What Is the Best Place in Tuscany?

Porto Ercole village and boats in harbor in a sea bay. Aerial view

If you are planning a trip to Tuscany, then there’s a place you must visit no matter what. Monte Argentario is a gem of a peninsula and one of the best-kept secrets in the region! In this blog, we’ll tell you all you need to know about its incredible scenery, rich history, and relaxing atmosphere. Read on to discover some of our favorite activities and start planning your trip to the best place in Tuscany today!


Discover Why Monte Argentario is the Best Place in Tuscany

 

Monte Argentario Is Tuscany’s Best Hidden Treasure

Monte Argentario might not be the first place you picture when you think of Tuscany, but it’s one of the most beloved beach resorts. If you’re looking for a Cote d’Azur experience without the crowds and expensive prices, then Monte Argentario is the perfect destination! It’s only an hour and a half away from Rome and has a unique geographic position. Indeed, it’s connected to the mainland by three isthmuses. Imagine golden beaches, lush pine forests, lagoons filled with flamingos, and a quaint, medieval town.

Note: Monte Argentario is split between two centers: Porto Ercole, a fishing town, and Santo Stefano, which was rebuilt after the second World War.

 

Perfect for History Buffs

Monte Argentario is the perfect mix of natural beauty and history. You’ll love exploring impressive historical sites like Fortezza Spagnola, the Frati Passionisti Convent, and other forts and towers built by Spanish kings over 400 years ago.


Gorgeous Beaches

Did you know that Monte Argentario is surrounded by more than 20 beautiful beaches? If you want to relax under the Tuscan sun, there’s no better place than here. La Feniglia, for example, is one of the most accessible beaches and connects Porto Ercole to the mainland as well as splendid pine forests and dunes. If you’re looking for a more private beach, head to Cala del Gesso. This sandy bay is a great spot for snorkeling!


Take a Boat to the Island of Giglio

Fancy a little adventure on the Meditteranean sea during your stay in Monte Argentario? Hop on a boat from Porto Ercole and head towards the island of Giglio! The ride takes about an hour and ends in a quaint, coastal village full of colorful shops and delicious restaurants. After a hike or bike ride on the island, make sure you stop by La Vecchia Pergola Restaurant for some of the best seafood you’ve ever had! You’ll love the soft pink building, blue gated entrance, and pergola with a sea view. We highly recommend ordering the sea bass or pasta!


Make Monte Argentario Your Home with Commendable Rentals

Favoloso Villa view of infinity poolMonte Argentario is the perfect destination for your next family trip! Take your loved ones on an unforgettable vacation in Tuscany and unwind for the summer. Our Favoloso Villa is ideal if you wish to travel in style and still experience Tuscan tradition. The gorgeous, modern villa sleeps up to 15 people with seven bedrooms and bathrooms.

You’ll love the see-through staircase, the fireplace in the modern living room, and the mix between the old Terracotta building and the new glass and wooden additions. The villa also offers incredible views of the Meditteranean Sea! Sip your morning coffee overlooking the pristine water and gaze at the distant islands in front of you. After a long day of exploring Monte Argentario, come home and jump in the infinity pool where you can swim with the sunset as your backdrop.

 

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How to Plan the Best Rome to Tivoli Day Trip

View of the Villa d"Este from the gardens and fountain in Tivoli | Rome to Tivoli Day trip

There are so many things to see and do in Rome. But, how about taking a day off from the hustle and bustle of the capital and heading out to more peaceful horizons? A Rome to Tivoli day trip is precisely what you need. Not only is Tivoli less than 40 minutes away from the city, but a day trip offers you the chance to discover magnificent gardens and historical landmarks. Read on to learn about our favorite stops and start planning your visit today!


Must-See Stops on Your Day Trip From Rome to Tivoli

 

Villa Adriana

Travel back in time during your first stop in Tivoli at the Villa Adriana. Visit the exceptional UNESCO World Heritage complex and discover one of the most impressive collections of ancient buildings. They were built in the 2nd century A.D. by Roman Emperor Adrian and combine the best of Greek, Roman, and Egyptian architectural details.

 

Temple of Sybil

Another great site to visit in Tivoli is the Temple of Sybil. It’s near the Temple of Vesta on the highest point of the Acropolis of Tivoli, which was once known as Tibur Superbum. After your tour, head over to Ristorante Sibilla for lunch! It’s right by the temple and offers some of the most delicious Italian food in the area. We highly recommend the Prosecco Welcome, ravioli stuffed with buffalo on soup, and the dairy pig roast with potatoes and artichokes Roman.

