Archive of ‘Italy’ category

Visit Milano

Visit Milano

“United Cities of Tourism” initiative

You may have already seen on Instagram that I spent a few days in Milan at the beginning of this month. Reason of my visit was the “United Cities of Tourism” initiative that the Vienna Tourist Board launched in the beginning of May.

With the “United Cities of Tourism” initiative, the Vienna Tourist Board aims to bring back the intercultural exchange in Europe, open borders, tear down barriers and restore the sense of togetherness. To celebrate and revive city tourism again.

I am very glad to be one of those who have joined forces with the Vienna Tourist Board to support this initiative. Within this context, I traveled with the ÖBB Nightjet to Milano to discover the city, photograph it and share with you all my discoveries.

Visit Milano
Visit Milano
 
Join the initiative

To all Viennese residents out there: Click on this link, fill out the form, and with a bit of luck you can win one of more than 2,000 free train or plane trips to a European city!

If you are not a Vienna resident, but you want to help your city, then travel to Vienna.

Click on this link and become an ambassador for the United Cities of Tourism initiative by traveling to Vienna. The Vienna Tourist Board together with Austrian Federal Railways (ÖBB) and Austrian Airlines, will send one Vienna resident to a European city for every 100 people that come to the Austrian capital.

Visit Milano

Three days in Milan

I spent three days in Milan walking and taking photos of everything that caught my attention. It was my third visit to Milan, but this time, my visit was the most interesting and the most significant of all.

Visit Milano

The weather in May was amazing. It was perfect for walking around without sweating because of the heat, and without freezing because of the cold. As a result, I went everywhere on foot! Despite my sojourn in Milan being short, I managed to do and see several things that I’d like to share with you in this blog post.

Visit Milano

Where to stay in Milan

If you wish to visit Milano and you are looking for a city hotel, I can highly recommend Worldhotel Cristoforo Colombo. This hotel has been recently renovated, it is centrally located, and the prices are quite reasonable. On top of that, you get a lovely rose when you do the check – in!

Visit Milano

Visit Milano

Visit Milano

Visit Milano

Visit Milano

Where to eat in Milan

Milan is recognised internationally as one of the world’s most important fashion capitals. Βut during my visit, along with some nice fashion shops, I also discovered a few nice restaurants. 

Where to eat in Milan

I stopped by Pizzeria Giolina for a mouthwatering heart-shaped buffalo pizza which was delicious. And I also went to Lubar for dinner, a Mediterranean restaurant with Sicilian flavors and fragrances. For a quick snack on the go, I visited Panzerotti Luini and All’antico vinaio. 

Where to eat in Milan
Where to eat in Milan
 

When you travel to Italy, one thing is certain: you are in for some seriously good food.

Where to eat in Milan

Where to eat in Milan

Where to eat in Milan

Where to eat in Milan

Six things to do in Milan

I would start my trip to Milan with a visit to the Duomo, the impressive cathedral church of Milan, its rooftop terraces and museum. The roof is around 250 steps up, but you can also get the elevator. There is so much detail to look at in the Duomo, and once you reach the top you get spectacular views over Milan

Where to eat in Milan

Visit the Galleria of Vittorio Emanuele II, Italy’s oldest shopping mall. Look for the “little Torino” bull. Who knows? Maybe if you spin around on it a few times, it will bring you good luck! 

Visit Milano

Visit Castello Sforzesco, a 15th century castle housing several museums. 

Visit Milano

Visit Brera district

A quaint district with plenty of fashion shops, great restaurants, boutiques, and galleries to browse. Walk around, admire the architecture of the elegant buildings and allow yourself to get pleasantly lost. 

Visit Milano

Visit Milano
Visit Milano
 

Visit Milano

Visit Milano

Visit Milano
Visit Milano
 

 "United Cities of Tourism" initiative

Pizzeria Giolina

Pizzeria Giolina Milan
Pizzeria Giolina Milan
 

Pizzeria Giolina Milan

Brera district Milan
Brera district Milan
 

Brera district Milan

Milan courtyards

streets of Milan
streets of Milan
 

Visit La Vigna Di Leonardo, a small and tiny piece of heaven that is brimming with atmosphere. Located in the middle of bustling Milan, Leonardo’s vineyard is a place of serenity and wonder. Explore the house and the garden with the audio guide to learn about Leonardo and the city. Or simply sit back and appreciate the centuries of history.

La Vigna Di Leonardo

La Vigna Di Leonardo

La Vigna Di Leonardo
La Vigna Di Leonardo
 

La Vigna Di Leonardo

La Vigna Di Leonardo

La Vigna Di Leonardo

Visit the Navigli! Great area for a walk along the canal on a warm afternoon and for an aperitivo. 

