The ultimate Umbrian eco-retreat, Tenuta di Murlo, is an ancient private estate stretching over thousands of hectares of forests, olive groves and fields, has been in the same family for generations.

Just 20km from Perugia, Umbria, this cherished sanctuary in the ‘green heart’ of Italy is preserved and protected by its green-hearted custodians who take their role as guardians of this special environment seriously.

No tarmac or concrete is allowed to cover the ‘roads’ through the estate. Signs are kept to a bare minimum. Uninterrupted views from the exclusive villas’ terraces and ‘infinity pools’ give Murlo Estate (Murlo.com) guests a feeling of being at one with the ancient landscape. Here, far from the madding crowd, no noise pollution breaks the flawless tranquillity, no light pollution dims the spectacular array of stars.

The medieval castles of Murlo and Antognolla triumphantly tower over the Estate’s harmony of rivers and lakes, vales and wooded hills. This natural reserve bestows upon guests the sounds and silence, sights and scenes of the region’s glorious pastoral heritage, whatever the season. From spring’s wildflowers carpeting the forest floor to summer’s abundant floral meadows; from autumn’s carnival of reds, rusts, golds and deep ambers to the glistening serenity of snow covered hills and frosted valleys.

Life and legacy are abundant, and perfect privacy ensured. Whether admired from a distance or experienced up close, in Tenuta di Murlo’s dense Holm oak forest, wild boar, fallow deer, pheasant, hare, porcupine, partridge, foxes, wolves and an array of birdlife flourish. This opulent ecosystem is carefully managed by the Estate to conserve the profusion and biodiversity of flora and fauna. Guests can use their secluded villa base to relax and rejuvenate, to immerse themselves in nature or to get active and explore the abundant resources of the Estate.

Tenuta di Murlo is a natural pleasure playground. Enjoy the experience of a one-on-one yoga, meditation or fitness session in the grounds of your private villa, set in the midst of Murlo’s pristine environment. How about hiking through the forest to the top of the Estate’s Mount Tezio, one of the highest mountains in Umbria. Reap the rewards on the summit with spectacular views across Lake Trasimeno and Perugia. Explore the depths of the forest on horseback, mountain bike or enjoy the perfect peace of the lakes and rivers on a tranquil day’s fishing. Alternatively discover wild food foraging for truffles, garlic and wild asparagus.

Although they are all around you at Murlo, wild animals can be quite elusive. To get up close and friendly with the animals, the Estate farm treats children to an encounter with some more familiar favourites.

Venturing off the Estate, the nearby Monti del Tezio nature reserve offers even more trails with fabulous views, caves and the truly unmissable, massive, ancient lime tree, the oldest in Umbria.

A love of the land, nature and the local Umbrian cultural heritage is manifest in every detail of Tenuta di Murlo Estate. From the intimate ‘honeymoon’ cottage for two to the panoramic hilltop Villa Santa Croce, the estate’s antique farmsteads and medieval ruins have been painstakingly restored to offer sumptuously secluded, elegant accommodation with breathtaking views of the unspoilt Murlo countryside.

Tenuta di Murlo Estate can accommodate 52 guests in a range of villas, apartments and cottages. Embellished with fittings and furnishings that echo the rich, warm earthy hues of the Umbrian countryside. Continuing meticulous attention to detail, a concierge service tends to each party’s every request including private dining with chef, butler and sommelier at their service.

Following careful restoration, the Estate restaurant, Il Caldaro, will open this week. Every feature of the new restaurant has been meticulously thought out to preserve and enhance its Umbrian character. The true jewel, however, is Il Caldaro’s fine cuisine, rich in local traditions using the freshest ingredients from the Estate’s bio-dynamic fruit and vegetable garden. The Estate makes its own bread and hand-made pasta, and its signature olive oil offers guests a real ‘slow food’ experience, joining in with the community olive harvest.

Visit and experience the magic of Murlo for yourself (www.murlo.com).

CHESTNUT

During the month of October, the chestnut harvest takes place in Italy. Due to this, there are many chestnut festivals that take place all over the country.

‘Combai’ is a chestnut festival that takes place from the 8th – 31st of October. It runs from Tuesday to Sunday, from 09.00 until midnight. Visitors can enjoy various delicious dishes including honey and ice cream based on chestnuts.

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SOFA

Santavenere Hotel is beautiful place to reside after attending the festivals, with stunning views and comforting interiors.

www.hotelsantavenere.com

+39 0973 – 87.69.10

SWIMMING BLOG

 

 

Santavenere Hotel

Occupying its own enchanting peninsula, immersed within 9 acres of private parkland overlooking the Tyrrhenian Sea, the boutique Santavenere Hotel luxuriously and leisurely terraces down forested hillside towards its own scenic and secluded beach and some of southern Italy’s most beautiful coastline.

