Masseria Tagliente

Masseria Tagliente

Puglia, Italy

If I had a masseria, I think I’d want it like this one: a luxury family residence with a big, spotless white, Spanish-style façade and five balconies on the piano nobile to see if the black wild horses are back from the woods, if the goats have gone into the shed, and if Brindisi and the Ionian Sea are glittering in the evening. The corner kitchen tiled with majolica ends in a big roof terrace, near St. Martin’s statue…

Masseria Schiuma

Masseria Schiuma

Puglia, Italy

‘Schiuma’ (foam) is a splendid word. It quickly calls to mind high waves’ foam, soft soap bubbles and their rainbows, soft milk, shaving foam that smells like pungent cologne, the lightness of childhood, an adolescence-like goliardic spirit, and an ephemeral consistency that leads you to play at any age. There is a street named Schiuma that from national road S90 – Monopoli to Savelletri – going south, takes you away from the sea and into an unexpected countryside. Masseria Schiuma’s name comes from it. In my opinion, its owners – a sincere Danish couple, graceful and beautiful, Pernille and Lars – love simplicity so much that they did not want to add any more frills or meanings to this place, a temple of private and shared spaces. Every movement of hosts and guests is free and mature…

Palazzo Penelope

Palazzo Penelope

Puglia, Italy

‘32 sq. m. of sea’. Water is the primary element that always fascinated Pino Pascali. The artist re-created his own sea in zinc tubs, each one containing a tone-on-tone variation of the colour of the sea. Pino Pascali, the greatest Apulian artist, was born in Bari on 19th October 1935. His parents came from Polignano a Mare. Very soon, his works emphasized his Mediterranean culture…

Albergo Quattro Fontane

Albergo Quattro Fontane

Venice, Italy

‘The garden of the Finzi-Continis’ was published by Einaudi in 1962. The story takes place between 1938 and 1941, safe from outside events. For many years I have wanted to write about the Finzi-Continis – about Micòl and Alberto, Professor Ermanno and Signora Olga – and about the many others who lived at, or like me frequented, the house in Corso Ercole I d’Este, Ferrara, just before the last war broke out. But the impulse, the prompt, really to do so only occurred for me a year ago, one April Sunday in 1957. I slept at Albergo Quattro Fontane on a lovely May evening. While writing, I realise that in Italian we do not use the word ‘albergo’ anymore, and banally say ‘hotel’ instead. Actually, I am always looking for an albergo, with its poetic meaning of habitual residence. A few more seconds, and I would have heard her voice greeting me. ‘Hello,’ said Micòl, standing on the threshold. ‘How good of you to come.’ I had anticipated everything with great accuracy – everything except the fact that I would kiss her…

Sakeya

Sakeya

Milan, Italy

‘No moon, no blossom. Just me drinking sake, totally alone.’ Matsuo Bashō, 1689. Oku no Hosomichi (‘The Narrow Road to the Interior’) is one of the most important classic books of the Japanese literature. This work by poet Matsuo Bashō is a travelogue written both in prose and verses during a long and perilous walk, a five-month pilgrimage, more than two thousand kilometres long, from the modern Tokyo to the Japanese hinterland. It was the end of the eighteenth century. The master’s itinerary became the opportunity for many to start their own Japanese journey…

Le Tre Stanze

Le Tre Stanze

Florence, Italy

When spring comes, Arctic plants follow some direct and indirect environmental signs to know when they have to wake up from their winter sleep: milder temperatures, longer days and the reduction of sea ice. The bed is high, my legs dangle and my toes sense the ancient carpet. The white linen is an old-time one belonging to home women’s trousseaus. Bells ring as clear as a mother’s voice; they may be the Cathedral’s bells. The smell of cinnamon we fell asleep with is back. The Florentine light can barely filter. There is no sound. Only the young owner of this house moves quietly barefoot around the kitchen, a teaspoon stirring hot coffee. Waking up in this residence at 43 Via dell’Oriuolo is a moment made of small gracious signs. It is an act of generosity by Patrick, a sculptor and photographer. We will talk mainly about Engadin, a place we love in different ways, a place that lingers in our eyes. He is lucky enough to be born there.

