Days in Positano

Took time to adjust to jet lag and walked the town of Positano.  The bright sun, beautiful blue sky and sea have a serene effect and makes you want to stay forever.   Walking is the only way to see the town and be advised not to have too much luggage!  There is a good range of properties from B&B’s to 5 star properties, some with lift and others without but no matter what you walk everywhere.  Plenty of places to stop and enjoy the views.  Our hotel was on the top of the hillside and had beautiful views.  Always get a place with views. It is well worth the splurge.

Wonderful seafood and had my favorite Zuppa di Cozze pictured below.

Jet lag day in Positano.
Lovely hotel in Positano with views!
Streets of Positano - either up or down!
Mussel soup
Zuppa ala Cozze
Mixed vegetables of eggplant and roasted red peppers
Full Moon from Positano Hotel

Positano Italy – First stop

Arriving at Naples airport is a convenient port of entry for visiting the Amalfi Coast.  Our private driver Alfonso navigated with the ease of a local and gave us an education of the land keeping us awake to enjoy the beautiful scenery.  The views are amazing and much easier to enjoy when you have someone else driving the winding roads with switchback turns.  The hillsides are covered with sheer rocks and terraced lemon and olive groves.  It is the season for harvesting olives and we could see the setting of nets below the trees.  Alfonzo said the picking is still done by hand and the window of time is only 10 hours from picking to crushing to get the best extra virgin oil.  The weather is amazing and the warmest it has been in October for 125 years.

View of Positano on the Amalfi Coast

Designing Italy by Ginger -A journey though Italy Fall 2011

Leaving today for a one month journey through Italy visiting my valued vendors, inspecting properties and uncovering new gems for designing customized itineraries for Italy.  1st stop Naples with a private transfer with my great drivers to Positano along the Amalfi Coast.  First big event will be a cooking class with the famous Mamma Agata and daughter Chiara Lima at Mamma Agata’s Hidden Treasure in Ravello.  I look forward to sharing many amazing places and people with you over the next 30 days.

Overnight Accomodation Tax in Rome

Beginning January 2011 there will be a fee applied to lodging in Rome.  Introduced as an “overnight accomodation tax”  the fee charged  will be 2 euro per person, per night and applied at the end of the stay.  Children aged 10 years or younger will be exempt from payment.  The fee is intended to financially assist the city’s efforts in organizing urban services and aimed at ensuring the standard of the tourists’ stay be efficient and of the best quality.  I wanted all of you traveling and staying in Rome to be aware this is now in effect and not to be surprised by the accomodation tax at the end of your stay.  It is not quoted presently in the nightly rate and will be added to you stay at the end.  Most hotels are listing this as an additional cost outside of the quote for the room per night.   This will apply to hotels, apartments, rented rooms, holiday homes etc… 4 and 5 star hotels will charge 3 euro per person per night.  The per night maximum is 10 days.  Rome continues to be a wonderful city to visit!  Hotel rates in New York continue to have high tax/service rates such as 14.75% and $3.50 per room, per night occupancy tax so Rome is still a bargin!

Florence covered in Snow

Florence covered in snow (AP Photo/Claudio Scaccini)

A very rare event when Florence and much of Italy received snow!  As you can imagine, motorways, rail, air and local traffic around Tuscany were at a standstill.  Rome also had snow for the third time in 42 years.  Check out some great pictures from Living Venice blog…amazing photos!