Santavenere’s grounds are swathed in century-old Mediterranean vegetation and vivid bougainvillea; with far-reaching, sea-shimmering views that unfurl from hidden coves and bays; and where an ancient Saracen watchtower evokes bygone history as it knowingly observes the hotel’s outstretched accommodation and public areas.

While nearby excursions, experiences and energetic endeavours ensure guests can be as active and adventurous as they like with: coastal cruises, cave swimming, night fishing, historical tours, Ulysses trail, nature trekking, scrutinising stalactites, rafting, paragliding and PADI diving.

 

www.hotelsantavenere.com

+39 0973 – 87.69.10

 

 

TAPAS 2 TAPAS

 

 

Located only fifteen minutes from Seville airport, Casa Palacio de Carmona is the perfect weekend bolthole.  This private home, boutique hotel offers guests the opportunity to explore Carmona and Seville, guided by owner-in-residence and local expert, Felipe Guardiola-Medina and his wife, Reyes.  The added luxury of the ‘Palacio’ experience – without the usual hefty price tag (rooms start from 80 Euros per night) – is the insider-access the host shares with all guests.  An artist and well-established member of the community, Felipe has a wealth of knowledge about the local area, history and culture and is passionate about sharing his experience, and his home, with visitors.

 

The New Tapas Bar: an informal dining experience within the house that will also offer tapas making classes. Hop from one deli to the next with the chef, who will guide guests through buying and preparing the perfect ingredients. Choose from chorizo to perfect prawns, taking the local ingredients back to Casa to create tantalising tapas.

(50 Euros per person, for 6 people or more).

 

This is an intimate setting for private parties: a celebration, special birthday party or New Year’s banquet.  As well as individual hotel rooms, Casa Palacio de Carmona is also available for exclusive hire and Felipe – who also runs one of the top catering companies in the area – has played host to Mario Testino, George Lucas and Bruce Webber.  Rich in history and ambience, the traditional Moorish grandeur of the building is an unforgettable experience in itself, but add twinkling tea lights set around the enclosed courtyard, whispering ferns, pool and canopy for dancing under the stars, and you have all the ingredients for an Arabian Nights inspired fairytale.

 

Double room start from £ 80 per night.

www.casadecarmona.com

/ +34 608 090 803

 

 

 

HORSE RIDING 2 HORSE RIDING 3 HORSE RIDING

Thoroughbred Riding Excursion: explore on horseback from the local family farm, only ten minutes away from the Palacio. Not only does Andalucía have an illustrious tradition of horsemanship, but the region also boasts stunning riding country. The hotel is linked with a prestigious equestrian centre and finca (farm) nearby, and can arrange rides on Andalusian horses. Barbeques can also be arranged at the finca.

 

Double room start from £ 80 per night.

www.casadecarmona.com

/ +34 608 090 803

 

 

 

Olive Oil Farm Visit: nothing is more evocative of southern Spanish cuisine than olive oil. Guests can see this ancient process first hand on the estate of Hacienda Merrha at Los Alcores, Carmona. The arbequina olive is grown in Los Alcores to produce extra virgin Basilippo oil.  The estate offers guided visits and tastings including a mini olive oil museum, explaining the history and process. www.basilippo.com

 

Double room start from £ 80 per night.

www.casadecarmona.com

/ +34 608 090 803

Japanese bath for two SANDOZ Gala dinner 

With its enchanting setting and fairytale décor, the Beau-Rivage Palace is the ideal venue to say “yes”.  Flowers and table decorations, music and lights, menus and wedding cakes … the hotel will expertly arrange every detail. Located on the Swiss shores of Lake Geneva, with views to the Alps beyond, the iconic hotel has been creating magical memories for its guests, for over 150 years.

 

  • Spoilt for Venue Choice

Beau-Rivage Palace has numerous wedding venues to choose from, catering for everything from an elegantly intimate evening to a gloriously grand gala.  Built in 1908, The Sandoz Ballroom is the standout setting.  Exquisitely ornate, the room has played host to many an outstanding event, from the Treaty of Lausanne negotiations, to Phil Collins’ wedding.  La Rotonde’s intricate period features – recently renovated stuccos, mouldings and frescoes – ensure a sumptuous ambience.  While the beautiful landscapes gardens offer the dreamiest of open-air settings.

 

Perfect for pre- or post-wedding relaxation, the ‘Bliss for Two’ suite is the ultimate couple’s retreat.  Complete with a Japanese double bath, a Turkish bath, tandem massage tables and a private garden, lovebirds can embark on a rejuvenating journey together, emerging radiantly in-sync. And, in preparation for the BIG day, there are numerous beautifying rituals to choose from including the essentials: hair, make-up, manicures and pedicures.

