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  • Hotels Where the Cuisine Is Worth the Trip

    Published October 10th, 2012 by Administrator
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    By Valerie Fortney Schneider

    Some travelers choose a hotel based on location, others based on ambience, while some prefer to focus on the food. The Hacienda Zorita in Ledesma, Spain, serves up all three in style. It’s situated near the city of Salamanca, which was named a UNESCO World Heritage Site for its well-preserved historic center that is awash in beautiful buildings. The hotel is part of the “albergo diffuso” concept, where guest rooms are placed in renovated houses or buildings in the village – in this case in a 16th-century monastery building. The albergo diffuso model has been popular in Italy for several years, but Hacienda Zorita marks the ...

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  • Elizabeth Barrett Browning & the Casa Guidi

    Published July 9th, 2012 by Walks inside Italy
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    Poet Elizabeth Barrett Browning & the Casa Guidi
    In 1847, just one week after secretly marrying his beloved Elizabeth, Robert Browning brought his wife to live in the fifteenth century Palazzo Guidi, near the Piazza Santo Spirito. Elizabeth was forty-one years old and an already well-known poet, while Robert, six years younger was still trying to establish his reputation.

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  • A Walk in the Ghetto of Venice

    Published May 13th, 2012 by Walks inside Italy
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    A tiny round island surrounded by very tall, pastel colored buildings, with hundreds of small square windows and modest laundry drying in the air, children playing old and new games and a good number of tourists taking pictures: this is how the New Ghetto Square

    (the oldest of the three sections of the Ghetto) appears today to visitors coming from San Marcuola waterbus (or vaporetto) station (lines number 1 and 2 from San Marco and Rialto).

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  • Spend a Night in History: Castles and Homes with a Sense of the Past

    Published December 26th, 2011 by Administrator
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    Country Castles and Historic Homes Offer Deluxe Lodgings with a Sense of the Past

    Dotting the countryside across Italy are castles, villas and monasteries–remnants of a rich past. They bear testimony to epochs of architectural styles and often lend a defining landmark to the villages where they are located. Yet weathered by years of abandonment or lack of government funds to restore and maintain them, some are slowly crumbling.

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  • More Than a Mere Hotel: Albergo Diffuso is a Welcome Alternative

    Published October 21st, 2011 by Administrator
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    By Valerie Fortney-Schneider

    When Giancarlo Dall’Ara walks the silent streets of a crumbling Italian hill town he looks beyond the decay and overgrown weeds and envisions restored buildings neatly kept, people strolling and chatting, artisans at work in their shops, and lively exchanges echoing through the lanes.

    The dapper Dall’Ara, a tourism marketing maestro, is the pioneer of a hospitality model called albergo diffuso. The idea is to establish a hotel in an historic but forlorn town, sprinkling rooms in renovated homes and palaces rather than cluster them into one building. This innovative approach offers a hotel’s hospitality and amenities without the sterile uniformity often found in tourist structures. An alberg...

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