Castello di Velona Hotel – Tuscany, Italy 🇮🇹

 

Set high on a hilltop in the hills of Siena, Castello di Velona Hotel was once an 11th-century fortress which fell into ruins and has been beautifully restored to produce a magnificent hotel. Overlooking the Val d’Orcia, a UNESCO heritage site, it is in a prime position to enjoy the best of Tuscany’s food, wine and wonderful countryside views.

With its magical setting, the views from Castello di Velona Hotel’s rooms are breath-taking. The antique-filled Castle rooms and suites have oak-beams, vaulted roofs, cotto floors and decorative fireplaces. The more contemporary Sunset spa rooms have private patios to enjoy the region’s spectacular sunsets and bathtubs fed by the thermal waters of the resort’s natural mineral hot springs.

Take a walk along the Orcia River near Castello di Velona Hotel or a bike ride through the shaded country roads. There are plenty of opportunities to go horse riding through this beautiful countryside or head to the medieval villages of Pienza, Bagno Vignoni, San Quirico d’Orcia or to nearby Siena. Return to relax in the hotel’s spa with its hot springs discovered during the castle’s renovation.

Accommodation

Inviting and refined rooms where history’s charm blends with modern design and comfort. The Castello di Velona Resort , Thermal Spa & Winery offers 46 rooms, divided between the ancient castle area and the new  area. All 46 rooms and suites are elegantly appointed with period furniture, antiques and prized fabrics and materials. The style of the “Castle” rooms is warm and cosy with exposed beams, vaulted ceilings, terracotta tile floors and large decorative fireplaces. In each room, hand-made decorative motifs and paintings of different colour shades combine with the warm hues of fabrics and furnishings. The 19 new “Sunset” rooms and suites of the castle’s new  wing are characterised by a linear and contemporary design and stylish furnishings. These elegant accommodations feature large travertine bathrooms with thermal water and a private garden for exclusive moments of relax. The Sunset Spa rooms and suites have a private cabin for treatment, to enjoy wellness treatments in the privacy of its own room. All of the rooms provide a stunning panoramic view of the Val d’Orcia and the vineyards that surround the castle.

Dining

With the aromas of the herbs and spices and typical colours of the Tuscan countryside, the vineyards and olive groves surrounding the Castle, the Hotel’s wine and food offer fully satisfies the body and soul, both in the rustic Il Brunello in the historical part of the Castle, and in the modern setting of the Settimo Senso Restaurant, created in the new wing.

The rooms inside look onto the Val D’Orcia thanks to the panoramic terraces of the Castle’s two restaurants, one to the east, exposed to the first rays of the sun, the other to the west, pointing towards the sunset.

Here guests experience complete sensory emotions, immersed in the silence and romance of the landscape, sampling fine wines and the olive oil produced by the Castle estate, and tasting the specialities of regional Tuscan and Mediterranean Italian cuisine, a blend of creativity in the kitchen and respect for the seasons and for genuine ingredients.

The Spa

The Old Spa at Castello di Velona offers a complete fusion between the well-being of the treatments, the natural elements, the landscape, the products of nature, the silence and stunning scenery of the Val d’Orcia.

The perfection of travertine marble is the dominant element of the wellness area featuring a bright ambient with an elegant linear design.

The use of this prestigious material, a Tuscan tradition, characterize also the large pools of warm water, boasting a unique view of the Val d’Orcia, a Unesco world heritage site.

Tuscany, Italy 🇮🇹

With its lyrical landscapes, world-class art and a superb cucina contadina (farmer’s kitchen), the Tuscan experience is perfectly in symbiosis with the land.

An Artistic Powerhouse

Then there’s the art. And, oh, what art! The Etruscans indulged their fondness for a classy send-off with exquisite funerary objects, and the Romans, always partial to puffing up their own importance, left their usual legacy of monumental sculptures. But it was during the medieval and Renaissance periods that Tuscany really struck gold, with painters, sculptors and architects creating world-class masterpieces. Squirrelled away and safeguarded today in churches, museums and galleries all over the region, art in Tuscany is truly unmatched. Edgy street art in Florence and countryside sculpture parks bring the art scene right up to the 21st century.

Perfect Landscapes

Tuscany has a timeless familiarity with its iconic Florentine cathedral dome, gently rolling hills dipped in soft morning mist and sculptural cypress alleys. But then, this regione in central Italy is postcard material. Golden wheat fields, silver olive groves and pea-green vineyards marching in sharp terraced rows on hillsides form a graceful prelude to soul-soaring medieval hilltop villages, mountain ranges and fecund forests in the north, and a garland of bijou islands beaded along the coastal south. Get out, explore, hike and ding your bicycle bell, as this rousing landscape demands.

