Friday, 25 November 2016

A Month in Italy

November in Italy has been amazing. Mostly sunny and 20-25c. We decided to spend all November in our new house, Casa Colle, in Arpino south of Rome in order to get all practical things up and running and get to know our new town.

A month in Italy, a pretty good idea!

We love our new house and the Italian town Arpino is just amazing. It proved challenging to get ADSL and gas installed (heating works on gas in Italy) but apart from that most things have gone according to plan and our new Italian home is now fully operational. Project for spring is to aquire the space outside our house and turn it into a small garden/patio.

Casa Colle (we hope to buy the space right if the house, behind the wall, and turn it into an additional terrace/garden)

We also haf time to explore the surrounding areas. Arpino has a great location and within one hour we can go to Rome, Naples, Pompeii, the coast as well as one of the largest national parks in Europe! We just love this part of Italy! The area is so beautiful and very genuine.

We drove along the stunning Amalfi coast

We spent a day exploring the ruins of Pompeii

We went to Rome for a few days

We discovered the beautiful coast line close to where we live including Terracina...

...and our new favorite beach town Sperlonga

Just a short drive from Arpino you find the dramatic Abruzzo National Park, which is considered one of the best national parks in Europe.

We enjoyed so many stunning sunsets (this is the view from our terrace)

As well as ocean front sunsets

Our dear friends Annelie and Stefan came to visit

We were invited to many nice dinners, here in our neighbours beautiful palazzo.

So many new friends (and so much food)

And here we are around another table with more food and more new friends, celebrating Sonias birthday (the owner of the charming hotel in Arpino)

And today, on our very last day in Italy, fall came to town. It's high tine for us to head back to Marrakech, get some work done, reunite with our Moroccan tribe of friends and then travel to Sweden for some more work. But we will soon be back. Christmas and January will be spent in Casa Colle.

Fall in Arpino


Tuesday, 22 November 2016

All about tiles

Tiles, Moroccan mosaic or Zellij as it is known in Morocco which in Arabic means "Little polished stone", can be seen everywhere when you are in Marrakech. The walls, floors, pillars, tables, pools, fountains and even the streets can be covered in tiles, the Zellij is one of the major charachteristic looks of the Red City. The geometrically patterend mosaic has been used for centuries as a statement of luxury and sophistication but most importantly it is just stunning.

Production of tiles is an art that is transmitted from generation to generation.

To make tiles is an ancient tradition that derives from primitive pottery manufacture and the first real colourful tiles dates back to Egypt almost 5000 years ago. To make high quality tiles you need the best clay you can find, in Morocco the Fez region is known for this. Here you find many skilled craftsmen who make the most beautiful tiles in all different colours that is painted by hand. The production of tiles is truly a highly skilled artform!

The Ben Youssef Madrassa in Marrakech is covered with tiles from top to bottom.

And take a look at this beautiful floor at La Sultana Hotel.

Or this fountain at Bahia Palace!

And these pillars at La Mamounia!

Howabout these stairs at Palais Lamrani?

Palais Lamrani in Marrakech also boasts amazing pillars and floors covered in tiles.

And the tiles are best appreciated with good friends!

In every possible angle!

In Marrakech you are simply always surrounded by tiles!

Just look down, the tiles are everywhere!

Why not sit here for a while? A cosy corner at Villa Filali.

Everyone deserves tiles!

You can buy decorated tiles from baskets in the souk!

Howabout some coasters or house numbers!?

Or maybe you are in the market for a new fountain?

Or just a shower?

Remember, life is more fun with tiles!

See you soon!

Tuesday, 8 November 2016

Ocean Break: Amalfi Coast, Italy

We are spending all November in Italy and after getting our house, Casa Colle, up and running it was time for a short break so we took our little Fiat and headed south. After a beautiful 3 hour drive we arrived at the stunning Amalfi coast.
A road trip is always a good idea!

We love to visit these posh Italian seaside places off-season when tourists are long gone and you have the small towns and beaches all for yourself. The same applies to the French riviera (and indeed the Swedish archipelago): Off-season is the best! Our road trip took us to Praiano, Amalfi (the town), Ravello and Positano, all located along the gorgeous Amalfi coast line. 

First stop was Praiano, a gorgeous little village hanging on the cliffs. Our suite had a beautiful terrace with this view!

As always in Italy the food, wine, people and sunsets are fantastic. We had overall good weather (one grey day with rain, otherwise sunny and 20-22c) and stayed in some charming boutique hotels where our rooms all had terraces with the most spectacular views.
Hotel Margeritha in Praiano.
Sunset on our terrace in Praiano.
We discovered secret caves and enjoyed seafood lunches on the beach.
Could be a pirate's nest, right?

Then we were off to Ravello, a beautiful mountain town - even on a grey and 
rainy day.
Villa Ruffalo in Ravello. Grey skies but still stunning.
And then the sun came out
Villa Ruffalo, Ravello

After enjoying Praiano, Ravello and the scenic roads we arrived in Amalfi, the town that gave name to this entire coast line including several little towns and villages.
Hotel Residence in Amalfi

Amalfi, from our hotel room
Dramatic skies over Amalfi.
Night falls in Amalfi.
Then we were off to explore Positano.
Yet another room with a terrace and stunning views, here we stayed at charming Hotel Villa Gabrisa.
Wild waves

Lunch on the beach.

Ah, Amalfi - you old beauty!

Arrivederci Amalfi, we will soon be back!

Now we are leaving the beautiful Amalfi coast and heading towards some historic sights in Pompeii, but that's another blog post. Stay tuned!