Villa Cappuccino Convento on the Amalfi Coast

Recently I had a devoted client of mine stay at this beautifully appointed apartment overlooking the Amalfi Coast.  When he returned he told me he had the most wonderful stay in this part of Italy and at this apartment.  The owner became his best friend! 

The rural farmhouse was bought in 1970 and is still owned and maintained by the original owner.  It  is positioned 200 meters above sea level so your views from the balcony are spectacular.  It is beautifully furnished with antiques.  There are two bedrooms each with a private bath, a living room and kitchen.  The kitchen is equipped with washing machine and dishwasher.

If you think staying at an apartment during your travels in Italy you may want to consider this apartment which has an ideal location.

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Villa Balbianello on Lake Como

It wasn’t a sunny day but it wasn’t raining either  the day we, the group of 20 people, boarded the ferry from Tremezzo to Lenno, then the water taxi from Lenno to Villa Balbianello.  This villa has a prominent location overlooking Lake Como.

We entered from the back of the villa and strolled up the walkway through the gardens to the villa for a private tour with our guide.  Having a guide was so beneficial in learning about the history of this beautiful villa and its gardens.


It is in the town of Lenno and is located at the tip of a small peninsula.  You must take the ferry to Lenno and then arrange for a water taxi which brings you to the back entrance. The gardens are beautiful and it does not surprise one to know that the villa was used for its location of a few feature films. 

The flowers and trees are abundant and beautifully manicured and maintained.  Do take a tour of the villa inside as it is filled with many artifacts from the explorer  Guido Monzino and you can learn about its history.

If you are in this area of Italy put this on your bucket list!  It is well work the visit.  Allow yourself about 2 hours.

A Fabulous meal at La Estacion in Puerto Rico.

While taking a short break this March my daughter, Elana, and I headed to Puerto Rico.  We stayed at El Conquistodor (more about that in another post) and decided to venture off the grounds and go to a fabulous small restaurant not far from the entrance to the hotel grounds. La Estacionis owned and operated by Kevin Roth, a Culinary Institute of America graduate and his wife.  Both have many years experience in the restaurant business.  After many years in NYC and vacationing in Puerto Rico they decided to move to Puerto Rico and open La Estacion.  This restaurant bar was once a gas station hence the name La Estacion.  The chef uses only the freshest and local  ingredients.  The menu may change a bit according to the season.

We took a chance and hired a taxi to take us to this restaurant.  It was crowded and they told us it would be a 2 hour wait.  That did not discourage us at all.  We sat at the bar and had a drink to pass the time.

We had the Jumbo Shrimp Pinchos and the Grilled Red Snapper which was enough for three people.

The food was so good we decided to go again the next night and again we had to wait a bit but who cares.  We were on vacation!  We sat at the bar and ordered each a Fajardo Sunrise (Tequila, Passoa (local passion fruit liquor), passion fruit juice and guava juice).



Before long we were seated and we decided to go local this time as both taxi drivers suggested we order Mofongo.  Elana had the mahi-mahi with shrimp and I ordered the BBQ chicken.  Mofongo is a garlic mashed plantains.  Of couse this evening we had a wonderful bananna dessert with ice cream.

We went back to the hotel full and happy!

Pinchos at La Estacion

Pinchos at La Estacion

Grilled Red Snapper

Grilled Red Snapper

If you happen to stay at El Conquistor Hotel I do highly recommend you dine at this unusual restaurant.  You will not be disappointed at all.

Wining and Dining in Naples Florida!

Speaking of food! let me give you a few recommendations since my objective besides enjoying my rounds of golf was to go shopping and eat good food! As you exit the Inn of Fifth Ave you can go either turn left or right and encounter many restaurants offering their best fare!  We decided to turn left this night.  Many  restaurants were full of eater and the streets were full of eager hungry people on the prowl for good food.  Our noses brought us to Pazzo!  They were willing  to seat us, since we were only two, but I do recommend you make a reservation!  We both had delicious and very fresh salads to start. Their claim to fame is their homemade pasta.  We both had pasta dishes that night and the pasta was tender and light, the way is should be.  Over all I would definitely go back to this restaurant.  Oh! By the way, their chocolate soufflé was great!  The center was oozing of chocolate – the way I like it!


Roy’s Hawaiian Cuisine, across Tamiami Road is another great choice.  We had a party of six people and everything was done to perfection even the dessert.

Sea Salt in the historic section (3rd Street South) is a relatively new restaurant.  That evening it was extremely crowded and the kitchen was in full swing.  My dinner was ok so I would recommend that if you are going to Naples during high season go here for lunch when it is not so crazy!  I will give this restaurant another chance.  It has an extensive wine list!

Another restaurant in this area is Campiella, which I understand is very very good, however I was not able to get reservations there -so next time I will book well in advance.

My favorite above all was Bistro 821 on Fifth Ave South. Every dish was done to perfection and I am going back to this restaurant!  Chef Jesse Housman uses only the freshest of ingredients. A very innovative cuisine!  Going back here for sure!

Oh!  Want to get a good pizza in town?  Oh yes you can!  One evening I decided I needed to have my own pizza and a glass of wine.  So off we went to RossoPomodoro, which means red tomato.  I was a little hesitant at first since this is a chain restaurant but decided to go ahead and take my chances.  The restaurant,   originated in Italy with a few in the USA, was very crowded so I thought it couldn’t be that bad!  Want a delicious brick oven pizza?  Go here and you will not be disappointed.  This is the only way pizza should be baked!  With the ovens roaring over 900 degrees the bottom is slightly charred, a good sign. Every ingredient is fresh and from Italy.  In fact our food was so good we went back for lunch one day and had a tasty calzone!  Again the dough was tender and light!


If you are interested in good weather, great shopping, especially on 3rd Street South filled with boutique shops, great golf and great accommodations, head south to Naples Florida that is.  You will not be disappointed!