Posts Tagged ‘the viennese girl blog vienna Austria’

Puglia

Puglia
Puglia
 
Puglia
Puglia
 

At the end of September, I had the chance to cross another dream destination off my bucket list: Puglia, Italy. With summer coming to an end, I’ll admit my spirits were a bit down as I prepared for the dark and cold Viennese autumn and winter to come. But this trip perked me up and gave me a final taste of summery warmth and sunshine to look forward to.

Puglia
Puglia
 
Puglia
Puglia
 

I had never been to Puglia before this trip, so this was to be a chance to explore somewhere entirely new while speaking Italian all day long.

Plus — who doesn’t get excited about the food in Italy? Pizza, pasta, gelato, it’s an overwhelming feast for the senses and taste-buds. And, most exciting of all, my dear friend Pauline would be joining me on the adventure.

Puglia
Puglia
 

And now, I hope you will come with me! As I reflect on my time in Puglia, I want to share my tips, hot spots to visit, plus some of my favorite photos of the trip. Perhaps they’ll inspire you to plan your next journey to Italy — and follow a similar itinerary to mine.

Puglia

1st stop: Polignano a mare 

Oh, is there anything more exhilarating than arriving after a long trip at the gorgeous Italian coast? Polignano al mare, perched on the shore of the Adriatic, opens its watery gates to all those who travel from far and wide to stay here. And trust me — they do! The tiny town was jammed on the Sunday afternoon when we arrived, with tourists shopping, dining al fresco at cafés, and gazing out at the turquoise waves. For much of the afternoon, we wandered, but at points I had to stop and remember how lucky I felt just to be here in this heavenly spot. (Extra tip: Next to our hotel we found a place that was making yummy sandwiches with octopus and burrata that I will never forget. Yum!)

Hotel: Giovì Relais

Restaurant: Grotta Ardito

Puglia
Puglia
 

Puglia

Puglia

2nd stop: Monopoli

It was difficult to pull ourselves away from the intoxicating views of Polignano al mare, but the next phase of our excursion beckoned. Pauline and I packed up the car and drove to Monopoli. It’s a short drive — only twenty minutes or so — but still, for such a brief distance away, we encountered our fair share of wacky moments.

For instance, a man I’d never met before started singing a song for me featuring my name. “Viva Silia, welcome to Monopoli!” he called the improvised tune. A greengrocer share a few slices of fresh fruit with us, out in the fresh air on the street. A former craftsman brought us to the tiny shop where he used to repair shoes years ago. And we had a brush with fame — we saw a group of people filming a movie right on the beach. It was as close as we came to Hollywood this trip.

If you would care to spend a night or two in the charming town of Monopoli, check out this beautiful hotel, the Don Ferrante!

Puglia
Puglia
 

 

3rd stop: Ostuni, also known as the White City 

Like a castle on a hill, Ostuni is an enclave on a cliff overlooking more of that crystalline, sapphire water I treasure so much. The city itself is almost all white and there’s something very striking about that, as well as its wild cacti protruding from every crevice.

Check out Taverna Della Gelosia for a delicious meal!

Hotel: Masseria Grieco

Restaurant: Tito Schipa

 

4th stop: Alberobello, famous for its Trulli houses

At our final stop in Puglia — Alberobello — we met Valerio, the vivacious owner of our hotel. We fell in love with the Trattoria Terra Madre’s spectacular cuisine, and overall had a wonderful time.

The press trip concluded with a short visit to Locorotondo, where we had dinner at the restaurant Bina ristorante di Puglia.

Hotel: Palazzo Scotto

Restaurant: Trattoria Terra Madre

 
 

I came away from this adventure fully appreciating just how unique Puglia is — it’s an Italian treasure that will make an indelible impact on you. I would like to thank ENIT Italia, which in collaboration with the Region of Puglia and Losurdo Viaggi, organized this individual press trip for us.

And of course, big thanks to our new friend Pasquale, our amazing driver who kept us company as we roamed Puglia and took us in its stunning sites.

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LEFKADA KEFALONIA

LEFKADA KEFALONIA

On the 2nd of June, a group of journalists and I flew from Vienna to Aktion National Airport in Preveza on a press trip organized by the Greek Tourism board and My Austrian holidays.