Sensational Slow Food

No land is more caught up with the fruits of its fertile earth than Tuscany, a gourmet destination whose residents spend an inordinate amount of time thinking about, discussing and consuming food and wine. Local, seasonal and sustainable is the Holy Trinity and Tuscans share enormous pride in the quality of their produce. Tuscan travel is grassroots: to wineries to taste blockbuster wines like Brunello di Montalcino and Vino Nobile di Montepulciano; to a family-run pastificio tradizionale where artisan pasta is cut by hand; and road trips in quest of the best bistecca alla fiorentina (chargrilled T-bone steak). Buon appetito!

Living History

Ever since the Etruscans dropped by to party and stayed, Tuscany has seduced. The Romans stocked their grain silos here, Christians walked stages of a medieval pilgrimage route, and Napoleon plundered art (and suffered terribly in exile in a beautiful neoclassical villa with fig trees and sea view on the paradisiacal island of Elba). Florence’s historic churches and monuments were a key stop for British aristocrats on the Grand Tour in the 19th century – and remain so. And at sundown when the River Arno turns pink, whether you like things old-fashioned and simple or boutique chic, know that this handsome city will oblige.

Italy 🇮🇹

Home to many of the world’s greatest works of art, architecture and gastronomy, Italy elates, inspires and moves like no other.

Endless Feasts

It might look like a boot, but food-obsessed Italy feels more like a decadently stuffed Christmas stocking. From delicate tagliatelle al ragù to velvety cannoli, every bite can feel like a revelation. The secret: superlative ingredients and finely tuned know-how. And while Italy’s culinary soul might prefer simplicity, it’s equally ingenious and sophisticated. Expect some of the world’s top fine-dining destinations, from San Pellegrino ‘World’s Best 50’ hotspots to Michelin-starred musts. So whether you’re on a degustation odyssey in Modena, truffle hunting in Piedmont or swilling powerhouse reds in the Valpolicella wine region, prepare to loosen that belt.

Spectacular Landscapes

Italy’s fortes extend beyond its galleries, wardrobes and dining rooms. The country is one of Mother Nature’s masterpieces, with extraordinary natural diversity matched by few. From the north’s icy Alps and glacial lakes to the south’s fiery craters and turquoise grottoes, this is a place for doing as well as seeing. One day you’re tearing down Courmayeur’s powdery slopes, the next you could be galloping across the marshes of the Maremma, or diving in coral-studded Campanian waters. Not bad for a country not much bigger than Arizona.

Inimitable Style

In few places do art and life intermingle so effortlessly. This may be the land of Dante, Titian and Verdi, but it’s also the home of Prada, Massimo Bottura and Renzo Piano. Beauty, style and flair furnish every aspect of daily life, from those immaculately knotted ties and seamless espressos to the flirtatious smiles of striking strangers. The root of Italian psychology is a dedication to living life well, and effortless as it may seem, driving that dedication is a reverence for the finer things. So slow down, style up and indulge in a little vita all’italiana (life, Italian style).

Cultural Riches

Epicentre of the Roman Empire and birthplace of the Renaissance, this European virtuoso groans under the weight of its cultural cachet: it’s here that you’ll stand in the presence of Michelangelo’s David and Sistine Chapel frescoes, Botticelli’s Birth of Venus and Primavera and da Vinci’s The Last Supper. In fact, Italy has more Unesco World Heritage cultural sites than any other country on Earth. Should you walk in the footsteps of ancient Romans in Pompeii, revel in Ravenna’s glittering Byzantine treasures or get breathless over Giotto’s revolutionary frescoes in Padua? It’s a cultural conundrum as thrilling as it is overwhelming.

Follow @blackplatinumgold on Instagram

Credits:

http://www.castellodivelona.it/en/

http://www.slh.com/hotels/castello-di-velona-hotel/?l

https://www.lonelyplanet.com/italy/tuscany/introduction

https://www.lonelyplanet.com/italy/introduction

Borgo Egnazia – Puglia, Italy 🇮🇹

 

 

Open year-round, Borgo Egnazia is the story of Puglia come to life.

In the ancient culture of the land and through the sheer beauty of its incomparable architecture. It’s a place like “Nowhere Else”, embodying a brand-new concept of hospitality based on authentic local experiences. Inspired by Apulia’s rich traditions, yet thoroughly contemporary in its style, the hotel is a true masterpiece of architecture and design. Every detail of the main building, separate and private villas, has been meticulously crafted to ensure the highest standards of luxury. The adjacent world-renowned San Domenico Golf Course, the Vair Spa with water and body treatments, the Beach Club, tennis and kids club, make it an unforgettable destination. A shimmering coastline, ancient olive groves, the Roman town of Egnazia and the UNESCO World Heritage town of Alberobello are nearby for exploration.

It happens every hour of the year: you come and live your time here, and nature is powerful, peace is intense, harmony is full. It’s a place where you meet your self. It’s Borgo Egnazia: it’s nowhere else.

Dining: Due Camini Restaurant

The evocative and refined gourmet restaurant is decorated with limestone, wood and candlelight swashes. It offers a true auteur cuisine, complex yet authentic and simple. Apulian traditions are revamped by Executive Chef Domingo Schingaro using carefully selected ingredients and skillful creative cooking methods.

