A Joyous Easter @CASTELBRANDO – Cison di Valmarino

This year we spent our Easter break with friends in the breathtaking Veneto region.


In the heart of the Prosecco Veneto hills, halfway between Venice and the Dolomites, the CastelBrando Hotel steals the show as we approach Cison di Valmarino, a charming medieval village connected to the castle by a panoramic funicular.


It’s a wow experience from the moment we step foot inside the hotel.

To call CastelBrando a hotel  is a slight misnomer, since the castle is so unique and replete with historic details. The panoramas are one of a kind. Everywhere we look – we are rewarded by spectacular scenery.

It really does take your breath away.

The cultural center offers guided tours of the castle and the possibility to discover several thematic museum areas, the 18th-century church of San Martino, as well as the fascinating history of one of the largest castles in Europe.


Our guide Gloria, who was super articulate, made our tour so interesting and fun.
The castle is amazing, but the history that goes with it adds so much to the story.

The Shooting brake (1800), used to carry shooting parties with their equipment and game.

On Easter Sunday we enjoyed a delectable Easter lunch at court. It was a tasteful day embraced by a relaxed and convivial atmosphere in the refined and elegant rooms of Ristorante Sansovino.

Exquisite food at Ristorante Sansovino, where Chef Marco creates dishes that embody harmony and speak the language of traditions.


The morning buffet, with freshly baked pastries and cappuccino, was delightful, and so was the setting, truly spectacular.

The afternoons spent within the magnificent surroundings of CasteBrando and its panoramic terraces were unforgettable.

In the evening head to Ristorante Pizzeria La Fucina, which offers informal atmosphere and… delicious brick oven pizza!

There are also wine cellars and bars situated in the most picturesque corners of the castle, like Bar Donatello/ Orangerie with beautiful vaulted ceilings.


Last but not least, Princess Gaia Spa offers a wide range of treatments to help you distress, relax and rejuvenate.

We had positive vibes throughout our stay.


Cison di Valmarino, listed among the most beautiful Italian villages.


Overlooking the main square of the town – Villa Marcello Marinelli – part of the CasteBrando estate.

And there is more! As well as being an attraction in its own right, the castle is also the jumping-off point for countless Veneto sights: Palladian villas, quaint villages, picturesque towns, UNESCO World Heritage sites, as well as good restaurants and important wineries, where to immerse, savour and revel in all that this attractive region has to offer.


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Sunsets in Sorrento @VILLA PRESTIGE

The setting could not be more perfect: close enough to Sorrento and Positano, yet such a peaceful and quiet place. Welcomed by stunning scenery and awesome hosts, we felt at home from the first minute onwards.

The view over the gulf of Naples – a breathtaking introduction.


Set in the hills above Sorrento, the place is truly magical: spectacular panoramas, comfortable, clean and elegantly furnished rooms. I especially appreciated the attention to detail.

The sensory shower.

Beautiful terraces and balconies overlooking the gulf of Naples across to Mount Vesuvius made for the perfect work space with views I would love to wake up to every morning.

Hotel Prestige, located conveniently near the Villa (just down the road), features a lovely swimming-pool and cosy restaurant with authentic local cuisine. Combine that with a fantastic sunset and it’s a fail-proof holiday experience.


The menu is a succession of dishes of stunning tastiness. Make sure you don’t skip dessert 🙂

The Villa is very well located to see the area. The staff, always on hand with tips, will make sure you are enjoying the region to the max and having a remarkable stay. Here customer service, communication, and attitude are second to none.

Villa Prestige offers a variety of programs to choose from. You’ll get help scheduling various tours and day trips throughout the region and the Amalfi coast, sea cruising, evening concerts, you name it…

The villa is ideally placed to quickly reach the islands and many dreamy towns of the coast. A courtesy shuttle to Sorrento itself is available several times a day.

Thank you for having us @Villa Prestige (site here), and arrivederci a presto!

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Umbrian Hideaway@CASTELLO DI GALLANO Resort -Valtopina

Castello di Gallano Resort is one of our favourite escapes during the summer months. Plunged into the green Umbrian country, it offers the visitor a memorable and relaxing stay.

Enchanting is the area, which can be reached by driving through some lovely Umbrian countryside.


The medieval hamlet (which remains are still visible today) has been turned into this fantastic resort.

The 32 recently renovated apartments are well equipped and nicely furnished.

A very pleasant setting with swimming-pool (very refreshing on a hot day) surrounded by gorgeous Valtopina panoramas.

