|Reloaded and Ready to Go Again|
there in the rolling, multi-layered countryside south of Siena we’ll find, with Margaret’s GPS help, the world class Rosewood Resort. It is not far from two of our all-time favorites, Montalcino with its Brunello wine, and the Benedictine Abbey at Sant'Antimo, thought to have originated with Charlemagne when he passed through with his army. We may come to think of the Rosewood as an Italian getaway, equivalent to Maria Antoinette’s hide-away, La Petit Trianon, at Versailles. This time, however, the queen for a few days will be Maria Elena.
The Rosewood Resort was constructed from the ruins of a bygone farming community hamlet, Castiglion Del Bosco. Located on a hilltop, overlooking a patchwork of fields and vineyards that stretch out towards Montalcino, the Borgo was the center of activity for hundreds of years. Dominated by the ruins of a medieval castle that gives the estate its name, its main concourse is a place brimming with memories waiting to be
Within the Borgo, the historic manor house, old winery, stables, church of San Michele Arcangelo, the priest’s house, along with other buildings, have all been meticulously restored and repurposed. The village now features two restaurants, a cooking school, an organic kitchen garden, 23 suites, a spa, an infinity pool and a fitness center. We doubt we'll be able to take it all it during our three days there, but we're sure to give it a shot. Just looking at it online, situated in those classic undulated Tuscan hills, peppered with cypress trees, you'd think we were stepping into a work of art.
us in the Santa Lucia district at the Grand Hotel Vesuvio. It occupies prime waterfront on Santa Lucia Harbor in the Gulf of Naples and lies just across the street from Castel dell'Ovo. Along with the hotel, the castle, located on a former island (now connected by a causeway with the mainland) where 6th century BC Greek colonists founded the original nucleus of the city, has a colorful history. We'll have to be careful not to have eggs for breakfast while there. There is no telling where they may have come from, for legend says that the Roman poet Virgil, who had a reputation for predicting the future, put a magical egg into its foundations. If the egg were to ever break, the castle would be destroyed and a series of disastrous events would befall Naples, but not if we can help it.
Piazza Scanderbeg, only steps away from the Trevi Fountain. What better way to conclude our “Grand Tour” then to be able to throw a coin or two into the fountain in hope of return. This Renaissance palazzo, first built in 1465 as home to a famous Albanian nobleman, skilled general and wily diplomat, has been sympathetically restored into luxurious townhouse rooms and seven grand suites. One of these suites that will be our Roman home during our stay. Just a little overboard, we
understand our suite, The Victory Suite, in addition to featuring a balcony, will include the services of our own butler. That alone should prove interesting. While we can't expect a Jeeves as we might in the UK, maybe a Maurizio will be at our disposal. In addition to unique individual arrangements like these, we understand that the suites feature exposed beams, original architectural details, and views over Piazza Scanderbeg. As with our other temporary stays, all this can lead to distraction and give us pause. Instead of exploring Rome's sites and streets, for instance, we just may be reckless enough to stay inside, content to bask in contemporary luxury.