Sunday, March 31, 2013

MARCH 2013


03012013 The pastel-colored fishermen's villages invite you to relax and enjoy the art of doing nothing. Life is slow and seemingly satisfying to everyone who lives there. For photographers, Procida is a dream subject, an entire island washed in color and charm. Italy Travel: Seven Places Off The Tourist Map | The Huffington Post
03022013 For all of its natural splendour, the main reason that tourists come to the island is to benefit from the numerous thermal spas and volcanic mud baths that occur naturally on the island as a direct result of the constant volcanic activity: the Terme. Ischia is filled with thermal springs and pools (with water temperatures above 45° C) that provide significant health benefits. They help alleviate persistent aches, pains, and a variety of dermatological problems because of their temperature and unique natural composition. The health benefits that Giulio Iasolino descibed during the Renaissance have been so pronounced that the island now produces its own line of natural cosmetics and health products under the Ischia Thermae brand name. Ischia: Island of natural beauty | Panoram Italia Magazine
03032013 Best holiday? Since I love the sea and the sun, there’s an island called Ischia in the Gulf of Naples that’s very special to me. It has natural thermal springs and beautiful scenery. There’s a small village called Sant’Angelo, where no cars are allowed, only pedestrians, so you can really relax. Andrea’s love song to Italy | Pretoria News
03042013 The volcanic activity in Ischia's substratum endows it with a vital and fertile character; such is evident in its lush and thriving landscape. The Poseidon Gardens, situated within the Comune of Forio, on the evocative Bay of Citara, represent the largest thermal park on the Island, with 22 thermal, curative pools, from which spring waters ranging from 60.8-104° Fahrenheit (16-40° C). It is a thermal paradise that, extending over 60,000 sq m (645, 835 sq ft), touches the sea with its gorgeous, well-equipped beach. Ischia: Thermal Parks |
03052013 Amedeo Canfora was extremely discrete as far as his celebrity clientele was concerned, but when Jackie Kennedy Onassis asked him to open his shop at midnight so that she could choose her sandals in peace, the story hit the international headlines in no time! After more than 60 years in the business, Canfora's shop is still there, in Via Camerelle, which, in the meantime, has become the most fashionable street in the whole of Capri. Sandali capresi | ItalyTraveller
03062013 Positano became famous in the 50′s resulting in “Positano-fashion” and the hand-made sandals that you can find in the small shops of the town. In Via Pasitea No. 24, next to Piazza Mulini, there is a small fashion business from Maria Fusco. The linen-fashion is really beautiful, and all items are handmade and unique. Maria Fusco Fashion | Enjoy Positano
03072013 Most fianos come from the inland area around the town of Avellino, hence the appellation Fiano di Avellino. But five in our tasting came from regions closer to the Mediterranean, a warmer climate where the wines tend to be richer and rounder, like our No. 2 bottle, the 2008 Kràtos from Luigi Maffini. This comes from Paestum, an ancient Greco-Roman city south of the Amalfi coast. The wine was bright and tangy, with a rich texture and an attractive waxy, mineral aroma. Incidentally, wines from Paestum are not eligible for higher-status appellations, and so generally are labeled I.G.T., for Indicazione Geografica Tipica, or typical of its place of origin. Fiano Enjoys a Renaissance |  The New York Times
03082013 Quixotic might be a better description than heroic, were it not that the sfusato brings with it a vital guarantee. "The lemon farmers here are the sentinels of the environment," said Angelo Amato, vice-president of the consortium for the protection of the Amalfi coast lemon. With its steep cliffs, the coast is susceptible to landslides. The roots of the lemon trees help to stabilise the ground, and the dry stone walls of the terraces also play a crucial role. Amalfi lemon growers fear for future of prized fruit | The Guardian
03092013 Modern Benevento is surrounded by hills of olive groves and vineyards, and by orchards of the uniquely flavourful Annurca apples. Unable to fully ripen on the tree, these apples are picked when bittersweet, laid out on straw beds under an open sky, and turned every few days until they become red. They have been given DOP protected status, a Campanian regional treasure. This province is known too for its wines. Guardia Sanframondi has become a centre of viticulture in the area, where gentle slopes make perfect homes for native grape varieties. The ambitious cooperative, La Guardiense, has led the way here with its well-made ‘Janare’ line of aglianico, greco and falanghina. Discovering Campania | The Wine Society
03102013 I have always loved the Colli di lapio Fiano d’Avellino.  My first experience of this wine was at the restaurant A16 in San Francisco.  I was truly struck by it’s waxy fullness, a round well-structured wine that is held up by sheer minerality and a resulting viscosity.  This is the real Fiano- a white wine that speaks of volcanoes and Roman invasions and hundereds of years of pounding tides and unrelenting sunshine. Colli di Lapio, Irpinia Campi Taurasini. Just Delicious. | Italian Wine Geek