Marchesi 1824

Marchesi 1824
Marchesi 1824
 

Marchesi 1824

Highlight of the trip 

Highlight of the trip was the night train ride with the ÖBB Nightjet from Vienna to Milano. That was something I have never done before. The train ride with the Nightjet gave the trip a whole new meaning. It was THE EXPERIENCE. 

I especially enjoyed having my own bathroom, my own bed, my privacy in my own compartment. It felt like a hotel room that was moving from one city to another. In the morning, after the wake up call, you get breakfast with the ingredients that you have chosen the night before. And you get to enjoy your breakfast with a great view from the window. Everything is clean, relaxed and enjoyable. 

With the ÖBB Nightjet trains, you can travel overnight in a climate-friendly and comfortable way to the most beautiful cities and destinations in Europe.

The Rotonda della Besana

The Rotonda della Besana

The Perfect Weekend City Break

If you are looking for a city destination to escape from Vienna for a while, visit Milano

Milan has it all…history, museums, shops, design hotels and restaurants…and it’s just a romantic night train ride away from Vienna.

The Rotonda della Besana

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Disclaimer: The trip to Milan was powered by Vienna Tourist Board, ÖBB and Visit Milano. This blog post contains affiliate links.

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. So this trip 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.

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
 
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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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Disclaimer: Press trip with ENIT ItaliaRegion of Puglia and Losurdo Viaggi. This blog post contains affiliate links. I get a commission if you make a purchase through the links which comes at no cost to you. Thank you from the bottom of my heart for using my links.

Rome

Rome

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.

Rome

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.

Rome
Rome
 

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.

Rome

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.

Rome

Rome
Rome
 

Rome

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.

Rome
Rome
 

Rome

Rome
Rome
 

Rome

Rome
Rome
 

Rome

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Rome

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!

Rome

Rome hotel recommendation: Relais Rione Ponte

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*Disclaimer: My stay at Relais Rione Ponte was hosted. However, all words, comments and thoughts in this post are my own. This blog post contains affiliate links.  I get a commission if you make a purchase through the links which comes at no cost to you. Thank you from the bottom of my heart for using my links.

Corte San Pietro

Matera hotel photography

Corte San Pietro! The perks of being the owner and editor of The Viennese Girl photography blog (TVG) are visiting amazing places around the world, staying in amazing hotels and getting to know amazing people.

Matera hotel photography
Matera hotel photography
 

boutique hotel in Matera

One of those hotels and places was Corte San Pietro in Matera and the owner of it, Sig.a Marisa and Fernando Ponte.

boutique hotel in Matera
Corte San Pietro
 

I am not sure whether my photos can do justice of the beauty of Corte San Pietro. This place is way too beautiful! I tried to catch the beauty though. Having just only one lense, the 50mm, is not easy. I know, I know… I have to buy more lenses, but this is another topic of discussion haha.

Nevertheless, I took many photos of Corte San Pietro, as I usually do with anything that I like a lot. As it usually happens, every time I am in a place I like a lot.

Corte San Pietro
Corte San Pietro
 

I kept thinking again and again “This hotel property should be featured on the TVG in the category Hotel recommendations” . And here it is now, online on TVG.

Corte San Pietro

Hmm, what should I say now about this beautiful hotel?

I have more feelings than words can describe because it’s special, unique, one of a kind… I loved the minimalism, the attention to detail. And in general, I love people who have an exceptional sense of style and know how to decorate a place. I loved how they managed to turn old caves to a luxury boutique hotel.

Corte San Pietro
Corte San Pietro
 
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Corte San Pietro
Corte San Pietro
 

Corte San Pietro
Corte San Pietro
 
Corte San Pietro
Corte San Pietro
 

The Italian breakfast in the morning, a peaceful courtyard, our room the Deluxe Loft Matrimoniale, the view from our window, the umbrellas hanging on the door in case of rain, and our names in front of our cave, because this was our temporary home. Temporary, but still our home in Matera!

Corte San Pietro
Corte San Pietro
 

Amazing place, as I’ve said before. It made me feel special and most probably it will make you feel special too.

Corte San Pietro
Corte San Pietro
 

The only bad thing is that we had to leave…

If you have the chance to visit the South of Italy, please visit Matera, Corte San Pietro and Fernando!

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*Disclaimer: My stay at Corte San Pietro in Matera was hosted. All words, comments and thoughts in this post are my own. This post may also contain affiliate links, meaning I get a commission if you make a purchase through the links which comes at no cost to you. Thank you from the bottom of my heart for using my links.

