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Italy’s Secret Concierge
Ever had extreme travel envy It is that situation symptomatic of homogenized luxurious, when you have been to the coalface of inns throbbing with bling and all you need is quiet glamour.
Step ahead John Chicken. His world centres on southern Italy, the place he opens doorways to tiptop non-public villas and journeys that stir the blood — isn’t that a given in Salvatore Italy Australian-born, he’s achingly well-linked, he is the insider’s concierge.
His world is the brand new definition of luxury. Nothing is extra glamorous within the twenty first century than being personally greeted at your airport, pushed by means of ordered umbrella pines to your villa, which in Chicken’s tackle guide will probably be one of the 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 dei Marni), where your day is punctuated with the pleasure of getting a stay-in host to organise whatever your coronary heart desires.
Fowl’s Italy is a seventeenth century-meets-21st. The place the Duchess of Palma (with whom you may keep) will take you shopping in her local market and educate you to whiz up the perfect Sicilian Caponata, or a lighter-than-air Almond Semifreddo (a century outdated household secret).
Or it might the Marchese di San Giuliano’s twelfth century compound, which was restored to splendour, by his late spouse, Fiamma Ferragamo. She was liable for the brand’s famous pump with a grosgrain bow and, simultaneously, the planting of dreamy outlying citrus groves and ten acres of gardens. Visitors take pleasure in a resident butler, two cooks and three maids all in a row. It is a bonus that the property supplies own vintage salvatore ferragamo black loafers your wine, olive oil, biscuits and breakfast marmalade.
If you have meals and a cooking school at the front of your thoughts, you can stay with the Regaleali-Tasca d’Almerita household in Sicily, the place a flock of Testa Rossa (isn’t that a vintage salvatore ferragamo black loafers Ferrari ) sheep provide milk for property-made artisan cheeses (tuma and ricotta, pecorino); the place the backyard is devoted vanishing species of cherries and quinces. Long earlier than the delivery of the modern-day travel author, Homer slept here and described the cheese making in his Odyssey.
Yet another patrician household, the Ravida’s, open up their neo-classical villa (their Ravida Further Virgin Olive Oil is offered in Australia at Fratelli Fresh) to food lovers. The present generation is headed by Natalia, who opted out of a Tv presenter’s job in London, to oversee cooking lessons. Their very own brand of sea salt is scooped up from the low waters of Sicilian shores.
Bird has a benchmark of excellence and food-centered holidays are solely a blip on his radar. He distils a form of quite sophistication, for individuals who want to show up the Pavarotti and settle into a library, or escape to a seaside 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 journeys to Tuscan hill towns, the Como lakes, the Veneto and Sicily. His black book of lesser-known eating places is unrivalled and he’ll have you ever in an Italian outlet shop as fast as you’ll be able to shout “bellissimo.” Finally, if you can’t transfer from that library, as a educated chef, he’ll ship the proper spaghetti vongole, in your dreamy terrace.
“I’m only a contemporary custodian, I really like sharing the Italy I do know,” he says, in a charming method. But Fowl (multi-lingual, with French and Italian) is aware of jewel-field glamour, because he is taken care of that for red-carpet clients in New York, LA, Paris and Rome. As of late, he a lot prefers sharing his Italy.