Past Travel Adventures

Dreaming of the road less traveled. Dying to get back.

Seabourn Cruising- off the coast of Italy

Kruger Lion

Lobby La Posta Vecchia

Any visit to elegant La Posta Vecchia is a special treat. Once the residence of Jean Paul Getty whose collection of antique furniture, tapestries and century old objects remain part of what is now a 19 room luxury hotel complete with every comfort and amenity. This 17th century jewel is one of the most prestigious hotels in Italy. Delightful GM, Marco Filippi runs a tight ship. Service is flawless. Perfect for small weddings, honeymoons or simply a magical romantic place to experience. A palatial seaside villa located within an easy 30-minute drive of Fiumicino airport.

Senior Suite La Posta Vecchia

Brownell Travel Group at La Posta Vecchia

Eden Hotel Rome – Spectacular after a 17 Month Renovation

With awe inspiring panorama views, Legendary Hotel Eden is like a shiny new penny after a 17 month renovation. Rooms are bright and elegant. The hotel retained those gorgeous white marble spacious bathrooms. Makes anyone feel like a movie star!
A Dorchester Collection hotel, the staff Is masterfully run by GM Luca Virgilio.
Staff Is enthusiastic and sincerely welcoming. Rooms are bright and large location at the top of the hill near Via Veneto, makes for easy walking. And those BEDS! Unforgettable!!

HotelEden View from Bar

Lobby Corner Hotel Eden

Still has the michelin starred restaurant, La Terrazzo and Eden bar with incredible views overlooking the entire Historic center of Rome

Il Giardino Ristorante Eden Hotel

Hotel Hassler- Updated Glamour

Typical Coffee Service -Hotel Hassler


Dispatch from Rome: lovely experience with the Hassler Hotel. Established in 1939 by Oscar Wirth, guests feel the family atmosphere and service immediately when entering the lobby. There is a sense of pride and sincere welcome from the doorman to the desk. I had the privilege of meeting the present President and Managing Director, Roberto Wirth and his son, Roberto who is the heir apparent. Many staff have been there for as long as 30 years. Service is impeccable refreshed decor is bright, contemporary and luxurious. The location, at the top of the Spanish Steps is perfect. The Hassler added a small group of rooms hidden beside the Spanish Steps – Il Palazzetto – in 1999. Roberto acquired Il Palazzetto with the intention of expanding the brand name of the historical hotel located two steps away at Piazza Trinita dei Monti. He wanted to unite his hospitality skills with his love for good wine, and established Il Palazzetto.
Il Palazzetto includes the Wine Bar on its two panoramic terraces overlooking the Spanish Steps, four boutique hotel rooms and a special location for memorable private events.

Public Room Il Palazzetto – Hassler

View from my bath Hassler Hotel

Agrigento

Agrigento

Modern Agrigento used to be the Greek city of Akragas, a colony of settlers mainly from Rhodes and Crete who, having initially settled in Gela, decided to move west, partly because the land in the area was ideal for cultivating olives, and grapes. The city, founded in 582 BC, soon became prosperous and, in its glory days, was one of the most important and most culturally-advanced Greek cities in the Mediterranean. Considered the 4th largest city in the ancient world.

Agrigento

Agrigento

Founded as a Greek colony in the 6th century B.C., Agrigento became one of the leading cities in the Mediterranean world.

Sites to Visit near Verdura in Sicily

What a thrill to see!! Spotless site, beautifully cared for.

What a thrill to see!! Spotless site, beautifully cared for.

Wow, Wow, Wow! Rocco Forte Verdura Golf Resort and Spa

Palms by the Ocean

Palms by the Ocean

The resort is set over 500 acres of stunning landscape with 1.8km of private coastline, yet has just 203 rooms and suites, giving a true sense of space and privacy. All rooms have private terraces and sea views. There are two 18-hole championship golf courses and a 9-hole, designed by leading architect Kyle Phillips; six tennis courts; a full- size football pitch; a 60m infinity swimming pool; a fully-equipped gym and running trails which meander through the olive and lemon groves.The resort’s restaurants and bars celebrate Sicilian cuisine with menus created from fresh organic ingredients complemented by a superb wine list. With its beautiful location on Sicilys southern coast and unique range of five-star facilities, Verdura Golf & Spa Resort is a very special venue for meetings, conferences and incentive programs.

Doorway Sciacca

Doorway Sciacca

Such a beautiful village.

A First Visit to My Family’s Village in Sicily – Amazing!!!

