Apulia in my Mind

Bari

“…Ma tutti i sogni nell’alba svaniscon perché,
quando tramonta, la luna li porta con sé,
Ma io continuo a sognare negli occhi tuoi belli,
che sono blu come un cielo trapunto di stelle…”
D. Modugno

Bari

Bari acted as my gateway to Apulia, the beautiful region situated in the heel of the boot of Italy. This Summer I went on holiday to Bari for a week with my parents who were celebrating their wedding anniversary. They first met many years ago in Bari. It was love at first sight and I was their most precious gift.

The Old City known as ‘Bari Vecchia’ is amazing with its narrow stone lined streets of fading pastels and white, wrought iron balconies and above all else the scent of clean white sheets blowing in the light breeze. I did nothing but wander, camera in hand, capturing the best of what makes Bari such a beautiful city. It is much more than just the capital of Apulia, also being a busy, important port with connections to Greece, Albania and Croatia. It is a destination off the beaten track offering many things to do and see. The best way to get to Bari is to fly to ‘Bari Karol Wojtyla International Airport’ (also known as ‘Palese Airport’) which is located about 8km (5 miles) northwest of Bari City Centre. Then you can travel to Bari via many different modes of transport details , and you can choose many different types of accommodation on www.booking.com.  There is no ‘best’ hotel or ‘best’ district though some districts are better than others and you can decide where to stay at your own discretion. I travelled to Bari by car and my B&B was in the City Centre. Everything I could possibly want was close at hand.

Bari
Old Town

Bari, a Charming City in South Italy

Located on the Adriatic Sea, Bari (population around 300 000) is the second largest city in Southern Italy and has become one of Italy’s main commercial and industrial centres as well being a fascinating historical city in its own right. A large university and a high percentage of young people and migrants makes Bari a lively city as well as it having plenty of attractions for visitors such as lovely beaches, elegant boulevards and a gorgeous nightlife. For those interested in culture, a visit to the opera house, the municipal building or to other monuments and museums in Bari  is worthwhile.

Bari is also the place where various cultures came and went due to various invasions and changing governors, the Greeks, Romans, Goths, Lombards, Byzantines, Normans and Crusaders all leaving evidence of having been there. During the Middle Ages, Bari was ruled by Lords such as the Hohenstaufens and the Sforzas of Milan. Bari later suffered damage during World War II. Today Bari is a well connected coastal city, and as a large port has access to many shipping routes having a varied economy that includes the production of textiles as well as agriculture, in particular the production and export of cherries, tomatoes and artichokes. Bari developed industrially in the second half of the twentieth century and now boasts an important trade fair, the largest in southern Italy.

Old Port
Old Port

Bari, caressed by the wind and overlooking the sea has a magical atmosphere that is part life, history and tradition. I liked walking around Bari, finding new corners to photograph and watching the fishermen go out to sea in their boats. Bari is an inspiring town where you can find anything you want. So what can you do in Bari? Let me tell you:

  • ‘Bari Vecchia’ : I explored the Old Town which is nestled around the harbour on a peninsula to the north and contains many beautiful Romanesque -Pugliese structures and churches whilst the wider residential and business area which developed in the 1820’s spreads out from this point into the mainland. Women will like ‘Via Sparano’ and ‘Via Argiro’ which are the best shopping streets In Bari and in general the whole of the Old Town looks and feels as if you have been transported to some time in the past as passing through the narrow streets you will see sweet grandmas rolling pasta, families having dinners and neighbours talking to each other;
  • ‘The own of Murattiano’ : The ‘new’ town was built in 1813 during the French occupation of Bari by Joachim Murat. The upper class ‘Murat District’ is the modern city centre whilst  ‘Corso Cavour’ or ‘Corso Vittorio Emanuele’ and the streets surrounding them are full of many branded shops, cafes and restaurants. During a guided tour I saw the ‘Basilica of S. Nicholas’ (one of the most beautiful examples of Romanesque architecture in Apulia), the ‘Cathedral of S. Sabino’, the ‘Swabian Castle’, the ‘Fortino di Sant’Antonio Abate’, the ‘Piazza del Ferrarese’, the ‘Piazza Mercantile’ and the ‘Old Port’; 
  • The ‘Nazario Sauro Seafront Promenade’ : Slow down, take a stroll and prepare to absorb the beauty of this ‘Lungomare’. I love the sea so much that I could not get enough of just walking along this picturesque promenade whilst enjoying the sunshine or the light at dusk and the smell of the sea. This endless waterfront begins from the port and runs along the length of the city. The promenade was inaugurated in 1927 and along it you can admire several impressive Liberty style palaces, luxury hotels and the colourful ‘Margherita Theatre‘; 
  • Petruzzelli Theater’: Close to the Old Town, Petruzzelli Theater is the third largest opera house in Italy after ‘La Scala’ in Milan and the ‘San Carlo Theatre’ in Naples. Until the middle of the 20th century there were ten theatres in Bari , which was well known all around Italy for its artistic and vivid life;
  • Spazio Murat’: It’s a modern art space in the ‘Piazza del Ferrarese’, which promotes contemporary art with an emphasis on visual art and on design, the wish of its inventors being to create a space that raises questions and encourages interaction and discussion so making Bari a city of the arts with an international dimension. Each season of culture allows art lovers to explore several exhibitions particularly the ones entitled ‘Made in Puglia’;
  • Via delle Orecchiette’: I stumbled across the Italian ladies who made the streets around ‘Arco Alto’ and ‘Arco Basso’ famous (only a few steps away from the imposing ‘Swabian Castle’) by turning flour and water into ‘orechiette’, the typical Apulian pasta. You can watch them go through the entire process of mixing and rolling the dough to hand forming each ear shaped piece of pasta, then placing these on drying racks, all whilst exchanging gossip and smiling for photos. A portion of orecchiette does not cost much , because it is a very simple rustic meal as well as being a very tasty souvenir to bring home!;
  • Pane & Pomodoro Beach: This is not the most captivating beach in Bari though being only fifteen minutes walk from the city is an ideal option for those who do not want to travel far though want to feel the sand between their toes. The beach was named after a cheap local bread topped with tomato mainly eaten by the less well off during their lunch break by the shore.
via delle Orecchiette

Food & Wine in Bari 

Bari is very proud of its traditional Southern Italian Cooking based on Seafood, Vegetables, Wheat, Olive Oil and Wine. Puglian Food and Wine are perfect for an unforgettable culinary tour which is a huge part of any local travel experience expecially in Italy.