That was the beginning of a great adventure. We were set to explore 4 islands in the Ionian sea: Lefkada Kefalonia, Meganisi, and Ithaka. Four Greek islands that I have never been before. I was excited to see these new places and capture their natural beauty with my camera.

LEFKADA KEFALONIA

Once we landed in Preveza, we were transferred to Lefkada island where we spent the first 3 days of our press trip. At this point, I would like to thank our travel guide Mr. Spiros Zampelis for spending everyday with us during our stay, and showing us around the beauty of Lefkada.

It was so nice to have a great guide, such as Mr. Zampelis. It made our whole travel experience in a new place so much more interesting and meaningful.

LEFKADA KEFALONIA

Travel tips for Lefkada

Hotels: Ionion Blue hotel, Galini hotel
My choice: Crystal waters hotel
Beaches: Pefkoulia beach, Porto Katsiki beach, Kathisma beach
Best Coctail bar/restaurant in Lefkada: Fly Me
Taverna : Burano

LEFKADA KEFALONIA
LEFKADA KEFALONIA
 
LEFKADA KEFALONIA
LEFKADA KEFALONIA
 

LEFKADA KEFALONIA

LEFKADA KEFALONIA

During one of those days in Lefkada, we visited Meganisi, a hidden gem in the Ionion sea. That was my absolute favorite part of the whole trip. In Meganisi we also had a great host. Mr. George Vasileiou-Mourkoyannis organized a very thoughtful daily program for us in order to make the most of the one day we had to spent on the island. Once you arrive in a place for the very first time, you need to know the right persons, right? ; )

LEFKADA KEFALONIA

Meganissi is for those who are into slow living, privacy and tranquility.

LEFKADA KEFALONIA

Take the ferry from Lefkada to Meganisi for a one day trip. But in my opinion, the best way to enjoy Meganisi to the fullest is to rent a yacht and a villa…and stay longer than just one day. For lunch go to the TOP sea food Tavern Errikos.

LEFKADA KEFALONIA

LEFKADA KEFALONIA

From Lefkada, you can easily get access to Kefalonia by ferry.

Travel tips for Kefalonia

The most picture perfect villages: Fiskardo and Asos!

Beaches: Myrtos beach, Xi beach, Makrys Gialos, Platis Gialos, Fteri beach, Skala, Pessada beach, Antisamos beach

Hotel recommendation: White Rocks

LEFKADA KEFALONIA

LEFKADA KEFALONIA

If you prefer to stay in Argostoli, please check out this amazing boutique hotel: Kefalonia Grand hotel. 

Argostoli has amazing pastries shops! Check “Glikon Esti”!

Taverna : Apolafsi

Fancy wine tasting? Go to Foivos

Points of Interest: The Cave Lake of Melissani

LEFKADA KEFALONIA

LEFKADA KEFALONIA

LEFKADA KEFALONIA

Travel tips for Ithaka

Cafe Margarita in Stavros village

Lunch at ODYSSEAS (Raftopoulos- Tzanetos) in Frikes seaside village

LEFKADA KEFALONIA

Many thanks to the Greek Tourism Board, My Austrian holidays and the Regions of Lefkada Kefalonia for the opportunity to visit Lefkada Kefalonia, Meganisi and Ithaka! 

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Folegandros

Folegandros
Folegandros
 

Folegandros

During this past winter, I asked some of my friends whether they’ve been to Folegandros or not. And the answer I got from most of them was a no. Neither have I. My immediate thought was, “we should change this”.

This was how a carefully planned trip to Folegandros got started. From a simple question.

One reason why I think none of my friends have visited Folegandros yet is because of Santorini, Greece’s most popular island. Santorini is very close to Folegandros, and if people have to choose between those two, people mostly choose to go to Santorini. I personally didn’t mind going to a less popular island. I was actually intrigued by the idea of exploring Folegandros and 100% sure that I would love it from the very first moment we touched ground. And I did.

