Italy travel_reviving charm

GREETINGS FROM ITALY

Buongiorno! Mr. B and I have been enjoying travels through Northern Italy. Traveling during this time of year is great because the crowds generally die down a bit and the weather is usually more tolerable. Unfortunately, we couldn’t escape the higher temperatures and it’s been in the mid 80 degrees in Turin, where we are currently staying. Another advantage for traveling during this time of year is that the prices are typically more reasonable. For me, that means hoping to buy more souvenirs with the money we save.

I took thousands of pictures on our Italian trip last year and realize that I never shared any with you. I recently went through all of last year’s pictures and created this small photo montage highlighting the architectural features, design details and the natural beauty that capture the essence of Italy.

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I have one very special post scheduled while I’m away and I promise to do a recap post of my current trip when I’m back. I’m also looking forward to posting more regularly. Fall is approaching and I’m feeling inspired. In the meantime, follow along on Instagram.

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A Winter Wonderland in the Eternal City

As someone who was born and raised in Southern California, I must admit that I am intrigued by the beauty of snowfall. When I learned that there was a rare snowfall yesterday in Rome (the heaviest they’ve seen in 6 years), I knew I had to share some of the beautiful images of the Eternal City draped in winter white. Doesn’t this historic city look lovely? Just when you thought Rome couldn’t get any more beautiful…

The snow is falling
The traffic is crawling
The world looks all calm and bright
If only for a moment everything looks pure under the freshly fallen snow and the glow emitted by the first snowfall of the season
My mood is happy I hope it lasts all season and throughout the new year too.  –Ann M. Johnson

Statue of St. Peter

St. Peter’s Square at the Vatican

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The Spanish Steps

Piazza del Popolo

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The Roman Forum

The Colosseum

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The Trevi Fountain

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Turin Palace Hotel

Buon Giorno! Mr. B and I have been to Italy many times, it is our first trip to Turin located in the northern part of the country. We’ve been planning this vacation for months and I have to admit that visiting this town is one of the things I had been looking forward to the most. I was happy to read an article last week in Conde Nast Magazine referring to it as “the Paris of Italy”. It made me feel like we made the right choice about spending a few days here. I had a feeling I would love this town and my suspicions were confirmed after checking into our hotel room and briefly walking around the city. After the long flight from California, I was thrilled to check into our first hotel, The Turin Palace for a good nights sleep. I was very happy to see that the hotel was every bit as modern and elegant and the website pictures. Our room is comfy and spacious with a nice quiet patio facing the quiet side of the street. So far so good! And if all goes as planned, I am hoping to use the spa amenities after a long day of exploring the city today. Ciao.

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SEDUCED BY LE SIRENUSE: POSITANO, ITALY

One of my faithful readers is Karen, the lovely author behind the blog Garden Home and Party. Karen recently asked about the location of a restaurant highlighted in the previous post. La Sponda is part of Le Sirenuse Hotel and is situated along the seductive Amalfi coast in the town of Positano, Italy. The property is such a dreamy site that I felt responding to Karen in the comments section (or emailing her) simply wouldn’t do. I felt that a response to her question was worthy of its own post. Afterall, a picture is worth a thousand words and Positano, including Le Sirenuse, is a place so legendary that John Steinbeck even wrote about it:

We went to the Sirenuse, an old family house converted into a first class hotel, spotless and cool, with grape arbors over its outside dining rooms. Every room has its little balcony and looks out over the blue sea to the islands of the sirens from which those ladies sang so sweetly.   –John Steinbeck, American author (1902-1968)

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Front entrance to Le Sirenuse at that magical evening hour.

Le Sirenuse was originally a private home that was later converted in the beautiful hotel you see highlighted here today. The original family still owns the property and the business is still very much a family affair. It is evident through every detail that the family takes great pride in operating a top notch destination.