Extensive park-like areas allow you to get away from it all. Guests can use the many common areas such as barbecue facilities, picnic area and a playground for the little ones.

Here one can relax in the resort’s sublime surroundings or enjoy day trips to many beautiful towns easily reached from the resort – Foligno, Assisi, Perugia, Bevagna, Spoleto.


The elegant restaurant where to discover typical dishes of Umbrian cuisine. Everything is prepared out of high-quality products. Homemade pasta, truffles, and fine meats – all combined to ensure a memorable dining experience.


The views all around are breathtaking and the accommodations are beautiful too.

And what better way to spend an afternoon in Umbria than to come back to your accommodation and continue enjoying this view from your very own terrace, or maybe poolside with aperitivo!

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Carefree Days @HOTEL SCHNEEBERG Family Resort & Spa **** – Val Ridanna

The Valley of Ridnaun (Val Ridanna) will greet you with pure Alpine nature, bright sunshine and fresh air that stimulates the senses, while the Kruselburger family will leave none of your holiday wishes unsatisfied.

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Like its sister valleys ,Val Racines and Val Giovo, Val Ridanna is relaxed and truly beautiful, and offers easy-going and friendly atmosphere.

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For almost 40 years now Hotel Schneeberg and its knowledgeable and helpful staff have been taking good care of their guests. It is also known as one of the most family-friendly hotels in Alto Adige.

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A fully equipped safe play area and an excellent spacious nursery (Mini-club), with well trained staff to look after the children. Our daughter enjoyed all of the fun activities and brilliant entertainment.

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You’ll eat very well here. The restaurants combine the best of Italian cuisine and South Tyrolean cooking. The buffets and the 4-course dinner in the evening are great and  can please everyone.

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The location and the area are beautiful. The hotel offers great indoor and outdoor activities: the Schneeberg spa facility of 8000 m2 has saunas, steam baths, relaxation rooms, indoor and outdoor swimming pools, solarium and fitness area, not to mention the slides, pools and castles of the Bergi-Land aqua park.

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There is also a bowling alley, bars, a pizzeria, and a  disco pub. The cross-country ski trails are just outside the hotel, as well as the natural pond with pedalos, the huge open space for games, swings, and mini-golf.

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Relax and Alpine mountain scenery
Relax and Alpine mountain scenery.

There are lots of activities to try out both in summer and winter. Follow the call of the mountains and go hiking, climbing, mountain biking. Enjoy the surroundings and visit traditional festivals, events and concerts. Have fun on the 25 kilometers of snow-sure slopes of the Racines-Giovo ski area, which features 8 ski lifts, including the new eight-seat cableway, terrific ski runs, the Racines Funpark, a ski school and a children’s area. At these high altitudes the snow is almost certain from December through March, or anyway guaranteed thanks to the slopes equipped with snowmaking even when nature doesn’t cooperate.

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You’ll find plenty of things to do here in your off-slope time, as well. You can visit the Wolfsthurn Castle, Mareta, which hosts the South Tyrolean Museum of Hunting and Fishing, and the Mining World Ridnaun-Schneeberg.

The hotel is about a 15-minute drive from the beautiful town of Vipiteno (Sterzing), read my earlier posts to learn more about the region.

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A Toast To Autumn @Fattoria COLSANTO -Bevagna, PG

Umbria never fails to surprise me. I sometimes forget what a beautiful region it is. The landscape is simply fascinating, and autumn is the right time of year for a scenic back-road drive, with vineyards whose leaves paint the countryside red, orange, and gold.

If your Umbrian dreams feature these amazing vistas, set your sights on Montefalco, known as the ‘balcony of Umbria’ for its dramatic hilltop perch. There are few better places to connect with all the charm and authenticity of this beautiful region than Fattoria Colsanto, situated right in the heart of Umbria. It makes a great base to visit all the main towns, with so many sights and treasures to choose from:  Perugia, Spello, Bevagna, Spoleto, Foligno and, of course  Assisi, the birthplace of St. Francis, are all within easy reach.

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The area is known for its wine and Livon is one of the best wine producers from this corner of Umbria. The family also owns wineries in the most famous regions throughout Italy. They did a superb job in renovating the 18th-century farm house, adding today’s modern comforts to the estate, with five comfortable rooms for the guests. The cellar offers quality wine tastings, including the region’s signature Sagrantino di Montefalco and Montefalco Rosso.

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The area is so incredibly pretty. And what better way to experience it than stay in such a relaxed and charming place!

How’s this for an inviting view?
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