Bari is a Foodie Paradise because it is a region with Plenty of Sun and with Fertile Soil where Foods are Fresh and Flavoursome. Vineyards produce some Excellent Local Wines including Full Bodied Reds like ‘Negroamaro’, ‘Primitivo’ and ‘Nero di Troia’ and refreshing white and rose wines ideal for Summer lunches. In Italy, Food is Life and Life is Food as Food is inextricably linked to the culture both nationally and regionally and Bari takes its Food Very Seriously! You’ll always be fascinated by the Food in Bari as there is so much to eat and drink during every season and the cuisine tends to be both simple and delicious. There are plenty of fantastic dishes to choose from such as ‘tiella riso, patate e cozze’ which is made from cheap ingredients such as rice, potatoes, mussels, onions, garlic, tomatoes and grated Pecorino cheese. Walking along the cobblestoned streets you will notice that families usually eat lunch and dinner with their windows and doors open, filling the air with joy and sometimes inviting curious passers by in for a bite. Here are some places I recommend for local Dishes and Wines to try:

Apulia in my Mind
Sea is Happiness

Beginning your Apulia Road Trip from Bari 

 

Castellana Caves

Castellana Caves’  was known by the locals as ‘Hell’s Gate’, a place where the spirits of the dead were thought to wander. On January 23rd 1938 the speleologist Franco Anelli discovered the existence of numerous caves of Karst formation which had originally been formed by the flow of an underground river. After centuries the effect of the water on the limestone turned the area into an astonishing array of stalactites and stalagmites. The caves are 3km in length and 73m in depth with two possible paths for tourists to follow, a short path of 1km which can be done in an hour or a longer path which is far more interesting. The longer path gives the tourist the chance to appreciate all the beauties of the natural environment and in the two hours it takes to traverse the system you get the chance to appreciate all the beauties of the natural environment. Visitors are encouraged to use their imagination to recognise the shapes of animals and people amongst all the gnarled rocks some of which are floodlit to enhance the wonder of the place.

Alberobello

Alberobello

Alberobello’s  “Trulli” became a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1996. The town of Alberobello is unique for its “Trulli”. They are dry mortarless stone huts built with conical tops . You see “Trulli”  throughout the Itria Valley in Apulia, but the greatest concentration is in Alberobello. The houses are a pleasure on the eye though their nature isn’t clear even today. and their nature isn’t clear even today. Some people say that the houses identify their social class whilst others say that their style serves as a simple embellishment or gives them an esoteric meaning. Plenty of “Trulli” have been converted into guesthouses, so you could try them for a night or two!. Alberobello  is one of the most beautiful towns in Southern Italy and going up onto the panoramic open terraces to admire these roofs for me is something magical, like something out of a fairytale. And don’t forget to stop at ‘La Lira’ , a popular and wonderful ‘rosticceria’  for your lunch . It’s a typical Italian fast food shop which prepares and cooks a variety of dishes, both cold and hot, ranging from roasted meats and pasta through to vegetables and salads. The food is delicious. The owner was so nice and he explained me a lot of things about his culinary specialities. 

Polignano al Mare

Polignano al Mare

‘Polignano al Mare’ is perched on the white cliffs of a rugged coastline, and it’s the birthplace of Domenico Modugno, the author of Nel Blu dipinto di blu”,  the most pupular Italian song . Flying and singing, Modugno flies up happily to the blue sky and when it is already day all his dreams are taken away by the moon. But he keeps on dreaming in the blue eyes of his woman, as blue as a blue starry sky. Stunningly beautiful, there’s plenty to see, eat and drink while strolling around Polignano al Mare, like I did whilst visiting  “Al Buco Preferito Tranquillage” , a lovely restaurant with a breathtaking view. decent prices, great food, excellent service and a good location.

Trani

Trani

‘Trani’ left a deep trace in my heart and in my mind, and  I would love to return, not just once as a tourist, but as if I was visiting old and dear friend. I am not able to define what exactly made me feel connected to this town.  Perhaps it is the simple beauty of the Romanesque ‘Seafront Cathedral’, which dominates the townscape, both by day and night, and the square in front of it which becomes a lively meeting place in the evening.  Maybe it’s the colorful boats in the port or the perfect  lunch I had at ‘Peschef’, a street food restaurant, a street food restaurant, which is the right option for fresh, fast, reasonably priced seafood. The menu is short and centered around local seafood, like tuna and cuttlefish. You can get dishes with fried or raw seafood, all of which are delicious. The restaurant can look crowded at times as it is fairly small thought the line moves fast. The food, the customer service and the view all make for an excellent experience. I sat outside near the water’s edge whilst eating all the different fish dishes that they brought to the table. All the food was fresh and tasty and it is a restaurant I would hlghly recommend visiting.

 

Matera

Matera

Matera is one of the most spectacular places you can visit in Italy or anywhere else in the world for that matter. Until the 1950’s Matera was a source of shame in Italy associated with poverty, malaria and high rates of infant mortality, where people lived in caves with no electricity, running water or sewage. Carlo Levi, the famous Italian writer raised awareness of the desperate conditions people were living in and around half of the 30 000 population moved to new homes in the modern part of the city between 1953 and 1968. When visiting Matera be sure to visit ‘‘Sassi di Matera’ (the Old Caves), where people used to live and the ‘Perrone Bakery’ the place to go in ‘Sassi di Matera’ to buy local breads, treats and gifts to bring home. The bakery is only about 15 minutes walk from the main piazza and although located outside the historic city centre is well worth a visit.

Apulia in my mind

Apulia had just as much impact on me during my holiday and I’m already planning to return next summer. Tourism may be growing though as it is not well known as of yet you will find far fewer visitors here than in other parts of the country so you can navigate the streets without encountering tour groups and also benefit from lower prices. Local people will always have time for you and it is their warmth that will stay with you the most. Apulia is becoming a special destination for those who are open to venturing somewhere a little different in Europe, and many travellers are learning that Apulia is a place that they should visit sooner, rather than later.

Enjoy it! 

Stefania

Federici Winery. Lunigiana in a Glass

“With Wine, Poetry, or Virtue, as you choose, but get Drunk!”
Charles Baudelaire

The Federici Winery. Lunigiana in a Glass

There is nothing like the regional products of a territory that can describe its history and culture. The fruits of the earth tell us how  people have shaped the landscape where they live. That is why visiting “Federici Winery” is a special way to discover Lunigiana, a mysterious land sandwiched between the Ligurian coastal towns of “Cinque Terre” and the Tuscan cities of Lucca and Pisa

On the 2nd November I visited the “Federici Winery” in Ortonovo, near the ancient ruins of Luni, the famous Roman port, where Roman merchant ships  used to transport precious Carrara marble along the Tyrrhenian Sea. Luca Federici welcomed me when I arrived at his wine cellar. He was ready to guide me through a tour of his  winery and dedicated his time to share with me the story of his family, his territory and his wines. Luca’s big smile warmed a rainy day, making me realise that if you do what you love, you never work a day in your life! 

Federici Family

Federici Family, a Story of vineyards and men

The Federici family, originally from Ortonovo  boast a long tradition of winemaking that has been handed down from father to son. It all started in 1985, when Giulio Federici and his wife Isa, the third generation of the family restored a country property in Lunigiana devoting themselves to cultivating the local grapes and to making quality wines. 