03112013 Afternoons spent poolside by one of the most stunning infinity pools I’ve seen, completely unforgettable. I looked forward to it every day. The views from our lounges (which were deliciously comfortable, I might add) were so incredible, the pool and sea seemingly merging into one. Monastero Santa Rosa, Conca dei Marini | What's Worth It
03122013 This is the ruins of the church of Sant Eustachio, seen from near Ravello on the Amalfi coast. Views like this are common on the walking path that leads down from Ravello to Atrani and Amalfi. The terraced vineyards and limestone cliffs are typical of this part of Italy. Sant Eustachio by vjmite | TrekEarth
03132013 At Hotel Santa Caterina glamorous interiors feature Italian antique furniture from the 19th and early 20th centuries together with some contemporary elements and original details from the typical local tradition such as the precious Vietri light blue tiles, hand painted majolica, decorative plaster works, classic whitewashed low vaulted ceilings with pillars at the corners. Colours recall the blue of the sea and the yellow of the lemons which are so widespread in this coastal area which runs from Sorrento to Vietri. Scented lemons, together with herbs and other citrus fruits are also part of the beauty treatment products at the Santa Caterina’s SPA. Santa Caterina, the iconic hotel of Amalfi Coast in Italy | Travel Daily News
03142013 “I ate this dish on our wedding anniversary last year, when we were travelling along the Amalfi Coast,” says Katie Caldesi, who, with her husband, Giancarlo, celebrates the southern Italian region, its food and its people in her latest book. “We were at the San Pietro hotel outside Positano. Fusilli con gamberetti, cannellini e menta sounded so delicious when I read it on the menu, a lovely combination of prawns and mint, and very pretty in shades of pink and green. Fusilli with prawns, white beans and mint recipe | The Telegraph
03152013 Robert Tuchman, president of high-end travel company Goviva, recommends visiting the Amalfi Coast in southern Italy. The coastline features pastel-colored homes built into bluffs overlooking the Bay of Naples, and little towns like Ravello; visitors also aren’t far from the island of Capri, he says. Travelers who like high-end fashion shouldn’t miss Milan, headquarters of Italian big-name designers like Versace and Dolce & Gabbana. 10 best travel spots—if money’s no object | Market Watch
03162013 Our main house [the boutique hotel Villa Le Scale in the town of Anacapri] dates to about 1810 but the kitchen and cantina actually started in the 17th century. Our grounds were originally vineyards. It doesn’t have an urban feel. Walk in the front gate and you have no idea you’re in the middle of town. Villas on Capri are constructed that way. Isle of Capri an upscale European vacation spot | The Charlotte
03172013 Room 122 was a Junior Suite and therefore 670-875 euros a night for two, including breakfast, according to season. In its hallway were doors to the bathroom and the bed-sitting room. The former boasted crystal wall lights, two wash basins, a tub with a jacuzzi facility, a separate shower, a loo, a bidet and lots of the beautifully packaged Quisi toiletries, which included perfumed water. (The hotel has a famous spa and is justifiably proud of its Quisi range of beauty products.) Later in the mornings, down on the terrace of La Colombaia, by the swimming pool and next to superbly manicured gardens, I enjoyed the kind of breakfasts you would expect of a grand hotel. Grand Hotel Quisisana - Capri | Bown's Best
03182013 The ''Volcano of Roccamonfina'' is an extinct volcano in Roccamonfina, Campania, southern Italy. It was active from some 650,000 to 50,000 years ago. It comprises an isolated large cone of some perimeter between the Monti Aurunci, the plain and valley of the Garigliano, the Monte Massico and the Monti Trebulani. The central caldera has a diameter of nearly. Volcanic activity is now replaced by minor seismic movements and by the presence of mineral waters. The mount is part of the Roccamonfina - Garigliano Mouth Regional Park, created in 1999. Roccamonfina (volcano) | Shelf3D
03192013 The justly famous double portrait of the couple is among the highlights of the British Museum’s new show on Pompeii and Herculaneum. It is one of the finest pieces of art to have been found among the beautifully preserved pieces that were buried beneath layers of superheated ash following the eruption of Mount Vesuvius in AD79. An upcoming exhibition reveals the domestic side of Pompeii and Herculaneum | The Financial Times
03202013 After a couple of hours of vigorous trekking, I climbed a particularly rocky incline and carefully worked my way along the narrow cliff hugging section of trail that led around to the northwest. It opened up on a staggeringly beautiful new view of Positano far below, and the island of Capri in the distance. Amalfi Coast: Sentieri degli Dei | A Canadian at Liberty
03212013  Nocelle is genuine and welcoming, especially when villagers bid you bongiorno as you walk by their doors and the young lads you watched playing football outside the church from your balcony all greet you with a warm buona sera as they line up behind you to fill up their water bottles with fresh mountain water at the tap outside Villa Degli Dei. Stay in Nocelle, leave Positano behind | 500 Days of Italy