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Lobby

la sponda restaurant romantic le sirenuse hotel positano italy via REVIVING CHARMDining at La Sponda would be one of the many highlights of a visit to Le Sirenuse. Imagine enjoying a meal in a dining room where 400 candles are illuminated nightly to create the most unforgettable romantic experience.
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La Sponda uses fresh, local ingredients and in 2012 the restaurant was awarded its first Michelin star, the hallmark of excellence in dining and only issued to select exceptional restaurants. la sponda restaurant le sirenuse hotel menu via REVIVING CHARMle sirenuse positano italy romantic hotel italy via REVIVING CHARM

Each of the 85 guest rooms are beautifully decorated with an understated elegance, style and grace that respects the natural surroundings. Many of them provide captivating picturesque views of the town of Positano perched along the coastline cliff.  The allure of Le Sirenuse haunts me and when we visit I hope to book a room with its own patio like the one below. I can already see myself passing the time on the balcony and being mesmerized by its stunning views. As they say in Italian, Dolce Far Niente….the sweetness of doing nothing! le sirenuse patio positano italy amalfi coast via REVIVING CHARMle sirenuse romantic hotel of italy amalfi coast via reviving charmle sirenuse room positano italy amalfi coast via REVIVING CHARM

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The pool is perfectly situated to take advantage of the views of the town above and ocean views below. le sirenuse positano italy pool reviving charmle sirenuse positano italy pool view via REVIVING CHARMle sirenuse positano italy pool view details via REVIVING CHARM

Le Sirenuse has captured my heart and already seduced me with its charm. I dream of staying in one of its 58 rooms for a romantic stay with Mr. B one day. And if it were up to me, I would already have my bags packed!

Ciao!     —xoxo, v.

PEGGY GUGGENHEIM

Confession: one of my personal quirks is that I can never leave a vacation, no matter how quick it may be, without buying a souvenir of some sort. I’m not talking the touristy travel mug or refrigerator magnet type of souvenirs. I’m talking stylish jewelry or trinkets to grace our home, for example. It is a nice feeling to put on a piece of jewelry or look at a piece of art picked up during our travels and be able to think back upon fond memories. Not actually a bad character trait to have, if I do say so myself!

When Mr. B and I were vacationing in La Jolla a few months back, we stopped into a bookstore where we spent a considerable amount of time looking through volumes of books in almost every genre. I purchased the book “Peggy Guggenheim” by Laurence Tacou-Rumney published in 2002. It is in excellent condition; it looks like the pages had never been cracked open. The book is one of many that graces our family room coffee table. I’ve been wanting to do a little more reading lately and am learning that I need to incorporate a little bit of “down time” in my life. There’s nothing better than curling up on a comfortable chair and reading an interesting book. I might as well start with a book already in my own collection. What are you reading lately? 

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Peggy Guggenheim on our coffee table.

Peggy had a few quirks of her own. She was quite the eccentric woman. And her style included wearing some of the most outrageous sunglasses, including the pair she wears on the front cover of the book. I’ve read that it was her way of protecting herself from her own insecurities. I am not sure if that is true but they do say the eyes are the windows to the soul. That got me thinking about myself. I never leave home without a pair of sunglasses in hand (a post on that to come). You’ll typically find me in the large black oversized kind. Hmmm, I’m starting to wonder what that says about me….I digress…

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A couple of pages from the book “Peggy Guggenheim” by Laurence Tacou-Rumney.

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Today is officially the first day of summer. Temperatures are starting to heat up here in California. It hit 100 degrees at the beach yesterday. I am not a big fan of hot weather which also got me thinking about cool places to escape. When I say “cool”, I am meaning lower temperatures although someplace interesting wouldn’t hurt! While drafting this post I couldn’t help but think of Venice since it did serve as Peggy Guggenheim’s home which has been turned into a wonderful museum for all to enjoy. The museum is situated along Venice’s famed Grand Canal. It has been several years since my last trip to Venice and recalling the sweeping views from the museum patio are just what I needed for a mental escape from the heat. Why don’t you come along and take a quick escape with me…

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A beautiful blue sky.

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Amazing views of the Grand Canal.

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Beautiful architecture.

All photos by Reviving Charm.