Posts Tagged ‘italy’

Puglia

Puglia
Puglia
 

 Puglia: read my Top Tips for a great vacation

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
 
Puglia: A Trip to Italy’s Untouched Region

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
 
A Trip to Puglia: How to Eat, Drink, and Explore Your Way Through Italy’s Heel

And now, I hope you will come with me! As I reflect on my time in Puglia, I want to share my Top Tips and all the hot spots to visit. Plus some of my favourite 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. 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

Book your stay in Puglia with Booking.com

 

Book your stay in Puglia with Booking.com

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

Book your stay in Puglia with Booking.com

 
Puglia: A hidden gem in Italy

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 Italia, Region 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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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.

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

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.

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

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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.

Bella Napoli

Bella Napoli

Bella Napoli

It was raining the first day we arrived in Naples, but the city was generous enough and treated us with endless sunshine for the rest of our stay. We didn’t care at all because we didn’t have big plans for the first day anyway, so we were content to just visit that famous pizzeria “Da Michele” that happened to be located a few blocks away from our hotel.

Bella Napoli
Bella Napoli
 
My third visit in Napoli

I brought Anastacia with me on this trip. She thanked me over a slice of Pizza Margherita for bringing her to Bella Napoli. This was despite her initial worries regarding all the bad rumors that she had read on the internet about Napoli. I told her not to worry and just follow The Viennese Girl, haha. For me, it wasn’t the first time in Napoli. It was actually my third visit to this city.

Bella Napoli

My previous visits were always during the summer season; therefore I have always connected the South of Italy, and more specifically Napoli, with holidays and summer. But I can’t tell you enough how good it felt for us to fly with with myAustrian Holidays down to Naples in the middle of February. If I look back now, it feels even more like the right decision to take the airplane and fly to Bella Napoli in the middle of February.

pizza margherita da Michele Naples

Highlight of the trip

One of the best things that happened during our visit to Napoli was meeting up with Marco, a guy who I got to know through Instagram and was kind enough to show us his beautiful city and brought us to parts of the city that we wouldn’t have been able to find without him. Always remember that Instagram connects people. I feel really appreciative that Marco spent one entire day with us showing us around his beautiful city.

pizza margherita da Michele Naples
pizza margherita da Michele Naples
 
Food in Naples 

While in Napoli, we were never alone. My good friend Marcello picked us up every afternoon from the hotel and drove us to the small Italian village of “Vietri sul mare”, because I had cravings for mussels and pasta with sea food. We were pretty exhausted every afternoon after walking through the city for hours and we had to force ourselves to leave our hotel room and go for dinner.

But on the other hand, how can you deny a good dish of sea food pasta and a large pot filled of steamed mussels? I have to say, this was the best way to end every day in Napoli.

four days in Naples

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!

four days in Napoli

Where to stay in Napoli 

We stayed at Una Hotels Napoli, which I would recommend because of its key location. Being next to the main Garibaldi station and being close to the Alibus airport bus makes it easy for anyone who wishes to reach other destinations from Napoli.

To be honest, we didn’t spend a lot of time in the hotel. But the little time we did spend in the hotel, we were always greeted by the very helpful and welcoming staff.

We enjoyed the delicious breakfast on the rooftop terrace with views to the volcano and of course we loved that the pizzeria “Da Michele” was only 5 minutes of walking distance from the hotel.

four days in Napoli

To sum it up, the three nights and four days we spent in Bella Napoli were filled with lots of sunshine, hundred of photos, Italian friends, and many delicious slices of Pizza Margherita. I will come back for those and many other reasons.

It was time to say goodbye to Napoli. Our main destination for this trip wasn’t Napoli. It was Matera. About Matera, I will tell you in the next blog post.

Many thanks to ENIT Italia for making this trip happen, My Austrian Holidays for flying us to that sunny destination, and Una Hotels Napoli for the friendly accommodation!

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*Disclaimer: My trip to Italy was invitation to a press trip with ENIT Italia. 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.

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