The Spa

Winner of the Condè Nast Traveller’s 2017 Most Life-Changing Experience award, Vair is a “spiritual” Spa, a true temple dedicated to the care of body and soul, a comforting place where travelers explore themselves and come out renewed, conscious, joyful. Here Spa director Patrizia Bortolin, star-therapist and “Shaman” Stefano Battaglia and the whole community of Vair’s staff create a harmonious atmosphere of profound spontaneous sharing.

Guests can indulge in revolutionary tradition-inspired treatments divided into 12 programs pursuing three major goals: life-changing, lightness and energy, relaxation and beauty. The 2017 menu also includes psycho aromatherapy sessions, color tests and treatments integrating classic therapies with popular dances or body improvisations.

Puglia, Italy 🇮🇹

Puglia can surely now take its place in the first rank of Italy’s famous regions. Clearly, everything the Italophile craves is there in abundance: ancient towns heavy with the tangible past; extravagant churches dreamt up by Europe’s finest architects; the footprints of an endless procession of conquerors and cultures, stamped in stone, gold and marble; seas of olives; olive-green seas; and food the equal of any in Italy. Travellers bored or worn down by the crowds of Campania and Tuscany can find still release in the baroque splendour of Lecce, ‘Florence of the South’, or one of many lesser (but no less beautiful) Puglian towns.

But its perhaps outside of its cities that Puglia shines brightest. From the ancient Forest of Umbra in the north to the fruitful Valle d’Itria and sun-baked Salento, Puglia’s countryside has always been its foundation – the source of its food, its wealth and its culture.

Italy 🇮🇹

Home to many of the world’s greatest works of art, architecture and gastronomy, Italy elates, inspires and moves like no other.

Endless Feasts

It might look like a boot, but food-obsessed Italy feels more like a decadently stuffed Christmas stocking. From delicate tagliatelle al ragù to velvety cannoli, every bite can feel like a revelation. The secret: superlative ingredients and finely tuned know-how. And while Italy’s culinary soul might prefer simplicity, it’s equally ingenious and sophisticated. Expect some of the world’s top fine-dining destinations, from San Pellegrino ‘World’s Best 50’ hotspots to Michelin-starred musts. So whether you’re on a degustation odyssey in Modena, truffle hunting in Piedmont or swilling powerhouse reds in the Valpolicella wine region, prepare to loosen that belt.

Spectacular Landscapes

Italy’s fortes extend beyond its galleries, wardrobes and dining rooms. The country is one of Mother Nature’s masterpieces, with extraordinary natural diversity matched by few. From the north’s icy Alps and glacial lakes to the south’s fiery craters and turquoise grottoes, this is a place for doing as well as seeing. One day you’re tearing down Courmayeur’s powdery slopes, the next you could be galloping across the marshes of the Maremma, or diving in coral-studded Campanian waters. Not bad for a country not much bigger than Arizona.

Inimitable Style

In few places do art and life intermingle so effortlessly. This may be the land of Dante, Titian and Verdi, but it’s also the home of Prada, Massimo Bottura and Renzo Piano. Beauty, style and flair furnish every aspect of daily life, from those immaculately knotted ties and seamless espressos to the flirtatious smiles of striking strangers. The root of Italian psychology is a dedication to living life well, and effortless as it may seem, driving that dedication is a reverence for the finer things. So slow down, style up and indulge in a little vita all’italiana (life, Italian style).

Cultural Riches

Epicentre of the Roman Empire and birthplace of the Renaissance, this European virtuoso groans under the weight of its cultural cachet: it’s here that you’ll stand in the presence of Michelangelo’s David and Sistine Chapel frescoes, Botticelli’s Birth of Venus and Primavera and da Vinci’s The Last Supper. In fact, Italy has more Unesco World Heritage cultural sites than any other country on Earth. Should you walk in the footsteps of ancient Romans in Pompeii, revel in Ravenna’s glittering Byzantine treasures or get breathless over Giotto’s revolutionary frescoes in Padua? It’s a cultural conundrum as thrilling as it is overwhelming.

Follow @blackplatinumgold on Instagram

Credits:

http://borgoegnazia.com

https://www.lhw.com/hotel/BORGO-EGNAZIA-Savelletri-di-Fasano-Italy

http://www.lonelyplanet.com/italy/puglia/

http://www.lonelyplanet.com/italy/

CastaDiva Resort & Spa – Lake Como, Italy 🇮🇹

 

The ultimate lifestyle concept on Lake Como, the place to be for a luxury and glamour Italian Experience: CastaDiva Resort & Spa is a property of excellence and exclusivity, perfect for a romantic weekend or a week of vacation in one of the most beautiful lake of the World.