Luca, the oenoligist, and his brother Andrea, the sales and marketing manager, represent the fourth generation of the “Federici family,“. Today together they lead their business with passion, professionalism and with care for their territory. The best result of the Federici family‘s love for what they do is  of course one of my favourite wines, the so called Vermentino: a dry white wine that is sleek, tangy and even a little bit sexy. There are hundreds of white grape types planted throughout Italy,  though the Vermentino for me is really the best  This old variety grows well  here , because  the climate is mild , and because the vines are planted close to the sea. I’m crazy  about the elegance of the Vermentino as well as the , minerality and  saltiness in its finish, and pairing it  with the local cuisine specialities , such as seafood antipasti and pesto sauce, is something you have to experience once in your life! 

Federici Winery
Federici Winery

Federici Winery 

“Federici Winery” owes its name to the sun shining in the ancient Roman port of Luni. The archaeological site is still intact and just a couple of miles from the winery, and commemmorates the thousand year old tradition of winemaking in this area.

“Federici Winery” is located near La Spezia in far eastern Liguria nestling against the Apuan Alps (with peaks reaching almost 7,000ft  only 5 km from the sea) and the river plain of the River Magra. This privileged position  provides an incredible microclimate, where the action of sea and mountain breeze, alternating between day and night, creates optimal  conditions for growing vines and producing wines of excellence. Here the soil in the valley is of an alluvial and sandy  nature with leaner clay on the hills. That is how the Federicis can experiment  different varieties of the Vermentino producing completely different taste profiles in the vineyard, along with other local (Albarola, Sangiovese, Canaiolo, Ciliegiolo) and international grapes (Syrah, Merlot). Harvest usually starts  towards the end of  August and the beginning of September . Grape picking is one of the most important phases of work for the Federicis and is entirely done by hand just like it used to be when the winery was first set up.

Federici Family, from father to son

The “Federici Winery is a key player in the local economy and has the objective to constantly work to enhance the quality of its wines. The winery extends over  around 25 hectares with vineyards in prized locations both on the hillside and on the plain. The winery buys hand-harvested grapes from other small growers in the surrounding countryside paying for qualit, and  keeping alive both tradition and wine culture. The winery produces 200.000 bottles a year, including  whites, reds, rosé, sparkling wines, sweet wines and grappa.

Federici Family
Federici Estate

The Federicis invested a lot of money in the new winery in 2015, which now covers 1600 square metres and it is equipped with  state of the art technology, such as a special isobaric bottling system, which ensures  optimal care in the packaging of the wine . Moreover, the winery follows  bio-architectural principles in order to  reduce  the impact on the environment as well as maximise energy savings. The beautiful underground cellar, where the wines rest for their final refinement, is a perfect example of the  harmony that exists between the buildings and nature. The cellar is situated around a hundred metres below sea level, which helps harness the natural stability of temperature and humidity provided by the  presence of an underground aquifer. All this is further supported by constant control of every stage of the production process thanks to ecological  solutions in the wine cellar such as solar panels, natural ventilation and the use of wood, stone and brick. The Federicis are very proud of their magical reign and passion and patience and experience are key words of their philosophy.  For them viticulture is a family tradition, and their care for the environment, the climate, the vineyards and  their employees produces matchless wines, whose  flavour reflect the beauty of their terroir

Luca Federici

Federici  Wine Tasting 

Wine tasting in “Federici Winery” is an intimate and personal experience. The tasting room  is very  large, decorated with frescos and has two magnificent handmade chandeliers the design of which has been inspired by nature. Luca took me through his line of biological  wines and demonstrated the quality of his best bottles of wine by pouring me a glass of their Vermentino. He  is proud of his wines with good reason and I sipped through his wines with pleasure.  All showed great character and depth as well as a softness you rarely see with natural wines. They seemed stable, substantial and yet so expressively honest. Luca explained how the ideal climate for their white wines exists in the “Colli di Luni DOC Area”: “ During the day there is superb ventilation and optimal  exposure to the sun whilst the evenings are fresh and humid, always with moderate temperatures whether it be winter or summer.

Federici‘s  vineyards are situated within two to three miles of the sea, and here are the three versions of  the their  best wines made from 100 % Vermentino

I learned a lot about Vermentino thanks to Luca. The best Vermentino is medium-bodied, fresh and quite round, with a floral aftertaste, and its freshness is the result of the natural, lively acidity of the grape itself which provides balance as well as a marvellous affinity for pairing with a variety of foods. Vermentino grows not only in Liguria, but also in Sardinia and Tuscany, and in each of these three territories, the vineyards are very close to the sea,  giving the wines a special character that you don’t find in wines from vineyards in a warmer, inland area. Vermentino from a maritime climate tends to display a great minerality or saltiness in the finish. Vermentino is one of the most important varieties in Liguria, along with another white known as “Pigato“.

Federici Wines
Federici Wines

Lunigiana is one of the smallest region in Italy, but its white wines are among the most distinctive, like the other three wines I sipped at the “Federici Winery :

Lunigiana
Lunigiana

If you are a wine lover or a wine expert, Lunigiana could be your perfect upcoming destination.

Lunigiana, in north west Tuscany, has a lot to offer. It is a location to be enjoyed all year round, and above all it is easy to get to via flights to either Pisa or Genoa.  The wine region of Lunigiana is very beautiful, with vineyards on rocky  hillsides that  overlook the sea as well as vineyards higher up in the valleys  and small narrow roads that meander up amongst the vineyards.   With such a large number of grape varieties unique to Lunigiana, this can lead to some confusion though doing research before visiting and wine tasting in such a picturesque region is worthwhile. Lunigiana is also dotted with numerous stunning medieval villages and  is a pearl amongst the other international  and aristocratic hamlets  along the zone of the  “Riviera Ligure di Levante”, such as  Portofino, “Cinque Terre”, and the “Gulf of Poets”. Lunigiana lies between the northern Appennines, the “Versilian Plan”, and the “Gulf of la Spezia” and has real rural character as well as castles, Romanesque churches, and  old towns full scenes of rare beauty starting with Luni and Sarzana.

Luni

Luni  the ancient Roman port which gives the name to Lunigiana Luni is surrounded by a valley called “Val di Magra” in the Montemarcello Magra Park”, which extends from inland Liguria up to the Gulf of Poets. Points of interest include the remains of an Roman Amphitheatre (1st century AD) and the Archaeological Museum.