Folegandros

Folegandros

I can still recall in my mind the moment we arrived at the port Karavostasi. We were super exhausted even though the trip on the fast ferry lasted only 4 hours and a half. We were exhausted because we had an early morning wake up call, as the ferry’s departure was set at 7am. But once we arrived, the magic power of the white washed houses in combination with Folegandros’s natural beauty had made our fatigue fade away and turn it into a state of excitement and euphoria.

We spent one week in Folegandros, ignoring what people had told us that one week would be too much. My answer to them is: “one week is enough to see the island, but if you want to really enjoy it, then you need to stay longer”.

Folegandros

If time and money were not an issue, then I would suggest: stay, relax, enjoy.

Folegandros

Folegandros

Folegandros

Three things I noticed during my stay in Folegandros: 
  • June is a wonderful month to visit Folegandros. The island is not jammed, which makes your stay on the island very enjoyable. 
  • The island offers high quality accomodations to the most discerning travelers. It has a great variety of amazing boutique hotels.
  • Also, the little fashion stores host incredible pieces made by Greek fashion designers. I fell madly in love with the Kori collection. 

Folegandros

Here is a list of some cafes/tavernas that we visited, in other words, a few things you shouldn’t miss:

Try the traditional dish “matsáta”, which is handmade noodles with rooster or rabbit

Mama’s Pita, Souvlaki House in Chora. We paid a daily visit here!

Chrisospylia restaurant for shrimp spaghetti in Chora 

Breakfast/brunch at Pounda in Chora / Traditional cafe “Lontzia

Eva’s garden restaurant / Pancakes at Parasagas

Folegandros
Folegandros
 

I want to remember this small rocky and longish island as a place I want to return to. Hopefully it won’t be long before I return.

Folegandros

Hotel: Folegandros Apartments

Rent a car: Evo rent a car

Outfit: 2 the little store

The Viennese Girl visited Folegandros island in partnership with the Greek Tourism board.

Special thanks to Mrs. Christiana Papitsi, Mrs. Efthalia Papadopoulou and Mr. Konstantinos Magkas. 

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Blue Sand Boutique Hotel & Suites

Blue Sand Boutique Hotel & Suites
Blue Sand Boutique Hotel & Suites
 
Blue Sand Boutique Hotel & Suites
Blue Sand Boutique Hotel & Suites
 

As you may have already noticed on Instagram, last June I embarked on a great adventure.

I went island hopping in Greece. During my Greek island adventure, I stayed in 8 hotels in total. One of those was the Blue Sand, a charming Boutique Hotel that has views to Agali Bay in Folegandros.

I have done this in other destinations and I did it once again at Blue Sand Boutique Hotel & Suites. I spent the first four days in the hotel and didn’t leave Agali Bay. Even though it was my first visit to Folegandros and we were curious to explore the whole island, my friend Pauline and I decided to hang around the hotel instead. Tell me if I’m wrong…

We simply wanted to soak in all the beauty of the landscape, breathe in and out, relax in our hotel room, and take as many photos as possible. And we couldn’t have found a better place to do just that.

Blue Sand Boutique Hotel & Suites
Blue Sand Boutique Hotel & Suites
 
Blue Sand Boutique Hotel & Suites
Blue Sand Boutique Hotel & Suites
 
Blue Sand Boutique Hotel & Suites
Blue Sand Boutique Hotel & Suites
 

Agali Beach and Blue Sand Boutique Hotel & Suites had us covered in every way. We were within close proximity to everything our soul and mind needed: the beach, a choice of tavernas, a traditional cafe and wifi…

Plus, we were told that if we took the coastal path to the right of the hotel, we would discover three other secluded and unspoiled beaches. We did just that! Pauline and I love walking, so we didn’t miss the chance to go for a walk.

Blue Sand Boutique Hotel & Suites
Blue Sand Boutique Hotel & Suites
 

Blue Sand Boutique Hotel & Suites

Blue Sand Boutique Hotel & Suites

Blue Sand Boutique Hotel & Suites

On one of those balmy summer evenings during our stay in Folegandros, our boutique hotel set up a beachfront picnic for us.

The team at the Blue Sand Boutique Hotel & Suites created the perfect atmoshpere using stylish rugs, boho-chic pillows, and lanterns. They spoiled us with with cheese plates and champagne. We were lucky to have someone who knew how to do all this right.