CastaDiva Resort & Spa was once the residence of the 19th century opera singer, Giuditta Pasta. Now an exclusive resort with lavishly decorated rooms and suites housed in nine separate villas, it is the latest hot property on the Italian Lakes. At the heart of the resort is Villa Roccabruna that houses ten magnificent suites, stunning salons and a tantalising spa.
With its unbeatable sceneries, understated luxury and unregulated beauty, Guests will enjoy a rare sense of magnificent that will be discovered in every single minute of their stay on Lake Como.

Staying here is a sublime mix of natural beauty, historic architecture, 18th and 19th century Italian culture and outstanding service. An essential experience at CastaDiva Resort & Spa is to take a treatment in its unique spa. Chromotherapy showers, a Finnish sauna, Turkish bath, vertical Kneipp and Himalayan Salt room for halotherapy are all available for sheer indulgence. Relax on comfortable chaise lounges, suspended on a glass floor over the 19th century dock. Or sit outside in the sun by the floating heated pool.

Discover the romance of Lake Como and explore the pretty villages dotted along its shores. Hire a boat and visit Villa Carlotta in the town of Tremezzo or Villa del Balbianello at Lenno. Return to CastaDiva Resort & Spa for drinks on the terrace followed by a gourmet dinner in l’Orangerie restaurant, or perhaps enjoy the red carpet at “Teatro Sociale” in Como.

Dining

CastaDiva Resort & SPA draws on the rich gastronomic traditions of Italy to provide authentic culinary delights. Guests will truly enjoy an unforgettable Gourmet experience, coupled with impeccable service, fresh products and an unparalleled view on Lake Como. A typical Italian cuisine with a modern twist, based on a meticulous selection of the finest Italian products is the key ingredient of its success: fresh pasta, bread and cakes, prepared every day with particular focus on local traditions. L’Orangerie restaurant with his new Terrace overlooking Lake Como, is without a doubt one of the most beautiful and romantic dining setting of the area.

The Spa

The CastaDiva SPA Wellness Experience on Lake Como offers sauna, steam bath, mediterranean bath, relaxation pool with side jets, vitality pool with hydromassage and chromotherapy, outdoors pool floating on Lake Como (Summer season only), kneipp circuit, balancing Himalayan rose salt relaxation room,  darsena relax area -an original XIX century dock gently suspended on the Lake, refreshing ice cascade, emotional showers with refreshing mint and exotic fragrances. A refuge for the body and the spirit, a harmonious atmosphere that fosters the quest for balance, the CastaDiva Spa offers exclusive rituals of contemporary wellness in a setting at once sumptuous and elegant. The Fitness Room, outfitted with technologically advanced equipment such as Technogym and Kinesis, ensures healthy and effective exercising to make the most of guests’ available time.

Lake Como, Italy 🇮🇹

Set in the shadow of the snow-covered Rhaetian Alps and hemmed in on both sides by steep wooded hills, Lake Como (aka Lake Lario) is the most spectacular of the region’s three major lakes. Shaped like an upside-down Y (or an armless wanderer), its winding shoreline is dotted with ancient villages and exquisite villas.The lake’s main town, Como, sits where the southern and western shores converge.

Italy 🇮🇹

Home to many of the world’s greatest works of art, architecture and gastronomy, Italy elates, inspires and moves like no other.

Spectacular Landscapes

Italy’s fortes extend beyond its galleries, wardrobes and dining rooms. The country is one of Mother Nature’s masterpieces, with extraordinary natural diversity matched by few. From the north’s icy Alps and glacial lakes to the south’s fiery craters and turquoise grottoes, this is a place for doing as well as seeing. One day you’re tearing down Courmayeur’s powdery slopes, the next you could be galloping across the marshes of the Maremma, or diving in coral-studded Campanian waters. Not bad for a country not much bigger than Arizona.

Inimitable Style

In few places do art and life intermingle so effortlessly. This may be the land of Dante, Titian and Verdi, but it’s also the home of Prada, Massimo Bottura and Renzo Piano. Beauty, style and flair furnish every aspect of daily life, from those immaculately knotted ties and seamless espressos to the flirtatious smiles of striking strangers. The root of Italian psychology is a dedication to living life well, and effortless as it may seem, driving that dedication is a reverence for the finer things. So slow down, style up and indulge in a little vita all’italiana (life, Italian style).

Cultural Riches

Epicentre of the Roman Empire and birthplace of the Renaissance, this European virtuoso groans under the weight of its cultural cachet: it’s here that you’ll stand in the presence of Michelangelo’s David and Sistine Chapel frescoes, Botticelli’s Birth of Venus and Primavera and da Vinci’s The Last Supper. In fact, Italy has more Unesco World Heritage cultural sites than any other country on Earth. Should you walk in the footsteps of ancient Romans in Pompeii, revel in Ravenna’s glittering Byzantine treasures or get breathless over Giotto’s revolutionary frescoes in Padua? It’s a cultural conundrum as thrilling as it is overwhelming.