Sarzana, piazza Calandrini
Sarzana, piazza Calandrini

Some are born in Sarzana and love it for life, others choose Sarzana as their place. The latter seems to be the case with the family Bonaparte, who were welcomed there in exile and from  where they left to conquer the world. The Bonaparte family left an important witness to their presence in the form of the “Bonaparte Tower House”, which is located in the first section of the “Via Mazzini”, a few steps away from the ancient church of “Sant’Andrea”. Sarzana is a quiet city, tourists don’t go there much. You might peek into some of the antique shops in the historic centre, or into the terrific  main square “Piazza Matteotti” . There are many restaurants in Sarzana, and all of them are good. It’s like the town is waiting for tourists who seldom come.  Sarzana has two nice castles:  ” Cittadella Fortezza Firmafede”, which is right on the northeast border of the old town, and the “Fortezza di Sarzanello”, which is just north of town. It also has a fine Romanesque/Gothic cathedral, the Santa Maria Assunta Cathedral”.

Federici Wines are perfect for each moment of your Life
Federici Wines are perfect for each moment of your Life

Save your appetite my friends . Stay thirsty. Passion and humility create balance in the heart and balance in the glass. Luca knows this and you can see it in his eyes and taste it in his wines.

Alla vostra!
Enjoy it!
Stefania!

 

 

 

 

 

Chamber of Commerce Pisa

 Terre di Pisa Food & Wine Festival 2019

“There is no sincerer Love than the Love of Food”, 
G. B. Shaw

“Terre di Pisa Food  & Wine Festival 2019“. Why to come? 

Don’t miss the Outstanding Enogastronomic Event “Terre di Pisa Food  & Wine Festival 2019”, now at its 8th Edition! “Terre di Pisa Food  & Wine Festival 2019”, will take place at the “Leopolda Station” in Pisa from the 18th to the 20th of Ocotber 2019. It becomes a Moment to experience Tuscan Lifestyle! Thanks to a Wine-Gastronomy Tour, You will discover the Flavours of Tradition in Pisa and its Province.“Terre di Pisa Food  & Wine Festival 2019” provides a Varied Calendar of Activities to enjoy an Unconventional Weekend  with Art, Culture, Top Food & Wine. A Real Pleasure for the Body and for the Spirit!

Chamber of Commerce Pisa
Chamber of Commerce Pisa

“Terre di Pisa Food  & Wine Festival 2019“. What to find? 

After the Succes of Last Year  with 8000 Visitors, “Terre di Pisa Food  & Wine Festival 2019” confirms  the “Chamber of Commerce of Pisa” Commitment to promote Pisa and its Province together with the collaboration of Professional Associations and Institutions (“ConfCommercio”,CNA”, “CIA”, “Confesercenti Toscano Nord”, “Coldiretti”, “Confagricoltura”, “IPSAR Matteotti” ) . At this Beautiful “Terre di Pisa Food  & Wine Festival 2019”, a Warm Welcome awaits You! There is  the Best of Pisa and its Province: 

  • 75 Producers; 
  • Wine, Oil and Food Experts; 
  • Restaurants;
  • Pisa University Nutritionists; 
  • Show Cookings; 
  • Oil Tastings; 
  • Wine Tastings 

Free Entrance for an Unforgettable Weekend! What are You waiting for ? Special Guests, Show Cookings, Oil & Wine Tasting!

Free Entrance for You at the “Terre di Pisa Food  & Wine Festival 2019”! Get out the Most of it! There is only a 10/15 euro Ticket  for booking the several Show Cookings and Olive & Wine Tastings Off Line or On Line ( www.pisafoodwinefestival.it). Don’t Throw Away your Ticket! From the 18th October to the 3rd of November 2019, Your Ticket gives you the possibility to get a Discount on Entrance to “Pisa’s Old Vessels Musem”, to the “Walkway of the Pisa’s Walls”, and to the Exibition “Futurism” at “Pisa’s Palazzo Blu” . Moreover, You will meet the Special Guest Rubina Rovini, the Pisan Chef, who is known for having competed on the fifth season of “Master Chef Italy”. She is also a Brand Ambassador, and a Food Consultant !

Pisa Food and Wine 2019

Pisa Cuisine. What to eat ? 

Pisan Cuisine is Simple and Delicious. It varies from Fish and Seafood Specialties to Game Dishes. It offers Countless Famous and Traditional Must-Eat Foods. At the “Terre di Pisa Food  & Wine Festival 2019” , You can taste all the Typical Dishes , and  Protected Products, such as “Monte Pisano Olive Oil”, “Pecorino Cheese”,  “Pisan Beef”, “San Miniato Truffle”, and much more. These Traditional Pisan Dishes are deeply rooted in the Pisan  Culture, and Recipes are often passed down between generations and are cherished for their Authentic Origins.

Friday 18th October Menu

Saturday 19th October Menu

Sunday 20th October Menu

Pisa Wines

Enjoy it ! 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Arrighi Winery

Arrighi Winery

 the most important thing is not what you find at the end of a race, but what you feel inside while running”  
A. Arrighi 

Elba 

What’s your idea about Tuscany? Yes of course, Rolling Hillsides, Sunflowers, Cypresses and Beautiful Towns, but there’s much more! Where? Go towards the “Tuscan Archipelago” islands: Giglio, Capraia, Montecristo, Pianosa, Giannutri, Gorgona and above all Elba, where I stayed for a weekend to escape into another word as Napoleon Bonaparte did! Why did Napoleon choose this Gem  for his exile in 1814–15? Have an holiday in Elba  and then you’ll see it or you’ll live there forever! 

Elba Island is a Hidden Pearl of the Tyrrhenian Sea, where, according to a legend, Venus, the Goddess of Beauty and Love, lost her necklace, giving birth to the  “Tuscan Archipelago”. Elba is located 6.2 miles from the coastal town of Piombino, and, with an area of 86 square miles (223 square km), it’s an unspoilt Tuscan Paradise: Clear Blue Waters, Sandy Beaches, Wonderful Landscapes, Mild Climate, and Varied Vegetation of Mediterranean type, with rich Olive Groves and Vineyards. Being a spot off the Beaten Path , Elba is not a Typical Tourist Destination, so you’ll not find Hordes of People or Lines and Crowds like in other Mediterranean Islands, such as in Sicily or in Sardinia. Elba is mostly frequented by Tuscany Residents and, if you want to avoid them too, book a trip in Spring or early Autumn to Enjoy the Silence. Moreover, Elba is a land full of History: remains of the Etruscan, Roman and Medieval Ages testify a Fascinating Past and a rich Wine Cultural Heritage . Elba is well worth being seen for the Flavours of its Cuisine too, which is made from Simple Dishes adn Fantasy. Being an Island, Elba has several Fish Restaurants. Every morning, Fishermen go offshore and fish all day; in the late afternoon, they bring their catch to the Island’ s Restaurants.  If you haven’t visited Elba yet, Yyou Need to – Right Now! This Lovely small Island is destined to be turned into one of your  Must-See Places !  

Elba History

Being inhabited since Pre-Historic Times, Elba was discovered early on to be ripe with Iron-Ore Deposits. Elba attracted a Lot of Ancient People, such as the Etruscans and the Greeks,  who call it  “Aethalia” (which means “Smoky Place”, probably because of the smelting furnaces). Later the Romans, renaming  it “Ilva”,  established a naval base on the Island. 