Blue Sand Boutique Hotel & Suites

Blue Sand Boutique Hotel & Suites

I have always found it hard to find the right words to describe amazing places and unforgettable experiences. I prefer to let the photos above do the talking. All I know is that we were lucky and privileged to have spent a few days at the Blue Sand Boutique Hotel & Suites in Folegandros. We feel forever mesmerized by the entire experience and we wish to come back.

So, thank you Katerina, Spiros, Vasilis and Panagiotis.

The Viennese Girl visited Folegandros island in partnership with the Greek Tourism board.

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Ibiza

Ibiza

An invitation by Samsung Austria to attend the „Golden Hour“ Photography Masterclass brought me to Ibiza, a place I’ve never visited before, at the beginning of July. The Photography Masterclass was directed by Uli Weber, a German photographer best known for his celebrity portraits. 

Ibiza is, as we all know, a place related to night life and parties that last all night long. But we were not there for that reason. The goal of the workshop was to shoot the sunset with the Samsung Galaxy S9 plus phone and test the phone camera in low light conditions. July could not have gotten off to a better start…

 

On Monday night, I arrived quite late on the island. After traveling all day with a layover in Rome, there was not much left to do than go to bed immediately. My first impressions of the island at that moment were my huge, colourful hotel room and a fancy swimming pool visible from my balcony. All were hints to how much fun the next day would be. 

Ibiza

The next day, right after breakfast, we went on a jeep safari tour together with the Samsung Switzerland team. Mariano and Niko, our guides and drivers, made sure to show us around the non-touristy parts of Ibiza. We mostly drove around the west coast. We saw the island from above and swam in the turquoise waters of Cala Tarida beach. Later on, we headed back to the hotel for lunch, before we arrived at the Cotton Fitness Club for the Masterclass. 

Ibiza

The second day I had a free day to spend on my own, and I decided to use it by heading to Ibiza Old town. Initially I went for a little shopping because it was too hot to walk around. Later on, I walked up to the castle to enjoy a panoramic view of the city, and then down through the little streets in the old town. 

Ibiza

Unfortunately, I don’t have Ibiza tips to share with you, as I was there for just three nights (2 full days). The only thing I would recommend is to avoid the area of Sant Antoni, if you are not that into partying. I am sure Ibiza offers more than that alone.

It was a short yet nice stay in Ibiza. Many thanks to Samsung Austria for one more amazing trip. We love making #withgalaxy thousands of unforgettable moments around the world together.

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Perfect summer ballerinas

Perfect summer ballerinas
Perfect summer ballerinas
 

Imagine yourself wearing a white summer dress, matched with a pair of silver floral pointed ballerinas. Then imagine strolling through the narrow cobblestone alleys and tiny Cycladic streets that are veiled in bougainvillea flowers. With that scenery, who can resist posing in front of the whitewashed houses to capture the best holiday picture? 

My color choices for this summer are Inspired by the Cycladic architecture and the Mediterranean culture. The colors are white and black with silver details and gold tones. Most of the outfits that I packed in my luggage are based on these color palette. I want my outfits to be minimalistic, simple and elegant, and I want to match them with the architecture and interior design of our boutique hotel, as well as with the cosmopolitan atmosphere of the Greek islands.

Perfect summer ballerinas
Perfect summer ballerinas
 

If you also plan to escape Vienna and fly South to the seaside, this outfit could also be an inspiration for you. Match a white dress, short or long, with a comfortable pair of Fragiacomo ballerinas and have fun walking down the narrow cobblestone alleys of the island. It’s a simple yet stylish choice for any summer outfit! You can find Fragiacomo shoes in Vienna in Fisher’s Focus boutique (Bauernmakt 2) or online.

Oh, summer – you are by far the most joyful time of the year! Whatever your plans are for this summer, treat yourself to a flawless pedicure and a pair of flat pointed ballerinas for everyday elegance. Don’t forget to get a special presale 40% discount with the code PRESALES40 in the Fragiacomo online store.

