Noted in Italy

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    Palm Trees and Alpine Peaks

    The Tyrolean spa town of Meran, part of Italy since the post-WWI carve-up of the fallen Austro-Hungarian empire, was, a century ago, the hot destination of its day, a leafy Hapsburg Shangri-La teeming with poets, royalty, adulterers, gamblers and the convalescing. Visitors came for the opera, the mild climate, to take the waters and stroll its rambling walks, and included a young Sigmund Freud, an ailing Franz Kafka and Sissi, the beautiful, eccentric Empress Elisabeth of Austria. Traditional Mittel-European hospitality still flourishes here today, as does the city’s modern mineral spa and a wider culture of more

    Italy Stories On May 1, 2015
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    Miramonti Boutique Hotel

    Klaus Alber and Carmen Kruselburger realised their long-held dream of owning their own hotel in 2007 and have gradually transformed this alpine veteran into an absolutely contemporary, but deeply souful, place to stay. Perched on a mountainside by the edge of a forest in Hafling, high above the city of Merano, and just below the local ski slopes of Merano 2000, the location is spectacular and the lounge, restaurant, spa and rooms all make the most of the gobsmacking mountain views. Miramonti’s perfect ratio of simplicity and quiet luxury is itself charming, but it’s the intimate more

    Italy Noted On February 1, 2015
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    Ottmanngut Suites & Guestrooms

    The very-Viennese Italian spa town of Merano has never lacked for hotels. This reinvented family guesthouse is, however, a standout, evoking the city’s past in its enchanting interiors. Like many of Südtirol’s hotels, it’s family owned and managed. This latest incarnation comes care of the owner’s grandsons, who have tackled the update with a creative, relaxed and very modern spirit. Rooms have their own collections of antiques, paintings and rugs that gently recall Merano’s glory days, but are light and airy. And, just beyond the beautiful tiled breakfast room, lay the hotel’s own terraced mini-vineyard and a backdrop of orchards and alpine peaks. more

    Italy Noted On December 4, 2014
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    Albergo Diffuso Sàuris

    The German speaking village of Sauris, in Italy’s far north east, is remote, reached via a steep mountain road and a thousand switchbacks. While a devastating earthquake 40 years ago saw many of the region’s beautiful wooden houses abandoned, the Albergo Diffuso – ‘widespread hotels’ – programme has rebuilt and updated a number of these in the mountain top Sàuris di Sopra, and its lower counterpart, Sàuris di Sotto. All have great facilities (full kitchens, open fires, expansive balconies and modern bathrooms) but most importantly, give you the rare opportunity to taste Friulian village life in a pristine, and persistently rural, alpine setting. more

    Italy Noted On December 1, 2014
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    Gasthof Grüner Baum

    Südtirol’s quietly booming hotel scene is based on a centuries-old culture of hospitality. Gasthof Grüner Baum, one of my discoveries for the Lonely Planet Italy guide back in 2013, made it into their Top 10 Best Value Stays for 2014. This enchanting, very stylish 500 year old inn sits in the centre of the walled ‘city’ of Glurns, in the Val Venosta. A stylish, contemporary fitout gives the gorgeous old bones respect, its beautiful austerity enlivened with a wonderful collection of objects, some precious, other curiosities, and cosily boiseried library and guest stüben. more

    Italy Noted On November 20, 2014
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    Villa Laetitia

    Aleseto delo hosonie coper, que rome toidi pote nevasio. Dones dio coniro avitu que alesteo, Aleseto delo comoniet coside, que rome toidi pote nevasio. more

    Italy Noted On November 6, 2014
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    Locanda Rosa Rosae

    The watery Veneto flat lands that fan out beyond Venice are a dreamy, disorienting world. Palazzo-stays are ubiquitous round here, but if you long for something less Palladian, Rosa Rosae fits the bill. A ‘crazy’ architect and his creative wife decide to save a ruined mill dating back to 1570 and open it to guests… you had us at buongiorno. Betty and Silvio describe their place as being about  ‘an atmosphere of family and peace, essential and soft’. Candle lit original interiors, recycled wood and stone and metal, the odd contemporary piece and painting, white linen sheets: bliss. more

    Italy Noted On October 30, 2014