Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Lovely Vacation Rentals in Italy

I am so pleased to announce (finally!), our new web site,

Bella Vita italia Rentals!

There are still a few kinks and we are still adding property descriptions, but you can get the overall big picture by taking a peak now.

We have many wonderful properties in Liguria, Tuscany and Puglia to start. We also offer a a special add-on service called “Travel Concierge” where we actually organize your entire week with tours, excursions, cooking lessons, private chefs, and other fun adventures.

So please check it out and pass it along!

A special grazie to Melissa Muldoon

for her creative expertise on creating this web site.

For more information on Melissa’s fabulous work:


Friday, November 12, 2010

Il Tramonto a Riomaggiore, Le Cinque Terre

As a southern California native, I struggle with Italian winters. Liguria is notorious for its rain and it feels like every November we start bracing ourselves for the weather chaos ahead.

Still, there are days like this which are nothing short of beautiful. There is no equal to winter sunsets here on the Mediterranean. Let's hope there are many of these this season.

Buon weekend.

Tuesday, November 09, 2010

Crossing Borders Once Again with...

This past weekend, I had a chance to visit my friend, Erica, who is staying in Genova for a month, and is the owner and founder of Haven in Paris. HiP is a rental agency with gorgeous apartments in beautiful Paris (and a few beyond). Erica has been picky and smart about her choices in properties. Literally, I cannot find one on her site that is not uber-appealing!

She also has a wonderful blog (which is on my blog roll) and an absolutely necessary ‘source” if you plan to visit the City of Lights.

I know many of you out there make a “stop” in Paris or France before south to bell’Italia, so keep HiP in mind. Also, they are offering some really fabulous deals over the wintertime, making “gay-Paree” even more enticing!

Thursday, November 04, 2010

A True Artisan in Taormina...

There are many things I love about Taormina (the views, the sea, Corso Umberto, canoli from Chemi, etc.), but there is one place that I must return to every time we visit.

On a side street a few blocks down from the Corso is the studio of Michael Samperi. Michael is a true artisan who keeps alive an old family tradition marble mosaics. Basically what Michael does is chip away at a piece of marble making incisions where he then lays other pieces of stone such as lava, tufa, travertine or a colored marbled to create a design. His work is fascinating and breathtakingly beautiful.

Hiding behind his desk was a 3x3 meter table top I am dying to have, but the price tag does not quite fit into my lifestyle just yet, so we settled on this lovely piece:

Additionally, Michael is a joy of a person. There is no sales push, just a very talented but humble local eager for people to see that artisan work is alive and well in Taormina. BUT, it’s really hard to leave there without buying something as his work is so special!

So, next time you are in Taormina, please make a visit to Michael and maybe you too will find a little )or large!) piece of unique art to bring home with you.

Il Fascino delle Pietre di Michael Samperi

Via G. di Giovanni 52

Tel/fax: +39 0942 625266