 

Villa d’Este

It’s a great idea to save Villa d’Este for last so you can get amazing garden views at sunset. The plants and flowers glow in the golden sun, and the water from the fountain sparkles during this time of day. This UNESCO World Heritage site is a must-see during your vacation. Marvel at the palace, which was built in the 16th Century by Pirro Ligorio for the Cardinal Ippolito II d’Este of Ferrara, Governor of Tivoli. If you’re visiting in the summer, you’ll love the freshness of the water by the ornamental basins.

 

How to Get There

Tivoli is one of the best day trip destinations from Rome. It’s very close to the city and offers a variety of activities to keep you busy all day. There are a few ways you can get there, depending on which method of transportation you choose.

The first option is to sit back, relax, and hop on a bus. The ride takes about an hour and a half and travels along the A5 Autostrada. The Cotral Bus departs every ten minutes and tickets are 1,60 euros. Once you arrive in Tivoli, you can take the shuttle 4 which connects you to the two villas of Adrianna and Villa d’Este.

You can also travel to Tivoli by train. Europe has an excellent train system, so take advantage of it! All members of your party can relax and enjoy the breathtaking landscapes without having to navigate directions. Note that the Tivoli station is about a half hour from the town center, so you might consider taking a taxi once you arrive.

Lastly, if you decide to rent a car and drive yourself, take A24 for about 15 minutes until you reach the Tivoli exit.


Find Your Historic, Downtown Rome Apartment

View of the garden and canopy with dinner table setNow that you know how much fun a day trip to Tivoli can be, it’s time to focus on your home in Rome. If you want to enjoy “la dolce vita” during your next vacation, book our fabulous Trastevere Apartment with a private garden! It’s the perfect place to enjoy the city and nature together.

Picture yourself drinking your morning espresso under a shaded canopy, lounging on the plush cream sofa in the afternoon, and cooking delicious carbonara pasta in your fully equipped kitchen at night. You can even dream the night away in the elegant master bedroom. You’ll love its high ceilings, terracotta tile, and large windows through which the sun peeks every morning. The apartment can sleep up to four people and is half a block away from the Tiber River.

 

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Easter in Rome: What You Need to Know!

Easter in Rome is one of the busiest seasons in the eternal city, which can be both exciting and stressful. Will it be too crowded? Will shops and museums be open? Will the weather be nice enough? Don’t worry; in this blog, we’ll tell you everything you need to know. Easter brings countless events and activities to Rome. It’s the perfect time to experience this unique cultural melting pot! Whether you’re religious or not, spring remains a magical time to visit Rome. Read on to discover four of our favorite things to do and start planning your trip today!

 

Make Your Easter in Rome the Best It Can Be!

 

How Crowded Does It Get?

Easter is one of the most important holidays in Italy. It’s one of the world’s top Catholic celebrations! Each year, thousands of visitors and pilgrims flock to the Vatican wanting to hear the Pope and attend the Papal audience on Ash Wednesday. Surprisingly, Easter weekend in Rome isn’t as crowded as one might think. Many of the pilgrims stay in nearby campgrounds and religious institutions, leaving most accommodations in the city to the more typical travellers. Now, don’t get us wrong – the weeks before and after Easter are popular favorites. But, if you wish to enjoy the religious festivities at the heart of the city over the weekend, you avoid the crowds.

What’s the Weather Like?

You might expect a little rain on Easter weekend in Rome, so pack accordingly! You’ll likely need a light jacket, scarf (it’s Europe, after all), and an umbrella just in case. We also recommend packing comfortable shoes! There are so many historical sites and museums to visit, so brace yourself for some walking. Walking is the best way to see Rome

Celebrate Easter Like a Native!

How about taking Easter as an opportunity to learn more about Rome’s religious history and partake in ancestral traditions? Easter (Pasqua in Italian) is the beginning of an intensive prayer week filled with many religious festivals and activities. Most museums are closed on Easter and the following Monday. For example, the Colosseum closes early on Good Friday, and so are many shops, restaurants, and museums. This includes the Vatican and the Sistine Chapel! Don’t worry; the majority remains open during Holy Week. In addition to the Papal Audience, be sure to check out The Palazzo Farnese and The Pantheon! Make sure you taste Easter flavors along the way! The most famous is the Panettone de Pasqua,  an Italian traditional Easter cake and the counterpart of  Italian Christmas panettone. The easter version features almonds instead of fruits, and you will see it everywhere. 

If you really want the religious experience, check out the Good Friday Mass at St. Peter’s Basilica at 5 p.m., or the “Way of the Cross” that night. There, you’ll see the Pope carry the flaming cross to the 14 stations.

 

It All Starts with a Splendid Apartment in Rome

View of the balcony with glasses of wine overlooking the rooftopsNow that you have four great ideas for how to spend Easter in Rome, all there is left to find is a cozy and trendy place to stay! Lucky for you, we’ve thought about it too at Commendable. Browse our incredible selection of properties, including condos, villas, and apartments at the heart of the Eternal City. We know you’ll find the perfect one for your trip!

