Monday, January 17, 2011

Fabulous Rental Series:

Villa Bella Vista

Slowly but surely we are discovering the best rentals in Lerici and this is the latest addition! Villa Bella Vista is a charmer in an incredible setting, with all the comforts one would want on vacation and one simply breathtaking pool setting!

The villa is on three levels with the owner’s apartment on top and then the two rental units (which can also be rented together). On the ground floor there is a characteristic “tavern-like” one bedroom, one bathroom apartment with stone walls. On the middle floor there is a two bedroom, one bathroom unit with lovely “Vietri” tiled floors and which boasts incredible views from just about every room.

Both apartments have outdoor dining spaces, fully-equipped kitchens, large living rooms, satellite TV and Wifi.

The “crowning jewel” of Villa Bella Vista is its lovely pool area overlooking the entire Gulf of Poets. Here you can enjoy a warm summer day, an aperitivo at sunset or even dine al fresco.

For more information and pricing please take a look at our web site or contact us directly at

Monday, January 10, 2011

Ligurian Gems: Camogli...

At the edge of the large promontory and nature reserve known as the Portofino Peninsula, there is the ever-charming Camogli. Its multicolor “terratetto” houses, the deceptive trompe l'oeil frescoes, and an impressive seawall dating back to the 17th century makes this little seaside harbor village just as (if not more) beautiful than its nearby neighbor, Portofino, but without the “pomp and circumstance”.

There is some terrific hiking from the village via the hamlets of San Rocco, San Niccolò, Punta Chiappa and Ruta. They may not be as popular as those just an hour south (you all know what I am talking about!) but they are bursting with beautiful nature and fantastic views. On a clear day you can see the French Alps!

You can also take the local ferry boat to San Fruttuoso Abbey - a great place to swim, snorkel and even enjoy lunch on the beach.

For a great meal, I am fond of Vento Ariel which serves traditional seafood dishes (some of the best spaghetti alle vongole around!) on a nice position in the old port. My other favorite is the more-chic but still excellent dining at SoHo which has seating literally over the water.

For overnight stays, there is 4-star Cenobio dei Dogi, just as you enter the seaside promenade which overlooks harbor, peninsula, and sea. But my personal YES would be the Villa Rosmarino. This small boutique hotel is a recent addition to the beautiful Camogliese hillside. A 10-minute walk from the seaside village, you can enjoy the tranquility of its well-manicured gardens and welcoming pool. The villa retains its typical Ligurian style with an exterior of rose paint and green shutters, yet the interior is chic, contemporary, and comfortable.

Camogli located on the main line between Genova and Rome. I do not recommend a car unless your accommodations come with a parking space. The train makes it very easy to visit the surrounding area including Genova, Santa Margherita Ligure, Rapallo, Sestri Levante, Le Cinque Terre and more.

Thursday, January 06, 2011

When I get home from home...

Like many expats, I consider myself a person with two “homes”. The one I lived in the first half of my life (California) and the one I will probably live in for the rest of my life (Italy). In less than one week we’ll be making our annual “pilgrimage” to the former, and it would be fair to say, especially after the rather soggy and cold winter we’ve had since mid-October, I cannot wait!

I also know that when February rolls around and it’s time to head home (the latter one this time), I’ll be ready. I’ll even be looking forward to it. Much because shortly thereafter the weather should be making a change for the better, but also because there are things here that I will miss (besides our dog and “rent a kid”). Things that are in my “backyard”. And when we get back, I plan to do, see, eat, drink, experience every single one of them!

Driving the road to Montemarcello - there is no better view in my opinion

A Visit to the La Spezia market with “lo solito” at Cafe Suprema

Portovenere - anytime of the year

Da Pasquino - Excellent panigacci and tagliata with rosemary

Campo Cecina - great for hiking and views

Genova - I can walk, walk and walk around this city and never be bored

Our terrace - by then I may actually be able to enjoy my morning tea there!