03222013 Then a taxi back to Sorrento and it was time for a celebratory lunch on the terrace of the historic Foreigners' Club, looking down on the harbour. Shrimps and chickpeas to start, followed by kneaded pasta in a cheese and cream sauce - delicious, but sinful. I decided on an afternoon perambulation to make room for supper. At the end of the peninsula, the empty hilltop village of Termini is perched on the edge of the cliffs, far away from tourists, with the sea all around. I followed an old track all the way down to the lighthouse and climbed back up following the edge of the cliff. Oh Amalfi: Janet Street-Porter walks into a world of wonder on Italy's fabled coastline | Daily Mail
03232013 One of the most magical spots has to be the Artists Alley, a historic place where Sorrento's joiners, inlayers and carpenters had their studios, a part of the city where the mediaeval streets are pinched in towards each other. An old Greek gate marks where an ancient fortification once protected the town, and a steep path leads down to Marina Grande, a tiny harbour with seafood restaurants and a free swimming beach. Sorrento swoon | The Sydney Morning Herald
03242013 It is hard not to fall in love with Sorrento. Stars have flocked to the Neapolitan Riviera for years and Sorrento is this beautiful corner of Italy’s shining light. The resort itself, around an hour or so by road from Naples airport, is set high on the cliffs, hugging the bays of Italy’s sun-soaked southwest coast. From our hotel, the Conca Park, you could wend your way down to the port, past the bustling shops, restaurants, bars and street cafes, in a matter of minutes. Bays of glory: Stunning Italian scenery in Sorrento | Mirror
03252013 Towering above Sorrento’s picturesque harbour, the Grand Hotel Excelsior Vittoria is an opulent coastal landmark and its boutique spa a haven of wellbeing. Spa Spy: La Serra Spa, Grand Hotel Excelsior Vittoria, Sorrento, Italy | The Telegraph
03262013 The San Carlo Theatre of Naples is one of the world's oldest opera houses, and its production of Verdi's La Traviata was traditional in both its virtues and its flaws. Grand in scale and distinguished by some magnificent singing, it was over-long and had little of the realism that has revolutionised opera in recent decades. The ace in San Carlo's hand was Carmen Gianattasio as Violetta, the consumptive courtesan who gives up the only man she has ever loved and is reunited with him on her deathbed. La Traviata | South China Morning Post
03272013 Its fabrics were luxurious and perfectly made so they became famous all over the world: Ferdinand IV of Bourbon and his wife decided to live in San Leucio and housed their noble guests who came to buy the beautiful silk. The Factory was a sort of realized utopia: the poor’s lives became wealthy and Ferdinand realized his “Enlightenment” dream by providing them a job, houses, food and laws. San Leucio, a realized utopia | Zia Lucy
03282013 It’s almost impossible for me to be anywhere in the area of Vesuvius and not dine at ‘E Curti. I’m crazy about the food, family, and ambience, all in Neapolitan dialect. It’s named for the Lilliputian dwarf brothers (short guys) who took over their uncle’s trattoria in 1952 after a life travelling Europe as circus impresarios. Their niece Angelina Ceriello and Zia Assunta are in the kitchen, now assisted by their cousin Francesco who attended culinary school—you can tell by the way he curls the pasta around itself on the plate, something Angelina never did. I love Campania, Part 1 | La Cucina Italiana
03292013 How could I say no to pizza? I couldn’t, we met Enzo at the San Giorgio Cremano north exit of the autostrada and he led us to Pizzeria Salvo. Ciro, Francesco and Salvatore Salvo are third-generation men but, explained Salvatore (tall, blond, looks more like a basketball player than a pizzaiolo) he wanted to know the science behind the family’s recipes and techniques. They use the very finest ingredients - quality flour, tomatoes, mozzarella, long rising dough, all contributing to the success of Salvo’s fine pizza, definitely worth a detour. I Love Campania, Part 2 | La Cucina Italiana
03302013 So it's with an air of relief that you board the funicular railways lines to the Hotel San Francesco Al Monte, located three-quarters of the way up the hill to Vomero. When you arrive don't be surprised if you find yourself gaping at the modern art on the walls as you get shown to your walls. The hotel's very impressive paintings form part of the collection of longtime modern art lover Peppe Morra, whose Fondazione Morra exhibition space can be visited in an old electric plant closer to the arty Piazza Dante. Once you've seen the external views it becomes harder to pay attention to the paintings, however. These are simply astonishing from the corner rooms, or from the transparent elevator which climbs up the outside of the hotel. But it is at its best from the roof garden, complete with a swimming pool. "You can visit Naples from the roof!" says Marianna Serno. Hot spot: Hotel San Francesco Al Monte, Naples |
03312013 'You cry twice when you come to Naples - once when you arrive and again when it's time to leave'. I have heard this countless times on my frequent visits, often during the short, stressful journey from the airport. It may take a few days to fully comprehend that Naples is a place where order comes out of chaos, and vice versa. In order to embrace this way of life I try my utmost to adapt my frame of mind accordingly - I find that a laissez-faire attitude is essential. A Tear or Two for Naples | Italia!