Take a look at our Luxurious Colosseum apartment at the center of Rome! This two-bedroom is perfect for a romantic vacation or fun getaway with friends! It’s in the charming neighborhood of Monti and overlooks the Colosseum! You’ll be within walking distance to a variety of exciting restaurants and shops. You’ll love its sleek, modern decor, as well as premium amenities! Enjoy falling asleep to the sounds of Rome, snuggled in bed with a good art book. In the morning, make yourself a cup of espresso and dream about the wonders you’ll see during the day!

 

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How and where to plan a multigenerational travel in Tuscany

A family trip to Tuscany is always a good idea. That is the conclusion we came to during our family Christmas dinner last December. As part of a very extended and scattered family, it is always a struggle to be able to see everybody throughout the year. So we all decided that 2019 was going to be the summer when we would all meet halfway, and where better than Italy, where the sun shines from April to late October and activities are as diverse as the landscapes. Besides the obvious -the beach, the country, the food, the people- Tuscany is in our opinion one of the best places to comfortably travel with a crowd, as large villas are plentiful; it involves some mandatory logistics and planning if you want everyone to remember this trip positively as an unforgettable experience. Here are some tips for arranging successful multigenerational Tuscany trips.

Should you want a countryside vacation, protected from the hustle and bustle of touristy cities, Pitigliano is your best option: our ancient, former convent Il Convento makes a perfect holiday seeing and will welcome you and 10 other family members. It is just a 15min drive away from this incredible town. Located in the south of Tuscany, Pitigliano is unquestionably one of the most beautiful, charming and interesting towns in the area. Its rich history goes from prehistory through Etruscan and Roman settlements and Italian Renaissance, all of which you can discover at The Orsini Palace, now the Civic Archaeological Museum of Pitigliano. Within its spectacular old city centre is an area known as a “Little Jerusalem” for its once large and active Jewish community that was active in the 15th century. Don’t miss the recently restored Synagogue! On top of its rich history, the town is also famous for its wine production. The vineyards in this area, aided by volcanic tufa and millennia-old soil, produce one of the most lauded Italian white wines: Bianco di Pitigliano, a DOC appellation and a must-have while on the Strada del Vino! From there you can also visit the nearby towns of Saturnia and Sorano, which have benefited from hot springs for centuries and are now a must-go spa destination.

                     

For a seaside vacation, about an hour away from Pitigliano is the Monte Argentario and its fantastic archipelago! Perched on a cliff on the edge of the Mediterranean sea, the Villa degli Angeli gazes from Ansedonia at Italy’s most spectacular views, and can comfortably sleep up to 14 people. While there, though you may want to do nothing, there are plenty of possible excursions to keep you busy. In Ansedonia, don’t miss the remains of the ancient city of Cosa, an archaeological site of international interest dating back to 273 BC and included in UNESCO World Heritage Sites. You can also walk or bike in the nearby pine forest and beachcomb the long beach, that is if you tire of swimming in the sea from the private beach of your villa…

You can also explore Orbetello or discover traditional festivals such as the Balestro del Girifalco, stroll by boat in unspoilt places accessible only by the sea, dive into the Mediterranean waters and discover marine life, or try hang gliding at the many centres and schools in the region. We happily recommend Porto Santo Stefano and Porto Ercole, two fishing ports that have become seaside resorts, surrounded by high rocks and connected to the mainland by the wide sandy beaches of Gianella and Feniglia.

                   

Closer to San Giminiano, Siena and Florence, perched on a hill and overlooking vineyards, is Castello Lorenzo. Located in San Casciano in Val di Pesa, where Niccolò Machiavelli wrote his most famous book, The Prince, Castello Lorenzo was originally a medieval fortress built in the eleventh century, converted in the fifteenth century into a magnificent villa of the Tuscan aristocracy with a unique charm and impeccable taste. With its 10 bedrooms and 9 bathrooms, it will easily welcome up to 20 guests! Don’t miss the Antinori Wine Estate, simply breath-taking: the winery overlooks the countryside from a terrace surrounded by vineyards, and while staying at Castello Lorenzo, you can visit the cellars and participate in tastings, but also have lunch in their restaurant Rinuccio 1180 located on the roof of the building. We will take care of your reservations, tastings and excursions!

Finally, further north in the Tuscan Maremma, we definitely recommend Castagnetto Carducci, home of La Civetta, a 14-people villa with pool and private access to the beach! There is shopping should you want to cook family meals yourself, or you can use our wonderful cook, but there are also plenty of restaurants to enjoy. Local foods are based on Maremma specialties, fresh fruits and vegetables, freshly made mozzarella and of course, the famous Super Tuscan Wines nearby. Not too far away, is the famous city of Pisa (and its leaning tower!) and Lucca is about 1-hour drive north.

