"Europe"

Serendipity

Serendipity

Valtellina, Italy

‘Serendipity’ is someone’s predisposition to stumble on fortunate discoveries, a word coined in 1754 by author Horace Walpole, who wrote it in a letter to an English friend living in Florence. It comes to our minds while we listen to Antonella’s story. She moved here from Venice, and here she takes care of her buen retiro, Il Dosso Maroggia, where she welcomes travelling guests and benefits this benevolent land as if it was her grandparents’ birthplace. Each morning we wake up in a room that reveals a woman’s instinct for beauty, we go down hundred-year-old narrow stairs and caress with the eye a wide landscape of slopes, plains and declivities enveloped by the first light…

Villa Tereze

Villa Tereze

Marche, Italy

“The only true voyage of discovery would be not to visit strange lands but to possess other eyes.” (Marcel Proust). Beyond hills that lean on one another at the horizon, sleepy national roads, harmonic rows of vines and iridescent olive trees, home vegetable-gardens and fallow fields. Beyond woods bordering between the slopes, where nature got the better of it, beyond friendly squares in tiny villages, and millenarian strongholds hanging on the highest rises, Renate often waits under the pergola for a Japanese musician, a Polish chef, or a London family to arrive

La Rustita

La Rustita

Marche, Italy

Empty beaches, closed chalets, deserted promenade. In autumn, the Adriatic Sea is tepid and good-natured, vaguely sad, and only belongs to a few. Above all, to those who live there and can enjoy the last days of sun sitting in the courtyard of a port trattoria at lunch. In Fano, young people love to meet at La Rustita, and so do we. We eat seafood salad, grilled squids, fried fish, mixed salad and white wine of the house between white wood and salty breeze.

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…

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.

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…

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…

Bar da Praia

Bar da Praia

Alentejo, Portugal

In Odeceixe beach you will learn that being a surfer means being part of a minority religion. You will discover that standing apart and watching their daily liturgies you can enjoy a sheer spectacle and realize that each place our friends in Casa da Dinà suggested we should visit are worth the long journey necessary to reach them. Bar da Praia, folk and eclectic eatery, with a view on the ocean.

Fodara Vedla

Fodara Vedla

South-Tyrol, Italy

The walk to reach malga Fodara Vedla is the kind of gift we would like to give our children every autumn Sunday. Intersecting Altavia, which crosses the Dolomites from Braies to Belluno, you pass virgin woods, enjoy the first snow of the season, and grit your teeth on the steepest paths. As a reward, a delicious genuine mountain meal prepared and served by the descendants of grandpa Hans. He was a baker in San Vigilio and during WWI he bought the place from the Austro-Hungarian troops. The Mutschlechner family will dine next to you, talkative and harmonious, when almost all wayfarers are back on their paths, as the sun is setting behind the mountaintops and your children are blissfully enjoying the last sips of their cocoas with whipped cream before resuming the walk. Open end of May until November.​

La Pedevilla

La Pedevilla

South-Tyrol, Italy

The warmth of the hygge helps the Danish endure the long Scandinavian winter. The word was coined by the Norwegian neighbours in 1700, and represents that mix of family harmony, attention for details and joie de vivre that makes us think nostalgically of our journeys to the North. Architects Caroline and Armin have their own idea of a hygge and, after you have lived among the larch-wood and arolla-pine wood walls of their cottage hanging to the mountainside, you will be delighted by it. You will take with you some of their style and peace, and make good use of it…

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