First…some great news!!!!
The scatola gialla has arrived!! I was so happy to see the pink slip in the mail box. And even happier when Mom and Dad brought it in. It looks as if it had a tough journey; all broken and taped, but what matters is all the goodies (yes, more ephemera!!) are here…no more loose ends; me, the Ferrari and the scatola gialla all arrived at different times, but we all arrived.
I wince a bit when I say I have been home two weeks now. No doubt…there are wonderful things about being home; family, comforts of home, friends, family, comforts of home….wait, I already said that….ok….I am stumped…I know there are more, but I’ll have to get back to you.
Two weeks has allowed me to reflect, tell stories, miss certain things, etc. During this time, I ask myself questions; “What was your best fill in the blank? More often than not, a debate ensues. I have to qualify and qualify, substitute, consider a different opinion, be reminded of something ….and that’s just talking to myself…. But I think I am ready to make a few non-binding (my favorite kind) commitments…
So let’s start with my B & Bs.
Gosh…I actually got a bit nervous just then….I guess this is making it feel like a formal ending…..
Best Bedroom/Bath Layout & Comfy Bed– Chiusi and Vence
These two B & B’s get three Best Of’s each! I loved the eclectic mix and feel of the decor in Le2, but L’albero di gameli’s understated elegance made me feel pampered for the night. Did I ever mention the wonderful scent that filled the air there? I know scents can be tricky. Something someone loves gives someone else a headache. But the scent Milena has here is so subtle…just enough to make you think “aaahhhhhhhh”.
Best Room View- Sorrento and Assisi (See now I thinking Anacapri should make this list as well….) But I am going to stick with my first two because I tend to like heights….I so loved being on the rooftops of these places. B&B Belvedere Sorrento gets top honors I think because of all I could see and hear; Piazza Tasso, the sea, the rooftops, people’s windows, the streets below.
I guess it gave me more “scenes” to picture myself in while Hotel Alexander’s (Assisi) view of the rolling hills of Toscana were like something out of an Italian fantasy.
Plus, in B & B Belvedere’s column, I so enjoyed my evenings on the rooftop with a glass of wine or a treat I had grabbed from the streets below.
Best Hotel Host/Hostess- OK…no surprises here…say it with me….FRANCO!! Because I was Franco’s guest for 5 nights he of course gets top honors, but Milena comes in a close 2nd with only 1 night to impress!!
Franco and Family were just absolutely wonderful. I cannot say enough about my time there and without Franco’s kindness, Anacapri would have just been another bellissimo posto on my trip.
Milena, with two precious girls in tow, went al di sopra e al di la to make my one night in Chiusi perfect AND help me. With both of these special people, I feel I now have amici in Italia. Are there ANY better souvenirs!?
My parents are already planning on adding these two spots to their next trip to Italia.
Best Breakfast- B&B Roma Central
A typical italian breakfast is so very different from a typical American breakfast. Cakes, cheeses, pastries and of course cafe. In Roma, every morning I looked forward to going to the pasticceria across the street, handing the guy on the other side of the counter my hand stamped post-it note, choosing my pastry from the glass counter and deciding how I wanted my caffeine presented that day; cappuccino, espresso, macchiato…no way an Americano!! I didn’t sit at a table alone, I stood at the counter quickly eating my pastry and downing my cafe in no more than 3 gulps like all my other italian neighbors. Perfetto!
Best Location, Location, Location (Hotel)-
This is a toughie. There are pluses about almost every single place I stayed. The total number of B&B is 10 and I have to say I would rebook 8 of them. Rome, although the location put me near some cool neighborhoods and close to the train station, I would try another location before returning. That has NOTHING to do with the quality of my B&B, it was great, but next time, I am thinking Trastevere. Anacapri, part of the charm was that I would walk to town several times a day. Staying out of the city center allowed me to peek into lives and the same lives at different times of day. That I loved. The aromas of what was for lunch or dinner, the conversations floating out of open windows, passing familiar faces on the streets. And of course the tranquil beauty of Il Giardino dell’arte; my terrace, the Bay of Naples in my arms…bella! Sorrento, couldn’t have been better. Walking distance from the train station, a corner off Piazza Tasso, my rooftop terrace…..ya gotta love the luggage pulley! Chiusi, with a car and the intention of exploring Toscana and Umbria….definitely a place to return to. Monterosso, Hotel Margherita has a perfect location and I love their shared terrace/patio. It was definitely one of my favorite “offices”. A common outdoor area is a huge plus, especially if you are staying for several days. This space allows you to hang and unwind without feeling closed up in your room. Florence, Great location. Far enough from the touristy centers to allow you a buffer zone, but close enough to everything; train station included. Via Faenza is lined with small trattorias, groceries, enotecas and more. On my next visit, I might check out options in Oltrarno, but that is nothing against B&B Bencidormi. I would love a place with that common outdoor area I was speaking of…I’ve got a while to do some research…I’ll let you know…. Assisi, Again, if you are going to Assisi, the location and terrace of Hotel Alexander seem perfect. Vence, As long as church bells, LOUD church bells add to your experience LE2 is ideal.
Best Overall B & B Experience, Il Giardino Dell’Arte
This is taking EVERYTHING into consideration. To put into Franco’s words, the time here will “crazy you”. Bravo e Grazie Mille Franco!!
Is there anything about the B & Bs that I neglected to mention? If so, send me a comment and I am sure I will have an opinion to share.
Next up, Best Of- Food!