 

Couples seeking an all-encompassing health and wellbeing focus can take advantage of the hotel’s Spa Suite – an indulgent first-night or honeymoon accommodation option.  Located on the 6th floor with sweeping lake and mountain views, the suite features a lounge, bedroom and immense bathroom complete with a dedicated spa area (Jacuzzi, hammam and tandem massage tables) for in-room treatments and therapies.

 

  • Laying the Table & Setting the Scene

The hotel’s graceful elegance extends from its incredible architecture and artful interiors, to every imaginable wedding detail – flowers, cutlery, crockery, tablecloths, napkins, draped chairs, printed menus, seating plans and place cards. Imagine crowns of flowers, tall martini glass inspired vases overflowing with blooms and ivy clad candles … the hotel’s in-house florist is on hand to make every bride and groom’s ‘decoration dreams’ come true.

 

  • Michelin-Star Cuisine & Food Tasting

Couples have the choice of the Gold, Diamond or Platinum wedding package, each with its own sumptuous menu; and with a 2-Michelin Star restaurant at the heart of the hotel’s culinary offering, the wedding party is in for a gourmet treat.  The bride and groom are invited to sample their chosen wedding menu in advance of the big day (30 days prior to the event, Monday to Thursday) – and the Chef can also develop an entirely personalised menu on request (a complimentary service for 80+ guests).

 

To whet the appetite, mains include ‘fillets of young turbot on a creamy shellfish sauce flavoured with saffron’, ‘saddle of Simmental veal roasted in morels and yellow wine’ and ‘line-caught sea bass on a bed of baby octopi and artichokes’; with a choice of desserts, including the popular ‘Grand Cru chocolate tart with Williams pear brandy’.

 

Choosing a made-to-order wedding cake is destined to be a deliciously difficult decision with the hotel’s selection of six mouthwatering creations:

 

  • Vacherin: iced cake in choice of flavours
  • Raspberry or strawberry cake: cream and pistachio-filled
  • Bavarois: passion chocolate or raspberry liqueur
  • Imperial: chocolate mousse and napoleon mandarin brandy
  • Mille-feuille: light cream, strawberry
  • Croquembouche: vanilla custard, chocolate & whipped cream

 

Superior Room at the Beau-Rivage Palace from £320/night

Reservations on +41 21 613 3306 or reservation@brp.ch

www.brp.ch

 

A fishing trip –  Santavenere Hotel, Southern Italy 

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With freshly caught fish, a superb selection of wines, homemade pasta, bread, jam, yogurt and pastries  – dining at Santavenere is deliciously unforgettable.  Signature dishes including ‘Beetroot Tagliolini with Swordfish Ragout and Local Green Tomato Concassè’,  ‘Smoked Breast Duck with Fennel Crudité and Salty Toasted Almonds’ and decadent desserts such as ‘Pears with Mint on Chocolate and Rum Sauce’ and ‘Cantaloupe Melon Mousse on Red Fruit Cream with Porto Wine’

Charter a 12-metre boat, complete with captain and chef, and set sail on shimmering aquamarine seas.  Whether sun-dappled or star-lit, turn your hand to catching dinner, fishing for the freshest of main ingredients, before enjoying a gourmet meal prepared on-board.  Excursion details: 5 hour trip, available during the day or evening, contact Santavenere Hotel for further details.

 

 

Carnival

The BAUERs hotel and the Venice Carnival Ball 

La Marchesa Casati: An Evening of Intrigue, Mystery & Fantasy

Dates for your diary: ~ 7th and 14th February 2015 ~

Over the centuries, the historic splendour of Venice has been a dramatic backdrop for masked balls and avant-garde parties; now a byword for Venetian glamour and mystery.  Inspired by this colourful and creative history, The BAUERs is fashioning a new tradition, hosting innovative and immersive guests experiences during The Venice Carnival.  In its fourth consecutive year, the eagerly anticipated theme for 2015 is announced:  La Marchesa Casati. So, we are busy packing and planning what to wear for the party!  First stop, the mask. Then, the costume….this year it’s a 1920s theme.

mask 1

An eccentric Italian heiress and patroness of the arts and fashion, La Marchesa Casati lived from 1881 to 1957. Muse to Italian Futurists such as F. T. Marinetti, Fortunato Depero and Umberto Boccioni, she captivated many artists and literary figures including Robert de Montesquiou, Jean Cocteau and Cecil Beaton, and had a long term affair with the author Gabriele d’Annunzio.