Endless Feasts

It might look like a boot, but food-obsessed Italy feels more like a decadently stuffed Christmas stocking. From delicate tagliatelle al ragù to velvety cannoli, every bite can feel like a revelation. The secret: superlative ingredients and finely tuned know-how. And while Italy’s culinary soul might prefer simplicity, it’s equally ingenious and sophisticated. Expect some of the world’s top fine-dining destinations, from San Pellegrino ‘World’s Best 50’ hotspots to Michelin-starred musts. So whether you’re on a degustation odyssey in Modena, truffle hunting in Piedmont or swilling powerhouse reds in the Valpolicella wine region, prepare to loosen that belt.

Follow @blackplatinumgold on Instagram

Credits:

http://www.castadivaresort.com/Homepage-en.aspx

http://www.slh.com/hotels/castadiva-resort-and-spa/

https://www.lonelyplanet.com/italy/lombardy-and-the-lakes/lago-di-como

http://www.lonelyplanet.com/italy/

Palazzo Parigi Hotel & Grand Spa – Milan, Italy 🇮🇹

 

Rising from the ruins of the historic Palazzo Kramer, which was destroyed during WWII, Palazzo Parigi is now one of Milan’s most opulent hotels with 98 balconied rooms, an 18th-century garden, a huge 1700-square-metre spa, a ballroom and a lounge-bar inlaid with eight different types of wood. The art nouveau furnishings and 19th-century paintings lend it all a swoon-worthy Romantic style.

Palazzo Parigi will captivate you with its majestic spaces endowed with enveloping light, the precious works of art and antiques, its marbles and rich woodwork, the century-old garden, its bright, cosy roomsand suites with private terrace.

Haute cuisine is the rule here. Palazzo Parigi, the new 5 star hotel in Milan, elevates the concept of hospitality itself, just a few steps away from the fashion district, Brera and Teatro alla Scala.

Accommodation

The 33 suites of Palazzo Parigi, lavishly decorated, offer living spaces further expanding on to the exterior, with terraces widening their functionality and allowing for even more relax and comfort making Palazzo Parigi on of the best luxury hotels in Milan. Bathrooms are all marble, with separate bathtub and shower.

The Spa

Palazzo Parigi, temple of art and elegance, contains an exclusive oasis of relaxation of 1700mq.

The Grand Spa is a “home” of wellness, a place to rejuvenate in the heart of the city, Brera, and steps away from the famous fashion district. A unique space in Milan, where guests can feel immediately disconnected from the frenetic city. The key word is wellness and each detail is geared towards it. Starting from the decorations in the public areas to the rooms reserved for treatments.

A paradise where cleanse the body and clear the mind.

The Grand Spa of Palazzo Parigi, in addition to a wide range of beauty treatments with the use of excellence products, offers unique spaces, all with natural light, through which the guest get immersed in a paradise of water, music, perfumes and massages:

Private Garden

An exclusive eighteenth-century private garden planted with secular trees provides a rare oasis of greenery and is the perfect setting to relax and enjoy a light lunch or drink away, from the bustle of the city.

Milan, Italy 🇮🇹

Milan is Italy’s city of the future, a fast-paced metropolis where creativity is big business, looking good is compulsory and after-work drinks are an art form.

A Modern Miracle

Since Leonardo da Vinci broke all the rules in his stunning Last Supper, the indefatigably inventive Milanese seem to have skipped straight from the Renaissance to the 21st-century. Not only is Milan a treasure trove of 20th-century art, but art deco and rationalist architecture abound. Today the city leads the way with the largest post-war re-development in Italy, impressive, sustainable architecture and a futuristic skyline modelled by Zaha Hadid, Daniel Libeskind and César Pelli. And there’s more to come with ambitious plans to mould the city into a hi-tech hub, home to the likes of Google, Microsoft, Alibaba and Apple.

Cultural Legacy

Ruled by the Caesars, Napoleon, the Austro-Hungarians and Mussolini, Milan has an ancient and fascinating cultural history. Mercantile Milan invented the idea of the city-state and the Edict of Milan (AD 313) ended the persecution of Christians. Art collections old and new mark the genius of Old Masters and provoke new conversations about where the world is headed. Prestigious nights at La Scala and an illustrious literary heritage are balanced by a diverse contemporary music and publishing scene. In short, Milan is so much more than the puritanically work-obsessed city it is often portrayed as.

Buon Appetito

Cucina povera (peasant cooking) may be the cry of the south, but Milanese cuisine is a product of a rich urban culture. Just note the golden hue of its quintessential dishes: cotoletta (burnished, buttery veal) and saffron risotto. It was in powerful commercial cities such as Milan that Italy’s great cuisine was born, marrying Mediterranean fruits, spices and herbs with cooking methods, pastry techniques and eating styles from France and central Europe. Even today Milan continues to push Italy’s culinary boundaries, making sushi and dim sum their own, and holding the second highest number of Michelin stars in the country.