At Commendable Rentals, we can help you plan your whole trip, from choosing properties to rent , to booking guides, boats, chef, cooking lessons, and museum tickets in advance; don’t hesitate to ask for our help!


From Rome with Love

Most cities around Christmas vie to be the most festive and spirited, but few European capitals are as dedicated to bringing the Winter Wonderland to life as Rome. Whether you arrive in the Eternal City by day or by night, you will be charmed by the crisp yet mild December weather, and the glory of Rome’s winter blue skies. Last minute Christmas shopping rushes, the nonchalant strolls of locals trying to differentiate themselves from the tourists, and of course the Christmas lights, add energy to the glow, as Nativity scenes and Christmas markets pop up all over the city. If you arrive by night, don’t miss a drive pass the majestic and romantic Colosseum; its recently renovated arches are particularly beautiful when lit by spotlights against the dark sapphire blue sky.

The Christmas holiday season in Rome officially starts on December 8, the holiday of the Immaculate Conception, or Immacolata, and ends on January 6 at the Epiphany – when La Befana, a sort of Christmas witch is the lead character – and it is indeed magical: it is a great time to see the city in a -literally- different light and to discover the great Roman Christmas traditions. If you are by yourself, feel free to prep a special playlist for the occasion: Culture Trip has put together a wonderful list of songs inspired by the beauty of Rome, and there in one for every taste and every moment of the day (waking up to Rome Wasn’t Built in a Day by Morcheeba is the absolute guarantee of a good mood all day long)! Though it is holiday season, most shops of the city are usually open -with the exception of Christmas Eve, Christmas Day, the day after Christmas, and New Years’ Day- and most of the major sites and monuments that have entry tickets, including the Colosseum, Forum, and Borghese Gallery will all be open on the 26th, despite that day also being a holiday. We recommend planning your visits on the 26th, as the museums and churches will be much less crowded than usual.

Whether it is your first time in Rome or you are a newbie in the city, start your day with a bit of Christmas sightseeing; and whether you are religious or not, you should look for the numerous Nativity scenes scattered around the city: they will surprise you by their artistry, beauty and inventiveness. The major one this year is held of course in Vatican City, but there are beautiful ones in every major and minor church of Rome, which counts more than 900 churches, cathedrals and basilicas. We recommend Santa Maria del Popolo, created and built by famous painter, sculptor and architect Gian Lorenzo Bernini in the 17th century, Santa Maria in Trastevere in the charming, bohème district which gave it its name, or the Pantheon, to couple historical beacons and Christmas sightseeing.

In the mood for some Christmas shopping? There are a lot of beautiful, eccentric and charming Christmas markets all over town! All neighbourhoods offer something. Vintage pieces and hipster vibes are what the district of Monti is about, and Mercato Monti is the perfect embodiment of its way of life. You may find there the ideal Christmas gifts: clothes, accessories and other artisanal pieces await! Good to know: in December the market doubles in size, promoting more than 50 local talents.

Monti is really a charming neighbourhood, and we happen to have a great apartment there for you to live like Romans do: our  Bella Vita is located near the Colosseum and is the ideal place to rent for a family of 4 or 2 couples. Previous guests describe it best: “The perfect Roman Holiday! Both modern and historic- this was the perfect home base from which to explore Rome”.

Other Christmas markets punctuates the city, find an exhaustive list right here.

After all this wandering, you stomach might start to rumble; fear not! Rome is filled with charming and delicious trattorias and pizzerias, including two of our most favourites: Da Francesco and Fiammetta. Both are located just steps away from the Piazza Navona in the heart of the Historic Centre, and are dear to our hearts. Da Francesco, where the truffle pizza is close to heaven, is located on Piazza del Fico, right in front of Bar del Fico, one of the most popular bars in Rome. There you can sip your spritz or martini while peeping at fashionable locals and waiting for a table. Don’t hesitate to visit their website, as they even provide true Italian recipes should you want to test your cooking abilities back home!

Fiammetta is another true hidden gem: it is in a great location, just around the corner from Piazza Navona, but without the fuss of tourists. The menu is as varied as it is appetizing, with sitting options both inside and out. The pizzas are cooked in a wood-fire oven, as any good pizza should be. Go Italian all the way and try the white pizza with mozzarella covered in salty, peppery endive.

Should you want to celebrate Christmas both at home and in Rome, just stay on Piazza Fiammetta and book our lovely 3-bedroom apartment! Fiammetta is so much better than a hotel: this spacious apartment sleeps up to 6 guests and is beautifully proportioned and elegantly furnished, in a modern yet timeless idiom, blending art and antiques with modern design. Original beamed ceilings and polished terracotta floors underline its historic origins and add warmth to the coolness of the white walls. Cherry on the cake: The kitchen is designed for chefs, so you will be able to try all these wonderful recipes by yourself!