Visit Matera

visit Matera

Visit Matera

I’ve been longing to visit Matera for many years? I recall once, I saw an editorial on a magazine that took place in Matera and since then I’ve been dreaming of this little cave-town in the south of Italy which is very particular and unique like no other.

visit Matera
visit Matera
 

And now, not only am I happy that I finally visited that place but I am also happy to share this travel and adventure of mine with you all, so that you can all visit Matera, a UNESCO World Heritage site since 1993, and see the beauty of the place for yourself.

The Viennese Girl blog from Vienna Austria
The Viennese Girl blog from Vienna Austria
 
The best thing of our trip in Matera

Or maybe one of the best things… Matera in February seemed to be all mine. I hope this doesn’t sound selfish. What I am trying to say is that I loved the quiet atmosphere of the place. Without scads of tourists, I could take photos here and there uninterrupted. I guess the high season in Matera starts in April and ends somewhere in October.

The Viennese Girl blog from Vienna Austria
The Viennese Girl blog from Vienna Austria
 

When we arrived in Matera, after about 4 hours bus ride from Napoli, it was pretty late and we were quite tired. Would you like to know, what was the first thing we did, once we checked in at Palazzo Gattini? SPA! I put on the swimsuit and jumped literally into the pool, and after the sauna, it felt, oh so revitalizing!

Region Basilicata. I Sassi di Matera. Best travel tips.
Region Basilicata. I Sassi di Matera. Best travel tips.
 

The following day, when I woke up I started realizing more of what was happening and where I was. I can still recall three things of that morning very well, like it was yesterday: Fresco painting on the ceiling of our hotel room, bruschetta with ricotta for breakfast and an Italian flag hanging on the balcony. Welcome to Matera!

Region Basilicata. I Sassi di Matera. Best travel tips.

Together with our personal guide Mrs. Dora Cappiello, we were more than excited to check what Matera had to offer and to photograph its beauty. It was that kind of place that I was dying to photograph, although it was quite confusing at the beginning because I didn’t know from where to start, like it usually happens with all the beautiful places in this world that blows my mind.

Region Basilicata. I Sassi di Matera. Best travel tips.
Region Basilicata. I Sassi di Matera. Best travel tips.
 

visit Matera

The Viennese Girl blog from Vienna Austria
The Viennese Girl blog from Vienna Austria
 

The Viennese Girl blog from Vienna Austria

The Viennese Girl blog from Vienna Austria
The Viennese Girl blog from Vienna Austria
 

visit Matera

visit Matera
visit Matera
 

visit Matera

visit Matera
visit Matera
 
visit Matera
visit Matera
 

visit Matera

Best hotels in Matera 

We stayed two nights at Palazzo Gattini and two nights at Corte San Pietro (of which I am going to tell you more in the next blog post). Another day we were also invited to have breakfast at Sextantio, another beautiful historical hotel, where we met Mrs. Marcella di Feo from Basilicata Turistica and the whole team.

Afterwards, we drove together to the opposite part of Matera to see the little town from another point of view. The program of our visit was quite flexible, and it was good like that because I needed my freedom to move around and explore everything the way I wanted.

visit Matera
visit Matera
 
SUPPORT MY WORK!

If you enjoy my content and you’d like to support this channel, so that I will be able to continue offering you that kind of content for free, please consider using the below AFFILIATE LINKS (Booking & Amazon).

If you make a booking with BOOKING.COM with my link or a purchase on AMAZON.COM with my link, I earn a small commission at NO additional cost to you.

Click here for Booking.com

Click here for Amazon.com

Thank you from the bottom of my heart for using my affiliate links! Helps a lot!

The Viennese Girl blog from Vienna Austria
The Viennese Girl blog from Vienna Austria
 

I miss everything about this little town. The hot chocolate I had everyday at Caffè San Biagio, crazy and funny tuk tuk rides with Paolo around i Sassi di Matera (look for him in Matera), bruschetta with ricotta, “Trippola maritata” pasta dish we had every night for dinner and so many other things that made this trip special…

too bad we had to leave because the day of our departure there was a chocolate festival happening in the weekend…but as Fernando from Corte San Pietro said in Italian “Per tornare, bisogna andare”! And I had to leave. Paris was next on the list!

Region Basilicata. I Sassi di Matera. Best travel tips.
The Viennese Girl blog from Vienna Austria
 

At this point, we have to thank ENIT Italia for organizing this individual press trip for us, My Austrian Holidays and the Region Basilicata for having us as guests and showing us I Sassi di Matera!

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*Disclaimer: My visit in Matera was an invitation to a press trip from Enit Italia. All words, comments and thoughts in this post are my own. This blog post contains affiliate links. I get a commission if you make a purchase through the links which comes at no cost to you. Thank you from the bottom of my heart for using my links.

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