Living By Design

Though Italian design is world renowned, its roots lie in 1930s Milan and seeing it in a home context offers fresh appreciation. A visit to the Design Museum is a wonderful way to pay homage to the work of Italy’s best and brightest. In addition, Milan is home to all the major design showrooms and an endless round of trade fairs. And it’s not just insiders who have all the fun. Milanese fashion houses have branched out into spas, bars, hotels, galleries and restaurants. So, why not join them for a touch of la vita moda (the stylish life).

Italy 🇮🇹

Home to many of the world’s greatest works of art, architecture and gastronomy, Italy elates, inspires and moves like no other.

Endless Feasts

It might look like a boot, but food-obsessed Italy feels more like a decadently stuffed Christmas stocking. From delicate tagliatelle al ragù to velvety cannoli, every bite can feel like a revelation. The secret: superlative ingredients and finely tuned know-how. And while Italy’s culinary soul might prefer simplicity, it’s equally ingenious and sophisticated. Expect some of the world’s top fine-dining destinations, from San Pellegrino ‘World’s Best 50’ hotspots to Michelin-starred musts. So whether you’re on a degustation odyssey in Modena, truffle hunting in Piedmont or swilling powerhouse reds in the Valpolicella wine region, prepare to loosen that belt.

Spectacular Landscapes

Italy’s fortes extend beyond its galleries, wardrobes and dining rooms. The country is one of Mother Nature’s masterpieces, with extraordinary natural diversity matched by few. From the north’s icy Alps and glacial lakes to the south’s fiery craters and turquoise grottoes, this is a place for doing as well as seeing. One day you’re tearing down Courmayeur’s powdery slopes, the next you could be galloping across the marshes of the Maremma, or diving in coral-studded Campanian waters. Not bad for a country not much bigger than Arizona.

Inimitable Style

In few places do art and life intermingle so effortlessly. This may be the land of Dante, Titian and Verdi, but it’s also the home of Prada, Massimo Bottura and Renzo Piano. Beauty, style and flair furnish every aspect of daily life, from those immaculately knotted ties and seamless espressos to the flirtatious smiles of striking strangers. The root of Italian psychology is a dedication to living life well, and effortless as it may seem, driving that dedication is a reverence for the finer things. So slow down, style up and indulge in a little vita all’italiana (life, Italian style).

Cultural Riches

Epicentre of the Roman Empire and birthplace of the Renaissance, this European virtuoso groans under the weight of its cultural cachet: it’s here that you’ll stand in the presence of Michelangelo’s David and Sistine Chapel frescoes, Botticelli’s Birth of Venus and Primavera and da Vinci’s The Last Supper. In fact, Italy has more Unesco World Heritage cultural sites than any other country on Earth. Should you walk in the footsteps of ancient Romans in Pompeii, revel in Ravenna’s glittering Byzantine treasures or get breathless over Giotto’s revolutionary frescoes in Padua? It’s a cultural conundrum as thrilling as it is overwhelming.

Follow @blackplatinumgold on Instagram

Credits:

http://www.palazzoparigi.com/en/default.html

http://www.lonelyplanet.com/italy/milan/introduction

http://www.lonelyplanet.com/italy/introduction

 

Hotel Cala Di Volpe – Sardinia, Italy 🇮🇹

 

Lying on the most strikingly romantic stretch of the Costa Smeralda, the hotel resembles a charming fishing village, with its picturesque Sardinian houses and landing stage jutting out into a sea of translucent turquoise, emerald green and deepest azure.

Each of the 100 sea-view rooms and 21 suites pays tribute to Sardinia’s unique artistry and natural beauty. The minimal chic decor is inspired by traditional Sardinian workmanship. And for an even more exclusive ambience, the Presidential Suite, with three bedrooms, two lounges, a steam bath, one private heated swimming pool and a stunning view of the emerald bay.

Reaching a whole new level of elegance and splendor is the Penthouse Suite, by far the most magnificent in Costa Smeralda. To illustrate the charm and romance of Sardinia’s cultural history is the charismatic décor spread throughout the spacious layout.

Dining

At Cala di Volpe hotel, guests can enjoy a collection of epicurean experiences: from poolside relaxation to fine dining at signature restaurants, Cala di Volpe and Barbecue. Enhanced by Jacques Couelle’s expressive architecture, the typical beauty of Costa Smeralda complement the culinary offer that features indigenous ingredients from Sardinia’s best producers as well as international classic dishes to please gourmants from all over the world.

Sardinia, Italy 🇮🇹

This is an island where coastal drives thrill, prehistory puzzles, and sheep (four million of them) rule the roads. Sardinia captivates with its wild interior, dazzling beaches and endearing eccentricities.

Beach Beauties

Believe the hype: Sardinia has some of the dreamiest beaches you’ll find without stepping off European shores. Yes, the sand really is that white, and the sea the bluest blue. Imagine dropping anchor in Costa Smeralda’s scalloped bays, where celebrities and supermodels frolic in emerald waters; playing castaway on the Golfo di Orosei’s coves, where sheer cliffs ensure seclusion; or sailing to La Maddalena’s cluster of granite islands. Be it walking barefoot across the dunes on the wave-lashed Costa Verde or lounging on the Costa del Sud’s silky smooth bays – unroll your beach towel and you’ll never want to leave, we swear.