Commendable Rentals has a lovely, extensive collections of palazzi, houses and apartments to rent in Rome, find the perfect place for you and start enjoying your Roman Holidays!

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year to all!

The Commendable Rentals team


Discovering Rome from above: a Roman guide to terraces and gardens.

We all know discovering a city from higher ground is magical and Rome is no exception. Its terraces, so many with splendid views, are always a pleasure to relax in and are certainly a very hot commodity! We always thrive to find exceptional rentals everywhere we go, and we have come up with a curated list of beautiful green spaces in Italy’s capital. Raindrops are scarcer than normal this season, so we decided to stay a bit longer in the Eternal city and enjoy life “à la romaine”, watching time and life go by while enjoying every instant. What activity is more inspiring, rewarding and mind-clearing that gazing at rooftops and monuments from your own terrace while planning your visits and strolls under the Roman sun I ask you? (This is a rhetorical question, nothing is more soothing than that!)

Just on the banks of the Tiber, facing the Bocca della Verita on the Trastevere side of the river, is our first recommendation: Mio Giardino Romano. It is a bit of an exception, as it offers a garden rather than a terrace, so the joy is in the fresh, cool greenery, not the views. It is the apartment of a Roman photographer. Sitting on the green benches under the pergola, picture yourself reading a good book, sipping a hot, intense Italian expresso, or taking a well-deserved siesta after rambling around the city: can you smell the orange trees exhaling their perfume?

Walking up the Tiber, near the Basilica di Santa Maria di Trastevere, you will find Dieci, another hidden oasis available for rent: this two-bedroom apartment was recently renovated and the cosy terrace right off the dining room is perfect an evening Spritz or a glass of wine in Spring, Summer, and Fall. The view on the colorful buildings and rooftops will never cease to amaze you!

From both of these beautiful homes, you can explore the district of Trastevere, a bohemian enclave in front of Rome’s most famous sites and ruins, like the marvelous 5th-century church of Santa Cecilia, or Santa Maria in Cappella:

If you take a short walk across the Ponte Garibaldi or Ponte Palatino, you will find yourself in Rome’s historic centre, near the Piazza Farnese and the Campo dei Fiori. You are also within walking distance from the Isola di Tiberina (Tiber Island), historic and charming.

Enjoy great wine and great food in the countless bars, cafes and restaurants, and immerge yourself in the local way of life.

More hidden gems await you once on this side of the river, like our newcomer Il Magnifico, a whole Roman palazzo all for you, along with its splendid roof-top terrace with breath-taking and intimate views over Roman rooftops.

Enter this Renaissance townhouse and feel like royalty: you will certainly be treated like one, because it comes with a housekeeper. Planted with fruit and palm trees, the terrace and its adjoining second kitchen provide a wonderful position for sunset aperitif or dinners under the star, a magical ambiance for enchanting cena al fresco; we can provide the chef. With 5 beautiful bedrooms, each with bathroom, that is a unique property and is perfect for a multi- generation Roman holiday, or a friends’ reunion.

There are also beautiful reception rooms, so you will have a hard time choosing between inside or out! From this exceptional apartment, you can walk up to Piazza Navona and its famous baroque fountains, the ancient Roman Pantheon, or the Bonaparte palace.

If you take a long walk down the famous Corso Vittorio Emanuele II, you will reach Domitilla, yet another amazing oasis: a marvelous duplex penthouse with two terraces which offer fabulous 360° views of the domes of St. Peter’s Cathedral, the Gianicolo Hill, the Roman antic Forum and other major landmarks of the city, like the cupola of San Martino ai Monti and the Quirinale, the presidential palace. Domitilla has three bedrooms and is perfect for a family or friends. It was designed by a famous architect, and is full of character and history from the time of Fellini. It is a wonder for its views.

Talking about palaces: should you be looking for a true Roman palace, stroll toward the romantic Monti neighborhood to get to our Palazzo Palermo, an amazing combo of two elegant, beautifully furnished apartments, sleeping up to 14 in total. You will truly be living like the elegant Roman that you have just become. Each apartment is as elegant inside as out and may be rented together or separately.

The apartments share a beautifully planted and cared for terrace, with colorful flowers, olive trees, lemon trees, peach- and persimmon trees.

Close your eyes: the scent of blossoms perfumes the air.

Open them: the sites of Rome are for you to gaze upon indefinitely.