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I had the distinct privilege of being invited to visit the spectacular Rocco Forte resort, Verdura, in Sicily. Homeland to my maternal grandparents; my grandfather was from Palermo and serendipitously, my grandmother’s village, Sciacca, is 2 kilometers from Verdura Resort. Words cannot describe the feeling of walking down the street of my Grandmother’s village. Her name was Caterina Friscia; she married Salvatore Pipitone. I went to Mass in her Basilica, I watched the sunset over her harbor- fishing boats all tucked in for the night. I followed the path to her house. I walked in her footsteps. A deeply moving, very special experience- impossible to put into words.
I even found the statue of a distant relation, Saverio Friscia, in a beautiful palm filled piazza by the harbor

My Grandmother’s Basicilca Sciacca Sicily

Sciacca Sicily

Sciacca Sicily

Entry- Nijinsky Suite Hotel de Russie

The Terrace is enormous with panoramic views of Rome.

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Suite Bath – Hotel De Russie Rome

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Lobby Art Hotel de Russie – Rome

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Our delightful hosts in Rome

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Guisy Guarracino Senior Sales Manager, Hotel De Russie and Samara Doucette – Rocco Forte Hotels Global Senior Sales Manager

Hotel De Russie

Hotel de Russie

Formerly the Italian residence for aristocratic Russian citizens – including Czar Nicholas and his family, Hotel de Russie is beautifully situated on the edge of Piazza Popolo. Via Babuino, considered one of Rome’s hottest shopping streets, begins at the Spanish steps and ends at Piazza del Popolo.
Angel and Demon fans will recognize the church Santa Maria Del Popolo across the square.
The De Russie has a garden atmosphere with a glorius courtyard in the center if the hotel .
Part if the hotel gardens were formally with the Borghese gardens – directly above. Contemporary in style, the hotel is filled with ancient artifacts and Italian art. Crisp and welcoming, the hotel is one of my top choices for clients.
All Rocco Forte hotels are child friendly, and hotel de Russie is no exception. De Russie offers small bathrobes, children’s menu, toys aimed at the age level. Hotel staff customize excursions that are child friendly walking tours that are geared towards kids – scavenger hunts, pizza making classes, etc,etc.

Amanyara Beach rocky side

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Salon- Aman Grand Canal, Venice

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Grand Stairway Aman Grand Canal, Venice

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Stunning New Aman Resort in Venice

Venice was our first stop; the ship was docked overnight right next to the city.
We had 2 days to see that most amazing, romantic, mysterious, gorgeous city. I visited the brand new Aman Grand Canal and it lives up to the Aman tradition. Stunning, serene and most elegant. Opened just 3 months ago, it is located on the western part of the city near the Rialto Bridge. It was a private palace and the public rooms are jaw dropping
A 16th century Palazzo: Palazzo Papadapol, Aman has waved their magic wand and brought comfort and peacefulness to a garden property right on the Grand Canal.

Most Delightful Hostess- Patterson Neville

And her darling husband, David. We are on an excursion in Dubrovnik, tasting Ston Oysters.

Venetian Market

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Sights in Venice

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Sights in Venice

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Wow! Wow! Wow! Cruising on Silversea!

I had the distinct privilege of cruising on the Silver Spirit down the Dalmatian Coast-Venice Italy to Athens Greece.
Our routing took us to Zadar and Dubrovnik Croatia, Kotor Montenegro, Corfu Greece, Chania on Crete, Nafplia and ending in Athens, Greece.

Every detail to make clients comfortable is carefully planned with meticulous preparation.
Food specialties from all over the world are reflected in their fine dining: La Champagne for French, Terrazzo for Italian, and Japanese offerings at Seishi.
Silversea offers Butler service, Champagne and fresh fruit, Pratesi Italian bed linens and down duvets. Italian marble bath, walk-in closet,flat screen TV’s in both the bedroom and living room with movies, and satellite news programming. We had a choice between Ferragamo or Bulgari hypoallergenic bath amenities. Our mini bar was stocked with all our favorite beverages- for me- champagne. Yay!
We are welcomed with a tented area including a sofa and water station at the deck entrance each day upon returning from an intruiging excursion.
Our Butler, Sanjay Kumar is the perfect attendant. I had a bit of a cold and upon returning one afternoon, he had placed cut fruit on the coffee table, and boxes of tissues all over the suite. Always standing there with a beautiful smile, we are happy with Sanjay.
Silver Spirit’s capacity is 540 people. It is considered a smaller ship and we have a much easier time docking closer to the destination than the larger ships which have to moor in the bay.

Silversea Silver Spirit

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