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.
Welcome Beyond – Luxury vacation rentals
“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.
No words. Honestly I am struck dumb with awe. Do such places exist? After the wonderful images in the last post of YLAB‘s latest apartment taken by Jordi Canosa with styling by Daniela Cavestany I went to Sr Canosa’s website to drink in more inspiration. Then I found this. Albergo della Civita. Matera, Italy. UNESCO world heritage listed. The hotel is spread over a number of Sassi or caves, simply furnished. Lovingly restored. You can read more here. Breathtakingly beautiful… photos and hotel.
An abandoned stables in the western province of Cáceres in Spain carefully renovated by architectural and development firm Ábaton. A stunning family home that not only makes you want to pack your bags and book a flight to Spain because someone made a mistake… you’re sure this is your home… but also makes you feel warm and fuzzy because it’s sustainable as well. Solar panels supply energy during the summer while turbines take advantage of the two streams that run through the property providing electricity in the winter. Rain water is returned to the ground. Materials are recyclable. Large expanses of stone floors provide thermal mass. Una casa de inspiración.
It is no secret to regular readers that Kim and I have a “thing” for church conversions. Today’s remodel is amazing. A minimalist conversion of a stunning stone-built Grade II-listed former Methodist chapel (1868) in peaceful countryside on the Dorset/Wiltshire border. A once austere house of worship is now an austerely beautiful house to worship. Designed by Gary Tarn and for sale through The Modern House Real Estate Agents here, the price will have you selling your soul but oh my what a home! (Many thanks to professional house stalker Selina for the introduction to this website.)