In 1910, Casati took up residence at the Palazzo Venier dei Leoni, on Grand Canal in Venice (now the home of the Peggy Guggenheim Collection). Her soirees there would become legendary. Often referenced, her style has inspired fashion designers for decades, with both John Galliano and Karl Lagerfeld basing collections on her.

venice 11

Saturday 7th & 14th February 2015

Under the artistic direction of Maestro De Luigi The BAUERs Hotel will be transformed into a venue like none other: an interactive evening of costume, food, music, dance and special theatrical performances, bringing to life the hotel spaces and historical stories.  Much more than a straightforward Venice Carnival Ball, De Luigi will also be orchestrating a parcours through the city with the entire intriguing event professionally filmed as a short movie, for the most sophisticated and spectacular of souvenirs. The hotel is already preparing the ballroom for the evening!

ballroom

 

La Marchesa Casati is famed for saying “I want to be a living work of art”. This carnival, The BAUERs invites guests to channel Casati’s visionary spirit and eccentricity, and be part of the most fantastical event in town. The BAUERs hotel – we can’t  think of a better location as the hotel IS a living work of art, with stunning glass, pictures and fabrics in every corner.  We are looking forward to the twinkling lights of the water reflections and Venice as she prepares for Carnival and the special Carnival feast!

Palladio di notte

Contact The BAUERs Hotel, Venice for tickets and to reserve your place at the party this year!

www.bauerhotels.com

ps our favourite camera Leica are the technical sponsors of the evening, we will be following the evening with our camera and look forward to welcoming the Leica team to the hotel!

photography blog. 2

Rates start from 450 euros per night (including one night at the hotel and entrance to the Carnival Ball at the hotel) Contact the hotel on + 39041 5207022 / info@bauervenezia.com for your tickets.

Where do we begin? The story starts with arrangements for a very special person and a very special birthday. So who do we call? The BAUERs in Venice. Flowers? Yes please. Private Boat? Wonderful. Private tours? Amazing. Room with a view? Of course!

Palladio di notte

We decide on the BAUERs Il Palazzo. In summer the BAUERs Villa F offers an alternative, with stunning classically designed gardens – lilacs, lily of the valley, and climbing white roses, tumbling across a pagoda walkway lined with lavender. But for winter, Il Palazzo is the perfect setting for a birthday.

Day One

boat in Venice

The beginning and the end of every journey in Venice is important. So when you arrive be sure to book a private boat from the airport to The BAUERs. Arrange for the hotel to collect you, in a classic wooden Riva boat.

Venice has one of the most spectacular entrances into a city in the world. You feel like an actress entering a stage. A ride along the fabled Grand Canal and the gothic facade of The Bauers appears at the water’s edge.

We enter the hotel by the private jetty, feeling like Alice falling down the Rabbit Hole. We pass through the decorative entrance hall for check in, with beautiful inlaid ceilings surrounded by Chinese vases and antique tapestries by master craftsmen Bevilacqua and Rubelli. The private lift whisks us up to our suite and from the window we see so much more than just a view – it’s a Canaletto painting.

High ceilings, beautiful silks, handmade glass and exquisite linen sheets. A beautiful bouquet of flowers and chilled champagne await the birthday girl herself. After a glass of champagne, we visit the iconic Basilica di Saint Marco twinkling in the darkness, and explore the Piazzo St Marco. Only ten minutes away from the BAUERs, we’re in the most perfect central location.

BP - Il Palazzo Royal suite 1

Day Two

We awake and breakfast on the private terrace overlooking the stunning city. Spoilt for choice, we decide to visit the Peggy Guggenheim Collection at Palazzo Venier dei Leoni on the Grand Canal. The collection includes masterpieces ranging in style from Cubism and Surrealism to Abstract Expressionism, and is one of the most respected and visited cultural attractions in Venice. Later, we see the Da Vinci Exhibition at the Galleria dell’Academia.  Another highlight here is Paolo Veronese’s ‘Feast in the House of Levi.’

After a morning of galleries, we head around the corner from the Gallery and have lunch in the sun overlooking the water. Venice is full of the most delightful works of art, impossible to see them all, so with more time then The Scuola Grande di San Rocco which contains the greatest work of Jacopo Tintoretto, is also well worth a look. The afternoon finds us in the private boat heading to Murano for a private tour of the glass blowers. Then it’s back to the BAUERs for drinks and dinner at the BAUERs incredible De Pisis Restaurant with a group of friends. The menu is celebrated across Venice, and does not disappoint.

venice 11

Day Three

You can learn so much about a city from its markets, and the market is normally the heart of the place. So we head off to the Rialto Market, full of fresh vegetables and the catch of the day. It’s a must, but go early as they start to pack up at around 11.

venice 5

It’s time for lunch at La Trattoria Alla Madonna, and the green lamp is on – a signal that the restaurant is open. Time to try today’s catch of the day. Then it’s time for more sightseeing and teatime at the famous Cafe Florian in Saint Marco’s Piazza. We have delicious hot chocolate, and refuelled we’re ready to head back to the Bauers. That evening, we joined thousands of people crossing the Votive Bridge in the festa della madonna della salute celebrations. It’s the perfect end to a perfect weekend. When can we go again?

Contact  The Bauers for your reservation or to arrange a special birthday or Christmas party or surprise – www.bauerhotels.com