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Rome, confidential

It is no difficult task to be inspired by Rome: world famous landmarks, more than 350 films shot or dedicated to the Italian capital (including Roman Holiday, one of my favourites), culinary traditions copied worldwide (but never equalled!), we could talk for hours about this city that combines history, culture, gastronomy and true art of living. Today, however, I will rather show you our Rome, far from the hot weather and touristy trails.
Fall is a great season to stay in Rome, if only for the Film Festival held there every year. Previews, round tables with the greatest directors and actors such as Martin Scorsese, Isabelle Huppert, Cate Blanchett or Michael Moore, retrospectives and anthologies, there is something for every movie-lover! The film festival is held from October 18th to 28th and is a local event not to be missed. To ensure you a pleasant visit, stroll down along the Tiber and stay in our beautiful apartment Piazza Fiammetta, you will feel right at home!

Rome is also particularly pleasant in the fall becauses it breathes more than in summer: the climate is milder, the tourists are scarcer, and it is especially noticeable in museums and monuments. One of our recent visits was the magnificent Palazzo Farnese. Former residence of Pope Paul III and today home to the French Embassy, the Farnese Palace is one of the jewels of the Renaissance in Rome. To ensure quality visits and to promote the French language and culture, the Embassy entrusted the exclusivity of visits to the association Inventer Rome. Discover the Sangallo Atrium (the vestibule), the cortile (the courtyard), the garden, the Hercules salon with its tapestries inspired by Raphael’s frescoes and the Carrache Gallery, recently restored and once again open to the public, an absolute masterpiece of the Carrache brothers, commissioned by Cardinal Odoardo Farnese at the end of the 16th century, and which inspired, among other things, the ceilings of the famous Hall of Mirrors in the castle of Versailles.

Inspired by these visits led by French-speaking students or young active people living in Rome, we participated in many of the other activities offered by the association, such as the visit of Villa Bonaparte (in French or Italian) or their discovery tours in Rome and Lazio (in French only). We currently recommend the visit on Saturday, October 20th of the Doria Pamphilj Gallery, a private museum housing a fabulous collection of art, that of Mount Esquiline, one of the seven hills of Rome where all the history of the city can be found (Saturday, October 27) or the Etruscan Museum of Villa Giulia (Saturday, November 24). Find here the complete program of their visits. Inspired by the Farnese Palace? The setting of our Palazzo  Il Magnifico will surely, with its amazing antiquities, luxurious furniture and beautiful paintings of masters.

Leaving the Palazzo Farnese, head to the Pantheon and stop to eat at Casa Bleve: here, the wonderful owner welcomes you with open arms and the chef explores all the tastes and traditions of Italian cuisine, respecting the seasons and selecting the best local products. It’s an iconic stop for all gourmets!

Finally, to keep this local atmosphere, walk in the neighbourhood of Monti, one of the last districts of Rome which kept its bohemian soul. Like an artists’ village, its sinuous streets protect it from the waves of tourists and concentrate a lot of great addresses: second-hand shops, small friendly restaurants, cafes and squares to hang out indefinitely, and two of our most beautiful Roman properties:

our penthouse overlooking the Vittoriano, or the Palazzo Palermo, composed of two independent apartments, will welcome you in the heart of the eternal city!

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Precious family time…

What a world we live in! With globalization and tough competition, job relocation is sometimes the lot of many scattered families around the globe. Believe us, we can relate! What better way to keep the family bound tight than to organise a family reunion? It could be for a family birthday, for a holiday celebration, an anniversary, or simply because it has been too long. Here is a simple, yet very effective recipe to any successful family gathering. First and foremost, you must pick a place, and not just any place: it should be in an attractive area, central or at least easy to get to, preferably with mild weather (we wouldn’t want to be stuck inside all the time, now, would we?), both extensive and comfy, with a homey feeling that makes all relax: as the host, you want to have your family close by and comfortably settled. The surroundings should offer both activities for every generation and relaxed and intimate areas for time out or reacquainting moments. And finally, what would be a family reunion without qualitative family meals? To ensure you get all that – and more! – we recommend two choices, in two different countries which, although very different, easily check all of the above.

Should your family be spread throughout Europe – lucky you! – or should you simply look for an exceptional venue, Mediterranean countries always come first to mind. There is first beautiful Italy, where we found right next to Rome, its capital, the perfect Villa for your family retreat. And though we are of course accustomed to organizing parties and events, it is always with a bit of surprise – and a warm feeling of pride – that we read the wonderful reviews our guests leave us after some time spent in our wonderful properties. Villa Vesta was praised numerous times by its visitors, and here is how they describe it in their own words:
“absolutely beautiful”, “has to be seen and experienced!”, “a beautiful location and a wonderful trip managed end to end exceptionally well”, “we look forward to our next trip”, “We loved the location, the peacefulness, how well equipped it was and the pool was wonderful to swim in after a long day in Rome. We would highly recommend this place to anyone!”