Over the centuries Elba underwent many other invasions and dominations. In the early Middle Ages, Elba was ruled by Pisa, in 1290 by Genoa, in 1399 by the Dukes of Piombino, and in 1548 by Cosimo I de Medici of Florence. From 1596 until 1709 the Eastern Part of Elba was under the Spanish Empire controll for about 150 years, then the whole territory was conquerred first by Naples, and finally by the French in 1802. When Napoleon I abdicated in 1814, he was exiled to Elba, where he landed on May 4. Since then, Elba was recognized as an Independent Principality with Napoleon as its King until February 26, 1815, on which day he returned to France for the Hundred Days. Napoleon left his Mark with his Noble Residences in Portoferraio, Elba’s chief town : “Palazzina dei Mulini” and  the “Villa di San Martino”, both of which are now Museums open to the public. Thereafter, Elba was restored to Tuscan,with which it passed to Unified Italy in 1860.  

Elba
Elba

1st day ,23th July. Top Elban Winemaker Antonio Arrighi.

I’ve been living in Pisa since six years, and Elba, being so close to my adopted city, is one of those places I’ve always promised to  myself  I’d get to next time around! In the middle of my summer holiday my curiosity was piqued, as my Tuscan friends always craved about Elba, having a house or going sailing there! Before going to Sicily and always longing for Sunshine, Salt Air, Blue Sea, Exclusive Wine and Food, I decided to allow myself  a quick three-day getaway in this beautiful Tuscan Island!  

During my stay in Elba, I was fascinated  by the Lush Natural Beauty of the Island, by its Crystal Sea, and by its People Sweetness. Though I am hardly in a position yet to recommend ‘the Best’ of Anything, I experienced enough to suggest an enjoyable Two-Day Itinerary, which  will give you a glimpse of the Treasures that Elba has to offer. To begin with I can tell you that most of the Island is very panoramic, helped by the fact that there are no ugly buildings to be found (strict building regulations have been enforced since a lot of time ). Moreover, in recent years Elba has become a magnet for Visitors from all Over the World thanks to its Fine Weather from April to October. Elba, is surprisingly easy to reach as well! I took a train from Pisa to Piombino Marittima (about 40 minutes), then a short walk  to the ferry and I was in Elba in 45 minutes! You can also drive directly to the Port in Piombino,  and pay about 10 euro a day to park (you can bring your car on the ferry, but it might be cheaper to rent one on the Island). “Toremar” and “Moby” ferry passenger to and from Elba every day and tickets at the port office are around 32 euro roundtrip for the one-hour ride.

Porto Ferraio
Porto Ferraio

Approaching Elba, I was amazed at how massive and densely forested it was. After disembarking in pastel-hued Portoferrario, Elba’s largest city  founded by Cosimo I  de’ Medici in 1548, I headed down the red pedestrian pathway towards the town with a  tour of Napoleon’s Residences above mentioned. I took lots of photos strolling around the cobbled streets of the cute Portoferrario, both in the City Center and in the Old Town. I kept walking taking a hike to the “Medicean Ramparts”, which the Grand Duke of Tuscany Cosimo l built as a defence against the Turkish attacks, and to the “Fort Falcone” , where I enjoyed  breathtaking panoramic views. “Fort Falcone” has an area of 2360 square metres, and along with “Fort Stella” and the “Linguella Tower”, is one of the three “backbones” of the defence system of the town of “Cosmopoli” , which is how Cosimo l named Portoferraio. The day was really sultry, so I had to rest drinking a cold Cola in one of  the many beach cafes which dotted the little port . 

Antonio Arrighi
Antonio Arrighi

My Cola ice cubes turned into water, while I was waiting for  the best part of my Trip: Antonio Arrighi. Antonio is a Multitalented Wine Entrepreneur , who welcomed me in Elba for my interview with him. Antonio picked me up at the bar with his car to reach Porto Azzurro, which is the second most important inhabited center of the Island. It was a fortune Antonio drove me to this quaint hamlet , where I spent the rest of my long weekend, as I preferred not to use any mean of transport to go around Elba. This was not only just because of my not  brilliant driving skill, but also because it was not needed as my nice and very well-equipped “Belmare Hotel” was at my fingertips and easily available to me. By the way, for excellent “pilots” and for longer holiday periods in Elba, there are motorbikes (which are the best solutions for exlporing the whole Island and navigating through the traffic, which can be very heavy in July and August!) and cars to rent  at decent rates everywhere . After I unpacked my bags in Porto Azzurro, Antonio and me had our lunch at “Sopravento” Restaurant to speak about how to arrange my time with him for my post about his incredible Winery in Elba . First  my attention was captured by our succulent seafood dishes: “scialatelli” (a type of thick and short fettuccine or linguine-like pasta made in Campania) with lobsters, and a wide range of starters and crudités paired with his Fruity White Wine “Eraora”, made from Chardonnay and Incrocio Manzoni (Riesling and Pinot Blanc) grapes. Then, as he started to talk about himself, I was asborbed in his Life Story definitely!

Antonio Arrighi
My interview with Antonio Arrighi 

Antonio Arrighi was born in the room number 13 of my “Belmare Hotel” in Porto Azzurro, which belonged to his father, what a happy coincidenceAntonio was raised in a family of experienced hoteliers and restaurateurs with a long tradition of  hospitality in Elba. In 1960, when tourism was booming in Elba, the  Arrighi Family started the hotel business, and in 1970 run a farm for its hotel clients producing different types of meat (pork, rabbit, etc), flowers, peaches and grapes. As a child Antonio was always involved behind the scenes.  In 1980 Antonio became  a Sommelier (he is still being part of the Elba Delegation of “AIS Toscana”) not only to take care of  his vineyards, but also for making excellent Wine! In 1995 a great opportunity knocked on his door , when Antonio undertook an ambitious project in collaboration with the Tuscan Region and with Paolo Storchi, Senior Researcher at CREA (Council for Agricultural Research and Agricultural) of Arezzo. It was about understanding which International Grape Varieties along with the local ones could grow in Elba. The answer for  this question was:  Syrah, Sagrantino and Tempranillo for Red Wines and Incrocio Manzoni, Chardonnay , and Viognier for White Wines. Antonio went on with planting these selected International Grape Varieties in his land, being drought and diseas resistant, they complied with high quality standards and delivered consistent results time after time. Since 2000 onwards Antonio was fully dedicated to his Winemaking Passion, which turned into his main activity helped by his supportive and close family. Antonio is very proud of his partner Giada, his two daughters Giulia and Ilaria and his son Matteo, and they represent a point of reference not only for himslef but also for the family business future. Antonio had his cold limoncello and went away for his job tasks and I went back to my hotel to sleep a little bit. Late in the evening after my little nap, I wandered through the narrow streets of Porto Azzurro, along “Via Solferino”, “Via dei Martiri” and “Via XXV Aprile”, which were coloured by the balcony flower pots,  by the souvenirs shops and by the moon which had risen over the harbour. I admired  the main square called “Piazza Matteotti”, this is  a magnificent  meeting point for the locals and the heart of social life in Elba. I relaxed ther having a delicous “apericena” in the  nice “Bar Corinto” with a tasty Seafood Sandwich and a wonderful Spritz ! From “Piazza Matteotti” I continued down the main streets of the harbor “Via Vitaliani” and “Banchina 4 Novembre” , looking  all around and noticing how much Beauty was in every corner of this old fishing town.  Nothing was left to chance, like a terrific Brazilian pub “All’ Arco Antico” , where I had my last drink, a sparkling local White Wine. I was a little bit tipsy to remember its name, sorry! 