Outdoor Adventures

Whether you go slow or fast, choose coast or country, Sardinia is one of Europe’s last great island adventures. Hike through the lush, silent interior to the twilight of Tiscali’s nuraghic ruins. Walk the vertiginous coastal path to the crescent-shaped bay of Cala Luna, where climbers spider up the limestone cliffs. Or ramble through holm oak forests to the mighty boulder-strewn canyon of Gola Su Gorropu. The sea’s allure is irresistible to windsurfers on the north coast, while divers wax lyrical about shipwrecks off Cagliari’s coast, the underwater Nereo Cave and Nora’s submerged Roman ruins.

Time Travel

Sardinia has been polished like a pebble by the waves of its history and heritage. The island is scattered with 7000 nuraghi, Bronze Age towers and settlements, tombe dei giganti (‘giant’s grave’ tombs) and domus de janas (‘fairy house’ tombs). Down every country lane and and in every 10-man, 100-sheep hamlet, these remnants of prehistory are waiting to be pieced together like the most puzzling of jigsaw puzzles. Sardinia is also an island of fabulously eccentric festivals, from Barbagia’s carnival parade of ghoulish mamuthones, said to banish winter demons, to the death-defying S’Ardia horse race in Sedilo.

Island of Idiosyncrasies

As DH Lawrence so succinctly put it: ‘Sardinia is different.’ Indeed, where else but here can you go from near-alpine forests to snow white beaches, or find wildlife oddities like the blue-eyed albino donkeys on the Isola dell’Asinara and the wild horses that shyly roam Giara di Gesturi. The island is also a culinary one-off, with distinct takes on pasta, bread and dolci, its own wines (Vermentino whites, Cannonau reds) and cheeses – including maggoty casu marzu pecorino, stashed away in barns in the mountainous interior. In every way we can think of Sardinia is different, and all the more loveable for it.

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Credits:

http://www.caladivolpe.com

http://www.lonelyplanet.com/italy/sardinia/introduction

Punta Tragara Hotel – Capri, Italy 🇮🇹

 

It was known as the “Stracasa” (“Super-house”) because it was so much more than a humble abode. In 1920 the Lombardy-born engineer Emilio Errico Vismara chose spectacular Punta Tragara as the perfect spot to build a villa, perched high above the sea with views of the Faraglioni rock formations. The plans were drawn up by Le Corbusier, who described the villa as “a kind of architectural bloom, an extension of the rock, an offspring of the island, a plant-like phenomenon”.

It was only natural, then, that Villa Vismara should play a key role in history a few years later when it became home to the American command during the Second World War. Its eminent guests included General Dwight D. Eisenhower, General Mark Clark and Sir Winston Churchill.

Peace brought all the joie de vivre of the Dolce Vita to Capri, and in 1968 Count Goffredo Manfredi bought the villa as a holiday home, turning it into a hotel in 1973. Hotel Punta Tragara has enjoyed extraordinary growth ever since, reaching the pinnacle of hospitality on Capri as its five-star luxury status attests today.

It has always been about a sense of home, a form of elegance which listens to Capri’s voice and interprets it with a light, personal touch.

Stunning view

The entire island from a terrace. The views from Punta Tragara are endless: the spectacular Faraglioni rocks, enchanting Marina Piccola, the white contours of Capri, the wonderful light of dawn embracing the sea and the quietly romantic sunsets.

All the bustle and vitality of Capri’s historic Piazzetta is just a fifteen-minute stroll away along Via Tragara and Via Caramelle.

The Spa

A haven of wellbeing. The Unica Spa at Hotel Punta Tragara is the ideal place to discover a whole host of Physio Lab treatments. Four treatment rooms are available, each with its own outside relaxation area. Your day at the Spa starts with the “Buongiorno Capri” ceremony, including jogging, freshly-squeezed lemon juice and a lengthy massage, before moving on to wonderful thalassotherapy and an ultra-delicate body scrub so you can reap all the benefits of sun and sea.

Dining

Capri is a triumph of flavours. Everything is here: the freshest ingredients, from fruit and vegetables to fish and cheese. Lemons alone are enough to inspire a whole menu. Punta Tragara is just as extraordinary for its elegant, natural, contemporary cuisine. From a breakfast of haute patisserie to lunch overlooking the Faraglioni rocks; in the evenings, chance location and dine surrounded by the lights of the Gulf of Naples, just steps away from Capri’s historic Piazzetta. There are two restaurants, Monzù and Mammà, offering the world-renowned traditions of Naples.

Capri, Italy 🇮🇹

Welcome to a legendary idyll: Capri’s beguiling combination of fabled beauty and hedonism has charmed Roman emperors, Russian revolutionaries and Hollywood stars for decades. It’s the perfect microcosm of Mediterranean appeal – a smooth cocktail of chichi piazzas and cool cafes, Roman ruins and rugged seascapes.