Need we say more? The area around Villa Vesta offers of course beautiful Rome, always a good idea no matter what time of the year, Tivoli and the marvellous gardens of Villa d’Este and Villa Hadriana, but also Castelli Romani, a natural volcanic park with amazing scenery, pretty Ariccia and its Palazzo Chigi (barely a 20min ride), Frascati with its flourishing vineyards and enotecas, Castle San Castello in Sora, and of course Grottaferrata, built around the Abbey of Santa Maria di Grottaferrata, founded in 1004, and summer home of the Popes. But the Villa will certainly captivate you and your loved ones, as everything there is designed to make you want to stay.

France would be more convenient for you? Fear not, the French Provence welcomes you at the Bastide de la Félicité. Located in one of the most interesting parts of Provence to visit, anyone who visits La Félicité will nevertheless want to spend a lot of time there, as our happy guests sum it up themselves:
“Paradise”, “Essence of Provence in total luxury”, “Fantastic property, bedrooms, grounds, pool, playground and tennis court”, “sumptuous property”, “the staff was so very helpful, friendly and accommodating”, the long list of praise matches the extensive attention to every single detail inside and outside the house.

But you will want of course to discover the charms Saint-Remy, Avignon (a 30min drive) with the Popes Palace, its city center which became a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1995, and the Festival d’Avignon, l’Isle-sur-la-Sorgue, a wonderful site famous for its many antique shops and Sundays antique markets, Eygalières, only 15min away and probably the most beautiful village in the Alpilles, Arles, home to the Rencontres de la Photographie, and finally Les Baux de Provence and the Carrières de Lumières, a high technology multimedia performance in the ancient and giant caves that were quarried to build the town.

In Italy or in France, we will of course take care of your transfers, itineraries, visits, wine tastings, or any activity you would feel like trying. Call your loved ones, set a date, and reunite in style!


Tuscany and its Mediterranean coast

Summer is here !

This year, we found ourselves once again (why deprive ourselves!) under the sun on the Tuscan coast. One of our goals, besides enjoying the wonders that this region conceals, was above all to discover three new properties, for you and we were not disappointed! We found three splendid homes for seaside pleasure full of serenity and delight, and we cannot wait to introduce them!

We loved lunch and dinner at beach or harborside restaurants, where fresh fish comes straight from the fishing nets to your plate. Dining in the soft, sea air while watching the sun set and the moon appear is no small pleasure. The days bring crystal-clear, aqua-blue waters, which beckon from beaches where you also find many boats available for rent, or, from your villa, where a private staircase cut into the rock might lead directly from the villa to the sea.

This region has been home to some of the most influential figures of the Renaissance, so it is not surprising that it plays host to a plethora of museums and historical sites, including 6 UNESCO World Heritage sites, of which Florence, its famous capital. The seaside towns also rich in attractions and curiosities: Porto Ercole, one of the two ports of Monte Argentario, was the last home of the famous painter Caravaggio, who died there mysteriously after being banished by the pope and chased by the Knights of Malta The nearby town of Capalbio is home to the Tarot Garden, the famous garden and “art environment of monumental sculptures by the French artist Niki de Saint Phalle; a little further on the vineyards and wine bars of Scansano offer you tastings of some of Italy’s best wines. Don’t forget to travel on to Pitigliano where the views of the surrounding countryside and the Cathedral Saints Peter and Paul will amaze you. You can even book our 7-bedroom convent here Il Convento
Tempted by a visit? We will be happy to make a reservation for you!

Tarot garden fontain

The attractiveness of the area  also lies in its authentic culinary traditions, complemented throughout the year by a rotation of seasonal local products, such as flesh and fragrant tomatoes, Porcini mushrooms, truffles, or the excellent mozzarella di bufala, as well its heritage of unique winemaking: Chianti, Montepulciano, Scansano and Montalcino are among the most famous vineyards you will find anywhere!

Finally, Tuscany also lends itself to relaxation and pure pleasure: the Tuscan coast is beautiful, its sunshine is plentiful, and its beaches and coves shelter a transparent and temperate water. So, we are heading to one of its elite resorts -Ansedonia next to the Argentario peninsula

     

One of the many advantages of Monte Argentario, a small peninsula south of Grosseto on the Tuscan coast, is that it concentrates everything that attracts us to Italy: castles, medieval forts and Renaissance streets, beaches, and restaurants, as well as typical landscapes and historical anecdotes.