Belmare Hotel, Porto Azzurro
Belmare Hotel, Porto Azzurro

2nd Day. Arrighi Winery and Wine Tradition in Elba: Vinification in Amphora

Being Sicilian, I am used to waking up in a Mediterranean Islet with a Delicious Breakfast and a Black Hot Coffee! My morning buffet with fresh bread, marmellade and my Espresso at my cheerful “Belmare Hotel” in Porto Azzurro stirred up my homeland memories!

I set outside on the terrace looking out to see the first light of the day, while the sea-gulls were playing with the wind and  the  fishermen where spreading their nets. I was embraced by a warm  and Mediterranean Atmosphere, and  soon after , as the heat was closing in on me, I took a refreshing dip  in a small cove near Porto Azzurro city center. Nothing better than this, it set me up perfectly  for the upcoming Wonder of my Your in Elba, my visit to “Arrighi Winery”

Porto Azzurro
Porto Azzurro 

At about eleven o’ clock Antonio collected me from the hotel to see his estate in “Piano al Monte”, an area in the eastern hills of Porto Azzurro, within the Tuscan Archipelago National Park . We arrived at his Winery after only a  few minutes drive, then Antonio and I rode on a Quad to go around  his Amphitheatre of Grapevines and his Trekking Wine Paths in “Piano al Monte”. While we rode  he talked about his tremendous existence! From what he said it’s clair that Antonio is very fond of his Family and of his “Arrighi Winery”, whose secret ingredients are Passion, Tradition, and Innovation. With a production of about 40,000 bottles per year Antonio‘s property extends over 12 hectares, of which 7 are vineyards with 300 olive trees. The Goal of Antonio‘s Enterprise is to produce Wine from its Own Grapes and to experiment with New Ones, which are best suited to the Elba  Terroir, an Island which is made from Iron (Elba has always been a font of Iron Ore, and while extraction ended in 1960, it’s  still the richest source in Italy for Iron), Clay, Sea, Sun and Mild Climate all the year long (the average annual temperature is around 17° C with relatively limited precipitation, generally concentrated in autumn and winter). Elba is full of Wineries and Vineyards , which occupy different terrains from distinct geological formations, and because of these varied soils Elban Wines flourish with unique organoleptic characteristiscs.

Arrighi Winery
Arrighi Winery

Antonio pointed out that Elba’s Geography was very interesting, as it was the largest remaining portion of land that once connected the Italian Peninsula to Corsica. Elba boasts a wide variety of Terrains and Landscapes with High Mountains, Valleys, and Small Costal Plains. A third of the surface area is above 200m, and the Highest Point, “Monte Capanne”, is 1019 meters above sea lavel. Elba can be separated into distinct growing areas with varying soils, which is why such a vast array of grapes are grown on the Island, each one suited to its distinctive Terroir. The West part of Elba is quite Mountainous, while the Central one has Sandy and Clay Sedimentary Soils. It’s here that most of the Beaches and Flatter Plains lie. In the East part, there are two Mountain Chains separated by a plain called the “Mola Plain”,  which stretches for about 2 km until the beach resort  “Lido di Capoliveri”. This area is largely cultivated;  in fact along the main road that crosses the plain you can meet various stalls where you can buy fruits and vegetables. The area of “Mola” takes its name from its gulf, a natural and shining  bay, which is always crowded with coloured fishing boats.

Antonio ArrighiArrighi Winery’s Philosophy

Antonio reminded me that the origin of Elban Viticulture was very Old, and this sector together with Farming, Fishing and Iron and Granite Mining Activities made up  a significant portion of the economy before Tourism’s environmental and social affected the Island.  Antonio‘ s best quality is Creativity. He has the Imagination to create in his Mind a Wine and later he knows how to  realise it in his Winery. That’s because as Antonio says: ” Winemaking is an Art  as well as a Science, and having the ability to think outside the Box and to Improvise, when needed, are Critical Skills to be successful”. Antonio is intuitive and perceptive enough to be able to understand Elba ‘s  Terroir and coax out its Maximum Potential, so that his Wines reflect their Origin and have their Own Personality. As Antonio‘s aim  is to produce Wine from his Own Grapes and to experiment with the New ones, which suit better the Island Terroir,  it has led him to develop two lines of Wine Production:

Arrighi Wines
Arrighi Wines

Listening to Antonio tall about his Passion for Elba makes you wish to return again and again. I absolutely believe it , especially after tasting his labels in his Winery with other Wine Lovers , all there aiming to grap Elba‘s Spirit. Besides Antonios  Aleatico Winegar “Ace di Ale” , his liquors “Limoncino” / “Arancino”, and his Olive Oil, here my Top 9 Reasons for your Next Travel to Porto Azzurro