Already inhabited in the Palaeolithic period, Capri was briefly occupied by the Greeks before Emperor Augustus made it his private playground and Tiberius retired here in AD 27. Its modern incarnation as a tourist centre dates from the early 20th century.

It’s also a hugely popular day-trip destination and a summer favourite of holidaying VIPs. Inevitably, the two main centres, Capri Town and its uphill rival Anacapri, are almost entirely given over to tourism, with the high prices that predictably follow. But explore beyond the swish cafes and designer boutiques and you’ll find that Capri retains an unspoilt charm, with grand villas, overgrown vegetable plots, sun-bleached, peeling stucco and banks of brilliantly coloured bougainvillea. All of this overlooks the deep blue water that laps into secluded coves and mysterious grottoes.

Follow @blackplatinumgold on Instagram

Credits:

http://www.hoteltragara.com/en/

http://www.lonelyplanet.com/italy/campania/capri/introduction

Grand Hotel Quisisana – Capri, Italy 🇮🇹

 

It’s impossible to miss the grand entrance of the Quisisana, just steps from Capri town’s central Piazzetta. This iconic five star hotel has been the favorite of politicians and poets, royalty and rockstars since it opened in 1845.

Outside on the legendary terrace, famous and not-so-famous guests relax and watch the bustling crowds of visitors to the island of Capri pass by. Inside, a luxurious oasis of peace and tranquility awaits, where shimmering chandeliers, polished marble floors, gilt-framed mirrors, and the warmest of welcomes immediately transports guests to another world.

The boutique-lined Via Camerelle skirts the hotel on one side, and the fragrant gardens overlooking the Mediterranean, complete with a scenic pool and an unforgettable view of the Faraglioni, welcome guests on the other. Glamour, luxury, privacy, and the natural beauty of Capri are the secret of Grand Hotel Quisisana’s 150 years of success.

Each of Grand Hotel Quisisana’s luxurious, light-filled rooms welcomes guests with the effortless Mediterranean elegance for which this enchanting Italian island is famous.

Rooms and suites are decorated in various shades of white, Quisisana’s trademark color. Why white? Because it’s the perfect backdrop for the lush green island, bright Mediterranean sky, and deep turquoise water framed by every window of the hotel.

Most rooms look out over the grounds surrounding the hotel swimming pool. Terraces in the suites boast spectacular views of the sea, the Faraglioni, the Charterhouse of San Giacomoand the Gardens of Augustus.

The real name Quisisana, “here one heals”, is a committment to our guests’ wellbeing. From its conception in 1845, Capri’s Quisisana was designed to provide a place in which to regenerate, restore natural equilibrium, and improve physical fitness. Inspired by both contemporary concepts of wellness and the thermal traditions of the Ancient Romans, who favored Capri as their holiday island, QuisiBeauty offers guests an exclusive environment in which to indulge in the finest beauty and wellness treatments and rediscover the harmony and serenity so essential to wellbeing.

Today Qvisibeauty&Spa offers exclusive treatments in our elegant and luxurious Qvisi oasis, where peace, comfort, knowledge and personalized attentions create a memorable Spa experience.

Capri, Italy 🇮🇹

Welcome to a legendary idyll: Capri’s beguiling combination of fabled beauty and hedonism has charmed Roman emperors, Russian revolutionaries and Hollywood stars for decades. It’s the perfect microcosm of Mediterranean appeal – a smooth cocktail of chichi piazzas and cool cafes, Roman ruins and rugged seascapes.

Already inhabited in the Palaeolithic period, Capri was briefly occupied by the Greeks before Emperor Augustus made it his private playground and Tiberius retired here in AD 27. Its modern incarnation as a tourist centre dates from the early 20th century.

It’s also a hugely popular day-trip destination and a summer favourite of holidaying VIPs. Inevitably, the two main centres, Capri Town and its uphill rival Anacapri, are almost entirely given over to tourism, with the high prices that predictably follow. But explore beyond the swish cafes and designer boutiques and you’ll find that Capri retains an unspoilt charm, with grand villas, overgrown vegetable plots, sun-bleached, peeling stucco and banks of brilliantly coloured bougainvillea. All of this overlooks the deep blue water that laps into secluded coves and mysterious grottoes.

With its whitewashed stone buildings and tiny, car-free streets, Capri Town feels more film set than real life. A diminutive model of upmarket Mediterranean chic, it’s a pristine mix of luxury hotels, expensive bars, fancy restaurants and designer boutiques. In summer the centre swells with crowds of camera-wielding day trippers and gangs of the glossy rich, but don’t be put off from exploring the atmospheric and ancient side streets, where the crowds quickly thin. And the walk west out of town to Villa Jovis shouldn’t be missed.

Follow @blackplatinumgold on Instagram

Credits:

http://www.quisisana.com

https://www.lonelyplanet.com/italy/campania/capri

http://www.lonelyplanet.com/italy/capri-town/introduction