Our next stop on our spa getaway to Tuscany was the classic Italian spa retreat at Bagni Di Pisa. Here we enjoyed gourmet dining, fine wines with our impressive sommelier and luxurious spa treatments. One of the most interesting elements to this retreat is the history. Our two room suite, loaded with classic Italian charm, was a sumptuous blend of luxury and historic style. Was it the Dalai Lama or Richard Gere that stayed in our suite?Read More
Last fall I received an invitation to visit a collection of spa resorts, the Italian Hospitality Collection, in Tuscany. Let’s just say our host, Cristina Morellini, had me at ‘ciao!’ with this invitation. I’m a fan of spa hotels in general and when they are based in Tuscany I’m over the moon. Our first stop on the itinerary was the classically beautiful Fonteverde Spa resort located in San Casciano dei Bagni. A scenic train ride from Rome, a lift from our private driver, and we arrived at this blissful spot with the goal of relaxation and rejuvenation Tuscan style.Read More
I’m in that lovely space where I’m looking forward to a much anticipated trip to Tuscany but I’m not in the final frenzy of packing just yet. I’m in the phase of researching, exploring, daydreaming about my travel plans. Let’s face it, part of the joy of travel is savouring the anticipation. With travel we look forward to changing up our day to day experience, enjoying new adventures, meeting new people and treating ourselves especially well. Combined with the sensory experience of regional flavors, a cacaphony of languages, a myriad of scents and smells blending into the vibrant color palette that is travel.Read More
Paris is adorned with a number of colorful flea markets or brocantes as they are often called. On our first trip to Paris, in 2003, Scott and I spent an afternoon at the famed Clignancourt flea market, also known as the Marché aux Puces de St-Ouen, and thought to be the largest flea market in the world. We shipped home a small container filled to the brim with chandeliers, sconces, trays, perfume bottles, prints and charms from Paris long ago.Read More
One of the most alluring reasons to stay in a Parisian apartment while visiting Paris is savoring a taste of the French way of life. With a boulangerie, fruit market, grocery, patisserie, butcher and international market on nearly every block, it’s easy to gather the freshest, tastiest ingredients each day to create memorable bites.Read More
With sparkling crystal chandeliers, vintage velvet couches, luxurious linens, time-worn books, a pastel collection of vintage plates, whimsical accents like a jaunty top hat, and a touch of animal print, the details of this apartment are charming. The skeleton wall, meticulously restored, is a nod to the early history of this charming space.Read More
There are places you stumble upon while traveling that simply need no explanation. On a hazy summer afternoon, we arrived by boat, from Bellagio. Between flashes of sunlight, bursts of showers, and a moody mist that wound around our afternoon, we experienced Varenna, on the shores of Lake Como. These images speak for themselves. Click on the gallery to open a slide show of charming Varenna.Read More
One afternoon Scott and I pointed our rented Peugeot northeast, from our villa in Lezzeno, to beautiful Bellagio for the afternoon. Known for grand hotels, elegant villas, voluptuous flower boxes and stunning views from the steep staircases of the city center. Bellagio is beguiling.Read More
If the Amalfi Coast is shimmering pastels and Siena is rich, brushstrokes in oils, then Lake Como is bathed in watercolors mingling shadows with light. The views of mountain, sky and water are made chameleon by the microclimates in the Lombardy region of the Italian Alps. From sunny and brilliant to dark and stormy, punctuated with raindrops, no wonder this moody vista is considered magical to those who visit.Read More
Thick stone walls create a sense of velvety silence and the stone stairway, leading up to the second-floor apartment, is worn with footsteps of the ages.
There are so many options of where to stay while traveling that it makes the decision all the more challenging, but also intriguing. I love to pour over the images and descriptions of each destination under consideration; our trip to Italy was no different. After months of flirting with various lodging ideas - a villa in the countryside perhaps - we happened upon a charming apartment in the historic city center of Siena. The second-floor apartment is housed in a former monastery and it looked like the right place for us.
As with most of our travels, Scott and I crafted what we wanted our experience to be in Siena. We wanted an authentic, medieval city living situation in the heart of the city.Read More
Scott and I spent a day in Siena, back in 2003, punctuated by wrong turns, a stint mistakenly driving in the no-vehicle zone and an epic heat wave. When we finally settled in and enjoyed the charms of an al fresco dinner, we vowed to return to this hilltop city someday. Siena was Scott’s top choice as a destination for our summer in Italy, so this was our time to revisit.Read More