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In collaboration with Fragiacomo Milano 

Finland

Finland
 
Finland
Finland
 
finland
Finland
 

Finland was not on my favorite countries to visit list for the simple reason that I generally avoid countries where temperatures are low for most of the year. By saying this I am actually referring to all the North European countries. But then of course, I wouldn’t miss a chance to visit Finland if the opportunity presented itself. And it did!

Last week I spent 5 days in Finland. I was invited by Ping Helsinki, the leading digital marketing event in the Nordics. The first two days were spent in Helsinki, exploring the capital city and attending master classes around the topic of online marketing and content creation. The day after the event, we took the train and went to Tampere. Tampere is a little town in southern Finland. It is also known as the Finnish sauna capital, the favorite activity of the Finns! I thought it was a great idea that the Ping Helsinki festival was combined with the post tour, because that gave us the opportunity to get an idea of how the countryside of Finland looks like.

Finland
Finland
 
Finland
Finland
 
Finland
Finland
 

I invited my friend and travel buddy Pauline to join me on this trip. Pauline flew in from Athens and I flew in from Vienna. We met at the Helsinki airport and went to the hotel together. And guess what! The weather forecast was for blues skies, warm temperature, and lots of sun for the entire week. Finland successfully convinced me that I was completely wrong! Yes, the weather can be warm in Finland too! I was such a fool to believe that it wouldn’t.

A welcome party was scheduled to occur a couple of hours after we touched down in Finland. It was to take place at Löyly, a restaurant located in a unique section on the seaside of Helsinki. They couldn’t have chosen a better place to welcome us to Helsinki. I loved this place! We did sauna, some of the bold and beautiful people jumped into the freezing cold water of Baltic sea. After that, we had a great first dinner in Helsinki.

Finland
Finland
 

For the post tour, we got to pick amongst four destinations: Tampere, Turku, Bomba in Koli National Park, and Ruka-Kuusamo. After a lot of discussion, we decided on Tampere because we thought experiencing sauna in Finland was something that we had to try at least once in our lifetime.

A few general thoughts regarding Finland: I found it to be a very peaceful country with very kind people. Also Helsinki was very easy to explore. Grab a city map from your hotel and go explore the city on foot. All the photos of this blog post were shot at our beautiful hotel in Tampere, which happened to be the highlight of the whole trip for me! I just love small boutique hotels that pay attention to detail, and that have beautiful interior designs.

Many thanks to Steve and Chanel from How Far From Home, Urlaubsguru, Ping Helsinki, Visit Tampere, and Lillan boutique hotel for making this trip happen! The people in Finland did an excellent job organizing all this and we were very happy to be part of it! Thanks again for having us!

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Rome

Rome

Rome

Rome
Rome
 

Rome

Rome

Rome
Rome
 

Rome

Rome
Rome
 

Rome

Rome
Rome
 

Rome

Rome
Rome
 

Rome

Rome

Rome

Rome hotel recommendation: Relais Rione Ponte

Dress: Longchamp

Jewelry: Pandora Shine

I’ve been to Rome a million times. So many times that I’ve lost count! It has been a favourite destination of mine for many years – a city that has always felt like my second home. Visiting Rome feels familiar – I suppose not only because of my numerous visits, but also speaking fluent Italian helps, too.

Despite all of these trips to the Eternal City, I have never been in Rome to see actual snow on the ground. On Monday morning, after two hours of exhausting flight delays, I landed in an Italian capital blanketed by snow, everywhere. Locals told us that this is very rare. The snow only lasted one day and afterward, the sun finally came out to melt it away. Nevertheless, the wintry chill remained lingering in the air.

This time I was invited to Rome by Relais Rione Ponte, a boutique hotel which partnered with Emmeotto Gallery to present the exhibition “Contemporary Experience”, a project designed to expose guests of the boutique hotel to stunning pieces of contemporary art.

The elegant location and refined rooms of Relais Rione Ponte on the second floor of a seventeenth century building were the ideal spot to showcase works of art by Italian and international artists in a sophisticated atmosphere. Click here for more.

Apart from the Siberian cold, that we obviously disliked, everything else was delightful.

