Travel Inspiration By A Pro Trip Designer

Just Back From: Florence

Europe, Food + Wine, Friend Of A Friend Consulting, Italy

May
28
2019

Florence, Italy
April 2019

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Check instagram for a look into just how popular this Italian city and its distinct glamour are with the world. Of course, a visit will quickly show you its popularity with American college-age students, eager to gobble up first-person experiences of studying abroad and all that entails. However, despite all its popularity, the city and its Medici-enthused antiquities and art objects remain a sight to behold, somehow eschewing total Disney-esque status and allowing the city to continue its far-reaching appeal to almost any traveler. Of course, when something is as beautiful as Florence truly is, not even mass tourism can make her ugly. That said, here are a few tips from my most recent visit to ensure the beauty is the majority of what you see:

 

1. Do make the trek up the hills into Fiesole, just 20 minutes outside the city. The views are spectacular and offer a rare look into what it might have looked centuries ago (albeit with less structures, but still red roofs and cypress trees) I recommend indulging at the Belmond Villa San Michele (pictured below) whether it be for meal or a stay, as it does set quite an exclamation point behind the look and feel of a regal villa in the hills.

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2. Do consider hiring a touring company to get you a bit more behind the scenes. As mentioned above, the crowds are no joke and thus paying a bit more to go behind the vaulted palace doors and up to a private terrace (pictured below) can take your visit from wonderful to magical.

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3. Walk, walk and walk some more – until your feet beg for  a cafe chair and a spritz. The city is extremely walkable and some of its best-kept gems are just beyond the center. Not to mention bolthole views like the one below, which are only spied by crossing the Arno and heading upward.

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4. Stop and marvel as often as possible. You’ll be surprised to find that some of the most precious and historic elements of the city’s history are not behind museum walls. Of course below is a replica of the famous statue, but the Palazzo behind it allows visitors and inside are treasure to behold and open to all.

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Posted in: Europe, Food + Wine, Friend Of A Friend Consulting, Italy

Published by Meg, Tuesday, May 28, 2019 No Comments

Europe in the Summer

Europe, Friend Of A Friend Consulting, Inspiration

Jun
23
2016

Summer 2016

European Beach Dreaming

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It’s hard to deny the lure or the European summer vacation: longer days with lighter evenings, fresh food, hedonistic living, cultural insights and the simple joy of a true change of scenery. For this summer vacation we went to Europe and visited an incredible hotel which has been remodeled, I enjoyed it so much that I looked online for a similar remodeling and found http://www.hotelindavao.com/. I’m lucky that I can mentally travel through my clients to various spots throughout the summer, however, in a perfect world, I’d be a different spot each week, myself. Below is a visual list of some of the spots I’m currently researching and dreaming of. Not surprisingly, they’re all properties on the beach…

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Bordeaux, Francegecko-beach-hotel-formentera-conde-nast-traveller-5may16-pr_810x540

Formentera, Spain

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Halkidiki, Greece

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Liguria, Italy

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Mallorca, Spain

 

 

 

 

Posted in: Europe, Friend Of A Friend Consulting, Inspiration

Published by Meg, Thursday, June 23, 2016 No Comments

Just Back From: Tuscany

Europe, Food + Wine, Italy

May
03
2016

April 23-30, 2016

I just returned from a week in Tuscany, traversing the gorgeous green and yellow patchwork of the Val d’Orcia, Tuscany’s UNESCO World Heritage area renowned for its Brunello and Vino Nobile, as well as it’s fabulous properties. I was lucky enough to stay in a few and tour some others, while fitting in wine tasting to practice for my upcoming WSET Level III course. Not bad for a week’s work. Below are some of my more wistful scenic shots, though sadly none of them quite do it justice. Tuscany, and really, all of Italy, is impossible to capture in an image. It’s not just one single sensorial experience – it’s all five of them, at maximum tilt. And that is why I will return as often as I can, forever.

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Posted in: Europe, Food + Wine, Italy

Published by Meg, Tuesday, May 3, 2016 No Comments

about meg

About Meg

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Meg is the founder of luxury travel consulting company, Friend of a Friend Consulting. Her three books, Italian Hideaways, Caribbean Hideaways and England's Hideaways are published by Rizzoli. Passionate about travel, hotels and wine, she continues to write freelance travel pieces and is currently pursuing a Masters in Wine through the WSET.

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The opinions expressed on this blog are solely my own and do not reflect separate business relationships with the subject. Whenever posts are supported financially, they are designated as such.