Ditta Artigianale

Ditta Artigianale

Florence, Italy

Its shrubs can be some meters high and they produce white fragrant flowers and red fruits. In Yemen and in Ethiopia, a legend says that the stimulating properties of coffee were discovered by observing goats, which ate it and were inebriated by it. A shepherd told a monk. A decoction of toasted coffee beans kept the monk awake, allowing him to pray all night long. The legend spread through countless versions and alterations, and the first cup of coffee arrived from the East to Europe and to the whole world. Ancient and new enterprises were founded on this aromatic and strengthening drink. Making it has become a ritual, and drinking it, too…

Casa Flora

Casa Flora

Venice, Italy

Azure is a rare colour in the animal and vegetable kingdoms. When we see it in nature, it is not proper azure, but the result of light diffraction: it happens with some birds’ feathers, the sky, ice, water and the wings of butterflies. Once squashed, blueberries are red rather than blue. So, which room did you choose? In which one did you sleep? In the azure one. In Casa Flora, the colours of the lagoon were brought into the rooms. There is the shade of green of the narrowest and clearest canals, the most heart-breaking Venetian shade of pink, and the soft azure of our room…

Rocco

Rocco

Rome, Italy

At Rocco’s we put our researches on hold, stop writing, and avoid investigating the history of a place and a menu that are perfectly spontaneous and graceful. As when you meet the ladylike face of a little girl. We take note of all that goodness and promise and do not ask anything more. A big squared blackboard displays season ingredients and goliardic recipes (we are in Rome) made with respect, both written in a model-student writing. Since it is spring, we order stewed peas, white onions au gratin, soft eggs with asparagus, panned chicory, sour black cherry and ricotta tart…

Crystals of island

Crystals of island

Corsica, France

This spring, a lucky chance brings me back to Corsica, an island I only remember through my memories as a kid. A turbulent sail through the Strait of Bonifacio took me to the discovery of a land of bright blues and greens with exotic French flair. Savouring warm, lightly salted croissants I look at the ports disappearing in the distance. The vivid memories of my second time in Corsica blend with older more blurry memories.The echo of Pigna’s perpetual symphony, a mix of bitter, sweet, ripe and sour notes; a picture perfect paradise of white sand and blue water (Saleccia beach); the slow and reassuring rhythm of pastoral life in the valleys around Corte and the majestic and colourful nature of the South…

North Branch Inn

North Branch Inn

Catskills, Usa

Looking out from the Queen Room, in the softened light of a cloudless Saturday, you can experience the feeling of waking up in the suspended atmosphere of a secluded American province. As if the charm of a silent North American village was not a memorable morning by itself, imagine going down the creaky wooden stairs of the Post Office House, crossing the quiet North Branch Road, breathing fresh air, and entering the Main Inn House. Last night you sipped cider at the counter, then had a substantial late dinner and played bowling. Imagine filling a mug with freshly roasted coffee, a dish with apple and cinnamon tarts, and a bowl with granola and full-bodied farm milk. The smell of burned wood, of an outdoor Saturday, of woods. God bless America.

The Jane Hotel

The Jane Hotel

New York, Usa

It is impossible, as soon as you get in front of the stairs of this picturesque hotel by the Hudson River, not to recall to memory the latest fantastic film by Wes Anderson. Above all, it happens thanks to the concierges’ look, but also thanks to the enduring peculiar and timeless atmosphere that Jane Hotel maintains since its early days. Do not choose a single room with shared bathroom if you do not have a strong adaptability; do it instead if you have a weakness for unconventional accommodations and/or for the tiny compartments of yesteryear trains.

Traveler’s Picks

Traveler’s Picks

by Caroline and Michael Ventura

Michael and Caroline met in the winter of 2006. They have created photoshoots together, written for books together, made art together, and have built a home together. In 2015 they opened Calliope, a furnishing and home goods store in the NYC’s West Village. They live above the shop with their dog, Darryl.

Totem Flaine

Totem Flaine

Flaine, France

This story does not begin on a mid-January Friday, while we gather our mountain clothes, boots, maps, two old issues of Meridiani and a guidebook into our tartan bag. It starts on the day Éric Boissonnas – a visionary entrepreneur – and Gérard Chervaz – an architect – discover a plot of plain protected by the spotless faces of Grand Massif, in Haute-Savoie. Thanks to that love at first sight, and to the urban project Éric and his wife Sylvie – art and music lovers – carried out in the following years with architect Marcel Breuer, today we follow at a walking pace the whims of a D106 covered with snow, slowly enter Flaine, and leave our luggage at the reception desk of Totem, the only hotel in town…

Trempeskill Country Store

Trempeskill Country Store

Catskills, Usa

Once upon a time, Candy and Edchin – a teacher and an engineer respectively – lived in Long Island. They arrived in Andes, NY, by chance, and became fond of the town. Therefore, when they found out that the Gas Station business was for sale, they decided that this would be a nice place to live. We, too, arrived in Andes by chance and, thanks to them, became immediately fond of the town, of their love story and of their peculiar gas station/diner/shop. Get here hungry and rely on Candy. She will disappear into the kitchen and come back with a giant version of your toasted sandwich. You will wolf it down sitting at the one informal table of the shop, among the shelves of vintage toys and preserves.

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