  • “Ilagiù Elba White D.O.C.”it’s a mineral and fruity Wine, which is made from 80% Procanico and a small amount of Biancone, Ansonica ; its fermentation takes place in stainless steel tanks at controlled temperature  ; 
  • “Era Ora White  IGT”: it’s a round and dry White Wine with good acidity, which is made from Chardonnay and Incrocio Manzoni; its fermentation takes place in stainless steel tanks at controlled temperature , and part of this Wine has been aged in French oak barriques ;
  • “Mattanto D.O.C.” :  it’s made from 100% Ansonica (5000 plants per hectare ), and its  flavour is dry, full and soft, and it’s one of the most important label. Its fermentation takes place in stainless steel tanks at controlled temperature ; 
  • “V.I.P. Viognier White I.G.T. “: it’s one my favourite one! It’s a mineral and fruity White Wine, which is made from 100% Viognier (6000 plants per hectare); its fermentation takes place in stainless steel tanks at controlled temperature with  3 months of bottles aging; 
  • “Hermia Vinum in Amphora White I.G.T.” : it’s a particular White Wine made from 100% Viognier , which is elegant and light due to a Natural Winemaking with Terracotta Amphorae made by “Artenova” from Impruneta (800 litres )-with a 20% of the grapes skins and a 6 months bottles aging, . Its name recalls a “Hermia”, an ancient slave, who was a cellar master for a Roman Villa found in “San Giovanni”, an Elban village near Portoferrario
  • “Valerius White I.G.T. “: it’s a great White Wine made from 100% Ansonica (6000 plants per hectare) with Vinifcation in Terracotta Amphora (220 litres)-with its grape skins and 3 months bottles aging. It’s a very soft , harmonious and persistent White Wine with a good sapidity; 
  • “Isola in Rosa Rosé I.G.T. “: it’s a delicate Rosé Wine made from 100% Syrah (5000 plants per hectare), which brings to mind thoughts of Southern France with its pale coral hue; it’s aged 4 months in bottles; 
  • “Centopercento Elba Red D.O.C.” : it’s a full-body and fruity Red Wine made from 80 % Sangiovese and 20% Syrah (5000 plants per hectare); Its fermentation takes place in stainless steel tanks at controlled temperature with 6/8 days maceration and aging in bottles for 6 months; 
  • “Tresse Anfora Red I.G.T.” : it’s a spicy and rich Wine made from Sangioveto, Syrah, and Sagrantino. It’s the only Wine from 2016 (all the other Tasting Wines are from 2018), because before this date it was vinificated in oak barriques. In 2018 thanks to the help of “Arrighi Winery”‘s Enologist Laura Zuddas, Antonio vinificated the “Tresse” in Terracotta Amphorae, like the old Romans did! Antonio likes this kind of vinification, because Terracotta is a simple and natural material comparable to wood, which allows Wines to breath without releasing any flavors to them. That’s why “Tresse” is a full-bodied Wine that passionately embraces the palate preserving refinement, revealing itself chromatically with the illusion of a berry syrup, and so touching the glass and softly marking it;
  • “Siloso Elba Aleatico Passito Red D.O.C.G. “ : This straw Wine is the first to have gained recognition in the smaller Italian islands. What makes this Wine a product so valuable? This wonderful raisin Wine is made exclusively from 100 % Aleatico grapes  and its intense ruby red colour, and its  cherries aroma is the perfect pairing with sweets like the traditional Elban “schiaccia ubriaca”, a round and soft Christmas cake with the peculiarity of having red wine in the dough. 
Antonio Arrighi & Professor Attilio Scienza

Sometimes you just start to wonder if you actually want to recommend a place, because it will become even more popular and lose some of its authentic charms. However, “Arrighi Winery”‘ is just too good not no be mentioned! The Wines were as fabulous as their reasonables prices. Besides providing very Good Quality Wines, Antonio was highly professional in helping me and all the other guests  with the organisation and customization of the Wine Tasting. Each of us was very satisified with all. Antonio is such a gorgeous Person and you can just feel the Passion that he puts behind his work. His stories about the Wines and the different tastings were just brilliant.  Please, make yourself comfortable, relax, and breathe normally, that’s not all! Antonio is undoubtedly facing another exceptional challenge to which I dedicate a short comment here below!  

Antonio Arrighi
Antonio Arrighi made Wine how Greek did 2500 years ago in Chio Island

Arrighi’s experiment with Old Greek Wine in Chio Island 

Antonio could already glimpse the Enormous Potential offered by Elba as a Wine-Making Region, whose Wine Heritage dates back to Greek  (10th Century B.C.), Etruscan (6th Century B.C.), and Roman (5th Century B.C.) period. All these Ancient Settlers left their indelible signs on Winemaking in the Island, like for example the  Vinification in Terracotta Amphorae, an old technique that Antonio displayed with scientific rigor in his Winery. All  this is already causing quite a stir! There are traces of a Glorious Past in Wine Production and Trading in two recent discoveries in Elba (2013) : five large Terracotta Amphorae (1500 litres each) in  a Roman Villa in an area called  “Le Grotte” , and other ones  found on board of Roman Shipwrecks around the Island.
 
There is no evidence relating to Elban Viticulture during Middle Age, but it’s documented that Elban Wine had a good reputation and a trading for fair price in Tuscany. At the end of the 18th and for all the 19th Century the Elban Viticulture enjoyed remarkable development, thanks also to Napoleon’ s attention to Wine-Growing and to the Wines, as he was Emperor of Elba in 1814. Between 1850 and 1860, following several disasters (mildew; vine louse), the Wine Production dropped dramatically in Elba, but in 1878 it recovered again, when it produced about 20 times more as the current production, and after that it went down again. At that time Elba landscape was marked by Vineyards Terraces, covering the hillsides as high as 400 m above sea level. By the way, from the ’60s there was a Continuos Decrease in Number of Vineyards in Elba due to the increase of Tourism and Urbanization.  Today Vineyards cover about 300 ectars of the Island, and only about 125 of them are on the official D.O.C. Register. Now most of the previous Terracings are either covered in Wild Bushes and Trees, or Buildings have been put in their place, and people tend to prefer Growing Vines where the ground is flat and where picking the grapes can be done with modern machinery. It’s only in recent years that Wines from Elba have gone up in Quality, thanks to the commitiment of a handful of Well Organised Wineries and local Organizations,  whose only aim is to obtain  High Quality Products
 
Vinification in Terracotta Amphorae
Vinification in Terracotta Amphorae

Antonio has always been a Visionaire. In 2018 he organized the  “Elba Aleatico Day “ , a Wine and Oil Exhibition supported by the “AIS of Elba” and by the “Ministry of Agriculture”. Professor Attilio Scienza, an Agronomist at Milano University, was assigned as  Rapporteur in order to  speak about his Wine Knowledge and Experience to the attendees. After the Event Antonio and Professor  Scienza made friendship and whipped into shape a Great experiment: to make Wine how Greek did in Chio Island 2500 years ago! This Ancient Greek Wine had to be a full bodied, sweet and high alcohol Wine able to undertake long journeys on the sea, and then to be diluited with water during the banquets and celebrations . Antonio fulfilled Professor Scienza‘s desire to plow himself in this direction in Elba , after several failed attempts in other small islands in  Southern Italy. In collaboration with Pisa University and Professor  Scienza , Antonio revealed the Secret of this Old Greek Wine with his personal innovations!  First of all Antonio reproduced this Ancient Technique using Ansonica grapes, which are similar to the Old Chio ones. Then, he pulled down Ansonica grapes, held in Sardinian Wicker Baskets, into the Sea Water of Porto Azzurro down to approximately 7 meters for 5 days. After Antonio took Ansonica grapes out of the Sea Water, these  grapes were dehydrated,  dried on mats and finally vinified in Terracotta Amphorae. For this Wine is allowed some maceration between the Skins and Must. What are the most important aspects of all this ?

  •  First: Sea Water dissolves the characteristic wax bloom layer that covers the grapes; in this way grapes maturation becomes faster;
  • Second: Sea Salt is ideal for preserving Wine in a natural and gentle way!

