Tag Archives: Italy

Back To My Roots

I had not been back for nine years. My Grandmother’s native village in Piedmont. A small place built halfway up a mountain, with narrow, cobbled streets and stone houses. A short drive from beautiful Lago Maggiore and its Borromean Islands.

I spent a lovely “generation” holiday week there in the summer with my Mum, Auntie, sister and my two daughters. Cute Doggy was the only male representative! 😉 We went for walks around the village, to the nearby forest and to the “summer” hamlet, an hour’s hike up the mountain. We caught a boat to cross the lake and visited a market on the other side. As other family members were present at the same time, we had lovely meals together. Simple moments but lasting memories.

On a walk alone with the dog, I realised how much I had missed Italy. Or should I say my roots? I have always felt more Italian than Swiss. That family spirit, the love of people and spending time together with relatives and friends, often around the dinner table. I came back feeling re-energised.

I have to go back. Soon.
Piedmont - Italy - Church
Piedmont - Italy - Nautre
Piedmont - Italy -  Valley with river
Piedmont - Italy - Roman stone bridge
Piedmont - Italy - Religious painting
Piedmont - Italy - Oratory
Full photo gallery on Of Lens And Pen

Lunch Al Fresco At Carluccio’s

I almost included our late Friday lunch into my previous London post but then decided that it deserved a mention of its own.

Everything was perfect, you see… First the sun was shining but no blistering heat. A table was waiting on the small terrace of the High Street Kensington restaurant just for us, a lovely pot of rosemary adding a cheerful touch of green. We sat down with relief, the pause welcome after walking the streets of London for hours. Having ordered a glass each of Pinot Grigio Rosé, we proceeded with studying the menu. All the dishes looked delicious…


Lunch on the terrace of Carluccio's London


Our wine arrived and we ordered a plate of vegetarian antipasti to share with some extra focaccia. The plates that made an appearance on our table were a delight to the senses:


Focaccia dipped in olive oil and Aceto Di Balsamico - Carluccio's London A colourful plate of vegetarian Antipasti - Carluccio's London


Mozzarella melting in the mouth, caponata seasoned just right, really fresh rucola leaves, the pesto a perfect match for the flavour of the yellow pepper, beans still slightly crunchy… Such simple food but it tasted heavenly. The Pinot Grigio, very pleasant and served at the right temperature, was the perfect accompaniment. And the service could not be faulted, attentive and friendly. Three cheers for my lovely friend for suggesting this fantastic place!


Lunch on the terrace Of Carluccio's London


We also had a browse in the small boutique corner and I really wished I were not staying in a hotel with a suitcase already full but living in the city instead. I would have bought a nice selection of food for sure!


Carluccio's Shop London

Carluccio's Shop London

Carluccio's Shop London


In the end I only got Sexy Hubby some unusually flavoured Leone sweets and my friend bought some sugar-coated almonds shaped as daisies for my daughters. We thought the picnic bags looked fabulous too.

 Picnic Bag - Carluccio's Shop London

Did I succeed in tempting you?





The Most Beautiful Beaches In Italy

After a non-existent spring in most parts of Europe the majority of people is now very much looking forward to a sunny and long-awaited summer. Does celebrating the warm season on a gorgeous Italian beach appeal to you?

Let’s start with Puglia, the heel of the Italian boot. A little corner of paradise is nestled in Brindisi, almost at the lowest point of the heel. Its name is Torre Guaceto, a protected nature reserve that has escaped over-development, the fate of so many other beautiful places. Torre Guaceto gives you the opportunity to discover the extensive fauna and flora as well as relax on the beach. This area being wilder means that you should be prepared to walk a little to get to a perfect spot, but it really is worthwhile. You can also take the advantage of guided walks, cycle tours, kite surfing and snorkelling trips. The visitor centre also organises special events: Open-air plays or star-gazing anyone?

Shall we next move to Sardinia? Porto Pino is ready to welcome you. Taking its name from a nearby pine forest, Porto Pino is an unspoilt small town. Its beach is divided into two parts: One with gray sand and the most popular given its location near local parking facilities, and one with white sand extending over three kilometres. Both of course benefit from the same crystalline, shallow waters. Porto Pino offers a vast array of nautical and other sportive activities such diving, wind-surfing, boat rental or horse riding.


Hoping onto our next island, we are now arriving on Ponza. Rumour has it that it was named after Pontius Pilate and the gorgeous sceneries make it a sought-after film location. White cliffs and mysterious caverns mingle with white sandy beaches and the turquoise sea. Located off the coast south of Rome and north of Naples, Ponza is easily accessible by ferry or hydrofoils. The boat journey will give you time to take in the breathtaking sights as you approach the island.

There are an impressive 246 Blue Flag beaches spread all over Italy. To be awarded this desirable status the beach must comply with 32 criteria in the fields of environmental education and information, water quality, environmental management and safety and services. The Blue Flag is only awarded for one season at the time and, in a case of not keeping the required standards, may even be removed during the season.

A welcome guarantee of quality for us tourists and fans of this wonderful country.

Article Source: Articlesbase/Travel/Destinations
Author: K J S

Disclosure: This post was written for Casa in Italia. A company renting gorgeous holiday homes in – you guessed it – Italy. Check out their blog too.