Tarthesh Hotel is a four star boutique hotel in middle-eastern/Sardinian style.
It is located in Guspini and houses just 39 rooms.
Its strong point is given by its beautiful garden, made of green lawn and exotic plants and crossed by streams.
I stayed in the hotel and especially enjoyed its Jacuzzi area!
The Venice Carnival is a photographer's dream with figures dressed in costumes ranging from the absolutely beautiful to the bizarre.
Most people go to St Mark's Square to take pictures on the last days of Carnival. There are many fantastic images to be found but the square gets incredibly crowded and shots have to be taken quickly and often onlookers get in the way. My tip therefore is to move away from the square to other, quieter locations where you will encounter some of the more professional models who will be prepared to give you much more time to pose them and to compose your pictures.
The best time to try is late morning and promising locations are outside the Salute Church, the walk between Accademia and S. Toma vaporetto stops (taking in Campo S. Baranaba) and the walk between San Marco and Campo Santo Stefano. Indeed, many of the main piazzas and campos are a good bet. This is a great opportunity to get away from the crowds and work with some good amateur models.
To take photographs simply ask politely and if language is a problem, indicating the camera is usually enough to start taking pictures.
Perfect little pizza place which also serves up local snack food but this is fast food that tastes out of this world.
I rode over from Zermatt for the day I found this place, desperate for food I went into the village to find substance at a reasonable rate. I walked past this super small shop which had a large queue I decided to find out why it was so busy ... after a 10 minute wait I was served the best pizza I have ever tasted. The only downside was it was so cheap I felt I was robbing them. I see why it was so busy.
Its not easy to find, and of course you have to take your board/ skis off to get to it, but trust me its worth it!
Via Carrel 43
Set in the small, walled medieval town of San Gimignano in Tuscany, a work of art itself, a delightful, white, tunnel-like space displaying a huge collection of exciting contemporary ceramics, by Italian and international artists, ranging from the sublime to the startling, supported by equally exciting paintings and sculptures, all within a few metres of shady bars and gelaterias.
Visit the Vatican and the eat here. Off the tourist track and a short walk away. Fantastic dining with great rustic food and wonderful atmosphere.
Under represented in the guide books and slightly away from the heart of Milan, the Triennale, in the gardens of the Castello Sforzesco, is a museum of modern applied arts.
There are usually four or five temporary exhibits, covering an eclectic mix of different disciplines. When I was there the standout was an outstanding retrospective of the work of Milanese designer and architect Marco Ferreri.
A great place to people watch too, as an indoor alternative to gawping at the fashionistas in the Quadrilatero della Moda!
Standing proud on the hills outside Turin we found the chicest of contemporary art, beautifully presented in a restored 17th century palazzo originally built for the Savoiardi family. The exhibitions are very, very cool, and the building is a wonder of old and new architecture, fused together with lashings of Italian ‘eleganza’. Go in the evening to combine your visit with the breathtakingly expensive Combal. Zero, voted one of the top ten life changing restaurants in the world, apparently, presenting a feast as experimental as the art next door.
In a tiny bay at the end of the path from the village of Sorgeto is a thermal vent which heats the sea all year round. There are small pools marked out by stones and a really great bar where you can buy beer and Ischian food - what more could you want?
Take a water taxi from Sant'Angelo or use the clockwise/anti-clockwise bus and walk down to the sea from Panza.
Named after the Roman God Saturn and a handful of kilometres away from the perfect Tuscan hill town of Pitigliano, the small rocky village of Saturnia has a nearby hot spring and spa hotel. At no cost, you can wallow in the sulphurous spring water that gushes out at 37 degrees C and tumbles down a series of waterfalls. It gets busy with visitors, but there is always a quiet rock pool to rest in while you watch the Italians having fun. If you want peace and quiet it's worth getting up at dawn and revel in having the place to yourself.
The Rosa Alpina is a gorgeous hotel in the Italian Dolomites ideally located to ski the surrounding mountains. Fitscape is a specialist holiday company that offers ski fitness training - you spend a lot of time on the slopes but also get a healthy breakfast, yoga classes and stretching exercises as well as plenty of time to unwind in the hotel's sauna, pool and steam room.
Belluno is a small city in the Veneto region in Italy. The best thing about it is how authentic it is, you'll probably be the only tourists around and will always find great accommodation. The main attractions are the fantastic Dolomites - amazing pink granite mountains - which surround the Belluno valley like a crown. In the summer they're a perfect hiking destination but wintertime is when they're at their very best and amazing for skiing. Another brilliant thing about Belluno is the food. You'll find great restaurants offering the local specialities - too many to list - and you'll be able to sample the best Prosecco, a variety of wine made in this very area.
The city centre itself is beautifully picturesque and tranquil. A true hidden gem.
This is a beautifully restored farmhouse and barn that has been converted into four really light, airy, stylish apartments. We stayed in Villa Gigi which accommodated our family of six perfectly. The variety and versatility of room combinations means that guests can vary from the romantic couple (maybe they could re enact Romeo & Juliet from the balcony in Villa Elisa)to a large family group, who will no doubt take full advantage of the superb pool!