Explore Orbetello or discover traditional festivals such as the Balestro del Girifalco, attend the Palio Marinaro dell ‘Argentario, a rowing race accompanied by a pageant on August 15 in Porto San Stefano, and visit the ancient baths of Saturnia.
On the sea and in the air, other surprises also await you! Stroll by boat in unspoilt places, accessible only by the sea, dive into the Mediterranean waters and discover marine life, or fly hang gliding through the many centres and schools in the region.
Taste Italian idleness in landscapes of unique beauty, between pine forests and crystal-clear waters. We happily recommend Porto Santo Stefano and Porto Ercole, two fishing ports that have become seaside resorts, surrounded by high rocks and connected to the mainland by the wide sandy beaches of Gianella and Feniglia.
Finally, walk through Ansedonia, the current name of the ancient city and Roman colony of Cosa. Here you will find is one of the most beautiful villas in the region …

Perched on top of a hill overlooking the Mediterranean, Mare degli Angeli (literally “Sea of Angels”) offers many beautiful views of Monte Argentario and the Tuscan archipelago, the island of Giglio. It can accommodate 14 people in the Villa alone and if you add the adjacent Guest house and it can accommodate 20. The summer season is a real pleasure, but so are the shoulder seasons of spring and fall. You can enjoy gardens, terraces, swimming pool and private access to the sea, from May to October when the Italian sun and sea invites you to life outdoors! The Villa’s two fireplaces will nevertheless reassure the most cautious visitors once autumn days start to cool.

During my time there, I particularly appreciated the comfort of the furnishings and the thrill of living with Roman antiquities as part of the decor. Pure white walls are accented by interesting and colorful paintings, while furniture in festive shades of summer add a touch of gaiety. Sunlight penetrates all the rooms of the house while numerous bays and wide windows lead your eyes to the sea.

It’s a magical villa, perfect for a stay with family or friend; its rooms and surroundings lend themselves to moments of complicity and conviviality between generations, while activities abound: tourism, culture, gastronomy and sports to seduce young and old!

     

Looking for more places in Tuscany? Right this way:

Villa Uliveto

Mimosa Mare

Il Pecadillo

Francesca al Mare

Il Favoloso

Il Convento


An Unforgettable Family Reunion at Villa Vesta, Magnificent Estate near Rome

Last week we received a  lovely review about one of our favorite properties, Villa Vesta, that we would like to share. Because it can sleep 20 and has plenty of space, both  inside and out, to entertain a crowd, to relax, and especially to celebrate a major life time event, we often host small weddings and family reunions, there.

Villa Vesta Event

But this past summer, we hosted a two week event which took months of planning, as we helped with planning of events for every day, gala feasts, with beautiful multi-course meals loaded with favorite local specialities, from plentiful seafood to porchetta, and of course local fruits, vegetables, and cheeses.

Villa Vesta China
Villa Vesta’s cabinets of fine dishes

We organised tours for the  family that ranged from the very young to the elderly and frail in wheel chairs,  including the Vatican and the Colosseum by wheel-chair; vineyards by car and bike, special restaurants, a trip to Sora, and so much more.  Though it kept us busy, the response that we received made it all worth while.

Villa Vesta Entrance
Entrance to Villa Vesta

Villa Vesta Sitting Area
A Comfortable Seating Area Open to the Vast Garden

Villa Vesta Stairs
Entrance Hall

Villa Vesta Estate
Looking Out Over the Garden Estate

Rocco, who planned the event for his multi-generational group moved us beyond words, with the heartfelt narration of his family history. Read on;

“We will never forget the beauty, the staff, the food, the location and support provided by Adriana and the Commendable Rentals team which provided the backdrop for our Italian family reunion. My grandfather, Ernesto, was born in Sora, Italy in 1890. He left for America in 1906 to find a “better life”. Actually, he was leaving his abusive step-father whom he would watch abuse his mother. He left his mother and sister behind, vowing to return one day to bring them to America and to get away from the abuse at home. He did create a beautiful life in Rhode Island and he did return to collect his mother 4 years later. However, his sister married and stayed in Italy. In the over 100 years, Ernesto’s family grew to over 90 Italo-Americans. While in Italy, his sister, Christina’s family grew to almost the same size. As many of the “elders” in my family were in their 80’s, Athena, my beautiful partner and I decided to create a once-in–a-lifetime reunion. We needed lots of coordination, facilities that would accommodate 2 large receptions and a responsive staff. Right from the start, it was clear that Adriana and her team would be able to help. They were amazing. The house was better than the photos, the staff quickly became part of our family, the food was wonderful and beautiful memories were created as part of this very special trip. We brought over 20 family members from Rhode Island and about 30+ of our Italian cousins showed up for 2 separate catered events, with live music, tents, sit down meal service, bar, flowers, and translators it was beautiful. We sat outside around the pool in the beautiful private grounds of the villa. The elders, met their cousins for the first time. There were hugs, tears, laughter, dancing and true connection. Adriana, thank you…what a wonderful magical place! It was truly a once in a lifetime event. About 8 weeks after the reunion, Zia Anna, the matriarch of our Italian family passed away. She was honored at both family festas and was a beautiful woman. The last time I saw her, she was smiling, with tears in her eyes and she gave me a big hug thanking us for creating this special moment bringing the family of Christina and Ernesto together for the first time”

For families who want to reunite, there is no better place!

More about Villa Vesta

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