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Entries in Italy (91)

Thursday
Jun282012

Monaci delle terre nere

I need to get my arse to Italy. It is SO beautiful and kind of embarrassing to be half Italian and not really having ever visited the freaking country (except once when I was 4). We heard about this home turned hotel in Sicily, Monaci delle terre nere, from the folks of Welcome Beyond and it's quintessential Italian - rustic and full of history (check out the old wine press!). The building is of historic importance and used to be owned by monks. It is set on the slopes of Mt. Etna looking over the Mediterranean. It is part of an 40-acre organic farm where we grow different varieties of fruit. We also have a vineyard and an organic vegetable garden for the guests. The restoration took about three years. We used only local materials and as little chemicals as possible and are about to get an eco-tourist certification. There are six rooms. We eventually plan to have 12 after having restored the three old stone buildings by the vineyard and the wine cellar. But this will take a little while.

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Tuesday
Jun262012

La Bandita

"Ever wish you had a friend with a stylish house on a beautiful hillside in Tuscany, one who knows the best local restaurants, towns and vineyards? Well now you do."

With a tag line like that you know have found the perfect holiday getaway. La Bandita is the creation of music executive John Voigtmann who had the crazy idea of ditching the big city and the celebrities and with his wife restore a derelict Tuscan farmhouse. It's relaxed, comfortable, modern yet rustic, stylish and no fuss. Sheep wander past the perfect pool, views go on forever and I wouldn't be surprised if lunch continued on till dinner. Down a long bumpy road is a slice of Italian heaven. The best things in life are always off the beaten track.

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Thursday
Jun212012

A modern and colourful apartment in Finland

Maurizio Giovannoni, and architect and interior designer in Rome, emailed us about an apartment he designed: The apartment is a little penthouse (about 65 mq.) in Turku, Southern Finland. Before renovation, too many walls and doors blocked the spaces and the passage of light, and the most beautiful view of the historical sites of Turku was on the bedroom side. My principal goal in this project was letting the light flow in and creating a relaxing living room where my customer could do his creative workThe partial demolition of walls was a natural consequence, along with reversing the location of the bedroom and living room. After fixing this, we decided on the overall “concept” together with my customer, organizing all the details that colored the white spaces. That happened during my customer’s visit to Rome (due to my impossibility to travel in that period), and via 4oo e-mails between Turku and Rome. The result is what I now consider my style: a blend of cultures. There is nothing that stimulates me more than to study different countries and make some cultural themes recognizable but never intrusive in the project.  In this case, the floor is covered with parquet of white ash, the shelves are birch and the kitchen table is also birch but colored with heat. Wood is an omnipresent element in this flat as it constantly is for Finnish people, but the real attention is catalyzed by the nature theme pictured on wall paper, carrying colours and contrasts and a typical Mediterranean “courage”. The furniture itself is a mix of the 2 cultures and of past & present: the  grandmother’s armchair is a piece of Finnish vintage from the sixties as is the red floor lamp. The arc framing the wall paper is the famous Twiggy by Foscarini and the suspended lamps are Italian as well:Olimpia by Ideal Lux. Everything fits together in perfect harmony! (Photos by Mikko Ala-Peijari for Kauniit Kodit magazine)

I love this apartment. It's spaces like this that make me want to forget my obsession with neutral/natural decor and grab a can of spray paint - or buy a row of chartreuse green kitchen cabinets. 

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Friday
Jun152012

Castello di Vicarello

"At Castello di Vicarello history lives on each path, in each stone and every wall sings a song of the ancient past."

Crowning a hilltop amidst olive groves in southern Tuscany is a fairy tale castle come to life. But this castello is no dream. It's a rustic luxe retreat that will sweep you up in its history, embrace you in its family's arms and spoil you rotten with its quirky luxury. Aurora and Carlo Baccheschi Berti have restored the ruins of the twelfth century castle over many years and now play host to lucky guests who have the choice of seven luxury villas and suites. Rooms are filled with exquisite antiques and furniture and artifacts from the family's life in Indonesia. As for the gardens and views. Sigh. A truly once in a life time experience. One day. One day I will go.

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Tuesday
Jun122012

Casa Olivi

In the heart of the Marches in Italy is a 300 hundred year old farm that combines tradition with the modern, minimalist with the sensory, rough walls with streamlined severity, luxury with simplicity. 360 degree views meet bastion like walls. Infinity pool reaches forever and cool stone is cave like. Casa Olivi, heritage protected, has been renovated by its owners into a luxurious holiday home. Design by Swiss architects Markus Wespi and Jerome de Meuron. This stylish piece of Italy is available for holiday let. More information at Casa Olivi. ***Update: Now available to rent via Paradizo Private Collection

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