We arrived when the festas were in full swing. Full of pagentry, colourful costumes, dancing and quirky games, not forgetting the delicious food and local wine. Our hosts Damien and Sharon were extremely helpful, recommending local places of interest and eateries. If you are looking to avoid the usual high street stores or multinational food chains then Sanarno is for you. It has wonderful old world charm, an open air market and plenty of unique little shops. One of the eateries we tried was Bar Sassatetto, which produced some fantastic pizzas and was really reasonable. Of course the children loved the local gelateria, visiting lake Fiastra to swim and sunbathe and exploring the countryside.It was a very memorable holiday for all the right reasons, so don't be put off by the fact that you will need to hire a car to take full advantage of all that is on offer in the region. The drive from Bologna was straight forward especially with the sat nav. The toll road travels down the Adriatic coast to Civitanova Marche where it turns inland, so its fairly easy.
Via Case Rosse
278 Sarnano 62028 MC
+44 0208 653 5206
Nearest airport Pescara and Ancona
Google map: bit.ly/aiTcyg
This fantastic bookshop, arranged over four floors is open from 9.00am to midnight. Right in the middle of the city, buzzing with life and a coffee bar. English books are on the top floor - what a civilised place to be of an evening and never overrun with tourists, plenty of room to sit and read with a hot chocalate. A welcome opportunity to chose bedtime reading after maybe a lovely Tuscan meal at Marione on Via dell Spada.
Piazza Repubblica 27/R – 50123 Florence
Google map: bit.ly/bX2ivp
A great foodie blog by two people who love eating: where to eat fabulous food when you are there and how to cook the food when you get home. And all with luscious photos.
Beautiful, romantic folk take note, the Rialto Bridge is an iconic pedestrian bridge that belongs to the medieval era. It spans over the Grand Canal and is acknowledged as the hub for commercial activities for centuries. You can even find the old stores, jewelry shops and various small counters still running their business. Lots of shops to buy your loved one a special present.
The enticing Rialto Bridge is the oldest and the most fascinating bridge in this beautiful city. The overpass consists of magnificent pillars and amazingly crafted arches. You can witness the stunning view of the Grand Canal while shopping and snuggling up to your lovely partner.
I believe this italo-germanic speaking region is an unknown face of Italy that has so much to offer. I have been twice to Bolzano in winter for Christmas break and I had a great experience skiing as well as sleighing in the Dolomiti. Cities like Bolzano, Bressanone,Brunico and small villages such as San Vigilio di Marebbe have a fabulous Christmas atmosphere with their markets and lights and have so much to offer food and wine-wise. In summer the region transforms into this wonderful 'Heidi' land with beautiful alpine landscapes and so much nature to enjoy. For those looking for a different experience and some fresh air this is the place. It is not overcrowded by tourists (except the main holiday of Christmas and school vacation in Italy- when you really need to book in advance) and therefore keeps a very authentic atmosphere most part of the year. Italy is also slightly cheaper on the food and accommodation side, so for example if you are flexible to stay in small villages rather than ski resorts you can get good bargains. Renting an apartment in one of the main towns and driving to the ski slopes for the day is another solution that works for those who prefer town to villages or ski resorts. The region is north of the Veneto and its wines, but also produces its own varieties which are really nice. The mix of Italian and Austrian influences in the culture and culinary specialties makes the Alto Adige region a fascinating place to discover.
I think the official website of the region is a great way to start www.suedtirol.info/, then there are so many websites linking for ski/ hiking and nature lovers, as well as for fine palates. If you have never been there and want to plan a vacation there is this great agency run by the loveliest couple, Paolo and Keiko. She is Japanese and he is Italian and both enjoy enormously showing the region to visitors. They have great pictures on their website for you to get ideas of things to do and visit in Bolzano and its region. www.oidentour.com/
Google map: bit.ly/aqvXMe
Lovely villa B&B, use of veranda later for wine and reviewing the day. the area is charming but only 10 minutes by train to Sorrento for dinner. Get the seven euro ticket at the station which gives you 24 hours travel, train and bus, around the Amalfi coast so is well worth it. And do stop in Positano, Amalfi and Ravello.
We were looking for a vegetarian lunch and this deli has a great selection of freshly made items in their chill cabinet. You can have a mixed plate selection for about 10 euros. Either choosing exactly what you want or leaving the selection to them. Seating inside or take-away. Make sure you ask for a vegetarian platter but also make it clear you don't want meat or fish items. They also serve a big selection of non-veggie items, so might not immediately appreciate the vegetarian thing.
Via B. Colleoni, 26. On the main shopping street in the old town - opposite a restaurant owned by the same people.
Google map: bit.ly/b3AgP8
This place sells great pizza. All simple kinds of pizza, nothing fancy, but very well executed. Popular with locals and tourists alike, it's very busy. You can eat in or takeaway to a nice square near by - piazza santo spiritu.
Via Maggio, 46
50125 Florence Firenze, Italy
Google map: bit.ly/cIhHje
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