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What Makes a Boutique Hotel Stand Out: La Joya in San Cristobal

All hail the boutique hotel. You’ve heard it a million times when searching for accommodations while traveling and, it sounds pretty cool right? In my opinion, it’s a term that has been slightly abused in the travel industry. Of course the definition lies in a subjective, personal analysis, though it is to my personal belief that they are meant to be intimate accommodations that don’t feel part of a chain, typically unique in design, preferably family-owned or at the very…

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culture, events, food, hotels, italy, life, news, restaurant, spa, tips, tuscany, uncategorised

What To Expect in Florence This Winter 2016

15th century Italian poet Pietro Aretino once said “Let us love winter, for it is the spring of genius.”   This may seem rich coming from a guy who apparently invented pornagraphy in the literary sense and who some of said died of suffocation/asphyxiation from laughing too much. But he had a point with that quote even if his incorrigible lifestyle certainly raised some eyebrows and caused him to be kicked out of his hometown of Arezzo and then Rome.  A lot…

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American in Italy, history, hotels, italy, nature, one perfect day, restaurant, spa, tips, tours, travel, tuscany, uncategorised, Uncategorized

Il Borro: A Medieval Borgo Reinvented As A Luxury Tuscan Resort

    A Medieval Castle Turned Borgo Along An Ancient Roman Passageway   When it comes to luxury hotels in Tuscany, or rather anywhere in Italy, the consumer is spoilt for choice. However what makes Il Borro something special lies in its 1,000 year-old past, the exact origins dating back to 1039. It was said to have been along an old Etruscan road and later a Roman one (clodia and the cassia), the area itself a political stronghold, becoming a battleground…

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art, culture, Czechia, history, hotels, opinion, tips, travel, uncategorised, Uncategorized

Staying In A 13th Century Monastery in Prague

There are hotels, then there are incredible places to stay, brimming with history through its sturdy stone walls. A place that tugs at the most curious strings of your soul, wondering “who else passed through these hallways.” The Augustine Hotel is exactly that, a monastery and luxury hotel blended together and nestled comfortably in the beautiful red-tiled Mala Strana district of Prague.   For first-timers to the city like us, the location was absolutely ideal. An easy 8 minute walk from Charles Bridge,…

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36 hours, culture, day trip, history, hotels, italy, nature, one perfect day, tips, travel, uncategorised, Uncategorized

Assisi: Exploring One Of Umbria’s Crown Jewels

In a town with only one bar hopping with about five locals on a Saturday night, I couldn’t help but fall in love with this Umbrian town 90 miles north of Rome. Assisi, or best well-known as the birthplace of St. Francis and a bunch of saints, was well on this girl’s radar as part of my get-the-hell-out-of-Tuscany sometimes plan this year in a bid to discover more of our neighboring regions, and hell if Henry James was enamored with…

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culture, food, hotels, life, nature, one perfect day, opinion, restaurant, tips, tours, travel, uncategorised, Uncategorized

Slovenia Just Might Be The Next Big Thing For Wine

Stepping out into a cold February afternoon, I headed into a very typical Slovenian house in the heart of ‘hurricane wind’ Vipava valley, an area not far from the Italian border. So famous is this wind, it helped determine the fate of the famous Battle of the Frigidus in 394. Following the sweet smile of our friend and young host Karolina, we were shown to the stairs to the cellar. I ducked, as per tall-girl-problems it’s surprising I haven’t yet had…

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