Italy’s Secret Concierge
Ever had excessive journey envy It is that condition symptomatic of homogenized luxurious, when you’ve been to the coalface of hotels throbbing with bling and all you need is quiet glamour.
Step forward John Bird. His world centres on southern Italy, the place he opens doorways to tiptop personal villas and journeys that stir the blood — isn’t that a given in Salvatore Italy Australian-born, he’s achingly effectively-related, he is the insider’s concierge.
His world is the brand new definition of luxurious. Nothing is extra glamorous within the twenty first century than being personally greeted at your airport, driven by ordered umbrella pines to your villa, which in Fowl’s deal with e book will likely be one of many grand dames of Italy. The glass of Prosecco softens your journey on arrival. That is low-chic residing (the oligarchs are all out of sight in Forte reversible and adjustable belt ferragamo dei Marni), where your day is punctuated with the pleasure of having a reside-in host to organise no matter your coronary heart wishes.
Chook’s Italy is a seventeenth century-meets-21st. The place the Duchess of Palma (with whom you might keep) will take you procuring in her native market and train you to whiz up the perfect Sicilian Caponata, or a lighter-than-air Almond Semifreddo (a century old household secret).
Or it would the Marchese di San Giuliano’s 12th century compound, which was restored to splendour, by his late spouse, Fiamma Ferragamo. She was chargeable for the model’s well-known pump with a grosgrain bow and, simultaneously, the planting of dreamy outlying citrus groves and ten acres of gardens. Guests enjoy a resident butler, two cooks and three maids all in a row. It’s a bonus that the estate provides own your wine, olive oil, biscuits and breakfast marmalade.
When you’ve got meals and a cooking college on the reversible and adjustable belt ferragamo entrance of your mind, you may stick with the Regaleali-Tasca d’Almerita family in Sicily, the place a flock of Testa Rossa (is not that a Ferrari ) sheep provide milk for estate-made artisan cheeses (tuma and ricotta, pecorino); the place the garden is dedicated vanishing species of cherries and quinces. Long earlier than the birth of the modern day journey writer, Homer slept right here and described the cheese making in his Odyssey.
One more patrician family, the Ravida’s, open up their neo-classical villa (their Ravida Further Virgin Olive Oil is offered in Australia at Fratelli Recent) to meals lovers. The present era is headed by Natalia, who opted out of a Television presenter’s job in London, to oversee cooking classes. Their own model of sea salt is scooped up from the low waters of Sicilian shores.
Fowl has a benchmark of excellence and food-centered holidays are solely a blip on his radar. He distils a form of quite sophistication, for many who need to turn up the Pavarotti and settle right into a library, or escape to a seashore raked with white sands, to museums or live shows, cycling or golf. He will whistle up a masseur or drive you to sizzling springs and thermal baths. He can toss in facet trips to Tuscan hill towns, the Como lakes, the Veneto and Sicily. His black e-book of lesser-known eating places is unrivalled and he’ll have you in an Italian outlet shop as quick as you’ll be able to shout “bellissimo.” Lastly, if you cannot transfer from that library, as a skilled chef, he’ll ship the proper spaghetti vongole, on your dreamy terrace.
“I am just a contemporary custodian, I really like sharing the Italy I do know,” he says, in a charming manner. However Fowl (multi-lingual, with French and Italian) is aware of jewel-box glamour, as a result of he is taken care of that for purple-carpet shoppers in New York, LA, Paris and Rome. Today, he a lot prefers sharing his Italy.