (40 km from Sorrento) is enchanting with stupendous views, quiet lanes, and two important Romanesque churches. Ravello hosts one of Italy’s most famous music festivals.

Praiano – An ancient fishing village turned into a prestigious seaside resort; where have we heard that before? More “spread out” than the other villages, see the church dedicated to St. Luke, the Chiesa di San Luca Evangelista, containing relics of the saint.

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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