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Tenuta Borgia

Tenuta Borgia

Pantelleria, Italy

In May 2016, a meeting between souls alike took place in Tenuta Borgia, on the…

Swaswara

Swaswara

Goa, India

‘Swaswara’ means listening to your inner voice. It is the name of the Ayurvedic centre where we spent eight days…

Santa Clara 1728

Santa Clara 1728

Lisbon, Portugal

São Vicente, Lisbon, Portugal. “This is where our friendship begins”. This is the message we sent on WhatsApp to the owners of the Santa Clara 1728 hotel during our travels. That morning we were leaving Lisbon, driving over the Vasco de Gama bridge towards Arraiolos in the Alentejan countryside, to reach their farm for a few days…

Il Borgo del Balsamico

Il Borgo del Balsamico

Emilia Romagna, Italy

A late-October Sunday in the Reggio Emilia province, Italy, where genius and industries prosper. A gate opens slowly and reveals a place full of wonders: a noble late 18th century villa, an Italian garden and, not very far, a wood;  pointed windows, almost-ripe apples, and a box hedge; a century-old sequoia, a secluded swimming pool, late roses, and the path leading to the ice-house…

Riad Mena & Beyond

Riad Mena & Beyond

Marrakech, Africa

Every time you walk through the rooms and courts of this nobiliary riad in the medina, you will feel like you are in a dream. The dream of a mother, who found her pleasant retreat here, and the dream of her daughter Philomena, who devoted this house to creative, intimate, authentic and happily unclassifiable reception…

Broholm Castle

Broholm Castle

Fyn, Denmark

Thirteen generations of the same family. Seven hundred years. Nineteen rooms, six hundred and twenty hectares of vegetable garden, forest and gardens. Apricot-coloured bricks, high clouds and woods. Quiet ducks, busy insects, waterlilies…

Vanira Lodge

Vanira Lodge

Tahiti, South Pacific

Tahiti is an island and, at the same time, a people always keeping an eye on the ocean and another one on the mountains. They pray to the water and then to the forest, as if they were two symbiotic beings. Vanira lodge lies on a hill, steep enough to plunge into light dawns and deep sunsets, high enough to touch star-quilted night skies, close enough to Teahupoo’s waves to hear them rumble, close enough to the mountains to climb them. A green hill on the southern coast of Tahiti Iti, la Presqu’île, the wild part of the island, the one we love more. Evening comes quickly with the taste of lobster with honey, and morning comes quickly with the smell of coconut bread and banana and mango jam. ‘Fare’ is the word for ‘house’…

Hub Porteño

Hub Porteño

Buenos Aires, Argentina

‘All happy mornings resemble one another’ – Here I am, Jonathan Safran Foer. We woke up at Hub Porteño with a discreet and innocent jolliness, which even the passing rain drumming on the veranda could not disperse. The wall garden at our back, we sat on the striped sofa and sipped coffee in decorated china, while waiting for our daily medialunas to come out of the oven, stately and fragrant. The historical neighbourhood families resumed their classic routine while the sun dried the smaller puddles. In our spare time, we exercised our idea of luxury: we idled on the roof terrace, a private Eden among building tops, lingered in the big marble bathtub and, when snack time came, treated ourselves to a portion of homemade cake and a mate, while resuming that book about enchanted estancias.

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…

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…

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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