After many centuries Amphora found its place once again in Winemaking with minimal interventions. I cannot scientifically state if history repeats itself, but what I can say with certainty is that the Amphora has returned to the Winemaking front almost after 2000 years and as it seems it came to stay for long! Certainly, the Result of Antonio‘ s Adventure is a Strong and Sapid Wine. Previewing this “Old Greek Wine” at “Arrighi Winery”, before it’s improved year after year and released to retail, makes me feel real Special,  ! 

There is also a documentary film called “Vinum Iinsulae” shot by the Elban register Stefano Muti , which immortalizes  Antonio’s undertaking . This is a 15 minutes trailer, which was awarded at the Marsille’s Film Festival “Aenovideo 2019” . In October 2019 Antonio is going to collect his prize personally at “Luxenbourg Palace” in Paris

Antonio Arrighi
Antonio Arrighi and his son Matteo 

I could not believe what I experienced and how a Strong Passion for the Territory and Wine drove  Antonio to make his dreams come true  becoming an Execellent Winemaker. Antonio cultivates Vineyards with Care and Dedication, and he is enthusiast and resourceful , animated by the desire of producing Wines interpreting the typical characteristics of Vineyards where he  plaid as child. Wine is a Magic World, combining the Patient Work in the Vineyard to the Wise and Careful Pocessing in the Vinery. It connects Past with Future. “Arrighi Winery”‘ is the consequence of a Strong Winemaking Passion that combines Past and Present to affect the consumer transmitting him the deep bond between this Wine Company and Elba.

Barbarossa Beach

After the superb Wine Tasting, I wallowed in a Turquoise Sea at “Barbarossa Beach” on the way  back to my hotel on the last day of my holiday. “Barbarossa” is one of the most beautiful and popular beaches of the of Porto Azzurro. You can get there on foot from Porto Azzurro harbour thanks to a path that runs along the coast, passing under the prison’s walls. Walking along this beautiful scenic path you can arrive at the “Barbarossa Beach” in about 15 minutes. “Barbarossa Beach”  has a sandy shore mixed with multicolored pebbles ranging from red to gray and brown; it has both free access and beach clubs, offering rental services of umbrellas, sunbeds and paddle boats, as well as dressing cabins, shower and lifeguard.

Arrighi Winery
Dinner at “Locanda Cecconi” and my friend Walter Cecchoni, owner of “Scoglio Bianco Hotel” at Viticcio Bay

It was pleasant to stay at the “Barbarossa Beach” till my stomach rambled! I went away to have a shower in my hotel dreaming for my last dinner in the Island. I booked at “Locanda Cecconi” as Antonio suggested! Federico with his mother run this cosy and friendly Restaurant in the heart of Porto Azzurro. I had the Best Grilled Octopus of my Life, which was served on a creamy potato and on home-made bread. My friend Walter joined me for the dessert time, and he entertained me finely with his anecdotes about Elba and about his delightful  “Scoglio Bianco Hotel”, which is situated in the appealing bay of Viticcio.

Arrighi Winery Elba

Thanks Antonio!

Antonio never cease to amaze! When he doesn’t work at his Wineyards, he Jogs early at 5 o’ clock in the morning. In this way he proves his fidelity to have been an excellent Triathlon Runner  in the past, when he also used to cross the Desert or to get lost in Giordania ! Due to lack of time, Antonio cannot travel so much, but being ambassador of his island, he does not have a moment of rest! By the way, he partecipates in the most important trade fairs, visits the Companies of Producers Friends, holds  conferences, and attends University Lectures Halls as a Teacher.

Arrighi's Family
Antonio Arrighi, Giulia Arrighi and the enologist Laura Zuddas

I have Fallen in Love with Elba . I cannot wait to return! Go to Elba if you want a Good  Life, and  let me know if you need my Assistance !

Drinking Good Wine with Good Food in Good Company is One of Life’s most Civilized Pleasures

 

Enjoy it! 

Stefania

thanks to my friend  Kim Harris for editing it!

Las Termas des Hispalis, Seville

Las Termas des Hispalis, Seville

Las Termas des Hispalis 

My third Trip in Seville in a Hot Week in July makes me think of doing Something Special for me, a Magic Day in an Exclusive Spa in the Heart of Seville at “Las Termas des Hispalis”, close to the Hotel “La Judaria”, in Calle Sta. María la Blanca, 3, 5. It’s the Best Thing of my Stay in the charming Capital of Andalusia  .

Upon my arrival, I meet Martina, the blond and lovely receptionist of “Las Termas des Hispalis”, who explains me what I can do there, and I go on with booking my Relaxing Moment for 90 minutes. Martina offers me the possibility to combine my  circuits with an Extensive Menu of Relaxing and Exotic Massages, Therapeutics and Body Wraps . I make my reservation for a saturday afternoon, and I’m able to be spoiled by my  therapist at my preferred timing at 19:30. Here What I do:

  • I arrive 10 – 15 minutes prior to my appointment, to get into the Mood of Relaxation;
  • A friendly hostess provides all I need  for my Day Spa , such as towel and slippers; 
  • I take a Warm Shower before my Treatment, as it relaxes my  tired muscles; 
  •  I enjoy a body massage, a Steam Bath and  a Sauna; 
  • I drink liters of water and fresh orange juices; 
  • I play with the water inside the Jacuzzipool being tickled by hydromassages; 
  • I admire the Stunning Location full of Mosaics and Candles.

Why to go to to “Las Termas des Hispalis”? 

Spa and Relaxation goes hand in hand, and you perform better if  you visit Spa regularly.  It combats Stress and improves Mental Health. There are uncountable benefits of attending “Las Termas des Hispalis” Sessions: 

  • Improves Vital Health;
  • Reduces Anxiety;
  • Enhances the “Feel Good” Factor;
  • Stimulates Lymphatic System;
  • Mudpacks and Mineral Water Bath have Anti-Inflammatory Activities that can cure some Skin Problems.
Las Termas des Hispalis, Seville
Las Termas des Hispalis, Seville

Exercises, Healthy Food, Relaxing and Good Sleep are the fundaments of a Healthy  Lifestyle. This is what most of us have heard on more than one occasion. In my  opinion all of that sounds fantastic but is missing one vital thing, two hours a week at “Las Termas des Hispalis”. It’s ideal for Therapeutic Treatments like Massage, Body and Facial Treatments,  all this improves your Sense of Well-Being and your Life. 

Las Termas des Hispalis, Seville
Las Termas des Hispalis, Seville

Sometimes I forget that my Body needs Respect and Attention and I often take that for granted. Now at “Las Termas des Hispalis” I want to separate myself  from Daily Routine, Tasks, Cellphones and Technology. The mere purpose of doing so is a Healing Experience, the environment I am in (music, lighting, etc.) relaxes My Mind and Body; and I am  given time in Silence for Reflection and/or Mindfulness, and even before the therapy begins, I experience the Presence and Touch of a Nurturing Human Being.

 

Thanks for all! 

Seville is always in my Mind and I have One More Reason to come back soon!

Enjoy it ! 

Stefania

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