During our three days stay, here are the restaurants and cafes we visited and loved: Ditirambo, Trattoria Lilli, Pizzeria Emma, Brassai Roma and Angelina’s cafe. If you find yourself in Rome, I strongly suggest you pop in for a visit; indeed, just the thought of spaghetti alla carbonara makes my mouth water.

And then, it was time to depart the Eternal City, to fly across the Atlantic ocean to the City that Never Sleeps — New York — followed by another trip to Berlin for the ITB and Hamburg with Pandora, the famed jewelry brand. Hopping from one international flight to the next, soaring over oceans and across continents, and checking in and out of hotels was all quite thrilling to say the least.You can say that March was quite adventurous— and my latest Instagram posts should be proof of that!

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Vienna Opera Ball with Swarovski

Vienna Opera Ball with Swarovski

Vienna Opera Ball with Swarovski
Vienna Opera Ball with Swarovski
 

Vienna Opera Ball with Swarovski

Vienna Opera Ball with Swarovski

Vienna Opera Ball with Swarovski

Vienna Opera Ball with Swarovski
Vienna Opera Ball with Swarovski
 

Vienna Opera Ball with Swarovski

Vienna Opera Ball with Swarovski

Vienna Opera Ball with Swarovski

Vienna Opera Ball with Swarovski

Vienna Opera Ball with Swarovski

Vienna Opera Ball with Swarovski

Vienna Opera Ball with Swarovski

Vienna Opera Ball with Swarovski
Vienna Opera Ball with Swarovski
 

Vienna Opera Ball with Swarovski

Vienna Opera Ball with Swarovski

Vienna Opera Ball with Swarovski

Jewelry: Swarovski

Outfit: Dolce&Gabbana

Locations: The Guesthouse Hotel, Hotel Sacher, Vienna State Opera 

Photos of me in the Opera House: Franco Federici

I wanted to go the Vienna Opera Ball this year but I didn’t dare to think that it could actually happen. In fact, when I received the invitation from Swarovski, I couldn’t believe my own eyes.

I had to check my mobile twice to convince myself that my wish did come true.

Not only was I happy to attend the Vienna Opera Ball with Swarovski, but I was also happy for my Instagram friends and readers because I knew that they would love to see photos and visual stories of the Ball through my lenses and my social media channels. I got this impression back in 2016 when I attended the Vienna Opera Ball for the very first time.

From the photography point of view, this blog post could be divided into two parts.

In the first part, we have the photos that were shot at The Guesthouse Hotel, where I had my makeup and hair done by a professional team of hair dressers and makeup artists. As you can tell from the photos, I love product photography. When I have beautiful products in front of me, I feel the need to photograph them and I can spend hours doing so, playing with the light and with different compositions. In this case, my beautiful products were my jewelry pieces from Swarovski and the cutest little bag from Dolce & Gabbana, that I chose to wear this special night.

In the second part, we have two shots from the gala dinner which took place at the Sacher hotel. And the blog post ends with photos that are shot in the Opera House, one day before the ball, during the official final rehearsal. How lucky was I to be given advance access to the Opera House to take my photos before they let people in!

It was quite challenging to cover photographically all those amazing happenings that occured one after the other: the rehearsal on Wednesday, the preparation before the ball, the gala dinner, the Opera Ball on Thursday 8th of February. But believe me, if I have the chance again, I would do the same thing all over. It made me feel alive, honored, and blessed to have been given this opportunity to attend the Vienna Opera Ball with Swarovski, and to have been chosen by the Dolce & Gabbana family in Milano to wear this dreamy evening gown. Grazie tante! 

Each detail was so perfectly organized by the people involved. Eveything from the correspondence I had with the person who was behind the entire organization, to the fitting at the Dolce & Gabbana boutique in the first district, to taking photos with the girls on the red carpet, to the moment I was dancing Quadrille together with Michaela from Elastyle

The craziest thing about that night was when I discovered the disco room in the basement of the opera!!! I’ve been to the Vienna Opera House many times before, and I never thought that a room in the basement could ever be transformed into such a fun disco dance hall. There is always something new to discover in Vienna

Nothing but A BIG THANK YOU to the SWAROVSKI famliy for having me as one of their guests!

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